Friday, May 25, 2012

picture recap

On Mother's Day, I wanted to get a picture of my sweet babies before church. 
This is the outcome:
Mmhmm. Cate has mastered the pouty lip. Corban thinks practicing kung fu on his sisters is the funnest thing ever, and Nora wants to do her own thing.
Real life, though, and so I love it.
My big kids:

 We had a picnic dinner at church and walked and played and had the best day. Here's a few pictures from that:

 We then spent a few days out at my parents house, and my grandma and papaw were up from Mississippi. It was the sweetest few days and I am so thankful to be home with my babies and have the flexibility to be able to pack up and go like that! It was so so wonderful for my kiddos to get to enjoy their great grandparents. Now, if we could just convince them to move to Indiana... :)

 This week, my baby boy had his end of the year program at school. It's unbelievable to me that the school year is over and I am so thankful for how Corban has loved it. The program was the cutest thing ever and Corban was so into it! Also- Uncle Brandon and Aunt Holly made time to come and watch their nephew perform and then join us for dinner afterwards! It's been such a fun few weeks!

Isn't he so handsome?! This boy amazes me, and I am more thankful every single day to be his mama. Can I brag for a second? His class had 'character awards' on Wednesday of this week. A really awesome thing-- the teacher had selected different character qualities that best described each student. It was so sweet to hear her describe each student and to encourage them in such a way. I have been SO thrilled with Corban's experience at his (our) school thus far. Anyway- the character quality that best described my boy?
Do you know what that does to a mama's heart?! To hear his teacher talk about how he is quick to obey and doesn't complain, just does what's asked of him? 
I am so so so proud of this little boy. So blessed by him. So grateful for him. I can't wait, although I wish I could slow it down, to watch him to continue to grow. 
(But in the same breath... I know that outward obedience, while very good, is not the end all, you know?! I want more than anything for him to know Jesus and out of love for Him, desire to obey. I pray every day that this knowledge Corban has --(which, btw, blows my mind- the way this four year old soaks up Bible stories and Scripture)-- would transform his heart, would result in a consuming love of our Savior. )
Anyway, it's been an amazing few weeks. This recap barely scratches the surface, but I've hardly taken any pictures this month, I'm out of time to write, and I need to give  Caters my attention now. :) Computer is now..... off.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I've got a quiet house and it's the most perfect end-of-spring, almost-summer night. The sky is unbelievably pink and purple and orange and if still life photos moved me like pictures of people did, I'd grab my camera and capture it.
Do you ever wish you could do that? Capture these days? Bottle them up? I'm sitting here, stewing and chewing on this life we live, the time we spend, the way we love. 
I don't know how these days have turned to years and I'm suddenly almost seven years married and my boy is almost five. It's alarming and shocking to sit back and reflect and it stirs to me action... or non-action.. like never before.
As I am looking at this season of life and the fleeting-ness of our days, the way our seasons are shifting... no longer a house full of babies, but of kids... I want to scream, "PAUSE" or "TIME OUT!" and just sit. Linger on these days while the rest of life resumes.  
It's been a really interesting few months for me; a lot of heart-cleaning, rearranging taking place. It's good, but it's stretching. It's scary to get a clear picture of what the inside looks like... really scary when 'white wash tomb' seems an appropriate description. I can't continue on the same and I don't want to. Truthfully, more than a 'pause', I'd like a 'rewind'. But I know the Lord can redeem these days we've lost, the time that's been wasted, the tempers that were too short, the harsh words. He can-- and I know that He will. To quote C.S. Lewis, "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." Amen? amen.
You see, my whole life I've wanted to be a mom. More than anything. There was no discussion on whether I'd work or stay home... I was created for this, I knew. So black and white. And really, I thought it was easy. It was easy having a newborn who never cried and slept 8 hours straight at two weeks old. It was easy to have a second baby who slept that long straight home from the hospital. It was even easy to have two babies in diapers, one crawling and one walking at the same time. Chaos, but doable. 
But then... oh, but then.
My life got flipped upside down. 
On October 2nd, 2009, I watched my little brother breath his last breath after a long, devastating battle with cancer. I don't for a second want to pretend that the Lord was not faithful-- He was; He met me in those darkest moments in ways that forever changed me- -But there was nothing that could have prepared for me for that frightening little dance called grief. I don't remember much, but what I do isn't pretty. A mess of tears. Regular Target runs because it was a twenty minute drive each way that allowed me to cry uninterrupted. Angry outburst about nothing. There were daily trips to aimless places because I couldn't just sit. I couldn't be home. I couldn't be alone. I couldn't be still. Still equalled reality which equalled crushing grief, and so I went. Go, go, go. 
I don't know how I could have coped differently in those moments. I didn't know how to breathe, let alone run a home in the state I was in, and so I did what I could to survive. They were dark days, and they shaped the next too-many-months and lead way to unhealthy habits and an angry mama. These are hard words for me to write because I like the 'happy face' game; a Pharisee of the finest sorts. It was ugly and messy and I ache for the days that I lost with my babies. 
But then. Oh, but then...
My Redeemer has been so gracious in dealing with me. It's been slow -- I've been slow. I've wanted to hold onto the hurt and the anger. I've clung tightly to any semblance of control present in my life. I've played the part, done the right things, 'pressed on' with the best of them... but I was rotting on the inside. The last several months have been a slow un-doing of that and Jesus' grace has never seemed sweeter to this heart. I've got so far to go-- but I am so thankful to know Jesus as my Healer and my Comforter in a way that I never would have had I not walked this valley, you know?
So... Back to pausing.
Summertime is coming, and I'm tasting it's sweetness already. We've had long afternoons in our backyard, just us together... the kids making up games, running wild, hanging out with the neighbor at the fence. Naptime is optional and always delayed. Lunch is had on the porch. No schedule, no plans, just being.
It's been a long time coming and it feels so good to rest. to be still. to be home. I'm praying that these summer months are days of restoration, of rebuilding, relearning. I can't rewind, but I can change the way we do today. My days with these babies home with me are numbered... and I don't want to waste another minute. I'm so thankful for the truths found in the following verses-- the verses that carried me through the darkest of seasons, and today, offer hope for a fresh start:
"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, 
because His compassions fail not. 
They are new every morning; 
Great is Your faithfulness." 
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

Praying you'll also find rest in those truths; that His love never ends, that there's mercy fresh every morning, that we serve a compassionate, faithful God.
The Lord bless you and keep you!