"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dream Big

This is not a very light-hearted post, but I am so overjoyed with the Lord's faithfulness and goodness, I just had to share this with all of you!
When my dad passed away over a year ago, my heart grieved losing him and also losing the dreams and hopes I had of how I thought life would look. You know those dreams...my parents will always be together, my dad will play with my children and know them well, we'll keep spending summers at the lake house...
Since dad's passing, one of my prayers has been for the Lord to bring me the hopes I had in my heart in my dreams at night. I still want to experience the joy from the hopes I had, even if it's only a dream. Here's the best part about the God we serve...He has answered my prayer, over and over again. I have dreams about my dad all the time, sweet dreams of the things I hoped would come true. Another sweet detail is my dad is full-faced and healthy looking in my dreams, not how he looked when I saw him last.
Last night, I had a dream that I was talking to my dad and he was telling me he was retiring and that he and mom were going to travel Europe for 3 months (both were dreams that my parents had). I saw it. I saw what I had hoped for. I felt the joy, excitement, and gladness in my heart for both of them.
I woke up and my heart could feel the enemy swoop in, ready to steal my joy. I felt him say "Well...that didn't really happen, it's only a dream. Your dad is gone and so is your hope." I realized I had to fight for this and so I said out loud, "No, you are wrong. I asked the Lord to bring me my hopes in my dreams...and He is."
The Lord is teaching me He is our portion, our provider, our protector, and our sweet Father.
He is near to the broken hearted and He is our comforter.
He hears our prayers and He is faithful to answer them.
Thank you Jesus, as always, I can't wait to go to sleep tonight.
John 14:16
"I will bring you another Comforter, an Advocate, and He will never leave you."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friends Only

Friends, I am moving our blog to private. I've had some friends who have had some unusual activity on their blogs and Facebook pages so I just want to be careful.
If you want an invite to keep reading our blog, just email me at mdoke@yahoo.com and in 2 weeks our blog will go private and I will send out invites through an email. When you type in http://www.lifewiththedokes.blogspot.com a log in screen will come up and you can just sign in to read our blog. Let me know if you have any trouble once the change to private has been made.
So please email me if you want to keep reading our blog!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Girls' Updates

So many of those we love live in other states and countries so I thought I would send out a little update on the girls in the Doke house...

Sophie Lynn Doke
-15 months old
-17 lbs. 14 oz. (not quite on the growth chart yet)
-Eats more than anyone reading this blog
-Favs: blueberries, raspberries, crackers, PB&J's, and anything with beef, beans, or marinara
-LOVES when Chris comes home from work
-Words: hi, Momma, Dadda, more...and then there's "Sophie Talk"
-Loves to be outside, her bubble baths, and her sister
-Mommy's new favorite memory: When I pray for her at night, we touch our foreheads and noses together and she coos as I pray, then she snuggles on my shoulder and neck till I let go and put her in her crib.
Little Boo, we are in love with you. You are so tender, sweet, and our little firecracker.
We pray the Lord reveals Himself to you tenderly and sweetly.
love you Sophie.
Emma Rose Doke
-3 years old
-Also eats more than anyone reading this blog
-Favs: oatmeal, waffles, blueberries, bananas, and cupcakes
-LOVES to go on dates with her daddy every week
-Emma LOVES to talk...to whoever, a friend, a stranger...anyone who will listen!
-Loves painting, play dough, baking, and helping mommy
-Mommy's new favorite memory: I was laying down (nauseous) and Emma came over to me and said "Your tummy hurts? You're nauseous?" and then she said "Mommy, turn over, I'll scratch your back."
Bear, we are in love with you. You look to the interest of others and love others well. It's so fun to watch you grow and see who you are becoming! We pray for the Lord to capture your heart...and "give you good dreams and good thoughts".
love you Emma.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Must Read!

My new favorite website is a blog by a family in Tennessee. They have 7 children, 3 are from Uganda. Let me say this wonderful mom Suzanne is living a dream...you know, those dreams of "If I had a zillion dollars, I would..." and "If I could wish and have ___". Well, this is my "not practical, totally crazy, where would the money come from and causes my husband to pass out" kind of dream...to go back to Africa and bring home siblings who would normally be separated. I feel blessed to be living out my dreams daily with my husband and sweet girls and the little one on the way. So I am in no way complaining or expressing dissatisfaction, but merely saying, my heart has desired children from Africa for as long as I can remember. Only the Lord knows what plans He has for us and I trust Him completely. I pray His plans include some precious little ones from Africa!

If you're hungry for more, this blog is written about a woman my age, named Katie, living in Uganda with her 14...yes, 14 adopted girls. The best part about both Suzanne and Katie is their passion for Jesus Christ and the calling on their lives to clothe and take care of the orphaned. You can see in the pictures how they lavish the Lord's love onto these precious babies and children!
Love it.


My sweet dear friends...Jenny, Shannon, and Liza
Funny enough, this is the most recent picture I have of my 3 best friends...in 5 years! The last picture we took together was 5 years ago at our sweet friend Angie Nole's baby shower for her son Dax.
The Lord has more than blessed me with covenant friendship with these women.
I first met Jenny on New Year's Eve 2003, she was a newly engaged bride-to-be and was student teaching. Later that year, she would courageously be a pillar of strength for her mom who went to be with Jesus the following May. Jenny, your strength and faith in our Father is more than inspiring to me. My husband says we were separated at birth! I love you dearly, what a dream come true to live down the street from a best friend!
I first met Shannon when Chris and I were dating, I practically lived with her and her husband for months. Since then, we have met for coffee almost every week. We laugh at how we used to sit at Panera talking for hours...and then we had children! Love you Shannon, love our long talks, love hearing your heart and gaining the wisdom of heaven from your words.
I first met Liza when Chris and I were dating. We went line dancing at the Arbuckle Ballroom after some tasty Mexican food...(that later came back up!). You were and still are the funniest, sweetest person I know! When Jesus talks about His JOY and loving others well, I can't help but think of my sweet friend. I know you're only 40 minutes away, but Norman isn't the same without you and you are greatly missed!
Dear friends, the past 5 years have brought us closer together. We have been there to celebrate marriages, the births of our children, we've been there to hold each other through loss, through death. We have celebrated life and the Lord's blessings together. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us in the next 5 years!
I will close with my favorite story thus far in our journey together...
Last December, on the 23rd, Chris was driving me to the church to bury my dad. Anyone who has lost a parent knows it's a saddening, surreal experience. As we pulled into the parking lot, I could see the hearse. It was a cold, snowy, cloudy, and bitter day...not that sunshine would have helped, but the weather sure didn't make it easier. Chris and I got out of the car and began to walk in the parking lot, towards the entrance, towards the hearse. I remember saying aloud to him, "I don't think I can do this" as I looked at the black car. Let me say I have experienced the Lord's nearness and comfort in my life, but nothing like the moment to follow. I felt His arms, His warmth and comfort surround me when all of the sudden, a light blue Pacifica pulled in front of the hearse, blocking my view of the dark car. All of the doors opened and out you all came. You immediately surrounded me with hugs and tears. I was overwhelmed in His comfort and embrace. He had used my 3 best friends to show me His nearness to the broken hearted.
This moment will be one I never forget and will always remain grateful to the Lord for His perfect timing and for the incredible friends you are to me.
Love you, love you, love you.

Change of Plans

Well, it was my 29th birthday this past Sunday...the plan was dinner out, hanging with friends, maybe a morning jog, church, to the park with the girls etc.
Instead, severe abdominal pain would escort me to the emergency room...twice. After a few rounds of morphine, lots of blood work, and an ultrasound...the culprit was (thankfully!) a few cysts. Our little baby peanut is doing just fine, strong heartbeat, and just cozy as can be in my belly.
My doctor said I could either stay in the hospital for some bed rest and they would treat me for the pain or I could go home on bed rest and take pain medicine. I wasn't fond of either option, but elected choice B.
I spent my birthday is my pajamas in bed, on lots of medicine, and a trash can by the bed. :)
I must say, my nurse was REALLY tall and cute and did an excellent job treating his stubborn patient.
My sweet girls spent most of the day in bed with me cuddling, napping, and watching movies...The Chipmunk Adventure anyone?!?!
All that to say, I am doing much better and have been overwhelmed with love and care from my family, my sweet mom who worked Sunday night so she could come on Monday, my friend Sarah who set up meals for me, and all of my sweet friends who came to the hospital, brought meals, taken Emma to lunch, prayed for me, and called to check on me.

What a great change in plans for my birthday...I was loved on, taken care of, and got lots of rest AND was able to see my baby moving around in my belly! Thank you Jesus for a wonderful birthday!