July 2015 archive

Sick

Today, I’m sick.

Sick of all the world has to offer…

Sick of slanted media…

Sick of immature adults…

Sick of unborn babies being thrown out like yesterday’s trash…

Sick of selfish, entitled people who can’t look past themselves to benefit someone else…

Sick of the heat…

Sick of people who have no respect for others…

Sick of joy being stolen at every turn…

Sick of black versus white…

Sick of people caring more about animals than humans…

Sick of all of satan’s tactics to steal, kill and destroy…

Sick of illness and death…

Just sick…

My soul has been singing this all day long…

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus…

You can have all this world, just give me Jesus…

Give me Jesus…

Give me Jesus…

Give me Jesus…

Thankful to Tears

Today is one of those days.  My heart is so full and so empty, all at the same time.  We’ve had two of the best days of the summer thanks to some beautiful friends who came to spend a few days with us.  They left today and we’re all feeling so full of heart, yet so emotionally raw.

Sawyer broke down at the lunch table a bit ago crying because she missed them already.  Through her tears, she said, “I just love them so much.”  Well said, sugar.  Well said. 

The Lord has been so gracious to my family and has blessed us with some pretty fantastic people that we get to do this life with…

Our neighbors are special people.  If I have to live in the-middle-of-nowhere Colorado, I am certainly glad they are here with me.

There’s not much that can warm my heart more than when someone dotes on or shows kindness to or gives gifts to my kids.  When someone goes out of their way to compliment them or include them or speak life to them or protect them just as they would their own, that’s a special thing…and Gillian does just that.

This woman has shown me what it’s like to love other people’s kids. 

Sawyer with Gillian (and friends) on her wedding day

Sawyer with Gillian (and friends) on her wedding day

I’ll easily admit, I haven’t been the greatest at that.  Sometimes, other people’s kids are a bit hard to love, ya know what I mean?  You know you do…. I’m getting better, because of people like her.

Any and every time I’ve needed her to watch the kids (or when they’ve just flat begged to go over) she has never made me feel like a burden, has always begged for them to come right back and always has fun things for them to do while they are there.  She’s always got her eye on them and sends me pictures of their day.  She hugs them and loves on them just as she does her own son.  She is a safe (and fun) place for them and that alone is priceless to me.

She is beautiful – seriously beautiful – and kind and gracious and encouraging.  I could talk to her for hours even though we usually only get minutes!  She is one of our biggest treasures and one of my favorite friends.

Gillian, we are so thankful for you.  Thank you for teaching my through your example how to love other people’s kids and to love them well….

This lady…

Momma Jeanie

Momma Jeanie

What in the world would I do without this lady? 

She is a well of wisdom; deep abiding waters drenched in love with a knack for spilling it out at just the right time in just the right way.  ***My phone dinged minutes ago with her checking in, asking me to be kind with myself.

She’s a momma to me.  She’s stood beside me as I birthed all three of my babies and got to bless them in Jesus name as I recovered.  She has listened to my scared and aching heart more times than I care to count.  She has stood in the familial gap when there’s been no one on my side to stand with me.  She is sensitive to the Holy Spirit and she acts and responds and speaks in His power and authority and I am blessed because of it.

She’s the one I get to send all of my silly baby videos to because I know she see’s the beauty I see.  She’s the one I get to bounce ideas off of and get real, honest, loving feedback from.  She’s the one that knows my struggles because it takes one to know one; we are cut from some of the same cloth, she and I.  What an honor…

She has loved me like her own for 6+ years now…given of herself so selflessly…and healed some wounded areas in my heart by doing so.

Mom-a-la, you are a treasure.   Thank the Lord for Wal-Mart and bright blue church t-shirts.  My life wouldn’t be the same without you in it.  Thank you for all you do for me and for being the best spiritual momma (and real momma) a girl could ever ask for.

And finally, my sweet friend, Roisin.  She is breathtakingly beautiful, incredibly organized and efficient, unshakable in any way shape or form and is the most loving, doting, Godly mother I have ever met.  She is the wife and mom I aspire to be. 

Roisin and her beautiful family

Roisin and her beautiful family

She and the kids came and stayed with us for a couple of days (poor Mike had to work – we missed you!) and we had the best time!  Hence my sappy heart today…

She and Mike are the epitome of Godly parents.  They love the Lord and are constantly and consistently taking the pieces of their lives back to Him and His word and strive to live in obedience to Him…and the fruit of their labors is evident.

Her kids are so gentle and loving and encouraging, not only to each other, but to our kids as well.  For the past two days, they have helped Wryder up and down the stairs…helped me change baby Sayble’s diapers…played all kinds of silliness with both kids…blessed Sawyer for her birthday…were so grateful and polite and easily entertained – these are the kinds of kids that are quite easy to love, by the way.  :)

They are all of those things because she is all of those things.  Her oldest daughter told me I needed a cape because I was super mom.  If I need a cape, Roisin needs a cape AND a crown AND a ceptor…

She is a wife who honors her husband; she loves him and loves to spend time with him and takes joy in being his helpmate.  She takes care of her home and always has it in such splendid order, despite the wildly creative fun the kids are always engaged in.  She prays for her family and over her family and is very intentional about teaching them how to love and honor the Lord and each other.  She is a devoted friend – quick to listen, quick to pray and quick to lend hand.  She has loved me and my family from day one without any reservations or hesitations; she was just all in!

Someone once told me that she’s the woman who, if it weren’t for her overwhelmingly kind and gracious self, you’d just want to punch in the face for being so darn near perfect.  It made me laugh because I agreed.  :)

Sweet Roisin, you are such an inspiration to me.  If I could do life half as graciously as you, I would consider myself wildly successful.  Thank you for loving my family so wholly.  We feel quite undeserving of your affection and your time but we are oh-so grateful for it.  You and your family mean more to us than we could ever, ever fully put into words.  Just know you are in our hearts.   And?  I’d never punch you in the face, just so we’re clear. 

So thankful for these wonderful women.  Thankful to tears.  Sappy momma needs a nap…

Worth 1,000 Words: Summer Fun

So, let’s just get straight to the point…I’m WAAAAAAAAY behind on posting pics of our {spectacular} summer so far.  Here’s a tiny recap of what we’ve been up to!

The kids got to go to the Denver Aquarium with Uncle Warner…IMG_1101IMG_1099IMG_1097

I love this pic...

I love this pic…

IMG_1102IMG_1103

Sawyer's in there!

Sawyer’s in there!

IMG_1105

There’s Wryder

I think it's safe to say Wryder liked the mermaids.  *ahem*

I think it’s safe to say Wryder liked the mermaids. *ahem*

We checked out the Kearney Children’s Museum with some friends…IMG_3924IMG_3919IMG_3908IMG_3905IMG_3901We checked out the Sutherland Rodeo on July 4th…IMG_4879We’ve played in the water…a lot!IMG_4024IMG_4023IMG_4019We’ve played hide and seek…I loved Wryder’s hiding place.  Sister couldn’t find him and he was more than content with that!IMG_3958We’ve enjoyed daddy being home for a week or two…IMG_3957We’ve had pop surprises and yummy desserts…IMG_3951IMG_3953We’ve gone on adventures, decked out in our finest, no less!IMG_4893We had missionaries come for lunch, whom the kids did NOT want to leave!IMG_3928IMG_3929IMG_3930We’ve taken our chickens out for strolls…Messages Image(617879593)Totally kidding.  Just seeing if you were still with me.  Isn’t that picture hilarious!?

All-in-all, we’ve been having a blast together!  The next big thing (besides local county fairs and more summer fun) is gearing up for someone’s 5th birthday.  How in the world did that get here so quick?!

IMG_39992The little lady asked for a county fair party so we’re hoping people are too county-faired out to come – she’s SOOOOO excited!

I hope your summer is going just as well.  It’s a hot one here today and we’re headed out to throw some water balloons!  YAY!

Four Little Words

My husband has the privilege to work for a really neat company.  (Neat doesn’t really do them justice, but if you could hear the warmth in my voice when I say that, you’d better understand.)  They do a lot of things exceptionally well in my book, including the ways they use their time and resources.

They’ve always been big supporters of the local and regional homeless shelters and supply them with meat every week.  Two weeks ago, under the organization of their fabrication floor manager, they took their efforts up a notch in order to connect with this community of people in a more personal way.

The employees at the plant teamed up with the regional homeless shelter and safe house and hosted a family fun day.  They cooked out and fed everyone, as well as rented out the zoo and mini-golf park for a day of fun.  How cool is that?! 

The employees served in every capacity and got to just hang out and love on these people for an afternoon.  It was one of those events where they came back (perhaps) more impacted than those they went to serve.

Packing plants can be dark places.  It’s an industry with no “easy” jobs, a decent amount of turnover and the employee base can be made up of a rougher crowd of folks.  This place is different; these people are doing their best to shine the light of Jesus inside the plant and out.

Wrex was telling me about a manager there named Roy.  Roy holds Bible studies AT the plant and is really invested in the company, but especially his employees.  In the past year, he’s led 10 people into a personal relationship with the Lord.  He’s a mover and a shaker and he inspires people to be better and love harder and live more righteously and to change the world around them for His glory.

As Wrex was telling me about the event and about him, my heart was overcome with emotion.  Through tears, I said, “I’ve always wanted to be one of THOSE people…”  Haven’t you?  What joy there is in doing the work of the Lord and making an impact on this generation and generations to come!

Before I could even finish my sentence proclaiming that I wasn’t, Sawyer immediately interjected with, “But you are, momma.” 

As a doer myself, I often wonder if I’m doing enough.  I have dreams and desires regarding the Kingdom of God and issues that pull at every ounce of my being.  I see and hear of needs that I so desperately want to be a part of finding a solution for.

Sometimes it feels like needs are so much more pronounced and visible in bigger cities so it makes it easier to meet them there.  That’s not always the case in small town America…though I know some of those same needs exist here, too.

And it’s not just responding to need.  A Bible teacher once talked to us about responding to need vs. responding to the Holy Spirit.  We could exhaust ourselves financially, emotionally, physically, etc. if we simply set out to meet every need we ever encountered; need knows no end!  But when we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit (give where He says to give, go where He says to go, etc,) we can better impact the world in His name, for His glory.

Sawyer’s sweet little interjection caught me completely off guard and in that moment, the Lord used her to get my attention.  He spoke directly to my heart and told me there was always more room for good done in His name in this ole world…but He showed me that the person I was saying I wanted to be…I AM to my husband and kids. 

And isn’t that where it has to start?  In your heart and then your own home??  If I don’t love my husband or children well, how on earth can I love a friend, much less a stranger?  If I don’t have a marriage that emulates what the word says a marriage should look like, how on earth can anyone take any other ministry I have seriously?  If I can’t teach my children about the Father heart of God and the righteousness He desires from them, how on earth can I be effective elsewhere?

It was a good reminder that right now, this IS my primary ministry.  Yes, there are things we’re called to do regardless of our position in life…care for the orphan, widow and alien…share the Good News…be kind and loving and joyful and gracious and merciful, etc.  It’s great to dream big, Kingdom sized dreams…but don’t grow weary of doing good in your own home.  You are impacting more people than you realize – for better or for worse – I guarantee it.  Make sure it’s for the better.

It was so nice to be “seen” tonight by someone I love and trust and adore.

It was nice to have the lies of the enemy squelched just as they passed my ears, before they fully wreaked havoc on my head and my heart.

It was nice to be able to receive such awesome revelation in a moment when I needed it most.

It was nice to be ministered to from my own ministry. 

“But you are, momma…”

Four simple words that have inspired me to keep fighting the good fight.   She saw those things in me, because she’s been on the receiving end of what I’ve given away.  She’s been inspired.  She’s been encouraged to do better.  She’s been the recipient of an unconditional love.

I’m thankful for the hubby’s job and company and even more grateful to have my job and ministry be one and the same.  The ministry that is Wrex and Sawyer and Wryder and Sayble will, indeed, transform generations to come.  Lord, help me to do this and do it well.

Soaking Up Summer

This time of year, most sale barns in this area take a week or so off for wheat harvest and such so daddy gets 10 or so days of built in vacation time.  Are we blessed or what?!

Since we went to Texas last month, we’re opting for more of a stay-cation – with a few day trips thrown in for good measure.  We’ve already been to Nebraska to see the grandparents and Oklahoma cousins.  We got to go to Cody Park and feed animals and ride the rides…we stopped in at the Children’s Museum in Kearney with good friends and today we had really great company come to the house for lunch!  The kids were stoked to have visitors and we loved every minute with them!  (More on that later).

Last night, daddy took us to supper and we stopped at the fireworks stand on the way home.  Tonight, Wrexy lit some up and the kids had a BLAST!

They stood on the edge of the yard, holding hands waiting for the bang and the flash of lights.  Their little eyes were wide with excitement and anticipation.  Wryder jumped nearly every time but then would squeal with glee and run around asking daddy for more.

I love their excitement and zeal over all kinds of things…from fireworks to new swimsuits to meeting real live missionaries to eating Mexican food to watching a DVD in the car to seeing new baby chicks to spotting the moon in the sky before it’s even dark…the world around them is new and exciting and ready for them to explore…..AND?  As their parents, we get the pleasure of taking that journey with them.

Friends of wee ones, we are living in the best days of our lives, I am convinced!  Wrex and I were married for 5 years before we started having babies and those 5 years were really sweet.  We did that {horrible, awful, ridiculous, no good} long distance dating thing for 3 years before we were married so it was so nice to have some “us” time.  It allowed us to really solidify our marriage and prepare ourselves for raising children.

As good as that time was, we love this time of our lives even more.  To be able to see and feel and interact with the product of our love is such a treasure.  Oh yes, there are some hours and days that may feel long but oh – the joy far outweighs the work and the blood, sweat and tears that go into this parenting thing.

There’s a chance that you’ll never be this loved, this exciting, this worthy of emulation in their eyes ever again.  Revel in it.

Friends, I encourage you to soak up those kiddos of yours this summer…

Say yes a little more often…

Go swimming more than you want to and get in that swimsuit and jump in with them…

Eat at McDonalds (or Mickey Don-dalds) even if you just drink a Dr. Pepper…

Blow bubbles and jump on trampolines and go on nature walks…

Look for ways to show them grace…

Get messy and muddy and eat popsicles to beat the band…

Take lots of pictures and capture those smiles and squeals and ingrain them in your mind’s eye for days to come…

These are the best days of our lives.  Soak them up.