Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On the road again

The HCV is the Harper-Chaney Van, a fifteen passenger van that will be taking our two families of eight children and four adults on a ten hour drive. 

Please pray for us.

We'll see you on the flip side with many stories to tell of our great adventures, I'm sure!

Chinese fire drill, anyone? 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Weekend Review

 Friday

I don't know when it really hit me that the Texas Rangers Ballpark was no place for a hungry herbivore like me.  Maybe it was the two foot long hot dog the guy behind us was eating or maybe it was the bacon-wrapped hot dogs for sale at concessions- I'm not sure.  Jack's comment to a youngster toting the $26 wiener was "God bless you, son."  His reply?

"God bless Texas."

Indeed.
  
The guy behind us finished one off and although he looked a bit pained and was sporting a bit of the meat sweats, he did it.  He really did it. 


The Rangers won the game, hot dogs were eaten (or in our case some veggie nachos), and my sister and I even made it onto the big screen hootin' and a hollerin'.   Fun times.

Saturday


Saturday's sunshine lit up lots of blonde hair for some all day bouncy, swimmy, silly, cousin fun. 





As far as I'm concerned, there is no reason at all to go to some fancy resort when my sister has one in her backyard.  It is deluxe. 


In fact, the Hill resort was the setting for the Lord leading me beside its still waters in the morning. 

There were beautiful, quiet, still waters while Jack and Jennifer took the kids to whack some golf balls.  It was grace. 

Sunday
Speaking of grace, my thoughts on the drive back home on Sunday were along the lines of something I read in Anne of Green Gables this week.  It was "... I like people who make me love them.  It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them."

Too often I make it a challenge for people to love me- most especially people like Jack and Jennifer- people who have loved me for so long that I just take their love for granted.  I'm ornery and stubborn and spoiled in a lot of ways and even with my still waters quiet time with the Lord, I still missed the mark.

So Sunday's reflections brought thankfulness for forgiveness and love from those I love the best.  

My, how I love my people.

Thanks for the grace, my family.

And here's to a white Christmas together!  Colorado or bust!

Oh, and don't forget this....  Enjoy...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The mattress dance

I am so very thankful for these crazy kids.  They are loud and messy and precious and amazing all at once.  Sometimes I just have to take a breath and thank God for such blessing.  More and more, our culture drops subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) hints here and there, implying that children are nothing more than inconvenience, but the truth is that the inconvenience that children bring and the service they require does well to teach us a thing or two.

It is a blessing and a high calling to raise children.

As for me, I'm forever grateful for the blessing and dependently prayerful for the challenge.  

"Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands.  How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates." Psalm 127:4-5 (NLT)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I think of when I see a sunflower


Just moments before I walked down the aisle to get married, my dad pulled out a little round picture frame from his pocket.  It was a picture of me.  I must have been five years old or so in the picture- I have no recollection of dressing up like a sunflower- but there I was- big yellow pedals circling my little round cheeks.  My dad gave me a hug and told me that I'd always be his little sunshine.  Or at least it was something like that.  I remember the sentiment being so moving that instead of really being present for that moment, I pushed back the tears and gave him a short hug in anticipation of the trumpet voluntary that was in a few short seconds going to beckon me to my groom. 


 



I wish I could always stand tall and strong like a sunflower.  I wish I would be constantly turning to face my source of light and truth.  Even its name- SUN FLOWER- connotes both light and beauty.

I may fall short of being sunny and light all the time, but still, I'm thankful for my dad's words.

Every time I see a sunflower, I can remember his love spoken over me and even though our moment in Brown Chapel is gone, with every sunflower I admire, it lives on. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grace

I think I expected this summer to be more like last summer- hot without a chance of rain- ever.  But with June came over four inches of rain.

I expected that Asher would put up more of a fight after we put his crib in the attic and moved him to the bottom bunk, but my boys have been bunkmates for over a week now and it seems to be the new normal at our house.

I didn't expect it to be so easy.  

I thought I would take in this summer with a kicked-back, easy feeling, but I've had more than enough to fill my days from the moment my eyes open to well past the time a hush falls over the house at night.

I didn't expect this summer to be so full. 
It's a good thing that in the midst of it all, no matter what surprise comes and no matter what I can do or can't do, His grace is sufficient.

It is enough. 
It is steady in uncertainty, powerful in our weakness, and more than enough for all we need.

Hallelujah and thank you, Lord, for grace.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Avetts at the Strand

 Having seen the Avett Brothers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and best of all Shreveport at best of all The Strand Theater, you would think we were major groupies.  But the fact is that we really don't have the time to be the groupie-type, it just kind of worked out that way.  Nevertheless, this latest show was super fun.  We caught dinner beforehand with some great friends, danced on the back row, over-bought at the t-shirt stand and enjoyed every minute of it. 

 Jack whooped and hollered at his favorite lyrics including "disregard directions sent from hell"


and "just a closer walk with Thee, just a closer walk with Thee"

 and "I have worries to give to the sea"


and "ain't it like most people I'm no different, they like to talk on things they don't know about"

and "I wanna fit in to the perfect space" (after which lyric Jack liked to yell "SPACE!!!" He likes space.)

I and love and you, Jack Chaney.

"Always remember there's nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name."

Oh, and our third wheel was so awkward awesome.  LOL to the max.


Fun times, fun times.  

Do not worry

 "If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:30-33


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Behind and before

We said goodbye to these two on Saturday

We took lots of pics


We laughed


We cried

We prayed

We made crazy faces
Some crazier than others
We listened to some great music

A few good men even hit a golf ball or two across the Red River

The big Wiggins move of 2012 is happening tomorrow. That cute house on Monrovia will no longer host water slides or Pumpkin Shine parties.  We won't go over and pray over pregnant tummies or prop our feet up for small group sharing.  That time is gone and although they'll only be a short drive north, it is difficult change nonetheless considering how much we love our friends.

But in the midst of difficult change, we remember our unchanging God who forges the way ahead and hems us in behind and before, laying his hands on us.  (Psalm 139:5)

A group of us will gather one last time at the Wiggins house in the early morning to pray together.  As we do, we may shed a tear or two, but we'll also remember that He's in our past and He's in our future and really- that's all we need to know.  Considering how much He's done in our midst these past six or so years, I can't wait to see what plans He has for our friends in the next six.  Amazing stuff, I'm sure of it. 

We love you, friends, and may the Lord bless you and keep you!

(And may you invite us up often)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For the beauty of her song

She hates it when I do this, but I have to.

My little sister just wrote a song combining Psalm 19 with the old hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" and it is amazing.  Really.  She just wrote it.... just like that.  She's done this kind of thing before and every time I see her lead people to worship the One who is perfect, trustworthy, radiant, right, I just cry and cry.

It moves me. 

I only got a little of the first part of this song on video (technical difficulty- sad), but take a look at Psalm 19, listen for a bit, and thank God for the voice He's given to the heavens to proclaim His glory.

While I do, I'm thanking Him for Karen's, too. 


Psalm 19

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Whew

 I want to tell you about how we had to bid a happy farewell to some of our best friends this week and how Anna Grace did at her first week of camp and about my little sister's amazing new song and about how she and I took our boys to a water park and about how they played like crazy warriors in the mud today.  And I will.  Just not tonight. 

Here's hoping this week's pace is a little on the slower side.  A girl can dream, right? 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fast friends


They were a regular Bo and Luke Duke-  wild and handsome, cruising with abandon. 

 
 Zion and Zeke?  They are fast friends.  In every sense of the word.  

And how grateful we are for friends like these!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shreveport Farmers' Market

sunrise

the usual Aidan's Place crew are on a mission trip, so Heather, Anna Grace, and I filled in

there is always all kinds of delicious local goodness

granola, anyone?




vegan roasted cauliflower salad- score!
Shreveport Farmer's Market: every Saturday morning and Tuesday evening until September 1st