Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Story- "Sacred Marriage Study"

Okay folks, don't faint with shock, but I'm actually going to do a thinking  post!  At least I'm praying my thoughts come coherently.  I'm starting a study on the book titled, "Sacred Marriage".  My dear childhood friend Jenn (and current bestie, yes Jenn, I just reverted to junior high and called you that;)) is hosting this study and I'm so excited to dig in.  A couple of years ago I attended a conference that Gary Thomas, the author of the book, spoke at.  I remember being particularly drawn to this book and his message about it, but never did buy the book, sort of put it on the mental back shelf as a "when I have time to go to the bathroom, let alone read a book" book.  I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for it to arrive in the mail so I can crack it open.  Going in to this study, I'm ready to go deeper.  Here's the description of the book: 
"Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. Scores of books have been written that offer guidance for building the marriage of your dreams. But what if God's primary intent for your marriage isn't to make you happy. . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn't as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God" 
For those who may not know, Travis and I have a long history.  We've known each other for over half our lives actually.  We met in Junior High, 7th and 8th grade (I'm a year and a half older than him, yes a craddle robber).  Having met so young and having been so young in our walks to boot, we were not short of struggles in our dating relationship, many to do with the temptation of physical intimacy.  But looking back, even though our struggles in our physical relationship seemed to be the all-encompassing struggle, I can now see that there were many other things going on that have shaped what our marriage is today.  My dad was dying of brain cancer shortly after we met.  Travis and his family became an escape for me as a self centered teenager, it was the way I found normal in a very overwhelming family crisis.  My dependence on Travis became immense, I was very needy and I counted on Travis, not the Lord, to meet all of my needs.  It set the stage for a very claustrophobic Travis who started to pull away as my grip tightened.  We had a brief separation during our dating years when my neediness got to a boiling point which forced me to the well I had been neglecting, my relationship with God.  I finally found what I really needed all along and Travis and I experienced great freedom from it, which brought us back together.  Through all of our struggles and triumphs, we are continually humbled to see God at work in our individual hearts and in our marriage.  My hope for this study is that God would get to the deep places in my heart that need refining, that He would continue to bless and grow our marriage as we are open and moldable before Him.  I am so thankful for the blessing of Travis, this man that God has entrusted to me to love and honor and care for!  I am thankful for his friendship and commitment and openness, for his willingness to share his heart without holding back, to confess his temptations, sins, hopes, and convictions and to listen when I need to share my own heart.  I am thankful for the ways he serves and provides for our family, the ways he lays down his own life and interests for us on a daily basis, the way he partners with me in the care and raising of our four children, often up in the night with them even more than I am.  He is a treasure to me, a treasure I never want to take for granted.  And I am convinced, now more than ever, that our story is not a story about us, but rather a story about God and what He can do.  It is a story of His glory despite ourselves, a story that I pray will point all who know us to the One who is the source of all life and hope and true joy, the author and perfecter of our faiths.  I'll be back with more thoughts from the study as we go along, but if you are so inclined, please pray that this study would be used by God in my life and the lives of all who are participating.  And join in if you'd like!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sawyer is three!

I'm so late getting this up, I try to get these birthday posts up day of, but I digress.  Sawyer turned three on Friday!  Yes, my baby boy isn't a baby anymore (although he'll always be mine).  I feel like Sawyer has changed so much from two to three.  His language has taken off, it's now very rare that I can't understand what he's saying.  And his will has taken shape to be sure, and he gets right in there playing with the girls. He's no longer the annoying toddler, but rather the much desired cast member to many dramas.  In fact, Emma and Chloe often fight over who Sawyer seems to favor on a given day, shmoozing him with sweet talk and promises of treats and toys in order to come out on top.  He knows his power and it's pretty cute to watch him revel in it. Oh what sweetness escapes every pore of my little man's being!  Travis often says he's got me wrapped around his little finger, and I really can't deny it, after all, he is my only son.  And truly, after seeing these pictures, is there any wonder why I'm so smitten?  Sawyer Michael, you are such a gift!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Autumn Mae, Six Months!

Somebody just turned six months old today!  This little somebody is now rolling around, sitting all by herself (with pillows behind her) and eating her first foods!  She is spitting and babbling and squealing away her time, putting everything she can get her hands on in her mouth and continuing to be doted on by all who know her.  She has bright eyes that nearly pop out of her head when she's excited or scared and a smile that can brighten up any room.  She's got her own look, but most often we get that she favors her big brother Sawyer.  I still see more of myself in her than any of my children, but there's something unmistakeably daddy in her little mouth.  And something about the way she pops her little eyes so bright reminds us of grandpa Mike, which blesses my heart.  I don't have a current weight and height for her yet as her six month appointment is later this week, but she seems to be continuing to move in the tall direction, imagine that!;).  So without further adieu, I give you my little six month old "Tulip", the prettiest little tulip in the flower bed!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of School 2011

I have two big girls at school now, I repeat TWO big girls at school!  Emma is a big second grader and Chloe a Kindergartener!  Today as I was taking the girls to school, under the effects of Ibuprophen for the nasty bug I came down with last night and that has had me in bed all day today, the girls could not contain their excitement.  Emma sang Chloe songs she learned in music class last year and told her all about recess and how much fun she was going to have in Kindergarten.  I was nervous that Chloe would have a hard time with me leaving her, but she completely surprised me.  She was so excited, she sat at her little table just beaming, gave me a big hug and kiss and said, "bye mom, I love you!"  No tears or clinging or any of the things you might expect on the first day of kindergarten.  And Emma was equally pumped up for her first day, she was all smiles.  And after school she told me all about the new friends she made and how much she loves her teacher.  Emma even had homework tonight, which she promptly completed right when she got home at her little desk in her new room.  Chloe was jealous that Emma had homework and she didn't, so Chloe practiced writing her letters.  It was a good first day for my sweeties, as these pictures tell.  If only mama had been feeling better:(.  Travis had to take some sick time, that's how rotten I felt.  Feeling a little better tonight, so hoping we can all get some good rest tonight and continue getting into the swing of the school year.

Chloe is Five!!!

I fully meant to get this post up ON her actual birthday, but it was a busy day, what can I say?  We were busy preparing for Chloe's ice cream sundae party and after the party, well, I was pooped!  But here it is, Chloe's first day of Kindergarten, so I thought this might be a good time to do her five year post.  It's hard to think up new phrases to use I tell you!  The whole, "I just can't believe how big she's getting" one or "I wish she'd slow down" one just seem too common.  The truth is, putting my heart on paper is hard work when it comes to my kids, and I don't know that I ever really do it justice.  For instance, Chloe asked Jesus into her heart this year.  Just typing that out doesn't seem to convey my heart about it adequately, you know?  It's been a full year for my precious Roo!  We did Kingdom Kids preschool co-op with some of my good friends from church and she learned so much.  Her handwriting is really good for her age and she knows more lowercase letters and letter sounds than most of her peers, according to her Kindergarten teacher.  The girl is ready...but her mama is less so.  Chloe is no longer a toddler, she's a little girl, a beautiful one I might add, both inside and out.  She's funny and imaginative, curious and stubborn, compassionate and independent, friendly and kind and just downright amazing!  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll leave you with these I took for her five year photo shoot.  I. Love. This. GIRL!!!