Friday, March 16, 2012

Escaping Reality

Yesterday afternoon, I excused myself to the bathroom to cry.  I had just written an email to a friend who had asked to pray for me.  The flow of words that came out of me, fingers typing so fast to her, feeling anxious that her prayers couldn't come quickly enough, couldn't hold the flood of tears that had been brimming my eyes that whole time.   I sat, in the dark, and let myself get to the point of being unable to catch my breath.  Details surrounding my surgery, my hair loss (again), some of the ugliness in my own heart, and some tears of anger wondering why some things are the way they are just plain caught up with me (sorry to be so vague).
I had to ignore a friend who came by to see me because I was in no shape to be seen or talked to at that moment.  I'm sure anything I would have been able to blubber out wouldn't have made sense anyway.  I value being looked upon as being at least mostly put together and in that light, that moment was a major fail.  Thankfully my friend is one who has loved me unconditionally over the past several years and wrote me words of love and encouragement a short time later (which were surely part of an answered prayer that I had been crying through in my dark bathroom).
As is thankfully common after such a cry, I felt pressed to do something about it.  And so, what is becoming somewhat of a theme for me (though this time it didn't come without a temper tantrum) I knew I should press on to choose joy, knowing that I am being given perseverance.  There's no option to give up or quit, so I persevere.  And try my damnest to do it with joy.  No trudging, looking down into the sticky, ugly, muddy, messy parts of life (though there may be some moments here and there), but looking up, looking ahead, and pressing on.  Choosing joy of the things I have been given all along the journey.

James 1:2  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Take that trials of life!

From 2012-03-14

(Yep, that hair on my head - fake.  I decided to give in and just start wearing my rug - and embrace it.  :) )

And, you know, I have an awesome husband who saw through me to the feeling of being trapped I had inside and took the afternoon off to take me to a city nearby, 20 degrees warmer to play with our kids, soak in the sun.  


And, like one more small gift, one I didn't even really appreciate until I was home and the kids were asleep, I plugged in my camera and glanced at the last few pictures I took that day.  In these particular ones,I recalled trying to snap it quickly while we were driving home, angling myself across the dash to get it and quickly thinking it was impossible and gave up.  And reviewing those pictures, I found this gem.  

(Granted, I totally cropped out the dashboard and window frame, but whatever.)

Of course, once at home again, none of our problems are really gone, but my attitude was in a better place and I breathed a sigh of relief.  

It's ok.  I'm ok.  

Real life continues to throw itself forward and grown up responsibilities aren't going away, but neither am I.  The long haul awaits.  

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I Heart Faces: Beautiful Black and White

Give me some alone time with my littlest while the other two are at their respective activities and we make some hilarious bath time fun!   Splashes, goggles, funny faces, and giggles, made me run for my camera.  I love my beautiful boy and the sweet and fun memories we made together in those few moments alone.  Love him!!

Photo Challenge Submission
 This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

Monday, March 05, 2012

Full of the fullness

These last few weeks have been full of the fullness of relationships.  Yep, full of the fullness.  Full x 2.  It's been good.  :)  This past weekend Emerson and I took off to spend some time with some old, dear friends, the Archers.  It was a wonderful time of catching up and relaxing.

Our families, if you weren't aware, actually "lived together" for about 3 years at one point.  We rented their basement apartment from them and eventually moved with them into a larger home, creating an apartment of our own connected to them.  Our girls, Emerson and Aliyah, 9 months apart, spent the first few years of their lives not knowing anything other than seeing each other every day, eating many many meals together and taking baths as babies together.  We served alongside this family in ministry.  Their family was there for us during the ups and downs of job losses and job gains.  They celebrating with us during the birth of Braeden and shorty after we celebrated the welcoming of their daughter, Jenayah.  In short, we shared life together.

(I somehow missed Tony in here, too.  Sorry, Tony!)

Every morning one of our girls would knock on the dividing door of our living spaces excited to play, often spending much of the day together.  At night after we had dinner and the girls would take their bath, Mellany and I would often sit together, getting our daughters ready for bed while they watched a short video - most often Praise Baby or Noodle Bug - lotioning arms and legs, combing hair, diapering, and pajamas.  Then over the years, we added two more of our kids into the mix.  This was our norm for so long.

But as life moves quickly, as it often does, we found we were pregnant with Landen forcing us to find a space that would accommodate our growing needs a little better.  Shortly after we moved, they did, too, but closer to family in a town nearly two hours away.  Our families have been growing and the chance to see each other has been few and far between these days.

But when we do, it's magic.  These girls of ours, not having seen each other in several months, pick up right where they left off.  Their connection is real and I pray that they can remain life long friends.  And of course, my time with Mellany is so blessed, too.  It's refreshing and relaxing to spend time with old friends who know our family and cares about and loves us.  It was fun to laugh at some old memories and share the current events of life now and watch our girls laugh and play.

I sometimes think I took for granted the set-up we had those years.  It was a very special time indeed.

(These shots courtesy of Aliyah, age 8 and Jenayah, age 4)

We've been able to cross paths of not only the Archers, but some family, too, in recent days.  It reminds me of why these relationships are so important have been prominent.  Desiring my kids to know and be known among those who have supported, loved, and encouraged us on life's roads has been on my mind lately.  I'm thankful that we have so many of those relationships in close proximity, to keep our foundation firm under our family's feet.  We've been blessed indeed.

The glimpses of some of these other moments the past few weeks:

Celebrating Landen with grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

(The "Jake" Emerson drew freehand for Landen on his birthday)

(My sister who is pregnant - with twins!!)

Long overdue time with Grandmommy:

Grandpa was in town for a weekend, visiting from North Carolina:

And Jon was a sport jumping in the pool with the kids!

And finally some other things I've been enjoying:

Scoping out spots for upcoming photo shoots and getting to test it out on Emerson!

Finding a ladybug in March!

Watching my kids play with this hilarious app on my phone.

And catching Landen from afar.


Oh!  I almost forgot!  We are no longer contributing our money to the diaper industry!  Landen is officially a potty trained boy!  Woo hoo!!!

Have a great Monday!


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