Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Random Rambles

The chicks are alive and well and getting lots of attention.  Sawyer named hers Dot and Penguin Cindi.  Wryder named his Corny and Wheater.  If that boy doesn’t farm or sell tractors one day, I’ll be shocked.

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Sayble has mastered pulling herself up – watch out world!

How we found her this morning in her crib

How we found her this morning in her crib

She has been pulling up on the dishwasher, the coffee table, any chair she kind find, the back of my legs – honestly, anything!  She got herself into quite a pickle the other day when she did this:

What do I do, mom?!

What do I do, mom?!

She was so proud of herself but then had no idea how to get down!  That’s been the biggest problem lately.  After she went to bed tonight, she started screeching 20 minutes later.  I went in to check on her and she was standing up in her bed but didn’t know how to let herself back down.  This could be fun for a while…

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We talked a lot about Palm Sunday yesterday and what exactly this week means for us as followers of Christ.  During supper, we were reviewing with dad all we learned and Wryder excitedly exclaimed, “Saywer!  Jesus is our King!”  I melt.

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It was such a lovely day on Sunday that the kids just had to ride horses.  Sawyer has gotten really good at riding and understanding general horsemanship and, of course, Wryder thinks he has.  :)

He really likes to say, “Ho” or “Whoa.”  The only problem is that he likes to say it all the time.  That makes going anywhere a little difficult.  Regardless?  He looked darn cute.

Sawyer and Ozark, Wryder and Ernie

Sawyer and Ozark, Wryder and Ernie

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Today was one of those days where we didn’t do anything really over the top – we were just together – but it was one of those days I’d do 100 times over.  We played Barbie Pop-Up Camper and learned more about Easter and read stories and did school and explored the back pasture and searched for pine cones and played with chickens and did chores and sang songs…

We have some friends – several friends – who are in the trenches…fighting for answers and fighting for life.  We are so thankful and humbly grateful for our whole, healthy family.

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Sawyer wanted to color and create this morning so she got busy with her crayons and made this beauty.

Hosanna!

Hosanna!

In case you can’t tell…that’s Jesus riding on a donkey while someone waves their palm branches.  Be still my heart…

He Is

Today is one of my favorite days of the year when it pertains to church.  Being Palm Sunday, all the cute little kiddos parade down the aisles of the church waving their palm branches proclaiming, “Hosanna!  Hosanna!  Hosanna to the King!”

After we all ooed and awwed over their cuteness and returned to worship ourselves, the weight of Palm Sunday really dropped into my heart.  As I was thinking about Jesus, Palm Sunday marked the beginning of the end.  As He rode into Jerusalem to ultimately meet His death, He was greeted with such celebration and splendor with people laying down their branches and coats in submission and allegiance to Him.  Hosanna…

As I think back on my life, I feel like the one name or attribute of the Lord that is most marked  for me is that of Hosanna.  He IS the God who saves.

He has saved me from a life of mediocrity.  I know a lot of lukewarm Christians…or followers that believe the Lord exists but don’t truly have a vibrant and thriving relationship with Him.  Most of my life, those were the only kind of people I knew.  When I entered college, the Lord changed that for me.  Through some incredible mentors and an extremely handsome guy named Wrex, the Lord showed me what a real relationship and walk with Him looked like and I’ve never looked back.  I’m big on living a life of excellence and that has to start with Jesus.

He has saved me from mediocrity in other ways, too.  For me, there were certain areas of my life that I always assumed would look exactly like what I’d seen lived out in front of me, even though I desired something different.  I can admit that I had high hopes for marriage but there was a part of me that was skeptical.  Did the type of relationship I hungered for really exist?  Today, I can attest that it does, indeed.  Because I was obedient to follow His lead (even though that meant hurting someone else), the Lord gave me an amazing husband!  My relationship with Wrex and my kids is something I treasure (and try not to idolize!) and I’m so glad I didn’t settle in my search for Mr. Right.

He has saved me from warped views regarding myself.  I went through a period of my life where I felt like I just wasn’t good enough…for anyone, anywhere.  I wasn’t smart enough for these people, I wasn’t wealthy enough for these people, I wasn’t thin enough for these people, I wasn’t outgoing enough for these people, I wasn’t funny enough for these people…I wasn’t ever enough.  Sadly, I held these people in the highest of regards (at the time) and I can look back now and see how they really reinforced these ugly things I had started to believe about myself simply by the way they were treating me.  It’s taken a lot of years to untangle some of those webs and I wouldn’t even say that they’re all undone, but I do know that the Lord has used some people from the opposite end of the spectrum – people who really “see” me – to save me from those lies and help set me free with the truth.

He saved me from my own stupidity.  Poor decisions, poor choices, flat out disobedience…  Times I should’ve been dead.  Times I shouldn’t have made it out of horrible circumstances.  Times I should’ve had stiffer consequences.  Times I should’ve never been given a second chance, yet time and time again He has shed His grace on me with loving-kindness and patience.

He saved my life.  Literally, my life.  There are memories related to my health and well-being engrained in my mind that still cause me anxiety.  There are times I made poor choices and He was merciful to me.  There are times when I was trying to be tough and probably should’ve gone to the hospital but He was my healer.  There have been times where I’ve just had some of the weirdest, freak incidents and He has spared me every single time.  Even this winter with the tumor on my thyroid, His mighty hand has saved me (literally!) again and again and again.

He saved my life, my whole life.  I am not a slave to death.  He paid the ultimate price through His death and resurrection and I get to LIVE because of that.  Not just in the here and now…forever.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end…but it’s also the beginning of the beginning.  The beginning of the new covenant…the beginning of our salvation through faith…the beginning of the cleansing of our sin…the realization of Hosanna…the God who saves.

I Heart Heart Day

I know I’ve mentioned it before – I’m a sucker for Valentine’s Day!  Hate all you want; I think setting aside a day to really go out of our way to show someone we love them is a fine way to spend our time.  Who doesn’t love that?!

For Fun Friday, the kids helped make cupcakes!

Lining the pan

Lining the pan

Getting hers done, too!

Getting hers done, too!

My mixer

My mixer

Decorating them is obviously the best part…and I always feel like SUCH a good mom afterwards because it really pushes me outside of my comfort zone.  I’m not the biggest fan of messes or 501 little, round sprinkles all over the place but I do it because I love them.  And it’s fun.

Intensity

Intensity

Yep, those are the ones...

Yep, those are the ones…

They turned out REALLY cute!

They turned out REALLY cute!

And, of course, Wryder had to be rewarded for his efforts…

YUM!

YUM!

Our sweet friend/mail lady, Pam, brought goodies to the house in the form of chocolate bars (which Wryder inhaled!) and mail from friends.  We sent her home with a cupcake, too!

On Saturday, I woke up to this gorgeousness…

Swoon.

Swoon.

I LOVE getting flowers!  I vow not to be the woman who thinks they’re a waste of money because all they do is die.  They are life and they bring life – I’m a big fan.  :)

I loved the balloon, too!  I remember when I was growing up that I always, always wanted a helium, mylar balloon, though I don’t know that I ever asked for one.  It was either my tenth or twelfth birthday, my parents got me several and I was over the moon!  I kept them deflated and pinned to my bulletin board until I left for college.  I kinda wish I still had them… 

Wrexy knew my love for them and surprised me with a huge one!  Wryder and Sawyer though we should practice letting the cat jump through the center.  I vetoed that.  *ahem*

We were saving our steak dinner for Valentine’s day so I decided to make heart hamburgers (with bacon, of course) for lunch.

Nothing says love like beef...

Nothing says love like beef…

and bacon!

and bacon!

The kids LOVED this!  Especially the bacon part – a treat around here!

YUM!

YUM!

Sawyer, of course, dressed for the occasion – heels and all!

Oh, this girl...

Oh, this girl…

Sunday, we went to church and ate a little chinese food for lunch…

Those sweet smiles!!!

Those sweet smiles!!!

Handsome!

Handsome!

We found out Sayble REALLY likes ice cream like her PaPa!

Get that spoon over here!

Get that spoon over here!

Oh yeah...that's more like it!

Oh yeah…that’s more like it!

Then we came home to check on the gentlemen working on our shop and barn.  The shabby chic will soon be no more as we’re getting tin put on.  The shop is almost done and then they’ll throw the sides of the barn on.

The shop, minus the trim and doors

The shop, minus the trim and doors

I'm afraid I may miss this guy's worn, weathered look...

I’m afraid I may miss this guy’s worn, weathered look…

We have scrimped and saved and my hubby has worked his tail off so we could do this little project; we are so excited that it’s getting closer to done!  It’s gonna look pretty fancy around here…or at least a little less shabby.

It was a good weekend!  I posted this on Facebook but I’ll post it here, too.

In the midst of all of our Valentine shenanigans, Sawyer made a crown and hung it on the wall at our dinner table.

King of Kings

King of Kings

She said it was so we would remember that Jesus loves us.

My heart delights that she knows this already and I pray she takes Him at His word. He LOVES us…without condition or premise…and despite our past (or even our present) situations!

He IS the lover of our souls; the lead role in the greatest love story ever told. We can’t outrun His love, friends – it will always find us…  Let him…

Can’t Get Enough

We’ve had daddy home for 10 of the past 11 days (thank you, sale barns!) and tomorrow we must give him up to the sale barn again.  We have had such a good time together; no amount of days off would be “enough” for me.

Being a wife to my handsome hubby and a mom to my three cuties is better than I ever imagined it would be…better than I ever could have dreamt it…  Are there hard days?  Of course.  Are there days when I need to run to town just for a little bit of quiet?  Sure.  Are there times when Wrexy and I need to recharge and get back to the basics of our marriage?  Absolutely…but being a wife and mom are the best jobs I’ve ever had.  My soul is satisfied with this calling…

While daddy was home, we…

went on a family date…

They loved their root beer in a boot - boot beer!

They loved their root beer in a boot – boot beer!

Wryder kept her entertained long after her sweet potatoes were gone...

Wryder kept her entertained long after her sweet potatoes were gone…

had family fun day where Sawyer and I got pedicures while the boys (and Sayble) had ice cream and went to Menards…

Sweet little feet

Sweet little feet

celebrated with Sawyer as she finally earned that Barbie Pop-Up Camper!  We are so proud of her!

With her completed chore chart!

With her completed chore chart!

They had one in stock!

They had one in stock!

Taking it to the truck

Taking it to the truck

We had concerts…

They're gonna be famous...

They’re gonna be famous…

checked out the nativity scene in the neighboring town…

So excited!

So excited!

I love my babies...and baby Jesus

I love my babies…and baby Jesus

took selfies where mom’s arm didn’t quite reach…

Help!

Help!

played Paw Patrol, farm version…

This made me laugh!

This made me laugh!

ridden horses…

He's really gentle...

He’s really gentle…

crawled around with this cutie…

She has mastered the army crawl...

She has mastered the army crawl…

worked on trailers, took down Christmas decorations, played a mound of games, listened to at least 15 episodes of Adventure in Odyssey, watched a ton of football and just enjoyed being together!

I remember my parents telling (and re-telling) the story of me opening gifts at my grandparents’ house one Christmas.  They always did things BIG and I had opened gifts for a bit and I laid back in a pile of wrinkled wrapping paper and said, “Oh, the more I get the more I want!”  I’ve come a long way since then. *ahem*

I feel this way about my family, though; the more time I get with them, the more I desire!  They are my best friends, my closest confidants, the ones I get to minister to and the ones who minister to me.  They know me better and love me more than anyone on the planet and for that alone, I am so grateful.

My hearts....minus the baby who was sleeping.

My hearts….minus the baby who was sleeping.

We will send daddy off with smiles tomorrow and eagerly await his return home.  I’m so thankful that while he’s off buying cows and providing for our fam, that I get to stay home and hang with these babies all day.

Sawyer and I have a date to play Barbie Pop-Up Camper WITH water in the pool and Wryder wants help making a card for Goo Goo and I have no doubt Sayble will want me to make funny noises and kiss her cheeks and snuggle her in the chair.  I love these guys…I just can’t get enough…

Birthday Questionnaire

So, the bestie and her family are some of the best birthday do-ers I’ve ever met!  Their family has taught us so much about honor and they always do unique and meaningful things for each others’ birthdays.

Here lately, they’ve been putting the birthday person in the center of the room and letting each person ask them a thought provoking (usually) question.  On my birthday, I got an e-mail doing just that so I’m going to take the time to attempt to answer them here!

1.) If you could give yourself a birthday gift, something you could have forever that would enable you to fulfill your greatest potential, what would it be?

Oh, geez.  This one is hard for me…maybe because I have to be a bit vulnerable to answer it.  I guess I would have to say a spirit of confidence.  I’ve alluded to the fact that I’m a bit fearful and that rears it’s head into lots of areas of my life.  I fear failure.  I fear coming off as a know-it-all (because those people drive me bananas).   I fear looking silly or missing the mark…so a spirit of confidence – an honest assessment and belief in what I was putting my mind to, would be a good start for me.

2.) What’s your favorite family tradition?

Growing up, I always loved everything about Christmas.  My parents and grandparents always made it fun and exciting.  We would make homemade decorations and put the tree up together…my mom always recruited me to wrap gifts and there was always a viewing of Christmas Vacation.  :)   While I still LOVE Christmas and love the things we’re doing with our kids (Jesse Tree, Christmas pajamas, The First Noel movie, etc.) I love our little tradition of camping out in the living room on Halloween night.  That started by accident when we first moved to Holyoke.  We had no furniture, as we hadn’t gotten it from Denver yet and so that first Halloween here, we all slept in the living room…which was where we were sleeping while we worked on the bedrooms.  The next year, we did the same thing – but for fun – and have yet to stop!

3.) What book has influenced you most (besides the Bible)?

Hands down, “Walking With God” by John Eldredge.  I’m sure it was a combination of where I was in life and who was leading the study and what the Lord had for me at that specific time in my life, but I learned so much from this book that I still recall and recant to this day!  The title seems to leave a lot to be desired but TRUST ME when I say IT. WILL. CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE!

4.) If you could pick up and move your family somewhere for a year, and then come back (and not have to worry about work the entire time) where would it be?

The selfish side of me would say Alaska.  I have dreams of visiting there one day…  Seeing it on television or in photos it is just breathtakingly gorgeous and I’d love to just camp around and explore all it has to offer!  The missions-minded side of me would say our church’s care point for orphans in Kayango, Uganda.  The trip I took to Venezuela shaped me and molded me and changed me in a way few other things ever have and I’d love to have the opportunity to dote on and serve the least of these again…

5.) What is one thing you will never do again?

Drink until I get drunk.  Not worth it.  Not appealing.  Not wise.  Not an option.

6.) If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A really good cheeseburger with lots of extras (read – jalapenos!) and some good, salty fries!

7.) How would your best friends describe you?

Probably like this:

What I’ve come to understand about you in the 7-8 years that we’ve been friends is that you are a wise woman beyond your years, loyal to the end, passionate about those you love. You are creative, resourceful, an excellent gift-giver and a skilled event planner. Generous to the bone and loving beyond measure. You’re an incredible mother and a deeply devoted and encouraging wife. You have always been the very definition of a hospitable and wonderful/competent homemaker. You are a chef and an artist. You are beautiful and always fashionable. You are organized and thoughtful. When you set your mind to something, you carry it through all the way, in excellence. We, your friends and family, are so very lucky to have you!

(That was written by the bestie and posted on my Facebook wall for my birthday).  That may or may not be cheating to answer that question.  ;)

8.) What’s the most interesting thing you see out your kitchen window?

Currently, a little red wagon that Sawyer planted wheat and marigolds in all by herself.  How cute is that?!

9.) If you had the ability to time travel, would you travel to the past or to the future and why?

Definitely the past.  Mainly, I would talk to the old me and tell me that I’m not fat or as fat as I thought I was…I would tell myself that I was worthy of love…I would tell myself that I didn’t have to vie for the attention of certain people…I would tell myself to prepare for the attacks of satan that I knew would be coming and I would bolster myself with the truth to combat those…I would redo my wedding and make it as magical as I always hoped it would be – I got my prince so that’s really all that matters…

10.) Three sentences looking ahead to when you’re twice the age you’re turning now, describing who you are as a woman and what you’ve accomplished by then so far…

I would be 66…  I see myself still as bat-crazy in love with my handsome husband as I am today if not more so.  I’m assuming I’ll be a grandma – hopefully to lots of little grandcuties that I can spoil rotten!  I’m hoping that all of my mothering and parenting and falling on my knees begging for wisdom will result in children who are all walking closely with the Lord and teaching their families to follow Him, all while living within 15 miles of me. That’d be a pretty great life…

Birthday Bonanza 2015 – Part 1

So, I’ve had just a few things on my plate here lately, the biggest of which (so far) culminated this weekend in Kansas.  Wrex’s Grandma Rusk turned 80 years old on Sunday and her only request was to have all of her family in one place…to spend time with them and make new memories and to share with them her love for the Lord and her desire for them to know and love Him, too.  Why in the world would ya not show up for that?!

Granny is a ranchy thing, but you’d never know it just by looking at her.  She’s always put together – never a hair out of place – yet tough as boot leather.  I went with a vintage cowgirl/shabby chic theme for her invitations and party decor.  Maybe I say this every time, but HONESTLY, this was my favorite party that I have thrown.  It’s probably because the woman for whom I threw it is just out of this world lovely…  I can’t say enough good things about her here, so you’ll just have to watch the video I made regarding her life.  It sums it up to the best of my abilities.  (It’s not perfect but after 36 attempts – not even kidding – to read it without crying, that was the best I could do).

Birthday Bonanza Invitation

Birthday Bonanza Invitation

RSVP Card

RSVP Card

I found the kids some little plastic spurs from Party City that they wore the first night.  They. were. ADORABLE!  Wryder had already lost his rowel at this point but still cute!

IMG_6885Leading up to the event, our family committed to covering it and everyone invited (Grandma, her 5 kids and spouses, grandkids and great-grandkids) in prayer.  It’s hard to get 30+ people in one place at one time and we know that satan hates family and does everything in his power to attempt to divide them and we refused to let him.

Prayer calendar

Prayer calendar

That alone was such a rewarding time for our little family…something we plan to continue.

Grandma was so excited the day of the event, she woke up at 5:30am, got around and left even sooner than she needed to – she just couldn’t contain herself!

Getting welcome hugs from Sayble

Getting welcome hugs from Sayble

We gave her the grand tour, as we had all kinds of little surprises planned for her.

Checking out the entry way

Checking out the entry way

IMG_6652The only thing missing was the guest book because a certain 2 year old decided to sign the cover himself.  *ahem*  Thank goodness Granny thought that made it even cuter…

We bought a bundle of cheap cedar shingles and I painted them all to use as signage as the weekend.  We had each person’s name on their respective doors and used them for directions and welcomes, etc.

We wanted to make the birthday girl’s room a little extra special so we had a few little things up our sleeve to do so.

IMG_6643When we sent out the invitations, we also included cards for each family member to fill out regarding their favorite thing about and favorite memory with Granny and asked them to send them back with their RSVP cards.  We collected all of those and then tied them to the ends of balloons so when she walked in, she had a room full of love waiting to greet her!

Favorite things...

Favorite things…

Tis true...

Tis true…

Checking out her room....

Checking out her room….

IMG_6647IMG_6651In everyone’s room, we left them a little goodie bag with fresh fruit, water, an itinerary of weekend events, the jelly belly bean-boozled game for late night fun and a name collage of our entire family.  The family hadn’t been all together in a quite some time and we just wanted to make everyone feel as welcome as possible – we were so excited to be together again!

IMG_6648

We really were!

Friday night, Grandma wanted to have a pitch tourney and we couldn’t say no to that!  This is quite the competitive group and there was quite a bit of whooping and hollering!  :)

We had the idea to make Grandma the star of the show for this event and we made her the queen of the cards.  I printed some pictures of her and photoshopped some crowns on her head and then mounted them on foam board.  We loved the way they turned out!

IMG_4613

Isn't she a beauty?!

Isn’t she a beauty?!

The queen in the flesh...

The queen in the flesh…

Waiting to move to the head table

Waiting to move to the head table

Some serious card playing - see the shuffler?!

Some serious card playing – see the shuffler?!

Wrex’s sister gathered prizes for the top two highest scores, one of which was Wrexy – no surprise there – and we used some old acrylic plates we had from a display case that we took apart and made plaques to go with them…

IMG_6982The losers got a little something, too.  When we hosted pitch parties in Denver, we always tried to make the loser trophy completely ridiculous.  I was at the dollar store before our trip and set out to find the most ridiculous looking thing I could find and I happened upon a glittery pirate owl.  What the heck?!    So I consulted the bestie on what to call the trophy and she came up with “Aye didn’t play my carrrrrds right!”  Yes, she’s a genius. 

Ashley took home one and Waco the other…he with a little less excitement than she.  ;)

IMG_6899IMG_6900Saturday morning, we took professional family photos and then we all gathered to sit at the feet of 80 years of love and wisdom.  Grandma shared her heart and her deep and abiding love with us and we got to tell stories and laugh and cry and reflect upon 80 incredible years…  It was a really, really good time.

We had some lunch and then we reconvened for a little Minute to Win It showdown.  This was so much more fun than I even hoped it would be!

Stacking sugar cubes

Stacking sugar cubes

Keeping balloons in the air

Keeping balloons in the air

Putting pasta on pasta

Putting pasta on pasta

Stacking blocks

Stacking blocks

M&M Elevator - good watchin'!

M&M Elevator – good watchin’!

Tossing marshmallows

Tossing marshmallows

Oh yes she did!

Oh yes she did!

The elephant march

The elephant march

The big winners!

The big winners!

Seriously, that was SO much fun!  The Phipps’ are hosting a Minute to Win It night SOON – get ready!

That afternoon, we had an official birthday party for the birthday girl…but I’ll save those for tomorrow…  You’re not gonna wanna miss it – trust me!

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.  

A Decade of Love

Several years ago, I did a study on covenant.  To say it changed my life and the way I understood the Lord and His word is a COMPLETE understatement.  It. was. AMAZING and completely fascinating.  (It’s honestly, one of my favorite things to talk about EVER so if you have questions, let’s chat!)

Back in Biblical times, people would “cut a covenant” as a way of making a binding, holy, irrevocable contract.  To cut a covenant, they would perform a covenant ceremony which you can read about (in the most succinct version I could find) here.

The closest thing we have in our day is marriage and the wedding ceremony.  When we choose to marry our mate, we are choosing to create a blood covenant with them…an irrevocable, holy and binding agreement.  We now share such a close relationship with each other that all we have or possess in this life is available to each upon demand.

Everything that is good that I have, you now have.  You will benefit from my organization and my efficiency…my cooking and cleaning abilities…my heart for the widow and the orphan…my bold loyalty to those that I love and my fierce protectiveness of my family.

Everything that is good that you have, I now have.  I will benefit from your patience and grace…your spirit of servant leadership…your easy exhortations and your adventurous nature.

Everything that is not so good – every weakness and every hardship – that I have, you now have.  You and I will have to work through my spirit of abandonment and my ability to withdraw for fear of being hurt…my constant state of worry…my temper that can flare and my inability to understand (or work) anything that requires an engineer’s mind – yes, even the stinkin’ waterhose.

Everything that is not so good – every weakness and every hardship that you have, I now have.  You and I will have to work through your inability to keep track of time and the way you can never effectively end a casual conversation so we (or whoever you’re talking to) can move on to something different….your wanton workaholic tendencies…your inability to put things away or keep the garage clean.

Every tool or ability I possess, you now possess.  You are now an administrative whiz!  You can juggle a plethora of tasks simultaneously and write, give and critique the spoken word with pleasure and authority.  You can poof hair and change diapers and decorate on a dime.

Every tool or ability you possess, I now possess.  I can now fix anything and everything…no really, anything and everything.  I am proficient in plumbing, electricity, carpentry, welding.  I can break horses and fit a steer and use the grill.  I have incredible marksmanship and am as strong as an ox!

When we walk down the street, people should wonder if they’re seeing you or me.  There should be no division in our beliefs or thoughts or ideas or desires or possessions or the way we view the world.  We should be a solid unit of ONE because of the Lord’s ability to  supernaturally commingle our lives.  I’m identified as you and you are identified as me.

I am now a Phipps.  I carry your name as a sign that I am in a covenant relationship with you.  I no longer operate under my own authority, but yours.  I take into account your opinion and your desires and I make every decision as this new unit of one.  I am now you, and you are now me.  I take on your personality and character and reputation and essence and authority.  I care for you just as I care for myself because of our unity.

From two to five

Comanche, Texas 2015

Ten years ago today we stood in this very spot, under that old pecan tree, and declared our undying love and commitment to each other.  You have less hair, I have more body mass and together, we have three outlandishly beautiful children to show for it.

As much as I’d like to say that I did, I didn’t truly understand the weight and the beautiful severity of the vows I took on that day 10 years ago.  I’m still learning what it truly means to be a wife and covenant partner.  I’m still learning to die to myself and to live for the Lord and for our marriage and for our children – who, by the way, are the most perfect product of our love I could ever imagine. 

But I’m getting it…and I’m vowing to make the next 10 years even better than the first…is that even possible?!

I am so thankful that you chose me.  Our dating days weren’t perfect and our story could’ve ended in several different ways on several different days…praise HIM that this was the “ending” He had in mind and that we were obedient to that.

In all my days or wildest dreams, I couldn’t have dreamt up a better husband or partner or lover or teammate.  You are the best man I know.  I still can’t believe I get to wake up next to you every morning…

Loving you has been the easiest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  Thanks for making my life, Wrex Phipps.  Being your wife and the mother of your kids is an honor and a privilege; my soul is satisfied.

I Got the Gift

Well, well…fancy meeting you here again.  ;)  I’ve been a little m-i-a since the wee one was born.  Do ya blame me?!  I mean, look at that sweet face…

Sayble Jean

Sayble Jean

I rejoin the blogging world for a very special occasion…this handsome fella’s 33rd birthday!

Sexy Wrexy

Sexy Wrexy

I always feel like I’m the one getting the gift on his birthday.

As a little girl and young woman, when I was dreaming up my ideal husband, I couldn’t have put together someone more perfect than my Wrexy.  He’s all things good and kind and gentle and sweet and loving and right and joyful…and watching him (especially) the past 3 weeks has made me fall in love with him all over again.

He was a champ – a dream – in the delivery room.  Having a natural labor requires a LOT of teamwork and he was the best teammate I could’ve asked for (much like the other parts of my life).  He encouraged me and let me squeeze his hand until I thought it might fall off…he held me up when I couldn’t hardly hold myself up and kept me on track when I wanted to cave to pain killers…he supplied me with cold rags and words of affirmation…he counted and encouraged and encouraged some more and encouraged even more…he was a constant ray of sunshine and excitement…  I mean this to the fullest extent – there is NO WAY I could’ve birthed that baby without him.

When Dr. Kohl came in the next day, she checked me over and then she said something to the effect of, “I just have to tell you something.  Yesterday, during labor, I was so impressed with you and Wrex.  My favorite part was that during transition, he was calling you ‘Fox’.”

Ah, yes…transition.  That point in labor where the pain is almost unbearable and you start thinking you can’t do it (and don’t want to) and you say that this is your last baby and you are writhing in pain…  And in the middle of all of that…when I (most likely) wasn’t looking my best or acting my best or even coherent enough be fully aware of all that was going on around me, he was treating me like I was the foxiest thing he’d seen all day.    See what I mean when I say I feel like I’m the one getting the gift?!

Watching him with this sweet, new babe is equally swoon worthy.  He’s so gentle with her and talks about how cute she is and dotes on her constantly.  He’ll hold her and she’ll fall asleep and he’ll say, “You should come take our picture.”  Uh, ask me for anything and you can have it this very moment. 

He’s my best friend and lover and teammate extraordinaire and I am SO VERY GLAD that he was born!

Sexy Wrexy, I pray that 33 is your best year yet!  On this, the best day in June, I bless you in the name of Jesus!

I bless the work of your hands…that the Lord would honor your fortitude and entrepreneurial spirit and that you would continue to operate for His glory.

I bless you with loyalty…that the same amount of faith and fidelity that your pour out to those around you would be given right back to you.

I bless you with with the receipt of grace and mercy…that it would envelop you as freely as you give it away.

I bless you with strength and boldness as you continue to live a life of transparency that shines the light of Jesus, even in (and especially in) those dark places.

I bless you with an increase in wisdom…that you would press into the Lord and receive His heart on how best to parent and love and discipline our growing family.

I bless you with the time and means to pursue the things that satisfy your soul and refresh your spirit.

And, as any good cow buyer’s wife would, I bless you with cheap cows and easy roads…copious amounts of Mt. Dew and highly marbled steak.

I love you, handsome!  Happiest of birthdays to you!  Thank you for giving me the gift of YOU all year long…

Worth 1,000 Words: What We’ve Been Up To

I was a little absent last week, though I can’t REALLY think of anything out of the ordinary we did – doctor check ups, grocery shopping, Cubbies…just the norm.

There was a little TV watching…mainly so I could watch them cuddle.

Aren't they sweet!?

Aren’t they sweet!?

Wryder got stuck in the chair one time.  Then, after all the attention and hubbub, he got “stuck” a dozen or so more times.

He likes attention, that one!

He likes attention, that one!

I’ve apparently entered THAT phase of pregnancy.  You know, the one you just don’t really get cold anymore because you have so much blood and baby pumping through your body?  I guess Wrex was a little chilly on the way home Wednesday night and had a good giggle about his pickup settings.

The temp outside...

The temp outside…

The temp I put the pickup on...

The temp I put the pickup on…

We did a little chicken gazing.  I could watch those ladies all day!

Pretty girls...

Pretty girls…

Wryder is ALL about driving these days.  After almost every meal these days, he’ll pick up his empty plate and use it as a steering wheel.  When we were outside, he used the knob to the jack on the trailer hitch as a little tiny one.  It. Was. Adorable.

Love my little farm boy!

Love my little farm boy!

The kids got some belated valentines from Gramps!

Yum!

Yum!

Wryder LOVES food.  One of his favorites, though…

What's inside?

What’s inside?

Black beans!

Black beans!

This weekend has been a REALLY good one!  The weather kind of forced us inside to work on some projects we’ve been wanting to get done but haven’t taken the time to do…and a few relaxing deeds, too!

We got baby Sayble’s layette done, as well as our taxes – hallelujah!  Those can seem so daunting sometimes but Wrex and I worked all morning and got them done AND get a refund – always a plus!

We let the kids pick out a movie and had a fun supper in the living room…IMG_2322and Wrexy and I had a Bourne marathon!  YAY!  I’ve been wanting to do this for forever because I often fall asleep or get sidetracked while I attempt to watch ANY movie, but especially ones that aren’t so brainless.  :)

We had a little outside snow play…

Don't ya just love their hats?

Don’t ya just love their hats?

and a lot of other silly shenanigans!

Step 1

Step 1

Step 2

Step 2

Step 3

Step 3

Tomorrow, we’re back to the daily grind.  Thankful for this snowy cold…

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