Sunday, March 30, 2014

{jleer2012 denim shoot}

jleer denim commercial print photoshoot.
evoke production group

production and commercial shoot for jleer denim 2014. 
all photos copyright elizabeth mcgarity photography & jleer2012.

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the stomach bug hits~

as parents when we hear of someone getting a stomach bug we steer way clear of those germs. i am a bit of a "germ-a-phob." so i do extra cloroxing, hand washing, and keeping us away from the germs. homeschooling has made this a bit easier. it started with finn. poor little buddy was up all night throwing up. he was pitiful. thankfully it was short lived and once he was able to keep some fluids and food down he seemed to be on the mend. now libby claire is down. she woke us up this morning around 4:30. so after changing sheets, cleaning carpets and a good shower this morning, she is back asleep. i am just praying everyone doesn't succumb to the bug.
there is something you feel as a parent when your children are sick. you look at them tenderly, the endless cleaning and task of being "on-call" for a cold washcloth or a refill on ginger-ale makes your heart full. i am very thankful for healthy children, but when ours pick up little bugs here and there it reminds me of a life we lived a few years ago. the watchful eyes we had when libby claire was in a coma or even when we returned home. we were consumed with looking AT her and FOR her. it is the same way when each one of our littles get sick . we willingly spend the long nights or daytime watching them rest. keeping up with each breath, hold hair back or wiping tears. there is such surrender and dependance they have when they are sick.
i can't help but parallel this with God as our Father. we all are sick in sin. when we become like children who are sick and look to Him for comfort He is there, always there. just like our own children who surrender to our care and are dependent on us. we need to become that way with God.  as parents we know what it feels like to be sick, we are empathetic. Jesus took on all the sin of the world. He knows.
not only will God care for us daily but He will also do the carpet cleaning, sheet washing and de-germing in our life. just  let Him.

wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin~ psalm 51:2

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

overcome the lie~

i have been asked to be a part of the annual blog tour for OVERCOME THE LIE & am super thrilled. for those of you just reading chasing seagulls for the first time let me introduce myself. i am a girl who fell in love with a boy when i was fifteen, i am fallen but have come to know The One who lifts me up everytime, i am an organized, amen type of girl, married to that boy & now we are church planters & in full time ministry, mama to five little arrows, lover of all things monogrammed, photographed, & of course...getting polished up.  i am passionate about seeking the face of Jesus & hiding His Word in my heart.

{overcome the lie}~living in the reality of your greatest fear

we had just announced the joyous news to our families on father's day of 2009 before setting off for a family respite from ministry for two weeks at my parents home on the gulf coast of florida. we knew welcoming a 5th child into our family would change us forever. we did not expect that our lives would have been changed by the experience of july 10, 2009. 

our clan {2009} announcing our big news, number 5 is on the way

on july 10th our youngest at the time, libby claire {19 months old}, fell 9.5 feet from a second story loft. her body fit through the railing pickets. she landed on the tile floor directly on the left front of her skull. she was airlifted and had major lifesaving surgery that day.  we were told she very well might not survive the surgery. if she did, there was a great  chance she would never walk again, talk again or have any quality of life. 
once you hear those words "your child could die today" time literally stops.

i was living in the reality of my greatest fear.  

read the full miracle of libby claire here.

the possibility of libby claire's death was the death of the person i was up until that sunny morning in july. in that moment when time was frozen i became completely broken, completely surrendered, completely dependent on God. 

when you are living in the reality of your greatest fear time stands still. you are scared stiff. fear becomes crippling and even functioning seems impossible. all of us have different fears, but the effects of those fears on everyone are the same. medically what happens:

The hormones released into the body during a fear response cause the following physical reactions:
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Constriction of veins in the skin, which causes the chilly sensation often associated with fear
  • Increased blood glucose
  • Tensing of muscles and goose bumps
  • Relaxation of smooth muscles
  • Shutting down of nonessential systems such as digestion and the immune system
  • Difficulty concentrating on small tasks

what happens in our hearts varies from person to person. i want to testify to what happened in my heart when i was in the valley of the shadow of death. i thoyght the only time i would ever question my faith or become angry with God would be if  { & only if } one of my children was tragically injured or if i ever lost a child. my faith would falter. i was a mother, i simply wasn't strong enough. 

i stared at my greatest fear in the ambulance, in a helicopter, in an emergency room waiting area, in the tunnel hall of an OR, in the PICU, in rehab, in therapy, in each and everyday since. but what happened to my heart in that reality, when my faith was going to shift, so i thought...His strength was made perfect in my weakness. {2 corinthians 12:9} i was so low i could only look up in those moments. my faith did not falter. 

psalm 34 
i sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 

i clung to His promises in scripture. He upheld me, He sustained me and He comforted me. 

i read this quote and it perfectly describes what i felt happened to me during certain times in my life. 

"Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child."

when our oldest son was three his favorite bible story was the "be still" story, he called it. mac would ask us to tell it to him over and over. you might be familiar with it also. {mark 4:35-41 & matthew 8:23-27} Jesus is in the boat with his disciples. he was resting in the boat. in verse 24 of matthew 8, we read that a fierce storm struck suddenly. the disciples woke Jesus up yelling out of fear, "Lord save us, we are going to drown!" i have often felt the storm raging around me. the waves crashing & the darkness closing in. i find myself crying out to God asking Him to save me. i was living in the reality of my greatest fear in 2009. what happens next in the scripture is awesome. Jesus very nonchalantly and almost annoyed to his disciples asks,   "why are you so afraid?, you have so little faith." then Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves & they were calm. in the book of mark, Jesus speaks the words "be still" and there was calm. the "be still" story can speak into our circumstances. Jesus is asking us in the reality of our fear, "why are you so afraid? you have so little faith." 

our God knows your storm. you might be living in the reality of your greatest fear. you are experiencing the body signs of the realness of your fear. i want to encourage your heart. it is easy to loose faith, it is easy to become angry and blame. assume the posture of surrender. 

cry out to God. {psalm 18:6}

 He will will calm the storm and if it rages on, He will calm you. 

our clan {2014}

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~ to read more about the restoration and healing of libby claire click on the libby claire tab~

Saturday, December 21, 2013

true north~ the truth

Deuteronomy 2:2-3
Then at last the Lord said to me, "You have circled this mountain long enough, turn north."

I am in the midst of a storm. I am coming to the other side, I can see the clouds parting on the horizon. Since October things have just been falling apart, literally. I look at things and the edges are in tatters. I lost my grandfather, Libby Claire's IEP meeting mishap, Relevant Church moving from the Pleasant Hill campus, massive migraines, nausea, a terrible cold that ended in a kicking sinus infection and ear infection, Finn is being referred to a cardiologist, meeting with advocates, night after night of studying on schools and laws for children with special needs, persistent tension headaches, multiple evaluations and meetings, i could go on and on, my health was taking a beating. I was feeling as though I was gazing upon an insurmountable mountain and there was clearly no way to climb it all. For the first time in my life I was feeling hopeless & helpless. I would crawl into bed at 7:30, to be sleepless and wake in a cold sweat. 
 I have climbed uphill, scaled the highest mountains. How could this be sending me into a tailspin? 
I was tired, and giving up the thought I could even do this.
Something was very wrong. This was not me, I missed me. I wanted me back. 
That is when it happened. I was in a pile of paperwork, research, laws, evaluation results, emails, church plans, kids schedules, my calendar all sprawled out on our dining room table. The Lord met me. I am broken, lost, sad and alone. He met me. I felt this unexplainable presence and knew this was the moment to pull myself away from looking at the mountain. I was fixating on it height, caps, crevasses, all in fear. He was telling me to look north. Look True North. 
I had circled this mountain long enough. 
I called my doctor, bless her, & went right in. There in a puddle we gathered a plan. First to rule out anything medical we did bloodwork. Then I was referred to a therapist to work through a lot of things. The thought was that everything from 2009 had been creeping up and collided with all I had going on the last few months. PTSD was in full effect and my anxiety was raging. 
I got a call the very next morning from my doctor that the blood work had not come back normal. I sat down. I was being referred to an endocrinologist. 
Very simply, I have a non existent thyroid. Thyroid disfunction, disease, wears a mask just like depression. Answers. I was prescribed a pill to take daily and in 6-8 weeks I should see that I am feeling much better. 
I went to the therapist the following day. Again a puddle. I am so glad I was not going to be committed. The doctor felt I had a medical problem not a mental problem. And not a depression problem. 
Together we made a plan to tackle some of the major pressing things I have going on in life right now. For those of you that know me know how happy a list makes me. So this was a good thing. 
I have checked a few of those things off on my list and have been on my daily medication since Tuesday. I already feel better. 
I want to go back to the moment I was told to Turn North. Since October I had controlled everything. I put my sadness, my demands, my situations, my hills, my mountains and made them all mine. I knew I had to fix them. That was the problem. I couldn't. I never could. We can't fix them. The mountains will only grow bigger and bigger. We will continue to go round and round. Expecting to fix it, climb it, master it.
It was only until I realized to "Turn North" that the weight of my mountain began to lessen. I love the very first part of verse two, " AND THEN THE LORD SAID TO ME!" He is speaking to us. GOD IS TELLING US TO QUIT CIRCLING THE MOUNTAIN AND TURN NORTH. 
Can I get a hallelujah!

For months I have felt tired beyond words, a sadness that covered me like a blanket, body hurt, I was under the weight of a dark world. I had never experienced this. But, there you are. You are where I was. I am speaking to you. God's Word is "wooing" you. Come out, come out of that darkness of the hole. The hole you are digging while you keep going around the mountain. HE has said you have done this long enough, Turn North. 
Please email me I want to climb your mountain with you & you with me. I can help you make a list, pray with you, and give you verses that have kept me afloat. 
God promises to never forsake us or abandon us. He has not left you, nor will He ever. 

The mountain I was circling kept me going round and round. I was circling so fast I was digging a hole as I went around. From that hole I could only see that the mountain was getting bigger. I turned North.

God's Word is Truth, I knew better but wasn't acting better. I have my list in hand, God's truth in my heart & have set my compass North. 

I look my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord.  

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

merry Christmas 2013!

~merry Christmas 2013~

hallelujah, holy, holy, who is worthy, none beside thee, God almighty, the great I am.

Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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