Tuesday, September 1, 2015

For everything there is a season

I have always loved the idea of a season changing. Pulling out new clothes that have been stored (well, depending on where you live I suppose), gearing up for new foods and new smells (the best thing about fall is pumpkin everything, no?), and a clean slate for a fresh start in areas that might need a little attention. No one ever said you have to wait until January 1st to begin again.

As we turn the page from August to September today, I am reminded of the well quoted section of scripture in Ecclesiastes 3.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. 
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for men that to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in ALL his toil - this is a gift of God. 


Oh how these verses bring me joy and hope. God is basically telling us here that yes, we will all have trouble and sadness and heartbreak and war but He make all things new.  All things. Not just some of them or ones He deems worthy of renewal, but ALL of them. He takes that season of waiting and weeping and turns in into the biggest dance party we have ever seen. He takes that season of loneliness and questioning and turns it into community and security. He takes that season of pruning and plucking and turns it into an abundance of fruit. There is so much promise hidden inside Ecclesiastes 3.

So whatever season you find yourself in today, may I encourage you to find hope in His promises? Take heart because the season will indeed change. For every season you find yourself in there is the promise of a September 1. God is working so hard behind the scenes that we cannot remotely fathom the goodness in store. The trees won't remain barren forever. Leaves will come and colors will shine and joy will be found again. Thank you, Jesus, for making all things new.

Monday, August 31, 2015

South Padre Island

We wrapped up summer by taking a little family trip to South Padre Island. We had an absolute blast! None of us wanted to make the drive home yesterday. We were all veeeerry comfortable with the take it easy, no real responsibility vacation mode of the past four days. We rented a house just a few blocks from the beach, that included a private pool, which was the best decision ever. The girls had a ball splashing and going nuts in the pool, and Clara amazed us with her water skills after only a few days there. She learned to stabilize herself with floaties and how to kick and move around in the water!! We also enjoyed the beach, of course, and spent a morning at the indoor portion of Schlitterbahn. While not all of our family trips go as planned (because small children), this one was a home run! So thankful for this family I get to call mine and the memories we make along the way.















































We have come a long way as a family this summer (think lots of stretching and lots of growth and lots of fun thrown in there, too), and are ready to embrace the upcoming fall season (or for Houston folks. . . "fall" where the temp still reads 100 degrees). 

*Oh, and the girls and I did complete our summer bucket list 2015, but didn't get pictures of the remaining items (toddler time at the library, random act of kindness, and museum), so you will just have to trust us on this one. I am sure everyone is highly disappointed.*

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chance's due date . . . How we spent August 15, 2015

Chance's due date has come and gone and I am so thankful for all we shared as a family that day. This past Saturday was a day full of love and peace and joy and lots of laughter. A few tears were shed, but even those were mostly stemming from a place of thankfulness. God had his hand all over August 15, 2015. There is just no other explanation.

Saturday we spent the morning making a visit to the hospital where I delivered. We had put together a basket of baby boy goodies, all products and items we enjoy using, and decided to give it away to a family that welcomed a baby boy that day. This is something I felt God nudging us to do for several months, and thought it would make our Chance proud and would be a special way to honor him.


The closer we got to the hospital the more nervous I became. I was so excited to pass on our basket to a new family, but was also a little anxious entering the same halls where we last left empty handed.


The four of us, all decked out in blue, approached the nurses station and I asked if my sweet Reena, the nurse who was with me the day I delivered Chance, was working. She was not, but as a result we spoke to two of the sweetest nurses you will ever meet. I briefed them on our story, that today was my actual due date, and in honor of our son we wanted to pass on a little gift basket to a family welcoming a baby boy. The nurses began to tear up and so (of course) I did as well.

But these tears felt different. These tears were coming from a sadness yes, but also from a deep place of peace and hope and overwhelming love. The two angels disguised as nurses assured us they would pick the perfect family and let us know they would be thinking of us and praying for us as the day continued. We meant to have them take our family picture, but in the midst of the sweet emotion, we forgot. But that is ok. We will always have that moment etched into our memory.

While walking to the car Brandon and I were both smiling from ear to ear. We kept telling each other "That was really, really good. I am so glad we did that." We could both feel our hearts bursting with joy.

After leaving the hospital we drove to the cemetery where Chance is buried. We knew we could not let the day pass without making a visit. As we approached his grave site I noticed a little something laying next to his marker.

"Brandon. What is that? I think someone put something on his grave. Did you do that? Because I didn't."

Once we were out of the car and approaching his spot I continued. . .

"Brandon. . . someone did this for us! Someone knew we would be coming and in their thoughtfulness planned ahead to bless us, by remembering and acknowledging today for what it was supposed to be." 

Sunflowers and a hand written note from our sweet friends. Such a sweet gesture and moment that again, will be forever etched into our memory.


We attempted a few pictures with the girls next to their brother, but that wasn't happening (because toddlers). So I then jumped in to "hold them down" and we got a few good ones of all the girls ( I use the term "good" very loosely).




The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing at home and taking naps (Brandon and the girls), visiting a friend who just had a new baby (me . . . of course tearing up because goodness. . . life is just such a precious, amazing miracle), and getting a well deserved manicure/pedicure (me obviously,  although I hear gentlemen's pedicures are a big hit these days?).

The evening was spent enjoying barbecue, peach cobbler, and fellowship with good friends. So thankful for these people and deep cords of friendship. The perfect way to end the perfect day.







A huge thanks to all of you who emailed, called, or texted on Saturday just to let us know we were on your heart and mind. Knowing other people have not forgotten Chance brings warmth to our hearts. The day could not have been more perfect.

Thank you, Jesus, for bringing sunshine after the rain.

You turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11
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P.S. The little cuties who were responsible for helping bless us with the flowers and card at the cemetery. Love them and love their hearts.