Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Known and Loved

To be known and to be loved, that is what I was looking for. I mean, to be really known and still loved despite that knowledge. Isn't that what we all crave from the time we are born. I remember as a child wanting so much to fit in, to be cool and accepted. I played that game for years and had no clue who I was becoming or who Amy was created to be. I realize most don't figure out "who we are" til mid twenties or so, but I was not authentic to show my heart, or not to many. There are very few in high school that ever knew me. If you are reading this blog you are one of those few. The more I tried to be what would make me lovable or acceptable, the less I was me. Does that sound familiar or am I the only one who did that?

I'm so glad that is over. The years have passed and I have grown. I have come to know who I am more and more. The great thing is, as I have embraced who I am, I have these amazing friends who embrace me too. No one really knows me like God does. But people like my dear husband and a precious few others have seen me, A LOT of me. They know my gifts and my strengths but I have let my guard down and shown them my struggles. I guess that means I risked losing their love. I have confessed great mistakes and shared deep hurts. They've seen many great times and accomplishments and have shared treasured days. But you know how life is, stuff happens. If you spend any time being "real" with anyone, they will see your "stuff." It is unbelievable that they still love me.

Actually, what is truly unbelievable is that God is the one who really knows me. He sees the black. He knows my thoughts and intentions. He knows my sin better than I do. What is really cool and a true phenomenon, is that He separates me from that stuff. He sees me. He knows me. He loves me. He doesn't really care about the crap. He just wants me even if I'm funky. Can you believe that? That's God! Wow. Who are we to ever think we can get clean enough to be in His presence? The only cleaning agent that will work is the Blood of Jesus. He wants relationship with me despite my faults. He wants to know me and love me. Can I just tell you that this one thing has completely changed my life. I am attracted to those who know me and love the true me - all of it. That makes me want to know Him. (1 John 4:19 "We love Him because He first loved us.")

I don't think I would really comprehend all of this I have said about God if I hadn't had that very thing demonstrated in real life, with a few precious people. So thank you my beloved friends for knowing me and loving me. You have shown me who God is and how God is. I am KNOWN and LOVED by God! That just makes me laugh out loud!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Praise God for Mother's Day Out!

I am convinced that Mother's Day Out was a God-inspired idea! Today was Sy's first day of "school" and I am pretty sure that I had more fun than he did. No, he really had a great time too. He was so cute carrying his camo-lunch bag (thanks Aunt Ivy). We had it filled with a special lunch, complete with a spider man juice box. He was so proud. And somehow he was able to get excited about our homemade nap mat. Before I even left his room he grabbed it and was ready to take a nap. That's a first. I left with no tears flowing (Sy or me) . What a great feeling!

Lainie and I spent the next hour at Starbucks analyzing the facility, the staff and our children's hoped (and feared) behavior. After we'd talked it all through, we confirmed our cell phones were on and thought very little more about our precious darlings. We let the day take us along on miscellaneous errands. We made some random stops to try a new lipstick or check out some shoes. At almost every stop we said, "Wow this is great... so much easier." More than once we relished the fact that we were not having to interrupt our conversation to break up an argument about sharing or remind someone to, "stay right beside mommy." Such a great day.

Sy was so excited to see me but had obviously had a fun time. He was exhausted but still hasn't stopped talking about school. After he showed me his art work I turned away and looked back. He was proudly describing to Everett where his name was on the paper. "Look Evwett, it says Silas Thoennes," he said. It was precious - I caught a bit of it.

I had Everett all day. But he is still really easy. Sy is a constant 2.75 yr old: constant questions, discipline, entertaining, teaching, trips to the bathroom and the list goes on. I only had to answer to the question, "Why?" a few times today vs. 100. It was a much needed break. We all need a break from our "constant" matter how cute they are!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Daddy's Gone Camping

Ben had the great opportunity to have a mountain experience over the weekend with his brother Jon, and James (Jon's brother-in-law.) We were able to stay at my parents house (thanks M and D.) We all had such a great time on our adventures. Look really close at the warning label on the bucket Sy is in. We got a good laugh! (BTW - pebbles, not water in the bottom of the bucket.)

We spent Sunday at a friends house out at Lake Tanglewood. I wish I had more pics but Ben had the camera. Sy and Lily got to fish. You should have seen it, they were so much fun to watch. Lily cracks me up. She held a fish in her hands, kissed it then threw it on the ground where she stomped on it. (Yes, she's extreme :) Sy took more of the Ben and learn. He did touch a fish just not with Lily's abandonment. It was a storybook day. Thanks Jeff and Saundra.

This summer is moving so fast. I'm sure many of you are wondering what on earth has happened to Amy? This is it. Seems to be the summer of family. I love it. We have really never had times like these and we may not again so, sieze the day - right?

Potty training is going really well. I'll spare you the details but I will say, I'm going to have a lot of left over diapers. A few days ago Sy mentioned he needed to "go." Ben said, "I'll take you." Sy said, "No, let's go as a family!" I guess he's catching our summer theme too.

Everett is gaining by the day. His newest nicknames are "Tub-o-Luv, Little E, E-Man, and Gushy Bear." He is very frustrated that he can't sit up yet and he notices if we have left the room. I'm thinking he may be Mr. Social.

I feel so blessed lately. I almost feel guilty. But then I am reminded that God is an extravagant God. He loves lavishly and He loves to bless His kids. I feel really loved right now. Thank-you God for amazing family, for the abundance we experience and the Life you have given us. You are truly good.

We're going to Dallas to visit Noah and Hayley this weekend. So, look forward to interesting pics and stories. Until then...enjoy life and let yourself be loved on by our Good God!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A little time to brag...

A few weeks ago I did flowers for a wedding. It was the biggest job I've ever done. I have a photographer friend who took a few pictures. I may put more up when I get them. These are great but there is so much more. I am just proud of myself. So, take a look. And, do any of you comment? I'd love to know who is reading.

Monday, June 4, 2007

My Sky

Ok. So since I started this blog a few days ago, I think of things daily I want to publish for you all to read. The problem is, I don't seem to have the time or energy when it comes down to posting something. Oh well, that's kind of the story of my life but you all are probably not really interested in ALL of my thoughts so you have been spared.

We had a bummer of a weekend. Sy got really sick Saturday morning. We took him to "Urgent Care" yesterday and turns out he has strep throat. He is still pretty sick today (thank-you God for naps). That antibiotic should turn things around pretty soon.

Last night I was desperate to get out of the house. We were also desperate for groceries. That took me to the fabulous retreat of Walmart Supercenter. I must tell you, I hate Walmart. I avoid it as much as possible but it's almost foolish not to shop there when you are in the diaper phase of life. As much as I hate it, it was a wonderful break last night. I love going late at night alone with no one to worry about but me. I find it amazing how entertaining and enjoyable it can be to go into autopilot and just browse through all of those wonderful things you never knew you needed so much. I filled my basket with those great things and ended up putting most of them back before I checked out, but it sure was fun. So, one martini mixer, a razzle-berry pie, and a new kitchen timer later, (plus the needed groceries) I felt refreshed enough to go back home.

The best part of the day was the gift waiting for me when I went outside. The sky to the North (above my car) was astounding! It had rained while I was inside shopping so it was one of those beauties that came from the storm. There was a small window through the clouds to the sky. The sky itself was a bright blue. A little lighter than a royal blue. It was a back-drop for the clouds. I have never seen clouds this color. They were plum. Not quite black and too red to be purple. All around was a wall of plum color. The clouds were thick and formless all over except this one place to the North. There, you could see the same plum colored fluffy clouds and piering through, from behind, was that bright blue sky. I don't think a picture could have captured it. I love moments like that. God paints an amazing sky to remind us how vast and creative He is. What a gift His creation is to me and you. I felt like it was a specific gift for me last night. Breaking through the mundane and grabbing my heart with His Color! It just did something to my soul. I pray you all have experiences like that.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

MH Pics

Friday, June 1, 2007

Matthew is Home!

Here are some pictures of our Memorial Day weekend. As I mentioned before, it was a great time. For those of you who haven't seen my brothers in years, you will see, they are men. Some of the pictures have captions. You have to click on the picture to read it.