My photo
We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


It seems Isaac and Isabella have learned to scream bloody murder at the top of their lungs.  I know this because right now, in the other room, that is precisely what they are doing.  I am certain it is because something hasn't gone their way inside the play gate.  Meanwhile, Eliana is beating a drum with a guitar that makes beeping noises.  On top of the screeching, beeping, and booming, Andrew and Elijah are sword fighting with something other than swords and the "Ah-ha"s! and pounces are booming through the house.  The hardwood floors make the sounds vibrate and twirl through the air and land on my my tired ears.  My night of inadequate rest is taunting me.

My first thought, "Peace!!! Be still!" (be aware that peace is the loudest and most angry thing I thought- and was louder than my five combined).

Then I remember, I am not Jesus ~  Hello.  It does not work this way.

There is still power in His words though.  Something quite different than what I had desired to happen occurs.  He does speak peace--- but it is directed at my soul. 

Why am I so angry?  It is because I have made peace into an idol.  I want it more than anything right now, especially more than allowing my children to be children in this moment.  I am also dreading having to try to communicate in a developmentally appropriate way "no stealing" to my one-year-olds and then get the boys back to their schoolwork.  Being a gal that has the law of God written on my heart, I know that idols are bad.  To make matters worse, this isn't my first idolatry offense.  The conviction is painfully beautiful.     

There is also this bit of mommy-forward-thinking that knows there will be a day when I will miss these noises.  Just yesterday, I was thinking about writing about all the milestones the babies are reaching and how very much they are growing into more independent little people.  I easily take for granted that I have a safe place for them to learn, grow, and play and that I can be with them in the process.  Being a mommy is such a blessing and that heaps guilt on top of the conviction. 

I recently attended a conference with speaker Elyse Fitzpatrick.  My favorite part of the entire presentation was her exposition of the life of Christ and the way He lived to fulfill the Law through his time on earth.  This morning, her words remind me that He never desired peace wrongly.  He beckoned children to come to Him (even the noisier ones). He always accepted His Father's will and never felt guilt for taking anything for granted.  Even when He was mocked and abused, He kept His composure most perfectly, loving His enemies along the way. 

The truth is, Jesus is Peace and I am His. He has made peace with God on my behalf.  And don't I need it.  I have been loved, so now I am free to love.  To the praise of His glorious grace!

Monday, February 18, 2013

To the Ship!

It was time again for the Chick-fil-a Operators Seminar.  Micah and I missed last year for obvious reasons but were so glad everyone was recovered enough from illness for us to go last week.  This year, it was held at sea!  Micah and I flew to Ft. Lauderdale then cruised to Nassau, Bahamas and back with 4000+ of our closest CFA friends. 

Right before Micah and I left, I spent hours cleaning and organizing our home.  After spending one week at the hospital, then hosting an open house for the babies' birthdays, and enduring the tornado of one normal week, everything was a mess.  The more I worked and the closer I moved toward the ick, the more ick I saw.  I particularly hate cleaning the shower... which I hadn't touched in weeks... maybe months...  My aunt and I talk about it all the time~ how you need to be an acrobat to really get it clean.  She and I both agree that scrubbing the toilet is substantially preferable over the shower anyday.  Then, I happened to glance at the blinds.  There are 9 plantation style blinds in the downstairs that I know I have never cleaned... and I don't think anyone else had ever either.  I know, I know, that isn't necessarily a priority when going out of town, but sometimes I just want to clean something and it stay clean for more than ten minutes.  Blinds have a better chance than my floors or other surfaces.   

Then there was the mess of organizing stuff for a week away with others living inside my house.  It was a labor of love but indeed, messy.  Homeschool lesson plans for the boys, info sheets and schedule for the babies, medical release forms in case of an emergency, food for, well, everybody, I desired to be left in a way that made grandparents' time with our lovelys as enjoyable as possible from my end of things. 

With all of that finally accomplished plus packing for myself, it was good to be on the road with a sunny destination in mind last Saturday.  We made it to the airport just in time thanks to a last minute Target run (there are just always things we need at Target:)).

Catching my breath while suspended over the earth at 25,000 to 35,000 feet, moving away from the mess made a significant impression on me.  As we flew down south, I watched out the window at the way the earth looked from such a distance: organized, neat, tidy, slow moving, it wasn't long before I wondered, why in the world did God come near?  Why Emmanuel?  The closer I am, the more mess is revealed.  I knew what I had left inside my home, much like the ones I saw from a distance.  From 25,000 feet, everyone's blinds are clean! 

The deeper I move into my heart, the more sin I see.  The grout of my heart is revealed, and it is not pretty and white. I would like to say the older I get, the better I get.  The only thing for which I am surely getting better is seeing my great need for Jesus and His perfect righteousness.  I may have said that here before, but it is a truth to be repeated.  

We boarded the ship and moved away from land.  When all concrete, wood, sand, and sod was out of sight, I looked at the view of the ocean from our stateroom.  In that moment, I remembered these words penned by William Rees:

Here is love
vast as the ocean
Loving kindness as the flood
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
God does see the filthy grout of my being and the dirt of my earthly facade, but was moved to descend into the mess in love.  The word "vast" used above to describe this love took on a different meaning when used as an adjective for something so seemingly immeasurable all around our floating mini-city.  The weight of the concept was visual and overwhelming and I pray, not soon forgotten.  I need these object lessons now and again.   
It was a wonderful trip.  Micah and I enjoyed our time together and with friends.  We also enjoyed seeing a part of the world we had never visited.  The water in the Bahamas is just the most dazzeling teal blue and crystal clear.  It was refreshing in many ways for the both of us.  
Aboard the Allure of the Sea

Our view from a double hammock on Blue Lagoon Island
I think everyone back in KY had a good time as well.  I pray it will be well remembered as sweet Papa, Mimi, Abba, and Nana time for our children.  Until next year...

(There are no pictures of Mimi and Nana... because they were the photographers!)
Let us all His love accepting
Love Him ever all our days
Let us seek His Kingdom only
And our lives be to His praise
He alone shall be our glory
Nothing in the world we see
He has cleansed and sanctified us
He Himself has set us free
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
Throughout Heaven’s eternal days

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Birthday Babies

*A big thank you to our friend, Brad, for taking these pictures of Isaac, Eliana, and Isabella at their First Birthday Open House. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Babies First Birthday Video

If you would like a pictoral recap of the last year and a half, feel free to enjoy this video.  It is in celebration of Isaac, Eliana, and Isabella's first birthdays!  They turned one this past Sunday, February 3.  I will share more pictures of their party soon.