Thursday, November 29, 2012

santa grace

Hi! This is Santa Claus! (Anna grace) This is a video of me singing DECK THE HALLS! Now if you look closely you might see a crazy little boys!(should they get presents?) Now sit back, turn your head, and enjoy my video! HO HO HO HA HA HA!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bookish blessing

I'm not sure exactly what's going on here, but it's not all bad- that's for sure.



In case you can't make it out, it's a bed full of books and Bibles and Luke 2 transcribed aside our sleeping beauty.

She's a firecracker with a soft side that lingers just beneath her go get 'em surface- growing in beauty inside and out day by day. 

I'll never forget the day I found out I was having a girl.  I was wearing pink pants and a striped shirt (however weird it may be, I always remember what I was wearing at important moments in my life).  I was stunned.  For whatever reason, I always thought I was destined to have a house full of boys.

 But Anna Grace is a bigger and more amazing blessing than I ever could have dreamed or imagined. I am so thankful for her- and not just because she's my daughter- just because she's herself.  

I love you, Anna Grace.  Forever.  


Monday, November 26, 2012

More from East Texas










(Kayla, I may not be able to bottle the big blue Texas sky, but come hell or high water, I'll be sending you a little bit of Grand Saline in a jar.  I hope you like delicious, old fashioned peanut butter!)

(And as an aside, the sugar free label doesn't mean it adds poison instead.  It just means that it's just peanuts and salt only.  I think it might be even more delicious that way.)

We had the best time visiting BBQ joints with taxidermied walls and Nutty's- home of the best peanut butter you'll ever eat!  Happy Small Business Saturday, indeed! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Even the skies are bigger in Texas





We spent the day in Grand Saline, TX, (population 3,148) with my sister and her family.  The sky was big and so was the fun.

So grateful.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving

four generations of Chaney men

We gave thanks to God this year on Thanksgiving with four generations of Chaneys.  It was as wonderful as Barbara's pumpkin pie (and really... I feel sorry for you poor souls who didn't get to taste of its deliciousness).  We had football playing in your bare feet kind of glorious weather, good company, a beautiful meal, and (mostly) happy, funny kids running around in the late afternoon sun.  It just doesn't get much better.

"someone" may have eaten too much turkey



Sarah Margaret and Anna Grace
Jack's grandmother gave us a laugh and a wise word or two.

I even got an N-A-P.  Yes, I did.




It's entirely inadequate, but thank you, Jesus, for all of this rich blessing.

It's simply tremendous.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

By day and night


As the Israelites began their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, they were led in a very visible way by the Lord.  

"By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people."  Exodus 13:21-22



  cloud by day







 and fire by night





We've all been counting our blessings in this season of thanks and certainly warm beds, pantries full of food, loyal friends, and loving families are not to be taken for granted.  But what reigns supreme as the greatest blessing of all is the Lord's presence my life.  He is with me always, even to the end of the age and he leads me well.  It may not be as obvious as it was for the Israelites, but even so, he leads us with his light day by day if we turn to Him and choose to be led.


"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
    to your holy dwelling."  Exodus 15:13


The Lord's cloud, his fire, is that for which I am most thankful this year.  He has led me well and I'm certain that his cloud and fire will not leave their place in front of me.  His presence in my life a priceless, immeasurably great gift.


I'm thankful.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This little light of theirs

I'm always looking for light, so daylight savings time when it suddenly gets dark at 5:00 pm always gets me down- especially on a Sunday night. But tonight in our church's fellowship hall, there was all kinds of light thanks to the Shreveport Bossier Rescue Mission men's choir. Really. I was in the back but I still felt warmth from the light emanating from their hand-clapping, foot-stomping, sincere and grateful worship.

I think people in general search and search for light but most of the time, it eludes them because they look in the wrong place. These guys were a great reminder to me that the Source is always there, always available, even on a pitch black daylight savings Sunday evening.

Thank you, Jesus, for your light.  I saw it tonight in these eight guys and it was brilliant.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A memorial


I've never really liked the whole R.I.P. thing because it only reminds me of gross and scary haunted houses.  But in the case of Georgia, the rest-in-peace sentiment just seems right. I've shed many tears over her death maybe because of the guilt I carry because I couldn't be the dog owner I wanted to be.   Maybe it's because I'll just miss her.  Maybe because of all the memories I had with this sweet puppy.  Maybe because death is awful and horribly sad, but most likely for all of these reasons combined.

Even so, Georgia was well loved.  My mom took up my slack completely and totally, resulting in Georgia's dog life being one well lived.

In this picture, it almost seems like she's looking forward to something better. And something better, somewhere better is my hope for her, too.

Rest in peace, sweet Georgia brown.

Good dog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Psalm 24 and a puppy dog jacket



 Asher as of late: headlamps, sweet eyes, the costume he thinks is a "puppy dog jacket," and a recitation of our latest scripture memorization venture.








He repeats us like a parrot and usually he's way more into it, but you'll understand that this is all I could get on video.  He's such a cutie patootie.

Lord, thank you for this little boy.  Give him clean hands and a pure heart that he may be able to stand in your holy place.

Amen and Amen.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Just call me Nurse Candace

This past week, we've been battling Asher's pneumonia and then at the end of the week, Jack's stomach bug.  Circumstances like this can make things feel rather dark.  


But no matter the circumstance, there's always Light.


At the beginning of all of Zeke's K5 chapel services, all the children say in unison, "Thank you, Jesus, for your light," twice- each time a candle is lit.

So in the midst of our dark times, I've been grasping at the Light.  It's not as though I haven't battled a bad attitude.  In fact, it's times like this that you realize your utter depravity, weakness, and dependence on the love and mercy of God for each breath. Difficulty boils up all kinds frustrations and impatience and imperfections in my heart and it humbles me.  It puts me in my rightful place of needing Jesus and His light.


So thank you, Jesus, for your Light.


Now that things are on the up and up, maybe I should thank him for water, too.   And soap.

Jack's last words to me this morning?

"And for the love of God.... take a shower today."  

Mmm hmmm.

I guess the light at the end of our tunnel leads to a little self-care.

So here's to the light in the midst of our dark times AND the light at the end of the tunnel.

It's time to shower.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A good hint


I've spent a decent amount of time at the grounds of Norton Art Gallery this season and I've decided that of all the trees on their 40 acres of extensive grounds, this one is my favorite.  Last year, it turned a bright yellow.  Maybe it goes from red to yellow.  I don't know, but I'll be watching her and if she turns a radiant yellow, I'll keep you posted.

Shreveport may not be a destination for fall foliage, but still, there are hints here and there of the glory of fall.


And I love a good hint of glory.  Don't you?

(Kayla, this one's for you.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hearts


When sorting out who would be which card suit in our "full house" reunion, Kayla came up with hearts for our friends the Harrigans.

It's easy to see why.  When you're around them, you feel a whole lotta love.








 And it should be noted that this little baby girl of theirs lives up to her middle name- Joy- quite completely.  I wish I had captured her abundant, bouncy, joyful personality, but then again, it might have been a blur by the way she moves through life.  She is awesome.  For now, the eyes will do quite nicely.  Maybe she'll read this one day and if she does, I want her to know how she blessed me with a walk to see some butterflies, reminding me of hope and joy on a day that stung a little.

Thanks for the visit, friends.

We love you.  And we love the way you love.

Hearts.