Saturday, August 1, 2015

Where we are.

"Seek the presence of God and hang on to Him.  Go where He goes and let Him fight for you.  Invariably when we're most exhausted, we'll find we're expending more energy fighting the enemy than we are seeking God's presence.  More than you seek to win, seek Christ! More than you seek victory, seek the Victor! As you do, you are binding yourself to His presence and trusting God to carry you into victory." ~~Beth Moore

I look at this picture and I almost don't recognize my own children.
Crazy right?
 Man, how they have all changed so much over the last year and a few months.
They are all so crazy amazing! We are so blessed.
It's been quite a long while since I have written in this space. My intentions are always to write, but the timing doesn't always fit with my intentions.  

This past year has been a full one.
 We've had lots of laughs and a few tears.  Some good times and some bad.  There were struggles and there have been victories. All in all, it's been a good one.
I'm happy to be able to have a little time to myself today, so
 I thought I'd help myself catch up on where we are.
So, if you're interested, this is
  where we are...


Amber is now 22 years old. Wow!
She is in Romania. 
 She has been there with CTI (Cross Training International) for almost 5 months now. 
 She is truly living out God's voice over her life. 
He spoke to her a few years ago, after her first trip to Romania, that He would send her back to live there for a time. 
 It is a powerful thing to watch God's words, His very breath over her, being lived out.
I am amazed at her faithfulness to her Father. I am amazed at her bravery to answer His call on her life.
I am in awe of the woman she has become.
And her smile...just radiant. She is stunning.
I am a proud, proud momma.
She is living there with the Romanian Master's Commission team and other CTI team members. She is loving it! She is ministering each day to the lost and the hurting. Truly being the hands and feet of Jesus.  She is also teaching a Sunday school class each week to a group of young Romanian children.  She is teaching them English. Her heart for children is such a beautiful thing that has unfolded over the past few years. She has become an amazing leader to the XMC team there.
I miss her. Terribly. Like, sobbing ugly cry terribly.
Communication is not always easy. She is on a 9 hour time difference and the few hours of the day that we are awake at the same time, doesn't always guarantee that we will get to chat.  Her schedule keeps her busy and mine, well, it has been crazy at times.
  I miss her sweet voice.  I miss the opportunity to just pick up the phone anytime I want and hear it. It's a luxury that I will no longer take for granted. Time is short. Oceans are far and wide.
And this momma misses her girl.
She returns home during the middle of September.
Oh, what a happy day that will be!


Kaitlyn is now 18 years old.
She is in absolute beauty.
She graduated high school this past May.
She wowed the entire auditorium with her graduation speech.
She wowed me with her extreme courage to do it.
She was my first homeschool graduate. She has made the scary choice to homeschool, four years ago, worth every second. She was a phenomenal student.
As I type, Kaitlyn is boarding a plane to return home from Seattle.
She has been working for most of the summer, saving up for her college tuition.  She has been working with the Event Force team for Microsoft Corporation during the past month, which has kept her out of state in Florida and Washington.
This girl is something else. She is smart and brave and funny and simply loves life.
She has a genuine love for people and for serving the Lord. She wants to travel and disciple others. That just makes my heart so full.  It's refreshing to watch her grow into the world changer I knew she would always be.
 I get to be her momma. That's pretty awesome.
She is beginning to take the tiny steps to walk out on that branch and take the awaited leap out of the nest.  Her wings have been practicing their flight over the past few months.
She is ready and excited to move into her dorm/apartment and  start college in the Fall where she will attend XMC.
She will do great.  I see her nurturing all her roommates and cooking meals for them. She is a giver. Always has been.  I also see their apartment full of joy. Wherever she is, you'd better be sure there will be much laughter.
Me? Well, ya know... I'd say it gets easier the more children you let go of, but I'd be lying.
It is a beautiful, yet hard process. Sort of like labor.
The tearing away of their bodies from yours. But, this time, they take your heart with them. I'm working on getting used to the process. It's a good tearing away, but not an easy one.
 Maybe, when Isaac leaves home in 16 years or so, I'll be a pro at it. (Or maybe not.)
I look forward to hugging her neck later tonight when she gets home.
Her face and her laughter have been missed around the house.
They will be missed even more, come September.

Mason is now 12 years old.
Or, as he says it, "practically 13".
 Out of all the kids, he has definitely changed the most.
He will be starting 8th grade in just a few short weeks.
In their group picture above, his face was all babyish and soft and still a little squishy.
Well, he has facial hair,  he's 5'7" and 197 pounds!
He grew into a young man overnight, I think.
His voice is changing, his face is maturing and he's passed his dad up in shoe size!
What the hoohah is happening here?
I was not prepared for this.
  I've watched my girls become young women, and now, I'm watching my sweet baby boy become a man. What a beautiful, yet heart wrenching sight.
He's just a baby!
(Well, he's my baby.)
He just returned yesterday from Tween Camp. He talked and talked and talked for the first 4 hours and then he just passed out, practically mid sentence, on the way home.  Camp tired. That's the best tired.
He told us last night over supper, that he was filled with the Holy Spirit during one of their evening chapel services. He said it was the weirdest and best feeling he's ever experienced.
I did good, y'all... holding back the tears, as he shared his life changing news in his newly deepening pubescent voice.
(I was freaking out on the inside with tears and joy and all that jazz!)
He's growing, so fast.
My heart is trying to stay caught up with all of it.  I'm doing my best to flow with all of the changes going on with everyone.
Mason is a sweet, sweet young man. He's a good helper and a hard worker.
He's looking forward to his sister moving out in September, so that he can finally have the
"big room".
He's also looking forward to the day that he can grow a beard, like his dad.
I'm not ready for that.
Not. at. all.

Isaac is almost 2 years old.
He is a busy toddler who insists that he should live outside...all of the time!
(Even though his momma is allergic to the planet. Thank you, Lord, for anthihistamines!)
He is talking really well and beginning to show his own little personality.
His giggle is possibly the best sound I have ever heard.
 It is extremely contagious. It's simply the best.
He loves shoes, our rooster "Popcorn", playing with his best friend, Ren, praying and saying "Amen" at every meal, and watching Curious George.  He gives the best hugs and recently learned to say, "I wuvv oo."
I. just. melt. like. buttah.
He has come so very far since a year ago, when he had heart surgery.
We've had a few of our 1 year checkups since surgery, and for the most part, he is in great health. He no longer has the symptoms he had before surgery and it has been a blessing watching him enjoy life without being sick.
His sensory issues are up and down.  We have some really good days for the most part, but when we have bad days, they are really rough...with a capital RROOOUUUGH!
God is teaching me much about myself and how to be a mother, during this season with Isaac.
Much, much.
You'd think since my oldest is 22, I'd have this mothering thing in the bag by now. Ummm, not exactly. God is showing me that my kids aren't the only ones that are growing, or that need to grow.
(But, that's for another blog post.)
We are, however, in the middle of new medical tests. He's had some mild, yet persistent symptoms, over the past 6 months or more. An abnormal test result revealed that he could have something serious going on.  We are awaiting results right now.  We have several doctors appointments for this coming week.  We are praying and praying to receive some answers soon, and of course, for a perfect healing in his little body.
Until then, I am taking in each moment and trying not to forget to breathe.
I am reminding myself that God has our best intentions in mind. He always has.
My husband said it best,
"God's in control. He always has been. I don't want to work against what He wants to do in us, so I've just learned to go with it. His control is better than mine has ever been."
So true. Such a wise man.
As for me and this handsome stud, we are approaching our 24th wedding anniversary.
(Geez, we are old!)
We are doing our best to hold onto this fast train that our kids have us on.
They are all such a delight and we've enjoyed every part of this ride with them. We are ready to have them all under the same roof again. That will be a very good day, indeed.
We look forward to the season ahead of us. We do our best to embrace everything as it comes and not take one moment for granted.
At times, we feel so undeserving of the life we get to live.
Who knew a girl from the projects and a Cajun boy from the bayou would end up so crazy and wonderfully blessed!
God has been so very good to us.

"At the end of the day, I have a life that's good."
These days, we are doing our best to stay connected with one another. Life, these past couple of years, has caused us to get into a continuous motion of survival. Situations, beyond our control, have blindsided us and knocked us out of wack a bit. Life will do that sometimes. It doesn't ask permission before it does. Stuff just comes.
In the midst of being tossed about, we have forgotten, at times, why we jumped on this crazy train in the first place.
All because we were deeply and passionately in love.
We just wanted to breathe each other in, all of the time.
We wanted to love and laugh with each other, forever.
"Through sickness and in health. Through good times and bad. Until death do we part."
We are working our way back to that place with one another and enjoying doing so.

I am thankful for God's strength that has kept us afloat. He is quick to grab us when we begin to sink. His hand definitely does uphold us.
Frankie is an extraordinary man and a great partner. He leads our family well.
He makes me laugh until I snort. I love him so very much. He's my boo.
 This journey would not be worth living without him.
So, folks, that is exactly ...where we are.
God continues to show me, that through it all, and wherever we are... He is there.
 He is there in the good, the bad, the easy, the struggle, the laughter, the tears, the failures, the victories and in the midst of all the changes.
It's the sweetest thing, seeing His love ebb and flow through every area of our lives.
Nothing goes unseen by Him and nothing is a surprise to Him.
He is always there, watching over us.
Where we are...He simply is.
Psalms 33:18
"But the Lord watches over all who honor Him and trust His kindness."

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