Mother’s Day and Father’s Day 2014

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I was on my own with the kids for a week over Mother’s Day while pastor-husband was away on a retreat. It was so sweet to see the older girls take initiative and come down on Mother’s Day to bring me gifts and cuddle in bed with me. The whole week went really well, though I’m always thankful for my man who serves us so well that we feel it when he is away.

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We had the joy of celebrating Kevin’s birthday and Father’s Day all in the same weekend. He is such a gift and blessing to us – the way he courageously yet humbly leads our family. He loves me and the children dearly, we feel so thankful.

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And, of course, I am so grateful for my own mother and father….for my mother who nurtured us while we were young and for my father who faithfully provided and also led me to Christ at a wee age…

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Glorious summer

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We closed the school year and said hello to summer with a presentation day we attended with a local co-op here. Ash chose to do a presentation on sharks and embroidered a shark to show. Jada chose to recite 2 poems and displayed her wooden peg dolls she made as well as her sketchbook. Ellie joined her big sisters in reciting psalm 100. It was pretty precious! We also had a field day with our charlotte mason co-op which was so much fun. We did classic relays and shared a wonderful lunch together.

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We went strawberry picking here with some friends….it seemed easier this year with no babies in tow, though little bro likes to pick the green ones, oops!

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We also attended Ashtyn’s ballet recital. This is her 7th year dancing and the first year we’ve really noticed real improvement. She’s such a little girl of grace and gentleness.

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We’ve been playing with neighbors and friends, going to the library lots, swimming a bit and schooling here and there….just how summer should be!

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On Obedience

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Life has been full, but that’s no surprise! I’m always humbled and thankful with what The Lord has entrusted us with. It’s hard to believe we are coming up on a year since our move. It’s always amazing to me how, when you follow The Lord, He so tenderly and patiently cares for us. Even though He has yet to fail me, steps of faith are never easy and often uncomfortable. It’s such a beautiful, practical illustration of obedience. The call to obedience isn’t solely for the sake of obedience, it’s so much more. In His kindness, God intends for us to know Him more fully and to trust him more deeply. When we call our children to obey, it’s not just because we want control or desire to rule over them with empty reasons for their obedience (though I have been guilty of that in my sinfulness!), but we desire them to obey because we see something they don’t – that obedience reaps abundant fruit and brings us joy and protection. We may not always be comfortable or deemed successful by the worlds terms, but we are not of the world. This isn’t our home. We are journeying to a far greater place. Obedience is so much more important than man’s affirmation or praise. It’s a call to humility requires that we live radically. Horatius Bonar once said, “God may not give us an easy journey to the Promised Land, but He will give us a safe one.”

Dear friend, the journey will not always be easy. Sometimes you are called out of your own comfort, other times you are called to do what appears risky, crazy, or radical to others. You may be wrongly thought of, falsely accused, mis-understood. But if it’s for the sake of the Gospel, you can never go wrong. The Gospel calls us to radical living. As I look back on our life and call to ministry as a family, I’ve learned this to be true. God has called us over and over again to be apart of new things, to start new beginnings for His kingdom. This has required a willingness to GO – to leave what was comfortable and to heed a call not our own. “…Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8)

We are a living, breathing, example of God’s precious faithfulness. Each time we’ve yielded our obedience to The Lord, we’ve tasted the sweetness of His affirmation and tender care over us. Crazy? Maybe. Sometimes obedience makes us do crazy things. There’s no place I would rather be, then living in obedience to God’s beautiful, sometimes risky, but ever-glorious call on our lives.

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Tea parties, hikes and outdoors, oh my!

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What better to do in the Spring then spend it out of doors, right? Last month, the girls and I enjoyed a special treat – a real, fancy tea party hosted by some dear friends and mentors of ours whom we now have the joy of living near. This precious couple have listened, counseled and loved on us over the past 10 years that we have known them. They run a Bed and Breakfastministry to couples in full-time ministry. They have become dear friends of ours and have also begun investing in the lives of our children. We couldn’t be more thrilled for their godly example to our little ones. “Aunt Peggy” wanted to host a tea party for the girls, it was such a delight! We have been enjoying nature walks and hikes around the city as well (sometimes with friends, even better!) We are thankful for these beautiful spring days before the neat of the Georgia summer begins…

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Hello Spring

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We have welcomed some warmer days as of late and have been itching to garden – even though some evenings have still been quite cold. This year, the girls each dug a garden plot of their own – to plant whatever they wanted. The planted a variety of flowers and I held back the urge to order them and let them do whatever they wanted with the seeds. They have been watering it, so we will see if anything takes. I planted several different varieties of lettuce as well as some spinach and herbs. A few seeds have germinated and are sprouting. It’s fun to watch and a bit therepeutic as well. We hosted some students for St. patricks day dinner and had a traditional irish meal. We’ve been busy with school and such and I feel so grateful that I get to stay at home with these precious little ones. There just isn’t anything better than the sacrifices made. I’m thankful for our humble, simple life – and for the nourishing of these souls – it’s a beautiful thing to watch and to be apart of. We took a family hike and found a beautiful little spot with a waterfall and a creek. I’ve been planning school stuff for the summer and fall – it’s always fun to have a fresh vision ahead. Happy Spring!

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On Enemies and the Gospel

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In our youth, we think we are untouchable. Nothing can stop us. Our dreams are big and our hopes are a slew of bright stars within in our reach. And then something happens to squelch a bit of those hopeful dreams…called reality. Life. People hurt you and you hurt them. Death rips through your dreamy thinking and shatters your stable little world. Divorce wrecks the relationships you thought were strong and steady…children get sick and cancer wreaks havoc. Life. Friendships fall apart. Misunderstandings and wrongdoings divide. Wombs are declared barren. Little children go hungry- abandoned-abused. Depression stubbornly lingers and anxiety shakes your insides. Life. Your friend gets pregnant in her teens and that loving Christian community you were apart of called the Church- gives way to the weight of sin. And you realize you aren’t in control. You never were. You never will be.

Sometimes life seems to be the enemy. But perhaps it is a reversal of thinking – that enemies are the result of this one life we live. And how we choose to live it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it bluntly, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Enemies and death go hand in hand. Death to self. Jesus puts it even more bluntly, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Scripture is uncomfortably clear that when we deny ourselves to follow Christ – we will have enemies. The gospel is radical. Mediocre, lukewarm, middle-class Christianity is not radical when the cross is absent.

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood for something sometime in your life” said Sir Winston Churchhill who led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

All of the sudden – life isn’t so naive anymore. Or maybe we aren’t naive to life and truth and what really matters. Our dreams become HIS dreams. Our realities – HIS realities. Hard things will happen void of our enemies. Harder things will happen because of our enemies. Jobs will be at stake. Lifestyles. Beliefs. Philosophies…theologies. They all matter when we are hated by others because of what we stand for. But Oh! How he loves us! “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” (Romans 8:31) We will be hated by some in this world, but His love far surpasses our enemies enabling us to even love them in return.

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Do you and I believe him enough to obey him and follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds in our culture – and maybe in our churches- turn the other way? -David Platt

Closing Winter

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As winter comes to a close, we are thankful to have had a couple of different snowfalls here where the kids got to sled and eat snow cream. I love the stillness and peace right after a good snow – everything is so beautiful. We enjoyed extra time with daddy and reading and crafting together. The kids got creative and put on a pretty impressive circus – complete with dog trainers and car tricks. We’ve been trekking along in our nature journals enjoying the many different birds right outside our window. They have been lovely to watch while we eat at our table. By Gods grace, I have started a new Charlotte Mason co-op called “AME” (Atlanta Mason Education). We are already at our full capacity with 22 kids and looking to birth a second group, maybe 3, in the fall. We meet outside weekly and do nature, art, composer and author studies and the kids lunch together and roam the woods. It has been a lovely adventure so far. The highlight of my winter was a special visit from my dear friend from Colorado whom I haven’t seen in 4 years. She and I have weathered many a storm together in our ministry and life experiences and I’m so grateful to call her a dear sister. We snuck away to a bed and breakfast and talked for hours, took walks and hikes and ate ice-cream and chocolate together. I’m already counting down the days until I can see her again. Love you Sara! We also enjoyed a nice visit from Kevin’s parents as well as got to pet-sit a sweet bunny which taught the kids about responsibility and caring for an animal. Our first daffodils have just sprung and the kids are very anxious to begin their garden plots as the warmer weather begins to arrive…

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