Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A May Wedding

So the wedding trip went a little like this...

The van door flew open, I stepped out and dusted off the crumbs of the sonic tots and breakfast burrito as I clinched my fists and braced myself for the weekend ahead. A plane ride, graduation party, graduation, rehearsal dinner, wedding, mother's day, and plane ride home... all within 4 days.  Whew.  A moment where you couldn't allow your mind to consider how tired your body already was, because if you gave 2 seconds thought, you might have to peel yourself off the pavement. 

My job was to unbuckle and unload the kids as Denver hurriedly set up the double umbrella stroller for the littles to ride in.  I strapped them down and gave them snacks as I dug through my 2-ton-5-gallon-carryon to find my wallet.  One tiny wallet in a great big purse can be difficult to unearth.  Amongst the boogie wipes, snacks, formula, markers, diapers and... chocolate, somehow the one thing I needed was at the bottom of the bag.   Always. 

I wheeled the littles to the desk with Daxx tottling behind.  Denver (bless his heart) had to drag 3 carseats, and 2 giant suitcases to the check in station.  My job looked easy, all of the sudden.  After I whipped out 2 birth certificates, 1 shot record and a drivers license we could now place the 2 suitcases on the dreaded scale.    (Obviously, we bought these suitcases before the 50 lb weight limit.)  I held my breath as the scale configured the poundage.... and yes!! I was 7 pounds UNDER!!  I wiped the sweat from my forehead and sighed.  

Boarding passes in hand, car seats and ginormous red suitcases checked, we proceeded to the security check point.  Shoes off, stroller collapsed, little-liquid-containing-baggie exposed, phone in bucket, sweat dripping down my forehead (again)... we were through the security check.  Breathing deeper now, feeling a little lighter, we proceeded yet again.  On to the gate.

Zadie: "I need to pee-pee"... 

Me: "Of course you do"

I walk her into the "potty", AKA women's restroom.  I show her the cool plastic-toilet-cover-thingymagiger... and she refuses to sit on it.  Crossing her legs, pee-pee dancing she tells me she no longer needs to use the "potty".  

We board the plane. 

My mom, Dutch, Zadie and I on one side of the isle and Daxx, my Dad and Denver across from us.  

With only 1 trip to the bathroom, we survived to tell about it. Yipppeee.  That was all I could ask for, anyways. 

Now, let me introduce you to the nicest house I have ever spent the night in... The Guggenheim Manor.    Through VRBO you too can stay here.  The man renting it out had the last name Guggenheim, so we referred to it lovingly as Guggenheim Manor.... basically I just like saying Guggenheim.  Guggenheim. (Okay I am done)   But, seriously this was an 8000 square foot, marble floor'd, elevator having, 3 story, 6 bedroom... death trap for babies... I think we counted 78 open outlets, 56 steps, 23 cabinet doors, and... lots of other non-baby-proof items your pediatrician would frown upon.    Fancy, yes.  Amazing, yes.  But... you couldn't take your eyes off the curious little man.  Exhausting. 

But we survived, yet again!!  Yeah!! 

After we settled into the "manor" we had a SUSHI PAR-TAY for my brother, Seth's graduation from Colorado School of Mines. Every tense nerve induced by the plane ride with 3 children was soothed in an over indulgence in the worlds best cuisine... SUSHI!!  Yes, cupcakes can cure many problems, but Sushi... nothing is better than stuffing yourself silly with raw fish and rice wrapped in a thin layer of seaweed.  Sushi.  Trays and Trays of Sushi.... Sushi will be served in heaven.  

After waking up squirrelley early and going to graduation on Friday, we met up with the bridal party for manis and pedis... 

Zadie's very first pedicure!! Little toesies, painted pink, nothing sweeter. 

Okay, I lied.  There is something sweeter.  It is a little girl in sponge rollers.  

Freshly washed damp hair, rolled in brightly colored rollers, curled tight upon a little ones head.... swoon... my heart melted as she ran down the hall, calling for me to see her "cwirlers".  

After many months of wondering what Zadie would do under the pressure of a basket of rose petals and a long narrow isle, my mother had a brilliant idea to set her up with some "flower girl" youtube tutorials.  Zadie set for nearly an hour watching little girls in white dresses walking down church isles dropping ever-so delicate petals to prepare for the bride.

(And do you see the 12 foot potted plant behind her... yea, just another plant Dutch could pull over on himself.  No biggie.)

The day of the wedding, we needed to leave the house at 2:00 pm.  I laid down to rest for 30 minutes with the kids around noon.  As I lay there, warm and comfy I suddenly realize I have no idea how I am going to do my hair.  A moment of panic rushed over my body.  Phone in hand I searched, "Medium Length Hair Styles" on Pinterest and I ACTUALLY did one of them!!  It might be one of the rare times that Pinterest was put to use in my life.  Score!   At 12:44 I hopped in the shower, and  I was in the car before 2:00.  (With an "up-do" and with three kids {and a husband} who were semi-ready) (I even impress myself at times.)

  After an hours drive through the mountains, we arrived at our destination.  Beautiful ranch style setting tucked away in the foothills of the Rockies.  We were wedding-ready!!

We took a short golf-cart-jaunt down the most perfect Colorado tree line road through the mountainous valley, we appraoched the wedding site.  A simple white gazebo overlooking a small lake with a 360 degree mountain view.  Perfection.  The sharp damp air, stinging your exposed skin, while the warmth of the setting sun provided a the most beautiful climate for the union of two precious people.   Small we were amongst such a grandiose backdrop painted by the Creator.

Surrounded by the sky scraping pines, the lush spring valley and the sun shining on the ridge of the Rockies there was a small glimmering jewel, twinkling with joy and bursting with excitement to be wed to her beloved.  

Because I was back with the wedding party watching the flower girl and ring bearer, I got to see the procession from this view.   (Below)  

Captivated by the moment, I stood amidst the trees.  Simply standing and watching, breathing the crisp Colorado air, witnessing the bride and her father walk arm-in-arm, wondering what thoughts were racing through her head as she made her way down the narrow path to a man she had waited so long to wed.   

As the ceremony went on I began thinking.  I have come to a realization: Weddings make me thankful for my husband.  The festivities remind me of the foot of excitement and joy that we started on.  The vows  remind me of the covenant my husband and I made nearly nine years ago and the simple reality that the journey to live out those promises has not been easy, not one bit, but it has been worth it.  

Standing there in a face full of make up, a jeweled tiara and a voluptuous white dress it is easy to repeat those words as the minister recites them from his little black book.  Eyes clinging to each other's, welled with over flowing tears and hope for a future, sometimes we don't realize that the "in sickness and in health" and "for better or for worse" will have to be put into practice.  We mistake "I will love and honor you" with physical desire and emotional connections.  Love and honor are choices, made over and over again each day, while our desires and connections with and for each other may wane over time accompanied with moments of extreme swelling.  

And the simple 6 words that are so easily repeated, "all the days of my life" are so often the most difficult to hold true to.  As we stand at the alter before the ones we love and make public promises to each other that require a lifetime of commitment, we might not consider the sinful nature that lies in us, or the schemes of the enemy to break up the most Holy covenant between man and wife.  We consider ourselves infallible and the world to be on our side.  

The beauty of a wedding day is the celebration of love found, and lives united.  I have discovered that marriage is not built on beautiful bouquets, pretty white dresses and fancy food, but instead it is centered around the promise made to each other at the alter before family, before friends and before our most Holy God who's covenants are eternal.  

Along with hugs, kisses and snuggles, every newly married couple needs to add a measure of grace and truth.

That one day, the world is FOR you, it is FOR your spouse, it is FOR your union.  Others cheer you on and cry by your side, for that one day.  Then you wake up, after the honeymoon and live in the reality that just as the sun shines rays of deep warmth, rain refreshes the parched ground and the cold blows bitterly over the mountains, your marriage will weather life's ailments as well.

The wedding weekend came to a close,  I realized we all survived.  :)  We were all better for it. 

The kids enjoyed every minute, and it was a great time of reflecting for me.  I am thankful for my own marriage, for a man who is more amazing than the day I walked down a long aisle to join him.  My heart continues to find itself lumped up in ball at home in my throat because of the amount of love and honor he has shown me, even in my times of ugliness, he is steadfast and loyal to the covenant we made.  For that I am thankful.  And.  For him.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Keep Calm

So, last night I woke up in a cold sweat from the most horrendous dream... I guess I could qualify it as a nightmare.  

When I am sick, pregnant or stressed out... I have extremely disturbing dreams.  

When I was pregnant with Dutch, I had a sneaky suspicion that I was indeed pregnant when my dreams started getting a little wacky.  After taking a test, I was right... 

At 9 month pregnant with Daxx, my first born, I dreamt the nurse handed me my perfectly swaddled, freshly born baby.  I cradled him in my arms and unwrapped the blanket to discover a hairless cat looking up at me.  (Yes.  A hairless cat.)  In my dream, I called for Denver and told him to immediately call the TODAY show.  I was convinced this was my ticket to meeting Matt Lauer.   I wasn't one bit scared of my hairless-cat-baby, I thought it was amazing, and the whole world needed to see.  (What was wrong with me?!)

Well last night, I had another memorable dream.  I was at a crowded restaurant with friends and family.   I walked through the crowd to the bathroom.  While washing my hands in the dimly lit bathroom I realize I have a mustache.  I was in the restroom with strangers begging for tweezers or a razor, so I could at least exit the building with dignity and make an appointment for laser hair removal later.  Then suddenly I became aware that I had always had the mustache... and to make matters worse, all of my friends, my family, strangers in the grocery store... NO ONE gave me any indication that I was growing a mustache!!  How dare them!  

In the confusion of discovering my post-puberty-facial-hair-conundrum I woke myself up out of sheer panic.  Completely relived to find a mustache free face.

I think I am under a little stress.  I am not pregnant.  I am not sick.  So, stress it is.

This morning, I saw this posted on Pinterest and it made me giggle.   Yes.  I need to keep calm, but I will for-go the mustache growing for now.  

So.  Out of curiosity I searched, "Keep Calm" on Pinterest and found loads of funny "Keep Calm" posters.  The original "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster was distruted by the British government after WWII, (according to Wikipedia) tstrengthen morale in the event of a wartime disaster.  In order to strengthen my moral in the event of "life's daily disasters",  have decided to share some of my favorites. 

1: The Jewish KEEP CALM, because dreideling makes us all feel better... hmmm. 

 2:  The caffinated KEEP CALM.... because a pot of coffee really makes me "calm".

3:  The true way to KEEP CALM.  Yup.  This one is trumps them all.

3:  This KEEP CALM poster wins the "random" award.  Who doesn't feel more calm after hugging a "squishy"?

4: The contradictory KEEP CALM.  Dear Biggest Loser, I have done Jillian Michael's 30 day shred enough to know that Jillian would NOT be pleased with this poster.  RUNWALK?  Ohhhh... That's what it's called when I run a mile in 23 min.  Ahh-haa.  I guess I have been "runwalk-ing" for all these years.

5:  Um, no.  Sorry KEEP CALM, Zombie On poster.... this does not put me at ease.  Zombies do not bring me serenity in any form.  YIKES!! 
(I am one of those babies who cannot watch "Walking Dead" because it's just too gross.) 

 6: Yup, let's just accept reality for what it is.

7:  TRUTH.  This is what I tell myself every.single.night.  ahhhhhh....... yes.

8:  Cupcakes usually solve all my problems.  

9:  Not sure what the "Thigh Dance" is...?  OOOHHHH.... that's what happens after I eat all of those cupcakes...  

10:  Yea.  Again.  Because of all those cupcakes.  And salt-n-vinigar chips.  And.  Dr. Pepper.  I concede.

Thanks for reading.  And remember to ....

Wednesday, May 8, 2013



Today in Oklahoma it feels like spring.  I am thankful for that.  Lately, it has felt like January.  The week before it felt like July, so this rare "seasonally appropriate" weather puts me in a giddy mood.  I love waking up, opening the back door and letting the crisp damp air flood my kitchen.  Ahhhh... deep breath in, toes cold, fresh air on my skin... it's a heavenly time of the year.

Its strange in my house today.
It's bare.
Walls empty.  Rooms echoing.
The fine art of packing has commenced.
I have swept out closets that I haven't seen the bottom of in 8 years.  The contents of my overflowing dust pan are humbling.   The bitter bite of moving from a house filled with so many memories is sinking in.  I have become a bit unstable over it all.

Monday morning I woke up.  Tired.  Emotionally exhausted.  We have had lots happen in our little life lately.  With the death of Denver's grandfather, the sell of our home, the pending purchase of a new home, a sudden ailment with my Dad's health and an approaching wedding/college graduation we are attending in Colorado; all muddled with lot's of inspections, appraisals, and repairs, each of which require some sort of check amounting to hundreds.and.hundreds of dollars... it's taking it's toll.  (Was that the longest run-on sentence ever? yes. yes, it was.)

Monday morning was one of those mornings I wanted to stay in bed all day.  Perhaps it was because I knew that once my feet hit the floor I wouldn't get good rest for a month, or possibly it was the fact that I went to bed at 1:30 am?  Either cause, it was difficult prying my eyes open, the sun piercing my retinas.  I stumbled into the kitchen, realizing I was out of COFFEE MATE!!!  Monday + No creamer = Disaster.

On my counter the baby formula sits right next to the coffee maker.  I looked at it.  A debate instantly occurred within the space of my foggy brain... "Was I indeed desperate enough to use the formula for creamer?".

The answer was no.

But, I was desperate enough to even think of that option.

I settled for black coffee with enough sugar to take the bitter taste away.  (which was a.lot.of.sugar.)

Gulping down the warm black sweetened motor-oil, I was suddenly regaining consciousness.  I set out to fix breakfast. Though our pantry was bare, I did have the ingredients for breakfast burritos.  Tortillas- check.  Eggs- Check.  Cheese-check.  scramble, scramble, fold fold.... waa-laa.

"Come and get it, breakfast is ready!" I said to gather my chickadees to the table.

Rushing in the older 2 kids grabbed a spot at our grimy table.  After buckling Dutch in his highchair, I set a freshly scrambled egg yolk on his try.  By the time I turned around, every single piece was on the floor.  I bend over, and repeat.  Then he returns the favor by throwing it all back on the floor. Again.  (Sigh) 

As soon as my 2 other children hit the chairs at the table I hear "uggghhhhh" "Not eggs."  "I hate breakfast burritos." "GROSS!!"  "I am not eating this!!"  "I WANT KETCHUP!" (<--- Can you guess who said that?!)  (And why is it that when kids complain their voices raise 3 or 4 octaves?  Like fingernails on a chalkboard, so are the complaints of my children.)

Without thinking.  I reached around to the cabinet behind me opened the bag of sandwich bread, yanked out a hand full, and threw it on the table.  "If you don't like what I made... eat this bread.  blah.blah.blah.blah....(which the "blahs" are filler for all the other dumb, condescending words coming out of my mouth... who knows what I said, I blocked it out.  I involuntarily slipped into an moment of  mom-nesia)

Mom-nesia: The state which occurs when your kids flip your final switch and whatever comes out of your mouth will never be remembered by you, but will inevitably cause your child to have therapy when they are in their late 20's.

Yup.  A moment of Mom-nesia.  I lost it.  I should have just put the formula in my coffee that morning so I could blame it all on the Similac.

After traumatizing all the children.  I go to the bathroom for a time out and to brush my teeth.  After the rage and anger subside I realize that my mouth has a bubblegum aftertaste.  Not yummy.  Nor refreshing.   Hmmm...  Oh.  That's because I am using the kids Crest Sponge Bob toothpaste.  Maybe I should have stayed in bed?

Denver walks in the back door to the room where our dining room table sits.  We make eye contact but no words are exchanged.  He knows.  The room is silent.  The kid's eyes are round, bigger than normal and heads are down.  He grabs Daxx by the shoulders, guides him out the door and they leave for school.

I am crushed.  I just sent my kid to school in shambles.  And with no breakfast.  I felt horrible, ashamed.   My heart sank as I picked up the pieces of bread, one by one, that were slung on the table.  Zadie had left the room, Dutch was finishing up his meal.  Still the room was silent.  Could I have a do-over?  Please?!?

Sitting down at the freshly cleaned table I open my Bible.  I read Ezekiel 36, stopping at verse 26.  Where I was stuck, reading it over and over and over again.

Ezekiel 36:26

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

With the stress and the pressures mounting my heart reverted to its original state.  One of stone.  One of stubbornness.  Dear Jesus, take this stony heart and make it tender once more.  I prayed. Give me a responsive spirit toward my children.  When they act in their natural selfish tendencies may I respond not in anger or frustration but with patience and with respect.   

The state of our hearts, though sealed by God (if you are believer), can change.  A heart that was once tender can become hard, and with nudging of the Holy Spirit the stony heart can be broken.  

When raising children, the monotony of the can cause us to become numb, calloused, insensitive culminating in a moment of "Momnesia".  It must be our prayer as Mothers, wives, friends, as women to pray for tender hearts, sensitive spirits and gentle responses.  When I think of "stones"  I think of words like sharp, hard, unbreakable, rigid, thick, rough... Words that I do NOT want describing me, especially as a mother.  Unfortunately, these are the words that would have described my morning on Monday.  Perfectly reflecting my heart of stone. 

I love Marc Driscoll.  I love his podcasts.  I heard this week, "We are not guaranteed a "tribulation free" life, but we are guaranteed a "tribulation proof" life."  The recent events in my life are no excuse for me to act the way I did.  Many people have larger stressors in their lives than me.  Because you have large things on your mind and heart does not give you a free pass to treat those around you poorly.  That's what Satan wants you to believe, but it's just not true.   Once this stressful situation dissipates, another one will begin.  I have learned, that is life.  

A tender and responsive heart is what I ask for today.   A gentle spirit is what I seek.  A Holy heart is what God desires of me.  He knows my situation.  He knows my trials.  His expectations do not waiver.  His provisions remain the same.  And for that I am thankful.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013


So.  I was vacuuming the other day and different thoughts were running through my head, as they usually do when I am doing chores around the house.  (Sometimes my deepest talks with God are done while washing dishes, folding clothes or cleaning the bathtub... )  Well, regardless of what I was doing I started wondering... "God.  Why does "the church" preach endlessly on money management and giving 10% as a tithe, but rarely (if ever) preaches about time management and the sabbath?  Tithing is not a commandment, the Sabbath is.  Nations were not destroyed for not giving a tithe, but nations were destroyed for desecrating the sabbath? (I am reading through Ezeikiel, right now.  Lots of Sabbath talk) ... Then, I posed this question to God, 'Do I desecrate the Sabbath, Lord?' "

A year and a half ago I sat in a small room with a handful of women and a teacher was brave enough to breech the subject of the Sabbath.   Maybe it was the right time for me to hear it, maybe it was the first time I heard it, maybe her words were just the right ones to help me understand?  I am unsure, but after leaving there a year and a half ago, I have fallen in love with the gift of the Sabbath.  God is so good to us, and he has given us a gift, but we are too busy to open it, to use it, to apply it to our lives.

She started by reading this verse of scripture:
Genesis 2:3- "And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."

Did God bless the day he separated day from night?  No.
Did God bless the day he made animals, even the cute animals like wittle-green-tree-frogs and chinchillas? No.
Did God bless the day he made man?  NOPE.

God blessed the day that he set aside for rest, the Sabbath, and not only did he bless it, he made it Holy.  No other day of creation was deemed holy, none, only the Sabbath.  (Most mom's out there will not contest that a good holistic rest is HOLY!!)

So.  Okay.  We know one fact about the Sabbath, well, actually two... The day is Holy and the day is Blessed.  These facts are black and white...inarguable...

Then as the speaker continued she brought us to Exodus 16 and the story of manna from heaven.  The Israelites were wandering, freshly escaped from 430 years of slavery they had no idea how to live off of the land.  Technically in the dessert, they quickly became thirsty and hungry...which then lead to severe ANGER toward both Moses and Aaron.  Honestly, make me walk miles and miles in flat leather sandals, take away my water and food... I might just become a little agitated.  Who could blame them??  God realized their state of mind and pulled Moses aside and told him, "I will RAIN down bread from heaven.  The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.  In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.  On the sixth day they are to PREPARE what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather the other days."  Remember, we are not talking about 40-50 people, but instead MILLIONS people!!!  (Exodus 12:37-38 there were 600,000 Israelite men... if you add equal amount of women plus children the totals are almost 3 million... This is a little under the number for the total population for the state of Oklahoma, which is 3.7 million according to google)

So millions of people were to go out each morning before the sun came up and gather 1 days worth of food for their family.  They could not keep the manna for the next day, or it would spoil.  (They know this because they tried.) Except on the 6th day, the "Day of Preparation".  They gathered enough food on the 6th day for both that day and the next, which was the sabbath.   They prepared for the sabbath in the physical act of gathering the manna, cooking it and setting it aside for the following day.  The mothers did not simply wake up on the Sabbath and kick their feet up and say, "Oh, sorry family, it's the "sabbath" fend for yourselves, I am off duty."  Instead they intentionally prepared on the 6th day for a peaceful, restful Sabbath.  The nation of Israel went on to gather manna for 40 more years. except for the Sabbath.

We talk so much about the "Sabbath", but never about the day before, the "Day of Preparation". It is Jewish custom by sundown on the day before the sabbath, they are to have the house cleaned, be at peace with one another, have ended the weeks business.   A few minutes before sundown the mother lights 2 candles, and sometimes they will add a candle for each child in the home.  They are called Shabbat candles, and they serve 2 purposes, to honor shabbat and to create an outward symbol displaying the presence of "shalom bayit" or "domestic peace".   The sabbath is observed from sun down on the 6th day through sundown on the 7th day.

We honor the Sabbath on Sunday, though it traditionally is on Saturday.  We choose this day because it is the day we join in corporate worship, a day we rest, a day we intentionally remember God.  On Saturday, the day our family sets aside as a "Day of Preparation", I follow these same guidelines.  Before bed I make sure my house is clean, I make sure my household is one of peace and things are prepared in order to have restful Sabbath on Sunday.  We must realize that we cannot wake up on a Sunday morning (if you choose this day as your Sabbath) and expect things to fall into a "restful" pace.  Nope, you're delusional.  Especially if you have children, work is involved when intentionally recognizing the Sabbath as a day of rest.  As mothers we must have things in place so our entire family can enjoy God's blessing in honoring the Sabbath as a day of rest.  (If you are in ministry, sometimes Sunday's can be anything but restful!!!) Here are some tips on how to prepare for your Sunday morning.

  1. Set out clothing, bows, Bibles, shoes... This eliminates unnecessary stress on a Sunday.  Have your kids help in the process so they do not throw a fit on Sunday morning before getting dressed.  It also helps as a time saver.  You are not looking for that one matching bow, or the other shoe that hasn't been seen in a week.  
  2. Have a yummy, no clean up, no cook breakfast.  I recently was given this tip and it has really helped at our house.  We usually have a pretty nutritious breakfast, but on Sundays, we go fun and easy.  I will pick up a treat at the grocery store, like powdered donuts, donut holes, or pre-made muffins.  It puts the kids in a good mood, and it helps me out by not having to dirty up the kitchen.  We usually eat on paper towels to, so I don't have to mess with any dishes!  
  3. Prepare myself.  Since having our 3rd baby I have realized that it's best for me to do most of my "getting ready" Saturday night.  I have an idea of what I want to wear, and I shower the night before so all I have to do is throw on my make-up and clothes.  I also set out any thing I need to bring to the church ahead of time so I am not scurrying around the house last minute while kids are pulling out bows and kicking off shoes.  
  4. If I am REALLY on top of my game I have things set out for lunch.  Sundays are most always crock-pot lunches.  I do this because it makes me break out into hives to think of going to a crowded restaurant with 2 kids that need a nap.   Someday we can participate in the "eating out after church" ritual again.  Right now we have whiney kids and the quite of my own home with 2 babes sleeping and one resting is better than any medium rare steak Oklahoma City can offer me.  ;)  

The rituals of the Jewish culture are often times paralleled in the life and death of Christ.  For example, Christ was crucified and died on "Preparation Day"...  coincidence?  I think not!  Jesus had work to do that day to prepare our way to be with the Father, he was doing the necessary preparation for us to benefit the Holy outcome.  And how awesome was his intention to not rise on the Sabbath, probably because he knew the Jewish uprising that would occur if he did so.  His forethought is impeccable.

As mothers, we too must do the necessary preparation for our family to partake in the holy blessing of the Sabbath.  The blessing of the sabbath is not tangible.  It will not put money in your pockets, trinkets on your shelves or clothes in your closets, but it will provide you with REST.  R.E.S.T.  The 4 letters that are so foreign to most American families in today's society.

In Mark 2:27 Jesus says, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath".

We don't need to regulate the sabbath, making the observance a legalistic ball and chain around our ankles.  Instead we are to partake in the blessing that was extended to us from the most Holy God.  Being the very first of religious observance and the longest held tradition, I'd say out of obedience it is something we must give attention to.

I am in my 30s, I am still figuring this all out.  Like I said, I heard all of this over a year ago and it was a BIG pill for me to swallow.  I am still trying to decipher between conviction and "traditions".

What are some things you do to prepare your family for intentional rest??

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hidden Treasures: Selling Our Home

Here I sit, on my bed, hot coffee in hand, and I am paralyzed because of the insurmountable amount of tasks I need to complete in the next 20 days.  If I start to think about the things I need to do my eyes involuntarily roll back into my head and my body slips into a state of comatose... okay, maybe it's not that extreme but that's kinda how I feel.  (*wink*)

I have shared with you before that we live in an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny house.  We tried to sell it before Dutch was born.  It was on the market for 3-4 months, and it just wasn't the right time for it to move.  The market was bad, we had a few serious lookers but no one would commit to a contract.  I was discouraged.  We took it off the market so we could have our third little baby and bring him home to the same house his brother and sister came home to.  It was a bit sentimental to look at that sweet benefit.

Well, after the whip-lash of having a newborn, Denver changing jobs and Daxx starting REAL school, the thought of cleaning my house to show it, and keeping it clean made me want to stick a needle in my eye.  (okay, again... that's an exaggeration)  But, really, I would rather live in this tiny house than go through the trouble of listing, showing, cleaning, pack the kids up-ing... blah.

We had discussed doing a "For Sale By Owner" because we have had some friends and family successfully sell their homes via FSBO different times.  One Saturday in April I had to run to Ace Hardware to get some lawnmower oil.  While I was there I stumbled on the For Sale By Owner signs for $15.00... I thought to myself, "Well, $15 is cheaper than the $8000 we would spend in realtor fees"... so I chucked the sign in my cart.

That afternoon I jammed the sign in the front yard, listed it on Zillow/Craigslist Monday, we had our first showing Friday, and an offer the following Tuesday!!!

We were both speechless by how quickly the entire process went.

What was so AH-MAZING was that I NEVER HAD TO CLEAN!!!  Friday morning after we listed it, I happened to have one of those rare days where I cleaned the house TOP-TO-BOTTOM... clearing out piles, hanging up coats, sorting through toys...  As I was making my bed I said, "God, wouldn't it be nice if we could show our house today.  It's so clean and the kids are gone for the night, so it will stay clean for more than 10 minutes..."  Then I felt compelled to pray for the special couple who was going to buy our home.  I prayed for the Holy Spirit to lead them to our house, and I had full faith that HE alone would do so.  I put the information out, and He would lead them to it.

After an afternoon of enjoying a kid-free/clean house...we got a phone call from a couple.  They called and said, "Is the house still for sale?  Can we come over and look, tonight?".  Denver was the one who was talking and he told the couple to come right over, leaving me 10 minutes to tidy things up for a "real showing".  It was quite funny,  below you can see some of my hiding techniques.

Hiding an avocado snack in the lego bin... brilliant idea.  

No time to wash all the bottles?  No problem, stick them in the dirty dishwasher and close it up... hide now, clean later. 

After showing the house, they came over again to walk through and then made an offer that week.  In less than a week of having the house listed we had an offer!!!!  God is so good.  

The neat thing too, was that the couple who is purchasing our home goes to our church.  They were unaware the house was ours until they contacted us about it, finding it through  The next Sunday we had 2 people come up to us in our church and tell us how they were praying for the couple to FIND a home, and for us to sell ours!!!  Never did they think that their prayers would coincide.  :)  I felt so honored to be prayed for and also to be a part of answered prayer.  

God is good and His timing is evident in this situation.  We close on our home on May 24, and hopefully we will close on a new home shortly after that.  This little house has offered us so many gifts.  Being tiny in size and price, our decision to live here made it feasible for me to stay at home these last 5 years while our children are small.  It has taught me great lessons on being grateful for what I have, and has convicted me of my selfishness.  Our situation has humbled us, and strengthened us, and showed us that love grows big in small spaces.  All three children have shared one room out of necessity, and are closer because of it.  They don't have a concept of "my room" or "my toys"... because they all 3 share everything.  We have had to live simply because of our lack of space, not allowing room for hoarding clothing or other bulky things.  The lessons that we have gleaned from this little bungalow have exceeded the struggles.  

I am thankful for the opportunities it has provided me and our family and knowing that anything is possible, and even if I had 1/2 the space this home provides, I still have more than most of the world's population.  

We are sad to close this chapter of our lives, but excited to live the memories that the next home will contain.  We don't leave behind a house, but we leave behind a home.  One of love, laughter, and peace.  

Thanks for reading, friends. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Little Brother Sneak Attack

One of my kid's favorite games is "camping".  They pack little suitcases, they get out the sleeping bags and pop up the Thomas Tent.  Yes.  The mess is insane, but the memories are worth it.  One evening they were laying in their "camp site" and I had to snap a few pictures to preserve such a sweet memory.  I was going through my phone this week and I saw this little progression of pics and is a perfect "snap shot" of a candid moment in our house.

Scene 1:
Here are the kids "camping", Daxx pretending to sleep and Zadie playing along.

Scene 2: A little blurry, forgive me, but do you see Dutch crawling into the tent behind Zadie?  Very Very Sneaky...

Scene 3:
Dutch has made it all the way into the tent... one little toe sticking out.  I am pretty sure Zadie is unaware of her brother's creeping...

Scene 4:
Here he comes back out, his little arm making an appearance.  Zadie has no idea what's about to hit her.

Scene 5:
annnnnd... POUNCE! Surprise attack from the little bro!

Scene 6:
Daxx is seemingly unamused, Zadie cracking up and Dutch moving on... (Sibling Perfection)

Thanks for reading on this cold blustery MAY DAY!!! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I have been MIA on the blog lately.  We had a special family member pass away last week from a spontaneous heart attack while on a boat fishing his his friend.  Jerry Duncan, "Pop", as we lovingly referred to him, went to heaven last Monday afternoon.  He had a swift and painless earthly exit, but the shock to those left here is sometimes hard to bear.  Pop was Denver's paternal grandfather.  He was a man of character and of unwavering faith.  He and his wife Donnie ("Maw") built a foundation that upholds a christ-like legacy for generations to come.  My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude to both of them because now my husband and I strive to honor their legacy and ensure it continues.

The funeral was on Thursday and we decided to take the kids with us.  The kids did not go to the service, but the older two did attend the grave side ceremony.  While we attended the funeral service at the church, Denver's maternal Grandma watched the kids in the nursery.  She said Daxx had a lot of questions and she "answered them the best she could".  (Now, we had many conversations with Daxx the prior 3-4 days about death, so I didn't think much about the "questions")

When we got to the cemetery for the graveside ceremony, Daxx happened on this grave stone (pictured below).  He came and tugged on my shirt and in the most serious voice he said, "Mom.  That person's dust is leaking out..."

I didn't quite understand what he was trying to tell me.  I simply responded by telling him, no it's just a little dirt.  Then he told me, "Well, Mammy said we turn back to dust, and his dust is leaking out the top of his grave."

After he explained himself, I suddenly realized he thought this poor persons body was seeping out of the grave.  Instead of immediately laughing (because it was just too darn cute) I had to do a little re-con action and explain the process a little better.  But, the whole situation made me giggle just a little.  Kids can be so literal can't they.

The day ended well and we celebrated and paid tribute to a life lived in the light of grace and truth.  As a woman who married into this legacy, I am truly grateful for the firm stand they took in the way their life was lead.  May Denver and I take the baton passed to us, and continue it into a heritage of faith.

1 Corinthains 15:55-57

“Where, O death, is your victory?

 Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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