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    Archive for March 2015

    Mundane Saturday

    Monday, March 30, 2015

    So when I realized that on Saturday we had nothing to do...

    Well, I was excited. I might have did the Hallelujah dance. Or maybe not. I'm just pitching that out there.

    Because besides watching Kentucky play basketball that evening, there was nothing I'd have rather done with our day than stay in our pajamas and chill.

    We've got another sweet little to love on for a while so resting and getting used to his routine was a bonus to our lazy day.

    You thought I was kidding about the pajama thing....

    (And it's a onesie no less!)

    It seems that the theme of slowing down (which kept hitting me like a ton of bricks on spring break) has stuck.  Let's hope it last's longer than a week. (Big smile.)

    Hearing my littles say things like, "You know what the white egg presents? (That's kid language for represents.) An empty tomb!"

    Why yes it does sweet girl. Those words were priceless to me.



    I love spring. Especially the resurrection week of spring.

    I've noticed on social media that a lot of people seem to be doing cleanses, fasts and the sort.

    So this is my spring fast.

    I'm taking a break from the fast and focusing on at-home activities as we head into summer.

    And just like that white egg I aim to be empty, poured out completely.

    So that He can fill my days, my time spent and most of all my mothering, with Him.

    Expactations

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    The weather was just beautiful and as a lover of sunshine,  I had our evening all figured out.

    It involved a lot of being outside.

    Dad's away on a work trip this week so I would bake the three of us a fine family meal of chicken nuggets and fries because we like to keep it healthy when he's gone. 

    We would then take said healthy meal out to the front lawn, spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy the weather through dinner. Listening to the birds sing and watching the wind blow through the trees sure beats the four walls of a kitchen anytime.

    That would be followed up by bike rides, games of horse, and maybe a walk around the neighborhood before going in for the day.

    All of this playing outside would work really well in my favor of the old routine of putting the kids to bed an hour early when dad's away on a business trip.

    (I dread the day that they figure out that I do this. It's worked really well in mama's favor while it's lasted though.)

    So that was the plan anyway.

    Until we had to make an unexpected errand run after school. It didn't take long and the kids were well behaved. I had a proud mother moment or two, walked us back to the car and we were on the way home when it started getting oddly quiet.

    Not like they're up to something quiet-just plan quiet.

    I glanced in the rearview mirror and could see sleepy eyes but we don't live even a good ten minutes across town so no big deal.

    Then I pulled in the driveway, opened up the garage door and more quiet. They were out.

    With all the graciousness of an elephant on a tight rope I managed to carry them in and lay them on the couch one at a time, thinking surely I could make enough noise and move them around enough that they would wake up.

    Well, no. That didn't happen.

    So when they were both inside sleeping soundly on the couch and the garage door had been closed behind me, I looked around and thought shazam. Time for something productive.

    That thought left my mind about as quickly as it had entered and I curled up next to them and was probably sawing logs in no time.

    Now, let me just explain to you something about my littles. THIS NEVER HAPPENS.

    When the babies turned into big kids, naps went out the door. I grieved a little and quickly realized I was going to have to turn into an early to bed, early to rise woman if I was going to survive.

    Oddly enough for a woman who worked night shift for years, it worked wonderfully for all of us. But as a result of that I'm sort of like a mean drill sergeant about bed time.

    Now you see where this story with seemingly no point is going.

    Bed time at the usual time-it was NOT happening around here tonight.

    And you know what, that's ok.

    I looked at those two precious little sleeping people on the couch today, panicked for a minute or two about how this is going to make our morning look tomorrow and then refocused.

    My littles were tired. They needed to rest.

    And if that means our evening routine got all out of whack? So be it.

    If tomorrow morning is full of grumbles and sleep walking children because of a late bedtime tonight, we will survive.

    I had to let go of my expectations this evening and just let them be.

    A lot of what God has taught me about life through motherhood is to let the expectations go.

    More often than not we're trying to live up to something that's unfair or unattainable anyway.

    Now-don't get me wrong-I'm not saying that a regular routine is a bad thing. I love our routine. Our routine is good.

    What I am saying is that time and again I've just got to learn that one odd day isn't going to kill us. Roll with the punches.

    And more than that-enjoy them.

    We had the oddest evening which involved running to Weigels after dark for a fountain drink. I guess staying up late makes one a bit thirsty. But you know what? It was fun!

    We giggled as we drove and the kids were singing every lyric on the radio as we made our way back home.

    That's something I would have missed if I hadn't  let go of my expectations and embraced the unexpected.


    Joy Is

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Joy is found in the small things of life.

    Ironic isn't it, since we spend so much of our days in vain pursuit of things that won't really matter in the end.

    My people and I-we spent last week unplugged and away from the busyness of every day. It was joyful indeed.

    The laughter in those little voices, the sunshine on their faces and the ice cream dripping from their chins, well it all did my mama soul some good.


    While I love the memories that are made and the fun that is had by all-one of my favorite things about a week away is perspective.

    Because somewhere in the middle of the piles of laundry and the dishes and  the how am I going to concoct some sort of chicken and call it dinner tonight there is a mundane dance that is too easy to acquire.

    Sometimes that makes the little things like the way the light shines in your kindergartner's eyes seem too dull.

    Or the way the freckles spot the nose of your pre-schooler seem like beauty that will always be there, so why stop and marvel at it today?

    Sometimes? Well sometimes we just need a good reminder to slow down and enjoy what is being lived today. Because we aren't promised tomorrow.

    Tomorrow it will not matter that we worked overtime today. Or missed a soccer game last Saturday. Or spent endless hours scrolling through social media. Or talking too much on the phone. Or whatever it is that we do-that doesn't really matter.

    It is so easy for me to get caught up in doing what it is that I do-instead of being who I am called to be.

    And who is that exactly?

    Well, I'd say it's a lot of things but mostly at this point in my life-it's mama.

    Going in slo-mo is crucial for me every now and then-because finding time to appreciate the small joys of motherhood is the good stuff that my life is really made up of.

    And for me it's hard to remember that when I'm too busy.


    Of course you won't find that information anywhere in the latest best selling self help book. It is not a number in the the course of "ten keys to success" or "twenty ways to make your life matter." 

    We live in a world that thrives on busyness and I too am guilty of having a calendar with not enough white space.

    But when I slow myself long enough to hear the giggles as we bike ride through a quaint little town, and when I look at life through the eyes of a five and six year old while building sand castles....perspective.

    And with that perspective my heart is so content. So full of joy.




    I don't need help juggling-I need help slowing down. Because just like tiny grains of sand passing through those little fingers....

    so goes the moments of our lives. 

    (No that was not a promo for Days of our Lives.) 

    It just sort of sounded that way.

    Joy to me is motherhood. And the million little things that go along with that role. 





    Keep Digging

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    This sweet boy of mine, he is always teaching me a thing or ten.


    I'm so thankful that The Lord didn't make him an "easy child" because how boring would that have been?

    On good days he is a delight. On bad days he is stretching me, pulling me out of my comfort zone. I love it that he keeps me humble and in constant conversation with the Savior on my parenting. I don't even pretend to have him all figured out.

    The truth is that this sweet boy of mine is actually a lot like his mama.

    It's humbling to see the best and worst of yourself in a pint size version.

    I used to wish that I could tell him the hard lessons I've learned early on so that he could just skim over that part of life toward becoming the little person that God has designed for him to be.

    But lately I've changed my prayer to sound a bit more like, "God this is an amazing child with a super strong will. He is strong, yet tender hearted. He is very opinionated but easily influenced at the same time. So I thank you for the wonderful person you've created and I want you to show him from an early age how to become all that you intend for him to be."

    The fact of the matter is that I think I've been protecting my sweet boy too much.

    Often times I can see him starting to get angry and I'll hurry and try to redirect him.

    If I know that something is going to upset him then I'll do whatever it takes to avoid it.

    There's nothing wrong with that sometimes-but my heart has been convicted lately that I need to let him feel anger so that he can learn how to deal with it in a healthy way.

    I need to let him be upset, so that he learn how to cope with disappointment early in life.

    That might sound mean and hard and cruel but the truth is that I wasn't much older than my boy is now when I vividly remember how I started figuring out that everything in life wasn't always sweet and sassy.

    And the last thing I want to do is build a bubble around my little one that is so thick he'll never be able to see the world around him clearly.

    We are on vacation as I type this. You would think that a week in the sand and sunshine would be giggles and grins and everything glorious wouldn't you?

    You would be wrong.

    Our little man wasn't feeling well when we started this trip off and that coupled with the lack of a routine....shazam. We found ourselves in the middle of a couple of off days for our boy.

    I immediately did what I always do first, which was start thinking of ways that I could handle this and ways that I could make it better.

    Of course, as a mom, it's easy to do that.

    But then I made myself let go a little bit.

    "Just trust Angel. Trust and believe he's going to be able to figure some of these hard things out."

    That's always so much easier when you aren't right in the middle of a mess.

    And then yesterday as I was watching the grumpiness unfold he did the neatest thing.

    He sat down with his blue shovel and just started digging. He dug for quite some time and actually he and The Princess spent a few hours today doing the same thing again.

    Not building a sand castle really, just digging for the pure pleasure of it.

    As I watched him dig I thought about life and the times that you feel overwhelmed, overcome by frustration, anger, sadness, depression and all of it would surely overtake you if you didn't choose to keep on digging.

    Sometimes for the life of you, you just look at everyone else and they all seem so happy and carefree, jumping in the waves and all, and you have to sit and dig.

    But if you keep digging long enough you will find what you're after.

    The joy everlasting that comes from Him, only from Him sometimes gets covered up with the messiness of everyday life.

    Week after week and year after year of storms and waves can  overlap and bury your dreams deeper and deeper until you look around and it all looks the same.

    Kind of like a sandy seashore.

    When it does and when you feel numb from the frustration of it all-if you'll just go back to where you started from and start digging, it may not appear at once, but surely after while persistence pays off and what you're looking for will start to resurface again.

    And like a six year old who's just been handed a double scoop of ice cream, you will cherish your treasure and relish in the joy of that which you spent precious time looking for.

    Are you in a pit today? Keep digging friend.

    I don't promise gold....I've got something better.

    It's joy everlasting. It can't be bought or measured-it comes from on High and it is so worth every day you'll ever spend digging.



    The Loving and The Letting Go

    Sunday, March 15, 2015

    You came and stayed for a little while.

    When you left, a part of my heart went out the door in the other arms that carried you.

    That's how this process goes, or so I'm learning.

    The truth is that I've only waded into the shallow end of the pool and still have so much to learn about how to be the best mama I can be to the precious littles being brought to us.

    Like for instance, how to love and how to let go at the same time. Remnants of your stay remain and I wipe tears for a while and smile at the same time.



    Because the truth is, little one, that I'm still learning to adjust to the fact that you are gone and the little snacks on the kitchen counter are still here. There's a clean footed sleeper,  fresh and ready to be worn on top of the folded laundry pile and currently, no one here to wear it.

    I dug through totes last night and found clothes for your age and size. You're coming back in a few days and I aim to be ready. But at the same time I put the baby food back in the pantry and pushed the high chair to the corner because it's not yet time.
    The loving and the letting go....it makes for a wide pendulum swing of emotions on a mama's heart in one day.

    I still don't know all that much about the way this all works. Even the acronyms that go along with all of the formal process can leave my brain feeling more than a little fuzzy.

    But this I do know. I love children.

    I love you little one.

    And for now that's all I need to know.

    Even though it's painful, I would much rather love deep and well and have to cry with the separation that goes along with this process, than to never know this kind of love at all.

    It's all very strange to me still, even the deep love that I feel because my biggest fear going into all of this was whether or not I'd be able to attach.

    Yeah, you took that fear with your chubby little hand and threw it right out the window never to be heard of again. Because when my eyes looked into yours a confirming piece of this puzzle locked into place never to be removed again.

    We were called to walk this road. It got a little confusing at times, but you gave us all the proof we needed to know that this path that we're on? It's right.

    I stand back and marvel at the precious ones who care for you night and day and have done so nearly your entire little life-and I wonder how I am ever going to be that strong. They are the very hands and feet of Jesus and there's no one I'd have rather looked to for a real eye opener kind of first experience than them.

    They have blown the four walls of safe living down with a jackhammer and love you and show you Jesus without abandon. Your little eyes light up when they walk in. It's a marvelous miracle, that God can weave the fabric of two lives together into this beautiful story of yours that He's creating.

    Whatever your story is little buddy, I know it's going to be great. Our God is FOR you.

    No matter how much I think I love you, or anyone else loves you, He loves you way more than that.
    He knew you before you were born into this world and knit you together in your mother's womb.

    Even though you got off to a little bit of a different start, that didn't take Him by surprise. We live in a sin infested, fallen world and He arranged and rearranged the plan that would take place to put you right where you are today.

    You are chosen little one, by the God of the universe. You are His child first and although what that's going to look like here on Earth is still a little fuzzy, I have full confidence that He will put you right where you're meant to be.

    So I will love you and I will let you go.

    I will smile and laugh when you're here and cry when you leave.

    I will push you in the baby swing at the park, rock you to sleep when you're tired, hunt Easter eggs with you and take a million pictures along the way.

    And when the van drives up to take you home I will load up your things, cry the ugly cry and smile through the tears as I wave goodbye because I trust God is working out all the details of your little life. His plans are far greater than mine could ever be anyway.

    It's been one of the biggest blessings of my life already-to have even been this much a part of your story.


    Free to Live

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    When you take on something, you inevitably give up something else.


    We're not superwomen. That's not who we're made to be. No matter how much anyone tries to portray that they can do it all-the fact of the matter is that none of us can.

    We can however,  do all things through Christ who gives us strength. But I tend to think He gives us strength more for the Kingdom work that He needs for us to do-not necessarily all of the things that we might think need to be done.

    It would be really easy for me to beat myself up, for example, when I see pictures of neatly organized homes on everyones social media. Because my laundry pile right now? 

    It's where we've been getting clean socks from for the last two days.

    And that bed is only made because it's the guest bed. Which means it hasn't been used since the last guest left two weeks ago.

    Right about now the vacuum needs to be ran, the kitchen counter has Barbies on it instead of food 
    which I should probably do something about before dinner.

    (As a side note I have no idea why Barbie is doing push ups. Because I can almost guarantee you my daughter sees not much of this from me.)

    and the living room? 

    Well, the living room is being lived in. Which means it's the farthest thing from anything that looks like it's out of Southern Living or such.

    Matter of fact, yesterday when Tanner walked in from school he laughed and said, "I can tell a baby has been here."

    He was right and my heart was full. I still haven't cleaned all of those toys up because baby fever.

    I'm joking. Sort of. Toddler fever is more like it.


    The coolest thing about it all is that sure, even though at some point the laundry will have to be folded and put away, I will have to move Barbie and cook dinner and get the living room to the point that we can walk through it....

    the fact of the matter is that although Superwoman I am not, I am a mother, wife, daughter, friend and sometimes those things take priority over house cleaner/chef.

    If we have to order out tonight it won't kill us. If we get our socks from the laundry pile one more day before I put it all away, at least we've had clean socks to wear right?

    I don't want to miss the wonderful opportunities to BE who God has called me to be and spend my days doing the things He's called me to do. 

    Things like share and live this glorious Gospel, taking a meal to a friend in need, loving on some littles that we're called to love on in addition to my own and take an hour out to talk to and encourage a friend in need.

    I might catch myself caught up in the beast of comparison and feel down on myself for a while, but by the help and grace of God I will get back up and I will march forward and walk the path that God has called me to walk.

    The laundry can wait. 

    The dishwasher is in charge of the majority of the kitchen mess.

    Chik-fil-A is serving dinner.

    Today I am not guilting myself.  I am going to LIVE.




    A Beautiful REAL Sunday

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    The Lords day has always been a favorite of mine. Even if, at least for a few times in my life, that might have been just because I considered it a command that mama rest on that day.

    That might have sounded something like, "Any further requests should be made known to your dad. I am now off duty taking a nap."

    But that's neither here nor there really because the point is yesterday I found myself in complete awe and appreciation of REAL worship, REAL church. And what I saw was so much more than a Sunday.

    That's what makes the Lord's day so special, when the church disassembles after the Sabbath and and tears down the four walls taking the heart of the Gospel into real life Monday.

    And as the church stood and sang, "Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me..." I stood in holy awe of the crazy amount of amazing grace surrounding me, surrounding all of us sitting there in the beautiful country church pews.

    Amazing grace has saved us all.

    One family after another stood alongside each other, blended together by God's grace in a sin infested world which leaves plenty of room for the church to open arms and adopt others into the family of God. More than any Sunday I've noticed in a while, the families yesterday looked like a big colorful quilt stitched together with so many fabrics, many of them undoubtedly stained with life, with sin, in need of the red blood of a Savior to wash them clean.

    When you put flesh and bones on the Spirit living inside of us and walk out the commands to (Luke 14:33) forsake all and follow Me....you see things that look like Jesus living and walking among us. You see foster mama's wiping little noses, young men helping the elderly and sweet church mothers speaking to the one that no one has ever seen walk through those doors before. Because we carry His Spirit inside of us, that's what we're called to do.

    We're food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, a father to the fatherless and more.

    If we fail to do that? We're not much more than a social gathering of people singing songs and exchanging pleasantries. But if we do, we are living out His purpose and not our own...because He has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace 2 Timothy 1:9.

    It all struck a chord with me yesterday because we sit on the eve of what could be the literal jumping in the pool for our family.

    We're called to reach out, we're ready and we're waiting for that open door.

    That's so much easier to do when you're surrounded by the incredible faith of others who are living the example in front of you.

    So when the preacher read from Matthew chapter twenty five about doing for the least of these my heart beat a little faster with the anticipation of leaving Sunday and living it out the rest of the week, the rest of our lives.

    I can't do only religion anymore-I have to have relationship because the God I serve is REAL. He lives inside of us, He walks among us and we are here to be His representatives.

    I can't wait to live out the rest of this week and see what He has right around the corner.

    It's going make standing in those aisles, worshipping this wondrous God I serve all the more amazing next Sunday.


    When Life As Usual Isn't Good Enough Anymore

    Friday, March 6, 2015

    For quite some time now we've been good.

    Life is comfortable, we're in a groove and the kids are well. Who could ask for more right?

    Well, we are.

    I was sitting at my desk (otherwise known as the kitchen table) Monday when I got a phone call that would change us forever.

    Quite some time ago, Tim and I felt the Lord leading us to become foster parents. We went through the classes and the home study. We're now approved, we're just waiting.

    Patience has never been a virtue of mine so while one might think that we're in the home stretch of preparation, I think I've only just begun.

    Getting to this point didn't happen overnight. We've been talking to other families and seeking Godly counsel on this subject for years. The one piece of advice that we've heard again and again (I particularly remember Jon Croyle telling me this at a Lifeway conference when I met him two years ago) is that a yes is a yes, a no is a no and a maybe is a no. If you're ninety-nine percent in, don't do it.

    You have to give these kids one hundred percent.

    That was all good and fine and I am in agreement even now with the theory.

    But in real life this not knowing thing, this ninety nine percent thing-well it's hard. Really, really hard.

    I have been praying that we would get a clear yes or no call and on Monday we got a ninety-nine.

    We talked about it, prayed about it and talked some more. We went back and forth with placement and gathered as much info as we could. We sought the advice of others who have gone this way before.

    And when we weren't clear we did the only thing we knew to do.....we put it solely in God's hands. We were open to taking them, but we wanted to know for sure they were the littles that God is guiding to our home. The ones that we are supposed to take care of, support and love with open arms.

    So we laid it all out on the line and within just a little while they were placed with another family. Our answer was no.

    I was numb. I thought for sure it would have been a yes and while my mama's heart just wanted to hold these girls and love on them, God's heart said, "I have a different plan."

    I stood at the kitchen sink yesterday morning with so many questions in my mind that I didn't even know what to pray. When I finally said, "God I'm afraid we might have made this a little too hard," He spoke ever so gently back to my heart, "Is anything too hard for God?!"
    I know He's right, nothing is too hard for him. If He intended for us to parent those girls, He would have sent them our way.

    The emotions in my heart and the knowledge in my head that God's way is always, always, always best have been hard to connect this week. Yet I won't stop trusting, I won't stop believing and I will always be confident of this one thing-He is good and He knows what was best for those girls way better than I do.

    So now?

    Now I wait for a little missing piece of the puzzle that I can pour myself into, feed, clothe and know for sure that completely, absolutely without the shadow of a doubt has been placed into our home for such a time as this.

    My heart had to be broken into shattered pieces this week to be molded back into the woman that God can use for His glory as a foster mom.

    Now my heart....

    My heart is laid bare and open before the Father, beating wildly outside of my chest in the form of another little person that I am so anxious to love.

    Oh, little one hundred, may the Father bring you to us soon. I am so ready to help you mend your broken pieces too.








    A Whole Hand

    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Today you are five my dear.

    When we woke up you wanted to make colored pancakes. Because, of course.

    I knew five years ago that this would be awesome, this sharing life with a little girl. But I had no idea just how awesome it was going to be. 

    Five years in and we are in full on royal mode at this house.

    You are our Princess and we adore you. 

    Right before your fifth birthday party started, you had an impromptu dance party listening to Disney music. It was beautiful.

    I hope you are able to dance through the good times and bad and stay this carefree forever.



    I'm thankful that we decided to celebrate your birthday the Saturday before instead of the Saturday after because currently, on this Thursday of you turning five, the stomach bug has found it's way back into our house.

    We got to eat our cake (and keep it down) dance along with you, celebrate with you and hopefully you realized just how loved you are Miss Q.



    We celebrated as REAL LIFE royalty, paper plates and all.


    I wouldn't trade one minute of it, or one minute with you, for anything and everything in the world.

    Happy birthday little princess.

    A Letter to my Daughter

    Monday, March 2, 2015

    She turns five this week and it doesn't seem possible.

    It seems that just last week I was feeding her bottles and washing onesies in Dreft. Then all of a sudden I turn around and chase that baby into preschool and realize that she isn't so little anymore.

    Turning five is big.

    Independence is through the roof, conversations are hilarious, the anticipation of Kindergarten has her already wishing time away and I am clinging to every minute.

    It's like trying to hold sand in your hands. Time slips right through your fingers and disappears.

    So, on the eve of a new era for my girl, here are mama's thoughts and wishes.

    Dear Miss Q,

    I've heard that you're now in the golden years of childhood and I think I heard right.

    We celebrated you turning a whole hand this past Saturday and my heart was filled with joy. 

    You danced in circles to Disney music, busted a piƱata (cried a little when you didn't get much candy,) played pin the pony tail on Elsa and we all ate way too many sweets. It was splendid.

    Your official turning of four to five isn't until 1:30 pm Thursday but the celebration has already begun and is in full swing at our house. 

    You are our princess and we want to honor you.

    I remember thinking you were going to be a boy (that's what the ultrasound had said at first) and to be honest I was a tad bit disappointed. It wasn't that I didn't fully enjoy all the energy and fun brought on by our little mister, it was just that I wanted someone that I could share life with and enjoy all things pink. 

    They say it's wrong to be your child's friend and I'm still trying to figure out what all of that looks like because honestly, at five years old, you are already my little BFF. While I want to shepherd you well I want to enjoy you well too. 

    We usually go to lunch together a few times a week, I braid your hair and you play with mine too. We paint our nails and both share a love for a good book. There's no way you could understand this yet but you have a little children's bible and it's much deeper than the rest. That's the one you always want me to read to you and when I'm finished with one story you always want one more. You are your mother's child.

    I'm honestly contemplating taking you with me to a Living Proof Live event in the summer-because although we love the beach (going in two weeks) Disney world and all things fun, I can already see an interest in your little mind and while you're  curious I want you to grasp at a young age that there is SO MUCH MORE! How wide and how deep and how high is the love of Christ. (Ephesians 3:14-21.)

    I want you to know that you are a priceless treasure, known by Him before you were even known to me (Psalm 139:13) and that in His Kingdom you are able to accomplish whatever your life is going to ask of you (Phil 4:13.)

    Right now your little world is fun and light and carefree. While I wish it would stay that way forever, you will reach an age soon enough that will make you realize that everyone and everything in this world isn't good. And I want you to know that that is ok....Christ knew it would be like this and He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us overcome bad people and bad days and any bad thing you might encounter.

    And everything bad will never go completely away until we finally get to the place we're meant to be-where everything is always good and sparkly and pink. A kingdom where we are all Princes and Princess and our Kingdom is forever secure.

    So on this week as you turn from four to five and next year as five turns into six and before you blink you're fifteen and learning to drive and started to wonder why a certain boy has your attention all of a sudden-I want you to know that mama will be there for you through it all.

    More than that HE will be there with you through it all and actually He'll even be there when mama can't.

    You already do such a sweet thing when you are having a bad day-you just say, "Jesus, Jesus" over and over. You're on the right track big girl.

    Keep repeating His name over and over and keep shining his glorious light bright to all those around you. 

    Never let anyone in this world rob you of your joy, Miss Q. "May the God of hope fill you Quinley with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit." Romans 15:13

    You have a sweet soul, a kind little spirit and I want to encourage you to always "keep your chin up girl," too many people lost their joy and never find it again.

    Oh sweet girl, if you only knew how much mama loves you.

    Everything about you from the way your blonde hair shines, to the little freckles on your nose and especially the way that you still let me rock you and love on you-oh girl....I find it all fascinating.

    You are loved. You are chosen. You are mine.

    Happy birthday week Miss Quinley. May this be your best year yet!

    Love,
    Mama