Monday, November 5, 2012

Count Your Blessings

     It's that time of year already!  I love when Halloween is over and we get to the part of the year when we focus on being thankful and celebrate what Christ has done for us.  Many of my friends on facebook are posting what they are thankful for each day of November, and as much as I would love to that, it's too long a commitment for me.  HA!  So I'm just going to write one blog post and try to sum it all up here.
     I first of all need to say that I am so thankful God brought me out of my self absorption or whatever I was suffering from during my last post.  All of those thoughts were real and very heart felt, but now I feel so spoiled for even mourning over that situation.  I think the main thing was I had a lot of good memories in our old house and I felt like moving meant those things were done.  But if you have been a blog follower of mine you'll understand when I say, it was just a season.  When one season ends a new one begins.  We are in our new home with almost all the boxes put away.  We are loving the yard and our new neighborhood and looking forward to life in our new place.
     I was thinking last week about how my life has been so covered by the protection of God.  It brought me to tears thinking of how much I don't deserve to be where God has me.  I know I have loved God and wanted my life to please Him since I was a young child, but He has been so graciously good to me that all I can do is stop and give Him all the glory for being continually faithful to me and my family.  From the worlds standards my life seems so ordinary and nothing special, but I am overwhelmed by God's goodness and how living life they way he asks us to live really does allow us the opportunity to experience life this side of heaven to its fullest.  He wants us to have an abundant life, and that is exactly what I have because of Christ.
     I am thankful for my family, the one I grew up with and the one in which I'm the "mom".  In Deuteronomy 6 it talks about how God says to teach your children to follow the Lord so that you, your children, and their children after them may fear the Lord and receive the promises of God.  I am so blessed to be part of family that has lived this out.  I will forever be blessed by the faithfulness of my grandparents and parents because they sought the Lord and the guidance and wisdom they share is based on lasting truth.  Ephesians says the Lord is able to do more than we ask or imagine.  That is exactly what happened when God gave me Jay.  Jay, in my opinion, is the best man on the planet, and I feel so privileged to be his partner in life.  Our girls have taught me so much about life, love, and the Lord.  Thank you God for a family, while not perfect, that shows greater love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy because they have first experienced those things from you.
     A few other random things that cause me to give thanks to God who is the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17) are as follows (in no particular order): the best part-time job on the planet, cameras that capture special memories and give a forever glimpse of important happenings in life, my church that truly "gets" that we are meant to be the hands and feet of Christ as we are living this life, my friends (old and new) that make life fun and help me through the hard stuff, Dr. Pepper, sunsets, a good nights rest, a hot shower, living in America (Texas, specifically) AH HA:), music that helps me communicate with God and experience his truth.  I could go on, but I'll stop there so I don't go overboard.  Thank you God for this life!

2 of my blessings taken with my new phone (another blessing)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home

The girls on the front porch of our house last spring.  Ansley making friends with one of the many critters that live in the yard.
    
     If you know me you understand that I am not very sentimental and as a child I was never homesick.  Those 2 things make this post I'm about to write seem strange.  Here is the deal... We're moving and I'm sad about letting go of our home.  It's not like we are moving across the country.  We are literally moving 2 streets over.  So why am I having such a hard time with this?  We are closing on our house today, but we will still have a couple of weeks to get out of one home and into the other.  Last night I was just a mess over the whole thing even though it seems completely obvious that this is God's plan and he worked things out in an incredible way.   
     We have been in this house for almost exactly 5 years so that means Ansley was about a year and half when we moved in.  The house was 3 years old when we moved in, I think.  From the start I never wanted to live in the neighborhood we live in because it is a new neighborhood.  I liked living in a semi-new home, but my beef with the neighborhood is there are NO mature trees.  Yes, every yard has at least 1 tree but there is very little shade provided by them for anyone over 3 feet tall.  You may be asking what is the big deal about shade?  I'm sure you're aware that living in central Texas means living with very long hot summers.  My children love to be outside, but it is so dad gum hot that we can only stay out there for 10 minutes before we are all drenched with sweat and ready for relief.  Just trust me shade makes ALL the difference.  Anyway, the yard issue was the whole reason we were trying to sell the house.  We did sell the house, and we are closing today so shouldn't I be excited??? 
     Now consider all the other details and maybe you can understand my delimma.  The house we are currently in has a great floor plan that meets are family's needs so well.  We got to pick the paint and the flooring and had the freedom to do whatever we chose with our space (more explanation on why that seems like a big deal in a minute).  Ansley has made friends with all the gieckos and toads in the yard.  Adalynn loves to use our big garden tub to set up tea partys on the side of the tub during bath time.  We run around and around in circles through the kitchen,living, dining area because of the open floorplan playing chase, hide and seek, or just to wear Ansley out ;). I want to have those memories forever and moving means they are gonna end and my brain is just going to have to keep good mental pictures of it all.
     The next part of the story is the house we are moving into is the church's parsonage.  Let me just say up front that we are SO grateful for this oppurtunity and for all the people who have have labored to help get the place liveable.  I hope the following doesn't sound like I'm complaining because there is great potential in the place.  It has a yard with lots of big shade trees on an awesome street.  There is plenty of space in the house even if it's not laid out how I'd prefer.  But yall, it was a mess!  There were termites in the wall, holes in the walls, doors that wouldn't work, and a myriad of other things that needed to be addressed.  Today the house looks a lot more on the mend than it did 3 weeks ago, but if you walked in there I'm pretty sure you would all say, "Wow is this place gonna be ready in the 2 weeks?"  I don't know.  I'm just praying for all the walls to be repaired so we can paint and get flooring put back in the place.  Everything else we can do while we are in there I guess. 
     Earlier I mentioned we had the freedom to choose what we wanted and stuff.  I said that because the new house isn't really ours, it belongs to the church.  And last night during my greiving process the Lord was kind enough to gently remind me that nothing I have is really mine anyway.  All good things are a gift from above and I am entrusted to steward them well.  But this situation just made it so real that decisions aren't really up to me.  I am supposed to get every direction from the Lord and make decisions with His kingdom purpose in mind.  All summer God was teaching Jay and me about excess and using what we have for his glory not our comfort, but I'll tell you putting it into practice like this is hard.  I want to be a woman who lives what I believe so I am trusting God, because he his faithful, to make this house he has so graciously provided into a wonderful home for a new season. I'm laying down my rights to decide what "home" should look like and I am letting go of my consumeristic desire and choose not to be lured by the "updated", "pretty", and "modern".  Yall help me though because I'm already working on my disclaimer for when guests come over. ;)

 Lamentations 3:22-23 22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Monday, August 20, 2012

When we know our place

     This summer was a good one.  It was somewhat laced with anxiety but I never felt overly anxious because I live for a savior who is in the business of setting all things right.  I didn't feel anxious because I trusted his plan for me.  I was so desperate to hear and do whatever it is God wants me to do.  I couldn't get enough, I couldn't read enough, I was content just being in his presence.  I think in the midst of walking through this daily life I finally knew and accepted my place.  By that I mean, I knew that it's not about me.  It's not about how I feel, what I want to do, or what other people are thinking.  I knew my place as a woman created in the image of God to be in relationship with God for the purpose of making God known.
     As a sit here writing this, I wonder why I can know my place one day, and wake up the next day back in the same ole grind of "going through the motions".  I'll tell you one thing though, even on ordinary days we can be confident of our place in Christ and his love for us.  So everyday, whether good or bad, let us agree with the psalmist...

" I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13


Monday, August 13, 2012

Ansley

I had to blog this because I want to remember it forever.  :)  Yesterday at lunch Ansley and I were talking about all kinds of stuff because I was gone over the weekend and we hadn't talked in a while.  Then she told me, "Mom, I know I love animals but I think I decided I want to be someone who teaches other people how to read about Jesus.  Then when I go talk to them everywhere they will have all kinds of new animals for me to see.  So I can tell people about Jesus and see lots of animals." My response was, "That is a great idea"!  My heart was full.  I get nervous sometimes that walking with Jesus is just a family thing to her (which is somewhat good). However, I don't want her to skip over the personal relationship God wants to have with her just because "church" is kind of our way of life since Jay is a youth minister.  I was just encouraged that she seems to be getting it a little.  I know God has good plans for her future and I am trusting him to move in her heart at just the right time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Borrowed from "Stuff Christians Like"

Stuff Christians Like is a blog written by Jon Acuff.  This was his post about 2 weeks ago.  I wanted to share it so here it is.


False Humility


John Eagan was a high school teacher in Milwaukee. After his death, they published his journals. Brennan Manning quotes the introduction from the journal in his book, Abba’s Child. I thought it was pretty amazing and worth sharing:
“We judge ourselves unworthy servants, and that judgment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We deem ourselves too inconsiderable to be used even by a God capable of miracles with no more than mud and spit. And thus our false humility shackles an otherwise omnipotent God.”
I love that line, “We deem ourselves too inconsiderable to be used even by a God capable of miracles with no more than mud and spit.”
The next time the enemy tells you that God could never use your life in his story, remind yourself what he accomplished with mud and spit.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My girls and Adalynn's birthday

  This is actually two posts in one.  With Adalynn turning two I started really thinking about who she has become over the last year or so with her personality become increasingly more apparent.  It made me realize my girls are so different.  Each unique with their own gifts and struggles, they bring something very needed and special to our family.  So humor me as I spend a few minutes writing about my girls.


PART 1:
   Ansley, the first born, exhibits so many characteristics typical of that birth order.  She is smart, tough, independent, and stubborn.  Ansley L-O-V-E-S animals.  I mean all children like animals but I mean she is crazy about them, and she knows so much about them.  It's crazy how smart she is. She is my outdoor, physical activity player.  She loves to be outside finding bugs, chasing butterflies, catching toads, etc.  She is a good runner (a trait she obviously inherited from her father).  I mean she is a 6 year old girl so I'm not saying she can run a marathon or anything, but she does love to run just for the sake of running.  For example, she will run from on side of the yard to the other and back just to see if she can make it faster the next time.  This can go on for 10 or 15 minutes.  She likes to climb trees, swim, and jump rope (which she is better at going backward-- weird).  Ansley is also very friendly.  She meets new kids and these strangers become friends very quickly.  Ansley loves for you to read to her.  Her ability to memorize books and songs is crazy!  It has proven to be a frustration in learning to read.  She has so many "sight words" memorized that when she comes to one that she doesn't know she just skips it.  We have to remind her that its ok the sound out words... that doesn't mean you are a bad reader, it means you are still learning.  This skill typically means she learns quickly.  Ansley is a talker! She learned to talk early and hasn't stopped since.  I used to say that God thought Jay and I were boring so he gave us Ansley. :)  She definitely adds much needed spice in our lives because Jay and I are both pretty easy going, quiet people and Ansley likes to shake things up.
   Adalynn, on the other hand, is a completely different kind of girl.  She is sensitive, curious, and loving.  Adalynn is very polite, she almost always says please and thank you and sorry without having to be asked.  We had to talk stern to Ansley for her to take us seriously, but if you talk that way to Adalynn she gets the sad lip and looks down at her feet and isn't sure how to handle that.  She responds much better to positive reinforcement.  Adalynn also gets upset when others are upset and she tries her hardest to comfort you when you are sad or hurt.  She is a hugger!  She has always been a more cuddly baby than my first born and she still, when being carried, pats your back.  She is way more curious than Ansley ever was.  She unrolled the toilet paper, pulled all the kleenex out of the box, and has taken my clothes out of the drawers (several times).  Ansley never did any of those things.  Adalynn pulls every toy out of every box and off every shelf.  The plus side is she actually does play with toys... Ansley isn't great at playing with toys (remember her physical nature).  Adalynn already seems much more girly.  She likes shoes, purses, and wearing lip balm.  She also has these bracelets that she loves to wear.  She plays with baby dolls and likes to change their clothes and push them around in the stroller.  I wouldn't say Adalynn is behind but she started talking later than Ansley and so she gets frustrated sometimes when she wants to communicate with you but just still isn't sure how.  I would say Ansley is more of a singer (she's pretty good too), and Adalynn is more of a dancer.  As soon as Adalynn could hold herself up she was grooving to the music.  I just think it's fascinating to see how 2 girls from the same parents can be knit together so uniquely.  We have such a creative and good God, don't you think.  I know I do!  


PART 2:
My baby turned 2 last week!  I can hardly believe that I've got a 2 year old and a 6 year old.  That's just crazy!  The second birthday is a hard one because the child really doesn't care and will be excited about anything.  Also at 2 they don't really have their own friends.  I mean they have friends but not self-appointed friends. At this point, they are really friends with whoever mom decides to hang out with.  All of that to say, I was having trouble with what to do for this blessed occasion.  So, we ended up partying with my family at my parents house.  On the actual day of her birthday we ended up making a little after dinner celebration with just the 4 of us also.  It was fun and I think Adalynn enjoyed that as much as having a party.  She definitely knew the day was hers.  :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"I Swear"

   
     Last weekend I went to my friends baby shower.  She lives a little over 2 hours from me, but I was so excited to make this trip to see one of my best and oldest friends to celebrate a family of three soon to be family of 4.  Another of my dear friends was there too, and was also pregnant with her 2nd baby.  We all went to high school together and these girls have been so precious to me no matter where we are or what we've been doing with our life.
     I mentioned that trip was 2 hours because that means lots of radio time.  This is notable because I could listen to whatever I wanted without interrupting anyone else's plans (ahem... a certain 6 year old comes to mind).  On the way back after having a great visit with my friends, I was flipping through radio stations and came across a country station playing something I thought was worth stopping the channel surfing for. (even though now I don't remember what was playing)  What I do remember is the next song that came on was John Michael Montgomery's song, "I Swear".
     As soon as the song started even before any words were sung I was instantly thrown back to junior high or  high school dances.  I was the nervous girl fidgeting, wondering if anyone was going to ask me to dance because when I was that age everyone danced to the slow songs and the up tempo stuff you were free to do whatever you liked.  Is anyone going there with me?  I don't know if it happened because I had been with my old friends all day or what, but it was awkward to the point my stomach was even feeling unsettled for a second.
     I sat there and remembered all my friends and was thankful for all the ways God has worked in my life since those days.  After a few minutes the whole thing just made me smile really big and love the life God has given me.  I now have a forever dance partner, who I will always think is the best looking man in the room!  ( :  I have two darling girls who love to dance and play with their mom (for now).  Lastly, maybe most importantly, I am satisfied with who the Lord has made me.  Don't get me wrong there are days when I think,"I guess these love handles are just always going to be a reminder of the blessing of being able to bear my own children.", or think "I'm almost thirty, shouldn't I have grown out of pimples already?".  But in general I am thankful to be who God made me and I am comfortable with my lot in life.
     I can recall several times I've told those younger than me that adulthood is overrated, but I have been truly blessed beyond measure.  Maybe glimpses into the past, like I experienced, are meant to show us how far we've come and to praise the Lord with increasing confidence that "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Each Chapter

"As we surrender to divine interventions (or not) each chapter of our lives puts God on display."
Priscilla Shirer in
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted


     The idea of chapters in life has been one that has intrigued me for several years.  It was even the theme of our D-Now 3 or 4 years ago.  I know I am part of the big story God is writing throughout history, but my life also is a story and each chapter is necessary and different.  Switching chapters is always a struggle in my mind, but so is remaining in a chapter when I feel a new one should start.
     While I was getting my haircut last week this came up again.  Ashley (who cuts my hair) was asking me about life, as all good stylists do. :)  Jay had just gotten back from Haiti so I was telling her about that when she asked me if I would have liked to go with them.  I said yes, but it's not my season for that.  She agreed and identified with that.  She completely understood and felt the same way.  She loves the Lord and lives to serve him too.
     The season I'm in is focused on doing ministry with our girls and being "busy at home" (Titus 2:5)  I'm learning to appreciate this a little more each day.  If there is any chapter of life I feel completely unqualified for, it's this one.  I do not like to cook, bake, sew, clean or anything else you typically associate with "traditional" female roles.  I can see you rolling your eyes now because you're thinking, "Jamie, it's 2012. Isn't that why feminism came along. Traditional roles don't matter."  You're right.  I appreciate that girls and boys alike have the same opportunity to be who they want to be.  I come from a family where Mom always worked.  My husband's Mom also always worked.  Let me just say it was completely my idea to stay at home when I had kids.  Please don't feel like I'm oppressed by this societies gender issues blah blah blah...  I say that because throughout my education, specifically my undergrad history classes and my graduate communication classes, people often wanted me to assume that to be a liberated woman relevant in the 21st century I had to be independently successful as measured by financial standards.  I feel a little like Julia Stiles in the movie Mona Lisa Smile.  Okay, enough on that, that is for another post maybe.
     The point I started to make is that I chose this life that I feel unqualified for, but a life that I appreciate a little more every day.  I look at the examples the world offers my girls, and frankly it makes my stomach hurt.  I want to train my girls to be women who love graciously, are wise and pure, work hard, and live appreciative of their God given purpose in life.  I wrestled the Lord over my station in life.  I refused to move until I heard from him about it one night.  You know what happened, he answered so clearly and honestly so contrary to what I wanted.  What I want is a full time job.  I wanted to hear that my time as SAHM was coming to a close.  We've become accustomed to living off one salary so mine would allow us to save for the girls and retirement, go on cool vacations, get Jay a new car, etc.  But what he said to me was that my girls souls are more important than any of that.  No one is better suited to train my girls in the way they should go than me.  He orchestrated my life in such a way that I could stay home and spend my time with my girls, and I should thank him rather than rebel and insist on my desires and comforts.
     I know God has different plans for each of us, so please, don't for a second feel any condemnation over living your life different from mine.  All I would say is that if you haven't "wrestled" with him over it that you should.  If you have given your life to Christ, ask him what he wants you to do with it (your life).  I'm pretty sure he'd love it.
     So our summer Bible study is the book of Jonah and I felt inspired to share my latest "divine intervention" as Priscilla Shirer puts it.  The quote at the top was great because more than anything else I want to put God on display.  For now I'll aim to display him in our home and to my little sweets!
My girls love summer!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Inconvenience: The Price of Good Parenting

I subscribe to get emails from iMOM and this was from yesterdays.  
SO good and so true.  Just wanted to share.


April 16, 2012
Inconvenience: The Price of Good Parenting


My father, now a grandfather to seven, was reflecting recently on his own journey as a parent. He said, “By far, the hardest part of parenting for me was consistency. If it’s wrong today, it’s still wrong tomorrow, even if following through with the consequences for my child does not fit the schedule.” And it’s true—the bedrock of good parenting is consistency, and consistency is often ridiculously inconvenient—to the parent!

Good parenting is work, and doesn’t go away when we’re tired or over-scheduled. So when you’re at a parenting crossroads, you may be asking, “Is it really worth the inconvenience to me to: take away his cell phone, ban her from the computer, or keep her home from the sleepover?  Most of the time, the answer is yes. So stick with your parenting plan, even if it means you’re the one who’s inconvenienced. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Good find

Starting junior high also meant starting youth group.  My brother told me something then that I have found to be beneficial.  Our youth pastor always had hand outs with fill in the blanks for us when he was giving a message.  My brother told me to keep these because they would be good to look back at someday.  Well, I did keep them, a LOT of them.  I have since weeded out many things but I still do have several pages that I received as a student in the youth group.  This past week I found something from a bible study I went to with my youth minister's wife.  It's amazing how it can speak to me now as much as I'm assuming that it did then.  When my brother gave me that advice to keep my stuff from youth group, neither of us had any idea that I would one day be a youth minister's wife.  I have used those handouts to create my own studies and lessons for the girls in our ministry.  They truly are a priceless resource from people I trust and have seen walk life with Christ for many years even after I graduated.  I thought I would share in case someone else needed to hear these words too.

In the series of statements the first one describes a "natural inclination that leads to lack of purpose".  The second describes "principles of wisdom that lead to fulfilling achievement".

1. Making a distinction between full-time Christian work and secular vocations.
2. Wisdom is recognizing that, whatever my job is, I am to work as though God were my employer and expect that my real reward for labor will come from Him.

1. Considering the learning of practical skills in a variety of areas to be unnecessary.
2. Wisdom is remembering that God will use whatever natural skills I develop in the ministry to which He calls me and that often they will be the very means of directing me in service for Him.

1. Believing that since I do not have too many talents or special abilities I cannot expect to do any significant work for God.
2. Wisdom is realizing that God uses the weak things of the world to confound the mighty and the foolish to confound the wise, because His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

1. Assuming that the will of God for my life involves finding a particular job or having a particular title.
2. Wisdom is discerning that the will of God involves both the forming of Christ's character within me and the resulting message which I can share with others.

1. Neglecting unwanted family responsibilities to have more time for other things, like serving the Lord.
2. Wisdom is understanding that difficult family responsibilities are actually God's way of building essential character in me and that a far bigger ministry can result through the lives of those for whom I am responsible.

1. Expecting that  God will bless my efforts in Christian work with acceptance and appreciation from those whom I serve.
2. Wisdom is preparing for unexpected misunderstandings and rejection from those I try to help so that I can identify with new sections of scripture and experience a more effective ministry with others.

1. Plodding ahead in order to fulfill a vision that I know God has given me to accomplish.
2. Wisdom is planning for the death of my vision during which time I will be forced to learn the character of Christ and wait for his timing in the fulfillment of the vision.

1. Looking for the opportunities of leadership in Christian service.
2. Wisdom is seeking to serve Christian leaders because of the awesome responsibility which they have and higher standards by which they will be judged.

So, there ya go.  I thought it was just a great reminder to keep my perspective through a Christ focused lens.  No matter what we are doing, we do it for the Lord and he uses every situation in life to develop us into the person he created us to be.  Nothing is wasted or pointless when we live life with Christ.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Christmas Post

   
     So I wrote a blog at the beginning of the Christmas season and I was so excited for this year's holiday season.  I really did have a great time with my family but I will say it was extremely busy and this laid back girl who leans toward introversion was exhausted from all the events!  I will say the advent Christmas countdown we did was a BIG hit.  Ansley loved all of it.  Also giving the girls there gifts was a lot of fun.  I'm glad I waited until Christmas. ;)
     The holiday travel started when Ansley got out of school at noon that Friday.  We left almost immediately after that and drove to my brother's house to get his dog to take with us to my parents house while they were in Alabama.  We got to my parent's that Friday evening.  It was an ok trip but they seriously  have got to do something on I 35W between the North exits 52 to 60.  My exit is 60 and those last 8 miles take FOREVER!!  During my traffic wait my friend Kathleen called and asked me to sing with her during the Christmas Eve service.  The song she had chosen was Barlow Girl's Hallelujah Light Has Come and it is such a beautiful song.  I was so honored to join her.
     The main reason me and my girls went to my parents that weekend was to go to my cousin Aaron's wedding that Saturday.  WELL you know things don't always go as planned...  We were on our way to the wedding Saturday night all of us dressed up and looking fancy when about 20 minutes into our 1 hour drive we get a phone call from my aunt saying, "Where are yall".  So the wedding we thought was at 6pm was at 3pm.  Total bummer, but we did go ahead and go see the clean up crew.  Everything seemed like it was an awesome wedding and we did get to see the Bride and Groom on their way out so I guess that's something. 
     Flexibility I guess is one worthwhile trait I possess.  We had planned to be home early on Tuesday because Jay was gonna be gone MONDAY with the youth kids at six flags.  Turns out because of weather they went on TUESDAY.  So me and the girls stayed at my parents a little longer and left after lunch Tuesday and then stopped to visit my friend Christin in Fort Worth.  It was fun to see her and her little girl, Lauren.  I was blown away how grown up Lauren had gotten.  Man, kids... they learn and grow up so fast.  After we left there we drove a little further and stopped for dinner in Waco and finally got home around 7:30 or 8 Tuesday night.
video

     Friday we got back in the car and drove to Burlison to my brother's house for our family Christmas.  The video above is of Ansley and Ridgely telling the Christmas story.  It was going well and we were all having a great time.  THEN, Ansley brought a marker (that was supposed to stay upstairs) down to the kitchen and while she was slinging it around it leaked all over Rusty and Lesley's wall.  Of course it was the red marker and so after a not so successful attempt to clean it off the wall they are gonna just have to paint over it if they haven't already.  SORRY about that again.  That is one of those things that only happen to kids at someone else's house.  HA!
     Saturday, my parents after spending the night at my brother's came down to our house and it turned out to be a life saver that they were there to help us that night.  Since I had agreed to sing with Kathleen I had to be there early for sound check and what not.  Jay had to do the power point and being on staff at the church has to show up early for everything.  So I left after eating a quick dinner leaving everyone else at the table.  Then while Jay got ready for the service my parents got themselves and both the girls ready.  YAY for the grandparents!!!  It was a great service though.  My first ever Christmas Eve service to attend because we have always been at my Nanny's until this year on Christmas Eve.  We had prepped Ansley for the Lord supper part and had the discussion about what it means and why we do it and that she wouldn't be participating yet but that hopefully one day she would.  LOL It was so funny watching her from the stage.  She kept looking at me like MOM, see ALL the other kids are doing it why can't I.  HA I was trying to keep my composure watching her but she did good and I was very proud.  Of course as soon as it was over she said, "Mom, I just wanted to take something.  Everyone else took something!"  Aww poor thing... she is so mistreated ;)

     Christmas morning went pretty good.  I was shocked that Ansley slept until like 8:30.  I totally expected her to be up early because she's known to get up around 6:30 for no reason so with it being Christmas I thought she would be an early riser for sure.  Don't get me wrong I completely appreciated the sleeping in.  We had our Santa part of Christmas and cinnamon rolls and got ready for church again.  Jay preached the Christmas morning service and I was so proud of him.  He has grown so much in the public speaking area and although I wouldn't characterize it as a typical Christmas message it was one that needed to be shared.  I thought it was a good morning.  My parents left after lunch that day and we tried to start getting ready for our next phase of Christmas break.
     On Tuesday we left after we got up to drive to Clovis.  That drive is no fun, especially the last hour or so.  The girls did ok, considering its like a 9 hour trip.  Jay's brother is a basketball coach and we went to his games every night while we were there.  His team ended up winning the tournament.  They should be really good this year.  When we did Christmas with the Reed family Jay's dad gave the girls things that were his grandmothers.  They were really special and I was glad Ansley showed her appreciation for them.  Both the girls got a doll that had been their great grandmothers that she played with when she was a girl.  Ansley also got a cradle that was made by her great great grandfather for her great grandmother to sleep in as a baby.  In Clovis the four of us all slept in the same room which meant no one got great sleep.  It really wasn't too bad though.  It was good to spend time with Jay's family.  We hadn't been all together since Pam passed away so we enjoyed our time there.

     We came home kinda late on Friday.  I was glad we came home Friday because we had Saturday to just relax before New Years Eve, not that we did anything exciting.  Anyway, I had a good holiday season although it wasn't exactly as I expected.  I'm not really sure what I expected, but I knew it would be different, kind of a start of a new phase in life I guess.  I know that this year I am fully aware of all the blessings God has given me and I am thankful for all the ways he takes care of me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

He's so cute!

Today is Jay and my anniversary.  I am so thankful to have joined my life with his 8 years ago today.  This past year has been a precious one.  I think, in honor of my man, I will give everyone a picture of who my husband is to me.
Obviously Jay is my husband and father of my children, but beyond that Jay is my...
-  best friend
-  prayer partner
-  encourager
-  motivator
-  personal trainer
-  alarm clock
-  mood lightener
-  stress reducer
-  co-chef
-  and travel companion
That is a glimpse into the life I live with Jay.  I am so proud of him, the work he does, and the man he is.  I am so blessed to love a man who lives what he preaches and is such an example of walking with Christ and a loving spiritual leader for our family.