Friday, March 25, 2011

A Thursday in the early evening



 Yesterday morning as I was reviewing our Thursday plans, Anna Grace told me that that was too many things and she didn't think she could do all of them.  So I revised our plans.  My daughter knows me all too well.  Here, she is telling jokes to her daddy- one of their favorite things to do together.  And they have some doozies, let me tell you.  


Everything is a glorious shade of green these days and Asher loves to toodle around, taking in all of his sibling's antics.  

 My crawler is slimming up a bit, but he's still got some adorably squishy leg rolls.  


The Z man is, as always, a helmet-wearing, car-zooming, morning-yelling little boy with a great zest for life.


And Jack?  Well Jack enjoys just being his usual hilarious self.  In this case, it was fun with string cheese.

This is my day to day.  And what a beautiful day to day it is.  

I'm grateful.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For the One who is with us

I saw a woman walking in my azalea and dogwood laced neighborhood yesterday wearing all black.  She was covered from head to toe in long sleeves and long flowing pants in the late afternoon.  And it was really quite warm.  It just struck me as odd and out of place. And it was odd, but it was also a perfect picture of the state of my heart- it was winter thoughts and heavy feelings in mostly spring-like circumstances.

Later that very evening, you could find me mustering a smile and some laughs while roller skating to Miley Cyrus tunes with some girls from a local shelter, all the while my heavy heart churning with emotion, both for a girl who told me part of her story of injustice and abuse and for some friends who were tragically and suddenly acquainted with acute grief earlier that day. 

It just doesn't seem right- you don't wear long sleeved black things in the warm Louisiana spring and you shouldn't be able to do the limbo while your friends are hurting.

Mysteriously, the Lord sees injustice and pain and sorrow, shoulders it, cares about it more deeply than we can fathom, and imparts His love in the midst of it.  Mysteriously, He feels simulatneously deep and diverse emotion.

Sometimes it's hard for us to make heads or tails of our suffering or the suffering of our friends or of the world, but the One who knows the beginning from the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is well acquainted with suffering knows its purpose and, thankfully, its end.

Today I was talking to a friend who relayed a story about her four-year-old's recent trip to the doctor to get caught up on his vaccines.  He needed four.  My friend had to pin him down so that the nurse could stick him over and over and as any mother will tell you, it was just as traumatic for her as it was for him. She was calming him down as the nurse stepped out when her little boy noticed that she was crying, too.  And that was all it took.  At that moment, he knew that she was with him in it, loved him through it, and was suffering right with him.  As his tears ran dry, he wiped hers away, too.

And that's the thing.  When we know that the Lord is with us in our suffering, when we understand that truly he "took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4), we can persevere and find hope.

We may be draping black all over our heart, but He opens our eyes to the pink and green azaleas, pointing to the hope of the resurrection.  We may weep through the night, but not only is He with us but He promises that one Day, "gladness and joy will overtake [us], and sorrow and sighing will flee away." (Isaiah 35:10)

And that'll be the Day when we can roller skate with wild abandon, singing and even shooting some hoops with all the redeemed of the Lord. Gloriously, sorrow will be no more. 

Oh, for that Day.

The Spirit and the Bride, and I, say come, Lord Jesus.

And thank you, for being with us in our suffering until then. 

Ten months


Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Adventures of Something New


Note:  Anna Grace wanted to make a story line for yesterday's adventure to Grand Saline at my sister's in-law's home.  For the record, she came up with this blog post title. And here's her take on the day:

When we went to Grand Saline, [cousin] Cavett had a list. 

On this list of things to do was chase cows, climb a tree, tree swing, paint rocks, and croquet. 

There was a stump and Cavett told me it was kind of like a little chair. 

We had fun on the tree swing.


We got to go to an ice cream place called, "Nutty's."  Everybody got mint chocolate chip. 

We went fishing, too.  Sorta.

Cavett liked Asher a lot.

Me and Cavett picked flowers for our moms.  They liked the flowers.

We went to see the old bridge.  We saw two trains.  We were TWICE lucky.


I get her sentiment, but twice lucky?  It was more like infinite blessing on a glorious day.  To sip ice tea and reconnect on a porch swing, to eat amazing BBQ at a local dive where guys in cowboy hats named Earl order the special to go, to enjoy the fresh country air, and to get a nice dose of sunshine on the bench outside of Nutty's was truly divine. 


Truly- a scraped knee and a sunburn never felt so good.  

Grand Saline, you big salt you... you haven't seen the last of the Chaney family.

For sure. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Funnies for Friday

(Note:  We live near C.E. Byrd High, my husband's alma mater.  Every day at around 3:30 in the afternoon, students meander by our house.  Upon seeing said students yesterday, this train of thought left the station.)

Zeke:  Look!  They have backpacks!  Do they have backpacks so they can feed the birds?

Me:  No, honey, they have books in their backpacks so they can learn.

Zeke:  Yeah, probab-lee water, too, because they're busy with the birds.

Clearly, he is very confused about this school's name.

He also told Jack yesterday, while pushing around his car in the backyard, that his car threw up and it needed glitter gas.

And man, when that car got its glitter gas, it took off with gusto.

So today, dear reader, I wish you glitter gas, a backpack full of water, and the energy of a four year old.

If only...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Three for Thursday

Three things I love:

1.  Tulips

2.  Freesia

3.  A husband who brought me a bouquet of tulips and freesia on a Monday evening just because.

Well played, JC.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An addendum

On the heels of  yesterday's post, I wanted to be really clear regarding my motivations for maximizing my cognitive potential (mostly for myself because this is how I process things- shout out Lyd).

The thing is, I do NOT want to give way to pride or to fear or to the criticism or praise of man, but instead to maximize expressions of love in my life- to use my gifts and passions to love Jesus and to love others. To bless, build up, encourage and point to Him.  Always.

I'm convinced that whenever we apply ourselves and work, learn, or create as unto the Lord, it works toward love.  Whether it's learning about financial software to manage finances wisely or cooking dinner for your family or leading a small group or taking a photography class- it's all about the position of your heart and WHY you do what you do.

And I just wanted to have a heart check.

John the Baptist said it best in John 3:30:  "He must become greater; I must become less."

And after all, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."  (I Corinthians 13:1-3)

Whew.

I feel better.

Addendum over.

Onward in love!


PS- Hi cousin Beth! :) Hee hee... good to hear your voice today!!! Had to give you a shout out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Heart Faces - Sun Flare


My entry would have been #820 at i heart faces, but I think I missed the deadline by a few minutes.  Cest la vie.  Number 820 probably wouldn't have taken the cake anyway.  And I'm not sure if an I Heart Faces entry has to have a face in the entry.  I'll have to look into that.  
I Heart Faces - Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials 



On a different but related note, Jack steered me to this article recently (he's super good at discovering interesting things) and I am now, more than ever, excited about my upcoming photography class (I start April 4th) as a way to increase my cognitive potential.  It's been a long while since I've been in a formal classroom for anything other than continuing education on all things physical therapy and I figure I need something to counteract the brain freezes I'm getting from lack of sleep. (And no, we're still not sleeping well at night).

So I grabbed my camera this evening and shot the sun and through much trial and error learned how to capture "sun flare."

I'm calling this one "All Things New."

And I'm dedicating it to my friend over at The Village Blog.  Because she is hurting for spring right now and is nursing a sweet baby girl back to health and she just might need a little sunshine today.

So there you go.  Sun Flare.  Who knew.

Here's to seeking novelty, challenging myself, thinking creatively, doing things the hard way, and expanding my horizons!

Onward!

Boys and their wheels

The cuteness of this afternoon's diversion was not to be outdone by the amount of time my boys enjoyed it.  One pushing, one riding- both having a blast.
How I love my little men!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tremendous

happy

sad

happy

so sad

happy
sad

but mostly happy

happy

happy times

Asher played with cousin Alex, cheesed at his aunt KK while downing a serious amount of black beans, and took a bath with bright orange ear plugs

Zeke didn't stand still enough for a picture- he was busy moving cars and his toy lawn mower around the back yard.  When cousin William showed up, my busy boy got even busier.

Anna Grace ate her weight in strawberries and did tricks on the swing set in the late afternoon sun.

What blessing.  

What tremendous blessing.   

Going to bed thankful.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

AG's rendition of the second coming


What looks like a red door is actually, per the artist, a red carpet.  

I thought it fit nicely with today's BSF passage from Isaiah 49:  "...those who hope in me will not be disappointed."

May we all put our hope in Him today.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ask Asher

video

Q:  Whatcha been up to, Asher?

A:  What?  I can't hear you.  What did you say?  It sounds like you said whablahblah blah blah.

Q:  What have you been up to?

A:  Still can't hear you.  Sounds like bleh hab bleh bleh blup blue. My mom told me it's because I have fluid built up behind my ear drum.  I've had a couple of nasty infections right in a row and it's making it hard for me to be my happy, normal, regularly-sleeping self.  But my mom also tells me that on Thursday I am undergoing a myringotomy, or placement of ear tubes, so that my ears will feel all better.  Yahoo!  

And since I couldn't understand your question, let me just tell you what I've been up to. As you can see from the video, I can crawl like a champ now. I still think my big brother Zeke is the coolest.  I love my Anna Grace, too, but she also kind of scares me sometimes because she likes to carry me around- which is great- but sometimes it feels like hers may not be the safest hip to be carried upon.  I eat lima beans and pumpkin and black beans and grapes and peas and carrots and blueberries and I even tried some eggplant last night- YUM!  I love to play with Zeke's cars and I can sign "all done" and I'll tell you bye bye if I'm in the mood.

Well... I guess that's all for now.  I'd answer more questions if I could understand you.  

You can say a little prayer for me on Thursday. Thanks, friends!  See ya!

 Much love, Asher

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Guys like these

Man talk interspersed with emphatic cheers of "AND ONE!" filled my home last night during the UNC-Duke basketball match up.  After I had put the kids to bed, I was cleaning up and kind of smiled to myself- so thankful for the men friends we have in our lives.

These guys are stand-up kinds of guys.

They are the kind of dads that tote kids on their shoulders at parades and give safety talks about staying close in a crowd. 

 They're not afraid to roller skate at a four-year-old birthday party.  


Or put on a toddler's coat for a make-shift costume to join in their kids' idea of fun.  


These guys lead and serve with great strength and diligence at home, work, and the places in which they worship. 


They are loyal friends.



These are the kind of guys that pray together and spur each other on to greater heights in their relationship with their Creator and Savior. 

 These guys are men in the truest and best form of the word.

I'm so thankful for them. 


Because after all, little eyes are watching, little ears are listening, and little man-hearts are being formed. 


Guys like these are rare, but as a mother of two boys, I sure am glad we have them around. 

Thank you, Lord, for these guys. 

Proverbs 27:17   17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The BFF


For me, old friends fall into the same category as grilled cheese and tomato soup on a cold day or  your favorite pair of pajamas. They're warm and comfortable and easy.  


This particular group goes back about 20 years or so to our days at Caddo Magnet High School- to Mount Peak and Icees after school and soccer practice and Sadie Hawkins dances and passing notes in science class on the front row and getting totally busted.  


In some cases even further back than that.  


We gathered a couple of times this weekend as several of our buddies came in town for the Mardi Gras festivities.  We're all over the map now with only two of us left in town.


But we're raising a new generation of buddies.  

What happy times.  It was fun, my friends.

Here's to the next twenty years of friendship!


An observation




My dryer suffers from megalomania.

Infinite?

Really???

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hanging with my supermen






May they know Jesus- the one and only True Superman- and may they be super in Him.