Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Lamp Unto My Feet

I love, love, love Bible journaling! It is so much fun & it really helps me to spend time in the Word! It has been very therapeutic and has helped me during this transition in our life. Someday I hope to have every single page in my Bible filled! What a neat way to look back and remember all the ways God spoke to me over the years! Here are a few of the recent things I have done.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wherever We Are Together...

I found this picture at Hobby Lobby the other day, and I knew I just had to have it! 
What a wonderful statement...
"Wherever we are together, that is Home!" 
So. Very. True. 
I mean, I really, really like my house & I'm so sad to move away from it...but it really is just a shell...what makes a "home" is the love that fills it. 
As we are trying to sell our house and get ready to move to Falls Creek for the summer and then to the Edmond/OKC area at the end of summer, I find myself becoming very overwhelmed and sad at times about being "misplaced." As human beings, we like to be comfortable. Safe. Stable. We don't like change. At All. But, I have come to the conclusion that the only thing that stays the same is that everything is always changing! =0) 
You know, a few summers ago when we sold our old house and built this new house, we were essentially "homeless" for 3 months. I think in some ways, God was using that time to show us that we CAN do it, and we really do have such sweet, fun memories of that summer. I can look back and think that yes...whether it was camping in a tent in the pouring rain, staying in a hotel in Memphis or Myrtle Beach, sleeping on the floor of a church on Choir Tour, living in the Steen's upstairs "apartment," spending weekends at G-Ma's house or Lake Eufaula, or staying for a week in a cabin at Falls Creek...we were "HOME" and we were okay, because we were "Together." 
Soooo...we have been there, done that, and survived it, with sweet memories even...so we will do it again...and hopefully two years from now, we will be sitting in our new house, looking back and thinking "Wow, that wasn't so bad! But I'm sure glad we don't have to do it again anytime soon!" =0)
At the end of the day, as long as we are together, we are "home," and that makes my heart happy!

Tell Your Heart To Beat Again...


God has really used music to help me through the past few months. I bet I have listened to this song no less than 200 times within the past month. 

The lyrics are so, so good...I feel like they were written just for me! I have admittedly struggled with this transition, but my favorite part of this song is the line that says...

BEGINNING, just let that word wash over you. It's alright now, love's healing hands have pulled you through. SO GET BACK UP, TAKE STEP ONE...LEAVE THE DARKNESS, FEEL THE SUN! Cause your story's far from over, and your journey's just begun! 

Oh, thank you Lord, for these words...thank you that you have walked with us through the past several months, and you will continue to be with us as we embark on this new beginning! Help me to let go...yesterday's a closing door...I don't live there anymore...Help me to say goodbye to where I've been and tell my heart to beat again.

In some ways, I think having to wait for school to end and still being here these past two months has made the transition harder. After all, it's hard to "say goodbye to where you've been" when you're still living there. I think now that summer is here, it will be easier...I just know that I'm really ready to leave the darkness & feel the sun! 
Shattered, like you've never been before
The life you knew

In a thousand pieces on the floor
Words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of Grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Beginning, 
just let that word wash over you
It's alright now
Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up and take step one
Leave the darkness feel the sun
Cause your story's far from over
And your journey's just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of Grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak and every scar
Be a picture that reminds you Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment Heaven's working everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of Grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again, beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again

Monday, May 16, 2016

Thomas's Graduation

We went to Thomas's Graduation in Blanchard on Monday night. I can't even tell you how old this makes me feel...I remember sitting in the waiting room at Baptist Hospital on a cold November day, with an "It's a Girl" balloon in one hand and an "It's a Boy" balloon in the other hand, waiting for him to be born like it was just yesterday...I was 15 years old. I'll never forget Jamie walking out of that room carrying a tiny bundle with the fullest head of black hair I have ever seen on a baby! Thomas has always had a special place in my heart. Back when we lived in the "White House," he and Taylor were kind of our pretend kids...you know, back in the days when I just couldn't wait to have babies but Brian was adamant that he finish seminary first. (And YES---looking back, he was right!) We are very proud of him & can't wait to see what God has in store for his future! 
Brian's FB post:
Got to sit next to this pretty girl while watching my good friend Thomas Phares graduate from Blanchard USA. Love the people God put in my life!
And just for fun...a little throw-back to our High School graduation...we've been at this thing called life together for a long time now! 
It was a late night, but the kids were troopers! Brian was already in OKC for work that day, so I picked the kids up after school and drove down for the evening. We had dinner at G-Ma's house first and got to see her, Poppa Jim and Grandma Shaw, so that was an extra bonus! As soon as graduation was over, the kids and I loaded up and drove back home, and Brian spent the night at G-Ma's house since he had to go to work the next morning. We made it home around 11:40 and I tucked all of the kids in bed with me. Needless to say, I was tired the next day! But it was so worth it & I'm so glad we went! (I wouldn't have done this for very many other people, but Thomas is just that special!) 

Madison's 1st Grade Art/School Work

Here is some of Madison's artwork & schoolwork from the end of her 1st grade year. I love that her character trait was "Attentive"...very fitting for her! We talk a lot about how creative and artistic Mackenzie is, but Madison is very much both of those things too! I am so proud of how much she has learned and how hard she has worked during 1st grade!
I was totally impressed by this!
Sweet, Beautiful Pony

Friday, May 13, 2016

Pretty Pierced Ears

Madison has been asking to get her ears pierced for a long time now. We've been putting it off, but we decided now would be a great time, so she could show her friends at school before the end of the year. She was especially wanting her friend, Claire to see her earrings! I looked online and saw that you can get your ears pierced at Claire's for around $30...well...that's all good and fine, but it ended up costing us $74! Why? Well, because we went with a pretty little pair of gold and blue flower studs that cost $55 and we paid an extra $12 for the advanced formula solution so that her ears would heal in 3 weeks instead of 6. (It was worth the $$!) We picked the girls up from school on Friday and headed to the mall. I seriously think Mackenzie was more nervous than Madison was! She kept asking to go stand on the other side of the store so she didn't have to watch, and at the last minute she ran and grabbed a stuffed animal for Madison to hold. I did let Mack get a pair of clip on earrings, but those she was complaining that they hurt before we even made it home! LOL! That girl makes me laugh! She has enough ear issues as it is, so no earrings for her right now! 
I could tell Madison was a little anxious, but she was very calm and when the girls counted down and pierced her ears at the same time, she didn't even flinch. Amazing!! She kept her eyes on me the whole time, and she got this serious, sad look on her face, but she didn't cry and we were so very proud of her!! She was one happy girl when it was done. Her earrings look so pretty! One more thing...she was very proud of the fact that she got her ears pierced before her big sister did! 
4 Weeks Out Update: A few days short of 3 weeks, Madison woke up and one of her earrings was missing. We had been swimming the night before, and after searching the house for that tiny blue flower, we have given up. =0( I'm so sad! I wanted to keep those forever...but at least I still have one of them. We put another set of earrings in, which I think hurt her more than the actual piercing did, but we got it done and she hasn't had any more problems! 
Pre-Earrings:
That's a very serious, sweet face right there...
She was thinking about crying, but once she realized it was all done...
...she was all smiles!!! YEA!!!
These were the perfect earrings for Madison! She has always loved blue.
Here are Mackenzie's clip-on's...during the 10 minutes that she wore them! =0)))
I sure do love this beautiful girl!! Daddy and Jonah were there to lend their support too, I just don't have any pics of them!
Two thumbs up!!
Mackenzie was such a good big sister and supporter during the whole ear piercing thing! I'm really glad Madison got to do something "first" for a change and it made her feel very special!
Madison was worried that her freckle would be covered up, but it looks just perfect!