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Matching dresses and Busted Plans…. Perhaps

We took pictures just like everyone else.  For the first time ever I bought us all matching dresses- I know with 8 year olds the time for that is running out- and by golly, we were going to at least get a picture of us all in them for Mother’s Day.  It turned out ok.  Not too shabby.  But the whole thing made me laugh on the inside at the irony.
You see it was totally staged.  Three of my littles had fever when we woke up on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to cancel Mother’s Day all together.   I was so sad we didn’t get to wear those matching dresses to church.  And I was so sad that the day before when we wore them to the mother daughter tea, and my baby was home sick, we didn’t manage to get a picture of at least those who were well enough to go.  I know… poor planning on my part.  So then Sunday afternoon I declared that the sick children were going to dress up and smile for at least a minute in my dining room.  There was push back.  There were tears.  There was pouting.  But we got that p…
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Happy 13th Birthday Makiah!

Dearest Makiah,
This is a different sort of birthday letter for several reasons.  The first is that this Saturday, May 11th, would be your 13th!  I can’t believe you would have been a teenager today!  I can’t help but wonder what your sweet little face would have looked like now.  How tall would you be and would you be begging to wear makeup?  Your daddy and I would be 5 short years from having our first kid in college.  I’ve known from the day you went home that these wondering, missing you moments would come along and tap me on the shoulder begging for attention as long as I still have breath.  
As I type this I am sitting in a room at the preschool waiting to celebrate your baby sister Eliana’s 5th birthday with her class.  We are singing to her early because she is a summer baby.  I bought her the prettiest pull apart flower cupcakes… the ones she ooed and awwed over as she draped over the cooler in the Kroger bakery.  And there is a pang of sadness, and I blink back a few tears bec…

Dreams- Beyond the Laundry

So a few Fridays ago I went with my kindergartener on her school field trip to a farm.  At the end we had a picnic, and I was chatting with some moms while she played for almost 30 minutes with a ginormous, shaggy dog who lived on the farm.  One of the other moms snapped some pics of her and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.  Since this mom was anticipating veterinarian or something to do with animals, she was completely caught off guard when my sweet baby replied that she was going to work at a gas station!  And so was I!  I have heard dolphin trainer for the aquarium, orthopedic surgeon, but gas station worker was a first!  At her upcoming kindergarten graduation they will ask my little what she hopes to be when she grows up… I think I need to do some coaching before then!
Now don’t get offended.  Working at a gas station could be a perfectly respectable job (and owning it is a different thing altogether!), and I suppose the lure of free slushies all day might be a s…

Compassion, Forgiveness, and How Easter Changes Everything...

I have a guest post from a precious friend today.  On a typical day you can find her grabbing a Diet Coke and doing a beautiful job with the balancing act of work, mom, and Pastor’s wife.  And some days we are lucky enough to get a peek at what God is speaking to her as she writes about being BRAVE women over here on her blog at Life on Purpose.  Thanks for visiting here, Katie! Get ready to be encouraged and challenged....
I sit in my car, tears stream down my flushed cheeks, and I beg the Lord to heal the pain in my heart. I cry out to the only one that I know can make it different, make it better... the only one who's love is deep enough. He knows why I'm crying - He knows the longings of my heart - and He knows how the enemy has used this pain to try and get me to run back into the pit that I clawed my way out of. Sometimes it seems harder to stay out than it was to get out - when life happens and it hits the right nerve and opens the right door of opportunity - when the en…

Lean In

Tragedy struck our family last week.  Our church family.  A dear friend, an intercessor, a pillar in the church lost her only son on Wednesday.  He was a husband and a father and a brand new grandfather.  I missed a week of writing before spring break.  Then last week this loss engulfed me, and I just had no words.  
Sunday this brave soul brought her grandson to church with her.  I watched as the body of Christ surrounded them with love and prayers and tears.  And it touched my heart.  When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt.  The words my husband said from the pulpit.  We all felt it, but it needed to be said.  We all needed to share in their grief.  To stop for a few minutes and wrap our arms around them.  I learned a long time ago that most words don’t mean much in deep grief.  Except the ones that say, “I am with you.”  The ones that say, “You are not forgotten.”  No one can walk your broken road for you.  But they can remind you that you are seen.  Seen by them.  And ultimat…

God's Extra in Our Ordinary

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
My bible gateway verse of the day.  That word Hope just grabs me.  I know what it is to feel that I am dangling by such a small thread of hope… my whole existence feeling as if it could come crashing down at any minute.  But the God I know is the God of Hope.  It is part of His goodness.  He knows that we will walk through difficulty but that hope is a lifeline and it comes by trusting Him through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I watched a cartoon this weekend that wrecked me.  Yep.  You read that right.  There is a series called Torchlighters of amazing videos that retell the real life stories of people who are heroes of the faith in cartoon form.  The girls and I watched the story of Gladys Alyward, a young woman who was rejected by a missionary society in the early 1900’s and told she was unfit for missions.  She worked as a maid a…

Saturdays, Cornbread, and What Really Matters...

Saturdays
I am sitting in my living room with the smell of bacon and onions filling up the space.  The whirr of the dryer and the hum of the dishwasher are keeping me company while the kids play outside (hallelujah for a Saturday without rain at last!).  My fireplace is warm and with collard greens, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, crowder peas, and corn bread cooking, I am totally feeling like a south Georgia girl with Alabama roots right about now!  
I am all about Saturdays… especially the ones when we have nowhere to be or go!  That doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does happen it’s a breeze of fresh air on a hot day to the busy lives we all live.  Sometimes life is so busy that I forget to be thankful.  I forget that there are many people who would literally give anything to have even half of those comforts that I take for granted so often.  
Last week we took the girls to walk through the Compassion International live experience.  We pulled into the parking lot to find a series…