Well hello 2014.
Not long after the start of the year I had the opportunity to be in the car for 4 hours by myself while on the way to pick up the girls from a week long visit with BeBe. I quickly pulled up Andy Stanley on my phone. He is also my go to if I'm running by myself. Each message is 28 minutes long, so two of them are about all the mileage I need on a solo run! I get so consumed in his words I forget I'm pounding the pavement and brings life to every boring run by myself! His Your Move app is amazing. I highly recommend it, and its free! And for those of you wondering, he is the pastor of a mega church in Atlanta, Northpoint Community Church. We visited several times while living in Georgia. For me, every message is such a relate-able one and I'm able to take a little nugget (if not two) from each one. As a believing mom and parent and wife, I just can't get enough of those nuggets. While driving to Knoxville, I selected the Free series. It just sounded, well, don't we all want to be free from something? It's based on this verse:
Romans 7: 15-20
'I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do . . . For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.'
Basicaly, we all mess up. All the time. Everyday. And by the end Andy brings to life simple truths that Jesus meant for us to live by. Simple truths that I need reminding of daily. Check it out. It was a refreshing drive to Knoxville, I was truly energized.
So there was that.
Then there are the parables in Matthew that we are dissecting in my weekly BSF study. Talk about deep life lessons that Jesus taught to thousands of doubting unbelievers! And once you've read them, discussed them and read lots of commentary this is what lies in the heart of them: compassion, acceptance, authenticity and forgiveness.
Then there is our series at church. Climate Change. We're all in charge of our own climate (attitude/perspective), right? And we are so unaware (most of the time) how our climates really affects each relationship and interaction we have in a given day. Guess what we're talking about? Compassion. Acceptance. Authenticity. Forgiveness.
So in the midst of my daily struggle of have I done enough...have I loved enough? have I cleaned enough? have I given enough? have I supported my children and husband? am I working too much? are my kids eating too much junk? why don't my kids sleep well? and on and on and on....I think God is telling me to just relax. Find Him in the midst of all this mumbo jumbo and hang on. Find the joy in the small things. Surrendering to His will every day, (which is the hard part). So, God, here I am telling you I get it! I'm listening! I am so thankful you are patient and full of compassion and forgiveness!
This is good stuff, huh? So in the last month I've seen 3 movies, which is more than I've seen in the last year. Frozen, Disney's heart warming (so sorry for the pun!) story of two sisters. My children are addicted. We have books, the soundtrack and they've seen in twice in theatres. LOVE IT. The other two, Wolf on Wall Street and August: Osage County have plots involving highly dis-functional relationships. Between these two movies I've also surpassed my f-bomb quota for the next century. At the end of each you almost left speechless. The sex and drugs and language in Wolf on Wall Street, coupled with its length (3 hours) made me want to walk out mid way through. Actually, several people did walk out of this movie while we were there. As my sister said at its end, "I feel like I need to go to church and confess right now!" Seriously. Then August: Osage County had terrible language, although it had really funny moments, it left you totally deflated at the end. I need a good Nicholas Sparks movie. Although there are big actors and actresses who will probably win awards for these performances I can't help but think, really? These stories are awful. Maybe the August movie just hit too close to home in terms of watching manipulation, a strict pecking order, a web of secrets, cancer, alcholism, suicide, a very mean mother. My family does not fall into everyone of these categories, but several of them fit. The daily grind and maintaining relationships (not to mention all this preaching on relationships I've had in a month) is hard enough without watching it on a screen. Thus, my soapbox about TV. And on that note, I'm off of it! Thank Disney for a great story, one of their better ones in a long time!
So, we're off to a good start. I've hit the ground running with lots of balls in the air! I'm so thankful for God's grace in this beautiful mess we've created. I ask daily that my hands and feet do His will, not mine.
Here are some shots of the children from a shoot in October.
We also had a surprise home visit from the big man from up north. I love John William's suspisious look of Mrs. Clause! That was as close as he would let me get to her!
Design updates coming up.