Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Refreshing Break. . .

We began renovating our home on September 25th - a mere three months ago. But, I assure you it feels more like a year or more. We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are moving home this weekend. The work is far from finished, but our home is now liveabe - so we are going there. And, I cannot wait.

The last three months have been crazy. I often wonder how I will remember these months. I think they will always be a bit of a blur to me. I am trying to mentally slow down, so that I do not miss today while looking so forward to tomorrow. . .

But, God gave me a bit of an oasis over Christmas. A refreshing little break! I got to spend several days at Erik's brother's home. This is the home of my sweet sister-in-love, Jen. One day I will tell the story of how we were nursing school buddies - virtually inseparable for two years and then, we married brothers. You know, so we didn't have to be apart. . . just kidding! We both really do love our husbands. The fact that they are brothers - making us officially sisters and our children blood related - is just icing on the cake.

As I look back over the last five years, between Jen and I, we have had a newborn every Christmas except one. And, we use nursing our babies as our little way of getting some "alone time" during the holidays. This year she had the newborn, and I followed her to a quiet room several times over the days we spent there so that I could chit chat with her as she nursed baby Abby. And, we always remark at how refreshing it is to be together. . . It is like our song says. . . Our song is a song by Watermark. And, one of the lines says, "Something about just being with you. When I leave I feel like I've been with God." Jen is calm, peaceful, slow and easy. She has a soothing effect on me. And, she loves me more than I understand. And, though I feel unworthy, I am so grateful.

And, now it is back to Real Life. We got back last night around 8:00 p.m., and Erik left for work at 8:00 a.m. this morning. I began the morning with 50 phone calls and a few errands - running back and forth from the rent house to our home 4 or 5 times. But, what keeps me going is the thought that one of these days, I will be in my new house with peaceful music playing in the background as little boys laugh and play. And, life will once again be calm and somewhat routine. Ahhhh. . . But, I am thankful for the little refreshing break God gave me over Christmas. My soul needed it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I Love This Face!

I Will Never Fire You. . .

My mother. . . She is such a special lady. Her heart is for others. Selfless. For as long as I can remember she has lived outside herself, outside her comfort zone, outside our family, outside our social class. She has allowed no barriers in her work for God. Throughout my years growing up under her model, she has volunteered in too many ways to tell - everything from teaching a poor elderly man to read his first words to mentoring young girls in an inner-city elementary school. You see, her mother was the same way. My grandma in her 80's was still volunteering at the hospital, teaching a young hispanic girl English in an afterschool program, and hosting Bible studies in her home. And, I pray that I, too, will model this ministry of giving of myself to others, and that my sons will model it for their children. This is a legacy worth protecting.

This weekend my mother gave of herself by coming and watching my boys so that Erik and I could get away. I am so thankful for the time she gave us. She will never know how grateful I am! She works my home like a well-oiled machine. I came home to a house full of happy boys, new toys, and 4 loads of fresh clean laundry. She had taken them on a variety of fun outings. And, today they have been asking for Nana all day. I wonder why?

I called her mid-way through the weekend, and I asked what they were up to. . .

She said, "Well, I think we are going to go back to Wal-Mart."
So, I asked, "Why, you already went once?"
Mom said, "Well, Joshua needs something. . ."
I had to ask, "What?"
She answered, "Well, we got these engines (Thomas trains), and he needs some more. . ."
I quickly replied, "No, he doesn't. You are spoiling him. . ."
To which she asked, "If I spoil him, are you going to fire me?"

Joshua obviously overheard our conversation and pondered it for a while. Later at Wal-Mart Joshua and Nana had this conversation. . .

Out of the Blue, in the toy section of Wal-Mart, Joshua says: "Nana, don't just worry about Mommy firing you. . .Daughters can't fire mothers. . . Mommy won't fire you. . . She wouldn't do that. . ." My mom at this point thought he knew what being fired meant. . .

Then, he finished his thought. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego got fired. But, they disobeyed the king. . . Mommy isn't going to fire you. . . Don't just worry about it."

Thanks Mommy, for giving me a rare weekend alone with my love. And, don't just worry - I will never fire you!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A, B, C meme

I was tagged by Kim at Lifesong-kim.blogspot.com (sorry, I still don't know how to link). So, here we go. . .

A - available/single - Very much married and unavailable, and I pray that my status doesn't change - ever.

B--Best Friend - My beloved Erik, of course.

C--Cake or Pie - Cake, no question, chocolate with a large glass of milk. I am partaking of that combo this very moment!

D--Drink of Choice - I love coffee, but I think my all-time favorite drink is a Chai Latte from Starbucks. The first sip is like heaven - peaceful, relaxing, ahhhh. . .

E--Essential item you use everyday - my coffee maker

F--Favorite color - Baby blue

G--Gummy bears or Worms - Worms, the sour ones! Makes my mouth water to think about them. . .

H--Hometown - I consider a small town in southeast Arkansas to be my home. We moved there when I was 9, and we moved away when I was in college. So all the memorable years of my growing up were in that little farming community.

I--Indulgence - an occasional manicure or massage. Oh, and I love to play at a make-up counter. I used to say that being a make-up artist was my dream job.

J--January or February - February, two of my favorite little men were born in that sweet month!

K--Kids - I have 2 little boys and one on the way!

L--Life is incomplete without... Good friends.

M--Marriage Date - April 17, 1999

N--Number of siblings - I have 2 - an older sister and an older brother.

O--oranges or apples - Oranges. I serve apples to my boys and myself for lunch everyday, but I would rather eat a really good orange.

P--Phobias/Fear - I fly on airplanes several times a year, but I still get nervous every single time. Oh, and tornados or any kind of severe thunderstorm - especially when I am driving.

Q--Favorite Quote - If you haven't found something worth dying for, you're not really living.

R--Reason to Smile - a kiss from a cute little red-headed boy!

S--Season - Fall - no competition here. Spring is second.

T--I tag Deidre (again I don't know how to link, sorry.)

U--Unknown fact about myself - I like my showers scalding hot. Our rent house has no respect for this need of mine. (3 more weeks and we get to move home!!)

V--Vegetable you don't like - English peas

W--Worst habit - Eating sweets.

X--x-ray - Only dental. I've never had a broken bone.

Y--Your favorite food - Chicken Quesadillas and Potato Soup - but not together. Oh, and I love my mama's pot roast.

Z--Zodiac - I think I am a Scorpio, but I am not sure.

And that is the A-Z on me!!

My Son, the Poster Child for Juice Plus


This picture says it all. . . Joshua is dipping one of his vegetable gummies (vitamins - but a juice plus rep would argue that they are much more than just vitamins - hence why I spend a fortune on them each month) in cheese dip. And, it is not just cheese dip. It is what we, at our house, call "white cheese dip." You know, the real thing, the good stuff, from our local Mexican restaraunt. My son has a theory - "Everything tastes better with cheese dip on it!" And, I would have to agree with him. . . most of the time.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Sweet Lesson, an Overflowing cup, and a Precious Baby. . .

Isn't it amazing the thought that God placed each of our children into our families. We do not choose; He does the choosing. We are the blessed recipients of His goodness. Biological or adopted each child is placed perfectly into the family in which God ordained for the child to be reared. He knows our needs and the needs of the little ones with whom He entrusts us. And, He divinely pairs us up. He doesn't ask for our help. He knows better. He knows best. To me that is precious, and I am so thankful for it.

God has chosen to, once again, bless our sweet family with a little boy! And, the moment that I saw his little profile on the ultrasound screen I knew. . . I knew that he was mine, given to me by my God. I marveled at his little arms, legs and hands - all so precious to me. I watched him moving constantly, putting his tiny arm over his face, and, I fell in love with him.

I must be completely honest and say that as we drove to the restraunt for our post-ultrasound date a selfish thought occured to me. . . the thought that I may never have a daughter. And, a strange saddness came over me, a feeling of loss. This thought has occured to me before, but I usually push it away knowing that it is wrong and ungrateful. I shared my feelings with my sweet husband. And, for a few minutes I contemplated it all. And, I heard my God sweetly saying, "Does the clay say to the Potter. . ." Erik looked me in the eyes and said, "God has chosen us to raise Godly men. This is our cup. Embrace your cup." (He actually said that - "embrace your cup" - it got to me - deeply.)

This is my unique cup chosen for me by my Father. How sweet is that. No matter what our cup holds, the contents have all been sifted through His sovereign fingers and poured gently there by hands of love. I cherish that. I trust that. Whatever we long for - be it a daughter, a child to call our own, health for a child we love , a husband to love and be loved by, whatever it is, He knows our longing. He knows, and He cares. And, with great love for us He gives us each our portion and our cup. But, the beauty is in the end of the verse. (Can you tell this is my life verse?) Our lot is secure. We are secure in Him no matter our cup, no matter our earthly assingment. We are His, we are loved, and we are secure.

So, tonight as we drove home from a long afternoon of shopping, our boys both fell asleep in the backseat. It was about 7:45 when we got home. We each took a child to put to bed. Erik took Joshua, and I took JCT. I walked around to the other side of the car, looked inside, and stared in amazement at this precious child. He was sound asleep, lips all puffed out sweetly. I just paused for a minute and watched him sleep. Then, I slowly took him out of his carseat, sliding one of my hands under each of his arms. And, I held his sweet little body to my chest, soft, sleepy breaths in my ear. I carried him inside, changed his clothes, and put him in his bed. Then, I went to kiss Joshua who was already asleep in his bed. Again, through the pale moonlight of his window, I marveled at God's handiwork. I kissed his soft wind-chapped cheek, and I was overwhelmed. I heard my Father speaking deeply into my heart. . . "Does the clay say to the Potter. . ." And, with a tear gently rolling down my cheek, I quietly replied, "No, Father, no." His faithfulness overwhelms me.

I know it is a silly and selfish thing for me to have thought, but in all honesty it was my thought. And, I wanted to share how God walked me through it. I love how He does that. He doesn't give up on us. No, He walks us through our situations, no matter how silly. I tend to make mountains out of mole-hills, but He faithfully walks with me, journeys alongside me. He knows I am a drama queen. He made me. Isn't it awesome to have your Creator as your best friend! The one Who knit us together in our mother's womb, loves us, and walks with us until we meet Him face to face!

Okay, now on a lighter note, I will tell you what my Joshua said when we told him that the baby was a boy. Let me preface this by saying that he has wanted a sister since JCT was born. He used to call JCT his sister - which we quickly put a stop to! Anyway, he has called this baby a girl from the beginning of the pregnancy. And, the whole way home from dinner I was dreading telling him the news. So, when we got home, we sat the boys down in front of the TV. We played the video of the ultrasound and pointed out the baby to the boys. JCT wasn't very interested, but Joshua was. At one point the baby spread his little legs, and Erik took the opportunity to tell Joshua. He said, "See there are his legs, and there is his poe poe. He has a poe poe like you, Joshua. Do you know what that means? That means that the baby is a brother. You are going to have another brother! What do you think about that!!!" Erik is all smiles. Joshua puts on a huge frowny face and growls like some sort of wild, hungry animal. I wait to see what he will say. . . And, then out of no where, Joshua quits growling and says, "Just throw that poe poe away!!!!!!!"

He, too, will learn to embrace his cup, for his lot is secure.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Will it be a Kelly or a Cecilia?

Tomorrow is our big day - the day of our ultrasound! We are hoping and praying that they will tell us that a healthy little baby is thriving in there! And, yes, we will find out whether it is a boy or a girl.

Unlike my other 2 pregnancies where I read and journaled faithfully about the baby's development, etc., writing prayer after prayer for the darling ones inside me, this time I have been a little busy. And, to be honest the last 4 months have been a blur. At times I feel a little guilty about that. Even my mom will say, "I keep forgetting that you are pregnant." To which I respond, "Don't feel bad. I keep forgetting, too." Until the little one kicks, and reminds me that he/she is very much residing there inside me.

So, I thought I'd take a minute to slow down and ponder this little one. Names are vitally important to Erik and I. Both our boys have names chocked full of meaning - first and middle names. James Christofer Truett even got 3 names!! And, this third child will be no different.

This baby was conceived, most likely, while we were vacationing with Erik's family in the mountains of Tennessee this summer. We were at Dollywood when my mom called to tell us to be praying because Cecilia had found a lump under her arm. A little over a week later we received another call from my mom letting us know that the lump was in fact breast cancer. She had fought breast cancer valiently at age 32, and now at age 36 she was faced with it again. Three days later we saw 2 pink lines on a little white stick. And, as soon as I found out that we were pregnant, I told Erik that this baby would be named Cecilia if it was a girl, and he agreed.

And, if this little one is a boy, there has been no question that this boy would be named after my brother, Kelly. The little guy will be either Elijah Kelly or Daniel Kelly. We are still praying and pondering that one. But, my brother Kelly is an amazing man/brother/husband/father. He is so tender-hearted and loving. He is the kind of guy who just yesterday took a dog home from a rescue shelter. . . an old dog with heartworms and abscessed teeth, a dog that will likely not live through the treatments needed to keep her alive. He named her Bella (calls her Big B) and took her home because he couldn't stand to think of them putting her to sleep. They say he pets her for hours at a time. He loves hard. And, I would be more than proud to have a son like him.

There is alot I don't know about this little one. Is the baby a boy or girl? Will he/she have red hair like the other 2? What will his/her personality be like? But, there is one thing that I am certain of. . . This child is loved, so much. This child is loved not only by mommy and daddy, but also by 2 big brothers. And, we welcome this little one with arms open wide.

Side-note for all you Texans: I had this conversation with Joshua after bathtime tonight. . .
Me: So, when the baby comes will JCT become a big boy?
J: Will JCT be with us when the baby comes?
Me: Well, yes, I hope so. Why wouldn't he be with us? Where else would he be?
J: I dunno. . . maybe. . . like. . .Texas. . .
So, if any of ya'll see a cute little red headed boy wandering around Texas this spring, will you ship him back to me? Thanks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Seed Planted in Concrete. . .

If I had to use one word to describe our neighbor/contractor, I would use the word jolly. Now, especially this time of year the word jolly makes one think of St. Nick and a large round belly. There is not much fat on Mr. Cole's body. He is strong and lean. He is jolly in that he always has a smile on his face, always. We have lived across the street from him for 5 years now. He walks his dogs - Bruno (an auburn haired laborador) and Belle (a Bassett Hound) twice a day - 6:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. And, he has a smile on his face whether he sees you or not. It is just who he is, and I admire that about him.

Now the interesting little twist is that he doesn't go to church with his wife. She goes, you know, like 3 times a week, but he stays home. In the summer Sunday mornings are his time for cutting the grass. And, he smiles sweetly and waves at us as we load up the boys and head off to church. I did a Bible study a year or so ago at his wife's church, and his salvation was on the Bible study prayer list. Erik and I have hypothosized that maybe church (in general) has in some way offended him, in some way hurt him, driving him away. We have prayed for him for a while.

Erik and I began praying as soon as we decided to do the renovation that God might use us in some way to draw Mr. Cole to Himself. We prayed about it quite often at first, but as time has gone on, our thoughts have drifted. . . To be quite honest I haven't prayed about it much at all lately. I only think about it every now and then when I feel like a spoiled girl asking him to change something. Then, I think, "What kind of witness is this?" I usually sugar-coat my request with a thousand apologies and even throw in a little, "Please don't hate me when I ask this, but if it wouldn't be too much trouble could we like move those light fixtures up 6 in. I know you have already put up sheet-rock and painted, etc., but would it be too much trouble? Because if it is, just tell me, and I'll get over it." To which he always assures me that it is no trouble at all which makes me feel like he is a better example of Christ than I am. So, much for being a witness. . . But, those are really the only times that I have thought about it since the beginning of the renovation.

Last Saturday night Erik and I went on a date with a purpose. We sat at our favorite restaurant, and made a list of verses for each room of our home. After dinner we went back to the house, and I wrote the verses on the floor while Erik walked around praying over the rooms. I didn't think much of it after we left that night - except that Flat and Gerald would probably be making jokes about the Song of Solomon verse we picked to put under the carpet where our bed will be (nothing explicit, I assure you).

Sunday morning before church Erik went over to check on the house and to talk to Mr. Cole. Erik came home beaming. He said, "It may have just been sawdust in his eye, but I think Mr. Cole was quite moved by our verses." Now, the thought that Mr. Cole might even notice the verses had not occured to me. Mr. Cole even went so far as to say that ours was a very "blessed home." Now, those are words that I would never have imagined hearing him say. I wish I could have been there! They went on to talk about God, his provisions, his protection, etc. Erik was given the opportunity to share what he believes with Mr. Cole. I was so stunned and grateful!

And, I smiled as I thought about the fact that our Amazing God could plant a seed in any soil - even concrete.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Please Forgive Me. . .

For all of you, who in reading my last post cringed at my misspelling of the word chagrin, I ask your forgiveness. I beg your forgiveness. What can I say? I think my husband fell out of his chair when he read it. But, he knows me and is so used to all my grammatical errors that now when he reads or hears them he just gets plum tickled.

I am quite famous for "malpops" as my husband calls them. We will be in a heated discussion about something very serious, and I will say something like this, "Ohhh! It just makes me so upset. I am afraid he is not being faithful to her. We are just waiting for the other foot to drop. . ." And, with tears pouring down my cheeks and emotions running wild inside me, I look over at my husband driving - one hand on the wheel and one hand, ever so slightly, covering the smile on his face. This angers me, so I say, "What, what did I say wrong this time?" And, he laughs under his breath a bit, and says, "It's waiting for the other shoe to drop, baby, not foot to drop."

I kid you not - I do this at least 3 times a week. In fact, to be totally honest, I had to call and ask him if the cliche was "waiting for the other foot (or shoe) to drop" before I wrote this. Sometimes I mix the words of the cliche up and sometimes I just use a cliche that makes no sense in the point I am trying to make. And, sometimes I do both. God help me. This is one of the biggest jokes of our marriage. And, I dare say if something happened to me - it would be one of the things he would miss most. Nobody can make him laugh like I can when I use a malprop. I used to always ask, "Did I say that right?" But, now I just say what I want and if I am correct he says, "I am so proud of you. You used that cliche correctly." And, if I use the cliche incorrectly or mess up the words, he gets a good laugh out of it. So, I am completely comfortable to say what I think all the time, and I love that!

That is what I am asking of you! Please laugh at my mistakes - you don't need to cringe. I am quite comfortable with the fact that I am not an "English" person. I am an ex-nurse, full time mom, who uses alot of malpropisms and many misspelled words! I just don't see myself ever using spell check faithfully. I am always in a hurry, writing quickly, just putting down thoughts and stories before I forget them. My goal here is to record this time in my life so that I can visit it later, and if my children would like to, they can visit and read about how loved and rejoiced over they were as babes. So, get tickled and correct me if you'd like. I love to learn from my mistakes!! Thanks for understanding!!
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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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