Monday, July 23, 2018

a car full and a corpse foot

We were busting at the seams with six kids and two mamas in one vehicle driving eight hours to the beach, but we did it and it was SO worth it.  It was a chicken nuggets and peanut butter crackers and cereal kind of trip with both of us reminding the kids not to get sand, water, or excess noise in the "mom area" on the beach.  And for the most part, it was a hexagon of kids splashing in the ocean for hours upon end while Nora and I let go of all the stuff of life that weighs on you and we just sat in God's gorgeous theater of green and blue that was Pensacola Beach and it was glorious.  Make that trip with your friend and her kids, friends. You won't regret it- even if a kayak lands on your foot and your end up with a foot so black and blue it looks completely dead.  Even that can't knock this kind of trip's payoff down one bit.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

back to the beginning

The eight of us met about fifteen years ago in little  Wilore, Kentucky, while the guys were enrolled in various graduate programs at Asbury Seminary.* When we first started meeting, we were all in our first fewish years of marriage. None of us had kids yet which made things like sitting around and having nice meals and enjoying long talks fairly easy.  Fast forward to July 2018 and now we’re four families and 18 kids strong.  Getting together can be tricky as two of our four families live on the other side of the world but we fight schedules and calendars to make it happen.  

And I’m so thankful we fight that fight.  Life hasn’t been a joy ride for any of us so the getting together and the encouraging each other and the praying for one another and the truth telling and the blessing one another really really matters.  It is an epic pick-me-up, a reminder that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, that He is WITH us.  God has given us each other FOREVER and I couldn’t be more thankful.  

If you don’t have a group like this, pray about finding them and then make a meal and open your door.  Don’t try to find how-are-you-doing friends but how-are-you-really-doing friends.  You’re looking for how-is-your-heart friends and let’s-pray friends, I-don’t-care-what-your-house-looks-like friends and let-me-help-with-your-kids friends.  We’re so thankful we have this in these awesome humans and some key people in Shreveport and Texarkana and Atlanta and Colorado and Alabama and Texas (the list goes on- stop moving away everybody) as well because it makes all the difference.  

Fifteen years seems like a really long time ago but it’s really nothing.  We talked about coming back to our little spot in Stanton, Kentucky in the year 30 billion 18 and I can’t wait.  These friendships will endure because they’re built on the hope of eternal life and the love of a God that has promised to make all things new.  These last fifteen years are really just an eye blink but the love that remains a constant is a gift and it’s something we’ll take with us always.  

Thanks be to God.  

*Truth be told, we would have never met these people if I hadn’t shared a laugh with this spunky girl from Northwest Arkansas who happened to be in my bible study group in Lexington and whose husband happened to be at the same seminary as my husband but that’s another story. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

creativity’s catalyst 

Boredom is a breeding ground for creativity and there was no more fertile soil than these past two weeks at our house without camps or programs or schedules.  To cope, my brilliant teenager created, organized, and implemented "Fun Week," and I think the photos speak for themselves.  To say I’m thankful for her genius may be an understatement.  This past week was one we’ll always remember- even if it was just a "boring" week at home.  It was hot, messy, loud, and at times crazy-making, but it was good and I am forever grateful for these kids and their friends and the community we share.  Eucharisteo!