Friday, August 31, 2012

Adapt

Because my little sister and her family live in south Louisiana, they've been forced to learn to adapt.

Hurricanes inevitably come knocking on their door and when they do, whatever is irreplaceable is loaded up and hauled north to our neck of the woods for a  a week or so.  They are off schedule and away from their own bed but they have learned to adapt well. 


I think we have reaped the benefits of their going with the flow.   

I mean- what else can you do on a stormy day other than bust out the glow sticks, balloons, chips, fake mustaches, and pom poms and have yourself a bonafide football party?



Beats me.

I hate hurricanes, but I sure do love this family and I'm grateful for the fun we've had. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday

After dinner, Asher "watered the plants," Anna Grace twirled, Zeke cartwheeled, and I took pictures.  Fun for everyone! 






Yes, there was a change of clothes involved- necessary when you transition from dress twirling to hand stands. 




Seven, five, and two.  My, how I love my sweet little turkeys. 

Because He hears

The moon lit our little backyard prayer meeting Sunday night.  Hundreds or maybe thousands of other believers across Shreveport and beyond were all praying at that same hour in intercession for a family in our community that has recently experienced great loss.  Anna Grace held my hands and prayed, looked up at the clouds and the moon, and said that she felt like God really heard our prayers.  I reminded her that He ALWAYS hears our prayers, but she sighed and kind of like she does sometimes, she quietly said that she knew that but still... it really felt like it. Maybe it was because of the way the clouds were swirling around the moon or maybe it was because of all the other hearts in sync that night, but I knew what she meant.

Even so, I'm sure glad that whether we feel like it or not, the truth is that He always hears our cries.

And so we press on in our prayers, always knowing that we serve a God who listens.

"...The Lord hears when I call to Him."  Psalm 4:3


Monday, August 27, 2012

August 26th

August 26th has become quite an important and fun day to me- two of my dearest friends were born on this very day. I love them both. Dearly. 

the night we danced on our chairs and bought matching posters, laughing about space
Meg stashes vegan cookies in her freezer just for me.  I've laughed so hard at her house at dinner that I actually peed my pants and she doesn't think I'm gross- just hilarious.  In fact, she is one of the most hilarious and kind people I know.  I don't know how I ever lived without her hysterical texts and honest friendship.  You would think I was straight up Ansel Adams by the way she believes in and encourages me in my photography endeavors.   And did I mention she is hilarious? 


Korrie is such a beauty.  Pardon my thyroid hair.  It breaks off.  *sigh*
Korrie is a rock of a friend that would seriously get in a fist fight to protect my honor if that's what it came down to.  She is super strong and brave yet her heart is soft and sensitive to the Lord and his love.  She longs for righteousness and justice more than anyone I know.  She's up for whatever, whenever (never been a runner and just had her fifth baby six months ago, but still, she's ready for a half marathon!), and she makes the best spaghetti and meatballs I've ever tasted.  We can weep over Indian food or fold laundry and laugh- it's all heart and all good with my friend Korrie.

These friends are both beautiful, both strong, both loving, both loved beyond measure, and both some of the best friends a girl could have.

August 26th, you're blessed. 

Thank you, Jesus, for Meg and Korrie.

Happy birthday, friends!  Let the celebrations continue!!!!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Three (or four) for Thursday: Things that are red

man that ladybug was heavy on my keyboard... that or I'm teaching myself Photoshop

organic galas from New Zealand - they look as pretty as their name, huh? 

Mmmm... dinner

she's a good girl with a red ball
ladybugs... good food... puppy dog eyes... "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  James 1:17

Thank you, Jesus, for today's good and perfect gifts. 

Peace

Me taking a picture of what is hanging in my hall: a print of Edward Hicks' "The Peaceable Kingdom"
My MIL Barbara is a champion at finding amazing treasures at great prices and this latest addition to my home's walls is no exception.  She had a hunch about it- she actually thought Zeke might like it- and she bought it and gave it to me last week.

I haven't stopped marveling at it ever since.

As into science as I was in college, I never took an art history class (or any kind of art class for that matter), so you probably know more about the American colonial folk artist Edward Hicks than I do, but I will forever treasure this his work.

It is Isaiah 11:6-9: 

"The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea."

With all the many tragedies and heartaches of this world, it is a balm to my heart to constantly breeze past a painting of hope in the age to come.  

We all long for it, whether we recognize that longing or not.  

Come, Lord Jesus.  
Destroy that horrible last enemy named death once and for all.  
Bring about your peaceable kingdom.  

In the meantime, we put our trust and hope in you and you alone.
 Amen and amen.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

That sneaky back to school momma moment

Your momma's heart bursts with love for you, Zeke!
I was sitting in our school's family chapel this past Friday when all the emotion and preparation of the back to school moment came together in my heart and mind.  Chaplain Kaine was at the front explaining the focus for the year:  the Lord's lovingkindness. We will explore and meditate and ask for the Holy Spirit to help us emulate this attribute of God throughout the school year. 

"Oh..." I thought, "I am SO on board with that."

At that moment, I was thankful for a greater context in which my children will be learning.  I was thankful that I will be coming along side of them in the chapel pew, the car, at the dinner table, at their bedside, or wherever we are and [aim to] live within that lovingkindness theme.

Zeke is in Kindergarten this year which is sort of difficult for me to wrap my mind and heart around. I had my reservations about this moment (and judging by my tears, I guess I had more than a few), but so far, so good.  He seems to be thriving and loving every moment of his new routine.   

As a mom, you tend to be one big tangled knot of emotion when it comes to your kids. 

Seeing Z man all smiley as he went off to K5 was a tough, tearful thing for me, but it was good.

And my tangled knot of emotion seemed to be melting to gratitude as we sat in chapel and sang
"Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine."
 Our Father teaches us how to love each other.  He teaches us moms how to love our children.

He'll teach me and guide me and my children, throughout the school year, focusing us on His lovingkindness which will make all the difference for now and for years to come. 

In fact, I'll need to lean more and more into His great lovingkindness in the years to come.  I can only imagine my grief when my first birdie flies from the nest for college.  Heaven help me. 


Anna Grace couldn't even sleep the night before for all the excitement of the first day!



Happy 2012-2013 school year!

Here's to new beginnings and the Lord's great lovingkindness! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Three for Thursday: things that are awesome

 1.  Waffle house

Your very first trip to the Waffle House seems pretty awesome considering you eat a waffle for breakfast almost every single day of your life. 

He dug it the most.  
 

2.  rainbows on the beach in the morning

'nuf said. 





3.  Go carts

They're fun, right?  


 Awesome? 


I guess not everybody thinks so. 




Awesomeness is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.  Or in this case, the shotgun rider. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Add it to your list (if you haven't already)

Do you have Sarah Young's Jesus Calling devotional, too? 

So many people have recommended it to me that I have meant to pick up a copy, but if you know anything about being a mother of small children, you know that things like "pick up a copy of a book for myself" falls pretty far down on the always too long to-do list. 

During my visit in Mobile, my Kathy flat out gave me her copy as I went on about how I've been meaning to buy one.  That's so Kathy.

Since then, I've found it to be an extremely efficient way of being encouraged.  It's just a little nibble of a thing to whet your appetite for truth and for the Lord.  And lo and behold, it hits the nail on the head every single time.  The morning before I got the first grain of sand on my toes on vacation, Young's devotional called me to be "on the lookout for everything [the Lord] has prepared for [me]: stunning scenery, bracing winds of adventure, cozy nooks for resting when [I] am weary, and much more."  It was a call to be watchful and thankful as in Colossians 4:2. 

It's like that everyday.

Its interactive words of encouragement have actually moved me to remember how much I LOVE to interact with the Lord and how I must remain thankful and watchful of when and how He speaks to lead and guide and encourage and challenge me. 

In short, the Lord has used it in my life to sharpen my spirit.

And for what it's worth, that's my TLLOM recommendation for a book worthy of a prioritized spot on any to-do list.

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

Sunday, August 12, 2012

He's beautiful

 "I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
 The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re beautiful
 I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful

 I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful, you're beautiful
 When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful..."
                                                   - Phil Wickham, "Beautiful" 
For the record, at my funeral, I want someone to play this song and lead everyone to worship our beautiful Creator God.

He's beautiful. 



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Flying south

 Our vacation began with a stop-off in Mobile and a few of our favorite things.  There was face painting...


                              outdoor activities and Mellow Mushroom's Kosmic Karma pizza....
                              and best of all, our momma bird Kathy.  We even got a visit with David!


      What fun, what blessing, and what a great way to begin a little time away.  We love you, Kathy!!!