The Day After….

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We found friends early this morning sledding down a hill behind their house. We were out walking the neighborhood to just see what we could see. The people who were in their cars driving down the road were not smiling or waving, so I assume they had been stuck somewhere through the night. How awful for them. I felt so bad for so many who, more than anything, just wanted to be HOME. Josh was brought home by a great friend. So thankful for his 2:10 am arrival!

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And here were some cars that people had abandoned so that they could just get to their houses.

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My mom, who hasn’t seen the movie FROZEN, asked me if we were going to build a snowman. I told her if she ever sees that movie, she will never be able to just ask that question…she will be compelled to SING it. “Do you wanna build a snowman? Come on let’s go and play……”

Documenting the Great Snow 2014

Well, I’ve decided that even though I don’t enjoy the snow so much, I should still document how this day went.
I woke up the girls for school this morning, even though I sort of had a feeling I should just keep them home. They only go to a few classes each Tuesday morning as part of a home school co-op…I was kind of hoping a snow day might come when I had them at home anyway…but whatever.

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Mack and I came home. He played Legos and on his iPad. I also sat and did some reading of my own for about an hour with pauses for switching laundry.

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Then, we got an email that told us to come get kids from Timothy classes. I left immediately and was home by 11:00. I had no idea how awful things would get in the next hour! Schools closed early, parents left work to get them, buses tried to take kids home only to turn around…it was a mess. And even now (almost 8pm) my neighbor (two of them!) don’t have their spouses home yet. They’ve been trying to get home for hours!!
The “dusting” started like this:

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And then it really started coming down! And neighbors started coming out to play!!

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We came in and the kids took warm showers and put on warm, dry pajamas. I played Legos with Mack and Ruby read our chapter book out loud.

All the while I was channeling my inner Caroline Ingalls….see, Josh was in a meeting in Atlanta. He was headed the way of home around 1:00, I think. By then, the world had gone crazy. Traffic was nuts, and he realized he wouldn’t be doing himself any favors by getting off 400 and on to 92, which was at a total standstill.
The kids were concerned about him…”Is he hungry?” “Will his truck slide?” “Is he going to have to sleep in his truck?”
This is when all of those Little House on the Prairie episodes came in handy. Caroline always smiles and remains calm, knowing her Charles is smart and strong and capable. So, I tried to put on my best Caroline Ingalls in order to not worry the kids. I think it worked. Seeing him safe and warm in his office on FaceTime really helped them most though.

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Caroline Ingalls might have lived ten more years if she had some of our technology to help ease her mind from time to time. 😊

So we have tried our best to enjoy this snowy day with friends and chili and apple cobbler dessert! Legos and books and movies also helped us.

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Snow, snow, Go away. I personally don’t care if you come back any other day.

Consistent

Today was a fun day! Josh sent me flowers for our anniversary.

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They’re were a sweet surprise. And the cute little delivery lady made it fun with, “Flowers for YOU!!!!” when I opened the door. The kids loved it that their dad was so thoughtful.

And then we got several cards in the mail and kind texts. I appreciate each and every one; however, I wanted to highlight this one:

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It’s from Coach Ron Polk, Josh’s baseball coach at UGA in ’99-’00. From what Josh has shared about him, he is the most disciplined coach he ever had (and he had a different one each college year, not to mention all of his high school sports). Let me just say that this man has sent us an anniversary card EVERY year and even keeps up with how many years we’ve been married. He sends Josh a birthday card EVERY year. He sends us a Christmas card EVERY year and all of them have a personal note inside. It’s quite impressive if I do say so myself.

So, again, I appreciate every card we got…I just thought I would highlight this man’s consistency. And thoughtfulness.
Maybe I’ll be like him when I grow up.

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Lucky 13!

Monday marks 13 years of wedded bliss for Josh and me.  I could not possibly be happier.  He is an amazing husband.  I never knew how much fun marriage could be.  

We entered marriage filled with love and lots of naivety.  We had fun at the beginning as we got to live with each other and learn how to work through matters of life. Some people say the first year is really tough.  It wasn’t for us…I remember it as a lot of fun and quite care-free.

We bought our first house after two and a half years of marriage.  We actually signed the papers on January 27, 2003 (our 2nd anniversary) and then waited five months while they built it.  I remember the agent leaving the room and us looking at each other and saying, “We don’t know what we are doing.”  The Lord was most definitely helping us!

While having kids was a bright spot in our marriage, it was filled with some of our most challenging moments.  Josh had to figure out how to live with a mad, sleep-deprived pregnant lady (three years in a row, basically). And for that he deserves an award.  But then again, so do I…since I was the sleep-deprived pregnant lady for three years in a row.  Those days are now a fog, but I know we had to exercise much forgiveness and grace as we tried to figure out how to parent together.  Adding three other personalities so quickly can really strengthen one’s prayer life and change the dynamic of everyday life.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Then there was that two year period when we built a house, moved and sold it and felt like things were spinning out of control.  Our marriage was strengthened as we faced hard circumstances together…and we realized and said out loud that even if we didn’t have a single material item at the end of our episode, we would still have each other and our faith and that was more than enough.  We made it through those years, and I was more than certain I had married the best man in the world.  

We have had an exciting past couple of years in our family.  We feel extremely blessed with the way the Lord has led us so graciously. Josh and I enjoy being together more than ever.  Marriage is hard work.  It requires effort and love and tons of forgiveness and mercy and patience…and much perseverance!  I hope and pray that each of my kids will one day find marriage to be as fulfilling as I do!  It really is so much fun to be married to your best friend.  

Happy Anniversary, Joshua Lee!  I think you are the best.

More Than A Look

I’m plugging along in my Chronological Bible Reading Plan. Today I read several chapters in Leviticus, which I’ve heard referred to as “the graveyard of yearly Bible reading.” It’s not the easiest book to read, but I’m learning a gracious plenty.
Today, in chapter 13, I read about the test for leprosy. I was tempted to just scan over all the talk of swelling and infection and bald heads and white hair. But I read each verse and noticed a repeating phrase. Over twenty times it says, “the priest shall look.”
Look…not touch.
Leprosy is “a disease of the blood itself, which is the life; it’s manifestations are most terrible and loathsome; and it is incurable.” (G.C. Morgan)

In Mark 14:3 we read that Jesus was at the home of Simon the leper, reclining at his table. Jesus wasn’t looking from afar.
In Matthew 8 we read these words, “And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.’ Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

Here is more from G.C. Morgan’s LIFE APPLICATIONS FROM EVERY CHAPTER OF THE BIBLE:
“In light of these considerations, we remember that there came in the fullness of time One Who could not only look at, but touch the leper–One who could cure. That is also the story of his dealing with sin. ”

I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the love and compassion of Jesus to draw near to me, a sinner. I need His grace and mercy so desperately every single day.

HE TOUCHED ME

Shackled by a heavy burden,
‘neath a load of guilt and shame;
Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
And now I am no longer the same.

He touched me, O, He touched me,
And O, the joy that floods my soul.
Something happened, and now I know,
He touched me and made me whole.

Since I met this blessed Savior,
Since He cleansed and made me whole;
I will never cease to praise Him,
I’ll shout it while eternity rolls.

Legos!

I never knew. I truly didn’t realize how addicting Legos could be. Mack has shown me that they are, indeed, addicting.

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This basket has become home to most of Mack’s Legos. He is way more into the people, but he has recently been into creating his own stuff with different pieces.

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Today we were in Target, and he spent some Christmas money on more Legos. It cracks me up. He wasn’t interested in anything else. Just Legos.

Ruby also has a fascination with the girl Legos.

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I will admit that I enjoy helping put them together (and so does Josh). But I would love to organize all these pieces. I’ve made myself NOT buy the cute Lego organization sets. I did buy a carrying case for the people. It worked for about 20 minutes, but then he took them out to play with them and never put them back into their “home.” Evidently, throwing them in a basket works best for him.

Do Legos seem to take over other people’s homes as well? I suppose one day I’ll miss having the Legos scattered around. ❤️

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Back At It

The kids and I started back to school Monday. While they did get to play in the snow for a little while, we also got our work done. It hasn’t exactly been a perfectly smooth adjustment, and how could it be??! I mean, we stopped official curriculum December 6th as we prepared and went to Haiti for a whole different setting for learning. So while I truly believe everyday is educational, I also know that a regular school day looks different than what they’ve gotten used to during December.
With that said, we have made it to Thursday morning. We are plugging along in math. I enjoyed sitting with each kid as they worked on math yesterday. The one-on-one time in this subject seems priceless. I’ve gotten to hear Ruby reading aloud in her most imaginative ways the past few days, as she was beyond thrilled that the main character in her new reader is named Ruby! Molly has a babysitting job this week and also starts sewing lessons, which replace piano (It was time for a break). Mack and I have spent some time each day under blankets on the couch with his reading lesson and with books. I love hearing him sound out words. He is easily discouraged when it doesn’t come out right, so we are working on perseverance.
Some friends came over for an afternoon play date Tuesday since their school was out for the second day in a row. My kids absolutely loved that! They made cookies, played Legos and made up dances together.

(I was just temporarily distracted by a horn honking at 7:15 am. This has not been missed. See, our neighbor across the street gets picked up for school several times a week by someone. I see my neighbor kid standing at the door, yet this person drives up and honks, sometimes a double honk. The neighbor door immediately opens for the child to come out to her car. Why must she honk so early? She evidently assumes all kids get up at dark thirty to get ready for school, when in actuality, they don’t. In actuality, mine have been sleeping until 8:30 am. That is fine with me. It actually makes me happy. Except when they wake up at 7:15 am to ask me who is honking the horn…..ok, I think I feel better now.)

Back to the point of this post. I have been praying about this New Year and all the fresh starts. I’ve tried to pair up some physical restrictions with spiritual disciplines in order to make me aware off my deep need for the Lord—His presence, His guidance and wisdom, His love, His grace and mercy, His satisfaction, His encouragement.
So, this morning I was GREATLY encouraged when I found a nugget about parenting. I’ve been praying for a renewed dedication to training my kids, and I specifically asked God to please encourage me in my role as mom/teacher. I often times feel incredibly inadequate or overwhelmed and even plain discouraged.

Well, He did encourage. I am reading my Bible through chronologically again this year, Lord-willing. Last year I did it for the first time ever and cannot adequately express how it has helped me. I’m not saying I will definitely read my Bible through every year, but I can’t imagine not doing it.
Anyway, I’m in Exodus. I read about Jochebed having Moses and seeing that he was “goodly.” She then hides him for three months and then puts him in a basket she has made and puts him in the Nile River where he is found by Pharaoh’s daughter. You probably know the story of how Moses was God’s chosen man to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. WELL, I read some commentary on chapter 2 and was greatly encouraged to keep investing in my kids (Not that I was planning to stop) . Here is what G.C. Morgan said about one day in heaven when we can know about more than we know now…..

“We shall certainly have stories of men of conspicuous ability and adventure, who have led and directed the movements of the hosts of God. But we shall surely then also discover that these men were often provided and preserved, begotten and nurtured, by men and women of faith. ”

I want to be a woman of faith that nurtures my kids and teaches them about God and His Truth. I can only imagine that God has great plans for Ruby, Molly and Mack. I want to play my role in their lives well!

I’ll close with the verse from Nehemiah that also reminded me that the job I have here in my home as wife and mother is of great significance. Nehemiah, while rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, was being asked to stop and come down. His response to the distraction from his great work?

“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave and come down to you?” (Neh. 6:3)

I love that! It’s a great work, this parenting gig. I cannot stop or come down from it. I will persevere and seek The Lord as I work here at home and invest in my husband and kids! How about you?

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(This picture is from many months ago when it was warm enough to go outside….can’t wait for warmer days!)