Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sweet Summer Saturday

Summertime...when you don't eat lunch until after 4:00 pm in the afternoon!
This came to mind yesterday, when running errands and the kids mentioned they were hungry. 

Life just moves at a slower pace in the summer.

Which also explains why I didn't get around to doing a Faithful Friday post yesterday either.  I'm so not being very faithful this summer.  Sigh...

My mind last night was on getting to Cinema on the Square before dark.  The town next to us was showing a movie outside on the old theatre.  The first theatre I ever remember going to as a kid.  A theatre that inspried one of my very first JOY posts

Though the movie last night was modern, Dispicable Me, there was a sense of nostalgia in the summer air.  It was a great family evening and such a wonderful community idea.  I'm looking forward to some of their other shows this season!

Today was spent at our first yard sale in years.  Normally I just give things away as I'm purging.  Honestly, I was surprised I even had enough to justify a sale but we had a good turnout.  Fun money for Florida!

The best part though was the unexpected end.

Wondering what time to shut down, my cousin glanced in the paper for the average times.  She noticed an ad of someone offering to collect yardsale leftovers for a charity they had, taking clothes and home goods to the needy in eastern Kentucky.  Since we didn't want to pack it back up and I prefer giving items away, it sounded like a wonderful plan. 

An hour or so later the sweetest little retirees showed up in my driveway, banana boxes in hand, ready to take our unwanted items to someone in need.  Such a reminder of how blessed we are.  Just hours a way people will treasure what we have discarded.  Glad to be able to help in this small way!

Showered, aloe applied from the rays that managed to peek through my sunscreen, I'm now snug under a blankie in the cool comfort of my living room.  As the boys snuck away for an afternoon of fishing, Tina and I are going to enjoy girl time with lots of movies and snacks.  Sweet summertime, indeed!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Faithful Friday: Platinum Love

To have and to hold...

20 years.  I look at the fresh, young faces from our wedding day and it seems so much longer than just two decades ago.  And then again, it seems like only yesterday we were nervously saying, "I do."

We've certainly packed many moments and memories into that time.  Through it all what has held us together and made us stronger was holding onto not just to each other, but also to God.

"Love comes from God..."  1 John 4:7

Knowing that today, our actual anniversary, would be the kids' first day back from camp, we celebrated early.  While they were away, we snuck off for a few days at the lake.  And it was blissful.

"Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away...."
Song of Solomon 8:7

Amazing weather for June, with only one somewhat humid day.  Sparkling smooth waters.  Not good fishing, but we made the most of the peaceful quiet on the lake.  Being there during the week nearly gave us our own private oasis. 

It gave us time to talk and just be. 

Lots of wildlife watching, including a family of ducks we somewhat adopted during our stay.  Wherever they were on the lake, if they caught a glimpse of us, they'd quickly waddle over, knowing their new friends would have a cracker snack to share.    

Of course, not all the wildlife watching was this peaceful.  Most people who know me know that I don't like snakes.  To say I'm terrified of them is an understatement.  I think even Tim forgot how terrified I was...until this trip.  As I'm lazily basking in the sun, deep into my thick book with the waves gently rocking the boat, I somewhat notice Tim pulling up anchors.  Not giving it much thought, as I figured he had probably grown tired of yet another "no bite zone," I almost ignored his sentence.

"Heather, don't look behind you."

After twenty years, not many words are necessary in our relationship.  Often times we read each other's thoughts, finish their sentences.  There was something about his tone that made me look up and into his eyes.  Those eyes told the rest of the sentence he didn't want to say aloud.

Thinking that not saying the word would keep me calmer was not exactly working out as he'd planned.  (Insert mental breakdown here)

For what seemed to be an eternity, but was probably mere minutes, I fell into the boat, in a futile attempt to flee my spot.  In my mind, the said (snake) was making his way into the boat, surely ready to attack me at any moment.  In a crumbled mess at the bottom of the boat, arms and limbs scattered up under and around seats and fishing gear, I sobbed and screamed incomprehensibly.  Meanwhile, Tim - my calm constant - was focused on getting me out of the reptile zone. 

Though it was not funny at the time, even retelling the story to the kids last night found me back in tears, we did joke about it during the rest of our trip and I can chuckle (in the safety of my living room) as I type today.
In fact, that laughter is probably one of the top reasons I love Tim and our relationship.  Any marriage will be filled with a mixture of good times and bad. 
Ours has had more than our share of bad but the good patches up those holes.  Laughter heals.

And it wouldn't be fair to share only my funny story from our anniversary trip. 

Walking down the hall one afternoon, I heard Tim spitting and gagging into the sink.  Knowing he was brushing his teeth, I wondered what was causing such a reaction.  Again with no words, it hit me.  And I began laughing hysterically and uncontrollably.  I laughed so much my bruised body ached.  I laughed so hard that Tim thought I'd planned the mishap.  But I honestly didn't.

Looking back, it probably wasn't the best placement for my small tube of sunscreen I used for my face.  Yes, the tube was the same size as the toothpaste and being right beside each other... well, you can imagine what happened next.

Love you, honey.  Thank you for making me laugh for 20 years.
Here's to 20 more...
"A cheerful heart is good medicine..." Proverbs 17:22

Monday, June 17, 2013

Off to Camp

The kids have spent their first night away at church camp.  As it is a tech free zone, I couldn't text them good night or check in on them this morning.  I'm at the mercy of the random pictures I can stalk online from their leaders, when they have a chance to post any, and the knowledge that I'd have a text if anything other than a good report were necessary.

My wish for them this week is that they soak up not just just the sun and summer fun but that they open their hearts for whatever God has in store. 

As a child, I only remember going away to camp once.  It was with a church just down the street from our house that my sister and I walked to for VBS and a girls' program called Blue Bells.  Honestly most of what I remember about that trip are from the photos taken that week.  I do recall how beautiful the campus was, somewhere near Lexington, because I also remember seeing the castle in the distance for the first time that trip. 

And I remember how freaked out I was to share a shower with a bunch of girls, with only a paper thin curtain between us.  Perhaps I stunk that week because I'm pretty sure I avoided that experience again at all costs.  That reminds me of Noah's first camping excursion involving a dramatic bathroom scene.  He was away at 4H camp and they must've had a similar shower set up.  Of course it probably wasn't as graphic as he portrayed it, once home, but he basically admitted to only using baby wipes and the daily "Polar Plunge" he took at 6 am each day to count for his bathing routine that week.

Like his momma, he's probably not cut out for dorm life.  (future mental note)

Anyway, perhaps it is a phase he has outgrown now.  I did not pack him baby wipes in an effort to push the need for an actual shower.  Between that and the messy games he's signed up for, I think it will be a requirement.  Character building.

What I did pack (or rather sneak) into both his and Tina's bags were tiny notes, a travel tradition I started long ago.  Normally, as I'm leaving for a trip, I'll hide notes around the house so that they'll find them while I'm away.  I arrange it so they'll find them throughout the days I'll be gone but it becomes more of a hide & seek activity from what I've heard.  This time, knowing I couldn't communicate with them until Thursday, I tucked away sweet and funny notes hoping they'll find and know I'm thinking of them. for a day of boat therapy on the lake.  Sure to distract me from missing them too much!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Faithful Friday: Father's Day

Father's Day and our anniversary are always close together.  The mingling of those two occasions cause an overflow of emotions for me.  Maybe more so this year, as we are on the cusp of our 20th anniversary.

One of the things I love most about Tim is the father he is.  From the very beginning, I knew he would make an excellent dad.  Kids gravitate to him and he just has this natural quality, an ease for parenting.  He's still very much a kid at heart himself so that's probably why they relate to each other so well!

Tim wanted children from the very beginning and, although I was taking preventive measures, he was beyond thrilled to learn of my unexpected pregnancy, just 3 1/2 months after our wedding.  I can picture his excitement and see the expression on his face, as if it were yesterday, when he raced into the bathroom and learned of the surprise.

Austin held Tim's heart from before he was ever born.  They had an unimaginable bond.  Austin was his little shadow, always wanting to be just like dad.  Inseparable best friends.  I know this is why the holiday becomes so emotional for me.  My heart just breaks because I know how much Tim hurts and how he misses his first born. 

Tim's love is just as strong though for our baby, Noah, who is now towering over his dad.  Unlike the surprise of having Austin, we'd tried for years to have another baby.  When we'd almost given up hope, he arrived.  With both boys, they came in God's timing.  And Noah got in his share of surprise as well, as we thought we were bringing home a Hannah Grace!

There's a picture collage on our wall that says, "Anyone can be a father...but it takes someone special to be a Dad!"  How true this is for Tim.  As a Dad, he has always been there for the boys, never hesitating to help take care of them and actually finding joy in the every day tasks of parenting.  He loved nothing more than to get down in the floor with them.  Even today I have to shoot a cautious glance to Noah, if they wrestle, for fear he'll hurt his back.  And Tim's been there for every milestone, each ballgame, and all the little life moments in between.

He's taught our boys selflessness, having a servant's heart, helping others, patience, resilience, laughter despite storms, and most of all a love for God.  It's always been his desire that his children would be strong Christians, faithful to follow God. 

The father of godly children has cause for joy.
What a pleasure to have children who are wise. Proverbs 23:24

Yet one of the most beautiful examples of the kind of father Tim is comes from him welcoming Tina into our home with open arms.  He never wavered, complained, or gave it a second thought to rearrange our life and bring in a little girl who needed a family to love her.  He's grown so close to her in the past two years she's been here and without a doubt I know he thinks of her like his daughter.  Tim's protective of her, firm but caring, and has given Tina the most consistent example of what a loving husband/father should be that she's ever had. 

I thank God daily for this man.  As as child I dreamed of who my prince would someday be.  Never could I have imagined what a wonderful spouse He'd send.  How lucky I am to share my life and parent alongside him.  Happy Father's Day to the best Dad I know!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Swinging in the Sunshine

I nestle down onto the smooth leather strap,
each hand wrapped around a cool metal chain. 
The familiar seat hugs my body and the weight of the world disappears.

With my feet I gently push back
and then stretch out my legs. 
Dust mingles
with the summer air.


Dragging my flip flops through the dirt,
knees bent for another push,
legs slowly pumping back and forth,
feet in the sky, eyes on the trees.


How long it's been since I've been on a swing. 
Yet, how instantly the rhythmic motion welcomed me,
sending me years back into my childhood.

What a simply joyful summer afternoon.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Joyful Tidbits

That ugly word that scratches its way into life, despite how much you push it away.
Or pray it away.

Sometimes life is just stressful.  When it's out of your hands, beyond your control.
And you admit you're weak enough to still worry, even after giving it to God.
That kind of stress can really mess up your day.

But, it can't take away the joy.  Joy is still ever-present. 
If you look for it in the big and the small.  If you savor it when it shows.

Sometimes it's the little things...

heart sigh...Tim and his great-nephew, Liam

Sometimes it's the every day things...

Sometimes it's the simple, beautiful things....

And just thankful for the "things" that really aren't things at all.

Praising Him through this storm.  This temporary storm...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Faithful Friday: Cookies & Lemonade

Though there is still one night left of VBS, being that it's Friday, this had to be the theme of today's post;  because Bible School has been all I've eaten, slept and breathed for the past few weeks!

And although it has required months of planning, dozens of texts and phone calls, collecting gads of cardboard boxes, late nights of decorating, batch cooking for a week, lots and lots of changing of plans, and juggling a schedule crazier than normal, it has been worth every  chaotic  moment.

It's been a good tired.
For in between the trying moments,

there have been laughs...

- from watching my son attempt to sit in a "dress" (or rather royal smock) as King David, to the pastor's surprised face at the "trashing" of the sanctuary when the walls of Jerusalem came down, to trying to keep balloons under a sheet AND arrange them to look like a body in record time.

there have been spiritual lifts...
 - from the many sweet/sticky/sweaty hugs of little kids, excited to hear another story from the Bible, to watching growth within my team as they stretched themselves, sometimes going outside their comfort zones, to bring those stories alive and transport the children back in time, to soft prayers from little ones, heads bowed.

there have been tears...

 - from physically hammering the nails in the cross and feeling the sacrifice of my saviour, to later holding the weight of that cross as children pushed paper hands onto those nails symbolizing the sin He took.  With each puncture of the paper, I reflected on the many sins Jesus took for each of us and what a gift salvation is.

there has been JOY...
- from hearing of children coming forward and being saved - Hallelujah!  to dancing in celebration at the rebuilding of the wall and learning that He is Risen!  to knowing we've made an eternal difference this week through three little words...VBS.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Luke 18:16
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 photo design by_zpsv1mvteci.png