Wednesday, April 29, 2009
May 4-June 12 (1st 6 weeks)
June 15-19 - off (VBS at church)
June 22-July 31 (2nd 6 weeks)
Aug 3-7 off (annual beach trip for John's bday)
Aug 10-Sept 18 (3rd 6 weeks)
Sept 21-25 off (John and I are hoping to have an anniversary trip here if we have babysitters)
Sept 28-Nov 6 (4th 6 weeks)
Nov 9-20 (2 week fun unit on Thanksgiving)
Nov 23-Dec 4 off (thanksgiving and a week for xmas decorating and fun)
Dec 7-18 (2 week fun unit on Christmas)
Dec 21-Jan 8 off for Christmas
Jan 11-Feb 19 (5th 6 weeks)
Feb 22-26 off
March 1 - 12 (2 week fun Easter unit)
March 15- April 30 - Off for spring break!!!!
The breaks feel perfectly for our normal things in life. I love the freedom that homeschooling brings. Maybe this will inspire you to think outside the box :):)
We are the busiest that we have been in years and it is the good kind of busy. Investing in people. More and more we feel that God has strengthened our calling to this area. However, the first of the month, John's contract work slowed drastically. As a result he has been sending out resumes and interviewing for more work. There is a chance that we may have to leave this area for a while. This has really bummed us out. We both have had the conversation with God asking WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? Seeing that John was getting more discouraged by the weeks I called in backup. As a wife, there is only so much I can do to not exasperate the situation. He is a man who is struggling with so many things - and one of them is providing for us. He needed another man to step in and encourage. (Ladies I learned this from Love and Respect - great book). So I called JK and he came for the weekend. Most of you know JK - he lead both me and John to the Lord and discipled John for several years. Having him here was wonderful. He helped both of us with perspective which was huge. One of the biggest concepts we got this weekend regarding ministry here is that often in the Bible God calls someone or reveals his will to someone and it does not come to pass for some time. There is Abraham having Issac, Jospeh's dream about his brothers bowing to him, David becoming King. So this potential short term move (basically until the recession picks up) is not so much us hearing God wrong as it is timing. This was huge for us!!!! Please join us in prayer that God would provide John with more work quickly. Pray specifically that it would be a remote job that he could travel to rather than us having to move.
Back to the good stuff. This weekend while JK was here we had a cookout at our house with a few of the couples that we are investing in. It was great. It never ceases to amaze me how my worlds collide. One of the girls went to high school with one of my best friends Nikki Parmer in Athens Alabama. She and her husband went to Calhoun Community College with Brian Steadman and the husband played baseball with him. It was so fun and created even more common ground. I must say that for me specifically finding common ground is really really hard.
We are HEAVY into baseball these days. I must admit I have struggled with a good attitude toward this. Baseball is what people live for in this town. But John coaching has opened tons of doors for relationships here. Last night The Storm (Jake's team) won their first game. It was so fun. It was also the first night at the park that I felt a small sense of belonging. People stuck around and we hung out. I met several other women and was just able to chat. This has been hard for me because John knows everyone. Small town people are tight knit and once you get in it is good but until then it is hard breaking though the weave that is their community.
My cousin's wife ask me about a month ago if I would be willing to lead a Bible Study with her and a few girls. So we met for the first time last week and it was great. These girls are sooo hungry to know God. This is really fun for me and it gives me a chance to opereate in my giftings. I love to teach and discuss the things of God but I would rather you shoot a nail in my foot than chit chat and build relationships starting at the surface level.
The boys are thriving here. I send them out to play for about 1 hour at a time. They love being able to run free, to climb and explore. I am not sure if we will ever be able to "citify" Brady again. We have been potty training and at home he just drops his pants outside to pee whereever he is. Well he seems to think that is ok to do everywhere else. So several times we have had to run and cover him - in a restuarant parking lot, home plate on the baseball field, church parking lot and so on.
So that is a bit of an update. We have never felt that we were doing God's will for our lives so strongly as we do right now. It is not comfortable but it is wonderful. Back in the fall as God begin to show me what he was doing he gave me Ps 16:11. At any time I struggle with being here or wanting to be somewhere else he reminds me that He makes known to me the path of life and that in his presences is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. It does not matter where I am. My joy will come from whose I am - this is where my identity and belonging must rest for me to ever find true contentment.
Again please pray for John to find a job. More soon!!!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Jake: Daddy sometimes when I pray to God I don't know the words to say to tell God what I want him to know. I wish I could pray like you and mommy pray.
John: Bud that is ok because God knows what you are thinking before you ever speak a word out loud. Our praying to God is for us not for Him because He already knows what we are thinking.
Jake: (with great excitment) you mean that God knows what I am thinking before I say it - that He knows what everyone is thinking before they say it???
John: That is right so it's ok if you don't know the words just tell God you don't know the words.
Jake :THAT'S AWESOME DADDY!!!
That 5 extra minutes was such a great blessing to us and Jake - His view of our Great God expanded drastically!!!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
This was a HUGE turning point in my parenting journey. Up till now, I have read tons of books and spent many sleepless nights wondering how to do it better. Little by little God began to show me some key things in my thinking that all come together last summer in a conversation with a very dear friend/mentor who interestingly doesn't have any children (except the countless women that call her their spiritual mother - me included!!!) Below is what I learned this year:
When faced with an opportunity to practice a virtue, he (Brother Lawerence) prayed, “Lord I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me.”
And when he failed, he was quick to acknowledge, “I shall never do otherwise if You leave me to myself; it is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amist.”
After doing that, Brother Lawrence “gave himself no further uneasiness about it.”
“You see, it’s not our job to accomplish God’s will. That responsibility belongs to Him alone. Our job is simply to say yes to whatever specific tasks he puts before us. Then to follow through, one request at a time, with our lives as well as with our mouths: ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Obeying then simply believing that God will do what He says He will do. Even when it doesn’t make sense.” ~Joanna Weaver (Having a Mary Spirit)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
This tree in New Orleans Zoo came face to face with 3 fierce warriors and a brave little girl who were determined to win this battles regardless of how many tears they had to shed in the process. It is meant to be climbed and conquered (there is a sign in it that tells you not to climb any farther). So I ask them if they were up for the challenge and up the branch they went. Most of them came down a time of two but just HAD to beat this beast. All of them but Brady shed tears on the way up but would not give up. It is amazing how that sense of adventure runs so deep even in the most cautious child.
I wish you could see that tongue sticking out. He is determined to do it. The youngest of the 4 and scaled it like it was nobody's business. He knows little fear and I LOVE that about him. I pray that God gives me the wisdom and nerves to not squash this in him!!!!
When he accomplishes something Big he gets this very specific smirky grin that is so soul satisfying that sometimes I push him just to see that grin. Today I got it when he finally pooped in the potty (and not in the yard but that is for another post :))
As you see Brady is just chilling waiting on the others. Anna and Jake made it and Eric, bless his heart, just could not bring himself to stop until he finished. He did it and he grinned from ear to ear at his accomplishment.
This was a glimpse at what took place on the way up. Isn't it amazing that they can be this scared but want to keep going? This event was by far my favorite point of the trip to the zoo. These boys walked away feeling like they accomplished a big feet and well I think they did!!!!!
I have spent time thinking about this year in Jake's life. This was a hard year for me both with my health and with parenting Brady. You can click on the second year link above to see what God taught me this year. Even as I write this my heart is full of joy and sorrow all at the same time. Jake is such a blessing to me in very specific ways that often get overlooked by his very strong brother. He has such a tenderness about him but yet longs to be so strong and manly. His personality very much is a combo of a lion and lamb and I so often take it for granted. He has a few specific struggles that I so often get wrapped up in "fixing" that I often don't take time to see the strength and good in this precious child. Sometimes I feel like I am so hard on him and that I expect to much from him. I am learning as I go with him and I pray that God allows him to just remember the good and not the bad. I am so grateful that the burden of him loving Jesus is not on my shoulders. You will read more about this in my next year post but as I look back on this year of his life I am so thankful for a sweet precious boy who is becoming a tender warrior mostly not because of my doings but because he has a FATHER who is thankfully more committed to Jake than his momma could ever be.