Answered Prayers at Cracker Barrel

September 3, 2015

The other day I overheard someone say in response to a tragic story that it was “hard to believe that’s God’s will in a situation like that”.  I immediately found myself offended.  Later as I was relaying the story to Chad I explained that there is NO WAY that it is “God’s will” for ANYTHING terrible to happen to ANYONE.  You could never convince me that it was God’s plan for Elena to be injured and suffer the way she has.  Never.  Rather, I fully believe that when terrible, inexplicable things happen, God weaves that tragedy into something really beautiful.  It doesn’t necessarily mean easy, but beautiful nonetheless.  I have prayed so often the last few months for God to continue to use me and use our sweet Elena to continue to be a light for Him.  I want so badly for people to see that my strength doesn’t come from some internal powerhouse that was genetically bestowed upon me, but my strength comes from my faith.  And without it, this story wouldn’t exist.  I would have never survived the last four years the way that I have.

I’m going to be honest with you.  In the last couple months, I’ve been struggling with the fate of my blog.  It’s been such a part of our family for the last four years.  These days I have much less time to devote to real, meaningful posts.  Most are done on the fly and out of guilt because I haven’t blogged in awhile.  I’ve wondered who actually reads anymore, what kind of light, if any, are we shining?  I’ve wondered if I share too much.  I’ve thought about devoting my time to compiling our entire story, start to finish, about all of what we’ve experienced.  I’ve felt as though it’s time for something else.  It’s been on my mind so often lately that I’ve really been praying about it.

Why am I telling you all this, you ask?  Because, last night at Cracker Barrel, God answered my prayer.

Before you go thinking I’ve lost it and officially a cuckoo Christian, let me explain!  Chad and I took the kids to Cracker Barrel for dinner last night (yes, we live a very fancy, exciting life).  Soon after we sat down a sweet woman came up to our table and said this:

Hi, you don’t know me.  But my name isJudy Russell.  I live in Lafayette and I readyour blog.  My Bible Study and I have beenpraying for Elena and your family for years.You have a sweet family and we willcontinue to pray for you.
It was all Chad and I could do to keep from bursting into sobs.  No, I didn’t know Judy and I don’t know how she found my blog but that was the answer that I have been praying for.  It came from the sweetest woman at Cracker Barrel over meatloaf and chicken n’ dumplings.  I mean, how awesome is God?  

Elena’s story, our story IS still shining a light.  God isn’t done with us.  There’s more to share.  I don’t want to let my self-doubt and insecurity interrupt the continuation of our story and the glory that it will bring to Him.  So bear with me folks.  I’m a busy Mom these days and have little time for anything other than feeding, transporting and cleaning children, but don’t forget about us.  We are STILL humbled by your love and prayers.  And we most definitely want to keep shining a light.  

“Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.The Lord Almighty is with us;God is our fortress.”Psalm 46:10-11

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals