Sunday, January 1, 2012

Crazy Grace

Just a thought for this post that Todd, the girls and I have been discussing lately.  In the life of the believer is there any bad?  We're coming to the conclusion that there cannot be.  There can be painful, difficult, heart-wrenchingly sad, unexplainable, but if God knows our frame (Psalm 103:14), and we "love Him and are called according to His purpose," (Romans 8:28) then it truly is all good.  Everything He allows into our lives is for our good and His glory, and in that discovery I'm realizing how crazy His grace is.  He is hunting me down with His grace so that I will stop doing things in my own strength and quit doing what is right in my own eyes (Proverbs 21:2) and truly rest in Him.  I'm praying that anyone touched by this blog will have their eyes opened to His crazy grace.  (Isaiah 35:5)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday Bliss

Since my last post a MILLION years ago, lots 'o stuff has been happening in the Williams clan.  Our little boy Jacob Wade entered the world on July 11th weighing in at a hefty 8 lbs and 3 ozs.  Go little man!  Our natural birth went amazingly well, and only a very few times did I catch myself thinking, "Now why did I want to do this?"  I still wonder that every now and then, especially having experienced the pain-free bliss that is the epidural w/two of our girls.  But, I also wanted to know more about my body and how God designed it to work - childbirth is a gift, after all, and I figure He gives pretty awesome gifts.  Thanks to Todd, our doula, Jenny, and lots o' prayer and memorized Word, it was truly a wonderful experience that I will never forget.  I am ever-amazed at how much I love telling my own labor stories and how much I enjoy hearing other moms tell theirs.  It truly brings us moms together.

Jake (We're still not sure what we're calling him, but this is what comes out most of the time.) has almost doubled his birth weight at only 2 months.  Go "little" man!  He laughs and smiles a lot, and you would think that we'd never seen a baby do these things because the whole family has to stop and take notice of his cute tricks. 

So, life is trucking on pretty normally.  We're doing a little bit of school - trying to ease back into real life.  I'm trying not to drown in laundry which normally gets washed in a fairly timely manner but then stays in the baskets until I have to dump those clothes out to fill up the basket w/more dirty clothes.  The girls are an awesome help, and the house would be a complete pit of despair w/o them.  They practically run the house and have a great time helping out. 

On to Saturday bliss.  Todd took the girls out to the hunting lease to put out a few trail cams.  (I'm not sure who was more excited, Todd or the girls.)  In the meantime, I had Jake and the quiet house to myself.  Saturday bliss.  Complete and total.  Now I really missed my clan while they were gone because I would have loved to be out on the trail, too.  I've got a good eye for picking up deer sign.  But, the thought of having some time to myself just about brought tears to my eyes so I figured that was a good sign I should stay put and enjoy the silence.

So I did.  I got some sewing done and then did something which still perplexes me.  I cleaned house.  I didn't just clean.  I got out the carpet steamer and cleaned our sofa (which Todd couldn't sit on because it was so dusty - poor allergy-affected man) and the carpets in two rooms.  I washed clothes and aired out sleeping bags.  Crazy you say?  Probably.  But I had the best time taking care of our home.  It's strange to me what marriage and family have done to me.  I NEVER would have thought that I would be called a home body one day, but that is exactly what I have become. 

I love drinking my morning coffee w/the kitchen window open listening to the geese land in the pond behind our house.  I love the sound of the girls working together to empty and re-load the dishwasher.  I love the smell of Todd cooking breakfast.  (He's taken over this job most days since Jake's arrival.)  I love when the girls play for hours making up their own quirky games.  Shocking to say, Saturday bliss wasn't shopping, eating out, or watching a good movie (all which I enjoy).  I think because time to get things done comes in such precious little chunks when taking care of a little one that bliss for me, for now, was having time to check just a few things off of the never-ending to-do list inside my head.  Because I don't have time to even write it down!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Keeping It Alive. . . Barely

So, after another protest from my dad, I've returned to blog world. I really do love this world, but, honestly, I have not had the time to read blogs or maintain my own. Have they made a camera that can "beam" your pictures to the computer w/o having to plug it in. every. time? Call me lazy, but the hassle of getting pics to my computer and then uploading them to the blog is just too much for me. Facebook is quicker, but I can't remember the last time I uploaded a picture there either. Anyway, that's my excuse for having a pictureless, boring blog. When I actually blog, that is.

So, the girls are resting, my hair is in a towel, and I'm snagging a brief moment to update the handful of blog readers that stroll this way. Just be prepared for random. . .

For those not on Facebook or for those who just missed it, we are expecting bambino numero 4 this summer sometime mid-July. And, it's a boy. Who would have guessed that? The girls are thrilled, and already we have folks offering to give us little boy clothes. Can I just say that it looks a lot easier to clothe a boy than it does a girl? Shirts, pants and some shoes, and you're set. Oh, that it were that easy in girl-world.

We had a snow day, of sorts, today. We had some sleet yesterday evening and later, some snow which miraculously stuck and was still there this morning. So, Todd encouraged me to let the girls play in it before it melted. (Can I just say that it is STILL there - hardly any melting yet.) So, being the generally agreeable person that I am, I let them go out right after breakfast. After and hour or so of the in-and-out, "I'm cold," drying wet cold things to only go back outside to get wet and cold again, they were in for the morning.

Well, since things were already off-track, we decided to clean the mess that was our home a bit. The bit turned into an hour or so. Then, of course, we had to have hot chocolate. The temp. as I type at three o'clock is 25 degrees, and temps like that require warm sweet drinks. After hot chocolate is finished, it's just about time for lunch. Still no school done. At all. Grrrr. So, lunch is served.

I have to digress just a moment to express my excitement at fixing poached eggs for the first time ever for our lunch. We had a very light eggs Benedict - minus the Canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce. Anyway, my mom had always had an insert that fit into one of her pans for making poached eggs so I had to muster up some bravery to try these suckers on my own. Have to say it was really fun and yummy.

So, after lunch, on to school. Finally. We just attempted our group school which consists of our memory verse, Bible reading and astronomy. Did you know that there was an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter? Well, I'm sure I'd been taught this before, but it sure did pass right by me. There's even a theory that the belt was previously a planet that exploded. This would also account for planets and moons that have craters on one side but relatively none on the other. Well, I was impressed anyway.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Death and Life

So, just a few minutes ago, Jessie comes into my room crying (not an unusual occurrence), but she did seem a little more upset than normal.  “Aubrie said that she knows something that’s not special about me.”  Now, I’m not sure if that was supposed to be, “Aubrie thinks I’m not special,” or if Aubrie knows one secret, tucked-away thing about Jessie that’s not special which really wouldn’t be so terrible.  I’m guessing the first idea is what was implied.

After reassuring Jessie that she is indeed amazingly special in every way – insert lots o’ hugs – I called Aubrie into my chambers. 

Sometimes being a mom feels a little like being the grim reaper.  “Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.” 

So, I explain to Aubrie that her words hurt Jessie.

Aubrie: Words don’t hurt.  They can’t hurt.

Mom: Oh, yes they do.

Aubrie: No they don’t.

Mom:  Aubrie… (one of us is supposed to be the adult in this scenario)

So, the rest of the story is that we both say THE VERSE: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”  Prov: 18:21  The truth is that the adult in this story needs the reminder as much as the little turkey does.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Discipleship

Most folks who know me know that I LOVE homeschooling and wish everyone would try it.  However, I really think that home discipleship is a far more important issue.  I can homeschool my sweet ones all day, make sure their academics are rigorous, plan numerous field trips, and schedule extensive science and history projects.  I can make sure that they learn several foreign languages, play piano, and participate in sports, dance etc. and completely miss the boat. 

I can still have unruly, undisciplined children.

“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” Proverbs 29:15

“He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”  Proverbs 13:24

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.”  Proverbs 22:15"

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4

I can still fail to teach the girls to love the Lord and His ways.

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:5-9

I can still unwisely plan our calendar.

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”  Proverbs 13:20

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”              I Corinthians 15:33

I can miss true knowledge and wisdom and just fill their heads with “stuff.” 

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.”  Psalm 111:10

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”      I Corinthians 1:21

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”  Colossians 2:8

While I obviously think that schooling choices are important, it would seem that much more important is what we do with the time we have with our children.  What are we intentionally or unintentionally pouring into their lives?  I wish I could say that we started out with an understanding of home discipleship vs. homeschooling, but we didn’t, and I’m sure there is so much more that we still don’t “get.”  I was pouring myself into the girls’ academics with little thought given to anything else.

For us, the motivation to homeschool has become a mission of multi-generational faithfulness, that our children and their children will walk with the Lord and not turn away from Him.  God gives us His plan for this again in Deuteronomy 6. 

"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.”  Deuteronomy 6:1-2

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun in Vicksburg

While driving past the Civil War Military Park in Vicksburg two weeks ago (actually three weeks ago now since I forgot to post this), I commented to Todd how sad it was that no one had ever taken me to see it.  He was surprised to realize that I had never been (We both love history.) and made a plan for us to drive through it that day.  We didn’t have much time, but your entry pass is good for seven days.  So, we did the zip-through tour, and the girls and I made a plan to come back the next week when we could soak it all in. 

Can I just say that I NEVER thought I would run into anyone who wanted to see it all at a museum, park, what-have-you more than me, but our girls gave me a run for my money.  I was like, “Let’s just stop at the major tour stops.”  Seriously, we could have been there all day.  Or several days. 

military park (3)military parkmilitary park (2)

After our tour, we cooled off (Again, I will whine about the heat.) at the Vicksburg art park.  So much fun, and I did not mind getting splashed occasionally.  Not one bit. 

water parkwater park (2)water park (3)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Backyard Summer Fun

When we can stand the heat, we have really enjoyed our backyard so far this summer.  The garden is growing, and we’re figuring out what to plant next spring and what not to plant.  Also finding out that the planting dates really do matter as you can tell by our sad cabbage that just didn’t make a head because of the heat.   We’ve got LOTS of tomatoes, cucumbers have been pretty good, and the squash and zucchini have been fair.  They started out pretty well, and then got some kind of disease.  So, some fruit makes, and some falls off the plant after it shrivels up and dies.

The most fun garden news is that we FINALLY have a watermelon that just might be large enough to eat on the 4th.  We thought we were going to have all vine and no fruit, but those suckers grow fast once they appear.

fun in backyard

The girls got swings from Nan and Pops and cannot wait to go outside in the morning to get on them.  We have the typical arguments about sharing swings and whose swing is the most fun.  I think the basic, standard, plain ol’ swing gets the most use! 

more fun (2)more fun (3) more fun 

The weathermen say that we may get a reprieve from the heat this week, and I say, “Bring it on!”  We survived a record heat summer in TX last year, and I was so looking forward to the milder (about 5-10 degrees milder) summer temps in MS.  I’ll gladly take some extra humidity for the cooler temps.