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Saturday, April 28, 2012

crazy crazy

i feel like i have so much to do.
ever been there?
i don't know why i can't seem to catch up on anything.
i feel like i am always behind on laundry,
i have tons of editing to do,
i have a newsletter to write for The Porch - not to mention about 100 other things that i need to get done that has to do with the porch.
i have at least 3 emails that i have to reply to...but they're the kind of emails that take thought. and time...so i just haven't responded at all.
i have school that i need to be really focused on this week, since i plan to have the boys take their tests on friday.
i have my parenting video of the week that i have to do.
i haven't even fully unpacked from our trip to new jersey and i haven't blogged about my birthday boy yet.
and i feel like i could write about another million things here that i have to get done.
and do you know what i need the most?
to stop.
just stop.
be still.
i feel like that is literally the hardest thing for me to do.
i have been really thinking about hearing God speak to me.
i mean, actually HEAR him.
now...to totally put myself out there,
i don't feel like i know what hearing God speak to me really means.
i don't remember having this time where i just knew that this was God telling me to do something.
(sorry if your opinion of me just dropped a million percent. i am just keeping it real here.)
but do you know what i want to work on?
see, the Bible tells me that He does speak to me.
it says that His sheep hear his voice...and that word hear?
it means really hear. i would know - i looked it up in the greek. ha!
so my challenge to you...and to myself -
is to be still before God.
to stop what you are doing. give yourself a good 30 minutes where you will not allow anyone, or anything to interrupt you.
and just open your Bible. read. and then be quiet. be still.
i know that for some of you it might seem like an impossible feat to have 30 minutes to yourself.
but even if it means waking up early, just do it! make it a priority!

i need to do it myself.
right now.
because the editing can wait.
the emails can wait.
the newsletters and unpacking and laundry can wait.
my time with God?
can't wait. it can't.
i can't let it.
because if i decide to push that off,
if i decide to have it be one more thing on my enormous list of things to do...
then everything else in my life will suffer.
my relationships, my attitude, my actions.
and i don't want that. i really don't.
so for now?
i am going to stop. and just listen.
i can not wait to hear what God says to me.

Friday, April 27, 2012

God controls the weather

don't even try and tell me otherwise!
i took a trip to new jersey this week.
now...new jersey is not my favorite state in some ways.
no offense to anyone, it's just that...
well, new jersey stole my sister.
and i hate that.
but it's my favorite in other ways because...
well, new jersey has my sister (and a few other awesome girls that i love!)
moving on.

i was there to do a family shoot of melanie's in-laws.
we were scheduled to have the shoot at 4:30 on wednesday.
at 3:30, there were big, huge, dark clouds and drizzle!
i had literally no plan b, so the weather had to cooperate!!
i started praying.
and got some other people to pray.
and by 4:30 - clouds were gone, and a bright blue sky replaced them!
it was perfect weather. just perfect!

we had a gorgeous location, and we had an awesome time!
here are a few of my favorite shots from the day!

thank you, wampler family, for such a fun time,
and thank you, God, for bringing out the sun!

Monday, April 23, 2012

honoring your father and mother

i have had these thoughts floating around in my head for several months now, but yesterday's sermon on the fifth commandment brought them back up.

i have had the opportunity to talk with so many different people on the topic of parents, and in-laws because of the young adults group that we are a part of.
i have seen all kinds of issues...from parents that are too overbearing to parents that don't expect anything.
from in-laws who still completely control their married children, to in-laws who don't put any effort into their married children at all!

i am particularly interested in the discussions of in-laws, because i realize that when my two boys get married someday, I will be the mother-in-law!

one thing that i have seen recently, is a wave of studies teaching men to be real leaders of their families, and raising their sons to be the same.

of course this is a good thing, and i am certainly not saying otherwise.
it is totally important for a man to leave his parents and cleave to his wife. (genesis 2:24)
it is totally important for a man to put the needs of his wife ahead of the needs of his mother.
no doubt.

i think that there is a real danger here in putting so much emphasis on one, that you totally miss the other.
here's what i mean.

it can be very easy to so emphasize the fact that your husband must show honor and love to you as his first priority...
that you almost encourage him to show no honor or respect to his parents.

the Bible is so clear about honoring your parents.
when this command was given (notice i said command, not suggestion) it was not given at a children's convention.
it was given to a group of people including adults! this makes it very clear that we, as adults, are to honor our parents!

honor defined is: to treat with admiration and respect

interesting, right? what does respect and admiration look like?
it looks like this:
~speaking highly of your parents (and in-laws) when they are with you, and when they are not with you. (to your spouse, to your kids, to your friends)
~praying for them
~putting their needs ahead of your own. (just because your husband/wife is now your first priority, does not excuse you from putting philippians 2:3-4 into practice!!)
~telling them that you respect and admire them (they need encouragement too!)

i love the verse in Proverbs 14:1 that says "the wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down"

how could i be tearing down my house?
by tearing down my parents or my in-laws.
by speaking critically of what they are doing, or have done.
by showing my kids that they only have to follow what i say, and not what i do.
(it's ok to talk about certain people in a negative way?)
by turning my husband against my parents, or his own parents.
by finding the negative in situations that i could just as easily find the positives.

and a million other stinking little ways.

my encouragement to you from this command to honor your parents is this...

honor your parents! 
ha...pretty obvious!
but stop yourself the next time you find yourself opening your mouth to say something critical about your parents.
stop yourself the next time you start to say something negative about your in-laws.

what would your point be?
i often think about how i would feel if my boys marry a girl who bring up all my bad qualities!
i do have a lot, and i have no doubt that it would be easy to point them out.
i hate the thought of a girl turning my babies against me.
(and yes, i think i may always call them my babies even though they are much older now!)
i want them to find a girl who will encourage our relationship. who will remind them to show honor and respect to me. who will be thankful for the mother that i have been to them, and the training i have given them.
i think they would owe me that!
and i think that i owe my own mother and mother-in-law the same respect that i would want.

so going back to where i started...
yes, it is important for a man to break away from his parents and be dedicated and committed to his own wife.
BUT - it is equally important to honor your parents.
yes, equally. we can not put one command as worthy of obeying...more.
we are just to obey all the commands!

i want to take a little more time this week.
put a little more effort in, in making sure that i am obeying the fifth commandment and honoring my parents.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

soccer birthday party

aj wanted a soccer theme birthday party this year.
since he doesn't like cake, i decided to just make brownies (his favorite) and cupcakes.
i thought they came out pretty good!

it was perfect weather, and we stayed outside most of the time.
he invited a few friends and had a great time!
they started out with a goal-scoring-contest...

riley insisted on being the goalie the entire time...in his flip flops!

 then they played soccer tennis.

then it was cake and present time...he blew out the candles, but didn't eat the cake! ha

we had live music. only the best for my aj :)

thank you to everyone who came to his party and made it so special for him!

Friday, April 13, 2012

soccer boys

my boys love to play soccer, and i love to watch them play!
aj's birthday is coming up and he wants the theme of his party to be soccer.
so he juggled. and i shot.
gotta get a birthday party invitation together!

riley wanted to take just one shot before we went in the house..
and this is what we got
from this?

to this

i wish i could upload what his giggle sounded like as he hopped over to get his sneaker!

i love these boys like a mad fool.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

aj's photography

aj is taking a craft class at co-op and had to take some nature pictures.
i just wanted to show his great work!
looks like i may have a second shooter in the making!

Monday, April 09, 2012


my sister and her family came up for a visit and to spend easter with us this year..
we threw in a quick photo shoot of callen

my mom decided to do a little egg dyeing with the kids

we then had sunrise service bright and early

then we had a great big breakfast and a great church service.
there was a whole lot of dart guns, and drawsomething going on all day long.

a very happy easter.

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