Monday, January 30, 2012

Good listening

Lately, I've spent a lot of time distracted.  I have a (mental) list of tasks that I constantly reprioritize and reorganize in my head.  You know- get all teeth brushed, make breakfast healthy, make lunch healthy, clean up poop, clean up more poop, are they dressed, are they dressed appropriately, answer that text, is the homework done, who do I need to email today, have I prayed for that person, did I check back with that person, what did I forget at the grocery store... it goes on and on and on.  I think about 20 different things in the course of 20 minutes and I've realized that lately, all the distractions of life have gotten the best of me.  

My son shouldn't have to ask me the same thing four times before he gets a response.  In fact, that's something I should be modeling for him- good listening.  

Of course, the Lord highlighted this for me in a couple of different ways and a couple of different angles in the past few days.  

Jesus stopped for children and wanted them to come to Him.  He He hears our cries.  He is near to the brokenhearted.  He truly listens.  

I felt convicted about listening to my kids, but I also felt encouraged.  To be present enough with other people to give them my full attention- even if just for a moment in the line at Target- blesses them, affirms them, and shows them love.   

Sunday morning, after I had this heart to heart with the Lord, I spent some time trying to listen to my little people.  Zeke and I took an early morning walk in our pajamas.  Anna Grace and I read another chapter in our book.  

The chapter ended with a sentence that drove home the point quite nicely:

"... a little 'appreciation' sometimes does quite as much good as all the conscientious 'bringing up' in the world."  (L.M. Montgomery, of course)  

To be like Jesus, to truly and consistently listen and in turn truly appreciate those around us, is an uphill battle for us all.  But it's a battle worth engaging, especially when you have the Spirit of God ready and willing to fight for you.  

Thank you, Lord, for simply hearing us.  That, in and of itself, is profound love.  

"The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.  The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them."  Psalm 145:17-19

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Deer... dog... whatever.




It just dawned on me the other day that Asher had never really been to any kind of zoo.

So yesterday, to the "zoo" we went.

Or as close as you can get to a zoo in Shreveport.

After we got through the maze of alligators, Asher kept a safe but interested distance from the deer and kept calling them "dogs."  And he kept trying to feed them rocks.

I guess it's a good thing we came.





 For a zoological education and family fun, it was a good call.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pant, moo, stuck, and a strange game of football

I pulled into our driveway and pulled out the camera to capture Mr. Man in action, reading his book.   Of course, I don't have the timing to capture any super fun and funny Asher tricks, so panting like a dog, saying moo, and worrying about the last page of the book being stuck will have to do. 

And while I'm at it with the videos, this next one clearly outlines Zeke's current collegiate allegiances.  Obviously, he thinks the world of his daddy.  At least that's the spin I'm going to give the sort of strange Auburn dis.  In any case, it's funny stuff.   How I love my boys!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So grateful for my crazy peeps



This morning, before dawn, I gathered with four dear friends.  We prayed, like we do every Wednesday morning, in our pajamas.  After I went home and got the kids to school, one of these dear friends and I went to the neighborhood joint for beignets, coffee, and a heart to heart.  Tonight, another set of friends had us over for dinner and I laughed and laughed so much that I may or may not have peed in my pants.













 What incredible, incredible blessing.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The lamp of the body


"The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"  Matthew 6:22-23


My brown eyed girl

Whatever happened
to Tuesday and so slow...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

His love, complete in us

Can you feel the love?

 "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."  I John 4:11-12

 It's a pretty profound truth that apart from seeing God, the best way for us to experience Him is by loving one another. 

Just loving each other. 

God loved us despite our shortcomings and faults and sins and so we also should love each other despite the faults and shortcomings and sins that are so hard for us to forgive. 

Lord, make your love complete in us today.  

Help us to love each other.  

Even when it's hard.

A celebration of happy tummies

We're feeling much better these days and celebrated with an Icee on Friday afternoon.  Thanks for the prayers and praise the Lord! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Visions of health


We've been watching a lot of Sesame Street and generally laying low for these past string of days that seem to be piling up to make most of a week.  My littlest one is not well. 

 When dear old Anne (with an "e") broke her ankle defending her pride against Josie Pye's dare (Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 23), she considered her medical confinement bearable due to her vivid imagination.

"What do people who haven't any imagination do when they break their bones, do you suppose, Marilla?" she asks.

Asher and I aren't laid up for seven weeks like Anne, but for the past days it seems like all I've been doing is holding a baby boy, then doing quick load of laundry, then holding him some more.

It's not as if I'd rather be anywhere else in the whole world than holding and rocking and loving on my sweet cotton topped baby.  In fact, it is a privilege to be at his side as the one who will be faithful to see this through with him.  But it helps that I can look outside my window and imagine what that blue sky might look like on top of a mountain in Idaho or on a choppy boat ride through the Carribean.  There's nothing wrong with a little imagination. 



Pray with me-  that he bounces back quickly so that we can get back to our everyday adventures.

I'm imagining that, too.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Running and running and running

My friend Nora and I are again meeting each Saturday morning under the oak trees on Ockley Drive- right in front of the house that shall be called the house of prayer where we, with our family and friends, worship our Creator.

We run.  And run.  And run.

We end each run at that same spot under the oak trees on Ockley Drive- right in front of the house that shall be called the house of prayer where we, with our family and friends, worship our Sustainer and Savior.

I've said it before, but starting with Jesus, ending with Jesus, and a lot of patient endurance in between- it's a lot like our calling as Christians.

As the training gets harder and the runs get longer, I'm glad that our we don't have to rely on ourselves, but the One who called us to our race in the first place.

May His name be forever praised and may He be glorified in each of our steps.


"I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free."  Psalm 119:32

Saturday, January 14, 2012

M week




 Muffins with mom: a marvelous memory with my merry munchkin.


What a mind-blowing miracle to be merited with the ministry of his maternal care.  Most magnificent.   

I love you, Z man!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Many me

As I was putting spoons away this morning, I noticed my multiplied reflection and thought about how I could really use the eight extra hands. It set me daydreaming. One set could clean the kitchen (again) while another pushed Asher on the swing while yet another folded laundry and another got started on lunch while I cleaned out just one of the many drawers or cabinets that needs cleaning out and we could all work together as a team. Have you seen the movie Multiplicity?  It was like that in my head (except that we didn't get gradually dumber). 

But then I remembered to just do my best with the good two hands I've been given and I got back to the task at hand.   I can't have it all and that's okay.  I have enough.  More than enough.  Enough time, enough energy just to do my best. 

And I know that, one day, I will actually have time to attend to the nooks and crannies of life.

But hey... a girl can dream, right? 

My little scholar

 *a little glimpse of a tiny chunk of our day*


*presh*

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Champion

On a dreary, drizzly January day which also happens so be the day after LSU lost the National Championship of college football to the Crimson Tide, it could be easy for Jack to be a little down.

But how could he be when he's the champion  to this crew?

We will forever love and cheer him on. 

And as far as being the funniest, coolest, most super awesome dad and husband we know...

he's undefeated.

WE LOVE YOU JACK!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wearing our history

Anna Grace and I love to make old things new.  I don't know if I've taught her this or if she just comes by it naturally, but when we happen upon a  let's-do-something-just-you-and me occasion, you can bet we're either going to Starbucks for a kids hot chocolate, a skinny cinnamon dolce latte, and a hearty amount of girl talk or we are scouring Goodwill for something old to make new again.  Both of us become giddy at the thought. 

Today, we both wore our grandmother's dresses to church.  I'll have to spend some more time photographing the detail of this heavy little black velvet dress with its wide sash and full skirt.  It's one of Anna Grace's favorite dresses of all time and I just love to see her walk the halls of our church in it and the boiled wood overcoat with the small bow in the back that was also my mom's.  In a quick glance, I can almost see a little Camille.

The golden suit I wore was my Gran's- my mom's mom.  When I put my arms through it this morning, I could almost smell her house again. I wonder if she ever thought her granddaughter would be wearing it while carrying her seventh great-grandchild on her hip.  Probably not. 

These pieces of our history won't last forever.  The buttons will break and the hems won't hold forever- but there is just something extraordinary about being able to walk around in something old made new. And not just any something, but your grandmother's something.  It's a reminder of the gift of family and the very precious gift of mother-daughter-mother-daughter relationships that both precede and follow you. 

Lord willing, I hope to have a little stash for my granddaughter to rummage through.  

And Lord willing, maybe she'll sport it to church carrying around my seventh great-grandchild on her hip.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Amen

...Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one



for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.  (Matthew 6:9-13)






 Dimensions of this land in all of our days- no wonder it's how Jesus told us to pray. 

Like Asher throwing his fit in the grass, I landed on my face today so to speak. 

But the good news is, I can pray for His will to be done.  I can ask for forgiveness.  I can be forgiven as I forgive.  I am loved as a daughter and I have a Provider.  I can ask for good, holy leadership and I will be led. 

His is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The end in mind

When Zeke proudly explained that he had drawn a picture of Jesus and a rainbow, I told him he had drawn the end of the story.  I explained to him that at the end of the Bible, Jesus sits on a throne surrounded by a green rainbow (Revelation 4:3).  And it was a circle rainbow no less- just like he had drawn.

He was pumped.

As we live in this broken world, it's important to live with the end in mind.

Not that it's even the end- it's much more like a new beginning- but living with the end in mind helps us patiently endure stomach bugs and lost jobs and death and all the brokenness that sometimes just seems like too much for our hearts to take.

All things new, emerald rainbows, a Man of love sitting on a throne- these are the stuff hope is made of.

Philippians 4:8  "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things." 

Monday, January 2, 2012

This little light of his

Zeke isn't one to share his heart with just anyone, so I feel especially privileged as one who gets to experience all his smiles and belly laughs and imaginations first hand.  Between his sister's big personality and his brother's baby-ness, he is vulnerable to getting lost in the shuffle at times, but sometimes it seems he almost likes it that way. 

He's got a latent, quiet strength, that Zeke.  
I can't wait to see his life unfold- how he receives and reflects the Light of the Jesus in this dark world.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New year, new blog

In her recent article entitled "Fearlessness", Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai encourages aspiring photographers to "...Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically.  You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a consensus."

It really resonated within me.

The fact is, the Lord has given me a unique voice.  I will capture His light with my camera like only I can.  Not everyone will like it, but that's okay.  It's okay that I'm new and learning.  I must take the gifts He's given me and use them.

And on that note, I am starting off the new year with a new venture at www.candacechaneyphotography.blogspot.com

Eeeek!

Even though I'm formalizing and introducing new rates, I still intend to give away services and proceeds as the Lord leads and have this thing remain more of a blessing than a business.

I just still can't believe it's a thing.

Here goes nothin'!

To fearlessness!