Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Messy Olympics

Cade's class ended the year with a...mess! Both teachers of his grade have a flair for all things fun, so we had a Messy Olympics end of the year party. The kids fished for gummy worms out of jello, dug for bugs in spaghetti, threw water balloons, played games with shaving cream, ate donuts tied to a string held by someone who was blindfolded, tossed eggs, rode a zipline, jumped on a trampoline, and ate more junk that I care too dwell too much on. In the space of a few hours, Cade devoured donuts, gummy worms, jello, a "kitty litter" cake (that is another post in itself!,) nachos, doritoes, two bites of a sandwich, "slime" lime sherbert punch, and candy. All in all, it was a great day. It was very sweet to watch him interact with his friends and have the time of his life! I think this egg went right past him...don't you?

Are you throwing up in your mouth just a little bit yet?

good times.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Slather Those Chops!

Here is your mission for the week!

1. Go buy some good lookin' pork chops and a bottle of honey. You might as well get the honey that comes in the bear, you know you can't resist how cute that is!

2. Slather the chops with as much honey as possible.

3. Grill those babies.

4. Devour and lick your own chops.

5. Repeat #4 as needed.

6. Write my Momma a thank you card for understanding the finer things in southern cuisine.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Turtle Photo Session

Are you wondering what could make my boys sit so still? A stray turtle! I haven't taken a single picture since the wedding I shot 15 days ago! That is such a no-no for an aspiring photographer who should be shooting something everyday. So, imagine my gusto when I had a new subject to shoot! Little did I know that I would take 80 pictures of the little reptile. We had ourselves a nice little photo session. If I could just get him to pay up. :)

This is the prodigy of Wolverine. The kid needs a summer haircut. He will be appearing in X-Men the Finale as Wolverine's son this summer. You won't want to miss his debut.

Meet Simon.

Simon, you are so dreamy and dashing in this photo. The girls are going to swoon.

Get back in the grass, little mister. We aren't done with our session yet.

This is the turtle whisperer, aka Wolverine's son.

The boys on their way to return Simon to his home.
The look on a little fella's face when I told him we wouldn't be keeping Simon. Goodness, boy, don't you have a mommy that will wash your face?

When I grow up, I want to be an animal photographer. Now, if I can just figure out how to get them to pay me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Breakfast Conversations in Boyland

I am curious. If you have all girls, what do your breakfast conversations sound like? If you want a glimpse into what breakfast conversations sound like in Boyland, then continue reading...if you dare.

Amidst taking bites of my high protein Kashi cereal, Cade decided to inform me of what went down yesterday evening. I had left a hair clip on top of the toilet in their bathroom. Somehow, (some things in Boyland do, indeed remain a mystery) the clip found its way into the toilet while Eli was taking a nice little pee. Cade, being the responsible big brother that he is, decided to retrieve my hair clip.

I started choking on my high protein cereal that was all of the sudden tasting quite chalky. Oh, wait, it always tastes chalky, that is right. I asked Cade if he washed his hands with soap immediately after he rescued the hair clip. He laughed and said, "Well, no Mom, I was getting into the shower and I knew the water from the shower would rinse it right off." Insert: my heart sinking while I pondered if I had not taught my boys anything. I then asked him if he later washed my hair clip with soap. I don't even know why I bothered asking. All I can say is that I am glad he decided to tell me the story before I used the clip again.

So proud of himself, Cade inserted, "Well, at least I waited until Eli was finished peeing to get the clip out!!!"

And, that, friends, is what a typical breakfast in Boyland conversation is all about.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When The Best Words Come Forth...

My bro, Kirby came to see us yesterday! The boys actually had games on the same night, so he came to be the good uncle that he is and cheer them to victory.

He made it in town in time to go with me to grab the kids from school. We were bopping right along to the music of Fee (which I highly recommend.) At a stand still and only a few cars from being at the front of the line, our bodies were thrown forward with convulsion as we realized we had been rear ended.

Praying that I would act in a Christlike manner, I got out of the car and asked if the person that had hit me was OK. She looked at my van, assessed that she didn't see any damage, and then asked if we could just forget about it. Kirby had hopped out as well, noticed a dent, and brought that to our attention. I told her my husband would pretty much kill me if I at least didn't get her name. If figured I knew where to find her if there was damage that needed to be fixed. (Eric later almost killed me for not getting all her info...oops.)

I was getting pretty irate about the woman's nonchalant comment, but Kirby lightened the mood. On the way home, he started busting out into laughter. I asked him what was so funny and he replied with "uhh, what came out of your mouth when we got hit!" What? I couldn't even recollect having said anything foul, but he was there to put me in my place. What can I say, I have a favorite cuss word that seems to make an appearance when I am driving. The sad thing is that I can't even always remember when it leaves my mouth!

Trying to act like Christ can be tricky! Especially when the best words come forth without having any memory whatsoever of saying them!

"You love every harmful word, O you deceitful tongue!"
Psalm 52:4

Monday, May 17, 2010

An Image Reflected: Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61:1-3
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion---to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

I have spent countless hours the past couple of years reflecting on how Kiley’s death might bring God glory and also work for the good of those who love Him. I think that He is finally showing me a piece of that. I believe there are greater things that will make better sense when He and I are able to sit down for a little Heavenly chat. But, for now, I will settle for the little morsel that He has thrown my way.

It is so easy to be entangled with the world. Living from day to day as if no afterlife existed is an easy trap to fall into in this day and age. In a country where just about everything imaginable is right at our fingertips, it is hard to really long for much else. On any given day, we simple have all we need. There isn’t a whole lot of room for thinking about a place called Paradise when we can hop on a plane bound for the Bahamas if we manage our gold well enough.

But death and loss change all that. They reorient our focus to what really matters. God uses death and loss to whet our appetites for not only our true homes, but Him. If there is one thing that we wealthy Americans can’t figure out, it is how to get back our loved ones. Death is the one guaranteed thing that we simply have no control over. And it leaves us at a loss as to how to proceed once we have tasted its bitter effects.

It seems ironic to me that God would work for the good in my life out of something as horrendous as my sister’s suicide. But, out of this tragedy, He gave me a true longing for home. Sure, I have always dreamed of Heaven. But, now, after Kiley left us, I ache for Heaven. Perhaps finally, my focus is in the right place. I think that God would say that is a good thing. Perhaps it is even something beautiful that has come out of the ashes. It is pretty exciting to ponder that I am being prepared in order to receive the fullness of joy that waits.

This quote by C. H. Spurgeon sums this idea up better than I ever could:

“Again; your Father doth not give you the good wine now, because he is giving you an appetite for it. At the old feasts of the Romans men used to drink bitter things, and all kinds of singular and noxious mixtures, to make them thirsty. Now, in this world, God is, as it were, making his children thirsty, that they may take deeper draughts of heaven. I cannot think that heaven would be so sweet to me if I had not first to dwell on earth. Who knoweth best the sweet of rest? Is it not the labourer? Who understandeth best the joy of peace? Is it not the man who hath dwelt in the land of war? Who knoweth most the sweetness of joy? Is it not the man who hath passed through a world of sorrow? Ye are having your appetites sharpened by these trials; ye are being made ready to receive the fulness of joy that is in the presence of God for ever.”

Thank you, God, for making me thirsty. Through many trials, toils, and snares, I have already come. But His grace is leading me home, where beauty will abound and ashes will be no more.

Guest Writer Monday: Samantha!

Today's guest post is by Sam! She is getting ready to go to Alaska! Thanks, Sam, for sharing with us today!

Wisdom is Life

Recently, I have started going through Proverbs. When I was in high school, I remember reading through them in a month – one chapter a day, since there are 31 chapters. I have a few select things I learned from it, but most of the time I tend to overlook Proverbs. A lot of it seems like common sense, I suppose: it’s a compare-and-contrast piece which says that wisdom will make your life more successful and foolishness will bring you to destruction. Got it. Moving on.

But, in rereading it, I have noticed how much the author discusses the issue of life. In 4:22, it says, “For [my words of wisdom] are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” Then, 8:35-36 tells us, “For whoever finds [wisdom] finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find [wisdom] injures himself; all who hate [wisdom] love death.”

Living in a wise manner does not just make us happy or successful because we aren’t trapped by foolish ways – true wisdom brings us LIFE and HEALING and FAVOR. We are told we are supposed to desire wisdom above material things, such as silver and gold and jewels (8:10-11).

This wisdom, though, is not simply found in the rest of the book. Solomon is not declaring that his own words and proverbs are what will bring us life and success. In 9:10, he points us to the true root of wisdom: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Knowing God, recognizing Who He is and how great He is, will bring us wisdom.

Solomon’s wisdom came from God – when God appeared to him in a dream and asked Solomon what he wanted from Him, Solomon asked for wisdom to govern the Israelites. God was pleased with this request, and gave him “a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you” (1 Kings 3:12). In the same way, as we seek wisdom, we can only receive it from the Lord.

Other wise sayings and proverbs definitely teach us what wise living looks like, but our insight means nothing if it isn’t rooted in the Lord. When Solomon tells us to seek wisdom, to want it more than we want anything else, perhaps he is telling us to seek the Lord above all else, for when we find Him and are rooted in Him, we will have life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

All Things Cousin

We had the joy of hanging with Kelli and the kids while the men went down to the Redneck Riviera for some golf. Getting to see them for a full week is definitely a treat as it is a very rare occurrence! The kids played hard and every morning was a struggle to make Eli go to school as he was afraid he was going to miss out on some fun!

We filled the days with Jump Zone, the park, eating out, baseball games, playing Star Wars, having picnics, and playing putt putt. (Who knew putt putt was free at Playworld from 3:30-4:30 every Wednesday??)

The kids just love each other. I had lots of cousins growing up, but since my Dad was the baby of the family, there weren't ever any cousins my age to play with. So, it is fun to see the boys have cousins that are close in age.

It was heartbreaking as the kids cried and hugged each other goodbye. Any time you guys are ready to move down here, we'll take you! (wink!)

Kudos to Kelli for the fun pics!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Your Days Here Changed Everything

819 days. We have missed you for 819 days. When you left, it changed things. But, it doesn't compare to the days we had your here. 8936 days.

There is a line by singer Nicol Sponberg that says, "Your days here changed everything." And I think it applies to you, too, Kiley.

The days you spent hugging on Honduras kids and teaching them about Jesus

The days you encouraged your BFF's in their walk with Christ

The days you loved on Amelia and made her your best friend and not just your sister

The days you led wisely in your job position

The days you served others practically and tangibly

The days you lit up the room and filled it with laughter

The days you played basketball with a Christlike attitude

The days you encouraged your barren friend and told her that with God all things were possible (who found out she was pregnant about a month after you went home!)

The days you taught the girls in church that they were princesses of the Almighty God and even hosted a banquet on their behalf

The days you were simply being who God created you to be

Your days here changed everything.
{If you knew Kiley, would you post a memory or a way you know that her days changed everything??}

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The First Glimpse

I am about to launch into a daunting task. I want to share with you about the time that Jesus first revealed His glory, His first miraculous sign. How on earth do I write about this topic of Jesus's first glimpse of glory in a way that brings Him glory? It is precious. It is holy. I am praying for an anointing over my brain cells and fingertips as I proceed...because if it is His first display of glory, then there must be a huge underlying message, right?

And that is where things seem tricky. You see, Jesus didn't perform this miracle for the masses in order to convince people that He was the Messiah. In fact, most bystanders didn't even know what had occurred. He was humble. Ever true to his nature, he was humble. But, I am getting ahead of myself; so let's back it up a bit.

Imagine with me that you are Jewish. You live among customs that believe marriages should be richly celebrated and in fact, they take 7 days to do just that. Wine (probably a much less alcoholic content of wine than what we have today) flowed freely for the entire week long banquet. And then, gasp! You are all the sudden out of wine. Custom for that day would have said that you were not a good host and that you could even be sued for such an act of rudeness.

Enter: Mary, the mother of Jesus. Knowing that her Son is fully capable of handling this disaster, she tells him that they are out of wine. Whether she was helping at the wedding or was friends with the bridal party, I don't know, but what she says next hits me. She speaks towards the servants and tells them to do whatever Jesus asks of them.

Enter: Jesus. He spots 6 stone water jars. These were used for ritualistic washing. The Old Testament gave laws about being purified before entering the temple, etc., and these water pots are what would hold that water. Remember how numbers are significant in the Bible? Well, 6 stands for incompletion and also the number of "man." I think I want to weep, because on their quest for purity, only Jesus could once and for all make them clean. Otherwise, they would just have to keep washing with water...which would always be an imperfect type of clean...a substitute, if you will.

Now, I love this: Jesus turns that water into wine. Wine, being the symbol of His shed blood for us on the cross. He turns their imperfect clean into the only true clean: His blood which can wash away our sins. Beautiful that this is the first miracle, don't you think? It totally points to His purpose and the plan that was laid out before him. He is showing them that a new covenant is about to that says you can be clean through his blood (once and forever) and not through ritualistic cleansings that never quite do the trick.

Enter: servants. Imagine with me that you are poor and desperately need every penny that being a servant at a wedding would provide. You know that one blunder could be the demise of being able to feed your family that day. All of the sudden, this Mary lady tells you to do whatever Jesus instructs. You may or may not have heard rumors about Jesus at this point.

You are willing to listen to what Jesus has to say, after all, your job may be on the line. But, then He tells you to fill the jars with water. So, you haul almost 2oo gallons of water to the base of the stone jars. And you dump almost 200 gallons of water into the stone jars. And, with obedient hearts, you even fill them to the brim, even though that wasn't a requirement.

But, then, Jesus tells you to draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. I would have been like, "Um, hello, our jobs are on the line here." Can't we just get a little sip here and see what is going on? What if it were white wine and there was nothing visual to distinguish it from water? It wasn't as if Jesus had even done anything. He didn't touch the water or even speak a blessing over the water. When did the change take place and is this guy really powerful enough to conquer such a feat? Those are the thoughts that would have been coursing through my mind.

But, the servants seemed to have different thoughts running through their minds. After Jesus asked them to draw some out and take it to the master, it simply says, "they did so." No arguing, no odd stares, no hands on the hips. They simply obeyed. The master takes a big swig and doesn't even realize where the wine had come from. But, the servants knew. Could it be that they were the very first ones to get a glimpse of the glory of Jesus Christ? They were humble and obedient and it drew them straight to a position where they could behold Him. Could it be that when faithful servants obey, God's glory shines forth? Even when others don't have a clue as to what went down? Perhaps if we live humbly, His glory will be made manifest in our lives...

Enter: the wine. The more expensive wine was usually served first and the cheaper wines later, after the guests had had their fill. But, Jesus does everything backwards. He saves the best til last. This concept is so opposite from what Satan and the world teach. They offer the short lived pleasures of sin first and then the wages and consequences last. Satan taunts us by telling us that we need this or that now. He tells us that youth is better than age and wisdom. He tells us that the this earth is all there is and that we don't need to think about the afterlife.

But Jesus is good. He is smart. He is wise. He is saving the best wine til last. He asks us to suffer with Him before we can reign with Him. He asks us to go through the wilderness before we can come into the joyful inheritance. He gives us hope that one day nothing will interfere with fellowship with Him. It will be the best wine. And it will flow forevermore. I just want to jump up and down! He is saving the best for last and He is true to His word.

I was pondering the fact that hardly anyone that day recognized what Jesus did. His glory was on display for the first time that day and most people didn't even know it. The servants, disciples, and his mother are probably the only ones who got it. It made me wonder what I am missing out on. I have always wanted to see His glory and I have to wonder if pride in my heart or a disobedient spirit has ever hindered that.

I thought the below would be a good check for my is from Spurgeon

1. When Christ is about to bestow a blessing, He gives a command. "When Jesus is about to bless, He challenges men's obedience by issuing His royal orders."

2. Christ's commands are not to be questioned, but to be obeyed. (People want wine and He tells them to fill the pots with water...His ways are not our ways.)

3. Whenever we get a command from Christ, it is always wisdom to carry it out zealously. (We should throw our souls into what He asks of us and fill things to the brim.)

4. Our earnest action in obedience to Christ is not contrary to our dependence upon Him, but is necessary to our dependence upon Him.

5. Our action alone is not sufficient (No power until Jesus displays His glory.)

6. Although human action in itself falls short of the desired end, yet it has its place, and God has made it necessary by His appointment.

When your glory is on display, Lord, I want to see it! Give me grace to be a willing and obedient servant.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Life Verse

Cade came home today and told me that his teacher had encouraged them all to come up with life verses. They were to pick a bible verse that would encourage and admonish them in the days to come. I asked Cade what he was thinking about choosing and he told me that he had already picked it: Matthew 4:10-11. Being the scholar that I am, I quickly recognized this passage. Just kidding! Being the horrible memorizer that I am, I had him turn to the passage. Here it is: "Jesus said to him, 'Away from me Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him."

That just wasn't what I was expecting out of a 9 year and 11 month old! It seems deep and powerful. Not that the Bible is full of fluff, but I guess I was expecting something a little more familiar. I love that kid and I love what God is doing in his life!

I asked him why he picked that verse and he said it told him that Jesus is all powerful and even Satan has to do what he says. Well, I guess if you can grasp the sovereignty of God at such a young age, then you are on the right track! Glory to God, despite the evil all around, our King is in control!

We saw our elderly neighbor, Mr. Bass, outside a bit ago and decided to go tell him hello. He isn't doing very well. The doctors are trying to give him a defibrillator but he said after he prayed about it, God told him not to proceed with that. He seemed at peace and excited that God (once again) made his path clear. It broke my heart, realizing that a person with only 50% heart muscle may not live much longer. I prayed God would receive him with great joy into His glory when the time is right.

Mr. Bass was full of wisdom for Cade tonight. He told him that playing ball has many life lessons to give and that we should play to win because we should run the race in order to receive the prize. (my paraphrase) He told him that if he would live his life by Joshua 1:8, then he would be taken care of in this life.

I hate to see that man go. And yet, I long for him to have a healthy body and to be reunited with his wife.

Matthew 4:10 in the message says, "Serve him with absolute single-hearted-ness." Let it be in Cade's life, Lord. Let it be.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Wedding pics are up!

Guest Writer Monday: Anna!!!

Thank you, Anna, for your words today! They are a good reminder.

What time is it for you?

There is a season for activity under the sun.

A time to keep and a time to throw away. Do you need to free yourself by throwing some things away to make your life feel more peaceful? Either cleaning out some drawers or cleaning out your schedule?

This concept is what helps you make room for life. When you look at your days are you getting the things done that you want? The things that truly matter? Growing in your love for God, loving others, enjoying your days?

Lots of people will walk through this life just barely getting by. Get up, go to the bathroom, get dressed, have coffee, go to wherever you are going, feeling sleepy, come home, eat dinner, get in your pj's, go to bed, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.................

"That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is a gift of God." Ecc 3:13

To enjoy life is a gift. What are you doing and where are you going?

"Better one handful with tranquility and two handfuls with toil" Ecc 4:6

We were created for purpose. Ask God to show you his plans for your life. Today. He has plans for you today. This day can be ordered around him. All it takes is Stop. Ask. Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will add things in and take things out of your day. Before you know it you have fruit today, you look back and had fruit yesterday, you look back and had fruit last month, you look way back and had fruit all last year.

And it all happened one day and one choice at a time.

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Working Furiously...

on the wedding images from Saturday...perfect day and cutest couple!

Go here to see Angela's Bridal Session that I have been sitting on for a month!

For my Mom...

How Do I Love Thee...Let me count the ways.

I love you for giving your heart to foster babies, nurturing those who needed arms to hold them tight.

I love you for opening up your home and heart to one of those babies and making him your own son.

I love you for not giving up on trying to have me.

I love you for not giving up and giving me other siblings.

I love you for raising us to fear the Word and God.

I love you for going to church camp with me, being my "cabin mom" and helping us win the "cleanest cabin award" as you placed fresh flowers and bible verses all around.

I love you for holding down the fort when Dad had to travel a lot.

I love you for letting us play outside all day...catching tadpoles, climbing gravel rock piles, playing foursquare, and jumping in drained ponds to save the fish.

I love you for making us clean, do dishes, and help cook.

I love you for spanking my bottom with my blue brush when I was apparently being sassy.

I love you for holding it together on my wedding day as I am sure that it was hard to give your first baby girl away.

I love you for the strength you have exuded as you had to give your second baby girl away into the hands of God Himself.

I love you for making our home a place of double portion...of acceptance, love, and godliness.

I love you for loving from the center of who you are.

I love you for being my Mom.
{I'll love you forever; I'll like you for always.}

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Girl Runs

The location was Butterfield Elementary. The day was "National Every Kid In Here Shall Run A Mile Day." The girl was in 5th grade, the best she remembers. She knew that running a mile was a daunting task, but there was no way she could beg out of this one. She would have much rather taken a test on the technique of running, but the brutal physical education teacher would have none of it.

So, the girl runs. She runs and runs around the concrete lap until she can run no longer. She can't remember if the hyperventilating started before she completes the mile or not. Being the competitive type, she is quite certain that she finished the task at hand. After all, every kid who ran a mile was to receive a medal and she wasn't about to be left out. Especially since taking a written test was now out of the question.

All she remembers is being escorted into the nurse's office by Mrs. May. Mrs. May was the school secretary. She wore three inch stiletto heels every single day. The principal's name was Mr. Day. This particular elementary wanted to keep things simple for the small folk. After all, rhyming and three letter last names were a sure way for kids to learn their phonics.

And all the sudden, out popped a brown paper bag. The girl couldn't breathe. How on earth was a brown paper bag supposed to fix her predicament? But, being the sweet and obedient little girl that she was, she followed the nurse's instructions until slowly but surely, fresh air filled her lungs and she stopped gasping and panting and sucking air like a dog on hot concrete.

Perhaps she was forever scarred by the effects of physical exertion that day, but she decided that God gave her lungs for the purpose of singing and not running. So sing she did. Run, she did not.

Fast forward a few years. Perhaps a couple of decades, even. The girl suddenly realizes that her thighs will be the size and dimply shape of the Rocky Mountains if she doesn't do something. No amount of singing could get her out of this bind. Her metabolism was slowing down. And fast. She must run. She knew it in the depths of her being. She simply must run. The trick was going to be how to proceed in such a manner as to not have to whip out the brown paper sack once again.

The girl could walk all day, but running presented a new challenge. Burning leg muscles that have been subjected to the abuse of atrophy screamed every time she got the mph above 4.0. The lungs cried out even harder, "We were made for singing, not running!" But, the girl pressed forward. Forever, she was stuck at 1 minute. She simply couldn't get past running longer that 1 minute stints.

But, then the breakthrough happened. Spitting mad at a surgery bill that was $2000 more than was expected, she ran. And didn't stop. For 8 whole minutes. She found out later that day that the surgery center made an error and she was able to celebrate all over again.

And, today, she ran again. She was so excited about beating her lungs into submission that she ran 12 whole minutes without stopping today.

The girl ran!

And she didn't even require a brown paper sack.

{The End}

Or is it the beginning?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baseball, SC Fishing, and May Day!

What a hit, EI!! You had a great night...even 2 RBI's.
A little pep talk with Coach Dad.
Every year, our church teams up with a certain elementary school to go fishing! This year, they stocked the pond with catfish which is way more fun than catching tiny perch.


Stink bait, anyone? We all kept thinking we had dog poo on the bottom of our shoes!

And who can resist these precious faces?

Now, I want to let you know about LuLu's May Day! Take a looksie right here for all the details!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On Romance and God

I was having a sweet little chat with a BFF as little hellions, I mean darling little men, raced through the kitchen punching each other with "The Hulk" green fake hands. What were we discussing? You could sum it up with the tune of "You've lost that loving feeling." We just wondered why we can't keep that "new" and "fresh" and "romantic" zest all throughout marriage that happens when you are first newly in love.

Call it the attraction phase if you will. But, we seem to long to want to go back to that moment and we often will do anything to try and recreate it. Now, I am not saying that either me or the BFF do not have Romantic moments or that we don't love our men with all our hearts, but the newness has worn off. Of course, trust and confidence and pure devotion have taken over. And for that, we wouldn't trade it for anything.

But, indulge me for a minute. What if our God is a ROMANTIC? I think that He is!

Our hearts need a good dose of this! Otherwise, we become cynical, indifferent, and passive in our relationship with him. Without the sense of euphoria of "new" love, we may lose interest. Now, I am not saying that a relationship with God is only based on feeling. It is so much deeper than that. But, have we forgotten what it means to be so in love with Him that we are oblivious to everything but Him? Does He make our hearts swoon?

When I try and grasp the deep cost that Jesus paid in order for me to be reunited with the Father, I just am humbled. He saved me so that I could be in an intimate relationship with Him. Of course, He speaks love over me when He creates sunsets and bright flowers. But, the wood of the cross and the rusty nails speak a better word. The sacrifice shouts loves over me.

Do I desire the face to face encounter with Jesus more than anyone else? I truly think He desires that encounter with me.

These are just some ideas to get the wheels turning in the ol' brain. But, what if we got to experience the "attraction" phase all the time with our Savior in Heaven? What if we were in a constant state of euphoria with Him then? Beth Moore tends to think it will be like that! What if He will treat us like a Bride (not just a wife) forever? (Complete with wooing and romance?)

All I know is that His name is Faithful and True and I can't wait to look Him in the face. The Word says that He will betroth me to Him forever. He even ends and starts scripture with a wedding. I do believe that He is a Romantic.

I just love this:

"To fall in love with God is the greatest of romances, to seek Him the greatest adventure, to find Him the greatest human achievement."
St. Augustine

Monday, May 3, 2010

Guest Writer Monday: Savannah!

It is guest writer time for you guys! This week is Savannah! Since my double wide is parked at the baseball fields these days, I loved the analogy!

My husband's church-league softball team won their game tonight. There were whoops of joy and there were shouts of jubilation! While this may seem cause for an excessive celebration penalty, there was a reason all of the softball wives and church member cheerleaders were so excited; this is the first game they've won all season.

Our team had played each game valiantly, but had been defeated six times in a row. With every new mark in the L column, the men would sulk, then rally and pat each other's backs saying, "Next time, boys!"

They finally got their next time.

It struck me tonight after the game that the team's season had closely resembled many of our daily Christian walks in faith. We play hard, we are dedicated to Christ as players to their sport, but we are often defeated; by addictions, arrogance, adultery, anger, adversity or even apathy. And yet, there is always a "next time." We are forgiven freely. Our gracious Lord's mercies are renewed daily. Our sins have been accounted for and are atoned. We are given, not a 4-balls-and-a-walk to base, but a homerun. Because Jesus (oh please forgive me, the sports metaphors won't quit) took one for the team, we have been redeemed.

Being a Christian is not a guaranteed day at the park, in fact, it is pretty much an open invitation to struggles and strife. But believers in Christ have a unique hope, and have been given a unique gift- one that is available to any player willing to join the team (make the sports analogies end!). While we may suffer defeat on earth, sometimes even on a daily basis, we know that we are storing up treasures in Heaven, and that is one big eternal Win.

(I am tempted to end this post with "PLAY BALL!!" but I'll spare you.)

Fishing, Canvas, Baseball, and a Recipe

Well, hello, sweet friend. I miss you. I miss blogging. I am a poo-poo blogger as of late. My life has turned upside down crazy busy. Most of it is fun stuff, but, still, oh how I miss thee.

Sam got his prayers answered last Saturday as we got to take him fishing! The boy loves it! He stands uber-still and knows exactly when to reel it in! He caught more than anyone else! He even caught a 7 foot bass! (OK, it was really only 7 inches, I just wanted to throw in a little fish tale.) For a kid who is a non-stop ball of energy, it really amazes me that he enjoys this little hobby! He is begging to go back, already. We taught the big 2 how to bait their own hooks with fat, juicy all is well!

We got to hang with some special gals out at Soaring Wings Ranch. Let's just say we bonded. A tornado warning/watch went through the town of Holland, so we all hopped into their giant pantry that doubles as a storm shelter. It is so big that we had like 10 kids, the adults that weren't caught up in storm watching, a rabbit, a dog, etc., and the kids were still able to play a game of bananagrams on the floor. Good times!

One of the girls made me a special canvas for us that has our family names on it! It is priceless and I am going to post a picture for you soon! She is uber-talented!

After shooting this session yesterday, we went to a cookout with a bunch of friends. The weather was perfect. Something about sipping sweet tea while watching big and lil kids throw the football and play washers is so relaxing. It makes me want to smash my tv into smithereens.

Baseball has overtaken our lives. We have to be out there by 5:30 a lot of nights, which kills the "I really want to cook a good meal tonight" mood! Nevertheless, watching those boys brings a lot of joy! It truly is great fun and I love this season we are in!

Here is a recipe for "Hearty Black Eyed Pea Soup." It probably isn't soup season anymore, so just print it out and save it for September. Or October. Or November. Whenever this state decides to cool off again!

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups water
3 cans (15.5 oz. ea.) black eyed peas (rinse and drain)
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 oz.) Rotel
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
4 beef bouillon cubes
4 tsp. molasses
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook sausage, beef, and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink drain. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Yield 12-16 servings.

Sometimes it is nice to have a "open up the cans and dump in" kind of recipe!

I have a special guest writer lined up for you tomorrow!

Now have yourself a nice little Monday evening!