Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gripping Fear

This morning on my run, as I was plagued by a particular fear, I felt God saying to me.. - If you don't trust me with your marriage, what are you truly trusting me with?

It's true.  For years and years I have struggled and dealt with the fear of infidelity.  This is probably a surprise to anyone who knows my husband.  He is the most loving and trustworthy person I know.  He would never, ever, ever, not in a million years think of cheating on me.  He loves me and dotes over me.  He tells me day after day that I'm the only girl for him, and he goes out of his way to keep himself in an honorable position in all relationships.  Almost to the point of being awkward and rude to the opposite sex.  But this fear is deeper than my trust for him.

The fear is there anyway.  I tell myself that I'm wounded, I'm scarred, I have trust issues.  I tell myself that people do it all the time, that they can't help it.  That Satan will use any situation to attack a Christian and make them fall.  I say that I'm not worried about him, I'm worried about everyone else. That if it can happen to so-and-so it can happen to us.

Each time I hear of a spouse fall it cripples me.  I stay awake at night and mourn for their family, I cry for their children, and then fear takes a deeper place inside of me.  Each shocking surprise is like a blow to my spirit.  Any progress I've made in trust is depleted in that moment.  It takes me back to my own hurts and wounds that have scarred my heart.  It takes me back to a place where I hurt the most and was betrayed by loved ones. A place where you feel like someone doesn't love you enough not to do that to you..where you believe the lie that you are not enough.  A place where you make excuses for people and lies to cover the embarrassment of what's happened.

I don't know if it's the stage of life we are in, our age, or just the moral decline of people, but it's like a constant drip.  All of the time I'm learning of infidelity all around us.  Seven recent situations come to mind immediately...SEVEN!  I also have this weird ability to know ahead of time that something is going on that shouldn't be.  In three situations recently I have gone to Dallas with concern about a couple and prayed for them, only to find out months or a year later that my concern was valid.  I don't know if it's discernment or just complete cynicism, but it's there.

My husband instantly panics and knows where my mind goes when we learn of these things.  It makes me so sad for him.  What must it be like to live honestly, love your wife and experience so little trust from her?  At what point does he just think, 'well she already thinks I'll do it?' More fear. I keep thinking with more time the trust will grow. But it doesn't. It hasn't. I've always thought people who use the adage, 'You trust someone until they give you a reason not to' are crazy.  They are the ones getting cheated on. But in all honesty, I'm the crazy one.

On my run this morning when I heard, "If you don't trust me with your marriage, what are you truly trusting me with?", it resonated in my heart that it's not that I'm only distrusting Dallas, but I'm not trusting God.  I'm counting on man, and man alone will let you down. We are human. We fail. We disappoint. We make huge mistakes.  My trust truly needs to be in the one who holds all things.  The one who gave my husband to me in the first place.

I'm tired of living in fear.

So today, once and for all, after 14 years of togetherness, I give this fear to the Lord.  I trust him with my heart, with my life, with my kids and with my spouse.  I trust that He alone will guard our hearts and go before us in every relationship and situation.  I trust that He knows us best, and that he sees the pure desires of our hearts to only love one another in such a special way.

Thank you Lord for your sweet, still voice.

I Love us.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Healing Faith

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  -James 1:2-6

I find myself, once again, in a position where my need for God to come through for my family is great. Where I need peace and faith in a way that I don't understand. Well, in a way that I didn't understand before Rhett got sick.  I feel worn and down and discouraged, but I know that will pass.  I know my God will come through. That His mercies are new every morning and that my kids are wonderfully made by Him. That He created them and that He, in one breath, can fix their brokenness. 

Today Hattie was diagnosed with Duane Syndrome type 3. This is a rare congenital birth defect where the 6th cranial nerve that controls the muscles in the eyes is either missing or doesn't develop properly. It basically means that the nerves in her eyes and brain are miswired, and unfortunately it cannot be fixed.  Her doctor suggested surgery, but the surgery will not fix the wiring, it will just relocate muscles to help her eyes stay in place. She has type 3, which means that hers don't only not turn out, but they also don't turn in. She can see just fine in the sense that her eyes work, but she cannot turn her eye out or look in toward her nose, and when she tries her brain has no communication and it shuts her vision down until it's redirected and realigned.  

This isn't the first time a doctor has looked me in my wet eyes and told me that my child is in a situation that is not fixable, and that there is no solution. This isn't the first time the Devil has tried to steal our joy with our children. With Rhett's heart we were told that there was no fix, no valve for his size heart, and no solution to stop the leaking. Only a life-long pill to control his heart's size. Four weeks later he was healed. It was an amazing and wonderful and miraculous act of God. Even his cardiologist said she had never seen such a thing. God heard our cries and answered our prayers. So, I am back to ask you to please pray for my Hattie. This is not life threatening, and I know it could be so much worse, but God hears our prayers and only He can make her eyes whole.  

Thanks for your faithfulness to pray, friends!  Love you all!  

Love those precious eyes!  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Inquiring minds want to know..

Tonight at dinner my boys wanted to know what we would have named them had we not named them Jude and Rhett.  It took a minute for me to remember a few of the choices, but then we had fun reminiscing about it, talking Jude out of wishing we would have chosen a different name, and laughing at some of the names, knowing our kids now.  So here they are..

Jude- Andrew (Drew) and Leopold (Leo)

Rhett- Malachi (Kai), Pierce, James (Jamie) and Graham

I really didn't want a shortened name for them, I like to call them by their actual names, but these were all pretty big contenders.  Rhett wasn't named until I was 9 months pregnant!  Thank goodness we chose the names we did.  I just couldn't see them being anybody else:).

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

17 months, snow days and a project

Hattie is now seventeen months old!  Nearly a year and a half.  This past month flew by, but was a productive one.  Hattie is now saying June (Jude) and Rhe (Rhett) and many other new words as well.  When I read the Katherine Katz flip books to her she always responds with something that sounds like the right answer, inflection wise, and she knows just when to respond every time.  These are her very favorite books to read.  She is also still a huge lover of babies.  She sleeps with them now, and every time we go to get her out of bed she is sure to grab at least one or two to come along with us.  Her hair still seems to be at a stand-still. I've tried putting it into pigtails, but a lot of it ends up getting ripped out when she yanks on the rubber bands.  Since we are wanting more hair, and not less, I'm not fixing it until it grows and thickens up.  We found her first molar this month!  So, we are up to 7 teeth..yikes.  Come on teeth!  It's been a cold, cold winter.  We have been cooped up inside most days, and we are so looking forward to spring, and walks/runs, and playdates at the park or just running around in the yard. Hattie cries to go outside somedays.  She stands at the back door and points and cries:(.  She still loves bath.  She could be playing with the best toy in the world and we will ask if she's ready for bath and she will drop what she's doing and run to the bathroom.  More and more she's acting like a big girl and less like a baby.  She's learned to hang with the boys, and she's pretty tough because of it.  Not much scares or intimidates her.  

Love her to the moon!  

This is a step up from the stink-eye she's picked up somewhere!  

My favorite way she sits and drinks. 

A baby in one hand and truck in another.. a day in a baby sister's life. 

Let's go outside, guys.  

We found an easier way for her to carry her babies AND play!  

We had a few more snow days this week and we made the best of being at home.  We did meet up with friends for lunch one day, but ended up playing in the snow and finding things to do at home for the most part.  Jude shoveled snow off of the driveway for nearly 2 hours yesterday, while Rhett played imaginary games with his "guys".  I just love watching and listening to him play.  He's got the best personality, and he's never embarrassed for me to listen in on a conversation between Coey and Crog.  

Here are some action shots..

That kid on the left. Awesome sauce.  

Hot chocolate!!

Just playing with his "guys"

I think I've been cooped up too much this winter.  So much has changed around my house, but I love a good transformation that costs nothing.  I have been toying around with the idea of removing some kitchen cabinet fronts for a while.  After a consultation text to my friend, Aja, I decided to go with these…

I liked the fact that you had to be in the kitchen to see them, but they still bring an open feel to the room.  When I get a little more brave I may paint the inside, or even open some more on the other side. We'll see.  

Hope you all are staying warm!  

Sunday, February 23, 2014


It's been seven short years since my baby boy came into this world.  I know people say it all of the time, but it really and truly feels like yesterday.  How he can be seven already just blows my mind.  We only have him here in our house for 11 more years.  Frankly, that's terrifying…knowing now how fast time goes. Only 11 more years to pour into him, teach him, raise him to be a responsible man, a loving spouse, a wonderful father, to choose a wife well, to love Jesus above all else.  It seems overwhelming to think about.  So I won't. We will continue living each day knowing that it is a gift from God.  We will watch our responsible boy make good choices and help him when he struggles. We will continue to take him to church 2 times a week and pray that his relationship with Jesus continues to be his own, and that it grows like a wild fire. We will watch his compassionate heart touch other's lives, and we will see all of the places God takes him.

If I'm being honest, Jude is the oldest seven year old I know. He's what I think of when I hear the term 'old soul'.  He's more responsible, determined, rational, caring and compassionate than I could have dreamed of being at his age.  I wish you could see the way he cares for his siblings. He carries other's burdens and prays and cries for them.  I know God has big plans for him, and I'm excited to see them unfold, but for now I just want him to be my little boy a while longer. To not be embarrassed to hold my hand when I pick him up from school.  To sit in my lap and play hide and seek.  To think it's still okay to call me momma.  

I know he's growing up. He scored 24 points at his basketball game last weekend.  His only requests for his birthday was to have a birthday dinner with friends instead of a big party, and he wanted a desk in his room. Even though the years still pass, he'll always be my baby.  

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.  

What he's into right now..

The rainbow loom.  Every parent of a 6-10 year old knows of the bracelet phenomenon happening right now. At least some of you have ruined a vacuum or gone completely insane from the number of rogue rubber bands trapped in your carpet, cars and furniture. Jude loves his. His favorite bracelet to make is the fish tale.

Legos.  Jude got several lego kits for his birthday and put them all together on his own.  The most impressive was the back to the future time machine.  That thing looked so hard to make and he put that puppy together in no time!  He loves building.  

His desk.  He will sit there and make bracelets and build things for hours.  I'm so happy we set this up for him.  I surprised him with it after school on his birthday and he was so excited.  I think he's most happy to have a place to keep his small pieces out of Hattie's reach.  And just to have a place of his own to work on things.  

Sports.  We just wrapped up basketball and it was so exciting.  Jude was so determined and improved leaps and bounds from the first game to the last.  He was the top scorer on his team and many times received awards like, 'Most Christ-like', 'Best Offense' and 'Determination'.  Proud momma.  Baseball is already heating up, and he's so pumped.  He's been running drills on his own in the yard and practicing sprints.  I caught him lifting weights the other day and stopped him.  He just wants to be the best he can be so bad.  Love this kid to the moon.  

Happy 7th Birthday, Jude.  You are amazing in every single way!  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

loft makeover

I don't know if I can consider this room a makeover, it was just a room full of toys before, but it feels so much better now that it's officially decorated.

We have this loft space at the top of our stairs.  It's classified as a 'game room' according to the builder, but it's a small space and open to the living area below.  For nearly four years now it's been nothing.  We have had toys in there for 2 years, a drum set at one point, but empty for the most part.  I should also mention that there are barely walls in this space (roofline and loft wall).  There's really only one wall that's usable for decor, so I felt like it really needed to be a focal point.  This room is also a pass-through to the rest of the upstairs (I know, it's a decorating challenge all the way around), so the placement of furniture was key to getting  it right.  Did I also mention it's a small space?  I think 12x12, so the scale of furniture was a huge factor.  I also wanted to use as many of my own unused things to decorate as possible (budget).

My biggest requirement and goal in decorating this space was to step outside of my box.  I wanted to do something that I haven't been bold enough to do in the main rooms in our house.

I had all of these frames in my stash.  I had mats made for some of them and added the mirrors. 

And this is the loft wall.  It overlooks our living room and is a steep drop.  I didn't want any furniture along this wall in case we have tiny jumpers.  

See what I mean?!  Steep.  

  So far we love it.  We have used this space so much already, and it makes me happy for it to not be a wasted room in our house.  It feels good!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

a constant struggle {and a mini-makeover}

I blame the cold weather for all of my antsy antics lately.  I've been decorating and rearranging like a fool. Seriously, it needs to be done for a while.  I honestly struggle with my desire to redecorate decorate all of the time.  I've even taken to decorating my friend's and neighbor's homes when they ask for help. I feel like it's time wasted when I could be doing so many other things (don't hear what I'm not saying, I really enjoy it). Volunteering, cleaning, playing more with my kids, cleaning, having more time with the Lord daily, and well, cleaning.  You know, more.  It's also on my mind a lot.  What could I do in this room? How would that look? I should go shopping and see what I can find.  Honestly, that's just not where I want my head all of the time.  I feel as of late I've been more in the world and of the world than I desire to be.  My biggest prayer this month has been for God to focus my mind and attention on what He would have me focus on.  That my precious time with my littles would not be wasted, and that He would always show me where I'm needed, and what's needed of me.  For contentment.  For me to be satisfied with where I am and what I have and not desire more or different.  To not take for granted His blessings in my life.  It's kind of a long prayer.

I was so blessed when I read Emily's post here.  It was like God was speaking right to me through her.  I'm sure lots of moms struggle with similar things, but it's nice to see someone talk about it, and make you feel that you are not alone in a like struggle.  And in the end, I love that she talks about it being okay to want to make your house pretty.  Somewhere you and your family will appreciate.  My husband thanks me all of the time for wanting to make our house a home, and I'm so very appreciative for that.

Ultimately, I know this is a season in my life..where my kids need me and are home with me.  It will be gone before I know it.  Faster than I can imagine.  I don't want to miss it.  I know there is a balance that I can find.  I will get there.

Here is one of my latest time-sucks (I'll share more as I have time)..

This is our kitchen eating area.  We had a tiny table in here that was so very squished in when we entertained, and this is the only eating area we currently use.  I converted our formal dining into a reading room for now. Most tables I found were either too big or too small for this area, so I had this table made to just the right size for our space, and then finished it from raw wood.  It was a hellish nightmare:).  I thought it would be super easy, but all told the finishing process I used was 7 steps.  It took about 2 weeks of working on it in the driveway, the garage and the cold to get it done.  I'm still not sure I'm done with it.  I'm thinking of having a piece of glass cut for the top.   

I also made the foxed mirror and the dead boxwood wreath that is hanging from it. We hung the bamboo blinds and are calling it finished..for now!  I would love to have those two windows encased to look like one, and have a large header over them to really give them presence, but we are shopping for new windows and these windows are horribly uneven, so that will wait.

AND here's the newly (thanksgiving-ish) painted kitchen to go along with it! 


And for comparison sake, here's what it looked like previously..

I'm always so amazed at what a can of paint can do.  It feels so much more like us now.  Time well spent:).  

Eventually I'd love to find someone who can make my yellowy/orange alder cabinets look like this..

House Beautiful 

 but I have trust issues, so that could take some time.  

All in all, I'm so glad we have made the changes that have made our house our home.  I'd just love to be some point:).