Saturday, July 30, 2011
His mom has the gift of giving... And I'm always afraid of the possibility of being cold and last night I just might have been the only girl in UGG boots on hot July afternoon in Cheyenne Wyoming.
She bought us tickets and I interrupted his staff meeting with a made up story of how my car was broken down, down the street and asked could he come and help me. As he walked across the parking lot to get into his old pickup truck and come and rescue me from absolutely nothing, I popped out from behind his truck and shouted a shy but joyful SURPRISE... he looked into me all confused. Handing him the tickets I stood there with my arms folded into one another, glowing.
"What? What is this? What?"
I pointed to the words all in capitals on the bottom of the page...
ZAC BROWN BAND
"We're going there tonight. You and I up in Wyoming. She got us tickets for your birthday, my parents are with the kids and we get the gift of time."
"But, but I'm in a staff meeting? And work?"
I talked to your boss way back when and they all know.
He smiled big!
"How'd you pull that one on me?"
I wrapped my arms around his broad shoulders and we laughed.
Cheyenne is a kaleidoscope of folks. My Joey and I, we have a time and half just people watching, him with a beer in his hand, me with steeply priced cup of water. As we leaned up against the back fence, I couldn't help but think of the times that him and I would go to the airport when we were dating, share a Cinnabun, and watch all the kinds of people that would travel those world terminals.
Their was a county fair going on while the band played. We devoured the most delicious funnel cake and chatted about life with the sweetest couple that sat across from us at that packed picnic table outside the concert walls.
A woman who might not quite have been herself was dancing a bit hilariously in front of us as the opening gig did their thing. He pulled me in close and we smiled wide at one another.
We didn't talk all that much most of the night but it is so nice being at a place where we both know that we don't have to to have a good time.
I slept the entire drive home.
As I slipped off my UGG boots and crawled into bed with my clothes still on, he slid his hand gently up my arm and whispered... "I had a great time with you."
Me TOO Babe! Me too. :)
Thanks Mom for such a fun gift!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
To be a Clark there are few standards...
One of which involves wearing WITH GREAT JOY, a made-with-love paper hat on your birthday!
And little Jed...
He didn't quite agree with the standard.....
And then I walked out of the room for ONE second...
And came back to this happy, happy boy...
My beautiful masterpiece of a birthday hat....
And one very smiley boy, glad to be rid of it. :)
Friday, July 22, 2011
We prayed for this... this gift of squishy little boy cuteness... This gift of thick ankles stemming tall out of classic Vans shoes...
This gift of stellar smiles...
This gift of the small yet inquisitive...
The gift of see-through white mohawks,
The gift of him and the way his life draws me into You...
This gift of little boy laughter...
The gift of ocean blue eyes, looking into ours 365 days in a row...
The gift of health...
The gift of a hearty appetite....
The gift of reaching up to You...
The gift of crawling into Your arms...
The gift of innocent simplicity...
The gift of a year... a whole short year that You didn't have to give...
But You did!
Lord, thank you. Thank you for the privilege to love on one of your precious kids for a year full of days. Truly, truly, a gift!
Happy 1st Birthday sweet boy!
Loving you always, with our whole hearts!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. It happens to the best of us Im certain. :)
The dishes were piled high. There were crumbs all over the floor that my darling six-year-old had assured me he had swept up before going to bed last night.
The crumbs were intertwined with pockets of mouse poop, utterly disgusting I know, but that's what happens when one forgets to sweep before bed.
Then while pouring milk over the breakfast cereal, the little poop culprit came creeping across the kitchen floor. I grabbed the BB gun and put five holes in the little rodent but it kept moving so I finished it off with my machete, swept it into the dust pan, and discarded it in the outside trash. SICK, I know... but it's the farm life and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
At the breakfast table, three out of the four were melting down, the only one eating her cereal joyfully was sweet-tender Hal, and the scripture that I have been prayerfully striving to live out, (Be quick to listen and slow to become angry) was rapidly running for the door.
Welcome to the first fifteen minutes of another day in the farmhouse.
Sitting at the table I took a deep breath and closed my eyes... the two youngest were still screaming... and I whispered under my breath,
"What am I missing Lord? I got up early, I spent time in Your Word, You and I chatted for some time. Where did I go wrong? How am I going to make it through this entire day, when clearly I'm struggling to make it through the first fifteen minutes? Open my eyes to see what you see in this moment. Cuz right now, all I can manage to muster up is annoyance."
And then it comes. And I hear that still small voice in my head reminding me AGAIN (because I'm always forgetting, even though He's told me over and over again)...
"Gifts... it's all a gift. Every bit of it. Turn into all into thanks."
And it's awkward, but I try it anyways, and I say it out loud, over the screaming and the bickering...
"Thank you for these children Lord.
Thank you that I get to love on them continuously.
Thank you that I get trained by You as I live and learn to train them.
Thank you that we're all together this morning.
Thank you for the opportunity to learn to be quick to listen, and slow up my tendency to become angry.
Thank you that I have dishes to wash and warm, clean, soapy water to wash them in.
Thank you that I have children to dirty up those dishes.
Thank you for the three meals a day that you put in our fridge and allow me to put on the table.
Thank you for building up courage within me to deal with those rascally mice on my own.
Thank you for all these kids loaded with spunk and personality, opinions, and determination.
Thank you for the ones that are like me, emulating both my good parts and bad parts, they're the ones that I understand intimately.
Thank you for the ones that think like their Papa, I love their hearts, the way that I love their Papa's heart. :)
Thank you that we have each other to live this very loud, messy life with.
Thank you for helping me turn my attitude into gratitude today... Because we all know that it's You, it's your wild, unending grace that opens my flawed, old eyes.
As I speak it out loud, they calm. It's a mystery to me. I didn't do anything special. I simply turned my boiling frustration into all the thanks that I could muster up.
It's happened several times today.
I've breathed deep, over and over again.
And I've felt my heart soften and found hope for life under this farmhouse roof to be more than just making it through. I'm finding a way to soak up this life, to see Him in all of life, even in the messy parts.
He's here. He's always here. I just need eyes that see. :)
Counting the gifts.. #'s 527-541
Monday, July 18, 2011
Summer picnics, just because...
Giggles on air...
Counting the never-ending ways that He loves...
#'s 499-526 of the endless gift list.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I LOVE memorizing scripture with my little ones. Truth be told, when it comes to memorizing scripture I completely lack creativity. But no need here, because our little treasures have this natural way of making all things fun.
Currently we are memorizing psalm 19 together as a family.
Psalm 19:5 goes like this..
"It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course..."
"It is like a bridegroom coming out of his cham-burger!" And the crowd roars with laughter.
Then Hal, leads us on,
"Like a champion rejoicing to run his horse."
The funny part to me is that they are just doing their best to talk and they have no idea why it's all so funny, but they laugh when I laugh.
Sometimes there are words that just sound funny to the kids and so they find themselves laughing through the words. And I love their joy so I just jump right into the laughter.
God's Word can sometimes have a reputation of being boring, but once you get into it, you'll find that it's impossible to ever again deem The Word Of God Boring. This past week alone we have read of a man who had a stake driven through his head, armies of 300 hundred defeating an army of tens of thousands, and a man who with his bare hands pulling together two giant pillars and knocking over a building that killed thousands of God's enemies all at once.
It's adventure to my boy, and kinda gross to the girls, but far from dull reading for everyone at the table.
I also wanted to share a resource that has been helping me tremendously as I fumble my way through memorizing...
On this sight you can pick any verse you'd like memorize and then takes you through three steps to help you remember and retain. I've been going using this little site each morning after I read the Word alone in my bedroom before the treasures wake up and I have been able to put to memory the first twelve verses of psalm 19 and three other random verses that I have been wanting to put to memory all in a month's time. This same site will also print out business size cards with each scripture and it's reference so that when you are not close to a computer you can have the Word with you. I have a little pocket size mead notebook that I glued the verses in and I take the little book with me when I water the plants or wash the dishes.
I've spent years convinced that memorizing God's Word was simply impossible for me. Recently I read this quote by Billy Graham, a man who most might describe as a saint.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I love so much about the friends He's laid in our laps, but one of the things I love the most is the simplicity that brings joy. It seems that all we need are some homemade strawberry muffins, a few juice boxes, two treasures worth all the celebration in the world, and each other... To have the best of times.
We went to Focus on the Family this morning and had a simple, sweet shindig for our two youngest kiddos. It's hard to believe that another year has gone by. All the moments we've been given as a Mama and Papa with these two precious treasures...
I tend to have subconscious, yet high expectations for how I think things should go.
But today, we packed up the car with our four favorite little people in the whole world,
we left any and all expectations for a fancy spectacular party at home,
and we ventured out to the little patio outside Whit's Landing.
And with eyes that were looking out for the seemingly small, we found wildly extravagant gifts in the simple sweet.
Simple, sweet siblings,
Simple, sweet balloons...
Simple, sweet treats...
Simple, sweet friends...
You make our lives simply sweet! :)