Monday, December 17, 2012

... and then there were FOUR

We have great news!!!  Praises, praises, praises to the Father!!

Please pray with us that these two sweet babies stay tucked in all safe and sound until it is time to be in Mommy and Daddy's arms.
(And Poppa's, and Lollie's, and Uncle Kyle's and Aunt Jade's, and Uncle Adam's, and Aunt Hannah's, and Aunt Leah's, and Aunt Rachel's, and cousin Eli's and cousin Journey's.)


Monday, November 5, 2012

A Week in Tulsa

I loved getting to pick up Eli from school and see all of the kids for almost a week.  I loved getting to cook way too much food for them every night.  On Saturday I kept Journey and Eli so Kyle and Jade could go to the OSU game.  We went to Braum's, to Eli's soccer game, and then to Kayla's to make snickerdoodle cookies.  We left there to get yogurt before we went back to their house to play outside and work puzzles.  I was informed that I need to practice working puzzles.  Apparently I was a little disappointing in the puzzle making activity.

Kayla felt like going in to work a little on Saturday and I went to text her and realized I hadn't texted her all week - because I had BEEN WITH HER ALL WEEK !!!  Pretty sweet!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Pursuit is Beautiful to Me

They were only wearing fig leaves because they ate the fruit after being told not to.  One bite made the glory of the Lord fall right off of them.  They took one look at each other and grabbed the nearest leaf to cover up parts that didn't look quite the same.

God, in His all-sovreignty, could have thumped them right off the edge of the earth and started all over.  Instead, He gave them a chance for repentance.  

"Where are you?", He asked.

He gave them a chance for repentance.

He pursued them even when they weren't worth pursuing.

Oh my glory, I love that.

Many years later Abraham found out his nephew, Lot, was taken captive by the enemy.  Abraham gathered 318 of his trained family members to go get him.  They pursued until they found him and brought him back along with all of his possessions.

The word for pursue is "radaph" and it means

to pursue ardently, aim eagerly to secure, pursue; to chase after.

When I know someone who is not walking with the Lord, I can call on prayer warriors who will battle with me until they are back where they are supposed to be, losing nothing.


Psalm 23:6 says "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever."  The word "follow"?  Yep, it is "radaph".  And because Jesus told the rich young ruler not to call Him good, but to use that word for God alone, you could say that "Surely God in His mercy will chase me down ardently all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

He loves me so much that He pursues me.  All the days of my life.  

That is beautiful to me.

He loves the ones I love so much that He unleashes the armies of heaven when I ask Him to, and hunts them down and brings them back to Him.  

That is amazing to me.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

All I Did was Blink

I don't know how many more times I will get to do this while they are all still living at home.  A few weeks back Rachel and I were talking about when she might go off to college and we both got teary.  She came and sat in my lap and we cried. 

Rachel turned 17 three weeks ago.   Hannah and Leah will be 18 on Sunday.  

Just yesterday I was changing diapers all day long 
and sleeping 4 hours a night.

Every night before bed, they all come in our room and visit.  We catch up on the day and  figure out plans for tomorrow, give double kisses and whisper good nights and I love yous.

I would not trade these years for anything.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Mom and Her Boys

I watched a young mom with two little ones standing on a curb about to cross the parking lot into Bealls Department store.  Their little heads looking up at her as she was talking.  Then they all looked both ways and scurried across to the other side.  One of them didn't just look once - his little head was going back and forth all the way into the store.  So cute.

At one time many years ago, I only had two kids.  Two little boys.  I loved them so much and honestly wanted to fulfill my childhood dream and have three more just like them.  They were perfect.

Those two little boys and I have walked through a lot of stuff together.  It seemed difficult at the time to raise them to be God fearing men with compassionate hearts.  I trained them and they listened and most of the time they obeyed.  Just like the two little kids in the parking lot.

As I sat there that day I wished that it was still that easy.  That you could hold their hands, give instructions, and they would eagerly do what was best for them.  

Now they are men and have jobs that are sometimes difficult.  They are surrounded by the ugliness of the world most of the time.  I have to trust their hearts into the hands of God.  I have to trust that they will seek Him and always strive to do the right thing.      

All I have is prayer.  All I have ever really had has been prayer.  I pray this over them almost every day.  
Blessed is the man

    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree

    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Psalm 1:1-4

 My little men.

Kyle always had something in his hand he could throw and 
Adam always had GI Joes.

Watching balloons at an end of school play day.  This was just a few days
 after we found out his dad was really, really sick.  I don't think either of us were thinking about balloons. (tear)

 Always so sweet - then and now.  Always quick to respond to texts with
"I love you, Momma." (tear)

After Adam's open heart surgery.

I love them both so much.
They will always be my little boys.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Walk Away from the Bull

This girl knows when to skeedaddle.  Maybe I should have made my exit just a little quicker.  That big boy's hind legs were in place and I'm sure the fence wouldn't hold the irate.  So the folks saw this girl do a little jig.  I will probably be sore tomorrow.

Funny how this staring down a bull - a very big bull -  a very, very big bull, feels a little like my life sometimes.  I am one blessed daughter of the Creator and never want to seem ungrateful, because I am overwhelmed with His grace and blessing.

There are just times, though, when I feel like maybe I don't want to face the bull.  I need to get to a place of safety.  I was looking at the photos, and saw all the people watching the bull, or me, or both me and the bull, and again saw a parallel with life. 
 Not just me, but all of us are being watched by others to see how 
we are going to handle uncomfortable situations.  
Sometimes we pass and sometimes we fail.  
We show grace or we don't.

Sometimes we do a jig.

The girls and I were talking today about how blessed we are that people are watching because it makes us careful in the way we handle things.  Because we are careful, there may be less we would be accountable for One Day.

There will be times when you are not sure how you will handle things because you are tired of conflict, tired of ungratefulness.  There will be times when you are tired of doing, working, or being patient. 

That is the time to skeedaddle.  Go to your safe place.  You may only need an hour or two to rest in the Almighty.  Or you may need a day or two.  

Taking care of your heart is not selfish, it is necessary.
It is okay to walk away from the bull.

You will know when you can stand your ground or when you need get the heck out of there.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Boys Don't Have Boobies

   *This is a repost from a couple of years ago for a friend of mine.

Michael was taking the girls to the lake to swim with some of the kids from the youth group. On the way there, he said "Girls, we need to have a talk." Hannah immediately tried to figure a way to open the door, fall to the inerstate while escaping death and walk the rest of the way to the lake. She doesn't really like "talks" so being critically injured seemed like the best option. She chose to stay in the truck and bear it.

I'm going to try to remember the conversation as it was told me in three different versions.

Michael - "Boys don't have boobies. Only girls have boobies."

Girls - "Daaaaad!!!"

Michael - without missing a beat - "and because boys don't have boobies, they have a very strange reaction when they are hugged by someone who has them."

Girls - "Daaaad!!!"

Michael - "You see, when you hug a boy front to front and it crushes your boobies, it does something weird to the boy's brain. Something in the back of his head is triggered and because his brain is affected that way - well . . . his hair falls out. Clean out. Leaves a patch on the top of his head that is completely bald."

Girls - "Daaaad!!!!"

Michael - "I know you don't want all your friends to go bald at a really young age, so you only need to 'side hug' from now on. If a hug crushes the boobies, it isn't acceptable. See this? (Takes off his hat to show the top of his balding head.) This is your mom's fault!"

Girls - "DAD!!"

The girls and I have talked about this kind of thing many times. This is the one they will remember for the rest of their lives!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Four boys sat in the floor waiting to see Jesus from the men in the room.  It wasn't a church service or a revival meeting, just a family gathering along with a few friends.  They didn't know the men well, but knew some of their background, and were ready to see something different than the man-influences in their own homes and lives.

They didn't get to see Him.  The boys didn't see Jesus because the men didn't show Him.

It was sad for me that the four in the floor missed out, but it was heart-breaking for me that selfish, prideful hearts kept these men from one day seeing the faces.

Then he showed me the faces of the ones who'd come because of me
So many faces that my life had led to calvary
All those years I thought nobody saw as I labored in lowly places
That's when Jesus smiled and showed me all the faces.

Our friends, Ricky and Sheena spent some time with us a while back and he shared this song with us by Greater Vision.  It stirred something deep inside me to want this, not just for me, but for all those I love so much.

I dreamed my life was done
I stood before God's son
It was time to see what my reward would be
With love he reviewed my life
To count what was done for Christ
For that is what will last eternally

See I'd done my best to share
That Jesus really cares
And He would save if they just believe
Oh, but seldom did harvest come
And so few did I see won
Until the lord said, "turn around and see."

Then He showed me the faces.

Oh my word.

How many times have we failed at showing grace when others were watching to see how we might handle things?  It starts at home.  It could possibly be that some mom and dad standing before the Lord, turn to see that their children are not faces in the group behind them.   They lived something different at home than they did in public.

Shame on them.

The enemy is out to get the souls of our children.  He must go through us to get to them. If we are not standing kneeling on their behalf, fighting for them, then they are open targets.

If we are not living Jesus in front of them, our prayers become token prayers on their behalf.  It is easy to think that we are doing well because we are "doing God's work" in big places, not thinking that our homes are our first responsibility.  It is our greatest responsibility.

And for those years you thought
Nobody saw as you labored in lowly places
One day he'll smile and show you all the faces.
... the faces... you'll see their faces!

Those men may never have another chance to influence the lives of those boys.  They  missed the opportunity to make a difference.  Unless they take advantage of another time, the four faces that could have been in the crowd behind them won't be there.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When God Called Piper Home

I will never, ever forget walking into that hospital room, knowing only to expect immense sorrow.  The sorrow was truly there, but so was something else.

Someone else.

God was there.  In all His glory.  In all of His peace.

This sweet family had to say good bye before they ever got to say hello.  Their sweet Piper never took a carnal breath.

She only breathed heaven.

Julie has given me permission to share photos.  I am only going to share two, because I want you to get her book to see the others and to hear her incredible story of peace and the faithfulness of God, her Father.

She truly has touched many hearts already and I know there are so many more who will be so blessed by her story.

To see a trailer of the book go here.