Tuesday, July 30, 2013

visiting great grandma.

while my mom was still with us, we darted up to tulsa for a quick trip to see my grandma.  
while the traveling part with three little kiddos is never fun, we had a great trip and it was wonderful to get to spend time with family, especially grandma!
this first picture is my new favorite!  
(i know the children look slightly less than excited but we interrupted their play time...and it was like 105 degrees....and it was like the 29 picture i made them sit for.  but doesn't my 99 year old grandma look fabulous???)

grandma and clara

eating oreos.  always a favorite and mandatory activity at grandmas!

all tuckered out on the plane.  cole fell asleep 5 minutes before landing.  i had the joy of carrying one sleeping baby on my back and carrying a sleeping toddler as we deboarded the plane.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

nana time.

my mom was able to come into town while brenner was gone and we had a lot of fun!  it is always special times with her as we love to try new recipes, eat lots of desserts and do fun things.  this time it really made the 2 and 1/2 weeks brenner is gone go by much faster.  
we made crafts, went on walks, stopped at our favorite places to shop, went to the farmers market and some other local favorite places, as well as a trip to downtown for my mom to see the suspension bridge.  we went to the zoo and the mayborn museum with brenner's mom too which was extra fun!

we miss her already! 
clara is walking around the house calling nana!! :( 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

my little elise.

i love this girl's silliness, sweet personality and her amazing climbing skills!
what a joy it is to be her mama!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a changed heart.

the lord has been teaching me so much lately, that i don't even know where to begin.  
i think that most of you know by now that i am a person with strong convictions but as i get older and hopefully wiser, i am learning that i have often been convicted about the wrong things.  
or maybe they are the right things but i have let my own selfish ambitions still get in the way of going even deeper, which is what i really need.  
i think that first and foremost, god is teaching me to get over myself.  
i have been reading a lot the last few months, reading deeper into the word and also reading some books that have changed me.  
for the last couple of years, god has been slowly changing my heart and training my mind to think outside of just myself.  
 for years i lived only for myself.  i tried to follow god's plan, i tried to serve others and thought that i was actually doing these things okay.  but in reality, i was making god fit into my box and into my lifestyle and my desires and i was not truly living the life that he called me to. 
i wasn't full of joy, i was full of selfish ambition.  
 when i was in high school, i had a really hard senior year.  so many things happened with friends and family, not to mention trying to pick a college to go to.  a college guy helping in our youth group spoke tremendous truth into my life one day when he told me that the best way to get out of a funk, be filled with joy and change your life is to serve others.  
this was not entirely new to me since my parents were great role models of serving others and living selflessly.  
but i guess i needed to hear it put bluntly and in my face.  
i have thought about this a lot over the years but i think that it has really been in the last year that god has been teaching me to embrace this as a lifestyle.  
he has been confirming this to me in showing me practical ways to serve my husband and family, helping friends, teaching me to pray more and mostly in changing the way that i live.  
 i want my kids to have role models of people who serve and love others.  role models of people who live their life devoted to god and live a life worthy to be called follower of christ.  i want to them to grow up with a real relationship with god, not just one that is forced upon them by taking them to church and reading the bible to them.  those things are just part of a christian walk.  they have to experience god and see god experienced by others.  
and what kind of parent am i if i do not try to become that model for them?  what good are brenner and i doing if all we do is take our children to church but don't live a life different from the world, one where we are more centered on christ and building his church, loving his people than on ourselves, our stuff and important lifestyle?
 i used to think that if i gave what i was 'supposed' to to god, then i was doing the right thing.  but if i set limits on what i am supposed to give to god, i am setting limits on my faith in him.  i am putting him in my box of expectations and will be disappointed when things do not go my way.
but if i open up my life, pray for divine appointments and interventions, pray for convictions about how i spend my time and money, pray for change in my heart to care for god's people the way that he does, and choose daily to try to be an open book, scripted with god's words, then maybe god will choose me and use me for something amazing.  
he is calling me.  
he is calling me to think outside of myself and to serve others.  that starts with my family but it is intended for many more.  we are called to reach out and serve the world for christ.
he wants to give me life to the fullest and if i am holding on so tightly to my version of life and fulfillment and joy and satisfaction that i can't or won't let go, then i will miss that call.  we cling to our idols and are happy to miserable instead of embracing god's grace and his promise of life...true, full life. 
and we can receive that full life by accepting his grace and giving grace to others.  
there is more to this world than me. 
you would think that this would have sunk in by now.

    i am trying to remind myself of this daily.  
to let go of my idols and what the world, and my sinful self, tells me i need to be happy.  
what i need is a life FULL of christ.  
and when it is, i will be able to love others the way that i should.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

the 4th.

hey y'all!  sorry for the blogging break!  i didn't mean to take one but life has been busy!  

here are some pictures of our celebration of the 4th of july last week.  it was so much fun and included our neighborhood parade in the morning and going out on the boat with some friends at night to swim and watch fireworks on the lake.  the girls stayed at home for the boat trip and we sure did enjoy our time alone with our little man.  it was a great family day celebrating our country's independence and freedom that, frankly, we take for granted everyday.  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

a little retreat.

last weekend i was blessed to be able to get away to east texas for a few days and go on a little retreat called flourish.  the point was to give women spiritual encouragement and discuss ways to "flourish" in the environment and phase of life that we are in as well as relax and have fun.
ya'll, it was amazing.
i heard about it on a blog and didn't know anyone else there but i became fast friends with these women.  there were so many amazing conversations, spiritual insights gained and wonderful time spent with the lord.  i look forward to getting to know these women even more in the future and hopefully going on the next retreat!

check out the blog for the retreat here, designed to be a place of daily encouragement.  i am blessed to be one of their new contributors!  i hope that you will gain insight and encouragement from reading it!