Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the one where I want to win

I want to win this book giveaway, and you get extra points for posting on your blog. So I'm doing that.

Friday, June 24, 2011

the one about my job

I'm on maternity leave, so I've been living life nearly college student free for 7 weeks. It's been good to stop, rest, and focus on my family. However, this week God reminded me in a big way that I'm living my dream with the greatest ministry in the world.

At 3 am the other night feeding Lily I checked my facebook messages and had several from college girls. They were all bursting at the seams to tell me about the amazing things God is doing in their lives. How He's setting them free from sin, giving them victory over strongholds, enabling them to walk in freedom, and drawing them to His Word. When I got back to bed I couldn't even sleep. It is an incredible joy to be able to watch God move in girls' lives and to even be a small part of it. I'm so blessed.

Yesterday I went to a breakfast we have once a semester with college ministers from around the Birmingham area. Emily Grace, one of our Shades homekids, is interning with UMin this semester while I'm gone. She came to the breakfast and posted about it on her blog afterwards. It was great to read this and to be reminded from someone else's perspective about how totally blessed I am to do ministry at UMin and to be surrounded by such incredible people.

I love my job this summer: just ministering to my husband and my girls. But I'm grateful that come August I get to go back to my DREAM job: walking with and leading beautiful college girls all across Birmingham!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

the one about weeds

We moved into this house 4 years ago in April. Crazy. Anyway, when we moved in there was some really nice landscaping around the house. The previous owners had paid to have the yard professionally done. The flower beds had weed netting in them and everything looked great. There is really only one big flower bed and it's right outside the kitchen off the back patio. I never took a picture of it, but something similar to this:

Flowers, random plants, and lots of bark. Well, you all know that I aspire to be much more than I am, but gardener isn't even on the list. I don't like gardening. I think beautiful yards are great, and yay for the people who do it, but I just don't want to spend my life planting flowers and pulling weeks. A vegetable garden I get, because you get to eat your hard work, but flower beds I don't get. So, after 4 years of two dachshunds digging holes and pulling up the netting and some total and utter apathy on my part, this is what the flower bed looks like today:

I could have taken an actual picture of the weed garden, but that might be just a tad bit too honest for my taste. Suffice it to say that the weeds are out of control and it is ugly.

Once or twice a year I give in to the pressure [mostly from my husband] and the guilt [my mother owns this house and highly values a nice yard] and I go outside and tackle the flower bed. It takes several multiple hour shifts on multiple days to get it down to an acceptable level. Each time I'm out there sweating and pulling up stubborn weeds, I can't help but reflect on how this little flower bed is much like my spiritual life.
It doesn't matter that the garden was planted by a great gardener, the tending of it is up to me. I sure do appreciate the way things are when the garden is clean, healthy, and growing, but my apathy allows far too many weeds to grow. And weeds are HARD to get rid of.
This analogy isn't new. Jesus spent much of His time talking about gardens and weeds. I can't imagine how many countless believers have yanked at a stubborn weed only to reflect on the state of their heart. But yesterday as I spent an hour pulling weeds I was truly overcome at how apathetic I have been lately. In my ministry one of my least favorite things to hear from a college student is that they are "too busy" for Jesus. It makes me want to puke. College students just have no idea how much time is on their hands. But, for the past two months I've been living out that excuse in my life. I'm too busy, too tired, too pregnant, I have a newborn, I haven't slept in days...you get the picture. It's not that I feel my life is overcome with weeds, it's that I haven't spent any time with my Creator. I have neglected the author of my life just because I've been consumed with me.

My prayer is that for the next few days I keep the image of those weeds at the forefront of my mind and I spend time just being with Jesus.
I posted this because I always work well with a little accountability. Now that I know that you know that I'm a slacker maybe it'll keep me a tad more motivated. Hope you're walking with Jesus, my friends.

the one where we're alone

Adam's mom came and got Chloe Belle on Monday and took her back to Beulah for a week. I'm so grateful for her because we really needed a break. It's funny, though. We desperately needed the peace and quiet, but I have to say that both mommy and daddy are desperately missing their little girl. So sad not to see her playing around the house all day long.

I miss Chloe Belle.

But, we are so happy to have a few days with just Lily. With your first child you take for grated all of the undivided attention you are able to lavish on them the first days of life. This week I've had lots of goals, from cleaning the kitchen to paying bills, but I'm trying to soak up each moment I have to hold and love on Lily. It's been super nice to be able to give her all our love.

We like her. I think she's for keeps.