Monday, March 07, 2011

best friends, take 2

A few posts back I posted an entry entitled, "for Bre," and posted a photo of me with my best friends (minus Nikki). Well, here's one with all of my best friends!

Last night Louisiana came to Texas - homemade crawfish etoufee, red beans and rice, and shirmp fettucine alfredo, topped with a King Cake and Mardi Gras decor. The occasion?

My 32nd birthday!

I think I say it often (well "often" for how little I actually blog these days), but... the ladies you see here in this picture are the cream of the crop. I mean, really. They are regularly encouraging me, pointing me to Jesus, asking me hard questions, walking with me as I endeavor to walk in freedom rather than live under the bondage of religiosity and legalism. They laugh with me. Cry with me. Do silly things with me. Make me a better wife. Make me a better mommy. Make me a better friend. Make me a better follower of Jesus. Which in turn hopefully makes me a better daughter and sister and woman in general.

My entire life the Lord has blessed me with absolutely amazing friends at different seasons of my life. And these are the ladies who are my bestest of friends at this season of life - and, I'm so blessed. So blessed. Lindsey, Bre, Nikki, Michelle, Elizabeth, and Natalie... it is an absolute privilege to be in community and in relationship with such sweet, caring, thoughtful and absolutely wonderful friends. I am a rich woman because of you. Thank you!!

boys will be boys.

"You might be older and bigger than me, Elliot, but...I got you!!"

"Oh yeah? Well, take this, my best friend Josiah!"

" boys! What are we going to do with you?"

cleaning up the backyard.

So, we neglected to finish raking leaves in the backyard in the fall. But...spring is coming! It's almost here! And, the boys and I will be in the backyard a lot this spring and summer I'm sure. They "helped" me rake leaves, but mostly enjoyed jumping in the big pile of leaves that I raked. I love making memories with my boys!!

highlights from Colorado

My dad turned 59 this year. On his list of things he'd like to do that he's never done was snow skiing. But as of a couple of weeks ago, it's no longer on his list of things he's never done. He did it!! We did it! We took him skiing!!

We enjoyed a long weekend in Winter Park, CO with my parents, and my sister and her family - our first big family vacation since Daniel and I have been married. And, my dad was AWESOME! We are so proud of him - one day of ski school and two days on the slopes. He was fantastic!! And my mom? She was awesome too! She didn't ski, but she was the babysitter for all 5 of her grandkids (did I mention their ages range from 15 months to 4 years old?) Yes, she's a trooper!!

The last time Daniel and I had been skiing was 5 years ago when we were dating. I have to admit, I was surprised that it came back so easily. I guess it's like riding a bike - once you get the hang of it, it sticks. I mean, when is the last time I rode a bike? But, I'm certain if I jumped on one today, I'd have no problem. Skiing was the same way. Granted, I chose to stay on greens and green/blues. I'd rather enjoy my skiing than be stressed out that I may fall because I'm going too fast or going down too steep of a slope.

Daniel skiied with me some and skiied some with my brother-in-law and sister so he could do some more advanced runs. Here he is skiing "Ski Papa," a bumpy path through the woods.

The boys enjoyed the trip. And we made yet another memory as a family! Thank You, Lord, for being our amazing God. Seeing Your beauty in the snow is yet another reason we give You praise! Really, You are the Master artist. Your creation cries out and sings of Your beauty!

Friday, February 18, 2011

post entry by Daniel.

I love the beauty of my husband's writing. The Lord was really stirring things in him recently as he was reading a passage in Joshua. So, Daniel put pen to paper and wrote out his thoughts. Enjoy the read and be challenged, inspired.

Are you willing to go to war with your brothers?

So the other day, I was reading something in Joshua (chap 22) I had never read before. Backdrop: the Israelites had just entered the Promised Land and were wiping out all the enemies around them. Joshua was divvying up the land among the tribes, and the tribes were starting to occupy their new land, build homes, familiarize themselves with their new surroundings, find the nearest Starbucks, etc.

Well, Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh decided to build an imposing altar at Geliloth. As it turns out, they were building this altar as a memorial to show that they belong to the Lord, that they worship the God of Israel in the Temple, that they have an inheritance.

However, the rest of the Israel had heard that they were going to build an altar, and it made everyone nervous. They were afraid that they were building this altar so they could make their own sacrifices, and that they could be turned aside from the LORD by pagan practices. They were ready to go to war against them. Selah. They were ready to go to war with their brothers.

They sent a delegation led by Phinehas the priest to speak with them before they sent an army to bust ‘em all up. They said essentially, “how could you do this? What are you trying to do, get us all killed? If you sin, it affects us all. Don’t you remember when Achan disobeyed God and kept some of the gold for himself? We were all affected by his sin. That’s why we were torn apart by Ai. Why are you trying to destroy all of us? Give us a good answer or you’ve got a war on your hands, brothers.”

The tribes explained their reasoning, war was averted, and all was well. But I was struck by the whole episode. I started to ask myself if I’m willing to go to war with my brothers. We in the Western church live such independent lives that we don’t really think that one person’s sin affects the whole body. We think, “Geez, that guy has got some really wrong views about God. He sees Him as an unloving task master who is always disappointed, angry, and moody. That’s too bad. Hope he gets over that.” We don’t really see that our brother’s wrong view affects the Church. We see someone in our small group who has deep-rooted issues with needing to control everything, or a guy addicted to pornography, or a woman who is negative and biting and sarcastic in everything she says, and we pretty much see that as “their problem” that they need to work on. It’s not just their problem! It’s my problem because we’re part of one Body!

Do I believe that? And am I willing to “go to war” with my brother because of this? Go to war gently, in New Covenant love, but go to war. John Donne said it well:

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls: it tolls for thee.”

If you see your brothers or sisters in sin, let’s go to loving, compassionate, restorative war with them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

for Bre.

So, my friend Bre asked me to update my blog. And, though this isn't an "update" per say, it is a very fun picture of my very best friends (minus Nikki). I love doing life with these ladies and raising our boys with their boys. And, the preggo one next to me, Michelle, is having her little boy any day now! Little Isaiah, come out when you're ready! We're ready to meet you!!

Here's to you, Bre! I love you and love that you asked me to do this so I'd at least do something with my blog!!!