Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fix Me

When you are making a quick dash to the basement to grab something out of the downstairs refrigerator, and this is what you see drawn on your wall sized chalkboard, you stop in your tracks.

What's that all about?

Who drew it...and why?

Is one of my kids suffering from a broken heart?
Did one of their friends draw it when they were over visiting?
Was there some deep discussion going on and that drawing was the result?
Were they just goofing around?
Or, had they just watched a particular heart breaking episode of "One Tree Hill" and felt inspired?

At this writing, I have not asked anyone in the house about the chalkboard art. I've just been thinking about it.

Not only can this chalk drawing convey a particular emotion at a particular time over a particular hurt, but it also illustrates the deep life cry of all our hearts.

Fix me.

We all know something's not right in us...with us. We need fixing on the heart/life level.

Sin has broken our heart - our life - and only God can fix it. Only God can fix us. He sent Jesus to die in our place - to take the punishment for all that heart breaking/life breaking sin.  That act alone is what fixes us for real.

For eternity.

He can fix us. Each one of us just needs to confess, "Fix me."

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 
   2 Corinthians 5:21New Living Translation

Friday, August 24, 2012

InstaFriday - Yep

Hello again.

Cell phone picture time.

Those days when we are in the middle of doing something and I say, "Hold on a minute. I need to get my phone."

And my kids sigh and ask, "Is this for your InstaFriday?"


Probably one of my favorite pictures of the week. The picture that illustrates one absolutely true quote:
"Many hands make light work."

Lou, the girls, and I tackled our two vehicles. It's amazing what the elbow grease coming from 5 people can do.

A dear lady dropped off a DELICIOUS apple pie at our house this week. It eventually came down to these two pieces left. I asked Lou which one he wanted. He was only thinking about his health when he answered, "I better take the bigger one. I'm still trying to put some weight back on, you know."


Elizabeth hates this picture.

It was early in the morning, and I was in shock because I recognized this as a relatively new dress of Hannah's. Hannah is in Arkansas. Her new dress is here - and on her sister's body. So, I snapped this and sent it to the older sister to make sure both those facts were ok with her, or if this was supposed to have made it into her suitcase, and for whatever reason, didn't.

Hannah said yes to the dress.

Since Elizabeth hates morning pictures, she purposely closed her eyes and looked silly.

The dress still looks cute. Yep.

Engaged the Diptic app in church on Sunday.  It was kind of weird messing with my cell phone in church, but I wanted to capture these words. My soul ached in the best possible way as we sang them.

Yep, and double Yep.


He perches in this window down the street from a frequented restaurant. I go out of my way to see him whenever I'm remotely in the neighborhood. I wish he could live for ever.


 I attended my first ever old fashioned pounding!

Our church welcomed a new pastor and his family by stocking their pantry. What a great idea!

Shelley, keep that in your "do this for someone someday" file.


 Phone commandeering alert!

Mary Grace had her sweet little paws on my phone this time. But what a cutie! And she obviously likes my instagram filters.


Thursday dawned hot, windy and so, so, dry. Oppressive.

And sadly, Bolivar had two significant fires that afternoon - one on the northeast side of town; one of the southwest side of town. We are all praying for rain.


Another phone commandeering. Elizabeth illustrating how she dresses in Faith's room (on right), and how Faith dresses in her room (on left). I think this is a point of contention.


Here, the internal thermostats have obviously changed. The sisters are bonding over Calculus homework. I like it when they hang out at the kitchen counter to do that.


Right before the light goes out at night, I read one of the daily readings in this book.

I like going to sleep thinking about the great God who made the world and everything in it.


"Mom! We've told you. We hate morning pictures!"

But I had to snap this before they got out of the door this morning. Love, love these Stu-Co shirts. Very clever. And bright. It's pretty much Oklahoma State orange. Lou would like that.


And I like that you've taken the time to share my week with me. Thank ya!

I hope your weekend is a restful, renewing time.

Yep. Yep. Yep.

life rearranged

Saturday, August 18, 2012

InstaFriday- Mid August

We've got a really serious drought going on here in southwest Missouri.

And I've had a drought of my own - a 2 week blogging drought. Obviously not nearly as serious as our real one. And not nearly as serious as one of the reasons for my posting hiatus. 

My sister's husband died August 8 after an extended illness. He was one of the most giving people you'll ever meet. If he heard you mention wanting/needing something, and he could get it for you, he would. He and my sister shared 33 years together.

We traveled to Tennessee to grieve with her.

I heard my dad's voice as we prepared for the visitation and the funeral. He said visitations were sweet times. Of course, the reason you and your family and your community get together is a sad one. But the sweet part was the getting together of your family and your community. Dad said you'd see people you hadn't seen in forever. You'd talk about old times and the memories made. He said he loved that.

I like it too.

Before we left for Tennessee, I had taken some handy dandy iPhone pics from the previous week that never made their way to my InstaFriday, so I'm including a few of those here too. Gotta catch things up, ya know?

This first pic was sent to our sweet Hannah. She had been gone for a couple of days, and we missed her. So we sent her this pic telling her that "the world sitting around our table wants to know what you are up to."
Hi Hannah!
A day or two after that, our local newspaper ran this story on the 2nd page. I laughed out loud! Gotta love small town life!

I took this picture to document my first ride after "the wreck." I am happy to report it was accident free. I definitely needed to get back in the saddle, and not just for health reasons.

And yes, we wore our helmets.

We celebrated our recent high school graduate's birthday August 6. He wanted sushi.


But it was his birthday, so he got it.

I love car cards. David doesn't.
Birthday party people.

Before we headed out to TN, we had a important stop to make in Springfield. Mary Grace had been scheduled to have her braces taken off for a couple of months and we didn't want to put that off any longer.

No more metal mouth!
After! With Dr. Bauer and co.

While in Tennessee, I was amazed by a couple of things. First, it is green there. No terrible drought. Second, the crepe myrtles are stunning. And they are everywhere. Beauty always speaks to me.

Outside a pharmacy
Love how they prune them.

After the funeral, we snapped a picture of my mom with her kids. My sweet sister smiled on the outside as she was crying on the inside.

As we headed back to my sister's after the funeral, we stopped at a Veteran's Museum. My mom wanted to see her brother's memorial bricks. They both died years ago. I'm glad for the opportunity here to publicly  - on the world wide web, no less - thank them for their service.

As we were leaving that museum, I noticed this flag.

Wow...1864. Being unfamiliar with C.S.A., I turned and asked the lady working there, "What does C.S.A. stand for?"
To which she responded very condescendingly, "Well, you are obviously not from the south. It stands for Confederate States of America."
Sorry about the reflection...this room was set up for a wedding reception.
WHOA! Those are fighting words! I was quick to tell her that I was born and raised in the south.

As we walked back to the car, Mary Grace told me she glared at her for me when she said that. Of course, during that same walk, we all thought of more clever comebacks we wished we had said to the very recently dubbed "rude lady." Hello? The War of Northern Aggression is over!

Once back at my sister's, each age group tried to rest and relax. With cooler temperatures, the cousins migrated to the front porch for a movie.

After returning home, I didn't document much of this week - until Thursday.

Thursday was a big day. My three youngest girls started school. Faith is a senior (!), Elizabeth is a junior, and Mary Grace is an 8th grader. This is also Mary Grace's first year not being home schooled.

Kind of a big deal - for her and me.

Thursday was also the day we moved David to the University of Arkansas.

Kind of a big deal - for him and me.

The good news is he's not alone in Fayetteville. Luke works there now, and Hannah is a senior (!) at the U of A.  Enjoyed taking our Arkansas kids out for dinner before heading home.

To say the last 2 weeks have been a bit emotional is an understatement. Some highs. Some lows.

But we've felt God's guidance, care, and comfort. He promises:

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.
                                                                                                                        Isaiah 43:2

Thanks for sharing my weeks with me.

God is faithful!

life rearranged

Friday, August 3, 2012

25 Years and 6 Kids Later

This is, hands down, the longest I've ever worked on a blog post!

Maybe it's only fitting, since it spans 25 years. But it really took longer than it should have because of my lack of organization. Isn't that what being disorganized does? It makes life harder.  Ugh! When will I ever learn?

During this entire laborious process, I kept thinking about Sue Roweton, and her amazing organizational skills. She would never have this problem. Her pictures are all dated and organized - not stuffed into a box in the bowels of the basement. In my defense, when I did stuff them in those boxes, I thought I had them in some kind of order. But the occasional scramble to find a certain picture for a certain occasion, wreaked havoc with that system years ago. All you born in the digital age have no idea how great you have it!

And this week, because Lou and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, I wanted to find a picture from every year of our life together - preferably taken around August 1st of each year. How I wish I had purposely taken a picture every anniversary - actually wrote the date on a chalkboard or piece of paper and held it in front of us - like I did with our kids every month during their first year of life.
Hindsight...and resolve.

Resolved: I will organize and label all future pictures as I load them!

It's ironic that I even wanted to do this little 25th anniversary blog. I have told more than one friend how I don't love the pictures in the paper where it shows a couple on their wedding day and then one from a 25th anniversary or 50th anniversary. They always look so old - and that would be me one day. Yep, one day is here.  That is now me.

But the funny thing is, that now that I'm there - or here - I don't mind it. We do look older, no doubt about that. But we look older together. And by the grace of God we've known many happy days. Also by the grace of God, we've known our share of hard days. Looking at these pictures reminds me that I have been incredibly blessed and that...

God has been faithful through them all.

Another plus to this post - I figure I've made it easy on my kids when they want to put together some kind of slideshow for our 50th...

So, here we go...Lou and Shelley through the years.

And, you might notice that we like to hike.
1988: My pack was bulkier. His pack was heavier.
1989 - One picture that year w/o Luke;)

1990: @ Glacier National Park...and what is my hair doing?!?
1991: Luke -2, Hannah - 5 months
1992: Definitely a bad hair year.
1993: David Elliot joined our tribe 5 days after our 6th anniversary

1994: Hello Marea Faith!

Yay! A picture with a date!


1998: The caboose - Mary Grace - pretty darn new.
August 1, 1999. Treetops at KAA
2001 - I think. Obviously the date on the picture is waaaay off.





August 1, 2012

This last picture was taken three weeks to the day after Lou's bike wreck. I'm especially thankful that he's even here since that little tumble over the handle bars. He's seeing small improvements daily. Many thanks to you who have prayed for him - for us - during this time!

And speaking of time,  Lord willing, our time together is...

to be continued...