Saturday, March 28, 2009
I can't help but think that as Chris' mother held her firstborn son, she had to prayerfully wonder those same things ...
Her fingers laced through the same tiny curled-up fists that would someday grow big and strong. They are now the calloused hands of laborious work that have tirelessly provided for his family.
As newborn babies often do, I am sure that his eyes would search for hers and and upon them meeting, find such comfort. With those same eyes, he has searched for discernment in God's Word and found the truths that have guided him as a husband and father who seeks to please the Lord.
Chris, on your birthday I am reminded that these last 39 years were mapped out strategically by the hand of God and I am in awe. Even before their precious lives began, he fashioned our young sons to someday grow into strong men who love the Lord with all their hearts.
While that truth is still beyond my realm of understanding it is a reassuring promise to look at my husband and their father and know that it is a promise to be claimed.
Happy Birthday Chris. You provide our family with the daily promise of laughter and love and the security of leadership from a man who loves Jesus.
I am grateful for the prayers of your mother who loved her boy so much and loved Jesus even more.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
- Turned 14 last month
- Her oral surgery was a smashing success and the once hidden teeth are now exposed and behaving as they should
- Has developed a love for movie-making/editing and really enjoys designing blogs
- Excelling in math
- Margaret Petersen Haddix is currently her favorite author
- Preparing for her piano recital
- Eating us out of house and home
- Wants to redesign *almost* every room in our home
- Very excited about art class that we began this week
- Turns 12 next week
- Loves dance ... her recital is in May
- Has a passion for unloading the dishwasher ... I told her that is a gift from God
- Her guitar playing has improved so much! We love hearing her new songs each week
- Reads with an insatiable appetite ... most recent favorite was The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
- Also very excited about art class
- Singing with the girls choir at church
- Won't eat the crunch off of any portion of food
- Has the worst cowlick this side of the Mississippi
- Started t-ball and therefore the resident expert ... any questions?
- Reading ... what an amazing process. Words come to life everywhere we go
- Makes his bed, cleans his room, feeds the dog ... daily chores
- Art class for him too and he loves it!
- Has adapted well at his new SS class
- Learning that boys were created to be men and therefore given a spirit of courage ... don't be afraid of bugs but instead decide the least messy way to kill them :)
- More trouble
- Eats breakfast twice each day
- Outside is the place to be
- Loves Daddy ... watching that daily reunion will melt your heart
- Vocabulary: Bye-Bye, Momma, Daddy, Dis, Dat,
- Signing: Please, More, Bye-Bye
- Gives kisses
- Thinks he plays the Wii, fights with swords, plays ball, and pretends with cars ... Sam is so glad he has a "real" brother now
- Has decided that if she ever finds out who brought that nasty virus to church a couple of weeks ago ... well ... let's just hope she never finds out
- Has also decided that there should be an entire line of disposable towels and clothing for such a virus ... in the meantime she will continue to throw away good beach towels after the third day of such of a virus
- Would love to complete a project or two and but today is settling for the enormous mound of laundry in her bedroom to be folded and ... (drum roll please) PUT AWAY
- Is rejoicing over new life being knit together ... a new baby will be here in October! We are expecting!
- Now do I get a total round of pity-applause for mopping up throw-up for an entire week?
- Is thrilled to be a Dad to five but is still perplexed at the idea of having babies in 2008 AND 2009
- Loves to be asked the age-old question: "You know what causes that, right?"
- I am joking about that. We much prefer "Congratulations! Children are a blessing from God!"
- Had a birthday this month (post is coming ... it was caught in the crossfire of a stomach virus)
- Ready to fish! The weather is still a bit temperamental around here
- Has taught Benjamin to count to three (sounds a bit like: "unnnnn, toooooo, eeeeeee!")
- Managed to be the only one of our clan to avoid that nasty virus ... this picture gives clear evidence as to how:
- Still did a splendid job taking care of us and made no less than four runs to the store and stayed up until the wee hours cleaning the house ... you have no idea
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Oh, and I think I just saw Chris drinking the hand sanitizer.
Benjamin started earlier in the week and the girls followed sometime early Friday morning. Chris held down the fort the entire day and night because it wasn't long before I could feel the tale-tell signs coming my way.
But not before I ate an entire sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies.
It was a dark and wicked night ... that's all I gotta say.
Usually our family bounces back from this sort of thing but we are still reeling and trying to figure out what food would most please our most temperamental tummies.
I figured this morning would be a lovely turning point. We would rest up here at home and finish washing EVERY SINGLE ITEM WE OWN IN VERY HOT SCALDING WATER.
But the evil of the fro-ups was not finished. Samuel sat up in the middle of night (Saturday nights are sleep-overs ... as luck would have it) and said very plainly, "I am going to the bathroom. I am going to throw-up".
And that he did. And he has continued to do so for the last five hours at a near frightening rate, especially considering that he doesn't keep much in reserves. He is finally resting now so hopefully when he wakes up, his little bel...
Post interrupted ...
I spoke too soon.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Several months ago, we made the difficult decision to leave our church, and embark on the journey of finding a new one. I haven't written much about the process and I regret that some, because I think it would help to reflect God's faithfulness along the way ... in both the good and the bad.
One of the greatest challenges has been wading through the void that exists when you do not feel that intimate fellowship with your church family. Sure, the typical pleasantries are exchanged and people are more than kind and accommodating to our family. But this journey has dictated a season of reflection and required us to wait on God ... even for fellowship.
What we have missed is that inner circle of koinonia which causes our hearts to stir with a displaced grief. While we know it is present, we are just beginning to open ourselves up to that through establishing relationships and having intentional conversations.
Through a visual display, Don shared with us the two circles of interaction we have with fellow believers. The outside circle is where believers interact mostly on the superficial level of "fellowship" which typically looks more social than spiritual. It involves everything from the casual conversation of work and weather and can journey into the depths of health concerns and financial crisis.
I have to admit ... this tends to be my comfort zone, which is not necessarily a bad thing. We were reminded that in order to reach the inner circle of christian fellowship we must travel through this outer circle first.
Still, it is the inner circle that we most often neglect. As Don said, "...as normal as such fellowship should be to those who know Christ, if we don't cultivate it, koinonia gets choked out of our conversations by the weeds of words about other things."
To help make cultivating koinonia a deliberate process, he gave us this wonderful list of questions:
"Simple Ways to Turn a Conversation in a More Spiritual Direction"
1. How is your (teaching, hospitality, outreach, deacon, or whatever) ministry going? What do you enjoy most about it?
2. Where have you seen the Lord at work lately?
3. What's the Lord been teaching you recently?
4. Have you had any evangelistic opportunities lately?
5. Have you had any obvious answer to prayer recently?
6. What have you been reading? How has it impressed you?
7. Where in the Bible have you been reading lately? What impact has it had on you?
8. How can I pray for you?
9. What's the growth point in your life right now?
10. What are you passionate about right now?
-from Simplify Your Spiritual Life, Donald S. Whitney
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
"The downside of the economic and technological progress is that it tends to make us rich in possessions, but poor in relationships."
Using the teaching from Hebrews 10:24-25, there is a great blessing in the application of these spiritual disciplines:
I. Hebrews 10:22-24
MEETING TOGETHER IN WAYS WHEREBY WE EXPERIENCE THE RICHES OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IS BASED UPON THE RICHES OF WHAT WE SHARE IN JESUS
II. Hebrews 10:24
MEETING TOGETHER IN WAYS WHEREBY WE EXPERIENCE THE RICHES OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY STIMULATES US TO LOVE AND GOOD DEEDS
III. Hebrews 10:25
MEETING TOGETHER IN WAYS WHEREBY WE EXPERIENCE THE RICHES OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IS A SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE THAT CAN EASILY BECOME HABITUALLY NEGLECTED
IV. Hebrews 10:25
MEETING TOGETHER IN WAYS WHEREBY WE EXPERIENCE THE RICHES OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ENCOURAGES US, SOMETHING WE NEED ALL THE MORE THE CLOSER WE GET TO SEEING THE LORD
In an effort to make good on my pledge to actually share the wisdom from this conference, I will cut this up in to very small portions. I'll be back later and expound on the first point!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
She was so sweet and patient with me throughout the whole ALL YOUR LINKS ARE BRIGHT BLUE AND PURPLE ordeal.
Plus there was this whole minor detail of how I COULD NOT SEE my header. Of course everyone else was quick to tell me that they could see it fine.
That was kind of rubbing it in. It was just kind of nanny-nanny-boo-boo, ya'll.
Anyway, I found out more than I ever wanted to know about browsers and defaults and hootzie-pootzies. I will tell ya'll this. If you have the old blogger set-up you are really in the dark ages, my friend. You must update soon.
It really does make changes so much more easy and fun.
I loved working with Jennisa and I know she loved working with me and my ADD self, not to mention my blog with a serious attitude problem. I am certain it was a joy.
We spent the past few days celebrating with Jenn & Brian and the arrival of precious gift #5! Baby Carter is a beautiful little boy and we were able to spend time with them yesterday at the hospital. Jenn has already made the seamless transition to her growing family and is such a testimony of His grace and His desire to make us more like Him through serving our husband and our children with joy.
We have also been busy at church with the Don Whitney conference that was held Friday & Saturday evening and then again this morning. The title of the conference was:
Responding Biblically to the Increasing Pace and Complexity of Life.
A mouthful, huh?
Our pastor had lamented that he had hoped that this would not consist of a laundry list of things that caused more stress or overcommitments in our lives. I, on the other hand, was expecting a laundry list and since I live by one every day, I was certainly most comfortable with one.
Boy was I wrong.
Just like the books about parenting, marriage, or financial responsibilities ... when the book is truly biblically centered then the answer is Christ-centered as well.
I am pledging to share his thoughts and my notes with you this week as a way to further implant these truths into my heart. It was a blessing to Chris and I both and I would love to share that with others.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
She also wrote a little review on her Humble Opinions blog as well. It is fun to have a couple of resident music experts living here ;) At least I know I won't fall too far out of the loop!
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Michael Phelps’s Bong
by C.J. Mahaney 2/4/2009 1:38:00 PM
By now most of you have seen the photograph of Olympic superstar swimmer Michael Phelps filling his giant lungs from a bong of marijuana. When the picture appeared in a British tabloid, Phelps acknowledged it was “youthful and inappropriate.”
Now there is no debate over whether the 23-year-old is gifted with athletic greatness. He is. And financially Phelps is set for life, his agent Peter Carlisle estimating his potential earnings will reach somewhere around $100 million.* Which I’m told would equal a stack of $100 bills 360 feet tall!
The photograph of Phelps reminds me of myself prior to conversion, a competitive swimmer (of slightly lesser skill), a sinner (of greater degree), held captive by sin, pursuing the fleeting pleasures of this world. And sadly, in my case, pursuing sin with passion.
So what was Phelps searching for in that bong pipe? What emptiness in his soul was he trying to satisfy?
Once again we are reminded that athletic gifting, championship trophies, gold medals, and million dollar endorsement deals cannot satisfy the soul.
Last year, in the wake of his third Super Bowl championship, disillusioned Patriots quarterback Tom Brady admitted on 60 Minutes,Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, “Hey man, this is what is.” I reached my goal, my dream, my life. I think, “God, it’s got to be more than this.” I mean this isn’t, this can’t be, what it’s all cracked up to be.
I commend Brady for his honesty.
And no doubt some Pittsburgh Steelers players are beginning to have similar thoughts.
But in Phelps’s case, if you listen to the media (with the exception of my man Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post) you hear a common chorus of excuses like “Give Phelps a break, nothing he did was anything worse than happens in an average weekend at a typical college campus.”
But we are not talking about a typical American college student. Phelps is a rich superstar.
This is what I find so striking: A man whose chest has been covered with gold medals, has achieved international fame, showered with awards, and blessed with an incomprehensible amount of money, still feels compelled to press his face to a bong.
It was Augustine who said that the soul is restless until it finds its rest in God. So true. Only God can satisfy the soul. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ provides forgiveness of sin, and therefore it is here in this gospel that we find rest for our restless souls.
Study the unflattering picture of Michael Phelps to be reminded of the deceitfulness of sin and the superficiality of fame and money. But also study the picture to be reminded of the message of Christ and him crucified for restless sinners like you, and me, and Michael Phelps.
* “Phelps Apologizes for Marijuana Pipe” By Karen Crouse, New York Times, February 1, 2009.
Monday, March 02, 2009
I just want to tell you that I still call you home.
Well, just tonight I was tucking Hannah in and I told her, "The next time we go home, we can take that ring to James Avery and they can polish the scratches right out."
She was quick to point out with a whisper, "Momma. You called it home again".
It's just in my bones, honey. I can't help it. Growing up with the smell of hot dirt blowing around the 5-acres that I
Oh, how I love me some hot dirt. Especially if we can mix that with an afternoon of pushing the wheelbarrow 'round & 'round the perimeter of our property when it is say ONE HUNDRED O' TWO DEGREES, picking up rocks, to prepare for the 3 hour session of mowing all that hot dirt ... well all the better.
That kind of joy just never goes away.
Seriously, I do love the Texas summer. Even the blazing hot summer. And I miss those mild winters where I could change out my flip-flops with my suede fringe boots.
I also miss my bluebonnets, Tex-Mex, back roads, and big sky.
I miss the waving stranger, the "yes ma'm", and the certainty of Dr. Pepper at my local drive-through burger establishment.
I miss the normalcy of cowboy hats, ya'll as proper grammar and tortillas.
Help me. I think I can smell the tortillas.
Now I am salivating for the food so I might as well go there.
Mrs. Bairds, Blue Bell, Big Red, Braums, Pappadeaux, Whataburger and good donuts.
Mexican food, Mexican food, please can't someone in Virginia make SOME DECENT MEXICAN FOOD???
Sorry. It started with the tortillas. I have gotten a little bit off track.
What I am trying to say to you, Texas is that I still love you ... but I gotta come clean.
Virginia has a piece of my heart. Because even though you have given me so much ...
You fail me here:
*Algebra on Sunday Afternoon (anticipating snow holiday)
*Gloves too small
*Coats too big
*Big girl wears her momma's boots
*The house is quiet
*More hot chocolate
*Daddy leaves for work ... late :)
*Bird tracks in the snow
*Needing more patience with snow gloves
*Quiet is gone
*What a blessing to be warm!