Thursday, January 27, 2011

a video

when you've been at home for almost an entire week things that may not usually be quite so funny are made a lot more funny simply because you've been made delirious. here's an example.

p.s. please excuse an extremely messy kitchen and a bag of trash on the floor. i'm not ashamed, it's normal. just please excuse it.

added note: make sure you listen closely at 57 seconds when tucker makes his own music.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

what to do

when mommy and daddy have the flu...

brought to you by grey bear and tuck monster

we've been held captive at home surrounded by kleenex and tylenol. since we've been perfectly healthy and rather rambunctious, mommy and daddy asked us to help out a little more than usual. we've definitely taken on the challenge. 
we've been helping with the dishes after meals and snacks.

and since there's really no need to get dressed, we've stayed in our jammies (or our undies) all day. today we decided to pull out the paints and brighten up mommy and daddy's dreary day with some pictures for the fridge.

it's been cold and rainy outside so we can't even go out to play. we popped ourselves some popcorn and cozied up on a mattress to watch a movie.

we've built train tracks galore, danced our booties off to Veggie Tales, watched a lot of elmo and curious george, done some major cushion jumping, and played with every toy in our house.

we've managed to have a lot of fun finding things to do around here but sure are glad that mommy and daddy are feeling better tonight. maybe tomorrow we can go back to being little boys again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011



Our physical life begins because God breaths breath into our nostrils. He chooses to give us life. He chooses each breath from here on out.

I was reminded of just how precious the gift of life is this morning as our church reflected on the sanctity of life. As I sit and type, there is a little boy in my womb bustling around. He is currently being stitched to perfection in every last detail of his physical self as the Lord allows him to stay safe inside for just a little while longer. Every eyelash, every beat of his heart, every hair on his head, his joints, his muscles, every inch of his tiny body is being delicately designed by his Creator.

I had the opportunity to hear David and Steph tell Tyson's sweet story of life in which he too was created intimately and perfectly in his mother's womb. She chose life for him. And today he is part of our family because of his mother's decision. She wanted something better, something more that she couldn't provide for him and God is graciously allowing David and Stephanie to raise this life that very well could have been terminated considering worldly circumstances. God breathed life into Tyson. 

Reminders of life brought me to tears all morning as I could feel another life inside of me growing and kicking and moving. I imagined in a few short months holding this life that I have been able to feel growing for quite some time. To stroke what will probably be another head full of hair. To nurture and inspect every inch of his tiny, created so perfectly human body. And to know that beneath his flesh lies a soul in wait for true life. Life abundant and free apart from this world. One that he cannot understand now. One I cannot even accurately explain. But one that I pray from the depths of my soul that God will call him into one day.

Our spiritual life begins as He breathes the breath of life into hearts through Jesus. We have access to the God who created us through Jesus when we decide to trust Him instead of ourselves. When we die to everything “us,” we are essentially brought to life. To hope.  To an eternity with Someone we could never explain.  He alone is Life. In Him there is restoration. In Him there is healing. In Him is life. He is Life.  Jesus is His name. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. 

These reminders of life also brought my heart to such a familiar place. To a place that I, yet again, was broken for my two boys that I currently spend every moment of every day with.  The gift of life that is breathed into them I take for granted. I loose perspective. These two souls in wait for a Savior that I guide and shape and mold every day with every word spoken, every action, every embrace. They are in waiting for true life to enter their hearts. They are in waiting for restoration to a God who loves them way more than I ever could.

I spent time this morning praising the Lord for their hearts, for the hearts of my children that are separated from Him. And cried out for strength to trust Him to make me the picture of who He is in every moment. To trust that their eternity is in His hands.  To trust that He loves me and desires to guide me in being a mother.

Life. He offers us a full one with every breath He gives us. It is God ordained and it is a gift. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

IT happens

I don’t know how IT happens or when IT happens but nonetheless IT happens. 

I look at those that surround me and begin to hold myself to their standards.  I fail over and over and over again. I think to myself, "I need to be _____ for my children, I need to be _____ for my husband, for the students, for my friends." And I never am. Who’s role am I trying to fill anyway? I’m not someone else's mom. I’m not someone else’s wife or daughter. God didn’t create me like them. He created me like me. For Him.

I get distracted. I get caught up. I look around me instead of to Him. And then and only then am I overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with all that I am not. This trickles through my life without me even noticing until one day I blow up. 

IT becomes clearer when I think of the way I view my children.

He created my boys very uniquely with certain gifts and leanings. For Him. Not for me or Matthew. Not for their friends. But simply for Him. Do I want them to live their lives for anyone else? Um, no thanks. So why is my life any different?

I found myself with a little time to journal this weekend. I began making lists of when I feel failure or am defeated in the different roles in my life. My lists didn’t shock me so much. They are the things I struggle with daily. Patience with my children, lack of organizational skills in all roles, JUST making it through the day, maintaining relationships without investing whole-heartedly, not enough time. Those things topped my lists. Now I know a couple of these are standards that the Lord has set for me but some are not.

I turned the page in my journal. To a clean sheet. And then I made a list of who I am in Christ. This is what topped that list.

I am being sanctified moment by moment.
I am well equipped.
I am called to obey He alone.
I am made righteous. 
I am patient. 
I am kind. 
I am free.
I am called to make much of He alone. 
I am an heir to His Kingdom. 

The list goes on.

Did these things shock me? totally. These are things I know very well in my head. But am I consumed with and do I live in these truths everyday? Moment by moment? The grace of Jesus is poured out on me but I choose to live in this world and in my flesh more often than not. Yuck. I get overwhelmed and consumed with things that are so temporal. And IT happens every time.

My roles look a whole lot different when I focus on the truth of who I am in Christ. I become a lot less overwhelmed and fall on my face in humility before Him. Because it’s only in Him that I am these things. Only in Him.

Lord help me to live there. In dependence on you, complete dependence and trust as you sanctify me day by day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

brrrr day two

We have really been enjoying the snow/ice. Today's icy top layer made for some good sledding and time for the neighborhood to gather together. The kids mostly slid around on their stomachs after trying old cookie sheets, trash can tops, etc. The actual sled worked really well. Especially for us adults :) Tuck found his sweet spot on the sled and it was fun to watch his face light up once we put him on. He also kept gloves on today!!! Thank you Chris and Jenny for a tight fitting pair!  

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Our car is more often than not filled with the sounds of Veggie Tales and other children's music. There are sometimes I tell the boys, mainly Grey, that he has to give mommy a turn to listen to something else. Anything else. 

This morning on the way to church, I very slyly switched it to "mommy's music." I was delighted to hear Our God is Greater as soon as I made the switch. Perfect for our ride to church. Just a few seconds later Grey said "Mommy, this song is about Jesus!" And only a few seconds after that he asked me this...

"Mommy, we will all go to Heaven to live with God one day?" 

Oh the questions of a 3.5 year old. Believe me, I get a whole lot of questions in a day that baffle me and most of the time I am challenged to even answer the question. When Grey asks me anything having to do with God or Jesus, it always tills up my heart to the core. I am forced to get to the fundamentals of my faith which typically brings me to tears as I try desperately to make things as clear as possible for an expounding mind.

The rest of our conversation went like this.

me: "No we will not all go the Heaven to live with God."

Grey: "Well will I live there with you and Daddy?"

me: "Only if you decide to put your faith in Jesus and not yourself."

Grey: "Well I want to put my faith in Jesus." (this is a frequent response)

me: "I know that you want to, but Daddy and Mommy want to make sure that you can fully understand that decision."

Grey: "Well what happens if I don't go to Heaven one day?"

me: "There is another place called Hell. Satan lives there and that's where everyone who does not go to Heaven will go."

Grey: "You mean Satan the snake?"

me: "Yes, the same Satan who was in the garden with Adam and Eve."

Grey: "Well I still want to put my faith in Jesus and go to Heaven with you and Daddy. And Tucker can even come to."

me: "I wish it was that easy. Mommy and Daddy pray for you, Tucker, and your baby brother that God reveal  Himself to you and help you understand who He is and from there you would all put your faith in Him. That is the only way you will go to Heaven to live with God."

Grey: "Well I will stomp on Satan's head with my real cowboy boot." 

And after that I was speechless. 

In the moment as I was explaining Hell to my 3 year old, it became so real to me that NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. Though he doesn't understand the magnitude of every single thing that the simple question he asked entails, I do. I understand how I stand justified before the Lord and only through Jesus will I be able to enter the presence of God. I understand that if he does not put his faith in Jesus and repent that he will spend eternity in Hell. My son. The gift is free to him and his heart is tender. I will be on my knees.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Since I have yet to do so...

Christmas 2010 was THE BEST thus far. I mean THE BEST. I'm referring to all the days leading up to Christmas and the actual eve and day itself. That's most likely due to having a 3.5 year old and an 18 month old that gets just as excited as his brother about everything. I'm going to even make the bold statement and say that it was far better than being a child myself. Being on this end of it all is way better, THE BEST actually.

We celebrated at Papa and Gigi's first. Oh what fun those cousins have together. One huge hit gift this year were real cowboy boots for both Grey and Tucker. I would totally wear them. Grey tucks his pants in just like a real cowboy. Tuck was also thrilled with a new chainsaw just his size! 

We spent Christmas Eve celebrating and even got to attend the Christmas Eve service all together. What a blessing.

We headed up the road to Greenville that evening and were more than delighted that we were also getting to spend Christmas with Chad, Reagan, Greer, and Luke plus my parents and Gram! That added to the excitement ten fold. Greer and Grey listened to Poppie read about Jesus' birth and then hit the hay.

They woke up ready to see what Santa brought and the day was a blast from there on out! 

Santa pulled through for Grey with a talking Woody. Daddy and Mommy pulled through with a talking Buzz. I don't know if I should have counseled Santa beforehand on the noise level in our house. It was already loud...

Gram got Grey a Clemson Tiger helmet complete with jersey, pants, and shoulder pads. It is awesome and he loves it. Little Luke sure did love that helmet but I couldn't catch him to get a picture. Those boys, they're quick!

Tuck was and still is excited about his John Deere tractor Santa handcrafted for him. He likes the steering wheel the best and yelling "tractor!" upon seeing it. 

Greer got a Barbie car and took Grey and Tuck for a spin just before the cold rain that eventually turned to snow began to fall. We snuggled up inside to watch the snow and eat a delicious Christmas dinner! 

Such an excellent Christmas! Can't wait until next year...or maybe I can.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

passion twenty eleven

passion twenty eleven was full of:

  • Jesus
  • lots and lots and lots (24,000 or something) of college students. i was quickly reminded that i am not a student anymore when every night at 8:00 i was ready to go to sleep along with every time i caught a large glimpse of my ever growing belly.
  • restoration for my soul
  • Jesus
  • quality time and hearty conversation with our college students
  • Jesus
  • a chance to see and hear where our college students are spiritually and how they are growing
  • Jesus
  • much needed time alone
  • cheez-its and juice boxes
  • late nights for a worn out momma
  • worshiping Jesus
  • Jesus
  • men and women who were able to correctly estimate and communicate who God is and who we are to all 24,000 people
  • challenge for my heart
  • Jesus
  • a little bit of risky driving and a few squealing minivan tires. no biggy. i just like to keep every one alert. no sleeping in my van.
  • a whole lot of Jesus
  • lots of journaling
  • tears of humility
  • a whole heck of a lot of Jesus
  • over $1 million given that God is placing exactly where He wants it around the world to bring Himself glory
  • more Jesus
I think there is a recurring theme there. What an opportunity to be challenged and fellowship with others all in the name of Jesus. The name above all names to whom every knee will one day bow. I thought I would leave with the words to  one of the songs the Lord chose to use to break my heart and give Him glory.

Lord I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

Lord, I need you
Oh I need you
Every hour I need you
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh God how I need you

Sin runs deep
Your grace is more
Grace is found, it’s where you are
And where you are I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Where you are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord I need you oh I need you
Every hour I need you
My one defense
My righteousness
My God how I need you

Teach my song to rise to you
When temptation comes my way
When I cannot stand I’ll fall on you
Jesus you’re my hope and stay


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