Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in MS

It's been a year of loss in our family. My Stepmom died in August & then my Grandmother in September. Both not expected, though I'm learning that death usually catches you off guard.
Even when we are as prepared as we can be, I think it can still take our breath away to have lost a person.
I know there's a lot more brewing in my head & in my heart about these things, but I'm not ready to let it out just yet.
We went to Mississippi to see my dad & to celebrate Ch
ristmas with him & our family there. It was awesome & it was lonely & it's strange learning to adjust with someone missing. Especially for one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world - my dad.
He threw a big party & bought out Toys R Us for the kids & there were screams of "THIS IS JUST WHAT I'VE ALWAYS WANTED!!!"s throughout the house. And I'm pretty sure they meant it.
But more than the gifts, they just love that man. Their Granddaddy. He's good - so so good with them. He truly loves them & loves being with them.....& the
y know that.
And that means a lot to me.
I wish I could get the words out of me that want to come out. But they aren't quite forming real sentences yet. So to avoid the great risk of embarrassment, I'll try again later.
I'm off to catch up on some much needed sleep so that we can be ready for the next
2 days around here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I love Christmas.
When I was pregnant with my eldest, her due date was January 1st. And my Christmas wish was that she would be with me in front of a fire, hot chocolate in hand, by Christmas day.
And she was.
She continues to show herself as a thoughtful child.
I waited with such anticipation for her.
This new person - the dream in my heart was about to be real.
And all during Advent, pastors & priests everywhere are trying to find new & creative ways to help the people muster up that same anticipation.
I think about it every time I read part of the Christmas story to my kids....I wonder if they will grow bored with the story. Because I certainly have in my life. I heard it so many times that I just quit listening.
And it breaks my heart.
We live in a fast moving culture & if it's not new, well, then it's old & we lose interest.

One of my kids totally gets it.
He actually said today, "Mom! I almost forgot! I thought for a minute how excited I was for the toys on Christmas, but then I thought ooooooh, wait! Christmas is not about the toys. Even if I got no toys, God still gave me the best present."

& it's become very contagious....this excitement for a Savior being born.
So we have been following his lead.
This child is loving the passage from Isaiah where he tells the people what a gift that is coming for them! And I am able to imagine how exciting that must have been.

Everything we could ever hope for is still the same!!!
And He was coming into the world!!!
And He is coming again.

'And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace'

And that is all I need.
I pray that I will be filled with that sufficient gift this Christmas......and nothing more.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


For a couple of years we have noticed that my big girl has squinted.
It's been strange, though, because she sees some things clearly far away & close up & she passes all of her vision screenings at her pediatricians office. They came to the conclusion that she may have gotten into the habit of squinting because of her hair being in her eyes.
Her squinting was sort of random & she never struggled in the classroom.
So we didn't do anything. We sort of got used to it & were fine to listen to the advice of our doctor.
Until about a month ago when her teacher suggested we take her to see an eye doctor.
And she has something called amblyopia.
Which is kind of a fun word to say. But it was weird to hear when I was simply expecting a prescription.
And she needs glasses & she'll wear a patch for a little while every day to help her eye start working again.
And she's fine with all of it.
And we are too.
But it's strange to hear any sort of diagnosis from a doctor about your kid.
Something less than perfect.
But why in the world do we expect perfect?
We are blessed with so many resources to fix, or at least duct tape, our problems, that when the natural break down happens, we are shocked.
Maybe it's because there are so many cushions that do break our falls that it's hard to understand when the cushion is not there.
We were never promised perfect, but I sometimes think I am entitled to perfect.
The right guy for a lifetime. The right number of kids - healthy, please. The house in the location that keeps me comfortable. The money to maintain life as I enjoy it...and if I'm honest I would say I do a lot to keep all of that in balance.
And we were never promised all of that.
What's crazy is that the Dr telling us that she had this condition is not what gave her this condition.
It was already there.
We are thankful he told us so we could do something about it. Because it was the not doing something about it that brought us to this place anyway. If we had taken her in sooner & heard someone tell us that her eyes didn't work well, then we would have known what was true....and dealt with that before her eye stopped working.
But we continued to walk around a little blurry.
And it's easy to do that.
To walk around with a condition that can be fixed, but don't because we've gotten comfortable with where we are.

Our eye's minor compared to other things.
And it's never a great idea to compare those stories because they are all jam packed with opportunity. It's a big part of His story for her....but in the scheme of's not really a real big deal.
Right after she got her glasses & started wearing her adorable little pirate patches, we went to church.
And Louie, our pastor man, spoke about the man born blind.
And it was like Jesus himself was introducing me to a friend.
I smiled & felt such peace.
It was a sweet reminder of a man whose life we never would have recognized....had Jesus had not encountered that man born blind.
He shines in the darkness.
And so I pray & she believes that God will meet us in these times of perceived imperfection. And He can.
And because she wants Him to, I know He will.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


It's been a while. Not that anyone's listening....but I feel like it's appropriate to acknowledge that it has, in fact, been a while.
My computer crashed recently. I have lost the majority of my pictures while simultaneously working on photo books for the past 4 years. It's been a challenge.
Except that I have had this blog.
It's been amazing to go back & piece some things together. I'm amazed at the memories captured here. The little things that would have slipped my mind. That did slip my mind. I'm so thankful they have been documented.
Which is why I'm back.
There are lots of reasons for why I've been silent & one of those reasons was addressed at a conference I attended a few months ago. Something was said along the lines of learning to not care what people think. It's a simple concept. One I would have said I embraced....until I realized how hard it really is. It's too easy to let other people serve as your audience. The fear of criticism or offending...or of being approved of or applauded. Both are dangerous camps. Both can be good, but neither can serve as a compass.... & I have had to work through the 'why' of this little online spot where I vent.
But the journey that has been document has been important & it took time & the need of a reminder to see that. So I hope that I'm back because I have honestly missed it.
It's very therapeutic to get thoughts out knowing that someone might read them. There's an accountability & a thoughtfulness that goes into it that is different from a journal.
Anyway.....that's all for now.