This is my favorite! They were both belly laughing, and it was priceless!
Friday, June 24, 2011
So I went to take photos of Maggie for her first birthday, and Elliot asked if she could go too. She adores Maggie, so I said "Of course!" She wanted to sneak into a few of the photos, so once again I said "Of course!" And boy am I glad that she did! They are so stinkin' sweet, I could eat them with a spoon!
Did you know that worrying means you have a lack of faith? Did you know that asking God to forgive you over and over for the same thing can be seen as a mockery of the sacrifice that was made? Did you know that God sees gossip the same as adultery? Did you know that God absolutely adores you, and that person that cut you off in traffic, and that drunk driver who took the life of your loved one in the same way? These are things I've learned over the last several years. These are things that I struggled with, but they are things I know are true. How do I know....The Bible tells me so!
And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
Why then do we worry? He will care for you! It may not be in the way you ask or in the time that you ask, but He will care for you! He sent His son to die for us!
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
It doesn't say, He might forgive you....it says He will; so why do we need to keep asking over and over again if we are truly asking for forgiveness the first time?
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
Sin is the separation from God....plain and simple....no matter what the sin is!
For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave his one and only son that whomever believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
He loved the WORLD....and all of inhabitants. He created us all in His image! We are all sinners and all do things that break His heart, but that doesn't mean that He doesn't love us. He loves us all....no matter what your sin!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner with NPayne to celebrate our anniversary which was last week. I had plans to go over all the "To Do" things that I am wanting "To Do"! Once we got to the restaurant, we began casual conversation about just stuff. It was nice, because we rarely have time to just sit and talk; so we did. We talked a lot about the mission trip that he had just returned from. We talked a lot about some of the struggles I've been facing. We talked a lot about our finances. We talked a lot about our family. We talked a lot about blessings. We talked a lot about Ken, our beloved pastor, who suddenly and unexpectedly died in February. We talked a lot about GOD! I love to talk to my husband about GOD. He always helps me remember what I'm here for. NPayne has a servant's heart and mind. He grew up without a lot, but he knows that he was and is still rich....no matter what the financial situation....no matter what he has or doesn't. He knows that he's rich. I will admit that it's frustrating to me sometimes to not be able to do, repair, go, or buy some of the things I would really like to; but....I too know that I'm rich in blessings. Not in material things, although we do have lots of those too, but in relationships and experiences and life.....in blessings. I think I've written about blessings on my blog before, and what I think being blessed means. I know that having stuff is a gift and living in the country where freedom rings is a gift, but I don't think our things, our stuff, our material items are blessings. I think they are results of circumstances of where we are blessed to live, where we are blessed to work, etc. To me....being blessed....means so much more than having a nice house, 2 good cars, plenty of food, clothes, money, etc. To me....being blessed.....means having the opportunity to work hard, have many freedoms, a healthy life, but mainly being blessed means having relationships that grow you and nurture you....whether those be friends, family, church family or all of the above. I am very thankful for our stuff, but I know that I would be joyful in the Lord if I didn't have it as well. When someone says...."We are so blessed" and is pointing to their large house and car in the driveway....I can't help but think: I wonder how the poverty stricken people who live all over the world feel about that. Are they not blessed because they don't have those things? Honestly I think not....actually I know not. I know there are many people in our world, who don't have stuff, many who don't even have enough food, many who don't have their health; but they are still joyful in the Lord....so in my eyes....they are more blessed than many!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
It's Father's Day! WOOHOO! I love days that celebrate a particular person...mother's day, father's day, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Easter. I like to lavish everything I have into that day. I will say that NPayne is not as enthusiastic as I am about these days. He downplays most everything. But today was the day to celebrate him. He received many hand made lovelies from his children and...ahem....his wife....see photo above! I made that for him for his desk at work. I simply adore my husband and adore that he adores me and adores our children. We are an adorable family! ;) On a serious note, NPayne is truly the best daddy I could have ever asked for for my babies. He is completely devoted to them. He works hard for them, but his favorite thing to do is be with them. He just loves to be with them....just be with them. It reminds me of how Our Heavenly Father just loves to be with us. He just wants us with Him all the time! NPayne grew up without his dad. He died when he was 1, and he never had a lot of male influence in his life....growing up in a house with a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, 2 sisters, and 2 female cousins. You could say he was surrounded by estrogen. But somehow....he learned. I attribute a lot of that to his mama....who is just a wonderfully, kind, hardworking, lovely woman who is devoted to and loves her family! Basically that's NPayne too....wonderfully, kind, hardworking, lovely man who is devoted to and loves his family. One of the things that attracted me to NPayne when I first met him, besides his long hair and studly appearance ;)....was how kind he was, and the fact that he made me laugh A LOT! He is still that kind and still makes me laugh A LOT! I just want to take a minute to say this....I ADORE YOU NPAYNE and how much you adore me and adore our children! You are the best daddy in the whole world....besides my own daddy who I miss so much! I am so blessed to have had the time I had with my dad and the time my kids had with him. It brings me such joy to imagine Father's Day in heaven spent with the most perfect of Fathers. I wish Elliot could have known her Papa. She is his spitting image, and I wish I could have seen him with her. I know that he would think she's as scrumptious as I do.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
It's 2:34 a.m., and I am wide awake. I love it when God speaks clearly to me.....even if it is at 2:34 a.m. But because my thoughts tend to run wild in the middle of the night, I am going to wait until the morning before I take any action on what God is telling me! Until then, I guess I'll go watch a little TV!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Do you ever have that undeniable feeling that God is so present at that particular moment? That feeling that you are completely enveloped in HIS love? I know God is present at every moment, but I'm talking about truly feeling His presence....like I could feel His arms around me or His hand holding mine. I had one of those treasures today. I was driving to the private lake where one of my lifelong friends lives. As I was driving, I was wrestling with many thoughts.....many thoughts. I was thinking about the new pastor that is joining our church today. I was thinking about my pastor Ken who I miss dearly. I was thinking about Ken's wife who I admire immensely. Then I started thinking about other trials that have occurred over the last few months, trials that I really wish I could have talked with Ken about....mainly at my job. Many changes have occurred there, and although I think change is a good thing....these changes have been extremely difficult....because they have affected me personally. Not that they haven't affected everyone there in some fashion, but some more than others. I am one of those "SOME"! It has been an extremely difficult few months for me personally, and there have been many things happen that have been so much more painful than I ever imagined. God led me one way, and although it was a leap of faith and a hard decision....I obeyed, because I knew He was telling me to jump. And although the result has not been the way I think it should have been; I am glad that I obeyed His calling. I also know that it will be okay. I do know that it will be okay. From the start of all of this change, I have known that it will be okay....I have known that. With the hurt came many other emotions and confusion, but today....while I was driving....I said out loud...."HE IS TAKING CARE OF ME!" I wasn't really sure why I said that, and then I realized it wasn't me that said it....it was HIM! When I said it, I was almost startled....so much so....that I had to look around to see if anyone else heard what I had heard/said.....to see if they heard His voice as I did. I felt like Jesus was sitting in the passenger seat of my car. It's not that I haven't known all along that HE IS TAKING CARE OF ME, it's that I have been on this unsettling and confusing roller coaster ride (without a seatbelt) for the last few months. Today, for the first time, I felt at complete peace about the change. This doesn't mean that I agree with all the changes being made, but I am at peace with them. I started thinking that maybe He called me to that particular situation just to see if I would say yes and be obedient....maybe the end result wasn't really His goal....maybe me saying "YES" was! I am not sure what lies ahead for me at my job, but what I do know is that it is not something I need to worry about....because HE IS TAKING CARE OF ME!
Monday, June 13, 2011
Happy 19th Anniversary to the man of my dreams. Although I didn't realize you were the man of my dreams until I met you....once I did....I couldn't have been more blessed by having you as my husband, my companion, my love, my best friend, the father of my children, and so much more. I simply adore you NPayne, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do for our family! You balance me out, you soften me when I'm too hard, you strenghten me when I'm too soft! Although we are not celebrating together today, I am proud to know that you are out doing what you do best....serving others! I miss you terribly and can't wait to see you on Saturday! I LOVE YOU NPAYNE!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
In a house full of children, I'm lonely. If you don't watch basketball (or you live under a rock), you wouldn't know that THE DALLAS MAVERICKS are in the play offs for the championship. We are big Mavs fans, but NPayne is really a die hard. He has cheered them on for 20+ years....even when they were the butt of many jokes....because they were so bad. Every game, during the play offs, that he watches is intense and full of excitement for him...win or lose! He won't ever give up on them. I don't watch the game with him, because frankly the games have been neck and neck; and I can't sit through that kind of tension. I just come in at the end to see, and then occasionally watch it replayed. Here in our area, they have been replaying all of the games......COOL! So you might wonder what all of this has to do with me being lonely. Well NPayne is in Louisiana with Addi and a few hundred other people getting ready to start mission work tomorrow. He is not in the living room....clapping loudly, cheering them on, arguing with the refs, etc. It's quiet in my house tonight (even with the other 4 kiddos here), and although I am so glad that they are doing mission work.....I miss hearing him cheer on his team. I am really going to miss seeing his ugly sports victory cry....if they happen to win tonight or Tuesday night. Dallas Mavericks have never won a championship....and just to root them on....watch this. Make sure you mute the music on my blog to hear it! THE TIME IS NOW!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Several more photos to post, BUT...my life has been busy.
Tomorrow NPayne and my oldest are leaving town and heading to New Iberia Louisiana on a mission trip. Although I have yet to go on a mission trip, I know that I would LOVE it. They have been several times now, and each year they come back more blessed by the experience. My girl had to choose between a trip to Colorado with her girl scout troop and mission trip, and she chose mission trip. She had to choose between a mandatory week of drumline camp and risking losing her spot and mission trip, and she chose mission trip. It makes me happy, and I know it makes God happy, to see that she has been so blessed by serving others, that she can't wait to do it again. Choosing to give up some really important and fun things....but she knows that HE is most important. Being His hands and feet and sharing His love and Holy Spirit is the most important. I will confess that she loves to go for the fellowship and fun they all have together, but my Addi works her tail end off while she's there; and so does NPayne. I will miss them so very much, but one week without them is worth the service they are providing to others. God is so good!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I took my baby....my first born....my 14 year old daughter....my precious....my wonderful young lady.... to her first high school Bible Study tonight. I cried tonight after I dropped her off as hard as I cried the day she ate her first chicken nugget over 13 years ago. It was bittersweet. Of course I want her to grow and flourish and become the wonderful young lady that she is becoming, BUT....time has flown by so fast....and I know it's only going to get faster! I picked her up from her final day of middle school last week, and we both cried all the way home....and then continued to cry for most of the afternoon! Growing up....a necessary, wonderful part of life that we as parents get to experience....but it is HARD! It's times like these when I have to remember that the hard stuff is so worth it, the bittersweet feelings of watching my babies grow up is worth the enormous unexplainable amount of love that I have for these God given gifts. Having my first born blessing look me in the eye, with those beautiful eyes that look exactly the same as they did when she was 2, tonight and say...."Will you come with me?" It warmed my heart and reiterated that although she is growing up fast....she is still my little girl!
Okay....so I've been BUSY! School ended last Friday, and I haven't had a minute to breathe yet. I've been doing lots of photos....grin! My two youngest had dance recitals....grin! My oldest has band camp....grin! But honestly I'm ready to start my summer! I will slowly start posting photos of the last several photo shoots....and you can always look on my photography blog to check out the latest as well. Of course I have to update it first....grin! To start things off with a wonderful bang....how about these two preciously beautiful sisters! So much fun, so much personality, so much beauty.....inside and out! I love these girls!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Let me begin this post by saying the following: I don't consider a family of seven (2 adults and 5 children) to be an extremely large family. In fact, I don't even consider five children to be a lot. But....apparently many people do. One thing I've noticed as my children have gotten older and involved in extra curricular activities is this....teachers, coaches, etc. often think that their activity or sport should be the center of your child's life and never consider that their may be other children in your life. I have also noticed that rarely do they take into consideration that you may have another child, to pick up or drop off somewhere, when they decide at the last minute to change practice or have the child stay after school for something. I've also noticed that there seems to be a lack of regard to being prompt. Sure my child may come in a few minutes late, because I had to pick up or drop off another; and be scolded (oftentimes even to the point of humiliation). But it is perfectly okay for them to keep my child 15 minutes later than the activity dismissal time just because they haven't quite perfected whatever they're working on.....hence making one of my other children late to something or wait an extra 15 minutes for me to pick them up. Do you see the cycle here? One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is inconsideration....what I have described above is something that I find to be extremely inconsiderate to me and to my children. It's a fine line we walk....if we nicely inform the teacher, coach, etc. that my child needs to be ready at said pick up time....then we run the risk of them being treated differently because we had the nerve to speak up. If we never address it, then it seems to get worse and worse and eventually I don't want my child to participate in that particular activity any longer....just due to the lack of consideration. I'm a believer in the "Kill Them With Kindness" approach, so that is usually what I do; BUT....I have also been known to vent about this lack of consideration to my children which is not ideal either. I don't want them to feel badly about something they cannot help, but I do want them to know what it means to be considerate and respectful of peoples' time and family. I am going to end this post with this....Thank Goodness It's Summer!