Saturday, June 30, 2012

Daddy's home!

Dan was away for the past week at camp, and we were all thrilled when he arrived home late last night.  We let him sleep in this morning (for just a bit!), ate a good breakfast together, and filled up our day with sweet, sweet times.  

Wrestling, book reading, TCBY, naps, the splash pad, dinner at Nacho Daddies, a walk by Penscola Bay, and a super late night out watching fireworks with friends.  
Everything is just more fun when daddy is home!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Q: Mommy, I can put my finger in my nose?

A: No.

He asks me this question multiple times a day.
Every time, I sing him this song in response - ha!

Don't put your finger in your nose,
That's not where it goes!
You can raise it in the air
or twirl it in your hair,
but don't put your finger in your nose!

Tucker "reading" his favorite book

Thanks to my friend Leah's recommendation,
we now own a copy of Tip, Tip, Dig, Dig by Emma Garcia,
and it is Tucker's absolutely favorite.

Watch him "reading" it to himself.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Truth, poured over my failures.

I blew it tonight.
I messed up big and ugly and hurtful
and won't even tell you all the details because I'm just ashamed.

I spent an hour talking with a friend about extending lavish grace to those who don't deserve it, and then I walked into my home and refused to extend grace to my own child.  It was hours past bedtime and we were both exhausted, and me - who has been forgiven so much - lost it with my beautiful, precious, tender girl over not very much at all.

Sound familiar?
The parable of the unmerciful servant from Matthew 18.
The servant was forgiven so much by his master, thousands and thousands of dollars....
and then he went right out and had a man thrown in prison who owed him 10 measly bucks.

It's me.  That parable is about me, this Pharisee that I am.
I'm literally heartbroken over my sin tonight, cannot stop weeping.

But God....aren't those two of the sweetest words in all of Scripture??
But God, in his infinite kindness, extends His grace to me yet again.

Here is a portion that I just read from Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick:

Here are a few thoughts to feed your soul:

  • He loved you and chose you before the earth was created.  (Ephesians 1:4)
  • Even though you were intentionally fighting against him as his enemy, he loved you and intentionally died in your place.  (Romans 5:10)
  • You have been completely absolved of all of your sins, even those you have yet to commit. (Colossians 1:14)
  • The record of all your sin has been obliterated.  (Colossians 2:14)
  • The record of His perfect life has been applied to you.  (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • His Father has permanently adopted you as a beloved child. (Ephesians 1:5)
  • He has placed His Spirit within you as a guarantee that you will persevere.  (Ephesians 1:13)
  • He is guarding you every moment of the day.  (1 Peter 1:5)
  • He is faithful to care for you even in the midst of trials.  (1 Corinthians 1:13)
  • One day you will take your first step into light, and that eternal journey will bring you more joy and blessing than you can ever imagine.  (Psalm 16:11)
In light of this wonderful repast, let me encourage you to put aside the rotting lunch you have brought along for yourself.  Your own righteousnesses, your own "good record," your own faithfulness is simply putrid garbage in comparison to this.  Feast here, drink here, nourish your soul.  In him you possess all things.  Jesus is serving you; come to him.  He calls to you.  "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."  (John 6:35)  Sit down; eat, drink, believe.

There is a time to mourn my sin; a time to be broken over breaking fellowship with my daughter and my God; a time to weep.

And then there is a time to Christ, in Who He says He is, in the promises He makes - and keeps.  And I have to I really believe His grace is enough to cover all my sins?  Does His grace extend to my daughter, to protect her from even my sin?  May I never take this grace for granted. May I never return to my sin.

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, June 23, 2012

One berry, two berry, we picked some blueberries!

We arrived home from the SBC Wednesday night,
and Dan immediately began gearing up for a week of camp beginning Monday.
Knowing that Daddy is going to be gone for 5 days,
we've been careful to carve out some sweet family time,
including playtime at the park, a trip to the beach, an ice cream trip,
and picking blueberries at

Touchablue Berry Farm

7100 Molino Road, Molino, Florida

We love the special small kid-sized buckets.

Lana was a total expert, 
carefully selecting only the bluest and fattest berries.
She realized quickly that the bushes were picked over from the outside, but if she climbed inside the bushes, there were many more to choose from.

Tucker really got into the picking of the blueberries,
but not very many went into his bucket!
They all went into his mouth!

We ended up with nearly 5 pounds of blueberries,
and we paid $3.60 for them.

Not to worry - 
we left some extra cash to cover the ones in Tucker's belly that couldn't be weighed:

 We really had a wonderful time, and can't wait to go back!
I can't imagine doing this in the heat of the day,
but we arrived there around 6:30 p.m., and it was very shady in the rows of bushes and quite pleasant.  Mosquitoes can be a concern that time of day,
so we used bug spray and our trusty dryer sheets.

Lana doesn't like her dryer sheet to be tucked into her clothes,
so I tucked it into her ponytail and made a bow:

 There is nothing in the world that compares to a summer evening picking berries and listening to the laughter of these two precious ones:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Car wash

Aren't they the cutest little car washers you've ever seen?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Southern Baptist Convention 2012: NOLA

This week, Dan & I had the privilege and major treat of going as messengers of our church to the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, LA.

There are dozens of reasons why I am so thankful that we were sent by our church to this convention; here are just a few:
> This is the first SBC we have ever been to, and it was quite different than I imagined.  As we moved from session to session, I realized that this convention is the heartbeat of our denomination, and drives much of what we do as southern baptists.

>We joined in the vote to elect Dr. Fred Luter as the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention.  I can't even describe the excitement and joy in the room as we all waved our ballots in the air.  We are prayerful and hopeful that this will be our first step in diversifying our denomination - we are far, far too caucasian.  

>We got to hear pastors divide the Word, and sit in on some very encouraging sessions.  Although we might not see eye to eye with every panelist or pastor, we heartily agreed with them on everything of primary important, and we walked away remarking on their humility and graciousness in dealing with difficult discussions.  (Yes, you're looking at David Platt, Russell Moore, Johnny Carr, Tony Merida, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and Danny Akin.  That's just a small sampling of the wisdom we sat under.)

>We were so blessed to spend chunks of time with these dear friends.  So thankful for their lives and ministries, and for the time we spent together at North Wake.  We look back on that time, with these people and others, and are reminded that we got to "grow up" in the clean air of gospel living, that our soil is rich because of the investments made in us by these and others.  Our heart overflowed sitting around the table with these friends, talking life and ministry.

>I'm repeating myself, but the time with friends was just so nourishing to our souls!  Steph and I have been looking forward to this face time for months, and to just even be able to sit in some of these sessions together was so sweet.  This sister has been a pivotal part of my life, particularly as she's helped me see how to use my gifts to serve the Body, and helped me root out sin that would prevent me from doing so.  I was so thankful to hug her neck!  

>Can we just talk for a quick second about the FOOD?!  From Emeril's to Cafe Du Monde to Mother's, we ate our way through NOLA!

Here are just a very few of the many notes I took over the 3 days - these are the things I would tweet if I was a twitter.  Or a tweeter.  Or whatever.

From Johnny Hunt
*Pastors, God may want to develop you more than He wants to develop the people you are serving.
*Some of the most difficult words in the Bible are "Wait" and "Fret not."  
*Pray for spiritual tenacity.
*Pray "Please renew me."  People can encourage us, but only Jesus Christ according to his lovingkindness and mercy can renew and revive us.

From David Platt
*In our age, "Christian" is often more of an ethnic or political label than a spiritual reality.
*In this day of easy believe-ism, we must tell people "Following Christ will cost you everything you have, but it will be worth it."
*Where we disagree, on matters that are not of first importance, let us ask ourselves this: Who has a market on the mind of God?  We should humbly discuss what we don't know, while boldly proclaiming what we do know.
*We do not have time to waste debating the good news when we have been commissioned to sharing the good news.

From Fred Luter
*By the gospel, they can put down the AK-47 and pick up John 3:16.
*We ask, what will it taken to change our lives?  Our communities?  Our world?  Well, brother, sister, here's the real question: What did it take to change YOU?!

From Bryant Wright
*If we are more proud of being a traditional Baptist or a reformed theologian than we are thankful for being Christ-centered, Biblically based believers, then it is time for us to repent of theological idolatry.

Overall, we left the Convention encouraged and hopeful.
We are thankful to have sat under the teaching of many wise leaders, and around the table with many ministry leaders and church planters.
We are thankful to have been reminded where we have come from, and where we are going.
We are thankful to have been there together.
We are thankful for Dan's parents who loved on our children so well while we were gone.
Mostly, we are thankful to have been a part of it - to have cast our votes, opened our ears, prepared our hearts, prayed our convictions.  
We are proud and thankful to be a part of this crazy southern baptist family.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

VBS 2012

It's been quiet on the blog front this week because we have been doing VBS at our church.  I got to be Lana's Crew Leader, and we had a great week together.

Here are a few pictures of the fun - I'll add more later as friends share them:
(You can click on any picture to enlarge.)

Last night, all the parents came a bit early, and each group got on stage to sing a song that we learned during the week.

Tucker was up first, with his preschooler friends.  
He had us cracking up, just singing and dancing his little heart out!  

 Then our Crew was up - I had the sweetest group of kids this week!
Here we are doing our song.

This week the kids brought in offering for Operation Kid-to-Kid, which we'll use to purchase mosquito nets for children in Mali, Africa.  We raised almost $800!