Sunday, August 31, 2014

not afraid

I don't know how it happened this way, but all of sudden, during my friend Bethany's commissioning service (she and her family are leaving for Guatemala), I realized that I was going to have to say my goodbyes in a long and not-so-private receiving line at church.  Time had slipped away and there was no more of it left.  My friend Sarah caught the moment.  I cried and cried. 

No more early morning Wednesday heart-sharing and and group-praying with Bethany in the mix (at least not in person- we'll try and Skype her in).  No more of her vegetable soup when I'm out of commission.  No more delicious chocolate vegan cookies at our gatherings on the river.  No more sweet Bethany to balance us out.  No more kind Paul playing throwing a ball with the kids. 

Times they are a-changing.  

In fact, five families from our little community of faith have now moved away within the space of a couple of years.  It feels so different.  

It feels so uncomfortable. 

I know the Lord has good things planned.  I know He's leading us well- I taught my 3rd-5th graders about His good and trustworthy leadership this morning. Even though this season will be a new and different season, it will still be good because He's in it, working- always working.  I think it's just the grief for what's gone that's getting in my way. 

Thankfully, I sat at my dining room table on Friday night with some new friends.  Katie and her husband Aaron are ten years younger and brand new to Shreveport with brand new jobs and a fresh joy for what's ahead.  Through the course of conversation, she shared her favorite verse without knowing how badly I needed to hear it:
"Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past. 
 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."  Isaiah 43:18-19
Even now as I look it up, I realize that this comes from the same chapter of Isaiah from which Bethany sang last Sunday.  As she stood up front and as our eyes met, my heart just kind of broke up a little as she sang. "Be not afraid, for I have redeemed you.  Be not afraid, I have called you by name." 

It's true-  I need not be afraid all is lost.  The kind of love created between friends over home cooked meals and prayers doesn't just evaporate with distance and time.  It'll always be there, blessing with its past memories, present affection, and hope for future reunion.*

See, he is doing a new thing. Be not afraid.  

*Lydia and Rendi (just to name a couple), you are proof positive!  And as a side note, I'm so thankful for those of you who are going through this season still WITH me- you know who you are! 

happy footballin'




and so begins another season...

Monday, August 25, 2014

the wisest thing


"If you must look back, do so forgivingly.  If you must look forward, do so prayerfully.  However, the wisest thing you can do is to be present in the present... Gratefully."  Maya Angelou

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chalktography


My friend Meg and I have a little ongoing project that you can find here.   We have had so much fun doing this and it's so been a blast to dream things up.  Gravity loses its grip and the possibilities open way up when you have a blank canvas driveway and the sky is no limit.   

Here's to future fun with chalk paint, props, and big dreams! And here's to you, Meg, my super creative (and always hilarious) pal!

Monday, August 18, 2014

da school!



Oh, how my family loves a good six second video, a regular schedule, and St. Mark's Cathedral School!  




The theme running through the life of our family this season seems to be wisdom.  So I'm praying that each of us will love and seek out wisdom- that we will seek it out, grow in it, and love the wisdom of God that is a tree of life.

Here's to a great school year!  

Blessed are those who find wisdom,
    those who gain understanding,
 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.
 She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.
 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.
 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed.
 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
    by understanding he set the heavens in place;
 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
    and the clouds let drop the dew.
 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;
 they will be life for you,
    an ornament to grace your neck.
 Then you will go on your way in safety,
    and your foot will not stumble.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Proverbs 3:13-24

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Banjo!


I'm with Kayla.  Ain't nobody got time for long and/or frequent blog posts these days.  Maybe now that school has started, that will change.  But until then, I had to squeeze in an introduction to our newest family member, Banjo!


The kids have been asking for quite a while for a dog, but it was when Anna Grace drew a picture of Zoe with the caption "385 days without you,"  I knew that it was time to bring another four-legged friend into our family.  When we returned from vacation, I saw a post of this six-month-old Catahoula mix that has stolen our hearts. His name was Banjo and I knew that he was the one.


We adopted him from the Humane Society of Northwest Louisiana where they are currently raising funds to save their operations by selling t-shirts that say, "The best things in life are rescued."

I kind of agree.  There's nothing in the world like a good rescue.


As Christians, Rescue is what it's all about.  Our sweet puppy's adoption was a great reminder of how we are loved by our Creator God who gave up so much to rescue us from sin and death.

Amen.

Welcome to the family, Banjo.  We are overjoyed.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

our destination wedding

One day, when I'm vacationing at the beach with my family and Anna Grace and her husband have a spunky four year old daughter, I hope she plans an anniversary surprise for me and Jack that is as sweet as this one was.  



This is Jack's Aunt Ginger, the beautiful bride.  She always wanted to walk down the aisle to the Hawaii 5-O theme song and she finally had the occasion.  







Happy anniversary Johnny and Ginger!  What fun!  Here's to 36 more!