Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Team We Are Cheering for this Season

Monday afternoon, my principal announced that teachers and students could wear their team shirts to show their support of their favorite basketball team as tournament play begins...March Madness begins. You could say our house is "a divided house" being that sometimes we cheer for U of M, my alma mater, but most of the time we pull for Tennessee, which is Jan's alma mater. I will admit, as much as my Memphis friends would hate to hear this, it does feel more natural for me to wear the orange than the blue. (Sorry, Laura. You know I LOVE going to Memphis basketball games with you guys, though.)
 After giving my wardrobe for the rest of the week a little thought and contemplating which day I might wear blue and which days I would wear orange, I suddenly knew without a shadow of a doubt which team shirt I would make sure to wear this week.

You see, this season I honestly could care less who wins that trophy for being the best basketball team in 2011. My heart's just not into it right now. My heart is somewhere else these days.

There is a much better team I am cheering for this season...Team Lucy! We all wore our "Go Lucy Go" shirts today! I had originally planned to wear mine tomorrow when everyone else would be sporting their blue or orange, but then decided since it was St. Patrick's Day and we needed our green on, we would all wear the shirts today. (I still might wear mine again tomorrow. I just might not have time to wash it, so those who work with me need not get too close to me. hehe)

 Go, Lucy, Go!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

 (Yes, those are STILL Valentine's Day balloons in the background. Can you believe they are still inflated? Mary Claire loves them, so we just can't get rid of them.)

We love you, Lucy!

I came across this in my devotional two days ago and wanted to share...
It's easy to trust God for the ordinary. By knowing His intimate will for your life, you can begin to trust Him for the extraordinary.
(I am laying it all out on the table here by sharing that I have an issue with trust. It is something I pray about everyday. It's easy to say "I truly trust", but to what level do I REALLY trust? TRULY trusting means I have to give up complete control, something I struggle with. Especially when it comes to my children.)
"God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" Ephesians 3:20 MSG
Draw closer to God than ever before. Trust Him completely. Know that He hears, that He's concerned, that the answer is already on its way.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday in the Park

A quick shot from the tire swing!
John Owen, Mary Claire and Jonah
March 2011
These pictures are from our time spent Saturday morning at the park. Jonah has been practically begging me since we had that "warm spell" a few weeks back to take him to the "castle park" and nature trail. The weather hasn't exactly cooperated, but this past Saturday, there was no excuse for NOT going to the castle park. Off we went! When we arrived, there was a birthday party about to start for someone we knew plus a baseball tournament being held at the nearby field, so there ended up being quite a good number of people there to play with. A picnic lunch, a trip down the nature trail, and then I had some folks ready for a good nap.

John Owen doing his best monkey impersonation!

My little monkey sliding down the "big slide".

Just a swingin'

Can you tell she was the only one I could keep up with for some picture-taking?

I called up to "Prince Jonah" in the tower, but I am pretty sure it should have been the other way around. :-)

Caught him hangin' around

Like brother, like sister!

One shot of the boys in action.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Never Too Late

O.K. So I am a little behind in posting about the 100th day of school and some other things for February, but it's never too late, right? John Owen was so proud of his 100th day project. His class was instructed to use 100 things in their project, so we decided to use popcorn. We popped the popcorn, then he counted out 100 pieces, and I asked him, "Well, what are you going to make with that popcorn?"
And his response...
A Dinosaur!
His 100th Day Dinosaur!

These next few pictures are some I took a few weeks ago when Jan took us all to see his new location for his company. He is busily trying to get it ready to move into in the next month or so. I am excited for him. This place will be his own, and he has a great vision for it. I am proud of him. He had a vision for this company 15 years ago when he started All Day Lawn, and he works very hard.
We had fun playing outside while he worked on drawing up some floor plan ideas for the office part of the new place.

Jonah's silly little self...ready for take-off!
A sweet group hug!

More playing around behind the shop.

The view of the train tracks behind the shop. Yeah, they ARE CLOSE! Mary Claire literally jumped into my arms when the train rolled by and blew the horn. It was LOUD!

This little girl has spent some time watching basketball this season, huh? I came in from the garage the other
night and this is how I found her in the kitchen. Jan and I both got a good laugh! (The Lancome headband I use when washing my face at night is a nice touch, don't you think?)
Future "b-baller"?

And this is a special group of girlfriends out for Christi's girls' night out the first weekend in February. We had reservations for P.F. Changs, but the threatening snow put a halt on those plans, and we met at Marlo's here in town. Christi has since given birth to a beautiful (& big) baby boy, Harrison. I wish I could get together with these girls more often than we are able to, but we are all busy being "Mommies" these days, it's difficult to find much extra time. Still, I love the moments I do get to see them.

This last picture was one I took of the sky as the sun was setting the day we were at Jan's new shop. I came across it today as I looked back through my February pictures. My camera just can't do justice to God's handy work. I would bold-face lie if I sat here and didn't tell you that I look at a picture like this, think about so much that plagues my mind on this Earth, and I almost say out loud, "Lord, I'm ready. I am ready to leave this place, this worldly pain, this fear of the unknown, and come to be at home with You. It's o.k if you want to rapture us right now!" (Not that God would need my approval for that...) I certainly couldn't contain my emotion Sunday morning at church in the choir as we sang. The Holy Spirit was most certainly in that place. I have grown up in that church, and I don't remember another time we've had a standing ovation during a choir special! I thought it was a HUGE deal when somebody started CLAPPING after the special music at our church some years ago. :-)
This picture reminds me of Your greatness. You made the Earth, You made the sky, You made all the little things, too. I admit I am guilty of being afraid when I know You have said to trust You. I am scared right now, and I know that it is Satan that uses fear in me because he knows my weakness in my human nature. Help me to turn my back on Satan. Lord, I know that You have a plan for us all. I know I have said that I would like a "sneak peek" at what that plan is, but I also know that that is not what would bring me closer to You. Only trusting You and believing in You will I find comfort. Lord, I say a special prayer for Lucy tonight and, as my Mary Claire said in her prayer tonight, for "Wucy's Pa-wents" [translation: Lucy's Parents]. I believe that this was Your way of showing me that You can speak through my 2 year old if You want to. You are amazing! Thank you for loving us, Lord. Thank you for amazing, merciful love! You alone are worthy of all my praise. Amen.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Have A Friend

I have a friend whom I met 33 years ago. Yes, that would mean as an infant in the nursery at church. Before either of us knew what a "friend" was.
I have a friend whom I have shared countless slumber parties, playdates, and trips with.
I have a friend who's family became like my family as our friendship blossomed.
I have a friend who stood with me the day I asked Jesus into my heart and accepted Him as my personal Savior. She was even with me on the special day when our pastor baptized us both.
I have a friend who sat beside me when we learned first-hand of death at a young age. "God just wanted to pick the prettiest flower" my mom's friend told us. Imagine two little girls trying really hard to comprehend what had just happened and really hard to be there for our friend who was deeply hurting.
I have a friend who stood beside me when I said, "I do." And I was there beside her six months later when she said it, too.
And I gave birth to my first child 5 months before she gave birth to hers.

I consider it pretty amazing to have my friend, Kate. I bet not many folks can say they have had a friend since infancy. I know our friendship had seen its ups and downs over the course of 33 years (I probably haven't been the friend I could have or should have been), but I believe that God has intertwined our lives in such a way that no matter what, there's a special bond. A bond that is so strong that when she hurts, I hurt. When she's scared, I'm scared. When one of our babies is sick, we are concerned for one another and our children. Over the years, God has placed new friends in our lives, friends who have enriched both of our lives. Some of those have become mutual friends which just makes our circle of friends even greater!

My friend, Kate, is a smart, strong, talented, beautiful person who is a wonderful mother to 3 beautiful children. And the strength and faith she possesses is being shown right now as she vigilantly sits beside her baby girl, Lucy. I believe that Lucy is strong like her Mommy. I remember the day Lucy was born and going to the hospital to see her beautiful face for the first time. I remember feeling just a tad bit jealous that Kate looked so good after giving birth, sitting up in the bed, getting up and down to do things, whereas I could hardly move after my repeat c-section when I had had Jonah 8 months earlier.
Words can never describe what I know she and Erik and their family are going through right now. I am watching before my eyes a unity in prayer and Christian love for Lucy's healing in our community and beyond!  (I bet Lucy would like that being the Buzz Lightyear fan that she is!)

I know first-hand of the fear. I know first-hand of the shock. I wish with all my heart and soul that my friend did not have to know it, too. I find comfort in knowing I have a friend in Jesus, too. Like the words of one of my favorite hymns we sang growing up,
What a friend we have in Jesus.
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Please continue to pray for Lucy and her family.

Go, Lucy, go! While I wish with every ounce of my being that you would never have to go through what you are going through, I pray that you and my Mary Claire will forever be walking testimonies to God's goodness. I love your Mommy and your family, and I love you.