Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And I wear his ring


In their song appropriately titled, "Anniversary Song,"  the Cowboys Junkies (my high school friends will remember) propose a question.  Well, actually, they propose several questions, but this is the one I most remember:

Have you ever seen a sight as beautiful
As a face in a crowd of people
That lights up just for you?

This picture was taken in Gruene Hall, Texas' oldest dance hall.  It's really difficult to explain the moment.  There were probably a hundred people gathered around the long wooden tables littered with Shiner Bocks and purses and pitchers.  The late afternoon light was streaming in from western most windows lighting up the specks of dust that came from the shuffles on those old floor boards.  The band was wailing.  There were a hundred different things to capture with my camera, but my heart just came back to this face.

This face that lit up just for me.

I've gotten this look over the years more times than I can count.  I don't really know what it means- in words.

But I know how it moves my heart.

It may not win a competition- there are so many beautifully captured faces in this week's i heart faces challenge.  I am fully aware that I have a lot more to learn about composition and doing the ISO/aperture/SS dance to get it all just right, but for me, this is tops.

I love this guy and his half-smile, lighting up in a crowd.  Just for me.

And I wear his ring...


Monday, May 30, 2011

Trust Him


 Do you trust your Heavenly Father?


Do you know that the safest place to be is in His arms?  


 Do you really trust Him?

Our Father who is love and who does not change like shifting shadows- that One.  Do you trust Him?


You can trust Him because He is faithful and His love endures forever.


Take that leap of faith today.

Psalm 56:3  "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."  

Friday, May 27, 2011

If I had a time machine

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and talk to yourself?  Give yourself advice?

This picture is from some time in 1995 (I think).

If I could go back in time and blow these Birkenstock clad mix tape lovin' crazy people's minds, I could tell 1995 Jack and Candace that we would get married and have 1 beautiful, vivacious little girl and 2 precious, happy boys.

I could tell them that we'd move back to Shreveport in ten years after moving from Atlanta to Kentucky.

I could tell them that we would live in a cute little white house with a red door.

I could tell them to spend every minute they could with my dad- we wouldn't have enough time with him. Or Mimi.

I could tell them about the internet.  And Facebook.  And my blog.  And email.  And iphones.

I could tell them that things would get kind of hard, but to hold on because it would get better.

But really, I would only need to tell them one thing. One simple yet dynamic and life-altering thing:

Love Jesus with all you've got.

It's the secret to a life well lived and a marriage fully sustained.

It's the secret to joy and peace.

I'm so grateful that we figured that out without having to have some kind of time traveler freak us out, although I wish we had figured it out sooner than we did.

And I'm so grateful for the past ten years and the way that loving Jesus has given life and health to this marriage.

Happy 10th anniversary, Jack.

Trite but true, I love you more every day.

Now let's go get our Texas on.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hibachi heaven

 He loved it all- the onion volcano, the egg tossing, the flames, the food...

 I could not dole out the edamame fast enough.

It was his own hibachi heaven.

(And speaking of heaven, I've gotten three nights of great sleep in a row...)

What a dude!


He's content sometimes to just sit and watch the action. Life with Zeke can be simple.  A ball, a yellow chair, and you're set to enjoy the start of summer.  

Slightly demure with an underlying wild heart that drinks in every good thing that life throws his way- that's our Zeke. 

What a dude.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Johnny AppleSLEEP

Oh, the Lord is good to me

And so I THANK THE LORD

For giving me the things I need

The sun, the rain, and a FULL NIGHT'S SLEEP

THE LORD IS GOOD TO ME!

Amen.  

Abstract



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thanks, Scott

This Friday, I'll celebrate ten years of marriage to this guy on the right.

And what a guy he is.

Amidst the frenzy of a first birthday party, end of school events, dance rehearsals, and the big recital, I've been thinking about this journey we've been on together and what has sustained us in it and through it.

The preacher who married us gave us some advice that he repeated several times throughout our wedding weekend:

"It's better to be kind than right."

It's kind of along the lines of Jesus' challenge to the Pharisees- to figure this one out: "'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'" (Matthew 9:13)

Ten years after saying "I do," I can say with some certainty that this was very good advice.

Not that I've mastered the art of having unselfish kindness trump my desire for self-indulgent justice, but I fully recognize it as the supreme and ideal way to relate to my spouse.

I've heard this advice linger in my mind even as I very much wanted to wallow or fume.

It has produced many an apology.

Certainly I'll have more thoughts this week about my super awesome husband and the blessing that is our marriage, but for tonight, I wanted to pass it along.

It's better to be kind than right.

Always.  

Because I just like this one


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One year

 I want to leave you with a special birthday blessing and try to express my love for you.

 I want to tell the story about our day today and about what I've learned this past year with you.

 But quite honestly, I'm completely and utterly exhausted.

But I love you forever, sweet Asher.  Happy birthday, my little one.  May you always be happy and blessed.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Post shower prayer: Because it's never too late

We have this baby shower thing down to a well-oiled machine.

It doesn't matter if it's your first baby or your fifth baby- heck, we may not even know you (we once had a baby shower for a girl with whom we got acquainted at the shower)- but once the ladies in my small group at church catch wind that there is a new life on its way, we get the baby train a' rollin.  Emails start flyin' (props, Rendi!), venues are set, dates are negotiated (the hard part), and assignments are made.  On game day (usually a Sunday afternoon), we balance our purses and pewter trays and our gift bags spewing various shades of tissue paper and we graze on shrimp salad or stuffed mushrooms or cheese trays, all the while enjoying each other's company until it's time to seat the guest of honor, ooo and ahh at her goodies (and sometimes pass them around), while someone takes detailed notes and others talk about how to iron and re-use the tissue paper (because after all, we Southern ladies are not only graceful, but resourceful as well).

And then- the best part- we partake of Bethany's cupcakes.  

Good Lord, that woman can bake.  


Somewhere between usually and sometimes, we bring our babies and  little girls to the event.  At the most recent baby shower this past Sunday, six little girls who had waited patiently for our attention paraded and performed for our post-gift entertainment.  But while it was a precious distraction, we left out the baby shower prayer.  

I won't blame it on the little girls because I had full intentions of gathering for prayer at the shower a couple of weeks previously, but it just didn't happen.  So I thought that I would leave a prayer and a blessing here for the little girl (G.B.) and the little boy (L.H.) who happen to have the same due dates and who will be making their entrance into this world in less than a month.  

Because it's never too late to pray.  

Join me?

Lord, we pray for little G.B.  We pray for a healthy delivery for both her and her momma.  We pray that her parents would ease into parenthood seamlessly, relying on you every step of the way.  We pray that she would know joy and peace and love and that she would bless you as she blesses and loves those around her.  We pray for your hand to be upon her and that you would guide her in the way she is to go in her journey through life. Thank you for her parents who make us laugh and who bless us with their friendship.  Bless and sustain them as they welcome and love this your little girl, G.B.  


 Lord, we pray for L.H.  We pray for a healthy and blessed delivery covered with your presence.  We pray for calm strength and wisdom for his parents.  We pray that you would sustain them when they grow weary.  We pray that his brother and sisters would welcome and love him in ways that would befuddle us grown-ups.  We pray that he would grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus all the days of his life and that your light would shine in and through him.  Use him mightily for your Kingdom, to spread truth and light in this dark world.  Lord, may your hand be upon this your L.H.  


Amen and Amen!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Our fair city

 Homework:  Landscapes.

I don't exactly live in the most scenic part of the country.  This ain't no Montana, people.

I'm sure that if I had a few hours to myself, I could capture something uniquely northwest Louisianian- that and a tripod would have done me well- but alas, this is what you get with one hour and a jaunt by river at sunset.  And nevermind the fact that it's kind of a landscape-slash-cityscape.  Oh well.




Even so, I had a great time and not only that, but the exercise was good for my heart, reminding me of where I am and Who put me here.  I had a dream several years ago about this city involving an overflowing Red River, running downtown, and friends who came alongside us. I'm still not sure what it all means, but I'm pretty sure that the Lord has us here at this time on purpose.  We just need to keep an ear open to what that purpose is and keep running with it.

After all, He's the God of this city.  And there is no one like our God.

Smart cookie




Kids just really get it.

When I asked my friend's little girl if I could take her picture with a cupcake, she was totally on board but then she told me to wait a second.

While she smeared her face with chocolate frosting.

It was silly and smart.

Life is just too short not to smear the frosting and make crazy faces for the camera.

Thanks for the reminder Hailey!  You are one smart cookie.... or cupcake!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just stuff

All manner of bulldozers and dump trucks have been dramatically and steadily removing a house on our street.  Of course, our little ones have been fascinated by the excitement (that's what they were watching), but it really is profound seeing your neighbor's stuff- all of it- reduced to rubble.  

There is nothing left.

One day, all my stuff will be gone.  Reduced to rubble.  

Truly, where my treasure is, there my heart will be also.  (Matthew 6:21)

It's a good reminder to go for the eternally significant love that endures.

And it's a good reminder to steward the things with which I've been entrusted wisely, but to guard my heart against over-investing in the material things of this world that will wear out.  

Our stuff is just stuff.  

I don't want my heart to end up in that pile of rubble.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Half-hearted: Reunion 2011

 It's not that we didn't have a great time getting together.  After all, we love each other deeply.

We played.  And played.  And played some more.

We decorated the backyard- our weekend playground, dining room, and meeting place.

There was the typical witty banter and the typical guy games- this time passed around on an ipad.  There was the typical delicious meals (the now legendary and amazing Mexican flan not pictured).


There were, of course, some pretty cute babies.


We even had a share-and-prayer time, children's edition (props to Lyd for the excellent idea and its successful execution).


But there was no interesting destination, no horse-back riding, no hiking through the largest cave system in the world, no camping on a mountain, no canoeing in the swamp, no picnics by the Buffalo River, and most importantly... no Rupps.

Again, it's not that we didn't pray, share, love, and smile, but this reunion?  We're calling it Half-Hearted.

Here's to next year- fifteen kids strong and a group made complete.

Charleston- here we come!

Jubilation!

Previously uninspired, I left last week's photography assignment undone.  But yesterday's news turned my ennui into jubilation- perfect for a self-portrait.

For the whole big beautiful story and for a glimpse of the newest beautiful Rupp addition, visit But a Breath.

Congrats, my friends!

I am leaping for joy!

Literally.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My brown eyed girl

I thought I needed a post all its own just to say how much I love this baby girl, how much I love this momma, and how much I love seeing this beautiful adoption scenario unfold before my eyes.

This past week during my friend's visit, I found myself just staring at those huge, beautiful brown eyes- in wonder and awe at her Creator, at the one who birthed her and gave her this family, and at her amazing parents.

I have been so very blessed to have baby B in my life.  She is precious and beautiful and sweet and she looks great in hot pink.  She will undoubtedly wear tutus to the grocery store and swaddle baby dolls and invite her brothers to tea parties- much to their confusion.

I'm just so grateful that I have the great privilege of watching her grow into a strong and loving and wise woman of God-  just like her momma.

I love, love, love you, baby B!

And maybe tomorrow I'll actually catch up and get to the reunion...

Inspired



He picked the tune to "Holy, Holy, Holy" while I adjusted my ISO and shutter speeds- him the budding musician and me the aspiring photographer (and my ISO was crazy high hence the grainy-ness- but I'm learning).

There's not much time to practice, but I think we're both somehow inspired.

Just give us ten years or so...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where hidden and small meets important and big

I read this on a blog yesterday:

"...so much of our lives as women is lived in secret, hidden from the eyes of the world and the accolades of others.  So much of it feels mundane... but God sees.  And he esteems most what is done away from the eyes of others.  He loves hidden, secret, small places.  He does his best work there- in the home, in the womb, and in the heart."  Stasi Elderege

I'm so thankful for what has been done in those secret places on my behalf for years and years.  And I'm motivated to press on in those places by the examples set before me.

Thank you, mom.

You're one in a million.

Suds and buds

 Zeke doesn't connect with just anyone, but my friend had him captivated with her Saturday afternoon bubble show.


 This perspective was actually Korrie's idea and, as my photography instructor would say, we collaborated on this shot.  She totally deserves the credit.


Like I said last week, it just doesn't take much.  Especially when you're four years old and so full of life.

Bubbles and friends- what more could a little boy ask for? 

Are they sweet eyes?

Or are they silly eyes? 


Sometimes I'm not sure.  

Whatever they are, they're pretty funny. And precious. Next time you see Asher, ask him for some sweet eyes.  He'll  be happy to oblige.  
This one's for you, BeBe! How we love you and your fun things like sweet eyes!