Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013.


This has been a year and I can't think I'd ever like to repeat it. Ever. The lessons I have learned have been hard-won and I pray the lessons I am continuing to learn will stay with me this time and I'll move forward holding His hand. It's the only way. This year I have worn pride and anger as a big shoe on the foot stuck in my mouth and suffocating my heart. It's ugly but until you see it, God can't heal it. This year my heart has hurt and been broken in a million ways, not the least of which was losing my Mom. This year I have been humbled greatly by my own icky human-ness and stand in a whole new understanding of the verse, "I do the things I should not do." Ugh. I'll just stop here and say that, yep, 2013 has been a very rough year in ways I never imagined possible. Rather like this beautiful photo, just struggling to make it through what has felt like a blizzard.
 
Thankfully, feelings aren't always fact. And, 2013 has had it's great moments because God is always good, in spite of me. He sold our house in Watauga and what an awesome relief. He also knew I'd need to be there, where my "people" are, for emotional support those late spring weekends we were fixing that house. God gave us an amazing new home, which I love and walk around so surprised and excited it is mine. My sister is only a 4 hour drive from said home instead of an eight hour plane ride. Whoop! We have an orange tree in the back yard and the oranges are sweet and juicy and so yum! We live in a neighborhood that is beautiful because God knew how much I needed to be around trees and there are tons of them. We think we have finally landed in a church home we can call our own. Our girls are happy there and they have adult classes and those things are a BONUS! :) Brian is a CSP now, meaning Certified Safety Professional, not an easy certification to achieve. So proud of him! We know our area and we are becoming comfortable with this new "promised land." We aren't looking back at Egypt anymore! And, as a punctuation mark on our freedom walking into 2014, God sold the RV just as the year ended. Praise His Holy name!
 
So, good bye 2013 and hello 2014! Nice to meet you and all the fun and adventure God has planned for us!
The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.   Isaiah 43:18-19 (NCV)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Because He Loves Us ...


Getting this RV sold has been a lesson in belief. Belief that God will do what He said. Belief that because it was His idea that we purchase and live in it, He will take care of providing it's new owner. Belief that in the interim, He will provide for our needs financially. None of these things are hard except the deceiver doesn't want us to believe God is good or that He provides or that He loves us. The deceiver would have us believe God is a liar, that He doesn't care for His children, that He is a one miracle God. We made a decision to believe God. It was not an easy one because the deceiver came against us plenty. We called him a liar, which truthfully was hard to do on some days, and God shut him up!

We are praising God today for His promises are always "yes" and "amen." He always does what He says and He IS our provision, our daily bread even when we can't see it sometimes. He promised life and to the full. He is faithful. Thank you Lord for releasing us from ownership of the RV and thank you for all the lessons you taught us living in a small space and all the lessons in faith. You rock!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Merry Christmas!


"Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor."    Hebrews 12:2  (Voice)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas The Night Before ...

 


 




"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."    Luke 2:10-11 (NKJV)

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Magnet and Three of the Chicks ...

Picture-taking can be an adventure in this house. Wonder who was setting the camera? Or perhaps primping inside while the camera was being set?







 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Am A Sheep ...


I am a sheep. I am thoughtless. I am thankless. I am not often forward-thinking. I can be selfish. I can be stinky and dirty. I am lacking in common sense. I go off to perilous places. I have even been known to follow what I thought was a shepherd, but it was only a wolf in sheep's clothing. I get lost. I fall down. I get tangled up and hurt. I am not always looking around so I keep safe. I think I am big and strong, but I am not. I don't always stay with the crowd of other sheep. I get in ridiculous and unnecessary fights, even with myself. Sometimes, I stand on shaky ground. I've even been known to stand right up on the edge of cliff, just about to fall off. I am easily led in the wrong direction. I don't always think through decisions. I am lacking in humility some days. And, I have to be protected. Praise God, HE is the Shepherd! And in Him there is no lack, there is no fear, there is no wandering. He watches. He rescues. He redeems. He heals. He protects and He loves. There is only looking to and following Him. He's in charge of the rest.
 
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me." John 10:27
 
 * Photo credit: Pinterest

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lately ...


... there is peace. There is wondering. There is hoping. There is believing. There is falling down and getting back up. There is grieving. There are tears. There is anger and hormones and fatigue, both mental and physical. There is "I'm sorry." There is forgiveness. There is a pulling all of us together because He is just that good. There is joy. There are decorations and dreaming and waiting, anticipating. There is trusting. There is learning. There is listening. There are "I love you's" when you feel they aren't deserved. There is crazy grace undeserved. There is laughter and amazing moments that God has opened our eyes to see. There is God and He is with us. He is with us. He is come and that is all there is or ever needs to be. Selah.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Good To Me



I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise
And I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I'm bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me

I lift up my eyes to the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night - raise my head up to hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me

Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I will trust in Your promise
 
 
_______________ 
 
"Good To Me" by Audrey Assad
 
* Photo credit here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Caption This?!?!


I love this bird. Love it. It makes me smile a lot. He seems ... hmmm ... indifferent. "Whatever." Quiet. "You ain't getting nothing out of me." Sleepy. "Who doesn't need a nap?" Perplexed. "Really?" Pondering. Observing. Questioning. "It's going to take how much longer to get the heater part in and fix it? I might turn into an ice cube by then." Perhaps, he's just laid-back and cool. "'Sup dude?!" Maybe he's just normal. Yep. Mostly, I think this owl and the expression on his face are hilarious! It is comic relief and I just have to laugh. And, laughter is the best medicine. Ever so thankful God created this guy and I got to see his photo. :) Thought someone else might enjoy a bit of humor today!

*Photo credit: Borrowed off Pinterest, originally here, I think.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Heroes


Outside of the fact that I love this picture and it reminds me of Christmas, what it says is so true. "Heroes don't always have shiny armors." At least not armor that is visible to the naked eye. I am married to a hero. I believe one of the amazing things that comes from struggle and prayer and everyday life and listening to God and allowing Him to change you and listening and following some more and joy and laughter is a hero. Honestly, when I married my sweet husband, even at 34, I was na├»ve. Rose colored glasses. But a covenant commitment changes those glasses to God glasses. We have changed in great ways, endured, loved, cried, walked when we didn't want to and been redeemed. We are still being redeemed!
 
Sunday, our pastor talked about Joseph, as in step-dad to Jesus. And the questions he surely had like, "Do I have what it takes?" and "Am I ready?" Beautiful. Because God's answer was yes! Joseph was chosen. We are chosen. God doesn't choose the ones who are ready, He makes ready the ones who are chosen. It's a beautiful thing to watch my precious husband pursuing holiness and on his way to holiness becoming excellent. It's precious to watch it in the girls and even begin to see it in myself. Heroes. God is glorious!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beautiful Things

 
Feeling quiet these last few days, even today and probably tomorrow, too. Letting Him make beautiful things out of my dust. Just listening and letting Him love me and loving Him back. Breathing. It's a beautiful thing!

Monday, December 2, 2013

She's Our Big Girl!


This beautiful girl turns FOUR today! 4!!! How did that happen?! She is chock-full of personality. She has a style all her own. She is quite verbal and very willing to share her opinion, which at times is quite hilarious, or to repeat what she's heard that might fit the conversation. She is quite creative and always ready to start an adventure. Her favorite person is hands-down her Paw-Paw and who could blame her? :) She is curious and snuggly and funny and opinionated and full of joy and we love, love, love her! Happy 4th Birthday Big Girl!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Good-Bye Fall!


Can I tell you how much I LOVE these peeps and their Daddy?! My life is rich!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


Because we all need to hear it. I need to hear it. We need to know it. Jesus loves us! He died so we might live and that is a mighty HUGE thing to be thankful for in a world full of ugly. There is much joy in gratitude and I am grateful for much. I live a blessed life ... even when things don't go my way, even when I have to wait, even when I have a migraine, even when I choose to let small things make me crazy, even when I am lonesome, even when I am angry, even when I don't feel good, even when I don't understand, even when. I am, we are, incredibly blessed. Thank you Lord for the crazy, amazing ways you bless us that we see, and the ways we don't see, or don't acknowledge for whatever lame reason. Thank you for your Son's sacrifice that we might have life and in abundance. Thank you for forgiveness and amazing grace. Praying we all understand and live that awesome truth to the very core of us. Happy Thanksgiving People! Today and every.single.day.
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."  John 10:10 (AMP)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gettin' Their Nails Did

Grandma came to visit a couple weeks ago and, as per usual, the salon was opened. Thankfully, we now have a school room to set up in. Good times. Good times.
 


X marks the spot on the places someone in the house has been to.
Got to have something to do while you wait your turn.


Be-you-tiful!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Peace

 
"When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you're walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going, you won't be hurt."  Isaiah 43:2  (Voice)
"Peace I leave with you; my [Own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]"   John 14:27 (AMP)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday's Passion ...



Now this, this is truth! No matter how you slice it. No matter what day of the week it is. No matter. It's truth. Identifying idols. Tearing.them.down!
 
"You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3
 
 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Very Special Visit ...

I got a phone call a couple weeks ago and I recognized the laughter right off. "My Jim" has a laugh that has such joy in it, it's unmistakable! I say "My Jim" because that is Brianne's pet name for him. And, his precious wife is "Ms. Blanche." They are one of the gifts given to us at the Majestic Oaks RV Resort in Biloxi. They adopted us. We adopted them. It's awesome! We love them. On the call I mentioned earlier, Mr. Jim mentioned he and Ms. Blanche were coming to Houston (they live in Alabama) and could they come see us? A resounding "Yes!" was heard by all. We were blessed with their presence and the conversation and laughter was so amazing! They didn't even care about sitting in lawn chairs. They just loved being with us. The feeling was reciprocal. Thank you "My Jim" and "Ms. Blanche" for coming to see us!
 



Friday, November 22, 2013

Science Fun!

I would just like to say that I LOVE having a school room! I love having the space to do science projects and I love that my girls want to do them now. It's rocking! Here is one of Peyton's. She is studying water animals. The pink balloon is a whale surfacing. Isn't it fun? Peyton came up with all the other clever sea life. My favorite is the eel! And, all done without help from Mom, well except for the orange fish!
 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Trick or Treat

"Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat." Not really. :) Our new neighborhood is quiet and safe and lovely and we couldn't miss the opportunity to meet the neighbors and do a little trick-or-treating besides. Cassie and crew joined us, which always makes things more fun, especially for the wee one because her twins are all essentially the same age. And, the added bonus for this year, was the Paw-Paw was here. That always adds more spark to any occasion!
 
Uhmm, yeah, he's a keeper!

Madison did a "comic book" face she saw on Pinterest. Pretty cool!

Off we go ...


The little guy even got into it!


Wonder what candy Paw-Paw will want?

Awesome neighbors!

Pigs in a blanket after. All that walking makes girls hungry.
And, since filling up on candy is not an immediate option ...

Tying on the fake lashes! :) Fun!