A labor of love

*warning* this post is not for those with a sensitive stomach….

 

Tomorrow my book will be officially released to the world ( and you can buy it here) . It’s a big deal! Something I’ve been working towards for almost 5 years, and I had jokingly referred to it as “almost like giving birth to another baby.” But friends, I did NOT expect to have to experience ACTUAL labor pains, however last week I pretty much did…

First, if you follow me on social media you’ll know that I sent my Book Supporters the first copies of my book on Monday, and if you follow my Instagram stories you’ll learn that Monday night I had a Ya-Ya Sisterhood moment* that involved one of my children loosing his cookies ALL over my house…. but that was just the beginning, by Tuesday, I too, had gotten the stomach bug that had caused all the spewing and let me tell you…. it wasn’t an “I’m nauseous, I better lay down” type bug. It was a “let’s take a screw driver to your intestines until it hurts so bad you beg for relief” type deal.

And I had that stomach bug… for FIVE DAYS.

And during that time I started to get the sweetest messages from those reading my book. Which, side note, if you want to really make me happy then send me a play by play as you read… my friend Katie texted me how she was feeling practically every chapter and I LOVED EVERY TEXT. You guys, I’ve been sitting on this story for years, I’m so happy to finally share it with you and talk about it with you! HOORAY!

But this week, I was getting the messages as I was losing my guts in the toilet and while lying in bed sweating off an awful fever and while writhing in pain. I started to wonder if the Lord thought I was going to be prideful and needed knocking down a notch or two when I got compliments.

But this stomach bug was so bad even I couldn’t be THAT prideful and by day five, I had to start begging people to pray for me because I could only assume this was a spiritual attack. It was intense.

But almost as soon as faithful friends began praying for us along those very lines, I started to feel better. And now as I get ready for tomorrow I cannot stop praying for some of the more important messages of Hope that my book carries. I pray it finds the right hearts to land upon. And I pray that I can keep my coffee down today because my kids are home from school because APPARENTLY Columbus discovered America today!!?!?! ( I shouldn’t even be surprised that this is what my son learned in school since I learned that they are teaching him R. Kelly songs in music class hashtag public school.)

 

**** Watch this for reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about…there is some language so be warned.

Great gifts for someone in the hospital

As we get closer and closer to the release date of The Day Between: A memoir of miracles, I thought it would be fun to share some things that didn’t quite make the book but that I really think you’d like to read. This particular post today is probably one of my favorites and it is something I get asked a LOT! 

Good gifts for someone who will be in the hospital for an extended stay, hey some of these are even good for an overnighter! *Particularly those pregnancy related type stays*

  1. Netflix or Amazon gift cards: Did you know you can actually give a month’s subscription to Netflix? I didn’t! But its an awesome gift for someone who’s found themselves with unlimited “free” time lying in bed. If they already have a membership, no problem. It should transfer and you’ve just saved someone with hospital bills in their future a little money. WIN.
  2. A cute pillowcase or throw: You’re stuck in a bed. Its boring and awful. Let’s cheer that bed up a bit!
  3. Gum and lip balm: When I was in the hospital I really liked receiving gum, it was useful when your doctor’s rounds were before you’d brushed your morning breath away! As for Lip balm, you can not get enough of these in my opinion. Lip balm has a way of disappearing and so you can always use more and hospitals are always weirdly dry.IMG_6233
  4. Blank cards and stamps: I was continually sending notes and thank yous during my month in the hospital. And having a new stash of cards ( and pens!) to write on was really nice. And stamps were a HUGE gift! It was so hard to get stamps when you’re lying in a hospital bed and definitely no way to make a run to the post office. And bonus points if you can get fun or cute stamps that will make your patient smile.
  5. New PJs: If you know the person’s size then a new set of PJs can really brighten their day! They’re probably already tired of the three sets they brought with them, and bonus-more days between laundry! ( Extra: If you know the person well, new underwear would not go amiss- see laundry issue above. Getting laundry done in the hospital is kind of a big deal. But yeah, maybe save this gift for your besties! haha )
  6. Nice smelling hand soap and a cute hand towel: If this is an extended hospital stay, then making their room just a little bit more homey can go a long way. Plus everyone washes their hands a lot in the hospital, and I for one, am sensitive to certain soaps! Having good hand soap was really great.
  7. Amazon gift cards: There is no better time to online shop then while lying in a hospital bed. Make it easier for your friends by helping supply their habit ( P.S. confession, no one actually bought me underwear when I was in the hospital, but I DID use a well-gifted amazon card to buy more underwear for myself…what can I say! Laundry!) IMG_6232
  8. An extra extra long USB cord: THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. If you’re in the hospital you’re probably on an electronic device a LOT. The problem you’ll find is that the plugs are really far away from your bed ( usually somewhere far above your head…) so a really long cord to attach your charger to is truly an AMAZING gift! You can find them at your local office supply store, or on…you guessed it, Amazon.
  9. Snacks and meals: Once you find out if your friend has any dietary restrictions, then you can go about feeding them. Sure, there is hospital food-but that gets old FAST! And sometimes they just might get hungry during a non-meal-time! This is when protein bars, trail mix, anything at all from Trader Joes and homemade muffins come in! And if they are truly not on a restricted diet than this is when you order in a pizza from the best place in town ASAP.IMG_6230
  10. Long lasting decorations:  If you’ve got someone who’s in the hospital for a long time, and you love them lots-then scroll down to the “expensive” bouquets, there is a reason why they are pricer! They last a LONG TIME! And there really IS nothing like flowers to lighten up a dreary place. However, if you don’t want to spring for an expensive flower arrangement, then just hit up your local Hobby Lobby or craft stores. They’ve got aisles and aisles of cute decor that will look good on the window seal of any hospital room. Bonus points, once your friend is out of the hospital they can take home the cute home decor and remember your kindness FOREVER! Hooray! ( its all about you, right?!)- for instance, see the little pumpkins on my mantel in the picture at the top of this post? Those have been part of my fall decor every year since my friend Miranda gave them to me in the hospital. They’ve reminded me to be EXTRA thankful every year since

And the very BEST thing I received in the hospital?!? Well, you’ll just have to wait for my book to find out!

A Soundtrack to a book

As I draw closer to my book release date ( OCTOBER 10th!!! HAVE YOU JOINED THE EVENT YET?! You’re going to want that reminder notice!) I’ve been reminiscing about the last 5 years (!!) writing this book…

One of the big helpers, when writing my book, was music and I wanted to share a few of my “musical moments” with you!

First of all, music helped me tremendously to drown out all the noise around me ( aka my children) when I was concentrating on writing. Having music over the top of the other noise somehow canceled it all out and I was able to immerse myself in what I need to say. This was maaaaaybe a little dangerous, as my family can tell you- a tornado could happen in the next room and I might not notice- but we all lived and there is a book because of it! Hooray!

But a few times songs actually helped me write. They gave me actual inspiration.

The first was the song was Held, by Natalie Grant. When I had to finally sit down and write about the hardest and rawest days of our experience with twin to twin transfusion, this song was on repeat. I mean, obviously, the lyrics of the song fit so perfectly with parts of our story.  But more importantly, they were such a beautiful example of being able to talk about something so sad and yet have it all wrapped up in Hope. Natalie Grant’s song did that so beautifully. I wanted my book to be that too. Even in the hardest of chapters, I did not want my readers to be in the depths of despair as they read. I wanted, with all my heart, for them to feel the hope that had carried us through that season. THAT was what I wanted to have felt through the pages of my book. I seriously had this song on repeat as I tried to channel that hope into my writing.

“This is what it is to be Held. This is how it feels to have the sacred torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved. 

 

The next song can only be described as a small miracle. As I just mentioned I was often struggling with writing about parts of our story that held the most emotion and the most weight. But usually, while I had to go through some of the emotions again, I knew clearly the “Hope” that I needed to portray through the sadness and that made it easier-even therapeutic. All I had to do was write it down. BUT…there was this One Night.

There was one night that I had not felt God’s presence. No matter how hard I had tried, how much I had begged, I had not felt Him. That One Night had ended in a miracle, maybe one of the greatest miracles of our story-but because of the feelings I had felt of betrayal and aloneness during it I didn’t know how to write about it! I kept going over it in my mind, I was still sort of mad at God! Sure, it had all “turned out” but where was He then?!?!

So, being the procrastinator that I am, I just put it off, I put off writing about this One Night for a whole year. Now I had an even bigger problem to deal with, could I even remember the One Night well enough to write about it?  Much less write it with the intent I wanted for it? I was getting desperate! So I begged God to help me write it ( something I did a lot). It just so happened to be a Sunday morning and we were attending a local church at the time. And when we arrived at church and the worship started this song When you walk into the Room, by Jesus Culture began….

When You walk into the room, everything changes, darkness starts to tremble at the light that you bring. 

And I’m not even kidding, with those words “When You walk into a room…”  I had the closest I’ve ever had to an out of body experience. I was taken back to that day ( the day before the One Night) and I remembered details I had forgotten, little things, but they were so important! As I saw them again in my mind’s eye, I saw them all in a whole new way. This time I saw Jesus. He showed me where He was. He showed me EXACTLY where I had actually been during that One Night when I hadn’t felt Him. I was obviously bawling my eyes out at this point and I, hate to say it, I heard nothing of the sermon that day, but the hardest chapter for me to write was written in about twenty minutes. I’m probably the proudest of it. I can HARDLY WAIT for you to get your hands on my book, but until listen to these two songs!

 

Tabitha teaches me a lesson

Way back when I began in earnest to published this book, I had made a list of all the things I had to do to bring this book to life and now I am way down at the bottom of that list where it says, publicity.  I honestly didn’t think I’d ever get here! In a little part I was hoping I wouldn’t get here because I’m pretty terrible at this part!

This week I spent a lot of time staring at an empty screen on my computer. I read a quote recently that said that people’s first impression of your book will be the last thing that you write. Great. 

That’ll give anyone writer’s block.  My book is done. The cover is done. It’s all ready to go…. and now to the awful process of writing about my book.

And so I sat staring at empty screens. Now, they weren’t totally empty, a lot of the screens had very fancy and successful podcast information on them. Friends of friends of friends who fit well into my “brand” ( what does that even mean?!?), if I named dropped just the right way, and if I sold my book with just the right clever sentences then maybe they’d give me a second glance! Maybe…

Everything felt so stale! I finally just gave up in frustration and headed out on a walk with my Youngers and started singing praise songs to them. I was in the middle of a rousing rendition ( I’m not a very good singer) of Micah 6:8 when Tabitha interrupted with her usual complaint that there weren’t praise songs about her ( we have several that have “Ransom” in them too). I was about to begin my usual placations when I stopped and decided to see if maybe there could be a praise song about her. I made a little video of Tabitha and I asking for a song about her and we posted it on social media and we waited.

What we got in return was far greater than I could have expected….

First off, a wonderfully talented friend whipped up a song for Tabitha in no time and sent me a recording. And I immediately started to cry….

The song was wonderful and I’ll post the recording at the bottom of this post- but the chorus was this:

Tabitha, Tabitha, rise, rise, for God has need of you. 

All of a sudden the great truth of my book became flooding back: The book that I so recently boiled down to some pithy publicity statement…. I remembered afresh why I’d written it: to tell the story of my daughters, to tell the story of a personal Lord and Savior who had walked through that time with us. I also remembered that He had told me to write it all down.

And then- just to belabor the point, (because I’m slow) another dear friend sent some really great commentary on the passage in the Book of Acts that tells of the Biblical Tabitha, in case it might be useful in writing a song about Tabitha.  The information was great, and even had some points I’d never thought of before like the writer of Acts did not give a “voice” to Tabitha. Her action was what spoke for her, and then once she had been raised from the dead- other than getting up and walking out to her friends, we don’t learn anything else about her. We assume she went back to doing good works and loving her neighbors well. That’s it.

That too, struck me hard, all the Lord told me to do was to write this book. I did that part. Now I must wait for you, dear friends, to read it. But until then I want so desperately to do something to “help it along.”

After those little reminders about the character of Tabitha, I am remembering that the Lord does His own work. I did my part and now I’ve got to give my “baby” over-  I hope that people will like my book. I hope they will pass it along. I hope it will help someone, anyone. But ultimately I wrote it as a praise to my King. For He is worthy of all praise. I also have to remember that even when we don’t have a voice ourselves ( like Tabitha in the Bible), the Lord’s message comes out loud and clear.

Sorry the recording isn’t great, I’ve got to get someone to record it for me!!- here are the words:

There was a lady named Tabitha. She was a disciple of Christ.

She did good works and had charity, but she lost her life. 

Her friends called Peter to come right away. Help us, Help us, they did say. 

So Peter came and knelt right down and this is what he said. 

He said, “Tabitha, Tabitha rise and live. God has need of you.”

” Tabitha, Tabitha, rise again for God has need of you.” 

They all were wondering what had happened when they saw her appear. 

Peter said she was gone but now, Tabitha is here. 

Tabitha, Tabitha, Rise rise. 

Tabitha, Tabitha. Rise 

Tabitha, Tabitha, Rise, rise God has need of you. 

 

Daylight

 

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These little flowers pop up in our yard after a rain and Tabitha picked them all for me today. 

For a little while now I’ve had it on my calendar to share the cover art for my book with you this week. But as the days have passed and the flood waters have gone up here in Texas and more and more people are without their homes in Houston and the surrounding cities, I feel less and less like celebrating.

 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you….

These words echo in my mind as I scroll through my Facebook feed, I have about 5 or 6 people who are regularly updating their status in the floods and I’m obsessed with making sure they are OK.  Three of them had to leave their homes behind. That verse in Isaiah that I quoted above seems harder to grasp when people are losing everything….

And then I realize that it is actually the perfect day to reveal my book’s cover. The very essence of the title The Day Between comes from that great mystery of Jesus’ death on the cross. That He chose to die on a Friday and come back to life on a Sunday: A whole day between. And not just any day. It was a Sabbath day, and his followers were essentially forced into sitting and waiting, unable to do anything to distract them from the loss of their Lord.  It also meant that when they woke up on Saturday morning things were still bad. In fact, when Jesus’ disciples woke up on Saturday morning it looked like Darkness had still won. So what happens in that day between? Where do we get our hope?

For me and the story in my book, the parallel was even deep in that I also was unable to do anything (other than worry!) during my day between- But thankfully now that the storm has hopefully ended for Texas, they can get out and begin work to restore that which was lost.  But oh what a task!!! My heart breaks when I see the devastation that has hit the people here in Texas, and it may feel like an insurmountable task.  In fact, it may be a while before they can see the day that is coming, as they plod along in that day between. As I pray for the people of Houston and the surrounding area, I pray the Lord speaks His sweet words of hope and life. Words that He was so faithful to give me in my own dark season… And if you haven’t already found a way to help: I’m also going to link to a good reference for those wanting to partner in the efforts to rebuild. If there is anything I have learned, it does a heart good to know there are those standing with you when times are at there hardest! Check out this blog post for some good ideas. 

And so with a little bit of a sober heart, I give you the cover of my book- so beautifully designed by Mulberry Moment

This cover depicts so beautifully that place where we’ve been through the darkness but hope for the sun to rise again…

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Milestones

IMG_5784This week is important to my heart, to my journey. A lot of who I am right now is wrapped up in things that happen this week. I mean, my first born starts FIRST GRADE on Monday! This basically means I’m a seasoned parent now, right?  I can look knowingly over at the incredibly emotional mother’s of kindergarteners and wish them a time machine so they can get to the end of that first day faster. ( Because that’s the worst of it!) But seriously, the start of a school year- no matter where you fall in the mix- holds significance and it puts a spotlight on how fast time is flying by! Can’t we slow down the years a bit? I mean, by all means fast forward that first day of kindergarten, but other than that…let’s take it down a notch, shall we!?

This week is also important to me because its the 5th anniversary of Priscilla Beth’s “birthday”. She went straight into the arms of Jesus FIVE YEARS AGO on Friday. I can hardly believe it. I still miss her. The sting is gone, the shock is gone, the nightmare is gone, but I still miss her. But this year, I get to honor her life in the biggest way I can imagine. This year I am OFFICIALLY announcing the release of my book, “The Day Between: A memoir of miracles”.  You can all collectively get out your calendars and mark them for October 10, 2017, and then GET READY TO BUY THIS BOOK ON AMAZON!!!!

( those who ordered a book as part of our crowd funding will be getting their copies that week as well! EEEKKKKK!!!!)

This book, that I never ever would have written if God hadn’t specifically told me to start writing it, is sort of a miracle in its self! It tells the story of Priscilla and her sister Tabitha and how God did incredible things in our lives during my pregnancy with them. Its a story of loss. Its a story of miraculous healing. It’s a deeper look at some Biblical nuggets that the Lord revealed to my heart. And it’s a raw look at my own story of being a mom and a wife and a daughter of the King through the hardest time in my life. But friends, I WROTE A BOOK!!! That is TOTALLY a miracle!! I can hardly believe that in between nursing babies, changing diapers, washing dishes, preparing three meals a day, putting together 5,000,000,000,000 snacks for various hungry children all of which were mine, packing up a house and moving to a new house, growing and birthing a WHOLE OTHER BABY and then nursing that baby and washing even more dishes and potty training a total of two children and probably even vacuuming my floors twice and changing my sheets once in there… I ALSO WROTE A BOOK!!!

I truly believe that this book will speak to those dealing with the loss of a child, or even the friends and family of someone dealing with loss. But, I also really believe the truths that God revealed to me during this season speak to just about any Hard Season when we’re asked to wait and trust God when there seems to be no action or way that things will work out.

Just a few weeks ago I was re-reading my final draft looking for typos. And  I found myself no longer just looking for typos ( which is probably why there will still be typos in this book. Sigh.) but instead really learning from the Lord in regards to the season I was in right then! The Lord took the insights I had had about gathering manna in the wilderness and how it had applied to a season of hopelessness and He re-applied it to our current season of waiting on a job during a season of  possible unemployment! In the end, I now see that we’re all going through hard seasons where we are hoping for the miraculous to occur. This book points to the promise, that no matter what happens, the Lord is always glorified in our seasons. I really believe you’ll be encouraged! I’m so flipping excited about you reading it! I can’t wait for you to be able to pass it on to your friend who is hurting, or sticking it under the door mat of your neighbor who’s going through a hard season, or just wearing out your own copy when you need a little extra encouragement through a hard time.

When I started this writing process it was really just free therapy as I worked through grief, however, slowly but surely it started to take shape into something bigger than myself. So, as I celebrate my daughter’s life. I am thankful that it has also become something far bigger than I ever would have expected. I cannot wait to share it with you.

The Dog Days

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Well, it’s that time again. Time for me to start cursing the week long stretches of 100 degree weather and start longingly looking at the autumn decorations that have taken up residence in my local Target. They are really just taunting me because I know full well that the summer weather will be here through the end of September and very likely into October. BUT the weather here in Texas cannot stop me from getting those lovely “change of season” feelings that only aisles of new school stuff can supply ( pun. intended). We’ve only got two more weeks of “Summer” before the new year begins.

I honestly can’t believe it! I can’t believe that our first “real” summer ( which to me, means that you’ve “earned it” because you went to 5 days of school all year long-which Ransom most certainly did!) is almost at a close! It really was a good one and I’m going to take a minute tonight to review it so one day I can look back at what a summer with a 6 year old, 4 year old and 19-21 month old looked like.

The biggest winner in regards to this summer was definitely that my children are getting a little older… I truly truly could not be happier with how things are “going” in regards to my children growing up! It is TRULY the BEST! Babies are cute and all, but little kids?!?! So much better…..Also, sometime in May I had a lovely little correspondence ( as in REAL LIVE LETTERS) with a lovely lady who’s son had just gone through his first year in college. It was a fun little juxtaposition- our two firsts- mine of kindergarten and hers of college- and I felt like I gained much from her thoughts. One thing I took into my summer was how she had wished she’d had more of the simple pleasures with her son and so this summer I practiced saying “Yes” a lot more. Of course, I feel like that as my kids grow up, I CAN say yes more! So, it really was perfect timing for this little reminder.

I said “YES” to staying up late….to READ. This summer we have read almost all of the Little House on the Prairie series and these quiet summer nights have been pretty much everyone in the family’s favorite thing! No rushing around to get to bed right on time, just a lot more “just one more chapter.”

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I said “YES” to going to the pool. Now that Ransom is officially a swimmer, Tabitha can officially stand up in the shallow end, and Justice can officially fit his juicy little arms in a Puddle Jumper, I am feeling a lot more relaxed about going to the pool. Thanks to my Always Packed Pool Bag* sitting by the back door and my Always Full Snack Bin*  sitting nearby ( this is important because Justice feels that he must eat at least 4 snacks while at the pool or he hasn’t truly lived), I have a trip to the pool down to a 10 minute art. Of course, I have to gear myself up for the baths and then wet towels when we get back home again, but for me the pool will always be a happy place, and I’m glad my children are making good memories there too!

I said “YES” to weekend trips. This may seem like a no-brainer…summer is for travel, right? But this summer we were actually a little tight in the budget area, due to our splurge of  an Anniversary Trip and also due to some unforeseen job issues for Brett ( *spoiler alert* he’s got a great job, working in the same office that he has been for the last few years and we are so thankful!) – HOWEVER, I worked hard at not looking at what we did not have and instead I tried my best to work with what we did and we ended up with some wonderful little trips that probably equaled more fun for my kids than a full on family vacation would have! ( see: hotel breakfasts, time with cousins and new adventures and friends)

I said “YES” to spontaneous adventures. This one was super hard for me. Anyone who knows me, knows I am the least spontaneous person in the world. I love me a good plan and a good check list. But this summer, we jumped in the car and visited close-to-us adventure places that I had never considered before and we had an absolute BLAST each time! Which brings me to….

I said “YES” to missing naps. This is mostly because Justice is an easy baby-something I haven’t had a ton of- but I’m loooooving it now that I have it! And he’s also getting older. Hey, Moms who have babies, don’t worry! It WILL eventually END! I PROMISE. There is a light at the end of that very dark tunnel! Anyway, Justice missed countless naps this summer, or he had incredibly late naps in his carseat- and, guess what?! He is NO WORSE FOR WEAR! Hallelujah!

I said “YES” to popsicles. This is mostly because Justice became OBSESSED with them and asks for one MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY ( don’t worry, I only cave once a day), but also because this was part of my philosophy that my kids need to be kids and have some fun in the summer. I’ll let you know if this effects their dental report in October. EEK! But until then, no regrets.

I said “YES” to not having my children. Obviously for Brett and my trip to San Francisco which was ah-mazing, but also my parents have been asking to have a “just Tabitha” trip for a while now and I finally said yes to that this summer. Tabitha was away from us for 4 days and while it was hard, it was really amazing how much extra capacity I had to play and spend time with my boys. It was also cute to see their relationship change and deepen a little bit ( Ransom chose to sleep in Justice’s room while Tabitha was gone and my two little morning people were so cute it almost made my cold-hearted-night-person self melt). And as always, getting your kids back after any length of time separated is such a wonderful gift in gratitude.

I said “YES” to some screen time. I only say this because at the end of the school year there were articles circulating my social media feed like crazy about how screens were going to literally KILL MY CHILDREN. I, of course, took heed and immediately made plans to bane all screen time from our lives for the whole summer. I started to feel guilty for any and all time my kids spent watching a show…. But then I started to look around- EVERY. WHERE. WE. WENT. this summer there were kids looking down at iPads, iPhones, kindles and whatever else….head down at the splash pad, head down at the grocery store, head down at the museum, head down, head down….it was scary. We were even outside riding bikes early one Sunday morning and someone stopped on their morning walk to comment that our kids weren’t playing video games….considering what I’ve seen this summer, I would have noticed too! That said, it made me realize that the 40 minutes ( one 20 minutes show per older child) was not going to kill us in the morning. In fact, it was going to allow me to read my Bible in peace. This way I can pray for the coming generation…because seriously, who is going to be friends with all our kids when they want to have a conversation or they want to look around?!?! 

 

So there you have it!!! I said yes a lot more this summer and I said “no” a few hundred million times too! So don’t worry 😉 In fact, with some sicknesses and job worries plus working hard to get my book published this fall-there were times I really felt like I was “failing” this summer! But there is NOTHING quite like taking a look back and giving yourself a back pat what you did accomplish and forgiving yourself for what you didn’t.

Personally, I can hardly WAIT for fall….cooler weather, a new fresh start with school years, aaaaaannnnnnnnd my BOOK RELEASE!!!! Watch this spot! Announcements coming super soon….

 

 

 

*  Packing your pool bag packed and getting a bin of snacks ready are two things that make summer possible in our house. I recommend you join in on this little trick and there are plenty of awesome mommy bloggers who have written posts about this very thing! Go find them and tag them for next summer if you haven’t already!

Second Honeymoon time

 

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Friends! It’s Friday! But its not just any Friday, oooooh nooooo, it’s also the “ONE MORE DAY”  in Ransom’s count down towards our family’s combo excitement over “Mommy and Daddy’s Second Honeymoon” and the “We’re getting spoiled by grandparents for days and days without interference” events of next week.

That’s right, as a celebratory nod to being married for ten whole years, Brett and I are headed out on a second honeymoon. A concept introduced to us by The Berenstein Bears and the Week at Grandma’s but very much supported by our whole family.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m most excited about, the fact that Brett and my wonderful parents agreed to watch our kids for three days each so that we ( mostly me) wouldn’t have to feel bad about placing a largish burden for watching three kids for a super long time on anyone in particular ( this is a big deal. Mom guilt is alive and well for me unfortunately)….or the fact that Brett and I are going to the San Francisco area where the projected highs for next week are in the LOW SIXTIES….or that we’ll get to sleep in for days and days in a row…..or that NO ONE is going to interrupt me and ask me to make them a snack for SIX WHOLE DAYS. Seriously so many things to be excited about.

Brett and I, when planning this trip knew that all we really wanted was to have a beach we could sit on, drink coffee and read to our hearts content, a new place to explore ( preferably somewhere neither of us had been before), and lower temperatures then what we’re use to in Texas in the summer! We’re excited about our AirBNB that we found right off the beach in Pacifica, CA and the chance to explore San Francisco a little bit, but also hopefully spend some time exploring some of the other towns along the coast too. Any recommendations from you, my friends?! We’d love to hear about any food we have to eat, sights we have to see and or particular times of day you think we should try taking a nap. Just kidding on the last one, we already know the answer to that…

 

 

Ransom gets baptized

I was preparing for church the other night and Ransom came up to me and said that he was starting to feel bad about not being baptized. I asked him why and he said that every time he saw a baptism it made him feel worse that he himself hadn’t been baptized yet.

You’re suppose to get baptized!!  He said, emphatically.

Poor guy.

About 6 or so months ago he told me that he wanted to be baptized after seeing someone else be baptized… but it wasn’t until recently that we felt he really understood what baptism really was and that he had in fact made the commitment to Jesus… but apparently 6 months was an extra long time to have to wait when you had to watch people like your own cousins get baptized.

But here we were at the end of an evening and Ransom had answered all my questions to my satisfaction and he was now practically begging us to let him get baptized in our bathtub that very minute.

It took a bit of work but we convinced him it might be nice to allow our Wednesday house church to be a part of the celebration. And after thinking on that, he did remember that Cate ( aged 2) would be there and she, “Probably hasn’t seen someone be baptized yet.” so as part of his due diligence he waited two more whole days.

It was one of those parenting things I wasn’t expecting, this whole “wanting to be baptized” things. I guess I was hoping that once they were saved they’d become angels and would no longer need discipline and it would be REALLY CLEAR that it was time for this part in the Christian faith. But as the parent of a child who occasionally disobeys and lies about his chores you start to wonder if they’re really saved?!  Do they really understand?! ( of course, that’s also what my family thought about me all through junior high and high school…and maybe even now sometimes. eek!)

Of course, this was the kid who also diligently prayed for his teacher and classmates on a daily basis and often asks Brett and I if we’ve thought to tell that person about Jesus yet! He also shared with several classmates this year:

“I asked C if she knew Jesus today at lunch.”

“What did she say?”

“She said she did.”

“So what did you say then?”

“My mouth was full.”

 

Or the time he told me he could no longer share about Jesus in school….

Me: Why do you say that?!

Ransom: Because yesterday on the way to the library, I yelled out “Hey! Do you guys know about Jesus?!” and then Mrs. G said I shouldn’t talk in the hall….

hahaha!

All in all, in the midst of his 6-year-oldness, his heart has become tender to his own sin and need for Jesus and a growing love for others and concern for others that is a blessing to watch.

I feel truly blessed to be Ransom’s mother and we continue to beg the Lord to continue working in his heart and life.

If you’re interested here is Ransom’s baptism:

 

As well as his unrehearsed Q &A before the baptism ( maybe not the best idea when dealing with 6 year olds! hahaha!)

 

Also, here is the link to the story we used in teaching our kids about Baptism as part of our No Place Left: Kids church plan! You’ll also find links to the study guide and other stories you can share with kids. The latest is “How to Share your story” 

A little share sesh

 

Hey hey friends! I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day weekend celebrating the mothers in your life. We headed to our home town to observe our nephews being baptized. It was the sweetest. Does anyone else love a good baptism?!? There really is nothing better! Also, if you’re a follower of Jesus and you haven’t been baptized…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! Let’s do this!! I definitely want to talk to you personally about what might be holding you back…

To hear my nephews David (9 yo) and Levi ( 12 yo) share a little of their testimony watch the video below….bonus Justice cameo at the end.

In other news, I’ve been struggling with some lovely health stuff this week making me move just a little slower, but that’s meant that I’ve listened to a few really good podcasts and dug out some old songs that are dear to my heart.

This little biography of the missionary Amy Carmichael was great-but the BEST part was when the guy talked about what a strong willed child Amy was…rise your hand if that’s helpful perspective with your own kids….just me?! Surely not! haha!  Incidentally, this is the first of a whole series on missionaries and giants in the christian faith- you might have to sign in to listen to the Amy Carmichael archived podcast, but its worth it! Then stay a while and listen to some of the other great little bios! My kids and I have really been enjoying this series a lot!

 

Also, if you haven’t already subscribed to the Glorious in the Mundane podcast from Christy Nockels, you really HAVE TO DO IT! The latest left me in the tears on my bedroom floor ( ok, I was actually already laying on the bedroom floor *see previous health issue above*…but still….so good!) . Listen to it!! 

 

Then today I pulled on my dusty Shane and Shane CD “Carry Away”  so many of these songs do my heart so much good. Yearn, Be Near….They are so good….but Beauty for Ashes is my absolutely favorite, favorite. Its a on repeat type of song, people.

 

 

 

Now, one last thing before I go…last week I did a little recon mission for my cover designer, to my local bookstore and took notice of book covers. Now we know we aren’t suppose to judge a book by its cover! But, WE ALL DO!!!! So I spent some time taking note of the book covers that popped out to me and then I took pictures of the ones that I not only noticed but the cover was such that I actually wanted to pick it up. Have you ever paid attention to the books you automatically pick up?! I’d love to hear the types of books that catch your eye! It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you’d end up reading but I think it says something about us, don’t you? I think I may even do it with Brett on our next date night.  (Because you all know we end up at book stores half the time). Here are some of the covers that I liked. *spoiler alert* turns out I like very simple covers where the words are the focus. Go Figure.