"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4

The Gilland Family of 6!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.


the betrayal for 30 pieces of silver

the crowd shouting, “Crucify him!”

the Flogging

the purple robe

the Crown of Thorns

spit upon and mocked…”Hail, the king of the Jews”

the long walk to Golgotha carrying the cross

the nails in his hands and feet


the words "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"

the separation from the Father he experienced when he endured the righteous wrath and justice of God that was due me and you

the temple curtain torn in two

the earth trembling

the guards exclaiming "Surely he was the Son of God!”
(Matthew 27)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

It’s Friday….but Sunday’s a coming!!!!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Cupcake Kids

The Cupcake Kids

Little People with Big Hearts for God
and for the Children of Uganda!

Our family along with several other families are so excited to be serving God by hosting a cupcake sale to raise money for Sixty Feet!  We are also going to be selling Sixty Feet t-shirts!  We would love to have you come enjoy a cupcake and make a donation to this wonderful ministry to bless the lives of these precious children in Africa.  My children are busy baking, icing and decorating yummy cupcakes!  We are all excited and expecting big things to happen Saturday!  Come join us for a great day of fun, fellowship and fundraising!  If you can't join us Saturday we would be so thrilled to have you pray for us!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

Saturday, April 16th
10:30am to 4:00pm

Hickory Hills Park
Chestnut Hill Road
Marietta, Georgia 30064

All money raised goes directly to Sixty Feet to help the orphans of Uganda!  Sixty Feet is an action-based organization created to bring hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Africa in Jesus' name.

For more information please visit:

If you would like to make a donation to Sixty Feet but cannot attend our sale you can mail your donation.  Please send check payable to Sixty Feet Inc. to:
Sixty Feet Inc.
3715 Northside Parkway
Building 300, Suite 110
Atlanta, Georgia 30327

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.  Proverbs 11:25

Hope to see you Saturday!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Be Still…Part 2 of 2…

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
Psalm 6:2

Welcome back to the conclusion of “Be Still.”  I was so excited to get to go home from the hospital!  It was such an amazing answer to prayer.  I was ready to get home and begin healing!  My theme verse for trusting God with the healing of my leg was Malachi 4:2.  It says, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.  And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”  We loaded the car up with all of the new “gear” I would need for my recovery.   I was like an elderly patient I had my wheelchair, walker, shower chair, potty chair and TED hose (to prevent blood clots).  It was truly awful, but at the same time really hilarious!  We were able to laugh often about all of these things! 

Leaving the hospital relieved a lot of problems and stress I was feeling, but it also opened my eyes to new challenges as soon as I got home.   George did not understand why I couldn’t be the mommy he had always had.  He had a hard time for many reasons.  I couldn’t feed him, bathe him, change him, put him to bed and do all the other things that only I had ever done.  You moms understand it was even harder for me to have to sit back and watch!  He was in wonderful hands though.  Between my mother-in-law, mom, brother, sister-in-law and countless friends he was more than taken care of! 

I came home on Saturday, November 18, 2006.  We celebrated Thanksgiving with Doug’s sweet mom and dad at Cracker Barrel.  In the next 2 weeks we had to pack up our entire home to move to our new house.    When I say we packed, I really should say my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, with me as supervisor! J We moved successfully into our new home and the last of the renovations finally fell into place.  It was great to be there in our new home, but I struggled with the desire to set up my new nest and the reality that my body was not capable of accomplishing that.

We set up our bed in the dining room because it was so difficult for me to get up and down the stairs.  During the night seemed to be the worst time for the pain, both physically and emotionally.  I think I cried and/or prayed myself to sleep most nights!  One passage that I clung to in particular at night was Psalm 34:17-18, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  

In the midst of all this pain and craziness there was peace.  God was continually reminding me that I was safe in His hands and that he was in control.  We were blessed tremendously to see the “Body of Christ” in action.  From the day I came home and then for months we had delicious meals brought to us.  I am so thankful for the dear friends that came along side of us and truly lifted us up in every way possible!  I love doing life with people that are willing to get involved in the messiness of life.  In doing this we are being Jesus to each other!

It became very clear to me that there were some valuable lessons for me to learn during this time.  The Lord was speaking…was I listening?  Was I going to “get it?”  There were a few verses that were huge to me during this time.  Two of them were:

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10 
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;” Psalm 37:7

For the first time in my life I had to be still.  I had no choice.  At this point in my life God was teaching me to stop…be still…and listen.  He spoke to me, “I am God.  I made you, I love you, I am in control…you are not!”  I was so busy doing that I was missing the being, resting and abiding in Him!  What I was doing wasn’t bad.  On the contrary it was good, but I was so busy “doing” that I was not giving God the opportunity to speak.  So I began to sit quietly and patiently wait for Him to speak.   Looking back this was one of the sweetest times I have ever had with the Lord.  It was a transforming time in my life that I am so thankful to have experienced.  At the time I would not have thought I would ever be able to say that!

After all of this my precious baby girl made it to full term!  Mary McCaleb Ragan Gilland “Mary Mac” was born January 28, 2007 at 39 weeks, healthy and happy!  What a beautiful gift she was in the midst of difficulty.  God is so good to do that for us!  To provide us with glimpses of His glory when we are so burdened with life.  Sometimes they are not as obvious as the birth of a new baby, but they are always there we just have to look.  I was still using a walker to walk when we brought her home from the hospital and continued to until she was almost 3 weeks old when I began using a quad cane.  I walked with the use of a cane for about 6 weeks and then was on my own!  Yippee!!!  I had a terrible limp which continued for almost another couple of months, but I was walking on my own!  To God be all the glory!

Throughout this whole time I was having physical therapy two days a week.  I had two therapists that alternately came to my home and helped rehabilitate my leg.  God blessed me greatly with these two women.   They were both women who loved the Lord and they were huge encouragers to me both with my therapy and spiritually.  Looking back it’s obvious that this was an unexpected gift from God!

I would love to be able to report that then my leg returned to normal, but that is not the case.  Even now my leg is not the same as it was before I fell.  It may never be.  I am not sure that I will ever run, ski, jump or even just trust my leg like I did pre-accident.   Thankfully the pain on most days is totally gone.  But just like all the elderly equipment I had, my leg is more like an elderly woman’s than a 32 year old woman’s.  I can tell you when the weather is changing by the pain I feel in my leg.  Very impressive, right? 

Writing out this story of my fall has been both hard and rewarding.  It is often that unless I go back and revisit a past situation I’m not fully aware of all that God did during that time.  As I have reflected on this time I have been so encouraged in just remembering the details of how the Lord carried me and provided for my family.   I want to be very clear in that God did not cause me to fall, yet in his sovereignty he allowed me to fall and endure this hardship.  We all face trials.  It feels like almost every day I hear of someone I know or a friend’s friend dealing with cancer, miscarriage, death, divorce, etc.  We live in a sinful, fallen world where horrible things happen every second.  But we love and serve a God who is sovereign, good, loving, powerful, just and in control!  His plan for our life is always good and perfect (Philippians 2:13, Jeremiah 29:11)!

Some of you maybe in the midst of a trial right now.  Be encouraged… God is for you and he takes great delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17) and his purpose for your life is good!  He is faithful and trustworthy and he’s more than enough to get you through whatever you may be walking through today!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  2 Corinthians 4:8

Ultimately everything we go through is an opportunity to rest in God, to trust him, to experience him deeply, to watch him move, to allow him to teach us/change us and then to give Him all the glory.  It is my heart’s desire and I pray that above all else when you read my story of pain, patience and peace that you see God high and lifted up!  


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Be Still...Part 1 of 2...

I pray all the time for my children to have teachable spirits and that we would have lots of teachable moments in their lives.  I so want them to “get it” before they leave our nest.  I often forget to pray that I would have a teachable spirit and that I would learn quickly the lessons the Lord would have me to.  Unfortunately, I’m not always a quick learner!  I sometimes have to experience the lesson for myself.  In fact, I feel like that happens more often than not.  The story I’m going to share is one that changed me forever.  This time in my life was very difficult and probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to walk through.  But God is so good and so gracious, even in the midst of disaster.  This is a story of pain, patience and peace!

It was Saturday, November 11, 2006.  I was 28 weeks pregnant with my second child, Mary Mac.  George was 14 months old.  We were truly at a wonderful place in life.  Our marriage was wonderful.  Our finances were securely in order.  We had great friends.  We loved our church.  We had just bought a new house and we were in the process of a total renovation.   My in-laws were in town helping us to pack up.  That morning George, my mother-in-law and I had been to Sam’s to load up on packing tape and bubble wrap.  We had a full day of packing ahead of us.  Doug and his dad had spent the morning working at the new house.  Life was great!

We were all back at home, to eat lunch I guess I really can’t remember.   I walked outside to our carport to throw some old magazines away.  As I turned to come back toward the door something horrible and totally unexpected happened!  I slipped and fell.  I immediately knew something was really wrong.  My right leg was in tremendous pain.  I have never been in that kind of pain in my life and I have delivered 3 babies one of which I had with no drugs!  Nothing comes close to that pain!  I remember laying there praying…”Oh God, no, please no don’t let this be bad.  Please let me be okay!!!”

After hearing me scream, Doug came running, then his mom.  Thankfully Doug’s mom is a nurse.  I remember how calm and in control she seemed.  This made me a little less anxious.  Doug was not so calm, bless his heart.  He didn’t know what to do!  He called 911 and almost immediately the ambulance was at our home.  They had to cut my favorite maternity jeans to have a better look at my leg.  You could tell by the look on the paramedics faces that it was bad.  But we had no idea how bad it really was!

The ride in the ambulance was excruciating.  I had no medication for the pain.  I felt every tiny bump in the road, every stop and go, every turn.  It was torture.  I was in such pain that I couldn’t think beyond the pain.  I couldn’t even mutter up the words to pray.  All I could do was call on the name of Jesus! 
“Jesus…I need you!” 
“Jesus…help me!”

After finally arriving at the hospital, my leg was x-rayed.  We were all shocked to hear that I had badly broken my femur.  Yes, the largest bone in my body had broken and splintered into 3 pieces.  I would have to undergo surgery.  This was the only option.   I was so worried about the baby.  How could I have surgery?  I was 28 weeks pregnant!  Doug and I prayed and had so many others praying for us.  Many Obgyn’s were consulted.  They all said the same thing…the baby would be fine!  We truly experienced “the peace that passes all understanding”!  So surgery was scheduled for the following morning.

On Sunday, November 12 I underwent major surgery on my right femur bone.  They inserted a 10 inch metal plate, 12 screws and a pin in my knee.  It was a successful surgery!  Praise God!  I have a beautiful 10 inch scar on front of my thigh to show for it!  Now came the hard part.  I didn’t really understand what was going to happen next.  I thought for sure there would be some rehab but that was about all I thought.  When the reality of my future set in it was totally devastating to me.  I would be in a wheel chair at first, then move to a walker and then later to a cane.  I probably wouldn’t walk again for about 4 months, when Mary Mac was 6 weeks old.  It was way more than I could bear!  I wept and wept and wept some more. 

What was all the crying for?  For many reasons.  Life as I knew it was over, at least for about 4 months.  That is a long time!  I don’t like to sit.  I like to busy around my house.  I like to go and do.  I was about to have to be really still for about 4 months.  I was going to be totally dependent on others for everything!  That scared me.  Also, my life as the primary caregiver to my precious son was suddenly gone.  And that all but killed me!  I didn’t understand why this had happened.  I knew it was a crazy accident, but I also knew that my God could have stopped it at any time.  But he didn’t.  He allowed it to happen, which created a perfect opportunity for my faith to grow in ways I would have never experienced had I never fallen!  So what were the lessons?  We’ll get to that!

I know right now you are thinking, “and so she begins to get better.”  Wrong, well not yet!  Because of the stress and trauma of the fall and surgery my body went into preterm labor.  I was given many drugs to stop labor.  She was given steroids to mature her lungs in the event they could not stop labor.  We prayed and literally had hundreds of people praying all over the world.  People that didn’t even know me were lifting us up to the great physician!  Y’all have heard me say it before and I’ll say it again.  There is unbelievable power in prayer.  When God’s people call out to Him…He answers!  This time was no different.  The labor stopped and we were able to go home after being in the hospital for only one week.   Thank you, Lord!

This is getting long, so I’m going to stop here.  The story will continue when we get home and the healing begins.  Look for part 2 in a few days! 


Friday, April 1, 2011

Celebrate Life!

A few weekends ago I was honored and blessed by friends and family at a baby shower for our fourth baby, Jack.  Yes…you heard me correctly a shower for a fourth baby!  Every baby is a new life and deserves to be celebrated.  James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”  They are all a gift from God.  Each of my children is such a unique blessing.   I’m so thankful God chose me to mother these precious lives.  They are my greatest joy and highest accomplishment and the very ones that keep me running to Jesus!


On Saturday, March 19 my dear friends Ann and Joy hosted a beautiful time of celebration and blessing for this new life growing inside of me.  It was the perfect party!  They served delicious food; we played fun games and had a time of laying hands and praying over me and this baby boy!  In addition to precious clothes, blankets, diapers and monogrammed bibs and burp cloths, everyone brought a prayer or blessing for Jack.  That was my favorite part of the day! 

Here is a taste of what was given to us:

“Baby Jack, We are praying Psalm 25:21 over your sweet life, ‘May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.’”

“We pray for Jack Psalm 15, that he will love Jesus from his youth and that he will be a boy and a man who may abide in the tent of the Lord that he will be in Christ all Psalm 15 describes.”

“Jack…All your days have been ordained by God and His plans and purposes for your life are perfect!  You never have anything to fear Jack…for God will redeem you…He will never leave or forsake you.  The Lord your God will be with you!”

I am so overwhelmed and grateful to have such wonderful friends that love me, love Jesus and celebrate life!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:13-14