Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 Years Ago

10 years ago, at this moment...I was anxiously and somewhat fearfully preparing myself, gathering the bags, checking the house, and yes I was straightening my hair and giggling with my BFF,  Amy Gill.  After a sleepless night of reminiscing and nervously discussing what we were walking into on December 10, 2004, the time had arrived.

We arrived at the hospital, I began having contractions.  I was trembling from the clash of so many emotions!  I couldn't wait to hold my baby!  I waited with intense anticipation as they gave me the epidural and I remember the mild anxiety I couldn't shake over the thought of the scalpel and the operating room.  They gave me some meds to help me relax and they said it was time.  I looked at Brian Pratt and he squeezed my hand promising not to leave my side. They wheeled the oversized bed out the door and I rolled past my mom and dad, and all 4 Grandparents.  My Grandmother was smiling and giddy with excitement and my heart was full knowing that they were all here, waiting with excited anticipation!

I remember the ice cold against my skin in the operating room and the bright fluorescent lights giving the tiled room a crisp, sterile feeI.  I spotted the baby "station" and the nurses walking back and forth checking to make sure everything was prepared and ready to get started.

The meds were helping me relax and I felt foggy and light.  I heard the music playing softly in the background and the doctors walk in and talk to Brian.  Then they started!  They started the process that is not the natural way to bring a baby into the world but by c-section.

I was so so young, 22 years old, I had no idea how drastically life was about to change!  As I stared at the ceiling, I felt a tear run down my face.  This was it...the biggest, most incredible gift God had given me in my life.  I prayed.  I prayed hard and thanked Him!  I held Brian's hand and a few more tears rolled across my skin.

The doctor warned me that I would feel a lot of pressure but then Mason would be here!  I held my breath and felt the strangest sensation of extreme pressure, not pain, but heavy pressure!  I heard tons of commotion and they were calling for the pediatrician, nurses were running back and forth.  I head the words from the doctor's mouth, "Amy, everything is going to be okay.  Just hang in there.  Mason is going to be okay."  My eyes darted around the room, I felt like I was going to hyperventilate.  Brian wasn't there anymore, I could see his back as he was standing over by where they had taken my baby!  I was in a daze, asking what was going on.  The doctor came by my head and said the words that I never expected to hear, "Amy, Mason has a cleft lip and palate.  He is going to be okay.  You are going to be okay."  

My mind went blank, my world was spinning. I knew what this was, but I couldn't wrap my head around what this meant.  How bad was it?  How do they fix it?  How was this happening?  I didn't know anything.  I cried, I was scared, and I was confused.  

Brian turned, they brought Mason over to me and put his head by mine.  I couldn't see him because of the tears, I could smell him and I could feel his precious, soft skin against my lips as I delicately kissed my sweet boy for the very first time.  Then he was gone.  They rushed him out of the room and Brian looked into my eyes, fear written across his face.  I told him to go and to not leave Mason's side.  I closed my eyes, and prayed.  

They took me to recovery and I was alone.  I asked for updates, but the nurses just told me they would let me know as soon as they could.  It felt like an eternity.  The door opened and I could hear foot steps approaching the curtain and my mom appeared.  I still felt so groggy but the sight of her was such a relief.  She simply gave me a comforting grin and placed her hand on mine.  She quietly whispered that everything was going to be okay.  She said that they were cleaning Mason up and that Brian was not going to leave his side.  My mom softly attempted to explain to me what Mason looked like and what I could expect when I saw him.  I couldn't picture him in my head.

After an hour or two they wheeled me out to my room.  I was surrounded by family and friends.  I still hadn't held my baby but everyone was telling me how beautiful he was and that he was going to be okay!  

Then, the nurse came in and said that they were going to bring Mason to me.  Brian and the nurse walked in with the rolling bassinet from the hospital nursery, family and friends were standing all around my bed, in the room, and the hall.  The nurse lifted Mason out and gently placed him in my aching arms.  The first moment I saw him, I was speechless, I couldn't breathe...he was absolutely the most beautiful, precious baby I had ever seen in my entire life.  I wept and held him.  They weren't tears of sadness or pain, they were tears of gratitude and I was in awe of the little human being, my son.  

In a split second, my life was changed.  God was blessing ME with the responsibility for this child.  This was absolutely the best day of my entire life.  Yes, there were tears, there was fear, but there was also incredible joy, excitement, gratitude, love, support, and family.  

My friend, Amy and her mom, Denise got us the number for the International Craniofacial Institute in Dallas and I was on the phone with them that day.  We had an appointment set up in a week and they assured me that everything was going to be okay!

We learned a ton over the next few days.  We educated ourselves and embraced this wonderful journey that God laid out for us.  We grew up over night.  At 22 and 23 years old, Brian and I thought we knew everything we needed for life!  We had no idea what we were doing...but God provided and we stood in faith, wrapped our arms around our little family of 3 and marched forward! 

Today, December 10, 2014, my angel baby is 10 years old.  I have learned an incredible amount from this amazing kid.  His strength, resilience, his love of life inspires us.  He is a leader, loves sports, loves school and excels at anything he sets his mind to.  I look at Mason in awe and there are no words to describe how sincerely grateful we are for him and we so very proud of him. 

Mason's cleft lip and palate do not define him but the journey that he has been through and will go through have definitely impacted who he is and the passion that our family has for certain things in life.  

Happy Birthday to our sweet boy, Mason Lee Pratt.  We love you with all of our hearts and we thank God every single day for you.  He made you perfect in his eyes and in ours.  He has BIG plans for you and we cannot wait to see the amazing things you will accomplish in this life!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Going for the 6th Time!

When God calls you to do something that you feel so passionate about, you would think that HANDS DOWN it would be easy all the way!  This is not always the case!  Many times I am surprised by the things that he calls us to do and I am beyond shocked that he would choose ME...US, our family to do these things.  Coming into the year 2013, Brian and I both knew that GOD had some extremely BIG things planned for us and our family.  We felt the overwhelming sensation of love and passion building in our hearts!

So far, what we know for sure is that I will be going to Honduras in JUNE for a longer stay than normal.  This trip will be 2 1/2 - 3 weeks long and I am looking to take a very small group.  I have just begun the extremely humbling process of trying to raise support for this trip.  I have only had 1 trip that has been fully funded by supporters and fundraising.  That was our very first trip in March of 2010.  Here we are 3 years later and I am looking for people who want to partner with me in this mission.  People who have a heart for orphans and for spreading the word of Christ but that simply cannot go at this point .  I am looking for people who are willing to pray for this trip, this small team, the extremely large goals we have set to accomplish during our time there.

Here is exactly what I posted on my fundraising page...a more detailed description of my experience in going to Honduras! In March of 2010, I had the privilege and opportunity to serve on a short term mission team in Puerto Lempira, Honduras alongside the Waits family. On that trip, we fell in love with the people of Honduras. I made friends with some extremely special people and our time there changed our hearts and lives forever.

The Waits family serves with the non-profit organization, Reach Out Honduras which works to meet the needs of 3 different orphanages in Puerto Lempira. I have had the privilege of traveling with a team over Thanksgiving in 2010, Spring Break 2011 and during Thanksgiving 2011, and June of 2012 and I feel that God is calling me to go serve Him in Puerto Lempira, again!
It is very difficult to express the deep passion and love the God has placed on my heart for the people in La Moskitia. On this trip, my focus will be to conduct assessments on various children to determine the most appropriate level of curriculum that needs to be purchased for the 7th grade at the new school that Reach Out Honduras is opening in February of 2014. To see more about the school go to
I am humbly asking our friends and family to help me get to Honduras this summer by generously partnering with me prayerfully and financially. Please consider how you can get involved by praying, donating one of the much needed items, or giving at one of several financial levels. All financial donations are 100% tax-deductible. There are no administrative or other types of fees taken out.
For more information about our trip, the work we will be doing in Puerto Lempira, or Reach Out Honduras, or email me at
PLEASE, be praying for this trip and for my family as we are opening ourselves up to be vulnerable in this time and trust in our Lord and Savior to provide for His will.  You can visit HERE to contribute financially or to see more pictures and a video from some of my trips to Honduras!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coincidences? I think not!

No one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan.
A Course in Miracles 

When you pray for something: clarity, guidance, understanding, etc. you are looking for answers and a response, right?  I think so!  I hope so! 

Growing up, I remember my mother constantly saying, "There is no such thing as a coincidence!" At the time, I never questioned, doubted, or even wondered what she meant by this.  Now, as an adult I have decided that no, there is in fact no such thing as a coincidence!  

God knows.  He has a plan.  He understands and has paved the way for us and will guide us where He wants us to be, no matter what.  All we have to do is be willing to wait, listen, be patient, and continue to pray!  

This year, we have been praying about something very specific for our family.  The past week or so, it seems that the longer I look, the closer I pay attention, the more open I am to hearing God's answer and not mine...the more I see, the more I hear, and the more I realize!  

I know that this is a vague explanation of my realization that there are in fact no coincidences in life.  I have my reasons for being vague, but here is one example of what I am talking about and I would love to hear what you think!

3 times I have gotten in the car and a certain song was playing on the that means so very much to my husband and I.  This one song, "Until the Whole Word Hears" by Casting Crowns has played a huge role in our walk through missions and has touched our hearts since our very first trip to Honduras.  No, not a coincidence...but a memory being brought back to the forefront of my mind!  

Here is the video we made back in 2010!

The past 24 days of 2013 have been extremely eye-opening and we are super-excited to see what God has in store for the rest of the year and years to come!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

OMGoodness...It has been a while!

I cannot even wrap my head around the time that it has been since my last blog!  I am ready to get back at it and I have made it a personal goal to put my thoughts out there in the "Blogger" world on a more consistent basis!

It seems that I tend to get extremely excited about blogging and about processing my thoughts through blogging when there are major things going on in my head and in our lives!  Crazy how that happens...and no I am not saying that my life has been "boring" for the last year and a half!  Busy...YES!  Are you kidding me, I have 3 boys ages 8, 5, and 3!  Our lives are ANYTHING but boring!

As this new year gets underway, there are so many things weighing our hearts and we feel the comfort of God's calling getting louder and clearer as each day passes.  I am asking a favor of the world right now...please be praying for our family!  Be praying for the excitement that is brewing!  Here are some specific requests:

1. That we continue each day to grow closer to our Lord and Savior!
2. That we grow together and that we are ready and listening as God leads the way and answers prayers daily.
3. That we stay focused on what the end goal is and that each decision and step we make is to glorify Him and to get us where we know He wants us to be.
4. For our boys and that we can guide them and prepare them for the life that God has planned for them!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Deep Breaths

As I sit here...reflecting on the day, the week behind me, the week ahead of me, and where I am at RIGHT NOW...I realize that sometimes I just need to take a deep breath. I allow myself to get so extremely busy, so busy that I forget to stop and breathe. The days start running together, the months go by so so fast and the years are getting shorter. So I ask myself, where has life gone? My baby is already 6 1/2 and almost finished with Kindergarten. My middle son is about to start Pre-K and my baby baby is already almost 2. Again, DEEP gets me emotional when I force myself to stop what I am doing and to take a look around only to realize that I have done it once again... "IT" being that I have been flying through life without stopping to take in every moment, every cute laugh, every innocent question or joke! So with this blog...I am once again REMINDING myself to slow down, to take a DEEP BREATH and to soak up every single moment like a sponge thirsting for water! Because, someday when I am living a slower life and every breath I take is a deep breath...I want to be sure to remember all the crazy moments that I had along the way. Thank GOD for all of the blessings and the amazing family he has given me. Thanking Him for the craziness and for all the busy things we have going one...thanking Him for every single minute of every single day! Thanking Him...because He chose me and loves me and is ALWAYS there for me...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lessons Learned - Current Dealings - Things Accepted


1. I was not raised around boys...and had no idea what my life would look like with three sons. 1 word - CRAZY!!! Why? Because boys are 100% a foreign creature to me!

2. Why boys are foreign: they are messy, they wrestle, they go outside and play really hard and then stink... bad (even at three years old - they smell, who would have ever thought!) They like video games and movies about turtles who fight and kids who are really good at karate. They start screaming at the top of their lungs the whole way home from daycare because they want a BALL - credit for this one goes to my 18 month old! They make sounds with their arm pits and then they laugh about how they can create a sound that is so similar to other bodily sounds that they also enjoy making in order to gross out their mommy. Goodness, there is so MUCH more! BUT...though boys are a creature that I may never COMPLETELY thing I do know is that they are absolutely positively precious, sweet, they can be gentle and they LOVE their mommy!

3. God blesses us with periods of waiting - for example, Just like in 1 Samuel 8:1-22 - wait for God's answer to your prayers...that way you are going down the path the He would have for you rather than making descisions based on your own desires.

4. BE PATIENT - In order to be able to WAIT, you must have patience. As I read in my daily devotional by Beth Moore, she says, "Often when God does not readily give us what we want, it is because He knows what our desire would cost us. FAITH sometimes means forgoing our desires because we trust Christ to have a better plan for our lives." - WOW...

5. Politics - Are dumb and frustrating

6. Security - a very valuable asset to have which may change at any point without warning - ex: Texas budget crisis = many changes and stress on our schools, jobs, students, teachers, lives, and FUTURE

7. If you don't actually speak up and voice your opinion - you can't complain when things don't go your way.

8. Sometimes people do things in life that upset cannot control others and the choices they make...pray about it and turn it over to God! He will carry that burden for you...

9. Growing Up is hard to do... Raising Kids is hard to do... Why don't they have a manual for these things?

10. In the past year I have traveled out of the country 3 times to Honduras - a place that God has placed heavily on my heart - each time was a completely different experience and was blessed in totally different ways

11. That through all of these things...I know I am loved and wanted by my Lord and Savior

12. The priorities in life MUST go in this order - GOD, then Family, the career and life

13. Friends are very valuable and special...and the older I get the more I appreciate my true friends!

14. My children are growing faster than I could have ever imagine...and I am so fast paced that I have to constantly remind myself to slow down and enjoy each minute, memory, and experience.

15. That ACCOUNTABILITY partners are crucial to making it through each week! God never intended on us going through this life alone!

Oh, I know this is random...scattered...and ALL OVER the place...BUT, that is what my mind looks like when I wake up at 4:00a.m. and can't go back to sleep!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

OH what a Happiness...I MEAN JOY!

As I am reflecting on the bible study that we had this evening with our small group, I decided to reread the first chapter of Philippians. So I began with the "Introduction" that my NIV Life Application Bible offers on the first page of Philippians.

It begins by saying that the WORD happiness brings us visions of various things in our minds such as unwrapping gifts on our birthdays or on Chirstmas morning, vacationing with our loved ones, etc. "EVERYONE wants to be happy; we make chasing this elusive ideal of a lifelong pursuit: SPENDING MONEY, collecting things, and searching for new experiences." (L.A.B.) - all of this in which I am envisioning in myself and Doesn't God want us to be happy and He blesses us with so much, right!?!

Then I read on..."But if happiness depends on our circumstances, what happens when the toys rust, loved ones die, health deteriorates, money is stolen, the newness wears off and the party's over?" - (UH OH...but don't we all see this in our own lives? In our friends' and families' lives?)

"In CONTRAST to happiness is JOY. Running deeper and stronger, joy is the quiet, confident assurance of God's love and work in our lives - that he will be there no matter what! Happiness depends on happenings, but JOY DEPENDS ON CHRIST." (L.A.B.)

Okay, so why am I writing a blog about THIS? Because, as I was reading this I had to stop and ask myself how am I living MY life? Am I "CHASING" happiness or am I focusing on the Joy that Christ brings to my life? Hmmm..

As a believer in my Lord and Savior I can have profound contentment, serenity, and peace...NO MATTER WHAT "happens". So if I am focusing on chasing my own happiness, I am depending on myself and my own strength in life, which isn't much might I add! If I am focusing on chasing the JOY in life, I am depending on HIS strenth instead of mine! *SIGH*

Now, as I am sinking lower on my couch in shame...over our purchase of a silly camera that I "HAD to have" and I was so "HAPPY" when we got it, I chased happiness so fast and so far that it ended up RIGHT on the credit card. WHICH, doesn't God want us to NOT be in debt? UGH, then today I realize that I wouldn't have "needed" that camera had I been focused on the fact that God calls us to find Joy in Him and that in order to have that, I need to not rely on what I have or what happens to me, but on Christ within me!!! In other words, the old camera would have worked just fine if I had stayed focused on finding Joy in Christ...not happiness in a toy from my favorite electronics toy store.

Okay, just a personal confession that I am NOT focused on living my life in all areas on my Lord and Savior, and if I were...then THAT is where my contentment would come from!

As a side note, I do not think it's bad to be excited and happy over purchases and long as that is not where your source of happiness in life comes from. The JOY in your life MUST come from God! Through Him ALL things are possible...even the most unimaginable, most ideal life situations are ONLY possible...through Him!

Oh goodness...and I haven't even started with Philippians Chapter 1 yet!!!