When Life Hands You Lemons,….

Life doesn’t always go as expected.  I know that.  You know that.  We all know that.  So, what do you do when life hands you lemons?  You make lemonade, of course.

Case in point, Kinsley has been tracked out for a few weeks now. With year round school, instead of having a summer break, she gets multiple breaks throughout the year where she gets a few weeks out.  Break #1 is happening now.  And can I be honest?  I am not sure how I feel about this year-round, multiple-breaks thing.  She has became used to school – having a rigid, tight routine and being engaged constantly, so switching back to being home was a bit rough and resembled the first week of school all over again.  We also had gotten into a routine of her being at school, the house being quieter through the day, etc. so it has been an adjustment for us too.Add to her track out the fact that Ed and Emerson came down with this L-O-N-G viral infection that made them vomit and poop for days and that it has rained for 6 days in a row, and we are all going a little crazy.

But, the Lord has graciously helped me have a good perspective, enjoy the unexpected extra family time, and try to soak up the moments with Kinsley knowing they are fleeting and she is growing up too fast.  So, we did quite a few fun “just Kinsley and I” things (and mostly because the other half of our house was sick)!

First, we had a fun playdate at Marbles kid’s museum with a few of her new classmates and then enjoyed lunch together afterwards.  It was actually a really fun time, which is not always the norm with new playdates with people you don’t know.

Then, we had to run to the store, so we had an impromptu coffee date.  This girl thinks she is so big when she gets time with just mom drinking hot chocolate out of her very own big girl coffee cup.

Then, I took her with me to the Campbell girl’s Bible study fall party.  She loved decorating cookies, eating other yummy treats, and directing the girls while they were carving pumpkins.  It is so fun to have her growing up and be able to come with us to campus events and interact with college students who love the Lord.

(Speaking of Campbell, can I say that it is a huge praise to the Lord that we have had 12+ girls attending Bible study every week? We had 4 last year!  The women who are leading the study from our church are doing an amazing job and are a huge answer to prayer!)

On top of all these fun things, I have been trying to soak up the moments when the kids are getting along and loving each other rather than fighting.  They have been loving playing in the backyard and then “talking” to Blake through the door.

Will you pray that the Lord will give me patience and perspective and that I will enjoy these last few days of track out with her instead of getting annoyed and irritated?  I am realizing lately how fast the years are flying and I want to treasure each moment, even through the hard days of parenting.

Our week in pictures

The past few weeks have been really fun and full.  Rather than giving you this long, written update…I thought I would give you an update in pictures.

Fall Retreat – Over 400 college students from NC State, Meredith, and Campbell. A great speaker. Amazing praise and worship. Good food. Lots of fun. Great time with the Lord and each other.  Life change.

These are the students from East Campus, the part of campus where we are working.

Rather than cabins and bunk beds, this is how a lot of the students slept.  The harder the spot to get to, the cooler it is.  This spot is pretty cool (and scary!).

The blob.  Person A jumps onto the blob and then crawls to the end.  Person B then jumps onto the blob, catapulting Person A into the water.  Kinsley was too scared to try this.  Emerson, on the other hand, jumped multiple times and was even catapulted.  That child has NO fear!!

Emerson also went down this slide multiple times.  How many times did Kinsley go down?  Big fat goose egg.

Little man has had a big month.  Not only did he turn 8 months old, he got two more teeth, started crawling really well and even started pulling up.  This picture was taken one of the first times he climbed up in his crib -his smile says “Look at my new trick mom!”

And, bad momma that I am, let him burn his little fingers on the oven. He pulled up on the oven (while I had it on) and I stopped cooking, felt it, and then let him stay there because it was cool on the outside.  Next thing I know, he started screaming bloody murder.  He had put his fingers in between the door and the oven, which, much to my dismay, is very hot.  Poor buddy blistered up on three of his fingers!

We have also been having some really fun playdates with friends.  Can I say how much I love the community we have in this city?  Blessed beyond words!

Until next time…


It Ain’t All Roses, Ya’ll.

I post a lot of “fun” updates about our family and our stinkin’ cute kids and I also post DIY Updates, Ministry Updates, etc.  But just in case you think our life is just peachy, and because I value being real, it ain’t all roses, ya’ll.

Today has been a hard day.  Honestly, its been a hard day in a string of hard days.  Some of it has been because of choices I made, such as packing our schedule too full and having no margin (even though it was fun things like playdates with friends and going to Gammy’s house!) or trying to keep my house spic-n-span.  Some of it has been because of things that are beyond my control, such as ministry events that were fun but not optional, things that come up that have to be done right now, and a 5 year old who tracked out and is having as much drama as a teenage girl during “that” time of the month.  Seriously, I had no idea that the first week of track out would bring as much drama as the first week of starting school.  Geez.

Today was filled with things that are not optional, and when kids choose to disobey, get into everything they know not to, push the envelope, and just act plum crazy, it leads to a very short-fused momma.  I should have known it was going to be rough one when my 2 year old is coloring blue crayon on the white railing of our stairs in the first 30 minutes she is awake.  For the sake of being real and honest, after battling for most of the morning, I lost it.  I yelled, I disciplined out of anger, I said things I shouldn’t have, and it was ugly.

First, I cried.  Then, I sat down with my kiddos, apologized for my behavior, explained about the sin in my heart, and prayed with them for Jesus to help me be kinder and for them to obey. Then, I texted the lady who mentors me (if you don’t have one of these, get one!) and she prayed for me and reminded of some great truth such as “I’m not failing, there is abundant grace, I am the perfect mom for these kids, and the same God who created the universe gave these kids to me.”    Then, I pulled up my boot straps and started again.  And then we left for the grocery store (what better place would there be to trust Jesus to help me with my attitude? – I was glutton for punishment, right?).

A friend of mine posted this post this morning and I am so glad I read it this morning, because I kept chewing on it the whole time this was going on at our house:

“The message of Christianity is NOT that PEOPLE are perfect but that CHRIST is perfect and in some amazing, incomprehensible, and undeserving way those who follow Christ earn HIS righteousness. If y’all knew the dark demons that lay in my past and in my heart, I could only hope and pray that God would be seen as all the more forgiving and gracious and not that I would be seen as any less “perfect”.
That is my message: I’m a freaking wreck apart from the changing and saving grace of God. So shouldn’t that mean I am completely changed and no longer choose to sin? Isn’t that the point of Christianity? NO!! Heaven knows I wish it was but unfortunately my human nature and the fallen state of this world are raging a war in my soul with the beautiful, grace filled, perfect Holy Spirit that lives in me. The difference is I am no longer a SLAVE to sin. Sin no longer rules my every action. I now have God on my side to help me chose His glory over my own.
Dear friends, how could I offer any sliver of hope to you if the proclamation of my gospel was “Be perfect and good like me or at least do more good than bad.” If that were my hope, I would fail. I know myself. I would have been kicked out of the faith looonnnggg ago.
Praise be to God that is not His Gospel! It is simple…we are all rotten and wicked but Christ was perfect and because of his love for us and for the glory of His Father, he took our place under the punishment for sin and if you believe that, you will be saved.
If anything is unfair, it is righteous for the unrighteous and perfection dying in the place of imperfection. So please understand…I’m the opposite of perfection. The antithesis of the standard. Turn your eyes to the one that gives freely of His grace to all those that don’t deserve it…even you, if you believe.

Cue the tears.  I don’t like the hard days – heaven knows – I wish every day was filled with obeying children, smiles, laughters, and no discipline.  But even more than worrying about how bad I am messing my children up, I pray that they see Jesus – not my perfection, but HIS, not my righteousness, but HIS, not my glory, but HIS.  Thank you Lord that his mercies are new every morning and that by his grace, I can be the mom I need to be to these sweet little kiddos he has entrusted me with.


A long overdue post.

This post is long overdue.  My goal is to try and write something for the blog at least once a week, but as you can say from the date of the last entry, that hasn’t happened.  I know you haven’t been sitting on the edge of your seat, checking the blog everyday for an update, but a friend told me “If you aren’t inspired to write, then don’t.”  And thats just what I did, or didn’t do.

And, can I be honest, the last few weeks have been crazy, busy, tiring, hard, but amazing all wrapped up into one.  How do you describe that in a blog post or even find time to write about it?  But, I am going to attempt it, first talking about our family and second about ministry.  Here goes!

–Soccer has begun!  Kinsley decided she wanted to try soccer this year instead of dance.  After the huge disaster that soccer was two years ago (read all about that here), I was really hesitant to let her do it.  But, we signed her up and she is doing great.  I think school and the difference of two years have made a huge difference!

–Emerson has started school.  Emerson is only 2 (will be 3 in October) but she is way ahead for her age, so I felt like it would be good to go ahead and start school with her and to capitalize on the fact that she loves learning like Kinsley.  To be honest, I haven’t been super motivated to do it, but seeing her excitement to do school everyday has been fun and encouraging.  Will update you on how it goes (or doesn’t!)

–Pain has been my friend these past few weeks.  First, I went in for my bi-annual dental appointment.  Anybody else get anxiety about the dentist coming in to check for cavities?  I always hold my breath a little.  This time I had good cause.  They ended up having to refill an old cavity in two teeth and because of that, it was a really deep filling.  After the filling, I was in severe pain and went back in for a followup appointment.  They confirmed that the filling was deep and that I may need a root canal if it didn’t subside.  After seeing the cost for two root canals, we started praying like crazy that it would feel better and that my tooth was just in shock from the filling.  It has gotten much better and we are so thankful for that.

Then, I got mastitis.  Ya’ll, it is no joke.  I have had friends that have had it, so when it happened, I was pretty sure what it was.  It knocked me out for two days, but I am so thankful for antibiotics that are making me feel better.  I will avoid details, but lets just say flu symptoms on top of severe pain is not for the weary.  I am so thankful for a great husband and neighbor who took care of me!

–Kinsley just completed her first 9 weeks in school and started her first track out, which will last for 3 weeks.  We also had her first parent-teacher conference, which went really well.  She is doing great at school, both academically and socially.  We are praying that the Lord uses both of us to be a light both to other students and her teacher!  Check out her first school picture.

–We have been very active hosting events for students, following up with contacts and sharing the Gospel, and getting Bible studies started.  It has been encouraging to see and to hear about how the Lord is already moving, both at NC State and Campbell.  Cameron (as told in our latest newsletter here) is just one of the many stories about how the Lord is changing students’ lives.  Here are some of the things we have been up to on campus:

Packapalooza – This is a huge event that NC State hosts every year where the whole community comes out and learns more about organizations on campus as well as other places that are being promoted.  Ed had to work our Cru table for a little while (where we give interested students more info about Cru), so we let the girls play on the water rides and watch the trapeze artists.  They had a blast!  Here is Kinsley enjoying the ride:

Party at the Park – this is another event that Cru at NC State does where we invite students to come out and enjoy pizza, sno cones, and get to know us and each other.  We had a great turnout and loved getting to meet new students!

And look at this sweet picture of our staff kids enjoying their sno cones together.  I love that our kids have other kids on our staff team!

Campbell Tailgate – Campbell had their first home game Thursday night so we loaded up the whole family, lots of food, and joined our students for food and fun.  We had about 35 people there (19 of which were students), which was a huge increase from last year.  We even had new students who want to come to Bible study but haven’t yet, who heard about the tailgate from our text messages that we sent out to all the contacts we got at the Street Fair.  We are praying they will come back to Bible study now that they have meet us and other students.

We are so thankful for the great turnouts we have seen at Bible study, NC State weekly meeting, and many other events.  We pray that the Lord uses us and our students to share Christ with students who don’t know about Christ and plugs them into a community where they can grow in their faith.  Thank you for your partnership in making this possible!