Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to you - Happy Birthday to you...

Sarah turns the big 14 today.
We love you, baby.
Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday strawberries

From this...

To this....(there are 12 other jars out of photo range)


Makes for a happy family but messy kitchen!



Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Congrats!

Emily made the varsity team!
She just found out this evening.
First game -- August 18.

Congrats, #28! We are so very proud of you.
Time to rock the court!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

After a recent storm, we were rewarded with a double rainbow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The makings of a good father

I pray all of the families out there in blog-land had a peaceful Father's Day with their loved ones.
We spent the morning at church, where our pastor hit it out of the ball park with his Father's Day message, and the rest of the afternoon relaxing, playing and smiling. Perfect.

Part of the reason I keep this blog is for posterity. I have failed miserably at keeping a written journal so it is my hope that this blog will act as a memoir of sorts. What was I thinking? How did I react? What made me smile? What made me cry? How did my walk with the Lord change my heart and mind?

While watching Jeff yesterday, my heart swelled with love and joy. He has such caring spirit. He finds comfort in the smile of others. He is happiest when he is surrounded by those he can care for, showing love and tenderness. When the saying, "He wears his heart on his sleeve" was penned, they had Jeff in mind.

Yesterday, as part of the Father's Day service, our pastor asked Jeff to read a fun and colorful story to the church children. The pages were scanned to the big screen and a microphone was placed in Jeff's hand, with all of the beautiful children of our church family sitting at his feet. It was at that moment my heart nearly burst. I kept saying, "Thank you thank you thank you" to the Lord above. I am kicking myself for not bringing the camera to service yesterday. It was a small thing (reading from a children's book) but the beauty of it all was not lost. (edit - God Bless a church brother for snapping this picture)



One day, my children will come back to this entry and I want them to recall their father's deep laugh, sweet dimples, and sincere efforts to bring joy to his family and those around him. If I were to ask 10 people what makes a great dad, I'm sure to receive 200 different answers. These are my 3 answers. Just 3.

1. A good dad prays. Often.
2. A good dad keeps trying. He does not give up. He does not walk away. When he makes a mistake, he makes amends and gets back on the right path. While on the path, he is careful to stay in step with the Lord.
3. A good dad loves his wife with wild abandonment. I pray that my sons watch with a careful eye to see how Jeff treats me with tenderness, respect, and unconditional love. For if they do, they will know the wonders of a happy marriage. For my daughters, I pray that they find a man who matches their dad in character, devotion, and patience. By doing so, they will know the joy of being in a cherished marriage.

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day

Friday, June 13, 2008

Storms



As most of you have heard, the Midwest is being hit by severe storms, especially in Iowa.
Remember them in prayers.

Here in NE Indiana, we are becoming more and more water logged. The storms roll through with an annoying frequency, bringing a lot of rain in a short amount of time. Pair that with damaging winds and fierce lightning and you have a whole mess of chaos.

This past Monday, Paige and I were out for a mom/daughter time. We dropped Sarah off at gymnastics and headed over to Barnes and Noble at the mall. The moment we stepped into the store, rain began to fall. In a matter of minutes, the sky was black and the wind whipped through the parking lot. It was so bad, at one point, you couldn't even see out the store window.
This was no regular Midwest summer storm, this one was here to cause trouble.

I could feel Paige tense up as she moved closer to my side, reaching for my hand. I looked down at tears in her eyes. I leaned over and whispered a prayer in her ear and squeezed her hand. We decided to walk to the back of the store and find a book to keep us occupied. While walking, the employees of the store instructed everyone to move away from the front doors and windows for the time being. Security guards were asking people to not leave the store and/or mall.

Now I wanted to cry.

My mind raced to Jeff and the kids. I knew they were safe at home. I knew Paige and I would be safe at the store (there are tornado shelters located throughout the mall). Sarah? What about Sarah? She was around the corner in a large metal industrial building at gymnastics.

I tried to call the gym. No answer. I found myself praying the universal prayer, "Father, help me. I'm slipping into worry and fear." I took a deep breath, recited Jeremiah 32:17, and tried to call Jeff. Thankfully, he answered immediately. He had been trying to get through to us but the storms were obviously messing with the phone systems. He had just called the gym and the coaches pulled all of the girls off the floor and they were safe in the back enforced rooms of the the building.

I looked at my watch. It felt like forever but only 3 minutes had passed. The rain was pounding the building. The lights were flickering. The thunder was deafening. The dark ominous wind was still covering the parking lot. I tried to keep Paige occupied with several books, "Hey, look at this one. This was my favorite. Oh, this looks fun. Do you like this cover? Would you like to help me find this author?" She played along with my game but I knew I was *this* close to having a curly haired, sobbing daughter on the floor if things didn't improve quickly.

And then it happened. A small group of teens walked by, laughing and yelling, "Tornado. Tornado. Bring it. We're all gonna die."

Paige began to cry, hard. I hugged her tight and prayed over her. Why did the teens do that? Do they really think they were being funny? Would God understand if I would have beat them senseless with a nearby encyclopedia?

And just like that, the rain stopped. The wind quieted. I peeked around the corner and looked outside. It was clear. YAY! Paige and I went about the business of finding a book and enjoying dinner.

Before picking up Sarah we decided to visit the Christian bookstore. While driving, I realized that all of the stop lights in the area were out. A lot of businesses were dark. "The storm must have knocked out power for this area," I thought. We continue to the small strip mall where the Christian store is located and I realize that everything, minus Walmart, it dark and empty. I drive through the lot, thinking we will have to visit the store another time and what do we see? In the midst of all the darkness, there is light. The Christian bookstore was bright and open. They were not affected by the storm.

Isn't that cool? Isn't that a lot like life? In the midst of the darkest storm, Christ shines bright.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Summer lunches under the front maple.


Pretty purple planter in the front garden. The angel statue was given to me by my sweet Aunt Mary Beth.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Home-grown simplicity

Fluffy peonies in a sundae dish......


Pretty pink peonies in a mason jar...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

More on hospitality

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hospitality

Photobucket

Yesterday, we had a team meeting at church. We found ourselves discussing hospitality. Hospitality is such a forgotten word in today's busy world. That is a shame.

I am reminded of Mary and Martha from the book of Luke. While Martha was rushing around making things presentable for, Jesus -- Mary found herself at His feet, eager to learn. Admittedly, I identify with Martha on most days, but I can recognize the beauty of Mary's reaction. She simply wanted to look into His eyes and hear His words. She was available. When Martha shared her bewilderment with the Lord, he replied, "Mary has chosen what is better..."

If we are to treat our church as a second home, we must treat every person that enters through the doors as a cherished guest. How do you welcome a friend into your personal home? Do you keep their comfort in mind? Present your finest items? Put on your best attitude? Give them your undivided attention? The same concept should apply within the church building.

It is important to take the time to smile, hug, and listen to those in our home. The best wine glasses will never replace the loving embrace of a friend. A well prepared dinner tastes better when it is shared with a smiling host. In the Bible, how many times did Jesus bring joy through a touch or willingness to listen?

One of the pastors at our church is equated with hugs and smiles. He makes it his personal goal to hug as many people as possible each and every day. For some people, his hug may be the only human touch they receive all week. Humbling, yet powerful.

Last Sunday, I had the privilege of praying with a sister in Christ. She was weary. She needed a word of encouragement. She desired a warm hug. She wanted to be heard. Within a few minutes, her tears turned to a smile and she knew that she mattered, not only to God, but to me. Isn't that what we all want to hear from time to time?

She found me on Wednesday and said, "Kim, thank you. Today is a good day." Awesome! I hugged her and said, "Friend, thank-you." She may not realize it, but by allowing me to be a blessing, she blessed me in return. Funny how that happens, yes?

Go be a blessing.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Emily's summer project in preparation for this fall.