Thursday, February 26, 2015

Your Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways - Meet Jamey Beck

I'm so pleased to introduce you to Jamey Beck.

I believe I first met Jamey about a year ago at our church. She is such a beautiful young mom with a precious family. You would never guess by looking that she and her husband had been through such an ordeal. Their faith saw them through a very hard event in their lives.

I am so thankful that she was willing to share her story with all of us. Thank you, Jamey!

The Beck Family

Jamey and Greg

The Beck Family

Let me start from the beginning....

I met the love of my life March of 2000. We fell madly in love and were married October 13th, 2001. It was a perfect day. He is an amazing man.. really... I am BLESSED! We welcomed our first precious daughter into the world Sept. 28th 2004. What a life change that was, but what an amazing blessing as well. We never knew we could be so in love! Shortly thereafter our first son was born. Aidan arrived on March 23rd, 2006. He was nothing but perfect and precious and he proved to us that you really could love another baby as much as you love your first! June 14th, 2008, we proudly welcomed our second son, Talan! He has been full of spunk since the day he was born and he still is to this day. He keeps us all smiling and we are blessed by his happiness! 

Fast forward to June 2009 and Maddie is four, Aidan is three, and Talan is one. For nine years, my husband had been in the loan business. Long story short.... My husband called me and said he received a call from the "men in black." He met with them and was questioned in regards to a loan he did back in 2006 that foreclosed. They stated MANY times that they were not interested in him, but another man that was already in prison for many other very bad things. Greg did not "know" this man. He did a loan for him, but he only "knew" him from a realtor bringing him into Greg's office to help him out with a loan. Greg did make a very serious mistake. He did not disclose that there was a 2nd mortgage on the 1st mortgage HUD. 

LONG LONG LONG legal battle & story short... Greg was sentenced in federal court on August 12th, 2011 to four months in prison, four months house arrest, five years probation and $1.3 million in restitution.  He was to check in September 22nd, 2011 to Federal Prison in Yankton, South Dakota. On  what seemed like a forever long drive to the courtroom, Greg just kept having me read this: 

Psalm 91 
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,

10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation..."
We know that God DID answer our prayers. I know to some it may sound strange, but He did. God turns EVERYTHING into good. We may not even fully understand to this day what He has for us, but we trust Him completely. We know that He holds all things together & we have Joy that only He can give us through all of our trials.  He is our strength! Twelve weeks prior to Greg's sentencing we had our 4th precious little baby. Sweet Asher John was born May 20th, 2011. He was a blessing, a joy, and such a gift during such a hard time. We also held onto this verse through this difficult time.

Isaiah 55:8-12

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nether are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than your way and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater. so is my word that goes our from my mouth it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Fast forward to the morning of September 22nd 2011. The day he was to check in to federal prison. His eyes opened while still in bed & he said  this...
"The Lord told me to read Philippians 4:4-9 " He ran to get his Bible & he read this to me...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent  or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 

I had been dreading the day to come since when we left the federal courtroom: the day we would have to say goodbye. It was just as terrible as I thought it would be. Saying goodbye to the love of my life was so very hard. Watching him walk away from me broke my heart. I didn't have a clue before all of this happened the heartache I would feel. But God did something in Greg. He walked into the prison camp full of peace that only comes from  God!  He even giggled and told me that he loves me more than I know and that he would be just fine. 

James 1: 2-4
Consider it pure Joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let that endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Maddie (7), Aidan (5), Talan (3), and Asher(4 months)
 Visits were allowed every three weeks and we were there for every one of them. It was not an easy task to say the least, but we did it!  We would drive many hours from Ankeny to Yankton.  A little tiny glimpse into what it was like to visit my husband... The door would open and I would see my husband walking towards us.  The older kids would run to him saying, "Daddy!!!" Maddie would have tears running down her little cheeks. As I would see him, my heart felt so overwhelmed with so many emotions. There he is, my precious, sweet husband. I loved him so much, I wanted  to take him home with us.  I didn't want this night to end. I wanted  to just curl up in a little ball and have him take care of us. With tears running down my face I would also feel joy just in seeing him.  Then the night ended. We said our goodbyes and Maddie would have such a hard time letting go. We watched him walk away.. until the door closed and we could no longer see him. I wanted to run back in and yell, "Greg, I need another hug, I want one more kiss.  I need to look at your face for another minute. I can't let you leave me yet..."  But he was gone.  Here was something I wrote when I got back to our motel that night from the visit. 
God, I thank you for my husband tonight. When I saw him, Lord, just the joy that overflows from that man is amazing! He is in prison and You have given Him such joy! Such joyful giggles, precious smiles, silliness, just the same silly fun-loving man I fell in love with!  Lord, I miss my husband so much, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about him! God I pray for strength for both us. You have blessed us with such supernatural strength that we know only comes from you! We praise you Lord Jesus for ALL you have done this far! We could not do this so peacefully and so joyfully on our own without you Lord. So we Thank you... thank you... THANK YOU JESUS!! We praise you!   
So we did this every 3 weeks and counted down the days. It was hard for the kids to understand just how long daddy would be gone. So we decided to make a chain. A visual of exactly how much longer we had left.
102 days when we completed the chain 
49 days left
We saved all the links as a reminder of how far we have come. 
We got the news of Greg's release date. January 20th, 2012. We were so ready & excited to have him home! 

While Greg was in prison God richly blessed him. He had amazing times teaching the men, praying for them, talking them through some hard things. Greg was needed there for a season. God had an amazing plan and he used Greg in Yankton. Thank you God for revealing to us what you have in store for our family. Greg is on probation for another two years. It is hard... there is A LOT he/we have to organize in finances to turn in by the 5th of each month to his probation officer. We have to show every penny that we spend. We have NO savings, not one credit card... nothing. At first it was really a hard thing for me to take hold of. What if this happens? What if we need it for this? Then one day I had peace over it. I knew that no matter what God will give us what we need. And He has! 

God clearly spoke to me one morning... He immediately gave me visions of how it will play out. How we will be speaking about His amazing love in the prisons & the favor He will give us. He kept saying the money would be gone. You will go into churches & share your testimony. Share about my love. My JOY through the hard times.

Then this is where I could not keep it together. God said, "You and Greg will start a Christian organization for kids who have a parent or both in prison. He showed me how it looked. How it would change the lives of so many kids. We would bring them into a house FULL of Gods amazing love! It would be a place where they know it is ok to talk about their mom/dad. That it is ok to love them!!! They made a mistake, but they are not defined by what happened in either their mom or dad's past. He showed me many many things about this place.  He also said it will be in the inner city and the name will be Isaiah House. He showed me what our kids will be doing there too. And how He will use them specifically. God had a plan through all of this. God is going to break the chains!! We know He has great plans for these kids!! 

After I got all this from the Lord I started looking back at old prophecies. This one was from 2/11 prior to Greg's sentencing. This amazed me. 
Birth a new birth being born. I have a ministry for Greg forth coming. He loves kids so much. Ministry is going to be reaching out to other families that are struggling. I will grow this is you and show you what I want you to do. I will have you & your wife develop this together. There is a new financial breakthrough  coming. Way beyond what you can ever dream of. But keep dreaming because that dream you have is coming true.  
God does have a perfect plan for everything. I always wanted a perfect little family in a beautiful house. Easy life. I know there are people out there, MANY people that have gone through MUCH harder things than us. But I do know our life is FAR from perfect or easy. It is hard sometimes. BUT I know God is good and he gave us a mission. I pray God that you give us clear eyes to see what we need to see to start the process! We want to follow what you have for us!! We just want to follow your will!! We love you Jesus and are willing to do whatever you call us to do! 

And lastly.... I HAVE to share what God has done in our lives since Greg has come home. How He took back a really hard day! This brings me to a beautiful morning in August. Maddie was asked to be in a spelling bee at the State Fair so we were getting ready very early to head down there. My mom was in Ankeny for the day to watch Maddie.  My dad was out of town on his annual Sturgis motorcycle trip with a couple guy friends. It just so happened to both land on the same weekend. This morning was a bittersweet morning for me. 1 year ago we were getting ready to go to the federal court room for Greg's sentencing. I told my mom that morning, "I just do not like this day.. It is just a hard day." The memories, the crushing memories of that day overwhelmed me throughout the day. My mom said to me, "God is going to take this day back!" That is all she said. We went about our day. It came & went. Our Talan went home to spend special alone time with his Nana & Papa as my dad was on his way home. After Talan had a two night sleepover,  we were to meet my mom and dad in Story City to bring our Talan home. Here is where it gets good....

Both of my parents looked like they had been crying. Our kids were running all over the place (as usual) and my parents asked if it would be okay to turn on a movie in our car for them to watch as my dad wanted to talk to us. So many thoughts rushed through my head..... what is going on?!?! Did someone die on the trip? Is someone really sick? What is happening? I am so confused. This seems serious. My mom had already started crying. We had all the kids in the car. My dad started talking... with tears running down his face. He said he was on his way home from Sturgis on HWY 44 (4+4=8 the number 8 means new beginning).  My dad said he was going about 60-65mph and he was in the back of 2 other guys. A deer jumped out & he hit the deer. I said, "What happened to you?!?" He said nothing as he was crying.... I had help from above.... He held my bike up!!!!!! 
He said he got off  his bike & knelt down, face down on the ground & gave his life to the Lord. Praised Him for his life!!!!!!!!!!!! My dad was 60 years old & the most amazing dad! He truly is amazing! This is amazing too....... This ALL happened 1 year ago to the day of Greg's sentencing!!!!!! GOD TOOK THAT DAY BACK!!! HE IS AMAZING!!! I told my mom a few years ago, when we were going through all of this. I would go through anything if it brings my dad to the Lord. Whatever it takes. THANK YOU JESUS for Your faithfulness!!! When you go through the hard times... remember through it all Jesus has you. He loves you!! He never leaves you! He has the most PERFECT plan even when you have so many things ripped away. Press in for more & never let the enemy win. 

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

February Favorites!

February is racing by and it will be March before you know it. It's bitterly cold here today and while I enjoy some parts of winter (cozy nights by the fireplace),  I do look forward to spring and a little more warmth in the air.

I picked out a few favorite things for the month of February.

First of all, I cleared off the mantel over the fireplace and started tweaking it a bit.

I was fiddling around with the editing option on Picmonkey for this photo:)

It feels good to see a little green on the mantel!  I also found a few Easter banners on that I've shown below. I may try to duplicate one of these.

Etsy Sources:

I bought myself a lipstick for my birthday and it is now a favorite. It is Mac lipstick in Russian Red. Mac makes the best lipsticks that I have ever tried.

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and kind of thought, "What is going on here?!" I was having one of those days (or weeks) mainly because I had been putting off having those wonderful "grays" in my hair covered up.  Why do these things cost so much?  I finally went and had it done, put on lipstick, tried on some scarves, and felt like a human being again. Do you ever put those semi-necessary things off?

My husband bought me perfume for my birthday. I had received a sample of this fragrance recently and just loved it.

I usually do the Juicy Couture fragrances, but decided to get this one instead. I really like it!

I've loved reading The Hunger Games Series.

I know they've been out for awhile now. I had actually read the first book a few years ago, but just recently read the other two after seeing the movies. I've curled up in my chair and read all about Katniss and Peeta and have loved every single page.

Finally, I've won several contests this past year. I have no idea how or why! I think it is a God thing:)  Anyway, I thought my winning days must be over, but found out I won a gift card to Nickel and Suede.  You may recognize Kilee who runs this company from her blog, "One Little Momma". Needless to say, I was thrilled! Isn't she the cutest little thing you've ever seen? The earrings were beautiful and made wonderful gifts:) P.S. If you are looking for a gift, she sent them out in cute gift boxes, too. I would highly recommend purchasing something from her.

I hope your February has been wonderful! Keep warm! Love and blessings! - Kathy

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Friday, February 6, 2015

My Favorite Days

My littlest boy, Nathaniel, used to be by my side wherever I went.

A trip to Walmart? He was there. Going to the grocery store? He would always come along.

He was always in the back seat telling me to turn the radio station until he heard something he liked. Then he would say, "Turn it up, Mom" and sing his heart out.

Oh, he'll still snuggle up next to me on the couch and truly, he tells me he loves me about 10 times a day.

He is my baby.

But my baby is nine now.

He doesn't like going to the store with me as much as he once did. Now I get this reply:

"No thanks, Mom, I think I'll stay here and play Madden."

When did that happen?

But a couple of days ago, my daughter and I were delighted when he said he would go to Target with us.

It may or may not have had something to do with the promise of being able to look at Hot Wheels cars while we were there. I might have implied that.

It was so good to hold that sweet little hand again and walk through Target.

Until we were done at Target and I told him that I just needed to make a short stop at Walmart. To which he replied, "This is now a hostage situation."

I laughed so hard.

It may not have been quite the same as when he was just a little guy that I picked up and put in my shopping cart.

But I'll take it.

Left age 5  -   Right age 9 as "The Falcon" for Halloween
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