God and heart stuff

As most of you already know my husband and I are currently on the 90 day challenge with Body by Vi.

Here is the reason why.

For the past year, Joel and I have struggled. Struggled to make it financially, struggled to get vision for our future, and struggled to lose weight. I tried to pursue my baking and actually got lots of catering orders which was wonderful. But devoting a lot of time to perfecting baked goods does a real doozy on the body and I ended up gaining 15 lbs. Not good, not good at all. I still had 5 lbs of baby weight to lose from Maxwell so adding 15 to that was not ideal. I needed something else, other than turning to my baking every day.

Over the year, Joel struggled with his health and ulcerative colitis. We are such foodies, which isn’t helpful when he has to watch what he eats and we tried diet after diet, and nothing worked.

I prayed over and over that the Lord would highlight something to me and that I would be able to start a business or find some way to produce income from the home. Money was beyond tight and Joel was working two jobs to make ends meet.
I was fed up with my weight gain and decided to make the sacrifice and go to the gym every night, 5 nights a week and workout. I combined that with counting my calories and taking out all sugar and carbs. In the course of 2 weeks, I lost 2 lbs, and never saw my husband because evenings were the only time he was home.

I was devastated. I honestly felt hopeless. I worried that I could never change my body, change Joel’s body and health, change our finances, and get a vision for something that I could do from home for the next 5-10 years.

Then one day in January, I met with Jordan Sarmiento, a friend of mine and Joel’s. He just started with a company called Visalus and was promoting a 90 day challenge. He had made decent money promoting it and asked me to look into the products myself.

I did lots of research and was totally surprised.
I have been asked to do every MLM under the sun, and never once had a peace about it. Until now.
I was stoked. For the first time, I had excitement about my future. “This could really work because it’s a product I truly believe in.”

I started promoting it, started my challenge and in my first week I lost 8 lbs. I was beyond shocked.
In over 3 weeks on the challenge, I have lost a total of 13 lbs. I only have 7 more to go before I am at my goal weight.

Never in a million years would I think this would work for me. Never would I have thought that I would love the products, and be able to make some extra income.
I am not making “bank” by any means, YET, but I am making at least an extra $400 a month which pays for my kids to go to their amazing Christian school .
I couldn’t be more grateful to the Lord for His leadership over my life and bringing this company to my awareness.
I truly believe it was my tool get me out of the hole I had dug for myself.

This is not a sales pitch. This post is for me to encourage you that in the midst of your situation, whatever it may be, the Lord has a plan for you. Keep pressing in, persevering, and asking questions. He will answer you!

If you have any questions about Body by Vi or the 90 day challenge, you can go to my website here.

Bless you! Have a fabulous Monday!


Hello again,
I was reminded today of something the Lord spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you all.

Short story, but I was born in Tucson, Arizona. My parents had family there and in the middle of winter, early February 1986 to be exact, they heard a Mike Bickle tape (yes, tape). That tape so transformed them and they knew that Kansas City was the place the Lord had for them. So they packed up all their belongings and without even hesitating, they moved to Kansas City. My mom was also 9 months pregnant with Grace at the time. Crazy story.

We have been here ever since, under Mike Bickle’s leadership, 25 years to be exact.

One sunday morning at church, I was sitting listening to Mike preach. My heart was so stirred and I was thanking the Lord for my parents’ decision to move here. If they hadn’t left family, friends, church, a good life and job, and moved in the middle of winter, 9 months pregnant, I don’t know where I would be. In my life, that is the single most important decision my parents ever made.

Then I asked the question. What will it be for my kids? What is the one thing I will do that will mark and set my children up for their destiny in God?

And you know what? God answered me, right then and there. He spoke to my heart saying, “Your faithfulness and your steadiness in the mundane of doing IHOP will be the thing that marks their hearts.”

Clear as day. It really ministered to me because most of the work of an intercessory missionary is mundane and hard. It’s also joyous and beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But the number one thing I am tempted with being an intercessory missionary here at IHOPKC, is the dream of moving away and living in a beautiful city with gorgeous outdoor activities, etc. Still loving the Lord of course and doing the work of the kingdom, but just living somewhere else.

The Lord clearly spoke to me that day and told me that I am called to be faithful and steady, here at IHOP KC. My children will see me and Joel and they will know of the goodness of the Lord over their lives.

So I challenge you to ask that tonight. What will it be in your life that will mark your children for greatness in God? It’s a fun question to ask the Lord. Maybe He’ll speak to you tonight.

Anna Rose

Hello everyone,
Today I had a moment.
A moment where time stood still and I knew that I would remember this day for the rest of my life.
Every night before my kids go to sleep, we have bible story time. Well, that’s not true. I try to stir up everything within to be spiritual and tell them something that they will remember about God. Most nights, it happens, but other nights are just busy and a tired mom can only put her children to bed.

Tonight was a night where heaven met earth.

Let me give you a little history.
Two sundays ago, a friend of mine, Shelley Hundley (name drop) gave an incredible message. One thing she said stuck out to me. She was not a believer in college and a group of Christians at her school started praying for the Lord to save her and encounter her. They knew that if God could save Shelley, anything could happen. This group of believers on Shelley’s campus, started praying for her daily. She eventually came to know Christ.

This got me thinking. How often do I pray for my unsaved friends? So that very day, I sat down and started praying. Specifically for my friend Nathan. My kids came in and saw me kneeling down with tears in my eyes. They of course were worried for me. I ended up explaining all about hell and told them to pray with me for my friend Nathan, that he would not go to hell and that Jesus would encounter him.

Today, we drove by a funeral home. My kids have never asked before, but for some reason, today they asked. “Mom, what is that building?” I went on to explain about when we die, we get buried in the ground and our spirits either go to heaven or hell. That kind of confused them, but they knew the heaven and hell part.

Audrey nearly started crying saying that she never wanted to die. Then of course I start telling them about heaven and how we will get to be with Jesus forever.
Conversation ended.

Tonight, after a busy crazy day, I sat down with the kids. I had yelled at them just 30 minutes before for their bad attitudes and had to repent for my anger. I am just saying this to let you know that I am not some super spiritual amazing mother. I struggle with anger. I am not perfect. But I am quick to repent and I know that it takes effort to stir myself up at the end of the day and tell them about Jesus, so I do it. Tonight, I told them about Mary of Bethany. We talked about pouring out perfume on Jesus’ feet and loving Him with our whole hearts.

Somehow we got talking about heaven and hell again. We went into specifics this time. We talked about the lake of fire and people that don’t know Jesus who will burn in hell for ever. The kids all got tears in their eyes. Then we talked about Jesus and how we will be in heaven with Him forever, worshipping Him, dancing, eating good food and talking with all the heroes of the bible. Then we talked about hell again and about how important it is to obey God, and our parents and love each other and give to each other. We talked about evil men and women and how they have turned their backs on God.

Audrey looked at me crying, asking to go to heaven to be with Jesus. She said, “why do I have to be here on earth? I want to go to heaven!”

This broke my heart. My daughter, who just turned six, is yearning for eternity in a way that I wasn’t. I am happy here. I am content to go about my day and sleep in my bed and wake up and drink delicious coffee. Tears were streaming down her face tonight, because she was not satisfied with her life and wanted to be with Jesus.

Then we prayed.
Each one of my children were in tears. Each one of them closed their eyes and prayed for Nathan to come to know Jesus so that he wouldn’t burn in hell for eternity.
Then we prayed for our own lives. That we would love righteousness and hate wickedness and we would love, serve, and follow Jesus all the days of our lives.

Tonight, I am convicted by my children. They have shown me how to hunger and thirst for righteousness. They have shown me how to long for another age.
Today was a long, hard day. I did not feel spiritual. I did not feel righteous. I have no goodness apart from Jesus.

I have always struggled to feel that I was doing enough, and teaching my children enough about Jesus. When they were 2 and 3 years old and I would sit and have bible story time, they didn’t take it seriously. Guess what? I took it personally. As if it were my fault they weren’t more spiritual and talked about Jesus all the time. I thought to myself that I was doing something wrong and I had to change my approach or if I had just let them watch less movies, then they would hunger for Jesus more.
Guess what? They were just young. They didn’t have the brain capacity to understand what I was even saying to them. Now, they are older. They are starting to get it.

My point is this. God uses weak people, in seemingly unimportant moments of life, to glorify Himself. I am just a weak person, a mom, who is trying the best I can (and I fail miserably), to teach my children about Jesus. My hope is that in my weakness and in the mundane, hard, trying, tiring, moments of my day, that suddenly, in a moment God will show up and glorify Himself. Tonight was one of those moments. My heart is happy, convicted, provoked, and needing more of Jesus.

I hope this encourages you in the journey that you are on. Keep persevering and pressing on, because in a moment, God can come and reveal Himself and glorify His Son.
Blessings tonight!

I was so stirred by Mike Bickle’s message this morning at church. Here are some things on my wish list.

– I want to be a woman of diligence. Diligence is a constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken. I want to be a woman of diligence.
– I desire an ever increasing fear of the Lord. I want to always be aware that He is in the room with me, watching me, and knows every thought I think.
– I want to be rid of all my anger.
– I never want to struggle with envy ever again.
– I want to train my mind to only think godly thoughts of others. Even in difficult circumstances, when I, my husband, and my family are judged or wronged.
– I want to be only encouraging and uplifting with my speech. I want my words to give grace to the hearer. I really mean this. It is so discouraging to leave a conversation or time with a friend, and not feel uplifted or loved at the core. I want to only speak affirming words and give life.
– I want my life to give testimony of the goodness of God. I want to be a faithful witness of Jesus Christ.

This is not an all encompassing list of the things that I want. Just things that have been on my heart today. I need Jesus. I need Him bad. I have no goodness apart from Him.

What are some things on your wish list?

Today was a glorious and incredibly hard day.

It’s absolutely shocking to me have days that are filled with such high highs and such low lows. Wow. Joel and I went out for lunch today to celebrate my birthday coming up. We had such a lovely time together, outside of Max being a little stinker and crying for the first part of lunch, he eventually calmed down and slept in Joel’s arms so we could finish eating. Our waiter was awesome and gave us free seafood chowder and dessert on the house for our birthdays. Such a treat!!! It was just glorious. Then we went and got coffee at our favorite coffee shop, the Roasterie, and sat outside in the glorious weather with the cool September wind blowing around us. I held Max as he gently cooed and awed at people walking by. Did I mention it was glorious??? It felt as if we were communing with Jesus as we enjoyed each other and our surroundings.

Then we went and picked up the kids and life got a little more interesting. Let me just say that life with four children, 5 and under, is gloriously busy and slightly chaotic. Beautiful but busy. I will not go into the details of the afternoon as they are too many to recount. But our evening ended with our son, Noah, throwing a fit for 3 hours. As I write this, he has just now calmed down and gone to sleep.

It is in moments like this when I realize my dependance on Jesus. Without Him, I am nothing and can do nothing. My days can be so wonderful and yet so hard all at once. My kids are amazing, beautiful, loving, and surprising and yet try me and test my patience like none other. Every day, I have to turn to Jesus and ask that He strengthen me and fill me with more of His Spirit. I have no good apart from Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31 is such an encouragement to me and I hope it encourages you tonight.
“Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

The Lord is mighty to strengthen you tonight. He can lift you up and bring renewal and refreshing to your heart.
Thank you Jesus!

In closing, here are a couple pictures of my gorgeous children whom I love so dearly. 🙂

Audrey and Noah

Alexander the Great!

And just in case you thought that this photo shoot was smooth sailing and the kids were complete angels……..

All 12 Falkner grandchildren

Yes, the ones screaming are mine. Aren’t they just sooooooo cute????

Here it is. The story of my fourth child’s birth. I hope you enjoy reading it and I hope it encourages your heart.

Maxwell Finney Sorge

Sunday night, May 16th, I was laying in bed. Frustrated from having contractions for several days and nothing was picking up. I prayed out loud to Jesus and surrendered my body, the birth, Maxwell, the surrounding circumstances of family going out of town and not wanting them to miss the birth, and surrendering my own wishes and hopes for this birth to Jesus. I put myself in His hands and ended the prayer. I closed my eyes to go to sleep. Contractions started. Nothing too intense but I definitely had to focus on them. They were about every 5 minutes apart from 12:30am- 6:30am. I stayed awake by myself, took a bath, watch a birthing video, watched another movie, and then finally went to sleep around 6:30am. I woke up a few hours later and got dressed. I went to my midwives appointment at 10am that Monday morning, May 17th. I was having small contractions but nothing intense and nothing consistent. I was dialated to a 4-5 and they stripped my membranes and sent me home, saying I was definitely in early labor and would have a baby probably later in the day maybe closer to midnight.
I went home and decided to take a walk around my neighborhood. It was about 11:30am and I got Alexander and Audrey in the double stroller and went a ‘strollin’. I came home 20 minutes later with completely wet pants. My water broke. Joel and I had planned on going to grab lunch somewhere with the kids because it would be our last time with just 3 kids and eating out gets pretty hard to do with 4 kids, or so I’ve been told. I wasn’t having contractions, so I decided that labor would start when it wanted to and I was safe to go to D’Bronx for an hour and eat a slice of pizza.
We packed in the car and headed to D’Bronx. I called the midwives and ended up having to leave a voicemail. I told them my water broke around noon and that I would come in when my contractions really picked up and I knew I was in labor. I asked them to call me if there was anything else I needed to know.
We got home from lunch around 1:30pm and I decided to lay down for a little nap. One of my midwives called and said that I needed to be at the hospital at 4pm because I was GBS positive and my water had broken and they needed to start an iv with an antibiotic. I figured I had 3 or 4 hours to relax and hopefully get some sleep. I laid down and contractions started coming. I talked to a few people and they said not to wait too long because I would probably go pretty fast being I was already dialated to a 4.
At around 2:30pm, I got up to use the restroom, and Sheila, my midwife called me saying that I needed to get to the hospital right now. She was worried that I was going to dialate super fast and she wanted to get me there asap. As soon as I hung up the phone with her, my contractions came on fast and hard. I knew we had to get to the hospital NOW. We called our babysitter, Chauntelle Hall, and thankfully she was able to come right over. She was at our house within 5 minutes, and we headed to the hospital.
I knew something was up when I had 5 contractions getting from the car to the hospital entrance. I was in full blown labor and I could barely walk. As soon as we got up to the maternity floor, I asked to use the restroom and get into a gown immediately. Liesl Arteaga, my dear friend and nurse practicioner, was there to assist me during labor. I got into the bed and asked for them to start the iv with the antibiotic asap because I wanted to get in the tub. Thinking I had to endure such intense labor for several more hours was getting me freaked out and I wanted in the jacuzzi, yesterday.
They are required to do a 20 minute fetal monitoring strip to see how the baby is doing. Praise the Lord for this required test!!!! I laid there having hard contraction after contraction, and they noticed that Max’s heart rate was dropping during my contractions. By now, it was 3:30pm. I had been at the hospital for 30 minutes. I knew something was wrong, when they gave me an oxygen mask and when they saw that I had meconium stained amniotic fluid. Also, they checked me again and I was only at a 5. Sheila, my midwife came in and sat on the bed to check me herself. She put her hand up and said the words, “O no we have a cord.” Next thing I knew was everyone went crazy. People were yelling across halls and Sheila said, “Anna, we have a prolapsed cord and we need to get him out asap.” I just started praying “Jesus come” at the top of my lungs and praying in tongues. Sheila, my amazing midwife, stayed on the hospital bed with me, with her hand holding the cord away from Maxwell’s head. I just kept praying. Now I was in the OR. Joel wasn’t allowed to come. Because of how fast everything happened they had no time for an epidural and I was given general anesthetic. I just kept praying at the top of my lungs through the mask, “Jesus come, Jesus come, Jesus come.” Doctors and nurses were shouting at each other to get things, turn the lights up, get the anesthesiologist so they could get Max out!!! It all happened so suddenly. The only 2 things I remember, is I had a huge contraction right before going under, and they were able to get the fetal monitor on me and we heard a strong heartbeat. That made me have hope that Max was okay, and the other was that the doctor performing the surgery leaned over to my ear and just kept whispering, “It’s going to be okay, you’ll be asleep soon, just keep praying, just keep praying.” And I prayed.
Next thing I know, I am awake and in a hospital room. Joel was standing next to me, smiling, saying Maxwell was okay and in the NICU. He had taken a huge gulp of meconium coming out of the uterus and they were working with him. I remember feeling so much peace during this time. The presence of the Lord was with me and Joel and I had surrendered this all to Him the night before. I felt that I was in the Lord’s hands and regardless how terrible these circumstances were, the Lord was in control.
My different family members I had invited to be at Max’s birth, came in 2 or 3 at a time to see me, Rachel, Grace, Mercy, my mom, Marci, Katie, and Liesl.
Thankfully, Sheila and my doctor, Dr. Schwartz had taken an hour to go sit and talk with my waiting family members and explain to them in detail what happened and why it happened. I am so thankful that they did this as it brought such a peace to my family to have their questions answered.

Definition of Umbilical cord prolapse- is an obstetric emergency during pregnancy or labor that imminently endangers the life of the fetus. Cord prolapse is very rare and only occurs in 1 out of every 300 births or about 0.14% of all births. It happens when the umbilical cord precedes the fetus’ exit from the uterus. It is often concurrent with the rupture of the amniotic sac. After this happens, the fetus moves downward into the pelvis and puts pressure on the cord. As a result, oxygen and blood supplies to the fetus are diminished or cut-off and the baby must be delivered quickly.

In my case, my water broke at noon, and that’s when the cord slipped down ahead of Max. With each contraction, it was cutting off oxygen to Max therefore causing his heart rate to dramatically decrease into the 60’s when it should have been in the 130’s. That put stress on the poor little guy and he passed meconium during that period.

My water broke at noon, contractions came on hard at 2:30pm, I got to the hospital at 3pm, Max was born at 3:52pm.

Sheila came in the next day to talk with me. She explained to me that Maxwell is my miracle baby. Normally, from the time they call a c-section to the time they actually take the first cut, it is 30 minutes. In my case, they called the c-section and Maxwell was out in 17 minutes. It was one of the fastest emergency c-sections they have ever done. Sheila, who fractured her knee in December, squatted on my bed holding his head back away from the umbilical cord for 20 minutes. She is my hero!!! Throughout my contractions, she kept her hand there and actually had some bruising on her hand from the pressure of my contractions. In the ten minutes before Max was delivered, I went from 5 centimeters dialated to an 8. My contractions were very strong and Sheila did an amazing job of keeping her hand in place and squatting for such a prolonged period with her bad knee. I am eternally grateful. Sheila made a comment after the whole thing, saying “Anna, God wanted this baby more than any of your other babies.” She is not a believer and had to proclaim the goodness of the Lord in this situation. She said that if I had come into the hospital 30 minutes later, we would either have a dead baby or a severely brain damaged baby. Max really was in the Lord’s hands and the Lord brought him forth. My doctor described this as a perfect outcome to a terrible situation.

Within 2 hours after having a c-section, I was in a wheelchair on my way to the NICU. I was dying to see my baby. The neonatal doctor who had been at the c-section, explained to me how scared everyone was for me and the situation. She said she fully expected Max to come out not breathing. Max came out crying, praise the Lord, but had swallowed a huge bit of meconium. He immediately had his stomach pumped and spent 6 days in the NICU recovering. I will not go into detail about what happened that week in the NICU and me in the hospital while Joel stayed at home with the kids. It was a long hard week, full of ups and downs. I thank each and every family member and friend who prayed, helped out, brought me meals, and watched my children.

I praise the Lord for bringing my baby out in health and wholeness! My heart rejoices. Even though this is not the birth I envisioned, it is the birth I had. And I rejoice in the Lord, for He is only good, only sovereign, and has good plans for me and for Maxwell Finney. I pray that this encourages your heart as you read it. For the Lord truly is King over our lives and He will bring us through whatever trials

Max just a week old

I seem to have a burning desire to bake. Every day. I go to bed thinking about pie crusts, and the perfect coffee cake, and chocolate peanut butter candy bars. It’s truly insane, even I admit that. I have found that over the last few weeks, I have baked at least 5 times a week. Crazy, I know. Most of the time, I bake and then give it away to my amazing friends and family. But me and my baking craze have led me to one conclusion. I should start a food blog. Well, it would probably be mostly baking with some cooking thrown in every once in a while.
But, I need to know your thoughts? Does this sound like a good idea to you? Why or why not? Do you even care about if I bake or not? Any ideas on what types of things I should bake?
I am looking for advice and wisdom. Please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Blessings!!!!