30 May 2015

In the back yard

Yesterday was the last day of school for three of the kiddos. (Walter was done last week.) You may have heard that we've had a lot of rain in Texas over the past month. Flooding in our area has been minimal, nothing like the damage done further north and east of us.  In many ways the rain is most welcome because Texas has been in a long drought; that may be coming to an end (we hope).  
Yesterday was a welcome sunny day, not too hot, clear skies.  I took the opportunity to sit in the back yard and enjoy the not-hotness for a while, as I know I won't have many not-hot days from now until probably November.
I'm glad it's summer, but it doesn't feel as free or as gleeful as usual.  This year I've got a job which doesn't really take summers off.  I certainly have some flexibility and can also do work from home, if needed.  But I AM very glad to be free to get up early and not have to all rush off to school.  It's a good change in pace and I'm sure I'll learn the new rhythms of summer time and work time.
I think being a teacher all those years spoiled me to getting off work when the children did.  What a blessing!
What does summer mean for you?  Does your schedule change or stay the same?  What things do you look forward to in this season?

I liked the red of the flowers down below and the red of the umbrella up above.

Can you see the amount of water in the bowl?  That is how much fell night before last during a VERY loud thunder storm.   
There is our little buddy, Fenway.  He's just about four months old.  

26 May 2015

Come to Me

Sneaking in here, hoping to blog a bit more.

I've been suffering with anxiety and worry of late. This song, though meant for children, makes me cry every time I hear it, and soothes my soul. The last line describes something I want very much to do: "Learn to rest even while you are awake."

The lyrics describe me too well:

Are you tired?
Are you worried?
Worn out from the day?
Have you been in a hurry?
I will slow the pace.

In her book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Rosaria Butterfield describes a time when she and her husband were planting a church. She was responsible for feeding 50 people, almost single-handedly, each Sunday. Reading about her experience as a church planting wife gave me an appreciation that our work in church planting is different. I can't say it's easier, as different things seem hard or easy depending on the person. But one thing she said intrigued me and still does. She said that in that deeply trying time of busy-ness and unrelenting work, she and her husband found rest in God's Word. What does that mean? It obviously wasn't a physical rest or a break in the work. I have been mulling that idea for months, and trying to remember that I can find rest from the unrelenting nature of church-planting by drinking in great draughts of God's life-giving Word.  

I pray I can hide myself in Him and find deep rest, even while I am awake and my body keeps moving. There is so much to think about on this topic. I'd love to know your thoughts or insights.

14 June 2014

Just sing

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

"The reason why singing is such a splendid shield against the fiery darts of the devil is that it greatly helps us to forget him, and he cannot endure being forgotten.  He likes us to be occupied with him, with what he is doing (our temptations), with his victories (our falls), with anything but our glorious Lord.  So sing.  Never be afraid of singing too much.  We are much more likely to sing too little.
There are times, however, when we cannot sing aloud.  This verse covers that inward singing that so often lifts the heart Heavenward. God make us a singing company."

--Amy Carmichael, in my very favorite devotional of all time, "Edges of His Ways"

13 June 2014

Our wildflower field

Some people have nicely manicured lawns. Some,like us, have more of a weedy patch with some grass thrown in.
But these days, after some good rains, we have our own wild flower field in the front yard!
We are enjoying it so much while it lasts. Our big live oak with two swings in in and these flowers make our front yard a lovely place to be.

Last night there were storms all around us, but our town was as calm and as still as could be.  A tornado watch showed up on the TV screen as we were watching the Spurs game, and then my younger two were beside themselves with worry.  I tried to calm them by showing them how far away all the storms were. We looked at the weather radar on my phone, we noticed that we could see lightning but not hear any thunder.  They finally began to feel better when we noticed we could see clear sky from our back yard.  It was beautiful.

Last night wasn't a good night for me as a mother. I was too impatient, yelled too much and stormed around in frustration (with one child in particular, but all this ugliness affects everyone).  I am so glad they forgave me before we went to bed. 

Jesus, help me today to look to you, to keep perspective and to remember the tender hearts of my children.

12 June 2014

In sumerrrrrr!

Hola, mis amigos.

I'm posting pictures of gallery night at our elementary school (which was several weeks ago, before school got out), just because the ART IS AWESOME.  So colorful and fun.  And every student's art is included, which I love. Let's all be artists, okay?

This was Theo's chorus performance, in which he and two other boys sang such a sweet rendition of "Little Surfer Girl".  These kids are awesome and did a great job!

Yesterday we were at the pool.  Lucy and her friend, Ellie, were playing with a boy named Nathan, who had been in Lucy's class this past year.

He swam up to me and said, "I was in Lucy's class.  I'm going to be swimming tomorrow, too.  Can Lucy call all our classmates and invite them to come here tomorrow?"

It was so cute.  It was as if he were saying, "This swimming is great, but what would make it even better would be if ALL OUR CLASSMATES were here, too."  I love that!

Also of note:  in the car yesterday, Lucy told us that she knows what the word "ego" means.  This was in the context of a discussion about Justin Bieber (hmmm).  Her explanation is that when someone is famous or rich or has done amazing things and then they just take that TOO FAR, that constitutes a big ego.  She said, "I think that is what has happened to Miley Cyrus.  She just took it too far."  Of course, later I thought of all the spiritual applications I could have tied in...ah well.

13 May 2014

Easing In

...to blogging.

People, I've missed this space.  

Spring break in March.  We went to El Mercado in San Antonio with some of our besties.  I LOVE Mexican culture! 

This is Lucy and one of her very best pals.  They are SO ADORABLE together.  I love their friendship so much.  Also, MEXICAN PASTRIES!!!!!!

Theo has taken up the accordion.  Not really, but maybe he should?!
The look on Clay's face indicates his overall disposition these 8th grade days.  I love him and insist that he hug me multiple times a day.  It's good for him, right?! Oh, and yes, I am letting my hair go naturally gray! 
My in-laws gave us season passes to Fiesta Texas!  Score!  This was our first visit, in March.  We didn't go on any of the scary rides you see in these pics.  It was just a reconnaissance mission.

This is our back porch.  We actually burned a lot of wood this winter in our cozy fireplace.  Good times.

We have several of these "poky plants" in our front and back yards.  Walter HATES them but that is because he alone has popped at least five different balls on these things:  three soccer, one football and one basketball.  Quite a record.  They are pretty gorgeous when they bloom!
The oldest and the youngest members on John's side of the family!  That is Memaw, John's grandma, who just turned 90 years young, and Ruben, our nephew, who is about a month in this photo.

Easter Sunday 2014, our first Easter as a congregation with Christ Church Kerrville.  Theo is thrilled by the resurrection.
Lucy has been taking violin lessons this year, as well as playing in a youth orchestra.  We are lucky to have such an organization in our town.

This is one of the only slightly poky plants in our yard.  They are really lovely in bloom, too!
This year we actually planted things in pots both on the front porch and the back.  Around here, you need plants that are drought-resistant, deer-resistant and Kit-resistant.  Here's to keeping things alive!

And now you're all caught up on our lives since I last blogged ten (10) months ago. See you next March! (hopefully you'll see me before then, but one never knows.)