Sunday, June 28, 2009

God Of This City

This afternoon, I sat here on the couch playing FARKLE (it is addictive!!) and heard my kids singing "God Of This City". There is something very hopeful about hearing those sweet voices singing the words, "Greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this City!" and "There is no one like our God!" . Their world will, inevitably be harder than ours was. However, they have the same sovereign Lord on their side.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Saved at 9. Left alone, in my sinful flesh, to sort it all out by 12. Sought that same, special love in all the wrong places by 19. With a heart more than just broken, was set in the path of a kind, compassionate soul at 20 and began to remember what unconditional love looked and felt like. At 23, saw my Abba Father running down the road to meet me as I finally came home.

All the while, He was there. He was waiting for me to step out of the pig pen and step one foot on the road to home, so that He could meet me MORE than halfway and show me love and comfort that I never knew was possible.

At 34,"Grateful" does not do my heart justice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New look, New Photos!

I try to take portraits of the kids every 6 months or so. The ones that were on my sidebar before today were taken back in December, so I have been itching to update them. The kids are still changing so much that 6 months seems like an eternity when you compare the photos.

We spent a few days at Nathan's Grandmother's house this week. It was a nice time to unwind. There is no central air, so it was HOT, but it was a nice visit anyway. The kids LOVE it there and always have. This was our first trip there since Gran's funeral, over a year ago. We have tried to get back a few times, but something always got in the way. At first, it was hard being there- hard for Nathan and I, but also for the kids. Graycen was especially sad. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that our children have cherished memories from that place with their Gran-Gran. It is funny the things they rembembered and wanted to do, because they had always done them WITH Gran. Cooper wanted to walk out and "check the well". The "well" is nothing more than one of those fake-rock well covers that you can see all over NC, but Gran always took Cooper out to see the well, so he was ready to go out there as soon as we arrived.

Graycen got really sad after about 30 minutes there. She was looking through pictures and became a bit overwhelmed missing her Gran-Gran. Although a lot looks exactly the same there, so much is gone and different and it hit her harder than the rest. We held her and comforted her while I know her little heart was hurting. That has to be THE HARDEST part of being a parent. Even still, I am beyond joyful knowing that she holds those memories, even if they make her sad at times. I am grateful that we didn't procrastinate our time with Gran while she was here and that the kids really KNEW her before she went to Heaven.

Here are some of the photos I took while we were there. Enjoy!

Obviously, I love the porch on this house. This rocker is where Gran sat and watched the kids play. The house is old and tattered, but it has a certain charm that can't be duplicated. Our family has always loved our visits there and we hope to get in a few more before the property is sold or whatever ends up happening to it now that Gran is gone.

I will leave you with this picture of Annagail winking. She usually closes both eyes, but she practices and practices. Whether she actually got it here, or whether the shutter was just quicker I don't know. Either way, I love the picture of her!

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ugh! Can I please pass the WHINE already?!?!?!

Most days, I am super-pumped about our future. Most days, I can take the uncertainty and the waiting. Today, on the other hand, isn't one of those days.

I will spare you the whine, but I have been on the verge of tears all day. Truthfully, I still feel great about where we are and about knowing that the Lord is in control. I am just feeling overwhlemed tonight by the sheer contrast of the two futures we are now planning for. Basically, it comes down to untrust. Most days, I am trusting and for that I am encouraged. Today though, I am not succeeding as well. Church tonight helped, because I was busy. I got in the car, however, and the tears started to well up again on the way home

I am grateful for Nathan, who is my best earthly counsel. If he doesn't have the answers, he at least knows how to distract me or get me laughing. I played a couple of rounds of MArioKart with Cooper tonight during his special time after bedtime. That is always nice.

SO, tomorrow is a new day and I am planning to put this one and the doubt that came with it behind me very soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finding Treasures

Nathan and I are doing some cleaning/organizing/PURGING that will help a possible move go much smoother. In doing this, we have uncovered many little things that have made us smile like artwork from the kids, journals we kept over certain years ad old letters. I found one letter that made me cry. It made me cry, because it was written during a very special time in our lives, but also because it spoke to my heart and to the situation we are in now, waiting, praying and seeking God's will. Here it is:

***warning to male readers:there may be TMI in this letter for you. Consider yourself warned.*****

(dated July 13, 2006)

My dear Nathan,

I'm writing this letter to you, because I wanted to put into words exactly what I am feeling.You see, as I write this, I believe there is a pretty good chance that I am pregnant with our fifth baby. I won't know for certain and won't be able to find out for few weeks. I wanted to write it down ow, before all of the emotions set in and in case things get confusing.
If I find out that we have again been blessed with another blessing, I will be happy. My cycle wasn't "normal" this month and ovulation was VERY early. There was no way to predict this and only one way to explain it. It was God. He moved in our lives, so that His magnificence would be shown. Whether I am pregnant or not...

(I must have gotten called away, because the letter picks up here with a different date of July 18)

See?!?! Just like that it is now the 18th! That is how our life is right now! We may have the best of intent, but a lot of times life intercedes!! So, where was I???
OH! Whether I am pregnant or not, God will be glorified this month! This past month has been a hard transition for me. I am so happy about your new job and all of the benefits that come with it. The smile and confidence that I see returning to your face makes all of the hard work worth it.
More than ever before, I have found myself questioning how IN THE WORLD we could handle another baby?!?!?!?!? I mean, I am SO TIRED at the end of the day now that I could FALL OVER!!! I don't know how I could emotionally or mentally handle another baby. I even worry as to whether or not I can physically carry another baby!
However, there are a few other things that i can't imagine. I can't imagine exactly how much my heart will grow with love for another baby if God blesses again. I can't imagine how many tears of joy we will shed in those first few days of holding another teeny, tiny, bundled life in our arms.
Aaaaaaaaah, I hear my life beginning to wake up from naps, so I am going to say goodbye now. I love you! ~An

The great, great thing about finding this note today is that I found it while the baby I was speaking of in the letter climbed all over us. She is two now and I can't imagine our life without her. I was indeed just DAYS pregnant when I wrote this letter. Sitting here today, reading that letter, I was able to draw close comparisons from THOSE emotions to ones that I am feeling NOW. We aren't pregnant, but we are waiting to find out what direction the Lord intends our family to go. It is blessed assurance to look back on the near 3 years since I wrote this letter to my dear Nathan and see how faithful and glorious the Lord has been to us. I can look forward to our temporarily uncertain future with confidence that, just like He did then, He has a plan for us. Even if it isn't what WE had planned, it will be PERFECT, because it will be HIS plan.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Boy

In 9 minutes, my boy turns 6.

I can't believe it. It has been 6 whole years since that little, 5 lbs and change nugget made his way into this world nearly 4 weeks early. Wow.

Cooper was purposed to be the only son in this house full of daughters. He will irritate them and aggravate when the opportunity arises, but he will also stand in front of them on the playground when a bully threatens to harm them.

Cooper digs in his heels on the silliest of issues and refuses to budge, unless one of those girls scream, "SPIDER!!!!!!" and then he is off like a flash with a shoe in hand to save the day.

Cooper is the pickiest eater you have ever met and will sooner die some days than to eat a meal that he decided is "yucky" even if he devoured it the day before, but you should see him at bedtime. His baby Sister, Annagail, LOVES her "Bubba" and spends a few moments each night laying next to him on his pillow. He is so sweet with her and lets her lay on his arm and then crawl all over him to give him kisses and hugs before we lift her out and put her into her own bed.

Cooper loves all of his family very much. He didn't get to have his big birthday party last year, because he was having some behavior issues (Pipe down. We celebrated his birth, just not with 10 of his closest friends.) He has been waiting ALL YEAR for a party. So what did he do when he found out that his Papa (Nathan's Dad) was going to be in Paraguay on the day we originally planned to have his party? He cried and begged us to reschedule it for TWO WEEKS later when his Papa could be there.

He notices when my day is going gloomy and he becomes attached to may lap, giving me kisses and hugs and, "I love you Mom" 's. I love hearing him say "and guess what?" 45times to tell a story that would take about a minute otherwise.

I love you Super-Cooper. It makes me smile every morning when you are the last out of bed and your hair is sticking straight up from how hard you were sleeping. I love it when you pretend to be mad, but can't stifle your giggle or that great smile you have. I am very proud of you and I hope that you have a WONDERFUL year as a big SIX year old!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I didn't see this one coming.

Nathan did something today that I NEVER thought we would do on this journey. He turned down a ministry position. It makes sense, I guess, that people who are striving to fulfill God's plan for them would maybe, at some point, be offered a job that they felt wasn't right for them. I guess I had just never put myself there or thought about it much. The church sounded fine. The money was going to be fine. The 5 bedroom, all-brick, nearly 3000 sq ft house (!!!!!!) that was completely fenced in, completely renovated inside and was about $50,000 BELOW our price range sounded FABULOUS. What wasn't fabulous was the peace that was missing in our hearts regarding this position. We sought much counsel and prayed a lot and ultimately decided to turn down this position, because we felt the Lord wasn't leading us there.
Whew. Even typing that causes me to have some butterflies. It was a paycheck after all. However, we knew that it wasn't the paycheck that the Lord intended for us.

So now the praying and seeking continues. We know that the Lord knows our needs and He knows the deadlines on us. We aren't trusting Him to meet our deadlines. We are trusting Him to use our lives for His glory and that He will work out all of the details according to His Will.

Still living in His peace that passes all understanding through this and grateful for each and every prayer you lift up on our behalf.