Friday, March 29, 2013

yep, i'm gonna talk about this issue.

I remember being stricken with fear at the thought of going to high school. I wasn't terrified of switching classes or bullies or SATs or anything like that. I was terrified of having no friends because I was a Christian. I thought that if I stood up for my faith, then no one would like me. I thought that if I told people what i believed, then somehow that would make me weird.  And you know what?  It did make me weird at times.  There were times where it was easy to talk about going to church or summer camp.  There were times when it was easy to not curse and not drink.  But there were times that were hard when I was laughed at for not having sex, judged for not cheating on a test and made fun of for being modest.  There were times that I felt I was bold and times where I did take the easy way out and kept my mouth closed.   
I was naive and young and I'm embarrassed at my timidity in my faith.  Or my lack of faith where I thought that fitting in was sometimes more important than standing on the truth. 
And yet, overall, I still tried to do the right Christian thing.  
And don't worry, I still had friends.  

Everyday we are faced with decisions on how we are going to react to our surroundings and to people where our faith is tested. Some decisions are easy, some are not. What might be hard for me today may be easier tomorrow. I am tested on how I treat my husband, with love and respect. I am tested on how I treat my children, even if they did just poop on the floor or are whining incessantly to watch tv. I am tested on my honesty when I leave the grocery store at 5:45 with all 3 children only to discover I did not pay for the dog food on the bottom of my cart.  I am tested on how I handle being cut off on the road while driving home and modeling good behavior for my 3 year old (and judging by the fact that he yells 'get out of the way!' to everyone who stops in front of us I think I may have acted poorly on occasion.)  But we make choices daily that reflect who we are and what we believe. As Christians, we have an even higher calling to set the example of Christ and Bible-centered living.

Enter the gay marriage debate. 
 I must say that I am turned off by all the Facebook banter about gay marriage and the ugliness that it is causing. Gay rights and abortion debates will divide people like nothing else. Serious, passionate issues have a way of doing that.

 The issue of gay marriage brings so much more to the table to me than just same sex marriage, marriage equality and the practice of homosexuality.  And maybe because this is Holy week on top of all the political drama I am thinking more about all of these things.  
Because if you have read this blog for very long, you know I do not talk about politics or the like.
But this issue for me is so centered on truth. Biblical truth.  
When I claim to be a Christian, I am acknowledging the truth that Christ died on the cross and that he rose on the 3rd day, conquering death, so that I may have eternal life and be free from the bondage of sin.  
I am claiming the Bible as truth.  
I think our culture thinks that the Bible may not be as applicable to our day in age because things have changed so drastically in the last hundred years.  There are more questionable or "gray" issues, as us Christians like to call it, than ever before.  Generations past had things more black and white, things are just different today and the Bible cannot be interpreted as literally as before. 
The Bible is truth and you either believe it or you don't. 
There is not room for my personal opinion.  If God had wanted my opinion, then he would have asked me.  Instead, He asked me to rely on his word and His guidance for my life.
When it comes to gay marriage, and every other issue for that matter, I think as a Christian you need to go straight to the Bible.  The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman.  End of story. 
 But like I said, for me this goes beyond just this one issue.
I have had numerous conversations over the last few years with other Christians about those "gray" areas.  And I think that we like to make them more gray than they actually are.  Child rearing, money management, entertainment, friendships, social behaviors.....all issues where we feel as Christians there are liberties that can be taken.  All areas where we see a wide range of views and opinions.  But if we truly look into God's word and ask what he wants from us and how he wants us to handle these areas, we will find the answer....and we may not like it.  All these issues come back to basic truths in the Bible.  Take the area of social relationships.
We recently had a discussion about with friends from church about giving to the poor.  One man wanted to know exactly when he should and should not give to the poor, how to tell if his giving would be well used.  Well, Proverbs 21:13 says "Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered."   Have you looked at how your time and money is being spent on those in need?  I know I need to.  
And what about the way I spend my time?  Proverbs 2:2 says "make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding."  How can I be attentive to wisdom if I am not reading my Bible and spending time studying his word?  How can I justify sleeping in instead of going to church or spending hours on the internet and Facebook but not take time to teach my children God's truths?
Am I making any sense here?  
I guess what I am getting at is the Bible is truth.  The only truth.  And my opinions and your opinions don't really matter when we are followers of Christ.  The only opinion that matters is the Lord's.  And He has set boundaries and guidelines for everything in our life, including marriage.  
I am such a failure in so many ways....we all are.  It is called being a sinner.  
However, I have truth in my life and in every area I want to try to follow that truth.  That means in my political positions as well as in the ways I model honesty, forgiveness, love, and discipline to my kids.  

There have been times I still feel like that 14 year old girl, terrified that no one will like me because I believe in Christ. 
 But truly, these days, I just. don't. care.  I will be judged as ignorant, closed-minded, unloving and hateful because I am against gay marriage.  I am running over tons of toes here.  But I refuse to apologize for following the truth laid out for my in the Bible, on my view on gay marriage or on anything else.   

I had a conversation with a friend last summer about movies and I told her how God convicted me to really look at what I was watching and see if it was worth the hours I was spending.  I cut out most of my tv and movie watching and I actually felt guilty about talking to her about this, like I should apologize for wanting to fill my time and my mind with better things.  I felt guilty for telling her about how God was changing me to be more like Him, to be a better example to my kids.  Why?  Because I was afraid she wouldn't like me.  I was afraid that she would call me 'holier than thou' for trying to be a better follower of Christ.  Pslams 19:14 says "let the meditations of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer".  
I want this in my life and I will not apologize for it.  
I want to have God's truth in every area and while I fail daily (let's me honest, hourly) at this, I want to live a more holy life. 
It is sad when us Christians tear each other down just to make ourselves and our views feel justified.  I am so guilty to this too. 

Sooooooooo, all this to say, in light of holy week and a week full of drama as our nation is so divided, I want to challenge myself, and anyone else, to stand on the Truth.  Look into God's word and let His truth move you where you need to be moved. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


sometimes i love my sister and we hold hands while we eat our breakfast.....

and sometimes i have to take sister down because she gets in my way.
clara beth = bossy pants these days. 
yes, i just used the phrase bossy pants.  clearly i live with a toddler.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

race day.

this morning i ran the bearathon 1/2 marathon put on by baylor.  it is the toughest 1/2 marathon in texas because of all the hills and it lives up to its reputation.  
brenner and the kids made it to the end to watch me cross the finish line and cole actually ran out to me right before i crossed and i carried him across the finish line.  
it was a good idea until i had to pick him up, 32 pounds never felt so heavy!
our fabulous babysitter and friend, aaryka, ran her first 5k today too.  we didn't get to see her cross the finish line but we are so proud of her!  i am going to try to convince her to work up to a 1/2 marathon next.  we need more runners in the world!!
i ran the first half of the race with my bible study leader, jennifer.  it is always fun to run with someone, especially on a tough race!
aaryka posing with the kids.
notice elise in front chewing on a paper cup trying to suck out what is left of my chocolate milk. 
once again, cole pulls out an adorable face.   

Friday, March 22, 2013


hey y'all! 
okay, to preface, this post is not ode to brenner. 
it is actually about our little one night getaway we had last week. 
however, i was practicing all my slick camera moves i have learned and here was my perfect setting with my perfect subject (he could sit still!)
so, all the pictures i took with my camera were of the hubs.  
this was our first real getaway since i was pregnant with cole.
over 3 and 1/2 years people.
since i stay home with the kids, we have decided over time to cut out a lot of unnecessary things to save money.  one of those things has been going on vacations.  we have been blessed by family to still take a few trips over the last couple of years and we have still gone to our family ranch in oklahoma of course, but a true getaway for just brenner and i has just not been a priority.  and we have been fine with that.
however, we both agreed that one night would do a marriage good and we are so glad we did it!!
we went to white bluff resort for one night, which is about an hour from here on lake whitney.  neither of us had been to this lake since college and were not even aware of this place to stay.  
we loved it!!!
we are already planning on coming back here with the whole family and some friends for a weekend sometime this summer.
the weather was great and we walked all over the resort.  
we stayed overlooking the lake and it was so beautiful! 
we ate dinner at an italian restaurant that was located in an old gas station.  
we were a little skeptical at first but brenner was right, hole in the walls are often the best food.
and, we actually had a real conversation over dinner.  
a conversation that did not include the phrases, "take one more bite now or you will go to timeout", "stop throwing your food on the floor", and "don't put yogurt in your hair."
after dinner we stopped at a totally random, yet totally delicious, ice cream stand on the side of the road.
and i didn't have to share with anybody!
and that night, we were in bed before 10. and we woke up at 8:30.  
10 1/2 hours of sleep, people.  
that has not happened in years.  
can we just pause and reflect on that a little bit??
and then we went out on the boat for several hours where we picnicked on subway, pita chips and hummus, and a 2 liter of dr. pepper.  we read, listened to music, was wonderful and refreshing. 
we are so thankful for the people that kept our kids so that we could have this time together.  
i love you hubs!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

brief look at life lately.

i will go back and abbreviate later on some of these things, but here is a look into our life over the past week.  
it was a full week full of friends, relaxation, crazy kids, and amazing weather.  
but before i get to all that, i thought i would also share some other news.  
big news.  
are you ready?

we have applied for active duty air force.  
this has been on our miss for almost 1 year as a possibility but to be perfectly honest i only took it half seriously.  
when we began to discuss it, it was more like day dreaming than actual planning.  
but as the months have rolled on, changes around us have led us to consider it more and more. 
 and after this last 7 week tour that brenner did, it became a reality to consider when they requested him to go active. 
basically, they don't ask many people to do this....but they asked him.  
this basically confirmed in our hearts that we needed to seriously pray about this. 
and after weeks of prayer, brenner completed the first round of paperwork last week.  
we now have to wait for the paperwork to be completed and stuff, and we know that nothing is a sure thing, but it looks as though our lives may drastically change. 
y'all, i'm kinda freaking out. 
not really....but really.  
we feel like this is what God is calling us to do at this time and it is a giant scary leap of faith. 
i won't go on and on about it now (i will save that for another day) but one of the hardest things in life is changes. 
this morning at church i had tears streaming down my face during worship. 
i was crying because i was singing about the faithfulness that God has shown us through each step of our lives. 
i was crying because our church is hurting and changing and i don't know why God is maybe calling us to leave in this time of need.
i was crying because i miss our worship pastor who left a few weeks ago. 
i was crying because God is deserving of praise and song no matter where i am or who is leading me.
i was crying thinking about my sweet friends and good fellowship that has come from my years in waco.
needless to say, people probably thought i was crazy.
but God is good y'all. 
and he is in control.  in control of where we will go and what we will do no matter what. 
tonight i am resting in that. 

my handsome hubby on our 1 night getaway.  
on the boat!

clara beth.  she is going through a "don't touch my golf ball" phase.  
too bad brother is going through this same phase.  
it's causing some issues all up in here. 

clara girl, desperately wanting to be picked always.
life long friends came into town and our boys got to play together!  
they loved each other, can't you tell?
just like old times, date night at johnny carinos!
cole and our friend kyliegh helping with the girls.
the yellow rose of texas has started blooming again.  
i have grown to love these flowers so much and look forward to them each spring!
st. patty's day fro-yo.
this boy cracks. me. up.
play date with londyn and blanche. 
i love this picture for the perfect chaos of life it represents. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013


here is a little of what has been happening around the campbell house.
devotional time. 
super baby elise. 
goof ball.
safety first at our house.
sic em!
friday night fun night with carter!
party time at branson's 2nd birthday party
trying on my old college formal and prom dresses before donating them!
things have shifted somewhat...thank you, children...but they still fit! 
good memories!   

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

First game of the year.

we went to the our first baylor baseball game of the season this afternoon.
it was a little bit chilly but we had a lot of fun.
the kids' favorite part is, of course, playing on the big grass hill next to right field.
cole enjoying $1 hot dog night.

clara insisted on eating her pouch by herself tonight for the first time.  
wouldn't let me help at all and she actually did a great job.
my favorite picture of the day!  
elise, my little daredevil, absolutely loved being tossed by brenner!

Monday, March 4, 2013

working the camera.

so last week i attended a one day photo school to learn more about my camera and how to take better photos.  
i really learned a lot, but of course not as much as i need to.  but it was a good place to start.  
so now i need to start practicing!  
yesterday afternoon was gorgeous here so for the hour we spent outside i snapped pictures of the kids.  
i know, what's new.  
but this time i tried to implement all my new skills!
just kidding, i have no skills.  
but i still got some cute pictures!
sweet elise!!

 ssssooooooo big!!

 cole man insisted he was looking straight at the camera.  
 i adore this picture of elise!  i love how her hair wisps are backlit from the sun.
 clara: mom, do i have anything on my face?
 they always feel the need to climb the slide up to brother, who always tries to stay out of reach.
(vicious cycle)

 clara bug.
 elise doing the bear crawl!  this was the first time i have seen her doing this.  
must have watched her friend karsyn do it!
 this picture cracks me up!  both striking the same pose.
(and yes, clara is only wearing one croc.  i could not find the other one so i just slipped a sock on her other foot.  poor mismatched, neglected child
 cole trying to show elise the correct way to hold a bat.  
(if you want to hit your sister, you hold it like this!
on a side note, the girls are wearing their first 12-18 month sized shirt!  it is still a little big and i may have dried it on high heat a couple times to shrink it slightly, but it looks so cute!  their pants on the other hand......6-9 month.