Saturday, December 29, 2012

celebration and candlelight monopoly

from gathering around the table
with lots and lots of food
to posing in front of the Christmas tree
for one more cheesy keepsake family photo
i hope your Christmas
{whatever it looked like}
was as special as the One we celebrated on that day.
this is what our life has looked like since then...
painting princess pics
watching the light snow fall
drinking starbucks kids cocoa
{what a treat!}
staying in pjs til lunchtime
playing monopoly jr. by peppermint mocha candlelight
{sigh of content}
peace on earth.
goodwill toward men.

Monday, December 24, 2012

3 liners and CHRISTmas in the air

this totes adorbs face here on the right
is exactly what I wanted in a daughter.
LOVE her.  love her personality.

this hot guy in the kitchen is making up some jambalaya.
it was spicy.  it was tasty.  i didn't have to make it. 
{thanks, babe} 

do do do do do do do (repeat)
matthias has been serenading us on the buzz lightyear guitar.
compliments of this Christmas song learned at church....
ariel keeps ending up at the manger scene to worship Jesus
and the wisemen have come early this year.
Glory to God in the highest
$44.27 for Samaritan's Purse Christmas wish list
teaching our children to give to meet needs....
cookie baking day 2012
cousins working together

field trip to our state's capitol
spending the day with Jon was a treat
 2 hours roundtrip in a bus with 50+ 4th graders.  mercy.
snow day.
teaching kiddos appropriate places to hit others with snowballs.
lots and lots of bundling, unbundling, and hot cocoa.

a fun treat for friends:
soft peppermints dipped in chocolate and sprinkles
in a mason jar topped with a cupcake liner (thanks, pinterest)
a giant smile.
trio block fun.
a perfect photo op!

matthias sits still long enough to take a picture with dad
{ a Christmas miracle }
matt usually prefers wrestling and being thrown onto furniture...
"what's your favorite Christmas treat?"
caleb's excited answer:  I want to spend a day with baby Jesus!
(praying for the lasting wonder in his heart)
annual drive-through the lights
charity excitedly exclaims,
this starlight mint shirt was quite the hit in our house
it's amazing what a little hot glue can create.
tis the season.
merry CHRISTmas to all!
a big thank you to Jesus who made this special day possible.
You are Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas in their lil hearts



I keep a little journal.
I write in it one line at a time
and list the most random of moments that make me feel so blessed.
It's easy to fill up the lines this time of year.
At Christmastime, I feel especially blessed to be a mommy.
It is so much fun to celebrate Christmas
with little kids
to see the joy in their eyes
and the wonder at all the excitement that fills the air.
the cookies
the lights
the gingerbread house making
the songs
the stocking treasures
the story of Jesus.
{told over and over}
and the sweetness to start the day
found in the drawers of the advent calendar.
I love sharing Christmas in their little hearts.
And I'm wondering if possibly I can freeze them....
I think I could like these ages forever and ever.
{well, at least in December!}

Monday, December 3, 2012

thoughts on being a good mom.....

Being a good mom.   {sigh}  What does that even mean? 
I don't think I could ever attempt to define this, only share what's been going on in my mind and heart lately concerning this.  Brace yourself. 
For me, giving my all to my children is evaluating and re-evaluating where each of them are.....
physically, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually.
And I am a non-evaluater by nature. 
But it's simple, really. 
I pray. Because, as certainly every mom out there knows, there is failure at even the mere thought of trying to be a good mom.  But we press on......

I ask God to show me, reveal to me what my children need, where their struggles are.
I remind Him (as if I need to) that I'm completely incapable of this task of mommyhood and ask Him to please cover, smother, drench this house with grace and mercy.
Often these prayers occur on my treadmill in the morning.
Some mornings, like this one, the prayers take place as I groggily push the snooze button, roll myself over to face heaven and to ensure I don't fall back into a deep sleep, and petition God on all matters concerning my family. 
I am not perfect at this.  I am constantly challenged by the other mommies in my life who pray in ways I never thought of praying.  Prayers I never thought of including.  God knows.  I praise Him for knowing my mama's heart and how I long for my children even things I neglect to pray for.  Grace and mercy, seeping through my walls......

The thing about being mothering is that it is so completely constant and so completely changing All.The.Time.  Just when I think I may have figured out something that will work to help my children with discouragement or temper tantrums or school stress or finding manners in a mannerless world.....the grid is shifted
Child #2 is not the same as Child #1 and certainly not the same as Child # 3 or #4.  Circumstances change and intensity changes and age changes and personalities are developing and changing and........oh, mercy, does any other mom out there ever wish there was a 1,2,3 step process to apply to any and all things?!
{Again, I ramble.}
But at the same time I love it.  I love the challenge, I love the relationships, I love the dependency on God. 
Isn't that really what it's all about?  It's kinda like hanging out with teenagers, something I'm blessed to do fairly often {yesterday's hot cocoa party was a blast!} .....and realizing that we were the same creatures at that age, thinking we had all things figured out, even how national security should be handled.  And then we get in our 20s and laugh off all our silly ideas only to get in our 30s and laugh some more.  Oh how I can't wait to laugh off my limited perspective thinking of this decade in the years to come......oh let the mercy and grace flow freely that come as I depend on God for His wisdom and guidance through it all.  Amen? 
Even today, as I keep one of my children home from school......the roadmap of dealing with his tender heart, overwhelmed with his own unique challenges, is a new one for me as a mom.  
What to say and when to keep silent?  When to encourage and when to spur on?  Thankful, so thankful, that the Word of God covers it all, I turn to it and have him read a Psalm, thanking God His Word never returns void at the same time silently praying it will be the soothing words my boy needs to hear in that moment. 
And it seems to be the miraculous salve for the moment.  But we'll see.  Perhaps it was the mercy and grace provided in that moment when a tired mama and a frustrated son sat on the couch with a Bible open and tried to fix a sad heart problem. 
"Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? 
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God--soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face. 
He's my God.  When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
everything I know of You..." {Psalm 42, selected verses from The Message}

so perhaps, thankfully, it's not about being a good mom after all.  but being a mom who's dependent on Jesus......every twist and turn of the delightfully confusing way.
Praise Him.

Monday, November 26, 2012

puking out my mind and heart. {random}

How do you even begin a blogpost when you haven't blogged in like, f.o.r.e.v.e.r?!  I don't know.  So I'm just going to dive right in on some things that have really been swimming around in my mind and heart lately. 
Random of random posts.  Stick with me if you dare...
1.  I read this book, The Pastor's Wife, and it's humorous, actually, that I would even pick up a book with this title because if you know me well you know I mock my years as a pastor's wife (not that I mock pastors wives, just me as a pastor's wife and all the craycrayness I experienced as one.  but whatever....I was asked to read it as part of a group of women I meet with.  so I did.  moving on.....) 
I LOVED it, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a serious redirection in your focus as a believer in Jesus in America. 
Personal rocking of your world will occur, I {almost} promise.  Now I'm on the lookout for another great book to challenge me aside from the Holy Writ (comment me up if you've got a good, real-life story, book to recommend)
2.  I feel this randomness needs to be found right after's a good segway really to say that I'm pretty sure my husband is now most definitely going back into church ministry.    (can you use "pretty sure" and "most definitely" in the same sentence.  I did,'s a mix of my being sure of something but knowing God always has this plan He rarely makes me aware of a moment before I'm in the 'need to know' category.) Anyways, back to the point.  If this is the case I feel great excitement mixed with this realization that I will be, aside from the comfort of the Holy Spirit, a complete freaked out mess no matter what church job he enters, no matter where, even if it's heaven (will there be church jobs in heaven?) You get the point.  Praise to Him and Him alone who will, I know, sustain me (and Justin) in all things.
3.   There is this deep desire in me to be a women that younger women can look up to, legit.  I want to be a woman who not only claims to love Jesus but never forgets that, even as I age and become 'weary in doing good,' ....... I am still to 'do good' and to speak good and think good and live good.  I have failed a million and one times and it's not really about a perfect track record.  It's about a perfect quest, and one that doesn't end, matter how sick and tired I get of living for Jesus in word, thought, and deed amidst a world of shady shadyness and I'm not exempting the churchworld from this statement.   {This is a self -focused statement with no fingers pointed, except maybe in the general direction of the Christian women world, of which I am most definitely a card-carrying, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb alone, member}
4.  I'm realizing that deep friendships, the ones where you can bear your soul and find unconditional love, are few and far between.  And when you find them, you hold onto them for life.  That's why I'm completely excited that my absolute best friend and soulmate is fully supporting my upcoming girls weekend with just those kind of besties.  The miles between Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin and the faraway land of India will be erased for 2 glorious days during the busiest season of the year.  And it will be the best Christmas gift of 2012 mixed with laugher and tears and chocolate and midnight conversation, I just know it. {Thanks, Baby, for being a rockstar husband to single-dad-it for a weekend.}
5.  I love how these points are segwaying from one to another. I need to mention my husband.  I'm waiting til point 5 in hopes that I won't lose the blog followers that I always do when I blog about our marriage.  L to the O to the L for a couple of reasons:  one, I don't blog for followers and two, it actually makes me sad for the people who unfollow me after 'happy marriage' posts......I'm thinking maybe they don't have one?  I don't know.  It's not like I'm talking about making out with Justin on this here blog... I keep it pretty G-rated, no?  K, back to my marriage.  I'm extremely grateful for it. 
For the grace we give each other, for the kind words we choose to use, and for considering the other one in all things.  I thought this was a given.  I'm learning per conversation after conversation over coffee and pie and tea and breakfast buffet that it is not as common as I thought and my heart breaks for marriages breaking.  {so maybe if you're in one of these and you think you're alone, you're not.  so find someone encouraging to talk to......please}
6.  I miss blogging.  I'm grateful for the sweet friends who have encouraged me to continue.  I'm a pinterest addict and I really enjoy keeping up with friends on facebook when I've got computer time.  But I just may resurrect this blog because I enjoy the process of it all.
So thanks for reading if you made it this far.  Random of randomness. 
Have a super day!
{me and my little girl}

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

in the fall of it all.

where do you even pick back up on your blog
when you haven't written in.....F.O.R.E.V.E.R?!
i have no idea.
so i'll just share a little something that's been on my heart.
a lot.
and i find it to be no small coincidence that my esther study
 {of beth moore's.  of course}
touches on part of it.
i want to be a good woman of God.
i want to live well.
i want to grow older well......
and most of all gracefully.
{ or grace.filled. }
here's what i don't want to do....
make a blogpost that points out the negative of what i do see.
here's what i do want to do....
make a blogpost that points out the positive i want to live out
and let others see.
i just want to shine for HIM
to constantly ask myself how i should live.
how i should respond.
how i should think.
 happy fall, y'all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

indy in a weekend. how it's done

weekend in indy...
charity does awesome in the car (10 hrs round.trip)
fun downtown....
justin hearts rocket fizz and exploring the circle was cool
{minus the craycray trip up the monument}
colts grill full of packers fans
and we celebrate steves {40th} birthday
overnight stay on the 17th floor of the embassy = one neato view
packers v. colts for the older guys of the fam with a bummer of an ending
{but lots of fun and stadium food--woot.woot.}
littler cousins and the ladies of the fam check out
indy's children's museum and meet up with old friends.
{the calebs meet again}
happy birthday, bro!