Friday, April 04, 2014

slice of life

I heard something this week that stuck with me. Things that make sense sometimes do that. It was during a marriage book/Bible study type thing. The author was saying that it blows his mind that God cares about one moment of one conversation during one day of one person's life.

I've been paying more attention to the seemingly insignificant. I think I've always done so, but they're holding a heavier weight lately. The little tasks. The (nice) comments between brothers. The backseat banter of which I have no role. The joke that Titus came up with that actually made sense and produced laughter from all. The hesitant almost steps that Jude is taking. Jude's new grabby hand motion that melts us all.

These little moments are what make up my life. Whether added up or taken individually, I see that my life is pretty fantastic.
Simon took a whole set of these. It was a warm day. A warm day! As in, short sleeves and bare feet and playing outside til the sun went down. 

An ordinary moment I don't want to forget: 
Sean telling Titus to stop talking so much and eat his dinner, "Titus, enough. Zip it. End of story."
Without missing a beat, hand motions and all, Titus, "Unzip!<finishes his unfinished story>"

And one more:
Jude's favorite thing lately is sticking his finger in people's belly button. Anyone's belly button. It's great. Simon was his victim the other day and I noticed my string bean has an actual set of abs. Not just ribs poking out anymore, but chiseled muscle. 

"Simon! When did that happen?"-I asked.
<insert massive boost to his already unhealthy feelings of self admiration>
Seriously, is there a creature more enamored with self than a pre-teen male?
Upon marveling as his muscle while doing sit-ups at random intervals(not even joking), he asked, 
"Will they go away?"
I replied with a grin, "Not until you get married!"

I really need a small set of drums. I give myself mental rim shots all the time. 
Ba-dum CHING.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reflection

Sundays are a good day for self evaluation. Reflection. Listening.
As we sang our first song in worship today, it was all I could do to not run from the building in shame.

I had a conversation several months ago with my favorite atheist.
This person is someone I love very, very much.
I pray for them constantly.
I weep for them.
I'm sure they'd get a real kick out of that.
I beg God to call them to repentance.
I beg God to humble them.
I find comfort in the fact that God's Word never returns void. I find comfort in knowing this person has not only heard the Gospel, but KNOWS the Gospel. So far, just in their head. I'm praying one day they will know it in their heart as well.

Back to our conversation. This person didn't like that I used the phrase, "I am a pitiful, pitiful soul. The only good in me is Christ." They argued that religion had taught me that I am a bad person. That it was something I'd learned along the way and it made them sad that I think of myself as a bad person.

I honestly don't know how any human being can think they're good. I mean, truly. In their heart of hearts. Knowing their own thoughts and having acted out in ways only they and God know. How can anyone really think they're good?

I was reminded this week when a lovely teen gave my entire family the finger because he mistakenly thought we'd honked at him in the cross walk. It was actually the person behind us, who probably didn't see him. Either way, we got the brunt of his anger. The thoughts that I had toward this fella and the anger that I felt...I was reminded.

The fact that my children will probably correlate church attendance with their mother being a lunatic about getting out the door on time...
The crappy attitude I've allowed to build in me towards certain people lately...I've been reminded.
The ungratefulness that I feel in my heart too often...I'm reminded.
The aggravation that most people don't see.
The tone of voice that comes out of my mouth.
The innermost thoughts that I'd never share with anyone.

They remind me of who I am.
Who I am without Christ.
I am nothing.

On the flip side, when you realize who you are and what you have to offer, there is not much hope. But God.

Just in the last few days.
When chatting with a very dear friend and realizing they gave up everything for the sake of doing what is RIGHT. I was reminded.

When looking into the eyes of a healed friend who is no longer battling cancer, I was reminded.
Sitting behind a soldier who came home safe and sound to his beautiful family.
Hearing the story of others and knowing they've lost the very thing(s) I take for granted every day, yet trusting in the goodness of God.

I am reminded that God is good. Even in the midst of the heartbreaking, horrible sadness that life can be. He is GOOD. This is real. Whether people want to acknowledge God or not is insignificant.

The first thing Sean said when we got in the car after church today, "The thing I love most is that it's never too late to start over."

True. For the most part. Yet another thing I was reminded of lately is that we are not promised tomorrow. It doesn't matter if you're young or old. There are no exception clauses.

As long as you have breath, repent. Trust in what Christ has done for you on the cross. Realize there is nothing you can offer. You can't count on your own goodness to save you from a holy God.

In Romans 1, it says that not one of us will have an excuse. I'm always a bit befuddled when people say, "I'll deal with it when I get there." As if Heaven or Hell is a travel destination and their eternity is  a piece of luggage. What on earth do they assume our time on well, earth, is for? Every heartbeat is another second of God's patience.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

That's my soapbox for the day. Just something that was on my heart. I pray that not one person in my little world would get to the end of their days having never heard of the sacrifice of the savior of the world. Jesus Christ is Lord and I'm so thankful that I have HIS goodness in me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Warm

S-N-O-W is becoming a four letter word 'round these parts. 
As more white crap fell from the sky today, I went through these pictures and tried to conjure up the warmth I felt just days ago.

Ahhh, ocean.
I kinda wish Sean had joined the Navy. 
They got all the good duty stations.

Moving on. 
I took a trip with the boys to visit family. 
And to visit warmth if I'm being perfectly honest.

My brother in law kept the big three along with his own brood of hooligans so the girls could experience the beach with just one male present. 
He's the only one that doesn't resist outlet shopping.

Thankfully, we got a few warm days at the beach before a cold chilly front moved in. 
 Ms. Lauren has a birthday two days after Jude.
 He doesn't like the beach. 
 Even here he was crying.
 And here.









 The next day, we tried again. He still hated it. 
 He's the only child of ours not born in the Carolinas. I knew being born in DC would make him uppity. ;)



I see now why people choose the Carolinas as a travel destination. 

Let them eat cake.

We thought about having a grand party for the Birthday Boy. I came to the conclusion(several, actually) that it would be more for us than for him. And he's one and wouldn't remember it. And I'd rather spend the money on a gift than food for other people. At one point, we finally decided to have a party honoring both the March and April birthday boys. 

"A BBQ!" I thought. 

Until I remember that we live in a land where Spring BBQs don't happen. 
No worries. Grandma arrived on Jude's birthday and who needs more than a Grandma to make your day glorious? 
 With the lighting of the candle, we officially had a birthday boy. 
 This set of brothers cracks me up. 
 Felix was mad about taking pictures in lieu of consuming sugar...
 Funny Simon...
 Titus giving him some final pointers...
 And...
 I love that he put his hand on the plate to keep it steady. :D



 "Dear Lord, I'd like to thank you for this cake.
<insert the flap of angel wings>
 Aaaaaaaa-men."

 Is there anything better than an icing smile?
 Rest assured, he shared his cake with his brothers and we all had a sugar-dy good time celebrating the birthday of our littlest boy. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

First for the Last




I'm in denial. On his birthday cake, I only had them write "Jude," no "Happy Birthday."
 It just doesn't seem right that a year has passed. It could have something to do with the fact that he still wakes as often as a newborn. 
 He's a bit of a ham. He's not that happy, chubby baby that grins and babbles with every passer-by. In fact, the best way to describe him is: Sean. In a smaller body.
 He has no time for chitter chat. The picture below made me step back in time eleven years. He looks EXACTLY like Simon did at this age. All the way down to his little nostrils. 



 We are all smitten. Just flat out in love with the kid. 
 Happy Birthday, Judelet. 

Saturday, March 08, 2014

on the couch.

March 2013
April 2013
June 2013
 July 2013
 September 2013
 Oct 2013
December 2013
Jan 2014
Feb 2014
March 2014

I started this little set as a way to watch Jude grow. In the end, it's not his outgrown shoes I'm noticing. These snapshots aren't perfect. The kids aren't wearing clothes I'd chose in any of them. There's a bit of blur in every single one of 'em. I usually get aggravated at some point during the taking of these. I huff and I puff and I ask why not one of them can cooperate and do something that is important to me.

One day, though, I'll forget all that and just see a series of snapshots of my boys during one of the most trying years of our lives as a family.

It all goes much too quickly...That said, I'm very ready for the next stage. The one where school is OVER and everyone sleeps.