Saturday, May 31, 2014

Front Porch Pictures

I wanted to make sure we kept the memories of the home we shared while the children were young. This was the only home our children have know. Josiah and Titus were born while we lived in here. Eden was only 8 months old when we moved to Williamston. I read somewhere that you should take a photo of your children on your front porch before you move, so we did.  

As for getting 3 children, ages 6, 5 and 2 to all smile at the same time, well, that just doesn't happen. When it does it look something like this:

I love that they are all bare foot :)

 Our back yard
 funny faces

Our last family photo in Williamston

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What were you doing 8 years and 1 day ago?


May 2014
I've been reading though my blog. I'm so happy that I've chosen to capture memories here, because  I'm awful at keeping a journal or baby books. Eden has a week or two filled out in her baby book. Josiah might have some of the pre-birth stuff filled in, in his book. I don't think I bought a book for Titus. I know 3rd kids and all right, Abbey??? :)

Anyways, I was reading this post and thought if these words were so true 4 years ago, how much more are they true 8 years later, And how much more will they be in 12 years, 32 years, maybe even 58 years from now! So I'm reprinting them with some added details, Which means all the stuff that happened in the last four years in mind, and especially with Titus added in. He's a 3rd child and will feel left out if he's not included. I filled some details and helped continue the story because the words are more true today than they were 4 years ago, or even 8 years ago. The God who knows me, and my story, He orchestrated all of this together to make us a part of His story. I'm just happy we get to be a part of it. So without further ado:
What were you doing 8 years and one day ago? Not many people will remember that day, but I do.
This time 8 years and 1 day ago, I was sitting on my washing machine having my pre- wedding melt down. It was the night before our wedding and I was a mess. I assume that all brides go though this. I've seen some on Bridezilla, but refuse to believe I could ever act like that ;)

My house was full of family that had come in from out of town. So to have what I thought was privacy, Larry and I went into the kitchen to talk. Since then my little sister told me she heard our whole conversation while  we thought she was sleeping on the couch. Oh well, so much for privacy.

The conversation went something like this: I can't believe how much isn't done! There were all sorts of things that I wanted, things that right now I can't remember what in the world they were, but there was a lot of them. So you know they must have been crucial if I can't remember them now right?? :) I started to Squall. Squall: a word I learned living in the country. "Squallen'" means you cry so hard that your eyes turn red and puffy and snot begins to run uncontrollably down you nose. It's also known as an "ugly cry." It's a pretty gruesome sight, especially to a groom-to-be! The "for better or worse" wasn't supposed to start until the next day.  Oh boy did Larry get a full dose of worse that night!

So as I'm squallen', I'm thinking this man has no idea what to do with me right now! And bless his heart, he didn't. BUT THEN, (I love BUT THENS in stories) he hugged me and said everything would be OK. He asked what was bothering me and what he could do to fix it. Then there was some pretty serious conversation about running off to Vegas and finding an Elvis to marry us and to heck with all the unfinished details!
After laughing through that thought, I calmed down. Larry spent the next 20 minutes convincing me that the important thing was we were getting married. The silly things I was worried about were just that, silly things that were not important. What was important was we would stand before our friends and family, and GOD and declare our love to one another for the rest of our lives. Those silly details compared to our lifetime together wasn't enough to get that upset over. Wow! Perspective! Speaking Truth in Love. Maybe this man did know what to do with me after all!

So we got married. :) There were things that didn't go right, but I don't think of that now. What I do remember is the look on Larry's face as I walked down the isle to him. I remember laughing through our wedding (we haven't stopped laughing since then.) I remember thinking I had waited so long to meet the right man and get married. Wow! He was worth the wait!!!! God gave me a wonderful man whom he had been sculpting and growing for years. Then he gave Him to me. Next to my salvation, Larry is the best gift I have ever received.

And as these past eight years have flown by so quickly! We have had to deal with so many BIG life changes in such a short amount of time. Having 3 children in 4 years, and raising them in a constant sleep deprived state, I'm surprised daily we all made it out of those newborn days alive, that's a grace of God thing! Finishing grad school, moving to the country, dealing with the joys and hardships of full time ministry, Eden having major heart surgery, starting a doctorate program, moving to the city, and just living life together daily has been challenging to say the least. But just like the night before our wedding, Larry has been right by my side. Loving me, speaking Truth to me, making me laugh all the time, Loving me like Jesus would.

Are we perfect? Nope. Are we best friends? Yep! Are we so in love with one another that it hurts to be apart? You betcha! Is marriage hard work? Most defiantly, yes! I have know nothing else in my life that has shown me my own sinfulness as much as being married has, But I wouldn't want it any other way. Because I have also known love so purely and deeply that I can only compare it to God's love.

So to my husband,

I love you more today that I ever thought possible 8 years ago, I can only imagine how deeply we will love one another 50 years from now. :) I have so many things to thank you for, Thank you for taking your vows seriously. Thank you for cultivating tender affection for me. Thank you for looking at me with that twinkle in you eye that melts my heart and makes me fall more deeply in love with you each time we touch. Thank you for providing our family a wonderful home and the financial security that enable me to stay home to raise our children. Thank you for making me feel like our marriage and family are your first priority behind your relationship with God. Thank you for honoring our marriage and holding it in such high esteem. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me though my many faults. Thank you for not keeping a record of my wrongs. Thank you for the countless hours of discussions we have had about our Lord. I know Jesus better, because I'm married to you. It makes me happy to know that when God sees you and me, He sees the two of us together as one. Thank you for loving me like Jesus would. I am a blessed woman because of you. I'm looking forward to what our future holds, because we know who holds our future:)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An open letter to Reddicks Grove

Dear Reddicks Grove Church Family,

Larry and I want to thank you for the six years of ministry that we have been able to serve with you at Reddicks Grove. You have welcomed us into your lives, and we have been able to share God's love with you through the joys and hardships of life. We have been with your families as you have  experienced children being born, high school and college graduations, marriages, illnesses, job losses, major surgeries, troublesome times and the deaths of some increadable people. We have prayed with you, cried with you, and rejoiced with you. We have learned so much about ministry and the goodness of God during our time at Reddicks Grove. Our greatest joy in ministry has been watching the transformational life changes that Jesus Christ has made in some of your lives.

We came to you young and idealistic, and are leaving a little older, wiser and still idealistic.  We learned that ministry is about living life with people, and people can be complicated. When dealing with people, sometime situations are not black and white. It is in the gray that we saw God's grace best displayed.

Our faith in God has grown as we have have tired to serve Him in Williamston. We have spent countless hours praying, seeking God's will for our life and family. Resigning has not been an easy decision to come to, but we feel that God has lead us to serve somewhere else. We are thankful for the technology that will allow us to continue our friendships, even if we are not in Williamston. We also look forward to the day when we will be able to worship with you again in Heaven. What a great day that will be, the day when all things will be made right, when we will see Jesus face to face and all sing out Holy, Holy Holy is the Lamb!

With Love,