Because I want them to know...

This post has been a week in the making....

I have been tired....a bit sleepless.

Some of my greatest life epiphanies have been while I've been sleepless and more in tune with my emotions or spirit.... SO, I'm just going to assume that's what this is.....and not just an emotional mess of confusion due to lack of sleep. {wink wink}

My spirit was downcast a lot this week.  burdened.  broken.

like the eyes of my heart were opened all of a sudden.

once again.

my heart is longing.  longing for Christ, truth, action.

scrolling through Instagram....
a picture of a family across the world being stripped from their home and forced into a refugee camp due to ISIS...
a photo of a beautiful, happy couple at their wedding here in the states....
a photo of some fun crafty things someone is selling....

wow.  all different places around the globe...all different places in life.
Seeing those things along with looking at the signs of the blood moons {not predicting the end of the world here, but just looking at true facts of biblical signs...check it out!}, and the predictions of serious economic devastation, and so much other talk....

it'll really take you back.  make you rethink a few things...

not to instill a heart of fear....but a heart of urgency....for the Lord.

So, speaking of sleeping....

why do we so often find ourselves asleep to what's going on in the rest of the world around us?
why is it so easy to close our eyes and pretend things aren't happening?

we just get used to the tangible....the things we can reach out and touch or at least see with our own eyes.

and why do we get so conformed to this world?! blinded? blinded by our own desires and concerns, ambitions?

and we may as well all stop lying to ourselves and saying we are not conformed.  maybe we need to re-examine.

Ya know, I'm not exactly the gentle and quiet kind....although that's what a lot of people take me for, especially at first impression.  Yet, the gentle and quiet spirit...the kind that's beautiful to Christ, I have to fight for.  I've had to learn to have a lot of grace....not be so harsh.  patience, not judgement.
Yet, now....while I know grace is needed.  So is truth.  

So is a wake up call....maybe a spiritual fog horn actually? maybe a fierce slap in the face? well maybe brutal killings and children being used for only God knows what, will finally work. talk about a serious wake up call.....again. 

or will we just ignore it....again?

I was told by a wise man I greatly admire that my struggle with patience can be used for a good thing....to be used for Christ.  let it be used for things that need to happen....and happen now.

and now, this is exactly it.

Except I'm not preaching at you.  I'm preaching at myself.  But, i'll share it with you!

So, when I first wrote that sentence, I thought that sort of sounded harsh and maybe I should lighten it up.  But, then...No.   So, let me say it again....I mean, really...it's not that harsh....

and we may as well all stop lying to ourselves and saying we are not conformed.....maybe we need to re-examine.

because I want to call it like it is.  as I see it.

What ways am I conformed to this world?
What conformities keep me chained into only seeing the things I want to see?
What conformities distract me from God's greater and eternal purpose in my life?
{Romans 12:1-2}

I thank God that He is patient with us.  He knows our struggles.  He knows it's hard.  He and we both know our sinful tendencies and we can be merciful and gracious with ourselves and others, but that does NOT mean we condone these struggles or take advantage of that grace, thus becoming lazy in our obedience.

So, thankfully, He also sends warnings....wake-up calls....reminders of His love....reminders of what He has called us to....reminders to not be blinded by the culture around us....reminders that this life is not our own....that we owe Him our all and He simply asks us to give it to Him and Live for Him and live for others.

I write this because I want them to know.

I want my children to know that I got tired of being conformed to this world.

I got tired of thinking I wasn't, because perhaps in the big picture, maybe I wasn't, but sometimes the most dangerous places to be conformed are in the small corners of our mind.
I got tired of not TRULY CARING.
I got tired of forgetting to pray for the suffering.....although I know I'll forget again....but that it's not okay to keep forgetting.  we must remember.
I want them to know that I'm sorry it took the talk of blood moons and christians {especially children} across the world being abducted, raped, tortured and brutally killed to get my attention.....once again.
didn't we just talk about this wake up call months ago?

This is not the legacy I want to leave.  And what if Christ comes back soon?  Or I'm taken?
This is not the way I want to leave at all.

I mean....where is my heart?!
where are my thoughts?
where is my focus?
where is my HOPE?!

All too often, my hope is in my comfort, my ease, my life, my joy in tangible things right in front of me.

Yet, as we see in our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, that can all be stripped away all too quickly.

That will prove where our true hope lies.

What if they come here and I am face to face with them? What's the tangible then!?!

Will I stand?  Will I confess Christ?  Will I bravely face death in excitement to finally see Christ face to face??!  Hallelujah to the time I finally embrace Him.  Or will I fear? fear what could happen to me? or especially what could happen to my children?  now that may make me rethink my boldness. I pray it won't. I pray that I remember my hope in Him and the truth that even my children are in His hands.

But I don't want to focus on the future.  I want to focus on the here and now.

How am I living?
How am I loving?
How am I sacrificing?
How am I sharing Christ?
How am I being Christ to those around me?
How am I urging them to live for Christ? to find their true joy and hope in Him?

Am I urgent about it all or am I lazy?!

I mean, do you ever just step back from yourself and see how selfish you are? controlling? shallow? weak? anxious? fearful? lazy? worldly?

and for what??! temporary comfort and peace usually.

It's so easy to be like the pharisees and compare ourselves to others thinking at least we aren't that bad.  Yet, we look the wrong way.  outward instead of inward.

we need to look deep into our heart and motives.

Plus....looking at my life from the outside, it may seem I'm doing all the right things. Yet, Christ knows my heart.  He sees my instinctive thoughts.  He sees my struggles.  He knows how I am truly.  So much crap in there that keeps me from truly loving Him and others.

Good Ness, His patience, love and grace blows my mind.

I just want to stop dragging my cross and whining about it... I want to pick it up and carry it joyfully.

It's times like these that I'm woken up and I think ok, what do I do now?  And each time, He takes me through His Word and reminds me that whatever it is, it's HIS Spirit who does it within me.  Sure, I need to put myself in the place for Him to work in and through me, but it's only through His grace and by His power that I can truly love and live for Him.

I just want to live my life in a way that my children know....

that we didn't settle for a bondage to this culture,
that we didn't get blinded by our selfish desires,
that we didn't ignore the people right in front of us who needed love, but that we sold ourselves out for Christ....to love Him and love our neighbors.
that we didn't sit back and ignore the suffering or needy in the rest of the world either, but that we got down on our hands and knees and we placed our hope and trust in the ONE TRUE GOD and we prayed.

but did I do it perfectly? No, I failed often....but I kept picking my cross back up...living in His compassionate forgiveness.

and while He calls us to be faithful and obedient....
He still wants us to find our joy in Him through it all.
He wants us to be blessed in Him....happy....peaceful.

and I can't stop listening to and praying...

"Surrender" from Hillsong Worship

you can listen online here:




once your soul knows....

I just came across this post I had started several weeks ago.  Honestly, I am SO very thankful I'm not finding myself in that dry place anymore.  I went to the Hope Spoken conference at the end of March, and God truly used it to awaken my heart and eyes to see just how much I had been walking away from Him lately....not believing Him and His promises like I know to, not finding my hope and joy in Him, letting bitterness settle in my heart as I was lacking His joy.  Since then, and after delving back deeper into His Word and presence, He has been so faithful to draw near and renew my spirit in Him....helping me to find my freedom in Him again.

from early March.... 

"Once your soul knows what its like to be alive in God, your life is not satisfied with any life less than that."

My heart is not satisfied right now. After weeks of either being sick or having sick kids and not getting my usual morning time alone with Christ, my heart is feeling the effects of it.  He was so incredibly gracious while the kids were sick though...knowing our opportunities, or lack thereof and so gently leading us....and I am so thankful.

Yet, it's been quite challenging getting back into the swing of things since then! My mind is in a million different places, I can't hardly focus while running on fumes of sleep, and I can't seem to really get good quality time alone with God consistently, for various reasons...some I can't help and some lack of discipline.

It's times like these that I realize my crutch of "quiet times in the morning."  I love that time, and YES it is important and needed.  Yet, I depend on it alone too often.  I don't have good habits of renewing my heart, mind and soul throughout the day...either by His Word, prayer, meditation, praise, worship, scripture memory or whatever.  This has been a growing process for me for years now.

Since reading "The Practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, my eyes have been opened to my need for living in His presence throughout the day. {y'all this tiny little book is awesome and you could read it in one sitting!} This seems like common sense, but when I really sit down and think of my day, it's apparent that I am truly lacking continual renewal in Him!!  I typically just fill my cup up in the morning, and when it's emptied, it's like it's empty till the next time sometimes...but with some prayer thrown in throughout the day.  There's a lack of truly living in His presence.

It shouldn't be this way.  I've tasted and seen what my days are like when I have that good filling in the morning and then it continues to be filled throughout the day.  It's a closeness with God Himself, a peace that passes understanding, a walking in the Spirit, a life exhibiting His fruit....it's like no other.  Nothing is worthy to replace it. 

We are either walking with Him and growing closer to Him - captivating thoughts or temptations that aren't from Him and instead turning toward Him in prayer and renewal, or we are slowly falling away.  We are either feeding our flesh or our spirit.

and once we have really experienced that closeness with Christ, nothing less truly satisfies.


"No matter how profound and how deep and how real your experiences with God are, you are never exempt at finding yourself empty and desperate and alone."

I am prone to wander.

It's amazing how we can be so close with God and then find ourselves wallowing in our flesh before we know it.

Without renewing our minds and hearts continually, we are falling away without realizing it.

And without truly believing Him and taking up our crosses daily for Him, we find ourselves in our flesh.  Like Peter found himself....he was SO sure he would never deny Christ.  He couldn't fathom the thought of it.

I find myself in the same place far too often.

and I don't want to be there.  It's not enough.  When we have tasted and seen the joy and peace that comes from the closeness with God, the pleasure of walking in obedience to Him, the fruit of abiding in Him....nothing in this world compares to its glory.  its JOY.

Then why the heck are we so easily distracted with cheap things of this world that satisfy us for a mere moment?!?  Goodness, this is just irritating, isn't it!??!

I just came across C.S. Lewis' quote from "The Weight of Glory" again this morning...

"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased."

If you are finding yourself frustrated, bitter, depressed, confused, or whatever....perhaps you are just missing that closeness with God you've tasted and known that satisfies your soul like no other.  Maybe you know you should expect more in Him.
Well, let's not wallow in our shame, frustration or guilt....but DO something about it.

Let's not be pleased with less than HIM.  Let's not expect too little.

God's grace is sufficient in our weakness.

"There’s times in our lives where the most important thing we can do is to stop everything and make sure there is care for our soul….slow life down and get yourself healthy."

Let's take care of our souls today and renew ourselves in Him....seeking Him wholeheartedly as He promises that when we seek Him, we find Him....and not only seek Him for our own good, but also for His pleasure...because He deserves no less than for us to seek to please Him.  And, while He desires to bless us with His good, the real blessing comes in the relationship and just being close with Him.

~except for the CS Lewis quote, quotes are from one of Erwin McManus' podcast...sorry, I'm not sure which one!



The Reflect Series, my story...part 2, the facts...

So, now after the last post of filtering through all the questions parading around in my heart, I think I need to start from the beginning….go through the facts. Although, honestly….I’ve wrestled with if this was really even necessary.  Yet, I decided it was….mainly because I want my children to know the facts one day, and maybe it will help someone else understand why…..why people are the way they are….why you should always be kind and encouraging….because you never really know. You never know what someone is going through, has been through and what areas they may really be sensitive in.  You never know why they do what they do.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  Give them grace…mercy….and love.  always love.

So, let’s start back at the beginning…..

When I was 4 years old, my parents divorced and my mom took my brother and me to live with her parents in Philadelphia, MS….my mamaw and papaw….words can’t even express what those two people mean to me, how they influenced me, or how thankful I will forever be for them.  I wrote a little about them here. We lived with them for about a year and a half….and then my mom eventually married our pastor from the little church in the country…"all because" I asked him to take our family to Pizza Hut to get cokes. ha at least that’s what I thought for so long.  

We stayed in the same town as my grandparents for a year or so and then moved to Texas for a little while.  We eventually landed back in MS and after living in the Delta for a few years, we made our way down to the coast around my 5th grade year and settled there until after I graduated high school. Throughout the years, I would visit my dad a few times a year, with those times getting less and less as I got older.

Is it safe to say I had my fair share of being the new kid in town?  I know others, especially military kids who could identify much more, but I had it enough to feel the experience…and it wasn’t fun. What’s the deal with new kids?! Why are people so scared of them? I know the unknown can be a bit scary, but man, kids can be so mean and hurtful to “the unknown” or “different.”  I’m thankful for those times though to give me the perception and empathy to those in the same situation.

In the midst of those moves and growing up, I had my ups and downs just like everyone else..sometimes not having many friends, sometimes having a good close friend or two, sometimes having plenty of friends.  

The insecurities in my heart overall made me somewhat shy...although the report cards never failed to claim I talked too much in class.  Altogether, I had some awesome life experiences and some not-so-awesome experiences. 

I don't feel I can say anything further about my childhood without first claiming that I KNOW my parents loved me wholeheartedly.  They did their best in teaching me about Christ and loving me the best way they knew how.  God allowed what He did, and I'm content with that.  He’s been faithful to work good from it all. They sheltered me as much as they could understand to, and, honestly a lot they were probably oblivious to...  I was just stubborn, sneaky and rebellious.  I think, too this generation now of parenting has had the luxury of seeing a lot more results of all the technological advances since then and have caught on to more potential dangers in them and our society as a whole than our parents realized back then, and thus we can be more cautious….{which is exactly what I get on my soap box about later…}

Anyway, with that being said....my "double life" really started pretty young.  On one hand, I grew up in the church, had church friends, was involved in a fun youth group, knew all the bible stories and most of the common bible verses….I knew many “general biblical ideas and principles” and had somewhat of a relationship with Christ after inviting Him to come live in my heart at the age of 7.  However, it was a pretty rocky relationship due to the fact that I was being influenced not only by the church and/or good spiritual things, but also by some major worldy and sinful factors....

So, on the other hand…the struggling side….I was dealing with 
the absent father issues and lack of contentment with my stepfather {which wasn’t really personal…just that he wasn’t my “real” dad…I was basically a brat}, 
being the new girl in town who wanted to be accepted {and even years after being the new girl!},
and the exposure to sexual influence at a super early age in a few different ways {to which my parents had no clue….and some of which was against my will that I didn't have the mental strength to fight against as I was embarrassed and longed to keep the peace, and some I was just plain curious about.  Regardless of why and how it all started or happened, the shame and guilt -especially the unjustified guilt- added to my insecurity, but then, too a curiosity for a world away from God.  wow…can we say riding the fence?}

wanted to be a good christian girl, but I also wanted to fit in, have fun and be loved. 

and the simple truth is that the challenging circumstances that started off early in my life put me in a vulnerable position of being easily influenced.  Despite the good influences, it was easier for me to follow the influences and desires of the world for the most part.

 So with all those mixed desires, to put it plainly, I grew up struggling as an insecure Christian hypocrite straddling the fence between wanting to obey God and wanting to walk with the world ....which meant physical relationships with guys, drinking, partying, and trying so hard to fit in with the world around me.....which, as you can imagine, fighting between the two lives led to a pretty lost person internally. Actually, as long as I could suppress the miserable parts, I could make myself believe I was happy. However, I remember many times not being able to be alone because I would soooo be convicted. It was like God was always seeking to get my attention.

But, ooooh, the drama…the drama of boys….from 7th grade to 12th.  Let’s just say after I just read through my middle and high school journal, I threw it in the fire, but Matt talked me out of it, and I grabbed it back out…hahaha….to use it for a “teaching tool."  Mercy…..not that I personally care to read it again at all.  Reflecting back on all the emotions and choices I faced and made….I was just so sucked up into the idea that a boyfriend or best friend was going to make me happy…going to fill all the empty places….give me my worth….form my identity.  It may have been one journal for all those years, and I only wrote in it for the “big moments,” but it was still a good picture of being so lost in the idea of “love” and going from one person to another.

I was so lost in the idea of “Love.”  the wrong idea of love.

Relationships were like my drug of choice…..the feelings I got from other people.  I wanted the “high” or elation those relationships could bring….and when they didn’t bring it anymore or when I didn’t bring it for them, we were done…..on to the next boy or next friend.  It was all about how they made me feel.  Such a self-focused, self-centered, vain and empty life.

As you can imagine, I never truly believed the lie that I was happy, so I was never content and I was always searching for love....sometimes searching for God, who I guess I just doubted way too much.  So...more times than not, I found myself searching for love in all the wrong places.  

Sometimes, these lives would play out simultaneously, yet sometimes they would be at different times lasting for months and leaving me on a roller coaster ride...going back and forth between living for God or pursuing the world around me….or struggling with both. 

Finally, the summer before my senior year in highschool while at church camp, I felt God telling me that I would be in full time ministry one day.  This little picture of the future He had for me, my saving grace basically, was enough for me to know I needed to straighten out my life and plan on going to a Christian college where I could easily be influenced for His good.  I knew I needed and wanted to live for Him...I needed to be lifted out of the world I had been in where I didn't have the strength to say no to the influences pulling me down.  I continued to struggle through my senior year until I left for Mississippi College the fall of 98.

Praise the Lord for new beginnings and fresh starts.

and that's where we shall pick up the rest of the story. :)

So, to break it down and sum it up for now….the hardships in the beginning of my life started me down a vulnerable path where I ended up letting the world influence me over God’s truth. 
I had BOTH good, loving influences from my parents and church AND many wrong influences from the world. Sometimes, although you have a lot of "the good," especially depending on the heart and its vulnerability, the bad can outweigh the good, despite the quantities. My parents simply had a lot more to battle against than they probably realized.

 I doubted God and reached for what seemed real enough to me and what I believed would fill my heart with what I thought it needed….the world itself and/or people.

So, I also like to think that what if I had not had all that good from my parents?  By God’s mercy, it was the continual love, discipline, guidance and providence of my mom and stepfather (through God’s help!) that eventually won out and brought me to a safe place of surrender before the Lord.  I can’t imagine what I would have been like without them….where I would have ended up.  I am so beyond grateful!!

For you are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother's womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
Psalm 71:5-6


Reflecting back on the components of my story growing up….my heart is burdened, to say the least….burdened for parents these days, burdened for the generations rising up, and the culture they are living in….the lies this culture fills them with….the misconceptions they get from the majority of tv and movies they fill their mind with. The #1 influencing factor I can think of that led me astray so much was that I let Hollywood (although that sounds ridiculously silly!) be my ”truth" over the truth of God’s Word.  I watched so many movies and television, it makes my heart sick thinking about it….from scary gruesome movies to romantic lighthearted comedies….from relational drama to serious action.. You name it, I probably watched it.  My parents censored a good bit, but like I said, I found my own ways….and not only was it what I watched, it was how much I watched, I’m sure. 

I believed the lies the world filled my heart and mind with.  maybe because they seemed tangible and more real.  Maybe because I didn’t battle it enough with Truth about God’s love.  Maybe because I spent my childhood wanting my father and contempt towards my step father and didn’t believe a Heavenly Father was worth following.  maybe it was because it was what the rest of the world seemed to be following. maybe it was the circumstances from my early life that made me so vulnerable.

I can hear you thinking….lighten up, Crystal!   No, I’m not saying it’s all bad and we should all burn our t.v.’s, radios, movie theaters or phones.  but seriously….we must weigh the influence of what we spend the MAJORITY of our lives putting into our minds and hearts.  

How much truth are we putting in versus stuff or just plain junk from the world??

what is everyone else putting into my child's head, too??

I got filled with fear, desire for romantic love, a drive to be entertained, wrong expectations, self-centeredness and so much more.

and not only am I concerned with all those influences, but now the world of social media.  Lord, help me.

Choosing to reflect and reading through my journals makes a huge mental wall of protection go up around my sweet innocent children.  Makes me want to shoot any guy who gets within 10 feet of them within the next 20 years.  Makes me want to guard them with my whole life.  Yet, I don’t want to over shelter them. I know that can be ironically dangerous, too.  

So, I want to be prayerful.  y’all…..so much more prayerful than I am right now.  I want to be bruised up knees prayerful….mind swimming in prayers prayerful…on spiritual guard prayerful….as if I’m fighting for my children’s souls against the devil himself prayerful…..

Oh, because yeah, I am.  I’m fighting against the devil for my children’s souls.

Thankfully, the Lord is sovereign…but He still calls me to do my part.

So, the reality of how much TRUTH and Holy Spirit they need in a deceived world is ripping at my heart.  The amount of prayer they need from me.  The amount of guidance and discernment is unbearable to think about. 

The amount of Truth and Good they need versus the amount of Lies and Bad is more than we can truly comprehend.  

and that we want their hearts to be a fertile, receptive place for God’s Love and Truth….and that it depends far more on my parenting and circumstances I provide for them, is more than I truly understand.

Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us alone in doing this. HE is our power and strength.  HE can overcome.

oh how much I am preaching to my own heart here.   


{find The Reflect Series here.}



The snow....

This is basically what our last week has looked like around here....

I know, I know....laptops, iPads, phones, and tv's are not the ideal of how we like to spend our time.
but some days, something's gotta give.....

The massive stomach bug from hell {sorry, there's no better way to put it} got Anna Jaymes on Tuesday and she's just getting over it today...although she still hasn't hardly eaten or gotten up from the couch all day. Never in my life have I had a bug that lasted for longer than 24-36 hours.  This is going on 5 days.  It's safe to say I was a little wary of dehydration for something going this long...because NOTHIING was staying in that pitiful little girl. 

Then Adolyn.  Then Lucy.  Then Cole.

That means we probably have a few more days of this and we're praying Libby, Matt and I don't get it.  Oh, but I've had a cold, and something's trying to start on Matt.  Oh and Libby has gotten my cold.


I'm not complaining.....just stating the facts.  This seems like a pretty rotten situation....a bit stressful in the beginning, especially as I was trying to catch vomit with bowls from one child to the next and kill all the germs in the process.  Then, I decided to save getting to my whit's end for another day and stopped stressing about passing germs. I did what I could do, but I can only do so much.

I hate to say it's been "surprising," but it has been.....I would think this would be miserable.

Yet, God's grace is sufficient.  He knows our circumstances, and He has gently led us.
Why should I ever be surprised by His goodness??

There's been some tough moments, yet He is faithful and quick to forgive and quick to show compassion.

He's kept my eyes open to Him to see from a perspective of what there is to be thankful for and the little blessings I can find tucked away in the quiet hidden moments of the days.

In one of those times as I rocked little sick Lucy in her room, I was thankful to know that she would be better soon. It was just a stomach bug.  I was thankful to have emergency care if we did need it.

My heart began to burden for the mothers in places that don't have that knowing or peace.  I just cannot imagine.  

Every day is a gift and every day is unknown.  I do a great job at rushing from one thing to the next, and as I've mentioned before, Adolyn is my little reminder to stop and smell the roses.....
ummm.....or vomit in this case......ewww nasty, but for real.
{See??  It's been good that I've had a cold because I haven't been able to smell most of the week.}
Anyway, this week has been good to slow down, in some sense, and take a break from normal and be thankful. 


Ok. so now......the snow. 

Let me tell you....when I first heard there was chance of several inches of snow this week, my heart was devastated for the girls!  I mean, they wait all year, and ask all throughout the year if and when it is going to snow here.  Then to think they were nasty sick the one week the snow of the century is coming.....and wouldn't feel like being out in it...just broke this momma's heart. At that point, Anna Jaymes could barely walk.

Sooooo, on Wednesday, it began snowing, and although I was expecting it, I was nevertheless taken back at how divine and beautiful it was.  The biggest flurries I ever did see!!!
Falling so slowly and gently to the ground!!!!

You know pictures don't do it justice.

Well, Adolyn just wanted to get out and catch some flurries on her tongue.  So we assured them we would get them dressed ourselves and carry them out to the snow to do whatever they felt like doing.
Anna Jaymes didn't make it out that day, but sickly little Adolyn did in her pj's and coat....

I snapped a few more pics that afternoon and then hoped it would all be there long enough the next morning for us to get out again.

for some reason, I liked the mailbox area in snow then...it's right out our back door....

The next morning was almost like a miracle....like the eye in the storm.  We got the barely moving girls dressed and headed out, and while Lucy made her way back inside to nap...which was actually a blessing, the others came alive and had the energy to enjoy the gift of such a deep, soft and beautiful snow.

Snowball fight was first on the agenda...although that didn't turn out too good when Daddy caught her off guard.....

I thought this was going to be part of the snowman, but turns out this massive ball of snow was thrown at yours truly....

Snowball in the head....geez, daddy plays hardball, I guess.... 

Then, onto sledding.....after Matt gave it a couple of tries pulling the sled, he had the bright idea to get the pony.

In case you're wondering....because I was already asked, :) she had taken her coat off because she was hot....and those are my huge gloves on her....

Cole was so funny riding while pulling us...Matt would have the pony trot and all the while, Cole would just yell while holding on like he was falling off.  No worries, he was Fiiiine....and it was just enough thrill going down the little hill.
{and yes, he's in a girl's coat}

and up the hill....

Adolyn traipsing through the woods to find a hill, but no such luck...

and finishing off her snowman with rocks, pebbles, and dog food....

The girls and I would have loved getting them all dressed up and taking fun pictures in the big fluffy snow.....but I am happy and content with them having just the energy to enjoy such a small piece of time outside in something I'm not sure they'll ever see here again in their childhood.  Sure, they may see a few inches, but this snow was just perfect.  Such a gift that we got to enjoy it in the midst of the craziest sick week we've ever experienced.

and then it was back to vomit buckets.




my little man.....

My little man is becoming such a BIG man.  He wants to be doing what His daddy does, all the time. He was picking up some little scripture cards the other day asking if he could use them.  I told him they were for when he's bigger and can read.....I must've reminded him of why he needs to eat his veggies so he can grow up big....so he can play baseball like he wants.....and he replied with 
"and maybe I can teach people about Jesus!"

made this momma heart smile big.

Yes, sweet boy, you sure can, and I hope you will.  I hope you keep that fervent spirit for Jesus, just like you had with taking out the trash that day.  ha  

{inside phone pics that are blurry}

It was bigger than you, and hard to carry....but you wanted to accomplish it so badly....you kept getting up and kept going....and when the bottom busted from being drug a little, 
I helped carry your load.  

what a sweet little picture of our walk with Christ you gave me.  How many times do I bottom out and He carries my load? Too many times that go unnoticed, I'm sure.

I hope you grow in spirit, truth, love, and fervor for the Lord.  I hope you grow up telling and teaching everyone about Jesus....I hope that desire never dies.

I also had a fun date with this little one last weekend....I'm excited for a marriage retreat in a couple of days with my big Valentine, but last weekend, it was just me and this little Valentine instead.  I asked him if he was going to open my door for me, and then told him he didn't have to....but he declared he wanted to!  
{Umm, no, in case you're wondering, my big valentine does not open my car door}

{and you're welcome for making you feel better about your dirty vehicle.}

Where else would my little Valentine want to go other than Chik fil a??!  After he finally got to visit him, he was a little cautious of the big cow....it's maybe a little scarier when you get up close and see how quite large he is.

I adore the time I get to spend with this guy and see how much love and affection he wants and offers.  It's just sort of easy to forget this big soft heart lives inside him when all I hear in the house all winter long are piercing screams and loud startling bouts of yelling and roars {to which I swear it's like sometimes he's going to combust because they come all of a sudden and out of nowhere and scare me like no other....ahhh, for the love of little boys.}

Ohhh, I love his hugs and kisses.....I dread the day when he thinks he's too big for them.  So for now, when I'm not busy telling him to keep his voice down a million times a day, 
I'll take all the affection I can get.