Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My oxen

Before I was done dreaming this morning and certainly before I had my first glimpse of a steaming cup of coffee, I had to change a very nasty diaper.   
 
Very nasty.  

Thankfully I had an email from Jack waiting on me (he was out of the house before said coffee as he was away on business) and the encouragement sank so deep and was so powerful, I thought I'd share it with those of you who are in the midst of the mess and the glory of raising children.  The email read as follows: 

This verse struck me for you with the house and the kids. Our strong oxen, who are often unruly and often mess up our stable, will produce a large harvest. 

Love you. 


Proverbs 14:4 NLT"Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest."

I may not have a clean stable, but I've got my eyes on the prize... that large harvest.

Amen and amen.

Nasty diapers pale in the light of that kind of reward. 

Onward, my beloved oxen!

Clinton

 We traveled
 to small town south Louisiana (Jack's grandparent's home) for the Thanksgiving holiday.
 It is an easy, breezy, lovely, wonderful place-
  a great place to count your blessings. 
 One.
 Two.
 Three. 
We are blessed indeed. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The transitive property of fanhood

 I was kind of taken aback on Saturday when my sister off-handedly described me as an LSU fan. 

Am I? 

I guess to a third party observer, you'd never know that this gold and purple clad momma has a degree from Auburn University.  I guess you could call me a sell out.  I guess you wouldn't really know that I still love my Auburn Tigers.

But the thing is, I really love my family.  And they really love LSU.   






 So I guess I'm an LSU fan by default.  If they were into underwater basket weaving, I guess I'd get out my snorkel and twine and do that, too.
 
As it is, I'll be wearing purple and gold and changing my -o's to -eaux's for a long time. 

Because I love my LSU family. 

The Kid Table



Thursday, November 24, 2011

This our hymn of grateful praise

Old hymns still resonate: For the Beauty of the Earth For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. For the beauty of each hour Of the day and of the night, Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, Friends on earth, and friends above, Pleasures pure and undefiled, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. For each perfect gift of thine, To our race so freely given, Graces human and divine, Flowers of earth and buds of heaven, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. For thy Church which evermore Lifteth holy hands above, Offering up on every shore Her pure sacrifice of love, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

 Even amidst inordinate amounts of crying and poop and difficulty, I am SO VERY grateful for my three little ones this year.  And for pajamas and mornings and coffee and encouraging words and pumpkin muffins and my funny hubby and the way open eyes catch light and giggles and Cascade Complete and hope and long runs and mommas and a certain miniature schnauzer and music that moves my heart and a gaggle of true friends and a Savior who loves more than I even know.  

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.  



Potty time

























Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Also not the Christmas Card I had hoped for

I wish I had the skills of the good folks at www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com.  They caption "precious" photos like this one to perfection. 

Not that this one is awkward.  Not at all...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seven

 She is so full of life.  I try to tame her wildness, but not so much as to quench her beautiful and full and whimsical spirit. 


Windblown hair, vintage green sweater, loose teeth, big dreams, and a full heart- I love every piece of this my seven-year-old Anna Grace. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A glorious ugh


I've never really considered gleaning any sort of profundity from a toothpaste dispenser. 

But after this week, I've realized that the path of flouride-laden destruction left by my children each morning reminds me of something really profound.  It speaks to me. What I realized is that it reminded me of that list I made- the list of some of the things that make us yearn for Jesus.

Believe it or not- it's not the pasty tri-colored mess itself that makes my heart long for His return, but my own heart's response to that mess.

Instead of being eternally grateful for the clean teeth and the healthy children who obediently brush their teeth daily, I scowl at the mess.  Instead of being thankful for a husband who works hard and who loves me despite my foul moodiness, I complain.  Instead of being very present with my boys who will only want me to play Hot Wheels with them for a handful of years, I'm thinking about all the other things I could do with my time.

I have been selfishly ungrateful.  At best.

Ugh.

In the moment, it's hard to see and I can kind of rationalize my emotions, but afterwards, I'm starting to see my utter depravity and my sin as plain and ugly as it is.  And that UGH of mine can be a discouraged UGH or it can be a glorious UGH full of repentance and hope.   Maybe the Lord is just opening my eyes a bit.  Maybe it's His great mercy.  Maybe this repentant UGH can propel me to yearn, yearn, yearn for Jesus more and more and more.

It's no Autumn wind or blazing fire or astronomical wonder- it's just the simple truth that I need Him- desperately- that makes me yearn for more of Him.

Who knew that Aquafresh could make that list? 

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8

Not the Christmas card picture I had hoped for


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

At the Lake of Shining Waters

The fun thing about the fall in the South is that the leaves change around Thanksgiving.  And aren't the fall colored cypress trees just the prettiest?  They are eerie and beautiful and inviting all at the same time. 

Throw one of your best friends twenty years strong and her sweet little Lucy in front of one and you have a picture that makes you smile.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Solid


What do you see?


I've noticed that since I've been getting into the art of photography, I've been seeing things a little differently.  And I've maybe even been seeing more of things.

Of course, I'm blind to more than I know.

But as I've been snapping away, I've been reminded that the Lord doesn't see like I see- He sees the end from the beginning, so His perspective is a bit different than mine (which is probably a gross understatement).

And not only does He see differently, but He loves more completely and fully than we understand.

And His love beautifies.


 It imparts joy.


 It makes us strong.


This weekend as I had the privilege of capturing my a dear friend's family, I was reminded of how He sees us in our weakness and yet calls us beautiful.  He is ravished.  I don't think Nora would mind me telling you that she doesn't always feel like being patient or kind or gentle.  She doesn't always get huge happy hugs from her absolutely perfectly obedient children (no one does), but she most certainly is stunningly beautiful in the eyes of her Father who made her and she is perfectly righteous in the shadow of the cross.  He loves her and has empowered her to be an incredible mom and a faithful servant to her Lord Jesus Christ.   

She is beautiful.  From her heart to her hair, from her soul to her smile, she is beautiful.    


Not only that, but her precious kiddos love life and each other in big ways.  


On Christ the Solid Rock they stand.

My friends Nora and Jason?  

Solid.

Thank you, Lord, for a little peek into how You feel for these dear friends of mine who are eternally children of Yours.

Beautiful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can't buy me love

Scene:  After the yelling and arguing were interrupted by one of my oh-no-you-are-not-fighting mom rants, I made these two sit in time out whilst holding hands (a technique I once heard of in a family magazine I was lent by a friend of mine).  There they sat- the two unmoved in their sense of justice.  Then the littlest Chaney decided he needed to join them on the steps.  Let me assure you that Anna Grace did eventually turn.  They did hug and laugh and then go on to make a stuffed animal parade winding around the halls of my house.  But the moment was frozen in this picture and I love it.  It's not easy to teach little people how to love- especially when I don't even have it completely down yet- but even in moments like this, you get the sense that the "harvest of righteousness and peace" will come.  Eventually.  

"Beloved, let us love one another..."  1 John 4:7

{Some of} My Favorite Things

funny expressions

sunshine

healthy, calming deliciousness

adding chocolate chips to the pumpkin muffins

something warm on the stove on a chilly day

my chatty cathy

my mandevilla

sun flare
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows."  James 1:17


Monday, November 7, 2011

It only happens once



(for the record, I have no idea why he does this, but sometimes he just gets the sudden urge to lay down)



*a Monday in November 2011 that I will never have again*

Sometimes it's so easy and fun.  Sometimes it's hard and I have to fight for it.  But either way, I must, must, must cherish these days and this time with my children.

There are no days like these days. 

And oh, how I love my little boys. 

Raising a runner




 {who runs like a ballerina}

 Makes me smile.