Monday, December 30, 2013

Silent night.

This Christmas was wrapped in warmth, peace, love and a whole lotta food.  All of my favorite things. We have A LOT of places to be at Christmas time.  We love our family and enjoy every single time we get to be together.  This year has been nothing short of amazing and His presence surrounded our Christmas and with that brought much peace, comfort and rest.  

Alyssa woke up the Saturday before Christmas feeling just dandy.  On our way to my mom's for Christmas the scene had changed and she was down for the count.  The next 2 days she spent her Christmas in the bed of whom ever's house we were at.  She just did not feel well.  The stomach bug is not a fun bug.  She would feel great during the day and then by night have "the rumble" again.  All was well on Christmas Eve, until we arrived at the church for our 10pm Christmas Eve service.  Matt had to arrive early to make sure all things were "good to go" for the service.  We were in Matt's office when "the look" came across her face.  The look of, "Where is the closest bathroom and come with me momma!"  I knew it was not over.  So Alyssa and I ran to sonic to grab a sprite.  Since that's what you do when you are sick.  You always drink sprite.  :)  Everyone else had the same idea.  Sonic was hopping...needless to say after a 20 min wait to have our order taken, Alyssa decided she wanted to pass on the sprite.  So we headed back to the church.  She fell asleep, and I sat in the car with her not sure what do to.  Bella was inside with Matt..doing who knows what!  I did hear that she told a few people Alyssa had a ear confection...that kid!
 I watched as people entered the church and I could feel the sweet spirit of the Lord on that evening.  The lights were out and I could see the flicker of the candlelight.  The piano played the sweet songs of Jesus and people entered the church with their warm coats and their warm hearts.  Families, singles, and widows all joined in to worship the Son of God on this Christmas Eve night.  

I ran in and grabbed Bella Grace and brought her to the car with me.  Alyssa sound asleep in the backseat and Bella in the front.  Laid across my legs she wanted me to sing.  "Sing me a song, Momma!"  So I sang.  I sang, Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm, All is bright.....over and over again until her  little eyes locked tightly asleep and her breath raised her body up and down on my leg.
  I could see those partaking in the Lord's supper walking back and forth to the table with only the light of a candle and I could hear the piano playing ever so lightly.  
I thought about the birth of Jesus and how thankful I was that The Lord allowed us to be in the car for that moment.  I needed it.  He is Sovereign and all his plans are right.  Did I want my little girl to be sick?  Of course not, but I know that if I were in the service I would have been distracted by trying to keep the girls quiet that I would have missed that special time...time with Jesus.  
It's so very easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of the season and not take a moment for a Silent Night.  It is something I will never forget.  A moment that I felt Jesus right next to me.  A moment where the sounds of my children breathing brought comfort and thankfulness.  A moment where I felt his presence and could relate to the words of a song I have sang my whole life at Christmas.  Silent Night.  I will never sing that song the same...and I never want to miss an opportunity to experience Him because I don't stop and have a silent moment.  

Life is ever so constant.   Flashing by so quickly.  My prayer this year is that I refocus my life on the things that matter.  The things that matter to Him.  Not live in a viral world, but live in my real life, right before me, god ordained world.  Because I don't want to miss a moment with the Savior of the World....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

Matt and I started ourThanksgiving morning out by doing the Turkey Run 10k.  It was soooo cold, but so fun.  It was a great start to a wonderful day!
I love seeing the Greatness of God through the sunrise and sunsets of each day! 
Exactly...and all the other 50 things I'm about to stuff my face with!;)
On our way!  Bright-eyed and bushy-taled:)
We decided we would clean up for the day!  I like him..a lot!  One of the million reasons I am thankful each and every day.  Life with Matt is more than I could have dreamed and I am blessed to be by his side day in and day out.
I sure do love my tender hearted, soft spirited little girl.  
Oh these people. I love them so!
We ended the day with a nap of course!  

What a great year we have had.  The Lord has showered us with blessings.  We are thankful that we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of our families this year. It makes life a little more special!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Call

You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail.  Proverbs 19:21

God has used this verse over the past couple of years to walk us through this life.  Let me just say, we have made many a plans..:)  That's kind of who we are.  What we love to do.  Sit back and plan.  Think about the future.  Dream and hope.  There is nothing wrong with dreaming and coming up with goals for you life. The problem occurs when we value our plans and our dreams and our wants and desires over the Lords will for our life.  The end result will be disappointment.  Every. Single. Time.

Our plan:
To sell our house and move to Lavaca.  Build our forever home and settle our little family in the small town comforts of Lavaca, AR.  Serve God to the best of our ability at FBC Lavaca where Matt grew up and the place that has been my church home for the past 12 years.  

God's plan:
Us staying in Alma.  Our house not selling.  Bringing us to a place of contentment so that we could see beyond our plan and our desire in order to see His Greater plan.
Calling Matt to Kibler Baptist Church to serve on Staff at a position God gifted him in for a purpose.  His purpose.  

As we have watched The Lord work over the past several months, at times it wasn't easy.  I  wish I could say we always understood God's plan and we never doubted what He was doing.  That's not the case.  There were times that we were often confused.  We were anxious.  We were frustrated.  "Our" plan was not unfolding like we thought it would.  "God, you know our desire to be in Lavaca is to serve you better!"  But every time those thoughts crept in...or those words spilled out...God spoke.  It was clear.  Crystal clear.  
He cleared the chaos out of our minds so we could hear from Him.  
I have called you to serve me here.  In Alma, AR.  Where I placed you 6 years ago and where I have kept you. My plan is and has been right in front of you all along.  

We can look back and see how obvious God has been throughout the past several years, and specifically the last year.  We were able to see glimpse's of His plan- but only as our walls of desire began to fall.  
We often allow our plan to fog over the reality of his clear plan.

Our plans could have never dreamed up a calling so great on our lives and for our family.  We feel so incredibly honored and humbled that the Lord would choose to use Matt to serve along side Eric at KBC as he leads  His church and His amazing people.   

All along, we have wanted nothing more than the Lord's will.  Even in our days of planning out our future, we  always claimed James 4:15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will love and do this or that."

So incredibly thankful His ways are not always ours and His timing is not always ours.
Amazed that the Lord never gives up on me and doesn't allow me to settle for something far less that what he has for my life and for our family.  

A week of fun!

You might be in Branson see lots of little Elves traveling together on a tour bus!  Oh the site!!:)
They were having a grand ol time!  
You can't possibly go to Branson without a stop at this place.  It is just not an option!
uh hum...yes please!!
Oh and yes, I'll have some of that too:)  

The red hat ladies paid us a visit too!:) 
Breakfast of Champions right there.  I DID pair it with oatmeal covered with brown sugar and butter and pecans so I just pretended it was my toast! 
Saturday I got to spend the day with this sweetie pie! Love her to the moon and back and it just so happens she gets to join my family in January!  Oh Happy day!  We did a little wedding dress shopping.  She is going to be a beautiful bride!
Her beauty radiates from the inside out.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ward Weekend

Just a glimpse at our weekend!
The colors in NWA in the Fall are beyond beautiful.  I love when God shows of with his creation and this time of year is one of my favorite masterpieces!  He is so good and lavishes us with his love.

This football season has not been one I want to remember, but the memories made while watching the Hogs are always cherished.  I love my family and I love my or lose.  But...I am ready for a winning season!

My sweet momma!  Blessed by her!  Always.
I LOVE Panera.  Like could eat a bagel from there every. single. day.  The closest Panera to me is about 25 mins so I do not get to partake in their morning glory quite as often as I would like!  SO, I decided to try my hand at some homemade wheat bagels.  I must say, they were fabulous.  This is the recipe that I used.  I used a bread machine to make my dough and then just followed the rest of the directions.  I made: Cinnamon Sugar, cinnamon raisin, chocolate chip and honey oat.  The only thing I would change is to add some of the ingredients in with the dough so it is not just on top and it is inside the bagel as well. You know..just like Panera does!!:)  
Watch out Panera...I'm coming after your business!!:)
Sunday mornings are our favorite.  We woke up to fresh bagels and sweet kiddos.  A relaxing morning together before church.  
This face...melts our heart and brings much Joy in our lives.

Sweet Sisters before church.  Their bond is amazing and I pray the Lord will protect their friendship!  

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
Daniel 2:21

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I can remember days when the girls were smaller, and I felt like all I did was discipline, and say "no" constantly.   Yes of course a lot of that was based on their age and the fact that me telling them "No" was keeping them safe.  Keeping them from getting hurt.  But lets face it, being a mom is tough.  It's challenging, its exhausting, it's emotionally draining, is the most rewarding job there is!

There are days when I go to bed feeling so defeated.  Feeling like my efforts as a mom are just not cutting it.  Filled with Joy that I get to be the mom of these two special girls, but overwhelmed at the task.

I often fill my heart with the pressure to produce "good" girls....Girls that love others and love Jesus with a fierce kind of love....that I neglect to fill my heart and my mind with the promises of God.  The promise that they are His. That he died for them, just like he died for me.  The understanding that his Grace covers them just like it covers me.  In elevating my self and my ability to raise Children who live dangerously for Christ...I take away His role in their life and His sacrifice for them.  Producing children who feel a constant need to be "good enough."   I am learning that I can't produce good kids, because I am not a good mom.  The only thing good in me is Christ and when I try to do things on my own....I will fail.  Every. Single. Time.

I am thankful for The Grace of God that covers me daily.  I  need it.  I need it as a woman,  a wife, and I need it as a mom.

This past week both of my children at different times blessed their momma!

Alyssa had a envelope on the counter for me.  It said, "Happy Mother's Day."  I opened it to find this....

Bella came up to me and hugged me and said, "Mommy, you are the best mommy in the world.  You love me the best and you always teach me about Jesus."

It was in that moment that I was reminded that we do not labor in vain.  God sent me a reminder through the vessels of whom I spend so much of my time praying for and pouring in to on a daily basis. A reminder that they are getting it!  The truth we are pouring in to their little hearts is soaking in. 

So for all of you who are in a time of motherhood that is on and know that our children are His and covered with the same grace that He covers us with.  Yes, He's that good!

For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields.  And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children.  They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.  Isaiah 44:3-4

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Catch up!

Spending my days with this charmer always fills my heart so full. 
Breakfast before school!:)
I made some homemade wheat French bread. We had some leftover so I whipped up some croutons!  So yum. So easy!
These little Jimmy Dean Delights held up to their name. They are quite delightful!  Get yourself some and thank me later. 
Oh bat girl. This kid. I melt. 
Seriously the cuteness just kills me. 
Daddy-O and big sis coralling some cattle and picking pecans. Two peas in a pod right there. Thankful for that relationship!
Love our days together as a family!
The Pioneer Woman never disappoints and her cinnamon rolls are on the top of the list of my favorite things of all time!!  So yum! Gather up a girlfriend...or two and make some of these. They freeze great, make great gifts and They will make any Saturday morning extra sweet!:)
This little beauty. She's gorgeous on the inside and out and I am thankful to be her momma!

Backpack finds

Earlier this week Alyssa forgot to get out the door with her backpack so Matt and I were going to run it out to her. Daddy-o went to pick it up and almost took out his back!  Not really, but is WAS heavy!  So...we began the search effort to rescue some of these fabulous finds!  We couldn't believe all she had "accumulated" in just a matter of a couple days....
This was interesting!
This was grand!  100 pencils?  I better be seeing lots of work if you need THAT many writing utensils. :)
Well you never know when you might need a couple pecans.....or a tiny golden bell!:)
Those zippers are lifesavers. I'm glad you have an extra!  Whew. I already feel better. 

Rocks are good too!!;). Especially this many. 
Then you have this sweet face. This child is precious. Matt and I laughed pretty much all day about all this "stuff." We call it junk...she thinks it's special. It holds value. She takes nothing for granted and values the smallest things in life. Makes me stop and wonder what value I place on things.  How often do I overlook the greatness of something because it's junk in my eyes. I love this kid and that she teaches me life lessons daily. Today was to be thankful for the little things and the splendor they hold! 

Every good gift is given from The Lord. James 1:17

Monday, October 14, 2013

A wknd in Austin!

I left Friday for a fun weekend in Austin. I have been blessed with amazing friends in my life. Some are here right at home and a couple live away. It's always a huge blessing to see Katie!  We do lots of laughing, talking, eating, shopping, driving, and did I mention eating!!?:)
This weekend was nothing short of precious and I am so grateful for our time together!
On my drive to the airport Friday, The Lord decided to show out!  
Let me just tell you about this place. Wait..there are no words. Google it. Find one. Go!!
Friday night dinner!  
Mani and Pedis Saturday morning!  So fun and relaxing!
Lunch of course. So yum!!
I like pizza. I like food. I was happy. 
Oh yeah...same day...skip forward a few hours to 9pm. 
Oh there was nothing to be afraid of!  Pure bliss. Throw in "cheese dip" (apparently it totally threw the waiter off when I ordered "cheese dip".  He said "we call that queso." Same thing dude) and a cinnamon roll and a brownie Sundae and you have all your main food groups covered!  Fear not and dig in. That we did!
Coffee before church Sunday. 
Of course we had to have our Newk's pic!  

Thank you Katie for an amazing weekend full of laughs and abundant memories. So thankful for Godly friends who pour encouragement and truth in my life!