Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Still Standing: October

A month or so ago I received word that I'd been selected to be a monthly contributor for an online magazine, Still Standing.   What a bittersweet honor.  Such a blessing to be able to share our child loss journey, in hopes that it will help someone, but not a club I ever wanted to be a member of - or imagined I would be.

My First post was released this month and I wanted to share with all of you.  I won't always double post these but I know that many of you faithful readers are also members of this unwanted club.  My hope is that, if you haven't already, you'll find even more peace at Still Standing and will add it to your regular readings.

Sending you joyful wishes in the coming week.....

Friday, October 25, 2013

Faithful Friday: Do you know Jesus?

A dear friend of mine rejoiced this week in announcing his child accepting Christ.  As Christians, we join him in celebrating because we know what a JOY that decision is.

But it is another story about this child that has me in reflection.

Hearing his papaw joyfully share about him, he told of his boldness in his faith, even at the young age of 8.  Meeting someone for the first time, without hesitation, he asks, "Do you go to church?"

And then...
"Do you know Jesus?"

Wow.  May the heart of a child teach us.

As adults we get so tripped up on what to say, how to say it, and when to witness to someone. 
We worry, we doubt, WE get in the way.  But what a wonderful reminder of how easy it is to share the love of God. 

So let me ask you now...Do you know Him?  Can I share the good news with you?

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. 
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;   
and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. 
Do you believe this?” -John 11:25-26

My hope this week is to remember the JOY of being a new Christian.  Of how that joy comes bubbling forth and spills out on everyone around you.  May that joy be ever-present in my daily life.
And in yours....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hodgepodge Joy

Mini moments of JOY this week...

Driving in the rain to Bowling Green and taking in the beauty of the changing trees.  Against the raindrops, the landscape appeared like a life-size watercolor, still wet from the artist's brush.

Lunch with my momma, sister, and the sweetest itty baby I know.

An impromptu-last-minute-oh-yea-I-forgot-school-project at the end of a long work day.  Rushing to the store before they closed.  Tina and I spying the perfect outfit for her zombie costume at just the right moment.  Trying it on as they shut off lights and begin their close down routine.  Watching the glee and excitement from her and she jumped to the car, in the car, and at the house from our find.

A beautiful hunter's moon against a field of cornstalks.

Taking advantage of in between taxi services for our kiddos to enjoy a mini date downtown.  Strolling through the food booths.  Making two loops to decide on our orders.  Dinner for less than $10!  Tunes and people watching from a park bench. 

yellow mums.

Two new to us recipes that were big successes.  "Repeat worthy" as the family says. 
Here's one of them. You're welcome.

Laughing beyond comprehension over nothing at all with my boy.  Uncontrollable.  Side splitting.
Oh, the joy to see him smile...

Seeing all the littles at the park.  Beautiful fall weather.  Slides, giggles, and ice cream.

Lifegroup at the barn.  First bonfire of the season.  Friendships.

*For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, yes, I yet again failed to post a FF last week.  I posted a rewind favorite for my FB friends but you can walk down memory lane anytime here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Faithful Friday: Fall Fotos

You'd think having a week off would allow me to write a FF post on time...

I'd say I was sorry but from the start of this blessed vacation I decided to live in the moment.
Be spontaneous.  Make the most it.

Usually fall break is a mix of productivity and relaxation.  I normally deep clean, swap out the closets for cooler weather, and begin sprucing up the house for fall. 

My closet at least got weeded out.  The kids rooms got cleaned (by them!).  We did pull out what was salvageable for fall decor.  And the deep cleaning...well, I decided that would be a good "productive" project for unemployment.

Although we never did make it out with my kids to do some fall photos, I did get to spend an afternoon with three of my favorite littles.  Capturing the essence of these sweeties is never an easy task but thanks to my sister and momma, as well as prop master Noah, we made it through.

And have this to show for it...

and this...

and these sweet spots you just wanna kiss...

and these...
three kids all cooperating at once....puhleez!

Miss Rae was having NO part of this basket.
And she "kicked" Allen, 
which he later told me was the reason he didn't want to pose like that again.

Through the tantrums, posings, juggling, outfit changes, breaks for snacks, 
and all the cute chaos in between, 
we caught more than a few extra special moments.  

Snapshots in time of the blessings and JOY these babies are.


  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." James 1:17

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mini Vaca

What a glorious weekend we had!

Tim wasn't able to take off for fall break, as we'd originally planned, so, as we do, it was time to make the best of the situation.  We had two open days this weekend to soak up some fall fun so we took off for a mini vacation.

Even though we were escaping just an hour from home, we got up early on Saturday morning, just as most vacations begin and went out for pancakes.  As we left the house, it was pouring rain but I was determined not to let it dampen our plans.  

On the way to the orchard, God opened up the skies to beautiful sunshine.

Though Jackson's has been an annual tradition in our family, life had kept us away the past couple of years.  I wondered if the kids would enjoy the activities, now that they are teens.  But they jumped right in and soaked up everything the season had to offer.

Both were excited to try the "tire" and roll down the hill.  We got a laugh at Tina's attempt to push Noah, who is more than twice her size, and Noah's long limbs, which had a difficult time staying inside the tube.  They ended up tossed out, sprawled across the grass, and giggling in the end.

Hayride...corn maze....apple cider....horse rides....
giant slides...ice cream and a basket of apples to go.
Sprinkled with lots of laughter and family time.
And we finished before the rain decided to return!

 True to vacation fashion, we spent the night in a hotel.  The kids were giddy to explore, "work out" in the exercise room, splash in the pool, and nibble on free popcorn and drinks.  
We chuckled at their amusement of the mini blow dryer and in room frig.
It's the little things...

Tim and I were hugged by the extra appearances of yellow butterflies, 
including the one that rode along for the hayride.
And by the fact that our room number both contained #23,
and the numbers added to 14, a sure hello from our boy.

Though we weren't gone even a full 48 hours, 
it was enough time to unplug and reconnect.  
So many times throughout the simple weekend, 
I found myself pausing in gratefulness, 
thanking God just simply for the time.

And that's just what I plan to make the most of this fall break week. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Faithful Friday: Fall Blessings

The countdown is on for fall break!  Nine whole days of seasonal bliss.  

A pre-cap of some of our fun to come...
Sleeping in, staying up late.  OrchardsTailgating.
Hayrides.  Bonfires.  Visits to the park.  
Sushi.  Hoodies.  Caramel apples.
Hotel sleepover.  Frozen Yogurt. Playing in the pool.   
A day at the museum.  Street food.  Youth Lock-In.
Girl time.  Scary movies.  Shopping at the mall.
Nine days with family.  Memories...

 Thanking God for the blessings of moments to come.
Nothing is more precious than spending time with the ones you love, 
surrounded by the beauty of the fall season!
"Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
    because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before."  Joel 2:23
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