Saturday, December 1, 2012

please. stop acting your age.

Not that this photo was ever a contender for the Christmas's just to illustrate my frustration with the trying to get a good Christmas card picture.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Don't anyone tell the big sister that she is older than the little sister.
Please don't.
Both are completely lost in this moment of pretend & dancing & giggling.
And there are moments when I know she knows she's bigger because I see her look at her little with pride.
Knowing....just that knowing that she can do more.
But I believe that the big girl is still so young in her heart that she is just beginning that fight of being 'too big' for things.  And so these moments are fewer.  And so I will embrace every one that I can.   Sisters with 2 big imaginations....I love my seats in their lives.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

my little pirates

Well, as it seems to be becoming the norm around here, things have been a little crazy.  We are shifting down & pulling out of things in order to create margin in our lives.  

It's just that we have done without margin for so long that it's taking some adjustment.
There's this baseball world that 's new to me.  And I'm enjoying it.  There's the swimming thing which I also love.  There's the painting   So there's a lot of good & a lot that we love...but we're toning it down.

As these littles start to grow into these people....I begin to see how I have to let go a little bit.
How God has these roads paved for them that are their roads & I get to walk along side for a while.
The baby & my little man had an eye appointment today & their eye's theirs.
It's not mine.
I mean, of course, we play a major role in managing the care around their eyes....but ultimately it's theirs.
And today my 3 year old learned that she has to wear a patch like her sister.
And she was pumped!
So excited to put a glittery sticker on. her. eye.

And 5 minutes later she lost her mind.

And she cried for the next hour & 55 minutes until I told her that she could take it off. (& I am aware that it's a not good photograph....but I was thankful to have a phone with a camera on it.  & technology still blows my mind.)
Truthfully, it wasn't all crying.  It was a lot of whining & it all made my blood pressure sky rocket & walking through the target is normally such a therapeutic experience for me.
Not so much on this particular day.
And I'll need to return a lot of things that I tossed in my basket in an effort to block out the pitch that her voice hits when she's so upset.
My distraction from the screeching was convincing myself that I really can wear orange & that yes, you can certainly go a size smaller.

Well.   I cannot.  Do either of those things.

But the point is I guess is that.....who knows.  I lost it somewhere in there.
Maybe the point was just that 3 of the babies in my world right now can't see & I am their momma.  And I can't walk this road for them.
But somehow I must trust the author of their stories to redeem this.  A dear friend reminded me that He wastes nothing.  And isn't that statement just filled with all kinds of hope.
Because I feel like I have wasted a lot.

He is an artist.  A creator.  A lover.  A grand gift giver.  A redeemer.
And may the patches on their little eyes remind me to pray that they would have eyes to see Him for who He truly is.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


No way.
I can't believe I missed the big happy birthday on the blog post for the little man in our family.
He turned 5 like a professional.
Like he's done it before.
He has been looking forward to being 5 since he realized that he could turn 5.
It was a big weekend for the kid & super duper busy.
But in the craziness of it all, he really just wanted to eat at his favorite mexican restaurant.
Wish granted buddy.
Because, well, it's our favorite mexican restaurant too.
Granddaddy came in town & gave lots of presents.
You had your 1st ever baseball game.
We brought a new pinterest tradition into our family involving balloon popping with money inside & your sisters treated you like a king.
And you wear royalty well.

I am crazy about you.
I cannot believe you're 5 & so tall.
I love the hilarious things that come out of your mouth.
I love that your name means "gracious" & that that is a word that I would easily use to describe who you are at your core.
I love that you try to answer really hard theological questions with, "What letter does it start with?"
For example, "Did Jesus really have to die on the cross?"
You: "oooo!  I know!  ..... what letter does it start with?"
I love that I can check on you in the middle of the night, kiss your check & in your sleep you will say, "I love you, mom"
You are a special kid & I cannot believe that I get to be your mom.
Seriously!?  I love being with you in these days.
And we're going to rock the 5 thing out.  
It's going to be awesome.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

she said.

"my favorite color is not mayonnaise"

Seriously, I could write a book with all the funny things she says in it.
I get that no one would buy it.
But I certainly would keep a copy handy. 
And I bet my dad would.
And my cousin Nancy.
And maybe a few others.
There would be about 4 copies & in our minds they would be 'best sellers'
She seems too old to be just 3.
She's a tiny little thing with a mind that her little body just cannot catch up with.
And to me it's the perfect combination.
Because anything said at that high pitched voice is going to be cute.  Almost all of the time.
And I'm coming to simply expect the funny.....
and you're going to need to just expect that it will be documented.

Monday, April 2, 2012

the handsome man.

And it's not like this is the best of pictures.....but the bow tie.  Can we just take a moment & talk about how incredibly handsome that kid looks in his bow tie.  Which he loves, by the way.  He would wear it all the time - morning, noon & night - if he had his way.
And since we're on the word "handsome" - that's the word the baby uses to describe clothes when she hates them.  I'll put something on her & she'll scrunch up her face & whine, "but I look handsome....."

I know, the baby can be dramatic.  That's all that's going on in this picture.  She was fine just as soon as someone paid her the attention she was looking for.  I love her & I love her drama.  We're kindred spirits in that respect.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

going to the chapel

We have been riding the roller coaster around here.  But the good kind. 
It's been really really busy.....but the kind of busy that is exciting.   
Lee's little brother got married & all the kids got to be a part of it.
They had a blast, of course.  Stood so tall walking down the aisle.  I could barely see them as we were all leaning over one another trying to catch a glimpse, but I heard that the big girl methodically & slowly dropped her petals & the baby tried to carry the big basket & just tossed fistfuls of petals wherever.  
I hear the big girl looked irritated.
Sounds about right.
And I can picture that in my I'm good.
I did get to see the boy - held that Bible with both hands & walked like a little man in that tuxedo.  When did he start showing little signs of becoming such a big big boy?!

I told them all weekend to trust us.  That they didn't have a choice in the clothes they would wear & that the sugar would be limited & they would have to take naps & that they would need to be big about it....because something BIG was coming.
A party.
A celebration that I couldn't even describe because they've never seen anything like it before.  
And they did.

They ate well, rested, behaved beautifully through the wedding......

And then the party.

All the food - they didn't really care about.
The pink sprite - it was pretty awesome.
But it was the band.
The boy, who is more reserved than the girls, walked onto the dance floor curious, but a little uncertain.  And he stood super still.
And then his legs started shaking.
And I smiled & just watched.  Tried to engage him in a dance, but he was in the middle of something & would have nothing of it.
He shook & stared at the floor for I don't know how long & then something came out of him & he just started moving!!!
Danced all night.

All of them danced all night.  Tried to copy the moves of the backup dancers & did the Soul Train dance & learned a line dance & tried to learn the worm &  it was so. much. fun.
At 11ish PM I saw the baby about to fall asleep in the arms of her newly married uncle & around 1115 I took her to get something to drink & she said, "I'm not thirsty, I'm just so tired."

We waved goodbye to my new sister & brother in law as they left in a boat & a shooting star 
made it's way across the sky.

That was about right.

The punctuation mark on the perfect evening.
And we're all still remembering the fun & trying to pick up the pieces that fell to the ground as we left town to party it up.  

And it was well worth it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

black or white, but mostly grey with a whole lot of color

Beware of the lack of flow or order or anything normal in this post....but there are things trying to be get out of me that want to be said :)...I have a point, I almost always do, it's just whether or not it got out of me in an understandable fashion is debatable.

I remember when my oldest, or is it eldest? anyway...moving on...I remember when she was just a baby & trying to roll over. I remember seeing that she was almost there & not doing anything to help her. I knew that this was a milestone for her & I wanted her to master it.
I think the story of the butterfly stuck with me....the one where a person walking down the sidewalk saw a butterfly struggling to break free from his cocoon, so the passerby grabbed some scissors to help the creature take flight....but the thing is that God designed a butterfly to push his way through the cocoon so that all of the goo from the cocoon will be removed from his wings so that he can fly. This butterfly never flew.
And I think I have shared this story here before.

I tend to be a person who leans towards personal empowerment.
When I took a personality test recently I was shocked to have to answer a question that read something like this: are you a person who values mercy or justice?
I hate that question.
Pick one.
Even just going through the thought process of picking one will tell you a lot about yourself, I think...

That baby genius who learned to roll over all by herself is now reading & reading really well. We are at a point in her life where she'll get to a word she doesn't know & I find that sometimes I let her struggle through it - sound it out, remember the rules, you can do it - & other times when I simply tell her the word & we move on.
Both responses are correct depending on the word.
Both are helping to propel her forward as she strengthens her reading skills.

Lee & I recently went through a season when the Lord placed something heavy on our hearts & then called us to action. The burden was so heavy & the conviction so clear that it seemed to us that it would be clear to everyone. We honestly thought we had just woken up to something that everyone else was surely aware of. We were surprised when people didn't see things the way that we did.
And it has sent us on a journey.
We've been in the cocoon.

We go to church with some very talented musicians. Well known musicians that are probably paid well for their talent as they are popular in Christian music circles. And I hear criticism about that. Should they make as much money as they do? Is it right for Christians to be so 'popular'? People aren't following Jesus they're just following a Christian culture. And within these circles of the Christian world I hear attacks. And then we watched one of these men accept a Grammy for his album. And in the room filled with Christians this man is loved. In a room full of non-Christians.....I didn't hear applause & I saw people checking their phones & all of a sudden the other side of the story was clear.
It felt lonely & I wondered if the people in that room hated Jesus, because I know people do & I may have been one of those people at one point in my life, but now every time I hear of someone hating Jesus I am certain they have never taken a pure look. I get angry that I believe He has been misrepresented & anyway....I felt proud to support the ministry of this man & his music because I saw so clearly that He is playing for the audience of One. And the One has brought many to gather in worship when Chris sings.

God places burdens on our hearts that shape us & make us into the people He is making us into. People don't always see things the same way. Political parties make you you think that we should give handouts to people who need money? Or do you think we should take the cushion away so that people can be empowered to succeed? Do you think that 'wealthy' people should be forced to give portions of their money to the government? Or do you think that 'wealthy' people should be allowed to do what they want to with their money?And I am learning that I don't think it's that simple.

I hate that we live in a time when we think that really big, emotional & very real situations are as simple as 'this way' or 'that way'.

The Kony 2012 video is spreading like wildfire & with it comes the passion & the criticism.
I have heard all kinds from the white Americans 'need' to rescue black people to the salaries these people from Invisible Children take.

Sometimes individuals need the room to grow & succeed & to squeeze out of the cocoon all on their own with people standing by cheering them on. And sometimes people need to be rescued. I don't care what color your skin is.

I would say that the LRA is something of a horror story for many people & I would hate for the argument of how things should be done or the politics surrounding that to shadow the faces of the people living through this nightmare.

I think that human rescue should not be political, but rather should be personal. So if God has placed a passionate burden on the hearts of some people to stop a murderous man.....I think that's awesome. If He has not placed that specific burden on your heart or my heart.....I think that's OK too. I think God has wired us differently & there are a whole lot of hurting people in the world that need our attention. I'm thankful to live in a country that had the resources & the moral character to step in when Adolf Hitler was wiping out a massive number of innocent people. And I am OK being criticized if our country steps in to help speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

I am OK with that.

Not everyone is OK with that.

But I hope that the disagreement around that could be tabled for a moment to simply consider the brutality & reality of the situation. And maybe more importantly, find out what burdens your heart so deeply....because there is something there. It may be hidden under a lot of bad experiences or comfort, but there's something placed on each of our hearts that is purposed for something important.

And when we tap into that - then we'll see the church rockin & rollin like God intended for it to.

Monday, February 27, 2012

27 million.

So, at Passion 2012 many incredible things happened. Which doesn't surprise me anymore. God seems to show up & the willingness & eagerness inside the students present tends to explode with love & mercy & justice & all of the things that God is about.
This year the conference stood for & asked the students to raise money to end modern day slavery.
This sculpture was raised & covered with items touched by people in bondage. The students wrote prayers & Scripture & their words as they prayed for & committed to be aware of these individual, precious people represented by these items.
I love that this sculpture stands for freedom, because that's what Jesus stands for.......& I often wonder if people really know that. I love that the people who took part in the sculpture know that & want the world to know & remember that Jesus cares deeply for these people & calls us to care deeply as well & act on their behalf.
This video was released this week & it's awesome.

Tonight they will begin a 72 day campaign for freedom. And you can read more about it here.
And all 2 of you out there reading this can at least know what this is all about. If you are in Atlanta & see this 130 ft arm reaching towards Heaven, at least now you know a little bit about it. If you don't live in Atlanta.....then maybe now you know a little bit more about some terrible that's going on in our world today.
More slaves in the world today than in any other time in history.
And this blog has served as a record for our family....& this is part of our tapestry now. It has touched us & I want it documented.
And so it is.
And as you go through the day today, remember the people who are trapped right now. We play a part in that & I am learning & agree that boycotting is not the answer. I don't know the answer to make this nightmare go away for these people. But I believe in prayer. And I believe the Lord has heard their cries & has called His people to respond.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

dr report

We loaded up & headed to the eye doctor. He's a great doctor. Called us back from the waiting room himself!! And my 3 in glasses followed behind with the baby constantly looking back, "it's not my turn to get drops, right mom?"
And the big girl jumped in the chair, ready for the challenge ahead of her & so hopeful. & my heart sank as I heard her struggle through the letters.
When I saw how big the letters were that she couldn't read I thought I might cry for her right then.
But he put drops in her eyes to dilate her pupils & we waited. And after he checked her eyes again he said that her vision has changed!!!
When he got the right prescription on her she read through those letters all the way to the bottom - missing one. She mistook an "F" for a "P"! Easy mistake.
The patch is working :).
She only has to wear it for 2 hours a day rather than 4 & she was so excited!!!
We are thrilled & thankful to see the Lord restoring her vision.
He's a redemptive God. A God of restoration. & we will hold tight to Him regardless.
Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

her eyes.

My baby....well, my big girl.....goes to the dr this week to learn about how her eye is doing.
She's been a trooper.
She is so responsible about wearing her patch for her 4 hours every day. I often don't even have to remind her to put it on. She just does it.
And when we found out that the littles were getting glasses, she didn't complain that they didn't have to wear patches & she did. She asked 'why?' & sighed a little because it's hard to do things like this all by yourself......but she moved on.
She's been strong & I'm so proud of her & I'm jotting it down here because I want her to never forget that I admire her for how she has handled this. It's not a big deal in the big picture.
We know that.
She knows that.
But she wishes she could see normally & if she can't she just wishes that she could not have to wear her pretty & fun as they are. Some days she just wants, and these are her words, "for people to not stare at me."
So. She's praying & I'm praying with her. And we would love for anyone reading this to pray about this part of her story......that her vision would be great. Great enough to say farewell to the pretty patches. And that we would completely trust that the Lord has a big story for her life & whatever that looks like, that we will rejoice. And God gets the glory for all of it because it's His big amazing canvas.
Not perfection. Perfection, or even the attempt or desire for perfection, keeps us clinging to ourselves or to another's applause. We want whatever it is that keeps us close to Him.
Patch or no patch.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the hearts part deux

We had a blast making these!!
It has been nice to have a little time carved out to really spend some time this year, this season, whatever..... it's been nice to have time.
It's funny, it's not like the time hasn't been there all along - we have just filled it up with stuff that I honestly can't really remember. These are the moments I remember & it's usually because the kids won't let me forget! Short amount of amazingly messy happy times are totally multiplied.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

hearts & a big ol mess

Yes. I'm remembering it all so clearly now. These are my favorite things. Valentine's, for starters, though not my favorite holiday with all the commercializing the love, but I do love the hearts & the chocolate & the crafts & the candy.
But a true love of mine is just getting a little messy on the kitchen floor with the littles. I don't do it enough & we haven't done it in a while. We started making our valentine's today & had a pretty great time. And oh my goodness why don't I just snap her picture all the live long day? That face! That funny expression! & she does it always when the camera is on her. These are the days......right?
I was in line at target & a dad told me to hold on to these days & I could tell he was remembering his bigs when they were littles. And I can't imagine the memories that he holds in his heart because my heart could explode with all that is in there already.

And as an added bonus I feel such freedom snapping the pictures at moments like this because my house is supposed to look like this. You don't notice what a disaster it all is with the glory of the flour & such scattered here, there & yonder.
I love playing with dough - something messy & pliable that can be molded into something beautiful. The sweet picture of this while making hearts just makes for pretty awesome conversation. Beautiful messes covered by grace. I can't wait to post pictures of their finished products!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Doster Family: Give Them Grace

My sweet friend Rebecca wrote his post today & thought it was worth passing along.
The Doster Family: Give Them Grace: I am reading this book and I am LOVING it. One thing I have struggled with as a new mom, and I knew I would from day one, is feeling li...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Story Telling

I was busying myself around the house when I looked over & saw my 2 youngest 'reading' - the boy 'reading' to the girl. She was snuggled up right next to him & I grabbed my phone to snap a picture.
And then I heard those noises in my head.
The 'clicks' ..... like a shutter opening & closing.
What was that?
So familiar.....
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks....

My phone has made life speed up. Much faster than it's supposed to & much faster than I am comfortable with.
When did I settle for a phone snapshot?
When did I settle for grabbing my phone out of my pocket to just send that picture off to the facebook??
When did this happen?
Where in the world is my camera?

My camera. When I look through the lens of my camera (that I
am so unqualified to even use, by the way,) I hear stories being told.
Memories being filed away & I feel so present.
When did I start moving too fast to carry that big ol' thing around?
That stops today my friend.
No more.
No more of this phone camera picture snapping.
I'm back to the process of story telling.
Story telling is a process.
It forces a barrier between my story & theirs & gives a more clear perspective.
It's slower. It develops.

It spiritual.
Me & camera.

Because I am not thinking about fast forwarding through these years of him reading to her when he can't even read himself. It's not nearly as much fun to watch him read to her when he can actually read! I mean, LOTS of people can do that!
It's those special years when the pictures tell the story & only the one holding the book can tell you that story.
I want to know that story.
Only a few people on the planet get tickets for that show & I am one of them.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

more Christmas

Not sure how this got lost in the draft folder.....but these are some of my favorite pictures from our time in Jackson.....way back when it was still 2011.