Saturday, August 20, 2016

First Week of School

      We went back to school this week. Monday was Open House. The boys were excited to "meet" their teachers. When your mom teaches at your school, you often know at least most of your teachers. We bought Logan PE uniforms. He dresses out for PE this year. Yikes! I can't believe he is old enough for that.

    On Tuesday afternoon, we went to see Nonnie for our back to school hair cuts. The boys are getting pretty good at telling Nonnie what they want done.

      Wednesday was the first official day. The boys agreed on cinnamon rolls for their special first day of school breakfast. This is actually the first year they started on the same day. That was a little surreal.

     We snapped a couple of quick pictures before heading out the door. 

     The boys had a little bit of anxiety because they mixed up the classes this year. Logan has been with the same group of kids for three years. But that was quickly gone once they realized they still had good friends in their classes even if they didn't have all their best buddies.    

     The boys love of their teachers. Daddy was happy to come home to three happy campers each night. I feel like this will be great year for both boys. Joshua and I are so thankful for the group of people who make up Team Lo and Team Lu. I know this will be a successful year for the boys.

     Lucas and I are so excited that his music teacher was my elementary music teacher! She was always one of my favorite teachers. It's just a blessing that Lucas will get to experience her music class.

     I have two brand new classes this year. The kiddos seem super sweet and eager to learn. I'm blessed to have a few that I've taught siblings or we're friends with their families. It's always a blessing to serve my friends by teaching their children. I was modeling our all about me book, and I asked one of my little scholars who knows me what he thought one of my hobbies or interests are. I was thinking he would say Alabama football, but his response was so much better, "having me in your class!".

     We are looking forward to an awesome school year!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday, Lucas Elisha!!!

     Lucas is 7 years old today. Where has the time gone? 

     I baked cinnamon rolls with sprinkles for his breakfast before I left for work. We also let him open his presents. He declared today the best birthday ever after opening his gifts!

     When I got home from school, Uncle Josh face timed to say happy birthday. Then we ran to Big D's for birthday cupcakes. I let him talk me into a snocone even though it was practically dinner time. He wanted chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese for his dinner. Then we sang happy birthday and ate cupcakes. 

Dear Lucas,

     Happy Birthday! You are your daddy's mini me. You have a big heart like Daddy and love fiercely like Daddy does. You are my wild child. You do not let the opinions of others rule your life. You love Jesus and going to church to learn more about Him. You are independent and bold and brave. You are also my sweet snuggle buddy when you settle down at night.  I'm so proud of the young man you are becoming! I pray you always love Jesus with your whole heart, mind, and soul! 


Happy 7th Birthday, Lucas Elisha!!! We love you!!! 


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fading Away

      Summer is fading away. It's always bittersweet for me. The excitement of a new school year along with the sadness of leaving my boys behind. This year both boys will go with me every day, yet there is sadness in that too. Knowing they are growing up. One year closer to the independent, godly young men we are trying our best to raise them to be. 

     It's been a summer of transitions, changes, and waiting. There have been joys like my Grandpa's miraculous recovery and new friends that fit into our lives like the last piece of a puzzle sliding into place. Strengthened relationships with old friends we love dearly. We are praying and hoping for a miracle for a dear friend we love. 

     And then another miscarriage. While we know God has allowed it,  He is working is to bring good from it. It is difficult, knowing we will never know that sweet baby this side of heaven. 

     Yet I am thankful. Thankful for the sweet boys God has allowed us to keep. Thankful for our friends who love us where we are and walk the good and bad of life with us. Thankful for the sweet memories with old friends, who though we are separated by miles, are always available. Thankful for all the time spent with my sister. Thankful for baby snuggles that help my own broken heart heal. Thankful that after all these years with my quirks and crazy, Joshua still loves me. He actually loves me more each day. 

     This summer has not been at all what I anticipated. In spite of the unexpected, the sadness, and the waiting, this summer has been filled with grace, mercy, and joy far beyond what I deserve. God is good all the time. All the time He is good. 

     As summer fades away, I am thankful for His new mercies every day. 

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”~Lamentations 3:21-23

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Forgetting What Is Behind

     Some old feelings of guilt and condemnation raised their ugly head this week. Early this morning as I frosted the boys' birthday cakes, tears filled my eyes as I re-lived my failure. 

     Then at church, our pastor pulled a brick out of a backpack with the word failure on it. And there I was again with tears in my eyes. 

     And then he said, "Jesus can use even your mistakes to write a really incredible story in your life." 

     It's true. From the ugliness of my sin and failure, He gave me a precious treasure. And I get to watch God write two incredible stories. 

     As I leave condemnation behind and strain forward to what God has next for me in my story, those guilty feelings fade away-replaced with thankfulness and joy. 

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,”
~Philippians 3:13

Monday, August 1, 2016

Happy 10th Birthday, Logan Elijah!!!

     Today our Logan is ten years old. As he told me this morning, "Double digits! Hot mess!" Truth be told I've been a hot mess today except when I've been in denial. 10 years...where has the time gone? 

     We started this morning by letting him open presents before Joshua went to work. He loves his gifts and has been playing with his mini drone all day. 

     Then I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and added sprinkles because you can't have too much sugar on your birthday. 

     We had a pretty easy day. I let Logan play video games most of the day. After lunch, we went to Big D's for snocones and cupcakes for after dinner. 

     He wanted burgers and tater tots for dinner. Then we sang, "Happy Birthday" and ate cupcakes. 

 Dear Logan,
     Ten. Years. Old. I can't believe it. You are my right hand man. You are so compassionate. You are my sweetheart and the first one to give hugs. You love your family and friends and are fiercely loyal. You love Jesus with your whole heart and do your best to follow Him daily. You are always considerate of others and their feelings. Yet you love people enough to speak truth in love in their lives. You are a precious gift from God. I'm so thankful He has allowed us to keep you the past ten years. You are a blessing. I'm so proud of the young man you are becoming. I love you so much! ~Mommy 

Happy 10th Birthday, Logan Elijah!!! We love you!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Time For Joy

      July 14th is an important date for our family. The past two years it has been an overwhelmingly sad day. Like pull the covers over your head and have a pity party kind of sad. 

     Today I woke up feeling blah. I have dreaded this day for quite a while. If God had allowed us to keep our baby girl, she would've been two years old. I started my day with a short pity party. Then I made a choice. A choice for joy. A choice to celebrate. 

     For the last couple of years, one of our birthday traditions is to get cupcakes from Big D's for after dinner. This afternoon, I chose to buy cupcakes to celebrate our Liana. 

      Today I chose to celebrate the joy and excitement we felt the 14 weeks I carried her. 

     I love you, Liana Elise! I'm so thankful for each second God gave us with you. I look forward to the day I'm reunited with you and can finally see your beautiful face. You are always in my thoughts and my heart. 

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”~Psalms 27:13-14

Friday, July 8, 2016

Processing the Dallas Sniper Tragedy

     I had the difficult job this morning of explaining to our boys what happened in Dallas last night. Unfortunately I feel like we've had to discuss way too many of these tragedies.  One is too many. But this is our city. And my brother in law is a Dallas police officer.  I began by assuring them their Uncle was okay, but the fear and panic in their eyes-I never want to see again.

     I had texted my sister about an hour before the shootings started asking if he was home. I was nervous about the protesters. But he was still at work. Sometime between the time we spoke and the time the shootings occurred, he had come home. We had just sent the boys to bed, when I got on Facebook and a friend had posted "Active shooter. Two officers down." My heart dropped. I told Joshua to turn on the news, and I called my sister. She didn't answer, so I informed my mom of what I knew while I waited for her call back. She called back pretty quickly. I always try to remain calm and steady because if something is wrong, she needs me to be strong. But this time, as soon as I heard her voice I started crying asking if he was okay. She told me he had not been home long and had just been called back in. Relief does not even begin to describe how I felt when she spoke those words.

     Ironically enough, we had been at their house yesterday morning before he left for work. I watched him kiss the babies goodbye. He hugged the boys and I. I'm not sure why, but yesterday I told him I pray for him everyday. Especially now. And then I told him to be safe.

    I slept very little last night as I watched the news and prayed, listening for my sister to call, but hoping she wouldn't. Finally about 4am I crawled into bed and slept until about 7:30am when the boys crawled into my bed asking for breakfast. Before we got up, through tears, I explained what had happened and assured them their Uncle was at work, but safe. Then they wanted to call their Aunt and make sure she was okay.

     Today I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to help them process this. They're scared. I'm scared. I know we'll start with God's Word. It's the place we always try to start from as we process life and it's consequences. I'm praying and pondering how we'll exactly handle these topics and their order, but over the next several days in our family worship time we're going to discuss these things.

1. All human life is precious because all people, no matter of their skin color, are created in the image of God. People are so special He breathed His very breath into man at creation.

"So created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

"Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person." Genesis 2:7

There is no mention of color in these verses, just people.

2. God has placed authority in our life for our protection. Even unbelievers who are in authority should be respected because God has allowed them that position. Even when we don't agree with authority we should treat them with respect and follow their orders as long as they are not asking us to sin against God.

"Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority." Romans 13: 1-5, 7

3. Every single person on this earth needs Jesus. We are lost in our sin and separated from God. Our sin and brokenness is at the root of these tragedies. But the Good News is Jesus saves us from our sin and heals our brokenness if we repent and believe in Him.

"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." Roman 3:23

"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

"If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

4. We cannot find lasting peace outside of Jesus. Because of His peace, we do not have to scared. He is in control.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. " John 16:33

"I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27

5. Our response should always be love. We cannot not just say we love all people, our actions must show we love all people. Love covers sin.

"Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law." Romans 13:8-10

"Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." I John 5:18

"Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins." I Peter 4:8

6. This broken world is not our home. One day, Jesus will return to take home to heaven.

"But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior." Philippians 3:20

     I'm praying God gives us wisdom and discernment as we discuss these truths and Scriptures with our boys.

     God is in control. I trust He is already working to bring good out of this tragedy. He will use this tragedy to bring people to salvation, and bring glory to Himself. Jesus is good. All the time. Even when it is hard to see.