Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day in Dallas

Yesterday was so much fun! It was a quick trip with a full schedule. I'll post some pics from my friend Amber's wedding shower and then my friend Megan's wedding reception at the end of this post. It was fun seeing everyone and having a chance to hang out with just my mom and daughter too for a day.

Jonah has been sick today; he's run a high fever since about 2am last night. Looks like we'll be in again tomorrow, trying to get him well for our trip to Oklahoma later in the week and trying to keep him and Parker as separated as can be. He's been sweet, but he is not feeling good at all. I'm feeling really sorry for him. He's been fairly lethargic today, but I do enjoy the cuddles. When he's really sick, it's the only time he loves being held!

Speaking of Oklahoma, we will be headed to Bartlesville on Thursday, and I'm really excited. Except for the traveling part. Parker in the car for 6 hours doesn't sound fun at all. She doesn't get all that excited about being in the car. So it will be interesting, I'm sure. But it will be good to be back in Bville! It's been a while. I'm going to have some time on Friday morning to get away and I think I'll spend it having a cup of coffee at Jude's. Anyone there care to join me??! Would love to see some of you girls!

me and "old" college friend that is just always so fun to hang out with:
DBU girls - Angela, me, bride-to-be Amber, and Lizzy:
Erin..aka The Baby Whisperer...and Parker:

me and Parker with new-bride Meg:

Friday, August 22, 2008


That's the season I'm in...simplifying my life in such a way that my attention is really only given to a few things right now. The last month has been really different for me. I've stayed home a lot more and have had way fewer things going on outside my home. It hasn't really been by choice all the time, but as I mentioned recently, Jonah is going through a challenging time right seems that the reality of a new sister finally hit him three months after she arrived and he's been trying all sorts of new things for attention. And it's fine. We're all learning. But there have been some really hard days. I've just realized several things through this, and one is that we need to be home more, addressing issues and training his little heart, so most playdates have been put on hold for a while. I found that I just couldn't give him the quality time he needs and meet Parker's needs if we have very much else going on. If we tried to do much else, one kid would be suffering. It's just a season we're in. And what's funny is that in the past, I've had mom friends that have been in such a season and I just felt so sorry for them! I didn't know how anyone could handle being "shut in" so much! That's just the sanguine in me. Not to mention that I am such a "go-er." But I've really started to love it! Sure, I'd love a little more adult interaction and girl time, but that will come again, I'm sure. For now, this is so important. We've gotten some structure back to our lives, which has helped a ton. And Parker has turned out to be fairly predictable in her routine (though I recognize that that could change in just a second), and I am just enjoying my kids so much. There have been unenjoyable times, of course...I think dealing with angry tantrums all day is very draining! And it can get so discouraging when you have a day where you give up every pleasure for yourself and you devote yourself entirely to meeting the needs of your kids, and then at the end of the day, you really don't see a glimpse of its fruit. That's hard. But even on those exhausting days, my heart is enthralled with the goodness of this responsibilty of motherhood, and I love the "job" so much. And the Lord is so sweet to give endurance when I need it, support from my husband (these challenges with Jonah have really forced us to work together as a team like never before, and that's been a blessing for our relationship!), and continual lessons on dependence. And especially sweet is that the tantrums are defintely lessening in frequency, so maybe we're nearing the other side. (The other side being that they're the exception instead of the norm.) Until this past month, I've never really felt desperate in parenting, and He's shown me before that desperate is good! So it's been a good time. Sometimes brokenness just looks like simplifying in my life. So that's what I am doing and will be doing for a while hopefully. And I really am liking it. And surprised I am liking it so much. The pace isn't slower, I am still doing things nonstop from before dawn until almost midnight most days. But it's the most important things that are getting done.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I will have some friend time! Mom, Parker, and I are headed to a dear friend's wedding reception in Dallas, and I'm also going to another friend's wedding shower there. I'll be seeing several good friends that I don't get to see very often, so I'm excited! Hopefully we'll have time to squeeze in a few shopping stops too! I hope I remember to take pictures; I've been really bad about that lately.

Monday, August 18, 2008

And Now For the Simplest Window Mistreatments Ever...

Taking a cue from The Nester, I've decided to "mistreat" the itty bitty window on the door in my family room that goes into the garage and to join in her blog party today. It's not the most magnificent window dressing ever. Some gathering and layering would have been cute. But this is all I need! I just needed to add color and texture, and my garage isn't the prettiest view so I did want that covered up. So here ya have it! My first ever window mistreatment. See! I didn't even iron it before I showed you! I guess I'm learning a thing or two about "imperfect beauty" from that Nester. I decided to do this on Friday, and 15 minutes, $6, and one hot glue gun burn/blister later, here is what I pulled off:

Not bad for NO sewing, don't ya think? For a girl with no skills, this mistreatment concept is right up my alley!

See the before?

And once again, the after:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bookcase, Before and After

Just wanted to show you a recent painting project that I think makes a big impact in our family room. We're not going to paint the walls but they're quite a bit lighter than I prefer. So I wanted to add some warmth to the room in another way. Sweet Shelly helped me paint (well, so did our husbands actually) because I am so inept with a paintbrush. Really, some people get all the skills. Others of us have none. I totally stole the idea for this new look from Shelly's house. But I don't feel bad because I'm pretty sure that the first time I went to her house soon after we met, I told her in no uncertain terms that there were about fifty-three things in her lovely home that I wanted to copy exactly. She could have ended the friendship there. But she didn't. So I'm assuming she feels complimented or something. Of course, she is moving to another state this month. I don't know what that means. But anyway, Shelly, I really appreciate the inspiration as well as the manual labor!

Here is the way-too-white built-in bookcase that I never really tried very hard to make pretty, before we worked the magic :

And Ta-da! Except for the few empty areas that will soon be filled with more books that I'm going to steal back from Joel's office, here is the finished product. After:

Oh yeah, I already changed up a few things since taking that picture, but you get the idea of how much of a difference the black paint makes. And here is another view of it from the family room, looking into the kitchen (I like the black and white contrast; it adds a little drama.):

Pay no attention to the two missing lampshades on the chandelier. They're broken but no worries. They've already been put on the honey-do list, and I have full confidence in his abilities.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just Some Pics

Here are some pictures that I like from the last few weeks...

My three favorite people in the world:

Spending time with a couple of girlfriends from high school, Amber and Erin:

Jonah with Erin's daughter Isabel (Can you tell they love each other?):

Jonah on a day when he insisted on wearing socks (He tried on every pair he owns with different shoes. In his boxer briefs.):

Lastly, one of the few mother/daughter pics I have actually taken with Parker:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rainy Day

Isn't this little boy just so cute?

Rain has canceled our plans to go to the pool this morning with Alissa and Luke, and that was a bummer. But we've been rocking on our front porch, listening to the rain while Jonah plays in it, splashing in puddles. The line of the song "You are my Sunshine" that says "You make me happy when skies are grey" has been playing in my head this morning. That cheesy smile of his in this picture just cracks me up.

And let me tell you, we've needed some sunshine in our home! This little boy has been quite challenging the last couple of weeks, so we're in a big season of having to train and retrain on some things. It's hard work! Also, I've been working the last couple of days on getting Parker on a regular sleeping and eating schedule, and that's been going pretty well. It's time for us to have more structure to our day or I'm not able to give Jonah the attention he needs, so we're really trying to figure out this week how that all needs to work. There have been a number of anger tantrums the last week and a half, and we have lots to work on! There have been some draining days, but God has given much encouragement through His Word and through daily empowerment. The power to parent is always there, I just hate that it takes me getting so desperate before I turn to Him, lean into Him, and tap into that power. I wish I started every day with brokenness and dependence! I'm working on that this week too! I find it very interesting how dramatically our family dynamics have changed in the last week or so. Parker is so easy now! Her brother is quite challenging! I love them both so much and even when I find myself in a season of hard work discipline-wise, I am extremely grateful for the little moments of sunshine that make their way in...moments of laughter, funny things being said, and just pure enjoyment of life with my kids. And to me, this picture captures the essence of that enjoyment!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I told you I was going to give an update on previous posts where I had shared my conviction about the need to be building relationships with nonbelievers and do what I can to influence more people to come to Christ. It's an area where I've been greatly encouraged by the Lord, and I wanted to share a couple of those encouragements.

First, I've seen where these relationships are not just tasks to be checked off the "Christian to-do list" but rather an outflow of a heart devoted to Christ's cause on this earth. It's a matter of God wanting to create an openness in my heart towards these opportunities and essentially making it a part of my character to want what He wants and to live according to His same priorities. I get that that's the goal. But I realize more and more how little my priorities actually match up with His, and I'm learning that He doesn't wait until we reach perfection to include us in His work. He takes what we give Him, and He mercifully walks us through the baby steps of this life of following Him. I'd think He'd tire of the baby steps, but He is ever so patient. And as I've said before, this relationship-with-nonbelievers thing is not something I've yet grown up to where God desires. Still taking baby steps. But oh my goodness. I have seen that even in our baby steps of growth, He responds. He leads. He acts. He always does His part of the things He has promised. And in this one little area, I've already seen where He has been faithful to bring about relationships, opportunities, and the power to impact the heart of a person who does not yet know Him. What a privilege to be a part! I have one such person in my life now, and you can all say a big "YAY!" about that, and I say thanks to so many of you who have played a part in that journey with your wise words and ongoing conversation about this. So YAY! A relationship is there. And openness is there on the part of the nonbelieving friend. And several things have happened that absolutely confirm to me that the Holy Spirit is definitely at work in this person's life! I'm praying. I'm just thankful for God's precious reminder to me that He asks something from us in regard to this one area because He is already at work and will always finish what He's started!

The other thing about all this that has encouraged me greatly is that I've seen how much of a team effort it can be. In this one particular relationship, a friend of mine met this person and started her own relationship with her. My friend began the investing. And then through introducing us, she included some others of us in this process. And we've all played a different part. My friend is doing an amazing job investing in this relationship and the Holy Spirit has given her beautiful words to share about Christ, and her genuine love has so validated her words. I've played a small part. To share in that love, to ask intentional questions to get her thinking about Christ and to come alongside with words that speak of who Christ is. To pray. To encourage others are witnessing as well. And I just am so refreshed by the fact that God often uses a community of people to reach one lost person. I know that should have been more obvious to me, but I guess one of the ways Satan discouraged me in this area is by making me feel like I had to play all the parts in helping someone come to Christ. Sounds so silly! But I guess he's had success with that since pride is ever an issue in my life. And I finally have felt the freedom of playing whatever role God has for me. Sometimes I will be the initiator and someone else will play the coming-alongside role and other roles, and other times, like this one, I'll be in the supportive role. And the roles may change even within the same relationship! Whatever God has planned. But I think I had to take this pressure off myself to play all the roles and just follow God's specific leading for particular situations. That is encouraging, my friends! I love seeing God at work in these things, and I still can't get over the fact that He uses us in them.

What are some of the encouragements God has given you in the area of living "on mission" for the gospel?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stop Me Next Time I Start to Say Something Like....

"This is my new plan."

I remember writing that in the last post. And I should know by now that God likes to remind me that even when He gives me plans and they are good ones, He still reserves the right to change them. Whenever He wants. And change them He did, this week. I've been sick ever since Monday afternoon, have had to cancel every fun thing that was planned, and haven't gotten one thing done other than meeting the basic survival needs of my children. And even that just barely got done! My "plan" to get organized has failed miserably. This has not been fun. Why oh why do I let my plans turn into idols? Why do I even need to have a system in place when it's obvious that right now God wants me living in the moment, trusting in His grace for that day alone. Not that He doesn't want me to get organized or to plan. I just am convicted that I fail to seek His leadership on the whens and hows of my daily responsibilities and I try to plan out life days in advance without waking up each day with the question, "Lord, what do you have for me today?" and begging Him for the power to accomplish it all. No wonder I'm burdened by so many undone tasks! I'm forgetting to live one day at a time. And nothing like some physical sickness to remind me that one-day-at-a-time-living is all I can do!