Craft of the Day (more like month)

This week has consisted of doing odds and ends things for work to get started for the school year, meetings with schools/churches/team/students, yard sale with friends (we made a good bit of money considering we didn’t have any big items), catching up with friends for the summer, doing repairs on the house, and crafting!  Yes, I was so excited to be able to carve time in my schedule this week for crafting.  And to be honest, I was even more excited that I had the energy to do it when I had the time!

My project this time was a car seat carrier cover.  I saw this cute idea on Pinterest and it involved a step-by-step tutorial, instead of a pattern.  I love sewing but I HATE patterns…they are like another language to me and I need a tutor (aka especially gifted friend or family member) to teach me the words to this language.  So, when I saw this idea, and saw how easy it seemed, I was sold.  I went with my mom back in May and picked out the cutest material EVER and have had it sitting in our dining room.  It has literally killed me every time I walked past because I wanted to see how it would turn out and use the cute fabric, but knew I didn’t have the time with classes and travel to do it yet.  So, this week, with Ed’s help, I made it happen!

Here is the result:

Isn’t it great?  I love how it turned out and the fact that this is the first project I have done by myself the first time I have tried it (minus the calls to my mom for reassurance that I was doing things right….what else are moms for??).  Needless to say, this little girl will be traveling in style.  Kinsley approved, as evidenced by her putting her baby doll in it and trying to carry it around, until she realized that was impossible because the carrier was bigger than she was.

I am not sure what my next project is going to be…..I want to try a handmade shirt for Kinsley for Christmas and I would like to make a nursing cover (one that is bigger than the one I have now to assure proper coverage).  Since this little girl will come before Christmas, maybe the nursing cover should be my next project.  I also have my eye on a few DIY projects that don’t include sewing like homemade cleaning solution and swiffer pads.  With school starting, who knows if I will have time to breathe.  We shall see.

If you want the link to where I got the tutorial to make this, here goes:


I really struggled with whether I should write this post.  It is deeply personal and I am deeply emotional (the pregnancy hormones DO NOT help).  But, I know the Lord has given me a story for a reason and I pray that the Lord uses it, and these girls’ stories, for His glory.  So please bear with me through all the emotions and I pray that the Lord uses this post to encourage you today.

I was on Facebook today and I came across this video:

Beautiful Sacrifice – 4 Boyfriends Lay Down Their Lives For Their Girlfriends in the Movie Shooting from sharethemessage on GodTube.

While this is enough to make anyone cry, I really resonated with what they said.  Especially the first girl, Amanda, when she describes herself as broken.  Because I have been there.  I know how she is hurting.  I know how much she just wants to see Alex one more time and would do anything to bring him back.

If you don’t know my faith story, let me share one part of it with you.  When I was a senior in high school, a guy I was dating got killed when he was hit by a car.  His name was Anthony.  He wasn’t a believer in Christ, but I was, and with everything in me, I was trying to get him to church and to trust the Lord with his life.  When he died, I got angry with the Lord for letting it happen and walked away from Him, meaning that I didn’t want to go to church, to be around other believers, or to do things that pleased the Lord.  I was broken.  I was hurting.  I was angry, with no one to be angry at except the Lord.  I was so desperate to have one more conversation with him, one more kiss, one more moment in time with him.  I eventually reached a point, or a series of points years later, where I came to realize that the Lord was the only one who could heal my hurt and I had to be willing to trust Him with my life, even if I didn’t always understand why He allows things to happen like He does.

Why does the Lord allow a person walk into a theater and kill 12 innocent people who were just there to watch a movie?  Why does the Lord allow some people to get cancer and not be able to survive?  Why does the Lord allow award winning athletes to break their back and become confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives?  Why does the Lord allow babies to be born with birth deficiencies that will lead them to never be able to live lives where they are independent, able to get married, and/or have children of their own?

The bottom line is that I don’t know but it doesn’t matter.  We are all a bunch of flawed human beings living in an imperfect world.  Sin exists and always will until Christ returns.  We are all on a spiritual journey where the end result isn’t a desired goal or our happiness, but spending eternity with Jesus.  Because Jesus came, died, and rose again, we can wait with hope.  “Waiting, for the believer, is not the futile and desperate act of those who have no other options, but rather a confident trust that eventually God will set things right.” (Laying My Isaac Down by Carol Kent)  God will make things right and one day, there will be no more pain, suffering, or having to ask “Why?”.  How I long for that day with everything in me.

Until that day, I am privileged to carry His banner and demonstrate to the world that they can make it too.  How I wish I could hug these girls’ necks and tell them that.  That is why God gives us stories.  All of our heartaches produce great sadness and telling our stories to each other brings a release, a comfort and the knowledge that somebody cares.  This is my prayer with this story the Lord has given me.  I can be real and honest about how I have good days and how I have bad days.  How you never forget, but it does get easier.  How you “can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Cor 1:3-5).  Please come soon Lord, but while we are waiting, bring beauty from the ashes, in our lives and in the lives of others.

She’ll be coming around the mountain…

Last week, before heading back to Fuquay for the remainder of the summer break (not much left since we start back in just a few weeks!), we traveled to Lexington, KY and Nashville, TN to see friends, meet with potential ministry partners, and see current ministry partners.  It was a very fun trip, although very tiring because there were so many people to see.  A big thank you to our friends for allowing us to crash their houses!

One of the places we stayed In Lexington was with Rich, Becky, and Sawyer who were our old teammates in Kentucky.  Sawyer just turned 2 so we spent all day refereeing the two of them and “trying” to teach them to share.  This is one lesson I feel like Kinsley will never learn.  Ok, she will, but it sure feels neverending sometimes.  Such a reminder to me of how the Lord feels as he tries to teach us the same lessons day in and day out and yet we refuse to listen or just don’t get it.  Having kids is definitely sanctification at its finest in so many ways!

Then, we traveled to Nashville and visited with our good friends (they were Ed’s first, but I sure am glad I inherited them when we got married) Scott and Lyndsay and their sweet 4 month old son Matthew.  They graciously hosted a small group dinner for us with some of their friends and we were so grateful to the Lord for the amazing turnout!  We also got to see some of the Transy alumnis that we worked with when we were ministering in KY who are now living in Nashville.  It was super encouraging to connect with them and to hear how they continue to be super involved in serving the Lord even beyond graduation.

Then, we began our travels home and stopped in Gatlinburg, TN to visit my parents who were vacationing at a cabin in the mountains.  I think this is Kinsley’s first real trip to stay IN the mountains and it was so cute watching her ride down the road and yell out “Look, mountains, look, mountains.”  When we responded with a “yes, there are mountains”, she would say “Coming?” meaning are we going to the mountains?  It was hard for her to understand that though we see them around us, we are there too!

This picture is from when we are at the cabin and although it seems random, I can’t help but point out that I wasn’t kidding in one of my last blog posts when I said that EVERYTHING needs a band-aid.  Here is my proof.  Even a scrap cut bruise “I hurt myself but there is no mark” deserves a band-aid, even if it is on her lip.

We decided to visit Dollywood while we were there, and to be honest, I was not thrilled about the suggestion.  When we spent the summer in Gatlinburg 8 years ago on a summer project with Cru, we went to Dollywood twice and were less than impressed.  But, after looking at all things Kinsley could do, and seeing that they were hosting “Kids Fest” which meant kid-friendly shows such as an dog stunt show, I was in.  Can I say that I REALLY enjoyed it this time??  Not sure if it was seeing it all through a 2 year old’s eyes, the cute flower pot people (which I would love to have at MY house…hint hint husband), because they have added a lot more things, or because I love spending time with my parents nowadays, but it was seriously FUN!

Kinsley loved riding the duck and bee rides, mostly because she could do these all by herself.  I seriously had a sad moment when she walked up to the ride, picked which one she wanted, and rode them all by herself without even caring that we weren’t next to her.  Makes a momma proud, but breaks my heart that she is growing up, all at the same time.  She also loved the train, after she got over how loud it was!  Even though Ed didn’t get to ride as many rides as he would have liked to because of them shutting them down because of thunder and lightening in the area, a great time was had by all.

We are now back in Raleigh – getting ready for the school year, recouping from such a crazy, busy summer, and trying to finish up the remainder of the support we need to raise.  God has abundantly blessed us this summer by allowing us to complete a training that will equip us to better minister on campus and with our team, but also by allowing us time to work on ministry partner development and bringing people into our path to partner with us in this ministry.  It is so fun and amazing to watch his perfect provision for our needs.   Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray that we will finish strong before school begins!

4th of July Madness

I just realized that over the last week, we have slept in 3 different states in 1 week.  First, NC at our home in our own bed, then Greenville, SC with Ed’s family where we spent the 4th of July, and tonight, Lexington, KY at our sweet friends’ house.

Here are some pictures from our fun 4th of July gathering with Ed’s family.  We started the day out watching Ed and his dad take down limbs in their tree in their front yard (after picking up what limbs were already on the ground).  We had a massive storm the first night we were in Greenville that knocked down trees (and limbs) in almost every yard on his parents’ street and knocked out power for a few hours.

Then, what do you do when it is blazing hot outside and Kinsley is tired of being inside?  You go swimming!!  So that is just what we did!  Kinsley is such a pro at swimming (well, for a 2 year old) and loves it so much.  I am really grateful that she loves the water as much as we do!

After lunch, a nap, playtime with everyone, and then dinner, we all retreated outside to light fireworks (back into the heat…ahh….heres to wishing there was some way to do fireworks Inside).  We only did a few small ones for Kinsley since it was light out and she wasn’t having the loud noises.  She did, however, LOVE the sparklers.  I don’t know if you can tell in this first picture, but her face was precious the first time Ed lit one.  She was excited, confused, and amazed all at the same time.  She played with them long enough to get a little burn…not enough to leave a mark but enough to require a band-aid.  I think everything these days requires a band-aid.

Then, to top off her night, the neighbors brought over their baby tortoise (I say baby because they said this thing will get as big as the ones at the zoo…yikes!) and guinea pig.  She loved the guinea pig but the turtle required a little more coaxing for her to pet.



And thought this isn’t related to 4th of July, here is a belly shot at 24 weeks (I just realized the other day that I haven’t taken ANY of these with this second little girl….goes to show its true what they say about the second never getting the treatment of the first).

We left early this morning for Kentucky.  Here is where I get real honest.  I miss Lexington, KY.  I miss the horse farms.  I miss the wide open green fields.  I miss the park where we also took Kinsley within walking distance from our house.  I miss our friends here.  The list goes on and on.  We will be here a week meeting with current and potential ministry partners and I will soak up every minute of it, for multiple reasons.   I know that Raleigh will eventually begin to feel like home and make me sad to leave if we ever make that transition, but to be bluntly honest, its just not there yet.  Thanks for your prayers for safety as we travel and please, keep them coming!