Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thank God

i am thanking God for so much as we finish up this year. i am especially thanking God that it is over! this year has been, by far, one of the most challenging years for me. there were some serious low lows and some amazing high highs. i have tried very hard not to be down in the dump the whole year, but saying good bye to Charlotte right after the year started, was really rough. peter and i were able to grow so much closer together, we spent great time with our friends and family, we moved across the country, found an awesome new church, and have started making new friends (in fact we are having about 20 people over tonight...i bought a chocolate fountain!). 

i was really hoping that this less than ideal year would end with us finding out we were such luck. this week has been difficult with not spending the holidays with family, and the disappointment of a negative pregnancy test, and then starting my period was a big blow. i really thought that it would happen. i thought that we could finish the year on a high note. i thought that we would have some hope while we celebrate Charlotte's birthday next week. i dont understand why it is not happening for us. i try to tell myself that everything will happen when God whats it to, just how He wants it to, but that is not always easy to swallow. 

i will always cherish this year...Charlotte's year...for all that i have learned and grown through. i am so honored that God chose us for this journey, even though it is not easy. i am so thankful for the people that i have met and have helped me grow. i am especially grateful to God for bringing lisa into my life. i  have learned so much from her this year! i just know that Charlotte and Jaxton are best friends in heaven, just like their mommies down here. i am so excited about all that God is doing in and through lisa's life because of her faithfulness through the tests of life! i hope that the same can be said of me.

today i am looking forward...knowing that God is still right here, leading me and directing me. this year the only resolution i am making is to be aware each day of what God is doing in my life, to not forget all that we have been given and blessed with. i am going to look for the daily opportunities to share what God has given me with those around me. 

"God, thank you for this year. thank you for our time, though too short, with our sweet baby girl. i am trusting you with this next year. i know that you have so much for us...please make that plan abundantly clear. thank you for providing not only a new job for both of us, but a beautiful home, a growing church, many new friends, and the health of our family. thank you for the constant reminders that You are in control. please help me keep my eyes open to the needs around me. please help not become so consumed with my own life that i miss out on what You have for me. You have promised me the desires of my heart, help me remember that You know the best timing for all of those things! God, thank you for the countless blessings, especially the gift salvation through Your Son. thank you! Amen"

Romans 5:2-5 And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 

i pray that you feel the love of God all through the next good times and bad!

blessings, ALo

Happy New Year from the Loesers! (one of our Christmas card photos)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas time!

i cant believe Christmas is already here! the last few weeks have been crazy around here and it seems everything just kinda crept up on me. peter and i do not exchange gifts with each other, so that helps with my anxiety level this time of year. in fact, we do not give gifts with anyone. instead, we give more to missions and/or families in real need. we love that part. this year, we gave to community of faith's (our church here in houston) best gift. best gift is a special offering that happens the week before Christmas. all the money collected goes right into the mission efforts through our church. the church wide goal was 1.5 million dollars. sounds crazy, huh? but our church is so giving and truly wants to help those in need. the students (grades 6-12) were going for a goal of $9,000 to help start a little girls home in india. if you are interested here is a short video about why we are starting a home...more after the video. watch out, i cry every time i watch it!!

COF is starting a home for these babies girls that are rescued. they will be given everything that they should have been given by their families. they will also, one day, be adopted by Godly parents who want to love them and raise them up to be amazing women of God. the COF students gave just under $7000 to start this home. we are so excited! the offering continues all year (depending on your pledge) so we are expecting a big God size blessing for these little girls and all our missions through COF. peter and i have decided to do a few cut backs on some of our "normal" spending to continue to give to india. my heart breaks when i think about little girls being left out to die just because they are not boys. maybe one day our house will have a little indian girl...! we are praying about what all God wants for us.

the house in india is just one of several mission projects that COF has. there is the home in honduras, casa de esther, for girls rescued from sex trafficking; a children's home in costa rica; a church in cancun, rural work in oaxaca, mexico; missionaries and pastors in burundi, africa, working with the "forgotten people" the batawa...these are just the ones coming to mind right now. i love that we are a part of a church so focused on meeting needs here in houston and all over the world. i know that i have talked some about this before, but it all really does my heart good. what better gift to give at Christmas than the gift of life?!?!

i hope that you all have a very blessed Christmas eve!

blessings, ALo

ps. if you do not have plans for a Christmas eve services, check out one of COFs! last nights was awesome!!! we have them today at 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, and midnight. the 5 and 7pm services will be streaming live on the internet at :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not too bad

today i did something i was scared to do. i had been listening to satan telling me that i wasnt ready, that i couldnt do it. but in the end i was "fine". 

a few weeks back, one of my new friends here in houston confided me that she was pregnant. it was still very early on, so i was asked not to tell any one. (my friend has not been able to tell everyone yet, so for this post i will call her "friend"...all of this is done with her permission...dont worry!) so, anyway, friend is now most of the way through her first trimester and was scheduled for an ultrasound. when i saw her last night, with only her husband around, i stopped to see how things were going. she told me that she was set to have her first ultrasound today, but that she was going to have to go alone. friend moved here not too long ago and does not have family in the area. her hubby could not get off work, and someone else that she asked really needed to be at their job too. when i heard that, i heard myself saying "do you want me to go with you?" oh my. what did i just do? i knew that if our calculations were right, then friend would be very close to 12 weeks along, which would make this ultrasound the same one where we found out that something was wrong with our Charlotte. for whatever reason, i still felt like i was supposed to be there for and with friend. i have been praying for her ever since i found out she was pregnant. i know that if the roles were reversed, she would do the exact same for me. i was feeling pretty anxious when we pulled into the parking lot, but i prayed for peace from God and that i would be a comfort to friend. i didnt want to be a downer, but an encouragement. the ultrasound went great. friend was so excited and i was so excited for her!! the heartbeat was perfect...we called her hubby and left him a voicemail with the cool. the baby looked good...nothing abnormal!!! perfect! the baby is measuring smaller than the first initial calculations, but that was not a surprise to the doctor. friend and her hubby were not "trying" to get pregnant, so calculations may be a little off :) the measurements said 10 weeks and 6 days, so not all of the tests (ie. nuchal translucency test) could be done. friend will have to go back in 2 weeks for another ultrasound. thankfully, she could schedule it for when her husband could go too!

i really have been dreading going back into an ultrasound room. there has been so much fear, disappointment, and sadness associated in those rooms for me. i am so glad that i was able to go today. i am thankful that friend let me be a part of this special day with her. i am so glad that i was not deceived by the devil into thinking i couldnt do it. i did think about Charlotte. i talked about her a lot. but, not just in sadness and fear. i was able to share my experience as an encouragement and was able to be helpful. i am so proud of who i am becoming because of my short time with my baby girl. i am stronger, wiser, more compassionate, and more hopeful. i am blessed to know that our Creator is working and blessing me, friend, and baby friend. 

my time will come again, hopefully soon, to carry another baby, but in the meantime i am ok with being the friend that gets to be a part of what God is doing in your lives! i am so thankful!

blessings, ALo

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stinkin' Cramps

i have 'em. which means, well, you know what that means. i was super emotional yesterday...really disappointed. on top of the obvious, my cramps the last two days have been awful. i understand that this is all part of the curse (thanks, adam and eve), but sometimes it is just a little overwhelming.

last week on wednesday, peter and i fasted. i think that i have only truly fasted one other time. i usually give up other things like t.v. or internet. not eating all day was not too bad until the end of the day. fasting was actually really good for me. i spent so much time in prayer. praying for peter, praying for our ministry at COF, praying for the missionaries that we support, praying for our marriage, praying for the students that i am around each week, praying for our many things. peter and i are asking for God's wisdom on the next steps in all aspects of our lives. for me, i am specifically praying for patience in waiting for what God has for our family. i get so disappointed, even when i tell myself i am not going to. i get so frustrated, even though i tell myself i am not going to. oh...the vicious cycle i go through...thanks, satan! i am praying about that too...not allowing satan to have a foothold on my thoughts and emotions. i know that we all fight a daily battle with him...and lately i have allowed him to win more than he should. not this week!!

tonight, i have thought about Charlotte so much! last week we got an invitation in the mail from the hospital to attend a Christmas candle light service in remembrance of her. when i called to tell them that we had moved and would not be there, the chaplain asked how things were going and if i was expecting again. anyway....!!!! apparently they are going to send us an ornament that we would have received that night. Charlotte's first Christmas. i bet her celebration will be so awesome in Heaven...big birthday party for Jesus's earthly b-day!!! just typing this i cant event put down all that i am thinking and feeling. on one hand i am happy that she is in heaven, with a perfect body, no sickness, and praising her Creator. on the other hand, i so badly want her here. i want her to be here for our Christmas card pictures tomorrow night. i want to watch her "open" presents and scoot around on the floor by the tree. i want to experience all the baby's first Christmas stuff. so, not being pregnant yet, makes that even more upsetting sometimes.

there is a plan...i am more than confident of that! God is working in me and through me! tonight, i am holding steadfastly to that promise! praying that He makes His plans clear. wishing i could hear His audible voice...that would be helpful!! :)

thanks for praying with us!!

Merry Christmas! :) its never too early!!!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All in a day's work

Wow...i am exhausted!!! i know that i have not blogged in a while, but right after thanksgiving, my job kicked into high gear! my job title is COF Students Event and Programming Director. basically, i am in charge of coordinating special events and helping with details for the weekend services. this past friday (12/2) our student team pulled off our first big middle school event since jason and i have been on staff. MAD House was from light party with indoor dodgeball, photo booth, dj and dance floor, graffiti wall, VIP lounge (VIPs also came in limos), and a cafe. we had 202 sixth through eighth graders and somewhere around 25 to 30 volunteers. it was AWESOME!!! i have heard nothing but good things about the event, which makes me so happy. our team did an amazing job! we all worked great and got it done! thursday night before the event, we had to clear the worship center of all chairs and communion tables (about 2000 chairs and 12 tables) after our monthly thursday night worship night. on friday, after our event, we had to clean and reset the worship center for church services on saturday night. there is NO WAY that we could have pulled this (or any part of the event) off without our AMAZING volunteers! they came early, stayed late, ate cold pizza, and in the end were still smiling by the end of it all. i am so blessed to work with people who love to do this along with us!

this weekend we had church services as usual. our TeamBringIt is all pretty whipped, but so glad that we could hang with students, be silly and show that church is fun!

thanks to all who have been praying for this event, my new job, our is all greatly appreciated! i am so blessed!!!

hope you all have a great week...i am going to bed!! :)

blessings, ALo

ps. can you believe that i have no pics from MAD House or thanksgiving??? i dont know what happened! :( sad!