Thursday, December 15, 2016

a different Christmas well


It is not the most wonderful time of the year.  Jack and I have been talking about this a lot lately.

It's a time when expectations run high and bank accounts bleed money and the schedule is stuffed like a suitcase that you just can't seem to close because it's too full.  And if it's not the most wonderful time of the year, then what is wrong with you?  Shouldn't your heart sing every morning of advent, so jingle-belly full of Christmas cheer?  If it doesn't, what then?  

If you are feeling more weary than you are wonderful, the good news is that Christmas isn't about our feelings.  It's not about us at all.  In fact, if you are like me and you struggle with darkness, then the good news is that if you can sit in that darkness long enough asking for light, the Light comes and that is exactly and only what Christmas is- the Savior donning his fragility and vulnerability even down to his tiny newborn toes so that he can save us from all the darkness.  That is Christmas.  


So it's certainly not the most wonderful time of the year in the fake-smile, shopping cart full sense but (and this is what I'm holding out for) Christmas is the most wonderful moment of the year- a moment to remember that Light has come and overcome darkness and that is what we celebrate and hold onto at Christmas no matter our mind or mood.  

My Christmas anthem this year isn't very traditionally Christmasy, but its message is light in the dark so I'm counting it:

"Throw your body down into the sea
It won't quench your thirst no matter how deep
Cup your hands like a broken shell
Taste some water from a different well
I said it, I meant it
You will never thirst again, you will never thirst again..."



"Faith is the art of holding onto things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances."  CS Lewis

"...our hope is in You..."  Jeremiah 14:22

Friday, December 9, 2016

November 2016: tigers and turkeys




small group marriage retreat 




a trip to Auburn with the fam


















BeBe's Thanksgiving birthday



Whew!  Thankful and tired. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

all the things

the boys' after school "fire hour"

(preaching to myself)

If you're like me and you're susceptible to the blues, you need to do all the things.

All the things starts with doing the first thing and that's talking to God about it and remembering who you are and how much you're loved.  The next thing is just that- the next thing.  You just do the next thing.  You practice gratitude (a photo a day really helps me with that).  And you look for light and you ask for help and you exercise and you take medicine if you need medicine.  And music (David Crowder's "Make an Ocean" and Angel Snow's "I Said It, I Meant It" really helped pull me up today). also bathe in truth (thank you JLC, article king).

All the things.  Just do all the things.


Friday, December 2, 2016

like a child




If you haven't seen this video, do yourself a favor and enjoy it.  It's definitely for sure a new favorite of mine.  And may we all receive Christmas like a child.  Always.  







Tuesday, November 29, 2016

a light that thrives


After a long day of editing, I was playing with a flashlight and long exposures and then I remembered I had read it just this morning:  "A light that thrives in the depth of darkness... It cannot be quenched."  John 1:5 the Voice translation




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

holey gratitude


Zeke had leaned back and propped up his feet the other day so I offhandedly got a glimpse of his worn out shoes.  I hadn't bought them that long ago and they were a quality brand but even so they were tattered and hole was on the brink of opening.  *mom sigh*

Boys are crazy rough on shoes.  And jeans.  Am I right?

But good golly, my sigh soon turned to heart swelling gratitude for my boy who can throw a football twice as far as I can- this boy who runs and tumbles and wrestles and moves with complete ease. What a gift, what grace.

Gratitude.  Just do it.  

Friday, November 18, 2016

on how it was all pieced together

Zeke and I were sitting at the kitchen counter at my mom's empty house waiting on the contractor to show up, passing the time with a puzzle.  There was that one piece that just wouldn't fit.  I kept trying to turn it this way and that way and but it just didn't look right anywhere. Rand, our contractor boss man (a friend who had known my dad and told me about it- so kind), shows up and walks around and then has some questions for my mom. As she's talking on speaker phone, Rand picks up that stubborn puzzle piece and puts it right where it needs to go, looks up, and voila.  House plans are final and everything suddenly comes together.  It's a go. 

















Eleven years earlier, the road home to Shreveport opened up.  Jack and I had moved back home from Kentucky with our toddling, singing, dancing little girl and we found a cute little white house on a hill that would do just fine for the three of us.  It was just a mile or so from my mom's new-to-her house- the house that surrounded her with all its light in her dark time just after dad died.  We lived in that little house in a big way, stuffing her with our dinners and parties and laughter and prayers and memories.  But we also outgrew her over time, especially as the two baby boys we later welcomed into the world grew. With every year, the walls seemed to get a little closer together.  So we decided to move on and we put our little white house on the market and we showed our little white house over and over and over again.  And over.  And over.  Over 100 times.  Months of red lights turned into years.  It was a stubborn, very stubborn puzzle piece.

In the meantime, there was a family with a big blue house nearby and they needed to sell.  It was THE house for us- or so we thought, the house we would have bought had we gotten an offer on ours.  A mutual friend later told me that the owner of that house walked by our house for weeks praying for our house and for us and wouldn't you know it, just a little while later she sold that blue house?  To another girl named Candace!?  Her puzzle piece fell right into place but mine was still frustrating me just a little bit.

After a while, we threw up our hands and gave up.  Clearly, this wasn't working.  Until one day, I went over to my mom's empty house (she had moved to Texas after she remarried and had been trying to sell her house too to no avail) and I walked around and thought.  What if THIS was our house?  This beautiful old house with the big backyard and screened in porch? 

Well we all thought about it and then Rand shows up and puts his plan together and after we shifted some things around and added just a little bit, our house-home puzzle piece fit just right.  We remodeled this summer and moved in in July, officially closing on the house with our friend Ben Bethard as our title attorney. God's beautiful wink to us was not having to even put our house on the market again.  Some friends bought it for a rental property and we were able to just walk away from it, thankful for the memories but so crazy relieved to say goodbye.  When that piece fell into place, it was the easiest thing in the world- God's time. 

We'll pack this house full of memories, too.  We already have in fact.  We are settled and grateful, adoring our light-filled octagenarian house on Unadilla Street that fits us like a glove.


Thank you God and for your very best timing.