The crazy journey of our family living this beautiful life for our awesome God!
"...Whatsoever you do, do ALL to the glory of GOD." 1 Cor. 10:31

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Be Still My Heart :)

Yes, I do still exist.  Yes, I know I've had to say that just about every time I've written a post in the last month or so.  I'm sorry....July and August are just crazy for us and we haven't been home much and we're just enjoying summer so I haven't wanted to waste a whole lot of time on the computer.  So I will probably still be MIA for several more weeks.  I'll try to throw in my Thankful Thursdays when I'm here but it's gonna be hit and miss for a while more.

However.....I just HAD to share this with you. :)

I have ALWAYS loved Anne Geddes photography....I get a calendar with her work every year so I can look at the precious pictures.  And I would have loved to have those kinds of pictures done with Grahm when he was a newborn.  But, I was a tad bit insane and not doing well at the time and that sounded so overwhelming to get his pictures done.  I definitely regret it but if I have another newborn...someone please just kidnap the baby for a couple hours if you have to and get their pictures done!

So...I've tried to do Grahm's pictures by myself since he was born.  I'm not a photographer AT ALL...I kinda suck actually. But, most of them have turned out alright.  But I still really wanted professional pictures of him before he grows up too much and now that he is moving all over the place and so busy it's pretty much impossible for me to capture him on film with my dinky camera.  So I decided to use a gal that did my niece's newborn photos and we finally went and took Grahm's pictures last night.  I was really nervous because he's not much for taking pictures and he's so hard to capture.  Plus, we did it near bedtime so that we could get good lighting outside.  I could foresee a meltdown coming.  But my sis came along with and he just loves his Auntie Annie and once we got there he was little Mr. Charm...just being a total ham.  I can't wait to see some of the pics because of the funny poses he was giving us. It was such a fun experience and kudos to Jenny Esterbrook who took them....she was amazing.

So, she shared a little sneak peek with us today and Oh. My. still my heart, this kid takes my breath away. :)  So I thought I'd share the little sneak peek with you all....more to come in a few weeks hopefully!

Yeah, he's just the stinkin' cutest thing ever.  Love that kid to pieces.  :)  Thank you God for blessing me with him.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Is it Friday yet? has been one of those weeks.  But there is always something to be thankful for...even in the ugly, mess, down-right hard.

1.  Long Summer Days...I just love the "feel" of summer.  I love walking outside and feeling the warmth wrap it's arms around me, smelling the beautiful summer air and enjoying that sense of freedom that seems to come from summer.  I love spending time at the water with my son, watching him enjoy summer, spending long nights outside and enjoying the beauty this season has to offer.

2.  The expert medical care we have available in this country....I know there is a lot of controversy over our medical care, BUT, we still have WAY more in terms of medical care than most countries do.  If we really do have a problem and there is something serious going on, we have got expert care at our fingertips that has the best technology on hand.  There are people in developing countries who die from simple, cure-able diseases and sicknesses just because there is absolutely no medical care available.  So I'm thankful for what we do have.

3.  My father-in-laws health and safety....that medical care kept my husband's dad alive this week as he had some complications post-surgery. I'm so thankful God protected him and gave the doctor's wisdom to put care into place to help him overcome the complications.  So thankful for God's protective care.

4.  Hearing teenagers' testimonies of how God is working in their lives....I love it when we have testimony night in youth group and some of the teens get the guts to actually share with the rest of us what God has been showing them.  It is such an encouragement to my heart to hear that God is working in their lives and they are noticing and they are learning from what He is showing them.

5.  God's example of love...been meditating on 1 John 3 and 4 and I love verses 16-18 in chapter 3..."16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18  Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and trutha
nd verses 9-11 in chapter 4..."By this the love of God was manifested  in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."  Such rich truths to meditate on.

6.  God's intimate care of the details of my life....I learn more and more as I grow how much I can depend on God to care about every facet of my life.  From the minute, seemingly insignificant details to the really BIG messy stuff....He sees it all and He cares about it all.  He knows my hurts, my joys, my sorrows, my laughter, my pain..He knows it all and He orchestrates it all perfectly.

7.  My little guy's repetition of EVERYTHING I say...I know this can get dangerous and it's already resulted in some not-so-okay repetitions that I realized I can't say anymore!  But it's so cute to hear him repeat everything I say.  I called Luke "honey" the other day and so Grahm repeated it and started saying "honey, honey."  And then I got off the phone with my sister and said "See you later" And what do I hear from the backseat but "tee oo ater!"  Most precious this week was hearing him repeat "Jesus" when he heard it in a song we were listening to and "Bible" when we sat down to rock before bed.  Be still my heart...that kid better never grow up. :)

Yep, he's hot stuff. :) 

He insists on dressing like Dad and always asks to wear his hats and ties.  Love this. :) 

Have an awesome weekend everyone!!  Enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What's the Impression You Leave?

Have you ever paid attention to the kind of impact people leave on you after you've spent time with them?

For example, have you ever been around the type of person who just leaves you feeling drained?  They are extremely negative and life is a series of glass half-empty events and pretty much nothing is ever good enough.  You leave feeling depressed, down or frustrated just because you spent time with this person.  And it can actually affect you for the rest of your day and even longer.  You get into a slump of seeing the world through a negative lens and it's all from spending time with this one particular person.

Or there's the kind of person who leaves you feeling motivated and positive because of their happy disposition.  They have something positive to say about everything and they help you see the world through a sunny lens.  You can leave feeling like you can take on the world and life is good just because you spent time with that person.

Or the person who is lazy....they don't really want to do much of anything, they complain about having to do work or having to get up and do anything for that matter.  They can kind of drain the energy out of you because their lazy energy is contagious and it can leave you feeling unmotivated and kind of lethargic.

Or take the person who is a go-getter...they take life by the horns and are always up for a challenge.  They don't see obstacles as something to stop them but something to take on and charge through.  They are excited about life and the potentials in life and are always working on, completing and accomplishing a lot.  They leave you feeling challenged to do more and be more.  They leave you wanting to do better and to accomplish more with your life.

There are lots of other types of people you can be around that will influence your behavior and your outlook on life.  But it's obvious that people leave an impression on us when we spend time with them and so that means we are leaving an impression on other people who spend time with us.  But have you ever thought about what kind of impression you leave?

As Christians, we are supposed to be leaving an influence...and not just any influence, a godly influence.  Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, "but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."  And Christ tells us in the gospels that we are supposed to be salt and light.  We are supposed to be leaving a life-preserving taste in people's mouths and a light-shedding impact on their world.  

This applies to whoever we are spending time with, by the way.  It's easy to say, ok, yeah we need to be an influence to the lost around us or to those we don't know, we need to leave a good impression.  But we should be thinking about the impact we make on those who are close to us as well.  It is often easy to kind of just unload and emotionally and verbally "throw-up" on the ones who are closest to us.  It's easy because we tell them everything, we're comfortable with them and we don't really think about the influence we have on them because our relationship is solid.  But our close relationships are one of the most important places that we make a good impact.  We spend so much time with those closest to us that we are actually really being a large influence in their lives.  Do we leave the ones we love making them feel drained, exhausted, emotionally spent, unmotivated, negative, pessimistic, critical or unhappy?  Or is our time spent with them lifting them up, challenging them, encouraging them, making them feel positive, fully of joy, motivated, refreshed and challenged?  

Our ultimate goal should be to leave everyone we spend time with making them feel more challenged to be more like Christ.  They should have a renewed, refreshed perspective on their walk with the Lord and your influence should challenge them to want to grow and become more like Christ, not go the opposite direction and leave feeling negative and unhappy.

So what about you?  Do you leave people making them feel challenged to be more like Christ, encouraged, uplifted, positive? Something to think about today.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Funny for your Monday

I'm back in the land of the living!!!  I feel like a completely new person and I'm so happy to be over whatever nasty sickness it was that I had contracted.  It's amazing to feel normal again!! So thankful for health today! :)

So, everyone needs a good laugh on Mondays, right?  Well, hopefully this story gives you one. :)

If you don't know, my husband's name is Luke Walker.  Yes, that is awfully close to Luke, his middle name is not, his parents did not name him that after Star Wars....yes, we get asked that ALL. THE. TIME.  Literally, every time someone sees his name for the first time or I tell them his name or he tells them his name for the first time, they always, I mean ALWAYS, ask, "What's your middle name?  Sky?"  And then chuckle like they are the most clever person on earth.  And then they always proceed to sarcastically say, "I bet you don't get that very often, huh?"  haha..more clever chuckles at themselves.  We always politely laugh and indulge them because who doesn't like to think they are the funniest person around and that they made someone laugh?  It's really not that big of a deal and it's our little "funny" thing.  Well, it got taken to a whole new level this last week!  (Ps...if you don't know who Luke Skywalker is, I can't help you much....he's one of the main characters on Star Wars.)

I was calling our cell phone service provider to check on some of our plan details.  The nice man, with a very strong accent, on the other end of the phone asked for the account holder's  name.  It's my husband, so I tell him, "Luke Walker."

He then says, "Like THE Luke Skywalker?"

I figure he's making the same joke as everyone else always does so I politely chuckle and say, "Yup."

He "oohs" and acts impressed and I figure he's enjoying his moment of cleverness like everyone else.  And then the conversation takes a whole other turn!

He goes on explaining some account details and is stumbling over his words and stops and says, "I'm sorry, I'm just a little nervous.  I can't believe I'm actually talking to someone who is related to THE LUKE SKYWALKER."

I politely laugh and then say it's fine.  Inside I'm starting to realize this guy thinks I'm really related to THE REAL Luke the one from the movie!  Well, it's gone too far for me to tell him that's not true and I don't want to embarrass him so I just try to stifle my laughter for the rest of the conversation and be as polite as possible.  Inside I'm just dying with laughter!!

Then he asks me, "So what's it like to be related to THE Luke Skywalker?"

I cannot believe this is happening so I reply, "Oh, it's pretty normal for me."

He nervously laughs and says, "Yeah, I guess it would be."

We go on with phone stuff and then he stops and says, "Can I just ask you one thing?  Can you please ask Mr. Skywalker what it was like when Darth Vader said, 'Luke, I am your father'?"

I lose it at this point and have to pull the phone away cause I'm laughing so hard.  There's no way I can get out of that one, so I just reply, "Well, I would, but he's not with me right now, sorry."

He nervously laughs again and says, "Well, I figured it was at least worth a shot to be able to talk to him."  We end the conversation and he goes on and on about the pleasure it was for him to be able to speak to me today, someone related to THE Luke Skywalker.

I got off the phone just dying with laughter.  I couldn't believe someone thought I was actually married to THE Luke Skywalker!  Didn't he know that was a movie character name?  Not a real person's name? And anyways, the real Luke Skywalker is really old now and his name isn't Luke Skywalker!  Ah man, it was a good laugh.  So, just in case you didn't know, I'm married to THE Luke Skywalker.  Guess that makes me pretty famous and special. :)

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday..and A few other things

So you're probably beginning to wonder if I've quit on the whole blog writing thing by now. :)  Well, I haven't, but I have had to take a break for a bit.  Luke and I have been out of town for a week on a little vaca and ever since I got home I've been sick sick sick, like really yucky sick.  I'm not sure what's going on...perhaps we drank some bad water?  I did get a lot of mosquito bites so maybe that has something to do with it?  Or it could just be the yuckies that you can often get when you ride on a plane.  Either way, I've been unable to pull myself off the couch except if I absolutely have to.  But I feel bad that I haven't written in so long, so I at least wanted to get my thankful Thursday in for this week and then hopefully next week I'll be back to writing again.  Thanks for being patient with my lack of writing! :) So here's this week's list....

1.  A getaway with the hubs....we had a little bit of a last minute (not incredibly last minute, but somewhat last minute) opportunity to take a vaca together and it was oh so nice!  :)  We needed some time to just unwind, slow down and spend time talking and praying about things we've got going on in our life right now so it was such a blessing to be able to do that.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to just spend time with my best friend and enjoy each other's company.

2.  The feeling of coming much as vaca was nice, it was oh so even better to come home. :)  I love home and I just love the feeling of being back in the bed, my town, my shower, my food, my people..I love coming home.  It's such a blessing to have a place to come back to and to have that feeling of being home again.

3.  Seeing my son after being gone from him for a week....oh my word did I miss that kiddo.  He is the light of my life and it is so hard being away from him.  Luke and I both said, vacations just aren't the same anymore once you're a parent because part of you is missing when you're kids aren't with you.  But I was sooo excited to come home and see him and it was so precious to see his little face light up when I got him out of bed the morning we were home.

4.  Our country's independence...I hope you all had a good 4th.  I love the reminder that this holiday brings...reminders of our freedoms, our blessings, our land of opportunity...just a reminder of the awesome place we live.  And I'm thankful for the chance to celebrate that with friends and family.

5.  Living in was by no work of my own that I live here, it is purely a blessing and gift from God to be born here and I'm so thankful for that.  We have no choice in where we are born and to be born in a country that is free and provides the opportunity that ours does is truly a gift.  I may not always agree with everything that goes on in our country or our government, but I really am glad to be able to live in this country and enjoy the freedoms and blessings that come with living here.

6.  The men and women who fight for our freedom....I can't even begin to understand the sacrifice that these men and women make, along with their families and friends.  They give their lives to defend that my family can enjoy the safety of this country and my kids can grow up in a free land.  I am so thankful for the sacrifice and commitment that our service-people make.

7.  The variety of God's creation...we got to see some very pretty landscape on our vaca and I was just reminded again of God's creativity and power in the beauty that I saw.  The creativity and variety that He used in creating this world is simply awesome...and to think, He is my God, my Savior...the one who knows and cares intimately about my life. Pretty amazing stuff.

Oh...and gotta throw an extra one in here....

8.  Moving up to #12 on the wait list!  This last month's stats are in and we are officially #12.  A much smaller jump than last month, but we're still moving.  This is definitely a long, silent wait and we really appreciate your prayers for our adoption...they are much needed.

I really will try and get back on here next week if I'm feeling better.  Sorry again for so much absence..I hope you are all enjoying summer!

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