Saturday, June 30, 2007

Date Night

One of our favorite places to eat is Pappadeaux. Unfortunately, we don't live anywhere near one. We have to drive at least 30 minutes to reach one. Last night, though, on our way back from a wedding that Matt officiated, we snatched up some onion rings, Shrimp Brochette and Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna. It was good to get away just the two of us. Here's the picture from last night...Matt took it with his phone...

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Little Bit of Snuggle-Bug

The kids and I had a blast playing with our friends Natalie, Simri, Amanda and Sunni at The Shops at Willow Bend (only in Plano, Texas can a "mall" be called "the shops at"). Though it was probably the busiest we'd ever seen the play area, thanks to the rain, we still managed to squeeze in portions of conversations between chasing a renegade toddler who went AWOL and changing explosive diapers. I am so encouraged and blessed to know these amazing women. Thanks, girls, for letting me be a part!

After lunch, we decided to hit the play area one last time. Reid wasn't really interested in playing (which is very odd for him). Instead, he reclined in my lap, wadded up his blankie, pulled it tightly to his chest, stuck his thumb in his mouth and rubbed the silky border of the blanket between his fingers. And there he remained for the next 15 to 20 minutes. I was in heaven!

As I was holding him, he seemed unusually warm - not hot really, just warm. As soon as we got home, I started him on his Ibuprofen/Tylenol cycle (in March, he had a febrile seizure so we have to keep his temperature under control). Besides being extra cuddly, he had no other symptoms. This morning he was fine! So, I, Dr. Mom, diagnosed him with a mild case of a very rare (at least in our family) virus, the snuggle-bug. Thank you, Lord, for the snuggle-bug!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Isn't that just like him?

For the past four or five days, the Lord has led me to Jeremiah 17:5 - 10. I have studied it forwards, backwards and sideways, gleaning the transforming wisdom from its pages. If you're not familiar with the passage, God compares the life of a person trusting in the ways and strength of man versus the life of a person trusting in the character and worth of God.

The word "trust" in this passage is the Hebrew word "batach" (don't ask me to pronounce it because it sounds something like "buttock" when I do) which means "to trust, be confident, be sure." I asked myself a few questions:

What does it mean to "trust, be confident, be sure" in man?

Seeking approval and worth from others, an obsession with achieving some sort of fame, making worldly things our haven (e.g., having wealth, a nice house, living in a safe place, having "stuff"), living according to the laws of man (e.g., demanding and defending our "rights" at all cost, paying back evil for evil, holding a grudge, letting bitterness and resentment make their home in our hearts).

In contrast, what does it mean to "trust, be confident, be sure" in God?

Making Him our confidence in terms of our worth: to know His infinite worth and our position as His child, to be "a liberated servant" who knows "they have nothing to prove."

Holding earthly treasures with an open hand, trusting that the Lord will do what He will with them for our good and His glory. (I'll be getting back to this one...)

Resting in the fact that God is a just and ultimate judge... "A heart bent on being bitter is a heart that does not trust in God."...let's reverse this...A heart that trusts God is not bent on being bitter.

What are the fruits of trusting in man?

Nothing. As soon as the wind changes, we, like the dried-up shrub in the desert, are cast aside. We have no roots, no safe and secure place to rest in the face of devastation or suffering. We are carried on the winds of man's whim.

What are the fruits of trusting in God?

Everything. We are not tossed about. We are steady, safe and secure even in the deepest drought, the utter devastation, the pit of suffering. He does not change. He stays true to Who He is: faithful, righteous, loving, merciful and just.

So - all this has been stirring in my heart since Saturday. I felt like I had most of this down. I tend to struggle with the fear of man (in other words, being a people-pleaser) but the Lord has given me victory over this in the past year and a half. There hasn't been any bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness holing up in my heart. And I thought - I THOUGHT - I was holding our material blessings with an open hand. Until lunch.

Lunch was great. Lunch was good. Let us thank Him for...His humor!

The Lord has been laying a decision about our finances on my husband's heart for a while. This decision would change some things about our life as we know it. It has the potential to protect us from greed. But it also has the potential to slow down our plans of investing money into our house (i.e., expanding our kitchen, installing hardwood floors, overhauling our backyard, did I say installing hardwood floors??).

This is where the rubber meets the road. Do I really trust God? Do I trust Him with our finances? Will I be okay with old grayish-once-whitish carpet and 80's tile that shows every grain of sand? (This is such an American dilemma.)

I think so. I hope so. I want so. I want to live with an open hand. I want to trust Him with everything. If this makes me more like Him, I want it. If this gives me more of Him, I want it!

"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise
And to know 'thus says the Lord.'

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Oh for grace to trust Him more!"

Monday, June 25, 2007

PK Getaway

The past week and a half has been a whirlwind! On June 14th, Matt and I flew out to Lubbock for the wedding of our friends Beau & Kimberly. Although I brought my camera with me, I forgot to take pictures. Oops. We had a great time reconnecting with West Texas friends and others we hadn't seen in a while. The bride was gorgeous and the groom almost cried like a baby (sorry, Beau, but it's true). Simply beautiful. Matt officiated and did an outstanding job (of course) and I had the privilege of singing with our friend and worship leader Michael.

Last Sunday afternoon, we headed to PK. If you know my husband, you know that he likes to give everything a nickname - this includes people's first names, last names, hometowns, etc. So "PK" is Matt-ese for Possum Kingdom Lake. We have a friend that owns a quaint cottage on the lake. For the past 6 years it has been a spiritual and physical refuge for us. The moment I walk in the door a deep-seated joy literally bubbles up in my heart. I just get giddy. This time, my parents joined us. We wakeboarded, tubed, watched The Deadliest Catch finale and After the Catch, ate way too much and celebrated Matt's birthday with presents, cake and a pinata.

Audrey and Papi coloring before we were served a delicious breakfast at a local joint called Jackson's (Amanda, I thought you'd like that :) ).

Audrey and Daddy on the Mambo Solo. We were so proud of Audrey! She's normally overly cautious and suspicious of anything slightly dangerous. Way to go, Boo!

Papi and Reid on the dock at sunset.

Our little hula-hooper.

Matt and I celebrating Matt's birthday at the Rockin S (amazing chicken fried steak!). We previously planned to celebrate at this place called Wildcatter Ranch but quickly came to our senses. There was no way we'd enjoy a nice dinner with two children who'd been playing hard in the sun all day. What were we thinking??

Audrey and Papi.

Reid - ready to eat!


Reid and Daddy.

Blindfold replacement - Audrey's cover-up.

Exhausted from a day filled with birthday fun.

Hell's Gate - should be called Heaven's Gate - beautiful!

Bubby in his life jacket.