Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Hospital

Sunday's children's ministry team meeting didn't start as I had expected. Our leader kicked things off by having one of the Sunday school teachers share a story about Anna Grace.


My Anna Grace? I wondered.


I was hoping it wasn't about her questionable fashion choices or some other blunder- because it totally could have been that- but instead, I was blown away by what came next.


Ms. Fran told us about a few weeks ago when she was teaching about Jesus' miracles and healings. She was a little discouraged at one point because nothing seemed to be getting through to her 5-year-olds. Finally, she asked with some degree of greater enthusiasm,


"Okay... What did Jesus do for sick people?" she asked.


One child's raised hand brought an answer- "He took them to the hospital!" they shouted.


And then, Ms. Fran described a quiet Anna Grace, almost saying to herself,


"Jesus was the hospital."

My Anna Grace may not always get it right, but she got it right this time.


It is profundity from the mouth of my His daughter, reminding me to take all my wounds to Him.


He IS the hospital, after all.


Luke 4:17-21 "The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pumpkin shortage schmumpkin schmortage

Yesterday, after taking a few steps out the back door, Anna Grace told me that she could smell her birthday in the air.


I'm feeling it too. October is imminent and with it some relief from the punishing heat of this summer. Of course, the autumn experience is just not complete without pumpkin flavored baked goods, so needless to say the lingering effects of the great pumpkin shortage of 2009 have thrown me into quite a tizzy.


Until I hit the jackpot at Kroger.


I may or may not have but definitely did hoard buy a lot of pumpkin today.


It's kind of funny because I'm not normally a baker, but in the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share the easy secrets to the little number I whipped up tonight.

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting


Muffins:
1 can pumpkin
1 box of spice cake mix


Mix and bake at 350 for 30 min.

(I know, just two ingredients. It's my kind of recipe. I'm shouting out to my mom for introducing me to this little secret. Easy and low-cal. I love it.)

Frosting:

1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

I'm thinking I'll probably also give these a whirl. Because pumpkin and chocolate might just send me over the edge.

Happy Autumn and happy pumpkin eating, my friends!


And thank you, Lord, for pumpkins.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Train yourself

1 Timothy 4:7-8 "...train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Training.

It's hard.

It takes time.

It takes perseverance.

It requires a plan.

It looks toward a goal.

But the good news is that you don't have to do it alone.

I invariably run faster and better with my running buddy, Nora, by my side. In fact, were it not for her crazy ideas encouragement, I wouldn't be training for this half-marathon at all.

In the same way, as I train in godliness, I'm glad I don't have to do that alone either. I'm thankful for my fellow runners in this race. And I'm thankful for a Savior who enables my every step.

Honestly, I feel like I've only started a very slow and unsteady jog. I feel like I can't see what's ahead and I'm a little intimidated, but I'm talking to the author and perfecter of my faith about that, praying for grace enough to stay the course and finish well.

I am certain to be forever grateful for His great mercy and faithfulness, keeping me strong to the end.

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 "He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."

*Post dedicated to my newest running friend who I am SO excited to be running the race of faith with. Love to you, Heather! Run on!!!!

On the up and up

As a matter of update, the Superdogs made an amazing comeback this weekend. We managed to maintain the appropriate number of players on the field, nobody cried, and we even scored a few goals. I think we even had fun. Fantastic progress, team!




And to top it off, our beloved Ms. Terrie and her husband came with medals for the 'Dogs. Best Sunday School teacher in the history of Sunday School teachers. How we love her!

Now if we can just get our buddy Sam on the field next week, we'll be in business!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baby love



We've just entered the world of baby food.


Does he really have to grow up?  


God doesn't tell us much about whether or not we will have babies in the age to come, but I just can't help but think that we might. I just can't imagine Heaven without baby coos and baby toes and baby snuggles.  There's just nothing like some baby love. 

And speaking of babies, I can't wait to meet my newest nephew Alex!  Nine more days until I head south and get to snuggle his sweet little newborn self and kiss his sweet little newborn head.  Heaven, I tell you...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Shout Out

Isn't it so cool when you see someone use the gifts that God has given them in a really beautiful way?

The women of my church gathered today in our church's parlor for a meet and greet complete with pink punch, Southern accents, lemon bars, and "good to know you" greetings. My friend Heather's intention for the event was for the younger and older ladies of our church to get to know one another. As she sat at the piano and led us in "Amazing Grace" blending 90 year old voices with 30 year old ones, I knew that the moment was as beautiful as the handmade paper boxes that she and Bethany and Nora had made for parting gifts.

It was an intergenerational offering of love.

I couldn't quite get Malachi's words about turning hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers out of my head.

So thanks, Heather, for being faithful to the nudge of the Spirit. You've inspired me to be faithful to the nudges I'll get this week and beyond.

And seriously... you might have to guest blog on how to make boxes out of paper. They were amazing!

Well done, my friend. It was a beautiful offering indeed.

(And as a side note, I have to say the older ladies are sweeter than all the pink punch we downed today. They passed Asher around and told stories of their own babies and grandbabies and great-grandbabies. Like I said, beautiful.)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Meet the Superdogs




As an introduction to the Superdog team, we are six three-year-olds strong- four boys (our church buddies) and two girls, organized through our local YMCA. After declaring himself "Superdog" at church several weeks ago, it was only natural that our soccer team adopt this fun and interesting team name.

As evidenced by our fantastically bedazzled sign and wide grin, we were enthusiastic and ready for our first game this morning.


Or so we thought.


There were a combination of factors that led to our disaster less than ideal performance:


1. It was one hundred bagillion degrees with a Louisiana humidity that had all of us drenched with sweat from the moment we stepped out of the car. I'm convinced that this reason alone accounted for 90% of our problem. After the game, Zeke said, "the sun got me." Well said.


2. We're three years old without a good concept of teamwork.


3. It was our very first game.


4. Did I mention how hot it was? No shade. Full sun.


5. It was nearly noon by the time the game was over.


The good news? We have nowhere to go but up.


But why even try?


I'm convinced that we have some things to learn this year among them some of the following: how to work together, how to be happy for our friends when they succeed, how to be a good winner and a good loser.


It's less about kicking and dribbling and more about persevering and loving.


Good thing we've got a FANTASTIC coach (thank you Jason!) who is going to see our Superdogs through.



















And with a little experience and a change in the weather, we might even start having fun.


I love you all, Superdogs! If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!


And congrats to Sam and Sanders for some impressive goals!!!





Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mary Grace

Anna Grace's first costume
She has always loved to dress up.

So this morning, for "Hero Day" at school, she assembled her costume with great anticipation and with an excitement rivaling Christmas morning.

But she didn't want to be just any hero.

Jesus, to her, was the obvious choice, but since he was a boy, she would have to choose the second best thing.

Mary.

As in the mother of God.

So amidst the firemen and policemen and Supermans, Anna Grace spent most of her day in sandals, a white nightgown, and a white pillowcase draped around her head.

Of course. A heroine of faith.

Brilliant.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I was in town on business

It didn't really hit me until I was turning the final pages in the last book of my divinely appointed summer reading. I hadn't realized that the Lord had me finish quite the trifecta of books within a matter of months.

June first, Kathy and I started the 90 day challenge- to read through the Bible in 90 days. We finished the last pages within minutes of each other on August 31. It was awesome.

David Platt's Radical came next- a quick read that had been sitting on my husband's night stand for some time.

I actually bought The Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore maybe as long as a year ago, but it kept disappearing and reappearing so often that only now did I get a chance to finish it.

I was in Houston on Monday. Jack had a work meeting and instead of heading south by himself on Sunday, he decided to take me and little Asher along for the ride. So I think it was when I was sitting in the Cheesecake factory eating low carb cheesecake and sipping a cup of decaf that I realized that maybe I was afforded a little time alone because I was in town on business, too. Divine business. Maybe the Lord had actually set this whole thing up.

Of course He did.

As much as I'd like to be, I'm not a reader. And even if I was, I'm a mom of young kids. It kind of goes without saying that I don't have a lot of time to myself.

The thing is, there is absolutely no way that these books could have been read other than the Lord intervening, helping, and sustaining me.

No way.

Yep, I was in town on business.

I don't exactly know what it is the Lord has for me, but I'm thinking that it might be something along the lines of dying to myself, my own agenda, and my comfortable little ways. The Lord has whispered it and shouted it to my heart as I've turned page after page with a heart that breaks a little more with each passing word.

And honestly, I'm scared. Really scared.

Mostly, I'm scared that it would be too hard or too costly and I would be unfaithful. That I would shrink back and not follow through.

But.

The Lord tells me not to be afraid.

My mom reminded me that God gives us grace to complete the task at hand. His grace is sufficient.

Kayla reminded me that his strength is perfected in my weakness.

Denver Moore says, "Our limitation is God's opportunity. When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain't nothin you can do, that's when God takes over."

Certainly, I'm limited and I'm weak. But if I can fix my gaze on Jesus, if I can love Him because I know Him and have experienced His love, I can move forward, moment by moment in the grace He gives me.

After all the fear and self-doubt of the past few days, the Lord topped it off with Dana Candler telling me, through my ipod, that I can be wholehearted right now. My offering tomorrow might be small- maybe to pick up Jack's socks or call a friend or fold underwear without grumbling, but it is an offering nonetheless. My future might (and probably does) hold something more intense or more wonderful or more scary, but for now, all He's asking for is my everything.

What does this look like? What other areas of my life can I give over to Him?

I'm going to find out.

Even though I'm back home, I don't think my business trip is quite over.

I may have a long way to go, but I'm praying that Love sustains me to see this thing to the end.

Neon flowers and long hugs


She loves you, Jack.  You're a good daddy and she knows it.  


They love you, Asher.  They may drive you crazy and get all up in your face, but they love you.  


We are a circus of all kinds of messes most of the time, but we have love.  

And Love will see us through.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My PSA for the year


The Back to Sleep campaign of 1994 has done well to reduce SIDS by 50%- wonderful and important. However, as a pediatric physical therapist, I found that many parents aren't putting their babies on their tummies to play as much as they should. So when I was working, I basically ran a torticollis and plagiocephaly clinic two mornings a week because of it. Of course, I LOVED working with my babies, but for their sakes, I'd rather them not need my services in the first place.

All that to say, change your child's position, limit time in car seats and swings, and don't forget your tummy time!

Public service announcement over. Will resume regularly scheduled blogging soon...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Because I'm kind of their self-appointed marketing director



Check out Aidan's Place Granola's new website and place your order via PayPal. The 12 oz bag makes a great little gift and if you let them know, they can even personalize the label. I highly recommend the Peanut Butter Bliss, the Blueberry Dream, and Aidan's Buried Treasure... but they're all good.


Love that granola and I love my granola-making friends!

Friday, September 10, 2010

How we roll



God was so wise in giving us a connection to three different teams (Auburn, LSU, and UNC for those of you unacquainted with our Chaney culture of football).


It helps me ALL of us remember that it's just a fun game. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And so far, so good.

Two different kinds of Tiger parties, three wins and one loss, and loads of relationship-building fun with friends and family later, we're enjoying the season and each other.

Geaux Tigers, War Eagle, and Go Heels.

It's just how we roll.

Go football!

Post dedicated to my favorite guy in the whole world, Jack "football" Chaney. We've come a long way, baby! ;)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whatever you do







Colossians 3:23  "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Tiger Party




The kids maxed out the fun scale in the late afternoon sunshine of their grandparent's spacious backyard this weekend. It was Pop Pop's birthday and we were all together-even the Alabama newlyweds- laughing at the kids as they ran around like crazy at what has come to be known among us Chaneys as a "Tiger Party."

It just doesn't take much. A basketball, some grass, some sunshine, and togetherness- it's all you need for a summer night you'll not soon forget.


Happy birthday, Pop Pop.


I hope you had as much fun as we did.


Monday, September 6, 2010

What a mess

I downloaded all the pictures from my phone yesterday and it struck me that maybe half of all the pictures were of the kids making a mess of things.
from head to toe
how fun are puddles?
I'll just let you guess

walking Georgia in navy tights, a black leotard, and white sandals

seriously?

I don't know. Sometimes it's just so remarkable, I'm compelled to capture it.

But it's worth it, right? With the mess comes lots of love.

first day of ballet

game day ready

Jack and his mini me on the way to church
And isn't that how the Lord loves us? Cleaning up our messes and gently helping us learn and grow along the way.


Oh, how He loves us.


No matter how big your mess, He's ready to clean you and wash over you with His love. In fact, He's given Himself to love unto death upon a cross so that we can be clean in His sight.

I have no room at all to complain about cleaning toothpaste off my walls. It's only a small way for me to love. But maybe the small ways to love will lead to the big in my heart.



So much to learn.


Good thing I have a kind and patient Father.


1 John 3:1 "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

Friday, September 3, 2010

Superpowered

Zeke and Kendrick

Super cousins!

Thanks for a great visit, Aunt Jenny!
My friend Bethany was getting rid of these costume gems and we were in the right place at the right time to get our hands on Superman and Spiderman (Batman not pictured but equally hilarious).  


Honestly, I'm feeling a little superpowered myself.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

All numbered


Matthew 10:29-31 "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Would you?


If you lived in London


and were only back in the states for a week


and you were coming to visit your sister


and her brand new baby girl


and you were really jet-lagged...


would you drive six hours in one day to see your old friend in a neighboring state?


I have a friend who would.


And did.


She's amazing friend with a big heart who totally died to her own agenda (and sleep regimen) so that she could spend some time catching up.


I love this friend.


And how she showed me the love of Jesus today.


So here's to you, Bat B!!!!!! I love you so!


Next time, I'm coming to you. :)




(pictured: Barbara Brash, Australia, 1925-98: Peacock (1958), colour linocut on Japanese paper, and on colour screenprint on paper; 43.8 x 55.8 cm (block and screen), 55.4 x 66.2 cm (sheet). Purchased 1958, National Gallery of Victoria.)

I'm sick that I didn't pull out my camera today, but will remember our visit about peacocks in parks and divine dreams and life journeys forever.