What a reminder!

I was spending time with the Lord this morning and read in James 4:13-15:  “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'”

Life is hard.  If it hasn’t been for you personally yet, it will, rest assured.  Just look at the news – bombings, school shootings, earthquakes.  Personally, we have had a close family friend die recently and another friend’s daughter (who is only 2) had a horrific accident with her finger.

But two things really encouraged me as I read this morning –

1 – Life goes fast – One thing I am reminded of daily, especially recently, is that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.  This life goes fast.  A vapor.  A mist.  Picture someone exhaling warm breath into the freezing cold.  There it is.  Then its gone.  But when circumstances are really rough, we can find comfort and courage in thinking “In the eternal scheme of things, He’s only asking you to do this hard thing for a few minutes.  You can be faithful.  It’s not that long.”

2 – Every new day is willed by God and God is the one with the real plan – If the Lord didn’t will for us to be alive, we (believers) would have seen His face by now.  God knows what tomorrow will bring.  He looks upon every situation in context of what is, what was, and what is to come.  He plans it all and nothing surprises him.

Such great encouragement to hang on, that life is so short and God not only knew what was coming and is working it out according to His good and perfect plans, but that he is only asking us to do this hard thing for a few minutes.  Such encouragement to keep “fighting the good fight, finishing the race, keeping the faith (2 Tim. 4:7).”

Here is a picture of Kinsley with her friend Faith.  Faith’s parents, Jeff and Lindsey, served with us in Kentucky, and have remained good friends of ours despite both of us moving to different teams.  Faith is the one who had the finger accident.  When Ed was out of town at briefing last weekend for his trip to Senegal this summer, I loaded up the girls and we went to visit Faith, Jeff, Lindsey, and their son Timmy.  It was so good to see friends who have been there through a lot of life’s ups and downs and to hug their necks as they are going through a hard time.  We went to Piratefest (a festival they have in the town they are living in) and the girls had fun jumping on the bounce house, going down the inflatable slide, and eating fun food!

Yes, I did that.

Have you ever had one of those days?  Well, I did not long ago.

It was Kinsley’s birthday.  We took the van into the shop for repairs.  My parents were in town.  Ed was on campus.  We decided to travel up to Sam’s Club to see if they had something for mom and dad’s restaurant that they didn’t have at the Sam’s Club in Myrtle Beach.  We left early earlier than I am used to getting out with both kids.

But because my van was getting worked on, we had to take my parents’ truck.  Yes, a Dodge ram with two car seats in the back.  A-little-snug.  After 20 minutes rearranging the car seats,  trying to squish Kinsley’s feet behind my dad’s seat, making sure all our stuff fit, etc., we headed out.  We hadn’t brought anything for Kinsley to play with in the car, so it was a little crazy keeping her occupied on the way there.  Then we arrive.

I decide to put Emerson in the front carrier so that she wouldn’t be in the car seat the whole time.  I carry her into Sams, make it through the front door, and am trying to put her in the carrier (meanwhile the clerk that checks cards at the front door is STARING not very nicely through this whole process…not sure why) when I notice that she feels wet.  Uh-oh.  Life with a newborn.  Constant blowouts.  Meanwhile, Kinsley is throwing a major tantrum because she doesn’t want to ride in the cart and wants to walk.  Life with an almost three year old.  I can do it myself.

Off to the restroom we go – mom, Kinsley, Emerson, and me (how did my dad manage to skip out on all this?  two words – free samples).  Except the whole way to the restroom I am thinking about how I don’t have an outfit, but she is wet, what will I do if I can’t salvage the outfit, Kinsley is freaking out, the lady at the front door is staring, why does life have to be so crazy, etc.  I walk into the bathroom and pull down the changing table which happens to be conveniently located by the door.  I start pulling her stuff out, realize I don’t have an outfit, and am telling my mom through the cracked door, when it happens.

Mom says “April, look.  You are in the mens restroom.”  I look to my left to see a man washing his hands.  Bless. His. Heart.  He wasn’t looking at me, saying anything, or acting weird.  He was just washing his hands quietly looking down.  I am mortified.  I pack up all of Emerson’s stuff and walk across the way to the womens restroom.  Now, not only am I flustered about Emerson’s outfit, but I am having a monologue in my head about how in the world this could have happened.  I was so flustered with all that was going down that I didn’t even look at the door.  NOT EVEN ONCE.  I just walked in, saw the changing table, assumed it was the womens restroom, and went at it.

That’s a lot to happen before 9:30 am.  Yes, it was one of those days.

Three Years Old – Getting So Big!

Seriously, where have the years gone?  The person who said “The days are long but the years are short” was so very right!  Some days it does feel like it will never end.  But this year, on her third birthday, looking at Kinsley and then looking at Emerson, who is already 5 months old, I feel like time is flying by faster than I could ever imagine.

Kinsley is spunky, energetic, loves people, strong-willed, a talker, cautious, inquisitive, and sweet-spirited – we love her fun, unique personality.  My mom says she prayed for her to have a good personality before she was born and boy, did the Lord answer that prayer!  We have officially entered into the why-where-what-how, I can do it myself phase but I wouldn’t trade a day of it.  Even despite being jealous sometimes and struggling to be gentle with her, she loves her sister dearly and cherishes waking her up (aka going to get her) in the morning, watching her discover the world, and showing her off to others.  I am so excited to watch them develop into best friends.

We decided to just do a small party at McDonalds with a few of her friends, our team, and my parents.  All she kept asking for was a princess cake so this was the one request we tried to honor.  Here are a few pics from her birthday, including one from when Ed’s parents were here to give her their presents.

In other news, Emerson started solids this month.  Yes, it is before 6 months which is the preferred time most pediatricians want you to wait until.  But when your child is sitting in her bumbo at the table at dinner and staring down your spoon all the way from the plate to your mouth, you have to have mercy.  She loves rice cereal so far!

We were really excited for Easter this year because Kinsley is finally getting to an age where she is understanding everything and could really color eggs, hunt for eggs, etc.  But, the Lord had other plans.  Kinsley got the norovirus on Friday before Easter, had it through the weekend (poor thing…it took her system forever to recover because she was just so sick 2 weeks ago), then I got it, then Ed got it.  So, needless to say, we did nothing Easter related except talk about the meaning of Easter as a family and do resurrection eggs.  Here is a picture of the poor pitiful little girl on Easter:

Needless to say, we are really grateful that we are all finally getting well and are so thankful for Spring and to be done with all this mess.  Please pray we stay well!!