Saturday, June 28, 2008

my time at Deeper Still...

definitely makes me want to go deeper still with my Lord. It was an awesome time of praise, worship and fresh words from God. I can't wait to share some of what I walked away from the weekend with. But in the morning I leave on a journey to Michigan. I'll have lots to post about when I get home. In the meantime please, please pray for our nation and the elections. Kay Arthur gave us a moving lesson and warning from Jeremiah and Isaiah about the danger our nation, our children are in because so many people here believe so much is gray, okay and needs to be politically correct and tolerant.

And I'll give you a taste of what God spoke to me through Priscilla Shirer in this scripture...

At the end of Job, he said to God, "My ears had heard of you before (all the bad that has happened), but now my eyes have seen you." 42:5 and "I know that you can do all things and no plan of yours can be ruined." 42:2

Thursday, June 26, 2008

new haircut

Ella got her very first professional haircut yesterday. She's decided on a no bows, no pigtails approach to life. To make mine easier I decided she'd just get a low maintenance bob with bangs. Stylish, I'd say!Today we went swimming with Ella's friend Cullen.

Look out Michigan! She's coming to a city near you...

deeper still

Tomorrow I am leaving behind my precious husband and children for two days and a night. I'm going to Deeper Still in Atlanta with my mother-in-law and sisters. We are so excited for the chance to get away, spend time together and with the Lord (and an arena full of His daughters). I'm going to get dusted off...

From the Deeper Still blog:

Woo hoo! Deeper Still is almost here. I can't wait! This weekend is going to be over-the-top great.

The band and I have been waiting (not-so-patiently) for this special weekend. We even had a rehearsal. That's a big deal, people. We have been learning some new tunes and brushing up on some older ones (see Psalm 134:2).

Yep...we have been getting our music ready. But we have also been getting our hearts and minds prepared for whatever it is the Lord has for us to learn and experience this weekend. The Lord brought to mind a funny story that Julie, a member of the praise team, told us recently...

Julie and her husband wanted to get their kids a Wii game system for Christmas. The problem was they waited until the last minute to find one. So, they were two of the crazies who slept outside Target on Thanksgiving night so they could be one of the first to secure a Wii on Friday morning.

Well, they were successful. And you didn't even need to know that part of the story. I just love to tell it. I love to expose the crazies.

Anyway, 2 or 3 months into the new year, I asked Julie how their family was enjoying the Wii. She said that she was going to have to send it in to the manufacturer, because the controls weren't working. Bummer, I thought to myself. Actually, I didn't just think it. I said
it. Bummer. fast forward a couple of months after that. I asked Julie if she got their Wii back, and if it was fixed. She immediately got a sheepish look on her face, and ashamedly responded, " didn't have to send it. The remote sensor was just dusty. Once I
cleaned it, it worked fine."

(My apologies to Julie for exposing her dusty Wii sensor.)

Hmmm...I thought to myself. I really just thought it this time. I didn't say it.

It made me think...

I don't know what all you have weighing on you this week. Maybe you come with heavy burdens...and you are desperate for immediate answers from the Lord about a specific hurt, or problem, or do-or-die situation. Or maybe you come full of joy because in this season of your life you are on the mountaintop. Or maybe you are like Julie's Wii game...and your spirit needs a good dusting off...a refreshing new move of the Spirit of God in your life...a new Word for this new day.

Whatever season you are in...I have a feeling that all of our "sensors" could use a dusting. And I pray that we all will come ready to receive it. If you are hurting...come with your wounds exposed, and let His grace cover you...heal you. If you are celebrating, bring your joy to Him, and let His love complete you. And if you are feeling dull, stale, in need of a fresh Word, let His perfect Spirit restore you.

Because we weren't made to watch this game of life go by with a half-engaged heart. We were meant to play it! And thanks to Jesus, this good life is there for the taking.

And we don't even have to wait in line all night at Target to get it.

Come ready to engage your heart fully...He is ready for you. And we will be, too...see you in Atlanta...THIS WEEK!



Then on Sunday my mom and the kiddos and I are starting out on a road trip to visit my brother and his family in Michigan. We are splitting the 12 hour trip into 2 days. The Lord bless us and keep us...for 12 hours, 3 kids, 2 DVD screens, and who knows how many potty breaks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

6 words

Back when we were on our anniversary trip, my friend Tamara tagged me to write a 6 word sentence that encompasses my life. Tamara, I didn't forget, it just took me a while to figure it out. I'd kind of think about it here and there but kept getting stuck. What I was coming up with sounded fake or trite. And then it hit me...

Jesus loves me, this I know.

From the fullness of His grace, I have received one blessing after another (John 1:16). Jesus loves me, this I know.

I have a wonderful husband and three precious children. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I am not a perfect mother. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I wake up tired most mornings. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I cannot be all things to all people. Jesus loves me, this I know.

My first baby will start kindergarten soon. I want to be very happy for him. Instead, I'm sad. Jesus loves me, this I know.

My Ella was trying to sing along with a song in the car today. The song is called "Hallelujah." Jesus loves me, this I know.

Miles has been very trying lately. I pray for him, knowing that his strong will will serve him well one day. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I don't feel as pretty as I used to. Three kids in four years. My husband still thinks I'm beautiful. Jesus loves me, this I know.

Jonathan works, and works, and works to take care of us. Then he works some more. Jesus loves me, this I know.

He still has time for us every day. Jesus loves me, this I know.

My mom still loves to take care of me. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I miss my dad. I just want to feel his arms around me. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I will face more grief in my life. I don't know when and I just can't let myself think about it. But it is inevitable. Jesus loves me, this I know.

The days can be long and hard. The years are too short. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I'm not at all done here, but I long for Home. Jesus loves me this I know.

He's preparing a place for me there. Jesus loves me, this I know.

I can only imagine when that day comes and I find myself standing in the Son.* Jesus loves me, this I know.

From I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe
When Dad was diagnosed with cancer in November 2005, his cousin Leah, who at that time was fighting cancer herself, gave him a burned CD with this song on it. I remember reading the list of songs just before Mom and I were leaving the house to run an errand. I told Dad to listen to this song when once we were gone. I wonder what he thought about and what he imagined. He doesn't have to imagine anymore. Leah doesn't either.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

the birthday man

June 21, 2005 - Jon Miles is born

Elijah met his new brother before he was even an hour old. I remember this moment so clearly. I had wondered and prayed and worried about the moment my first baby would meet my new baby. Elijah stood in a chair next to the bed and instinctively made these sweet little noises. Miles turned to look at the face that matched the little voice he had already heard so much of. This is one of my favorite pictures ever. The beginning of brotherhood.

Miles at 11 days old. Jonathan took this beautiful picture - it almost looks like a fetal image.

This morning I said, "hello birthday boy!" and Miles replied, "No, I'm a birthday man." So all day he referred to himself as the birthday man. Tonight in the bath he told us he was bigger because he had a birthday. We had a fun day starting with a birthday orange roll. We had to light the candle and sing to him three times before he took the first bite. And actually, Miles started the celebrating before Jonathan and I were out of bed - he helped himself to a cupcake from his party yesterday. The chocolate evidence was sprinkled over my white living room rug. This little one is growing up in a fast blur...

Song lyrics | Simple Man lyrics

Friday, June 20, 2008

party animals

Miles turns three tomorrow, so today we were party animals at the zoo.

Ella with her cousin Ellison as he tried to rescue her from her stroller - they just might be partners in crime one day.

Miles with his favorite new toy as Elijah shows how old his little brother is now.

We had a fun, fun party with our fun, fun MANE man!

looks like a little sister to me...

and I should know, because thanks to my brother I spent a good bit of time with underwear on my head. But Ella was not forced to wear these fruit of the looms in this way, she chose to. For some reason she has decided that her brothers' underwear is fun to wear - as a hat. I just thought Uncle Kevin would enjoy this picture. Now he's having flashbacks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

poppa's office tower

In our house, and especially in our van, this is known as Poppa's office tower. My dad worked in this building, and we live near it, so every day (and I mean EVERY DAY) when we drive close to it I have two little voices yelling about it. So, wise woman that I am, I decided to take the kids to Dad's old office to meet some of his friends and take a look around. I actually thought I might converse with a few people while I was there. The boys had other plans. From walking out the office door to turning on and off the lights to Miles being chased down by two (TWO!) of Dad's co-workers, it was pretty much a nightmare for me. While the sweet people in radiation control didn't mind, and I think even had a little fun, chasing my boys around, I was pretty embarrassed. They found themselves in a decent amount of trouble when we got home. On the way home, I was just about in tears when I realized that Dad probably laughed and laughed as he looked down on that spectacle. I guess I'm grasping at straws to make some kind of connection to my Dad for my boys, because Miles has no memories of him and Elijah only has that of a three year old. Oh, well. I'm not laughing about today just yet, but I won't give up trying to make him real in the lives of his grandchildren.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

for Kevin on Father's Day

Dad looked pretty smitten with you.

It's Father's Day...

and I miss my dad.

While he was dying and since I have learned so much about him and the kind of man that he was; the kind of things you just don't see even though they are right in front of you. I remember one of the letters we received after he died from someone Dad had met occasionally at conferences telling us about how proud he was of each of us, and of how when he spoke of us he was happy. Other letters spoke of his influence both personally and professionally. Recently when I accepted an honor on Dad's behalf, a man I had never met nor heard of came up to give me a hug and told me he used to carpool with my dad. Many years ago. He had tears in his eyes. See, when Dad was here, he was just my dad. I loved him terribly. We didn't always see eye to eye. Sometimes we argued. Then we argued some more. But he was just always there, no matter what, my biggest fan. Waiting to be needed. Ready to help. He was hard on me at times. I see now it was for my own good. Always, always forgave me. Always loved me. My dad. But after he died, he also became a man to me. I learned what was always there in front of me. He wasn't perfect, but he was loving and he showed us the way to a loving God. Sometimes, when I feel lost without him, I just think of what he would want me to remember above all else..."remember who you are and whose you are." Meaning his daughter, but more importantly, a daughter of the King.

Friday, June 13, 2008

happy anniversary


happy anniversary

June 13, 1998In ten years we have:
  • loved college life together and now miss the loveliest village on the plains.
  • pushed each other through many tough times in school, including me wanting to quit my graduate program.
  • between us graduated three times from Auburn.
  • lived in four different homes together - each of them having their own special memories.
  • changed and grown through both good and bad.
  • welcomed one little Elijah into our hearts.
  • added a sweet Miles to the mix.
  • given one of our parents back to God.
  • in that giving back to God, matured in faith and love and our determining of priorities.
  • been blessed to receive our precious Ella.
  • loved watching our little ones grow.
  • loved watching each other "strive to reach our full potential as God's creation." (As quoted from our wedding vows.)
  • learned that our love for one another and trust in the goodness of God's will make possible the acts of faith we make in our lives - from deciding to marry to deciding to have a family to deciding to stay put instead of move away.
Happy Anniversary, Love. As I've said before, I wouldn't have it any other way than this way with you.

Memories Are Made Of This by Johnny Cash

Take one fresh and tender kiss
Add one stolen night of bliss
One girl, one boy, some grief, some joy
Memories are made of this.

Don't forget a small moonbeam
Fold it lightly with a dream
Your lips and mine to sip the wine
Memories are made of this

Then at the wedding bells
One house where lovers dwell
Three little kids for the flavor
Stir carefully through the day
See how the flavor stays
These are the dreams that we must savor

With His blessings from above
Serve it generously with love
One man, one wife, one love for life
Memories are made of this

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Anita and I taught this little group of two and three year-olds for VBS. This many at that age is crazy, fun, and pretty tiring. Tonight was our last night. That's Miles above playing ball - our theme this year was Game Day Central. Below is a group picture as we were trying to pump our kids up for the annual diaper derby.
Ella came in second in her race. In the diaper derby you must start out crawling, but can end up on your feet.
Miles' action shot - he was excited. Both to be in a race and to be running to his daddy.

And here's the picture I love. Our song time gets pretty loud and crazy, and here Elijah was just having fun, clapping and dancing for God. I love the feeling of this picture. One day, we will all be able to worship with this kind of purity, innocence, and abandon.
Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

(Psalms 8:2 ESV)

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
(Matthew 18:2-6 ESV)

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 18:10 ESV)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

so maybe I'm hungry...

but I thought the results from this little test turned out to be somewhat accurate.

My Ice Cream Personality:

You like to think of yourself as a fairly modest person. And it's true that you don't talk yourself up... but you're also pretty happy with who you are.

You are incredibly cautious. You rather miss out on something than make a mistake. No one would ever call you wild... but they would call you responsible.

You are a somewhat open minded person, but deep down you're fairly conservative. You don't like trying new things very much. And if you do find something new you like, you stick with it.

You tend to have a one track mind. You prefer not to multitask.

You can be a big dramatic and over the top sometimes. You are bold in every way.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

saturday afternoon

the boys enjoyed their Home Depot work aprons. Miles' favorite store is "Home Depot's."
Here the kiddos are perched on their future play set.blowing a kiss

in the corner...

Miles has been having some very stubborn moments lately, not the least of which include saying, "I don't want to obey..."
I'm not in trouble, right?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

for granddaddy

Even though Miles may not always speak to you, or hold your hand, or just in general be sweet to you, know that he notices how you are with him...last night I was giving him and Ella a bath and out of no where Miles said "granddaddy always talks to me." I told him that is because you love him. He smiled a big, sweet Milesy smile. And believe me, he notices those who don't talk to him, too, like the motorcycle men we pass on the interstate or the firemen who have no way of knowing he's watching them.

a prayer

last night Elijah prayed for God "to please chase away the bad dreams. I said that because I know they are scared of you..."

and this morning he told me that he did not have a single bad dream last night. How precious is this early and simple faith. God gently reminds me through my children to be like them. My prayer is that Elijah will continue in this walk all of his days.

we're home...

and we had a wonderful time. Who knew that 5 nights/6 days of being responsible for no little people could be so refreshing? Well, I guess everyone knew it, but most of us have so few chances to actually experience it. Thanks go out once again to our mothers who gave our children their own little vacation.Here we are at Biltmore. Very beautiful and ridiculously large and well appointed. I kept thinking that our tour would end at any minute, and it went on and on. Lots of fun. My feet were so sore after the house tour that I did little exploring in the gardens. Jonathan took many beautiful pictures in the greenhouses, and I took this one of an orchid that caught my eye.This view was at Sunset Rock just outside of Highlands. Not visible in this picture is a pretty view of downtown Highlands, where we stayed at the Main Street Inn.We had read about a few falls to see, and the one we really wanted to see we couldn't because the area was closed for parking improvements. It would have been an easy little walk. Instead we chose to hike a mile downward to see Glenn Falls. After reading about descending over 700 feet in a mile we thought that just maybe it would be a bit too strenuous, and then we met a couple that must have been nearing 70 that had hiked it and recommended it. We thought if they could do it, so could we. So, not to be outdone, we hiked down, down, and down some more...and found this beautiful creation. On the way down I kept thinking, "we've got to climb up and out of this..." but I also thought of the beauty of God's hand that created such wonderful things. We would have missed it if we had wimped out of the challenge - which I seriously considered when the sign at the trail head said most strenuous. I also thought about the majesty we will find when the new earth comes down. How much more lovely will the new earth be? And we won't be out of breath when we hike it's trails.

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:1-4
A picture at the top, when we were done, winded but grateful for the ability to enjoy the experience.

Thank you, my love, for a wonderful anniversary trip. I pray for many, many, many more years in the shelter of your arms. All my