Our Journey Home

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Funny: in public

Wubs and two of her sweet, sweet homegroup friends- Virginia and Clara!
Since David is a student at Southeastern, we have the blessing of the Share Shop. The Share Shop is located in a small building on campus. It is a place where people can donate everything from gently used clothing, toys, and household goods to books, videos, and appliances. Then, twice a week, SEBTS students and their families can go 'shopping' to pick up any items they need, at no cost. It has been such a treat to be able to share our things and also shop for things that we can use! I brought Wubs and Bella with me to the Share Shop earlier this week, while JJ stayed home with David. The girls found a little truck and a toy motorcycle for their brother! Wubs came running to me, beaming as she held the small toys. She said, "Mommy! Look! We are going to bring this home for JJ!" It blessed my heart that the girls were looking for a surprise for JJ! I replied, "Oh, Wubs! He will love that!"  Wubs face got serious and she looked side to side. Then, she leaned in close to me and said, "Ma-ma. Please don't call me that...we're in public."
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! Our big girl is growing up! wink. Happy Friday!
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."- Galatians 6:9

Thursday, May 30, 2013

the beautiful tears

A few weeks ago, we were hosting a playdate when a little 'incident' occurred. I was outside with all six children so we could enjoy a popsicle and playtime in our backyard. Everything was going great until...Bella walked too close to Wubs while she was swinging. It was only an accident, but Bella was bumped by her big sister. Bella reacted to the bump by slapping Wubs on her back. I have to confess- for a second, I almost dismissed it because we were all having such a good time together. It would have been so easy to ignore it or ask Bella to say "I'm sorry" just to go through the motions. But the Holy Spirit nudged me and I knew I shouldn't allow this teachable moment to slip by. So I took Bella inside the house to my bedroom and I asked her questions, to get her thinking about what had just happened. "Why did we come inside?"  "Did Wubs mean to bump into you?"  "Did you mean to hit Wubs?" And then, I told her that I understand. (Bella looked a bit baffled at me when I told her I understood! wink. ) I told her that sometimes, I get angry when something unexpected happens... just like a bump from the swings. Sometimes I am so quick to get angry or upset that I react and then I make a mistake and I sin against others and I sin against God. But God can use ALL things for His Glory, even when I make mistakes! I continued by explaining,  "God uses those same mistakes to remind me how much I need a Savior. Jesus died for my sins, and He died for your sins, too." Bella was hanging on my every word. Her little face softened and a tear trickled down her cheek. I asked her if I could pray for her and she held out both hands. I prayed and I thanked God for Bella's "beautiful tears"... tears from a heart that is sorry for sinning against her sister and tears that remind me how very much we all need Jesus. When we finished praying, she gave me a little smile. Then, Bella asked me, "Mommy, are my tears really beautiful?"  wink. I told her yes, that her tears were beautiful because her heart was broken over her sin; when we can see our sin and understand how we desperately need a Savior, it is such a beautiful thing! She thought about my response for a moment and then she said, "We need to tell daddy about my beautiful tears, right, Mama!" Sweet baby girl. I love her so much.

 We are so thankful for the work that the Lord is doing within Bella and we are continuing to pray for her salvation!

"Salvation is found in no one else,for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."- Acts 4:12

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: trip to the playground

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."- 1 John 1:9

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Does He use me too, mama?"

I think I have some of the best coversations with our children while we are driving in the car! Yesterday, we were on our way home from the post office and we were talking about how God can use anything or anyone for His plans, and what a joy it is to be used by Him! Wubs asked, "Does He use me too, mama?"

I said, "Yes, honey! Did you know God uses you to teach me things sometimes? " I was watching in the rearview mirror. Bella and Wubs exchanged surprised looks.


"Yup! When I see the way you show compassion to others- the way you care about people who are sad or sick or lonely- I am reminded how I should always be quick to show compassion to others.I love the way God has given you such a gentle heart. God uses you to teach me how to always try to help others."

"Wow, I didn't even know that, mama! What about Bella? Does she teach you, too?" Bella perked up her little ears at Wubs' question.

"Of course! Bella teaches me a lot about being excited to celebrate all I've been given! Bella's heart is always so easily excited about our special plans or treats or playdates or storybooks... Bella gets excited about everything!" (Bella was giggling in agreement.) "I love that about Bella. She teaches me to always be looking for God's blessings and celebrate what we have been given."

"Well, what about JJ?" Although JJ wasn't really paying attention, I wanted to be sure to share with the girls about how the Lord uses our son for His purposes, too.

"Oh, God uses JJ, too! JJ has taught me a lot about loving others with all my heart, not holding back. Have you ever seen the way JJ hugs people? He always gives them his biggest, biggest hug and he squeezes as tight as he can! That's how God loves us, with everything He has. He loved us so much He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins! And God wants us to love others the way He loves us- with all that we have. JJ has taught me a lot about that."

I am so very thankful to be a mommy! And I'm so very thankful for the many ways (too many to list...) that the Lord uses our children to teach us more about Him and refine us in His image.

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."- Ephesians 4:3

 ps- JJ had a wonderful birthday! Here are a few pictures from his big day!
Thank you Papa and Nana, for Wreck It Ralph!

Wubs and Bella went shopping with daddy to get JJ some gifts. He got a 'bo-bike' (motorcycle) and his first set of golf clubs. He was super excited!

Nana also sent JJ a personalized Wreck It Ralph shirt. I think I'll have to wash it every night... wink.

Daddy and his big boy. I love this picture!
And, mommy had to make JJ a cake- Wreck It Ralph and Fix It Felix! We sang happy birthday while we did Face Time with Papa and Nana, and even Great Grandpa and Great Grandma! It was such a treat!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Little Miss Music


(Wanna hear what Bella was listening to? She loves Jamie Grace...click here!)
"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful."- 1 Corinthians 4:2

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, JJ!

We love you so much, JJ! Happy, happy birthday! We thank God for you!
Love, Daddy, Mommy, Wubs, and Bella

"We who have fled for refuge have strong encouragement to hold fast to,"- Hebrews 6:18

Monday, May 20, 2013

just for one more day...

JJ will be one year old, just for one more day. *sniff* I can't believe our 'baby' is going to be 2 tomorrow! Where did the time go?

"Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order than we might be justified by faith."- Galatians3:23-24

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday funny: stumped

Our children often ask me questions that surprise me...  out of the blue questions that sometimes, well, stump me. wink.  For example, Wubs had a concerned look on her face the other day and she asked, "Mommy, if my eyeballs fell out, would my eyelids just be all floppy?"
I told Wubs that I didn't know the answer to that question. But, I assured her that eyeballs don't simply just fall out. She said, "WHEW!" and looked relieved. ha ha ha!
Happy Friday!
"We love because he first loved us."- 1 John 4:19

Thursday, May 16, 2013


As the nursery coordinator at our church, one of my resposibilities is recruiting teachers each discipleship year. I always pray that the Lord will provide just who we need and He is so very faithful! When I was praying and trying to recruite teachers for the one year olds classroom, I was excited to see who God would bring to be JJ's teacher.  I wanted a teacher who would be faithful, loving, and most importantly- growing in God's Word. Mickie signed up to serve every week as a lead teacher.   Mickie wanted to teach this class because his youngest brother was in the one year olds classroom; he wanted to minister to his family because his baby brother would only go into the nursery if he was with a familiar face.
And wow- Mickie has been such an amazing teacher this year! He has loved the little ones, he has been an encouragement to his co-teachers, and he has been great with the parents. Mickie served for the last time this past weekend because he is leaving for the Air Force. We wanted to celebrate his commitment to our church and his commitment to our country, so we had a surprise party!
My talented friend, Pam, designed the cutest clipart logo for Mickie's big day! I purchased special paper that allowed me to iron the logo and create homemade onesies for all the children to wear!

JJ loved his 'Mickie shirt'!
With the help of Baylee and Aubrey, my two sweet sisters in Christ, we decorated the classroom and dressed all the children in onesies and miniature dog tags! We were SO excited to show Mickie what an impact he has made on so many lives!
Baylee, Mickie, Aubrey, and all of Mickie's biggest fans!
Please pray for Mickie and the influence of his testimony while serving our country for six years. Please pray for Mickie's family and for his sweetheart Baylee as they say good-byes next week, and begin this new season of being apart from a young man they love so dearly. Thank you so much!

"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."- Psalm 141:3

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: a blue-eyed boy, a diaper, and a helmet

(Cute vs silly- it's a tie! wink!)

ps- David shared this video with me the other day, in honor of Mother's Day. If you have just three extra minutes, you'll get a good giggle by clicking here! Hope you like it!
"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."- 2 Corithians 3:16

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lil' miss creativity

 I love being the mommy of two sweet little girls; God has made them each so unique. Yesterday, I wrote about Bella, and some of the ways God has made her special. Bella is so task oriented and full of energy! God has blessed Wubs with a creativity that continues to blossom. Emma Grace loves to draw, read, use her imagination, and create! For example, Wubs used her bucket of popbeads to create animals we saw on our zoo trip:
Emma Grace made an elephant,

a snake,

a zebra,

a lion,

a giraffe (my favorite),

and a peacock.
When Wubs showed me all her little bead animals, I told her that I loved them!
"Mommy, I just really wanted to make something different and I started thinking about zoo animals. Then, I tried making animals, and it worked!"
 "Do you know what I love best about your animals? Many people would have looked at your bucket of beads and just saw... well... beads. They would have only thought those beads could be popped together to make a necklace, or maybe a bracelet. But not you! You looked closely and you saw that those beads could be something else. When Jesus looks at us, He can see just how He wants to shape us and use us, too! "
"Yeah! I'm creative, but Jesus is the MOST creative, right, mama!"

We are so thankful for Emma Grace's relationship with Christ and the work He is doing within her and through her!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"- 2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, May 13, 2013

learning Truth with Bella

All three of our children need structure, but I've noticed that Bella enjoys routine and consistency the most.  Bella loves being given specific tasks and then completing those jobs to the very best of her ability. She is excited to do crafts, she wants to do chores, and she is always looking for ways to be my little helper.I have no doubt that the Lord has big plans for Bella, and He will use her drive and energy for His glory!
All that to say, Bella's strong desire to complete tasks can also cause her a lot of frustration when things do not go as planned. Last week, Bella was working on an eleborate project with fuse beads. (Fuse beads are these tiny tube shaped beads that can be arranged on a template and then heated with an iron. The hot iron melts the beads and they adhere together in the shape of the template.) Bella was trying to make a dog with the fuse beads and she had been working on her project for nearly a half an hour. The two of us were alone in the kitchen, Bella at the table with her beads while I prepared lunch. Suddenly, I heard Bella let out a gasp and then a groan. I turned to look and I saw her sad eyes staring at the table. She had bumped the template and the beads had scattered everywhere.
I walked over to the table and  I sat down next to her. "Uh, oh! Can I help you put the beads back on your dog?"
"Mommy! This makes me so mad! I was almost done! This always happens to me!"
I began picking up the beads and putting them on the dog-shaped template. "You know what? Sometimes this same thing happens to me. Sometimes I work really hard and then, before I know it, all my work falls apart! But you know what? I can always trust that God does what is best for me, and He will always help me."
"That's not where the brown beads go, mommy. Those beads were for the ears! But... maybe my dog can have brown paws and white ears? That would be so cute!"- Bella thoughtfully studied the new dog that we were assembling together.
"I think brown paws would be super cute! Hmmm. I think that's why sometimes God allows mommy's work to fall apart, because when He puts it back together, it's always much better! God's ways are so much better than my ways."
Together, we finished Bella's dog and our teamwork was a sweet little memory!  I am so thankful that the Lord uses all things for our good, including our mistakes and our troubles. I love it when God blesses our days with teachable moments... because while I'm training our children, I am also learning and being reminded of His Truth!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."- Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: bubbles

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."- Isaiah 26:3