February 7, 2017


18 years ago Cole was 6 months old and I found out I was pregnant with our second child. Ben and I were excited about having another child because we knew we wanted our children to be close together, but GOD had different plans than what we thought. At our 8 week sono we found out we lost our baby, and we found our peace in GOD and our joy in the baby that we already had. We knew that in a couple of months we could start trying to have another baby again, but even as that time approached I felt trepidation about what the outcome might be. We were blessed to get pregnant within the first month of trying, and we found ourselves hiding the news of our new pregnancy as we celebrated Cole's 1st birthday. I was due April 1, 2000 and I was so very excited, but I didn't want to tell anyone until I had heard the baby's heartbeat.
When I was about 20 weeks along I still had not gained any weight, and it seemed like a normal pregnancy, but over the next 7 weeks my belly grew to be 58 cm in measurement, and I couldn't fit into any of my maternity clothes. I knew I was WAY.TOO.BIG! The doctor did an ultrasound and concluded I had polyhydramnios which is a very rare condition in  which my body made excessive amniotic fluid. I had a very severe case of it, too. I was admitted into LSUMC at the beginning of the millennium. The doctors did an ultrasound when I arrived at LSUMC in Shreveport, and during the ultrasound I was told that my baby had Down's Syndrome. We knew that the main causes for polyhydramnios were because the baby would have hydrocephalus, spina bifada, or Down's Syndrome. It didn't matter to us though because we were going to have our baby no matter what. One of the doctor's had suggested that we wait for test results that would let us know if anything was wrong with our baby so we could decide whether or not we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. It still makes me tear up to remember that conversation.
GOD had allowed us to lose one baby in the past year, and now I was faced with doctors asking me if I wanted to CHOOSE not to have this one! I remember Ben telling them to get out of my room. He was in agreement with me that no matter what we were going to have our baby.
The first night I was in the hospital the doctors told me that if they couldn't stop my labor that my baby would be born early and would probably die. They also told me that if they tried to stop my labor by draining some of the amniotic fluid my baby could die--and it would be dangerous for me. I was left laying and crying uncontrollably in a hospital bed trying to decide what the best choice would be for both me and my baby. I had never had to make a more difficult choice in my life. My mind was swamped with "what if's?"
What if I choose to have the fluid drained so I can breathe easier, but it causes me to lose my baby? What if I don't have the fluid drained and my contractions don't stop? What if my baby is born tonight and doesn't live because of a decision I made?
It is hard to be a mother. It is draining to believe that you really have the power to change what could or would be. I had to stop giving myself so much credit and remember that GOD is so much bigger than I am or any decision I could make. I had to remember that I was walking WITH HIM, not asking HIM to walk with me. There is a big difference. I prayed a lot, and the HOLY SPIRIT spoke to me and reminded me that HE had (and always has) great plans for me---even if they weren't the plans that I had expected. I had to trust that no matter what happened, GOD would still be GOD. HE would still be on HIS throne when it was all said and done. He would still love me, and HE would carry me through anything that happened. HE would still be my ROCK and my REFUGE. I then chose to have the fluid drained, and they took 3 liters of amniotic fluid from me that night. The labor stopped and everything was fine.

After being in the hospital for 6 weeks, I went into labor on the night of Feb. 6, 2000, and it was clear that it could not be stopped, so on Monday morning the doctors came in to prep me for a C-Section (just in case). I waited for Ben to get to the hospital so I would not be alone. I laid in the bed and rested for several hours after they broke my water. Then I heard Jacob's heartbeat on the monitor slow down considerably. It was about 12:45 pm. The doctor's rushed in, saw that I was hemorrhaging, and Jacob was in distress, so they rushed me to the emergency room. I cried the whole way in there and just sang "Hold Me JESUS" as we went, and I was shaking uncontrollably. I remember the doctor looking into my eyes as we walked down the hall. He said, "Your baby is going to be fine. You are going to be fine. You have been here so long, and I am not going to let anything happen to you." His words were comforting to me. I believed him. Ben did get to come into the delivery room with me.
 At 1:04 a HEALTHY baby boy was born weighing in at 6 lbs 7 oz....HUGE for a 33 week old!!! He is our miracle baby.  GOD IS AMAZING! GOD takes our broken pieces and turns them into beautiful pieces of clay that HE can mold and use.
I LOVE that the doctors were wrong about you, Jacob, with pretty much everything they "predicted", but mostly that you wouldn't live. Together you and GOD proved them wrong, and you were a healthy 6 lb 7 oz baby born at 33 weeks. I will never forget the first time I saw you. You are still as important to me now as you were then. I love the way you laugh, tell jokes, breathe louder than anyone around you, slap your flat feet on the floor when you walk, sleep bent in half while sitting indian style (seriously this is the most flexible kid I've ever seen), have a head bigger than most any adult, can take apart and put back together anything, never get lost, have a servant's heart, and are independent. I know you struggle, and I pray for you every day. You are my Jacob Aaron, and I hope you have a wonderful day today baby boy!! Happy 17th Birthday!!


February 6, 2017


At the risk of ostracizing myself because I am probably the only person on the planet that didn't think the half-time show was UH-MA-ZING, I am going to list why I feel so differently than the masses of people that surround me. I also want to remind you all that I don't like fudge, canned chili, or....wait for it.....Cheez-Its. I say this to remind you that my opinion is just that....my opinion. And I am entitled to it just like you are entitled to yours. You can decide you hate me because I feel differently than you, but is that really mature? I don't hate you because of how you feel about the way Lady Gaga paraded around on the stage in less than modest clothing setting an unfavorable example for all of our young daughters. So, here it is.....

1. I didn't really care for the way she put her leg up on the piano stool opening up her crotch in a tasteless way while she belted out the words to some less than mediocre song.....or any of the other "dance moves" that had her opening her legs up over and over. I have young sons that don't need to be "flashed" in this sort of way by any female. I mean REALLY? Is that AWESOME ENTERTAINMENT???? Since when did entertainment become so tasteless?

2. Her choice of wardrobe was less than appealing. Half a shirt with some booty shorts??? When a  4 year old says, "She needs to get dressed" that should tell you something.  I understand that's what is "in", but I've never been one for doing what's "in" if it goes against my beliefs and convictions. Parading around on stage for everyone to see in clothes that are not modest when you have the opportunity to influence so many young girls in a positive way just makes me angry and sad all at the same time. What about that glorifies GOD? Nothing.  Now, I know that some would say, "But she wasn't there to glorify GOD. She was there to entertain!"  If we do ANYTHING  we are to "do [it] all in the name of the LORD JESUS, giving thanks through HIM to GOD the FATHER." (Colossians 3:17) I know that Paul was talking to believers here, but I have been reading so many blogs lately claiming that Lady Gaga is a Christian because "she believes in JESUS" and "she worshipped at [insert church name here]....", so if you claim to be a Christian then you must live like one. The end.

3. I.Just.Can't. get on board with anyone who sings "Born This Way". I can't in good conscience ever love a performance by someone who claims that they are a sinner because my GOD created them that way and "HE doesn't make mistakes". While I do believe that GOD creates all people, and we are ALL sinners, that is NOT what HE created us to be or where HE wants us to stay. HE does not desire that ANY should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) HE doesn't desire for people to stay in sin or live in sin.....and that is exactly what her song promotes. Here are some lyrics "No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life/I'm on the right track baby/". Why didn't she include abusive husbands/alcoholics/rapists/pedophiles/murderers? Weren't they all "born that way?" Aren't they "on the right track"? I feel the need to say this--because I guess so many people won't--but that isn't the right track.  It goes against everything that CHRIST died for, and it makes a mockery of my SAVIOR to say that HE wants people to live in sin. I cannot be entertained by that.   ***Sidenote----I am NOT saying GOD doesn't love us each and every one. I am saying GOD HATES sin and HE abhors the sinner--the person who knows they are in sin and continues in it. I know it isn't politically correct to teach on or speak about the wrath of GOD, but there is no other way to learn about the truth of HIS love without knowing about the truth of HIS wrath.

I am so glad she didn't say anything political.....however she has said much with just her lyrics and her stage presence, and I don't like what she has said with that. I don't like her message of empowerment. I certainly don't think this was the worst half-time show ever....it was better than others for various reasons, however I don't like that we have become a generation where the first use of the word "transgendered" at a half-time show means "Awesome entertainment". My heart breaks for the sin that we have allowed to overtake us, and we don't even bat an eye at it. We don't even see it as sin.

We embrace it.
We celebrate it.
We applaud it.
We call it AMAZING.
GOD is heartbroken.

I have children I am trying to raise to be modest, pure, CHRIST followers which may mean they will be outcasts by many, but I am ok with that as long as they are following what GOD has called them to do.

August 1, 2013

10 Years Ago Today.....A Memorial Story

Joshua 4:6-10

New Living Translation (NLT)

"6 We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day."

This morning when the alarm went off, the first words out of Ben's mouth were, "It's been 10 years."  Strangely enough the same exact words had just crossed my mind seconds before he spoke them. We haven't put any memorial stones in place, but our minds are aware of the miracles and blessings GOD has poured out on us, and like GOD wanted the Israelites to do, we tell our children, so they will remember.

I know I have written about this before (3 years ago-- and you can read about it here: http://www.cacinewton.blogspot.com/2010/08/god-is-amazing.html), but I still feel led to tell of GOD's love, faithfulness, mercy and presence in our lives at such times as today....the 10 year anniversary of "the accident". 
Here is an excerpt from my previous blog "I had this extraordinary peace that came over me as we flew. I am not saying I wasn't still scared--I am saying I was at peace.  I felt God's arms around me at that moment, and I knew I was being prayed for.  I knew I could not pray a single word at that moment, so all I did was sing the Rich Mullin's song Hold Me Jesus (which I also sang during the birth of my 2nd son).  The words to that song are easy for my heart and mind to sing when no other words are available:
Hold me Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of  my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace?
I know that He was my Prince of Peace that day."
I felt a peace. That peace did not take away the horribleness of the situation, make the pain disappear, or change the uncertainties I was facing, but it did remind me that GOD was on HIS throne and that NO.MATTER.WHAT. HIS will would be accomplished. That is a peaceful AND scary place to be because I had to ask myself if I trusted GOD enough to know/believe that [NO.MATTER.WHAT.] HIS will was the BEST thing for me and my family. I was 28 years old at the time, and I had been following JESUS for 21 years, but I had never really been put in a situation where I had to ask myself that question. I was thinking through real possibilities of my husband maybe never coming home with me again. My best friend maybe never being the same.....according to the doctors they didn't even know if he would know who I or the kids were when he woke up. I struggled with the thought that he may never get to be the daddy that his kids needed, or the husband that I counted on. But my biggest fear was that he might be angry with GOD that it happened. Most of those questions and fears were answered/put to rest within the first 3 days when he finally woke from his coma. The nurse asked him who I was, and I will never forget his raspy voice saying, "Acacia".  She was nervous at first telling him, "No." because she knew me as Caci, but I cried because I knew he knew! Although he knew who I was (and the rest of his family) there were many other things he didn't know....like where we were or even WHEN we were. He asked me right away if the kids had grown up and gotten married. I laughed and I remember thinking, "No you didn't get out of it that easy!" But his parents and I gently told him, "You've only been asleep for 3 days." We were able to take him home for a week after he had only been in the hospital for a week. That in itself was a HUGE miracle! When they life- flighted him there they told me had pneumonia (when he was knocked off the jetski he landed face down in the water and had actually drown before his sister got to him), but the next morning there were NO SIGNS of water on his lungs at all! A complete answer to prayer! When he arrived in the trauma center he also had bleeding and swelling on his brain, and the doctors told me that if it didn't subside they would have to drill into his skull and put in stints to relieve the pressure. By the next morning all bleeding and swelling had stopped. Another complete answer to prayer! And even though we were able to bring him home after only one week in the hospital, the trials and struggles were not over. We were dealing with a closed head injury and all the side effects that come from that. There was forgetfulness, anger, frustration, an inability to focus, and an aversion to loud places or bright lights.  We prayed. And we waited. Ben loved his therapy that he was able to go to for 4 months to help him relearn things and figure out how to deal with the new things he was going through. In his therapy they told him they had not had a patient who healed so quickly from an injury as major as his. We knew it was all GOD. 
Ben loves to tell people that with him, in regards to the accident, GOD was being like the potter with the clay. The potter sits at his wheel molding the clay into a vessel and then notices this one spot that just isn't what he was wanting. It isn't right, so he smashes the clay down, gets it wet, and starts over. Ben feels like that is what GOD was doing with him when HE allowed him to be hurt so badly. And I can agree with him.....he came out of that accident and that situation with a stronger, greater love for GOD and a clearer vision of how he wants to serve HIM than I could have imagined. I was scared he would be angry with GOD, but he was loving GOD even more, and for that I am so very thankful.
Even though I wasn't physically injured in the accident, GOD was doing the same thing to me. I had spent the night before the accident talking with Ben: "I remember the conversation I had with Ben that night as we lay in bed.  For some reason we were talking about if something bad happened to one of our kids (we had 3 at the time). We were telling each other that if something bad happened at least we knew we had each other and together (with God, of course) we could get through anything."
And then: "I watched them load Ben up and fly off wondering if I would ever hold him, or talk to him again.  There was no time for goodbyes, no "I love you's".....it was scary and heartbreaking, and went against everything we had discussed the night before. We had talked about getting through something tough TOGETHER. I knew that I didn't have Ben to help me be strong for Cole. I didn't have Ben to help me get through this situation--this wasn't something we were going to get through together"
Here is where GOD was smashing me down and reshaping MY heart and MY thoughts. HE was showing me that HE is the ONLY one I need. HE is the ONLY PROVIDER for our family. HE is the HEALER. HE is the SUSTAINER. HE is the LIFE GIVER. HE is the ONE who sees and hears me when I cry. All the things I had been looking to Ben for, I needed to be looking to GOD for. 
Ben is my best friend, and I am so thankful that GOD didn't take him from me in order to teach me that lesson. I am also thankful that HE was reshaping both of us at the same time. HE brought us closer together with a deeper love for each other because our love for HIM was deeper. 
I feel compelled to share our story every so often so that the people who ask "Why does GOD let bad things happen?" can see that GOD has a purpose and a plan. HE will always be glorified (and I hope that my writing about it will bring glory to HIM in some way), and HE will never leave us. Yes, HE allows bad things to happen. Yes, HE could have stopped it all, but knowing now what I didn't know then.....I wouldn't want HIM to have stopped it. And that's why we have to trust and believe that HIS will is.the.BEST! HE sees the whole picture when we only see a part.
No matter how hard the situation is, HE will never leave us. When we call to HIM out of a sincere desire to find HIM, HE will reveal HIMSELF to us. We don't need to look anywhere else or to anyone else.
I just want to say one last thing because I know this has been long. Just because GOD brought us through the situation with a pretty positive outcome, doesn't mean HE would have been less faithful or less loving if HE hadn't.
Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego told Nebuchadnezzar: 17 If it be so, our GOD whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and HE will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if HE does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Even if GOD doesn't deliver us from the situation in the way we wish HE had, I will never take my eyes or devotion off of HIM!

May 15, 2013

The Judge

This is dedicated to Chuck Bryce:
It has been brought to my attention, and I must say it is entirely true, that I have been blessed with an amazing husband. I know, I know....you think I am just saying that, but that it can't really be true.  Well, it is!    My husband is the most talented, creative, self-sufficient, caring, capable, hard working, decent, GOD loving and fearing, romantic, musically inclined, intelligent, handsome man I know. He's a terrific daddy too. Ok....I know I am bragging....but I am just proud, and I think many times as women and wives we miss the opportunity to praise our husbands and raise their self -esteem, so I am taking a minute to do just that.  Ever since I went back into the classroom teaching, he has taken over planning the meals, shopping for groceries, and cooking the meals. Not a bad deal, right?? I get to come home to see my man standing in the kitchen cooking!!!  What's sexier than that? And he's not just cooking for me....he's cooking for a family of 6....'cause we have a few kids. Well, tonight I came home, and he was getting supper ready. I saw him wrapping some bacon around some green beans, and my mouth started watering....green bean bundles....oh yeah! I asked him what was going with the green bean bundles, and he started explaining what he wanted to make. It was something he dreamed up today while folding the clothes barefoot after having done all the dishes.....a cream cheese, sour cream, grilled chicken (with homemade fajita seasoning), fresh jalapeno, bacon, colby jack cheese, and homemade pico concoction that would then be stuffed into a poblano pepper and roasted in the oven (with a slice of Chipotle Pepper Jack cheese on top).  Can you say DE-LI-CIOUS?????  Oh. My. Goodness. He called it The Judge because he said all other foods should be judged against it. You decide for yourself if you have the inclination to mix these ingredients together and make this delicious dish for supper!
Green bean bundles and The Judge

May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

It seems like I never have a chance to just sit down and write about anything! I am a busy woman, and as I lay in my bed relaxing on this Mother's Day I want to write down a few things.  First, I want to tell my mom thank you for:
** giving me life. I know that finding out you are pregnant with your second child when your first child is only about 8 weeks old is hard. I know you were tired and worn out. I also know that you would have never considered anything other than giving me life and loving me. Thank you for not thinking of me as a hardship or burden, but a blessing.
** reading books to me at bedtime. I remember those nights that we all cuddled up together on the bed and listened to you read Where the Red Fern Grows, The Secret Garden, and Pippi Longstocking. I cherish those times together. Your love for books and reading helped me love to read. I curl up in bed and get lost in a good book, believing I am part of the character's lives and even a friend to them, until it is time to say good-bye at the end.
** teaching me to dress modestly. You taught me that it is OK to leave some things to the imagination! Everyone doesn't have to see everything to appreciate who I am or think I am beautiful. In a day and age where young girls are exposing more and more skin to young boys, I am thankful for a mom who taught me to cover up, and I was still found to be beautiful and attractive by the one boy that mattered.....the man I have been married to for 17 years.
** teaching me to finish what I started and always do my best. I have it instilled in me that if I start something I will see it to completion. I also know that as I complete it I will give it my best, because I won't do anything half-heartedly.
** teaching me to smell the rain. It's the little things like smelling the rain on a hot summer day that remind me of being a kid. Take the time to smell the rain.....or the fresh mown grass....watch the sunrise and sunset. Slow down and enjoy GOD's beautiful creation that HE has made us to be a part of. Don't let the little things pass you by, or you will surely regret it.
** making me play outside (until the whipporwhill's called).  HOT summer months, cool fall evenings, springtime when flowers were blooming, and cold winter days.....it didn't matter the time of year. You taught us to play outside and be creative. "Find something to do" was what we heard when we said, "I'm bored!"  And find something we did! We always had fun running through the woods or riding bikes through the neighborhood. We played with friends, and we drank from the water hose. We ate lunch outside, and when we came in for supper we were stinky and dirty. We were kids! Thank you for letting me enjoy being a kid!
** demonstrating what it means to put your kids first. I can remember many times that you did without something you would have liked to have had in order to provide for your kids. You would have even gone without  a meal if we hadn't had enough to eat. Now I have kids of my own, and I understand putting things I want back on the shelf in order to get the things my children need.
** teaching me to cut up a chicken! I can remember standing at the kitchen sink listening to you patiently tell me AGAIN what to do next. There is a certain way to cut up a chicken! Even though I have only cut up 2 or 3 chickens since I left home, it is a skill that I am proud to have. I am thankful for your patience in teaching me, and thankful for the knowledge that you passed on. When I am teaching my daughter something I always hope that I can be as patient with her as you were with me. It is hard to let our children do things on their own. We tend to want to take over and do it for them since we already know how to do it and how we want it done. I remember that you let me do it on my own, and you let me mess up. You never made me think that I had messed up so much it couldn't be fixed or salvaged. Thank you!
** taking care of me when I was sick. There is nothing that compares to a mother's touch when you are sick. No one can make you feel better quicker than your mom can. Thank you for always telling me everything would be ok and helping me get through rough nights when I didn't feel well. I know you lost a lot of sleep yourself, and you were tired in the morning, but I also know you wouldn't have had it any other way.
**for loving me unconditionally. The love you have poured on me throughout my life hasn't been based on anything I could or would do. I haven't had to earn it or try to keep it. It is something you have given based on who you are, and what you want to do for me. I know you have stayed awake praying for my safety, direction, guidance, and protection many nights. I know you have been disappointed in me, and I know you have wished for better when I have made bad decisions. I also know that no matter how disappointed you have been, you have always loved me. No matter what. I have never had a moment where I wondered if I was loved by you. Thank you for always making it clear to me that you love me!
There are sooo many other things I could list! I love you so much, and I only hope that I make an impression on my children that is close to what you have left on me.
I hope I can teach them to enjoy life and not expect to be perfect at everything. Failure is a part of life. It makes us stronger and teaches us how to change to be better. I hope that I can allow my children to fail, so they can learn how to pick themselves up. I don't want to be a helicopter parent who is always hovering, ready to whisk them away from every situation that proves to be difficult or hard.
I want to teach them to "look with their eyes and not with their hands". Everything in life doesn't have to be felt or touched to be enjoyed or appreciated. May they learn self-control in public and  always speak to others with grace.
As I enjoy this Mother's Day I am reminded what a blessing it is to be able to carry a baby in your womb. I never thought much of it until I became a mother. It was then that I understood why so many women ache if they are not able to enjoy this blessing. So many people pass it off as minor, but it is a major deal to feel your unborn child kicking and squirming within you waiting to be free of those boundaries you have placed on them. It doesn't stop with birth though. As they grow they continue to kick at you and squirm to be free of the boundaries you place on them in life, until one day they are all grown up and leave home. The boundaries are no longer there. They make boundaries of their own, and as a mom we hope and pray that they set their expectations high and their boundaries close. We want them to feel the warmth and comfort of home within their hearts just as closely as they did when they were growing inside us and could feel and hear our heartbeat and voice inside their head. I hope and pray that my children not only hear my voice reminding them of the right things to do, but they hear the Holy Spirit leading them and directing them. I also pray that they act on that voice.
I pray for my children, and I pray for myself. I pray that I can be the mom that GOD saw me being when HE called me to be the mother of my 4 children. May I follow HIS voice and make the right decisions that will lead my children to HIM. May I teach them of HIS truths and instill them in their hearts. May I know that no matter what, I did what HE asked me to do. I know I fail each and every day, but I also know that each day is new and GOD's mercies are new each morning. HE gives me a fresh new start...may I accept it and follow HIM as I continue on this journey of motherhood that lasts a lifetime.