Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dreams and Possibilities

It's been almost 2 years since I took these photos of Pops in Aix-en-Provence. A point in which my own dreams expanded and he hopped aboard.

In the passing time we've been praying and plotting. France. Could it be? Would the Lord have this for us? How might He use this for our family and His glory? The Lord has been gracious in opening doors and He has been using Pops as the vehicle by which we pass through. I am humbled that my husband is willing to reroute his professional track for a time so as to open our family up to some wild, unpredictable adventures.

There is much, much uncertain right now. But the kids are game, my health is improving, we have a job lined up, a rental home that's on the cusp of being available, and a consulate appointment that will decide, officially, if France is on board with our plans too.

I want so badly to worry these details to death, but I know that God is able and these details are but a yawn and a stretch for Him to accomplish. So for now, I am thankful that these dreams are even a possibility.

Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us 
is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of
—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. 
Ephesians 3:20-21 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Days of Remembrance

This is one of those photos that encapsulates a memory fully. I remember going to this parking-lot carnival with Grandpa Vanderburg. I remember the cotton candy and the corduroy jacket and the woven raffia headband that dug into the soft spot behind my ears ... but that I loved anyway. And I remember being here with Grandpa and feeling special.

The tanned farmer who raised six kids and took great pride in the grands. A man always good for a raspy chuckle and an eye-roll inducing joke. A man who proudly loved his wife and could grow a pumpkin so large you could sit inside of it and eat your caramel apple. A man who both unabashedly and quietly loved the Lord and those He placed in his care.

These end-of-life days are a brutal business. As believers in Christ, there is a hope and a future that brings very real comfort. But we cling to life and to those we love. Even as we desire to set free, we hold dear. These are the days of remembrance and yet also, anticipation.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 
Hebrews 10:23

Saturday, March 29, 2014

He Will Quiet You With His Love

This past month has been full of heartbreak and hope. Despair and mercy. Critical moments of pleas to the Lord and quiet moments of simple gratitude.

This past month my four year-old nephew was diagnosed with Leukemia. And not that anything involving children and cancer is normal ... but his last four weeks have not been normal. My heart doesn't know how to reconcile the events and my brain wants to block it all out. But in this all, we still see God.

My brother-in-law and his dear wife have been amazing through all of this. Their care for their son, their dependance on the Lord, and their straight-up grit in managing a nightmare situation. I am in awe of them.

Our own little bright spot in this has been in the care of little brother. He is the most delightful, charming two and a half year-old ever. Having him in our home, has been blessing and a constant reminder of what to pray for and what to rejoice in.

The journey has just begun for this sweet family. Our prayers are maturing as is our faith. I have no words to adequately speak to recent circumstances, but grateful we serve a God who is always enough.

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, 
He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." 
Zephaniah 3:17

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Wink and A Smile

This last year I have endeavored to take on a less-is-more mentality. The purging has become rather addictive. So freeing to have less stuff to not only clutter my home but also the recesses of my already cramped mind.

The natural by-product of this outlook is to be purposeful in what I buy and bring into our home. This is a more challenging discipline, I confess, but necessary and worthy nonetheless. But what is lovely, I'm finding, is satisfying my "I'd like something new" desire with temporal items. 

This week we've spruced up the dreary, bedraggled pots and planters that haven't already been tossed in the bin. The happy, budget-friendly violets that have found new homes on our front porch and back patio feel like a little wink and a smile every time I see them. I can't think of one thing in my garage rafters that has the same effect ...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Curious About the Harvest

This last year has been such a tangled vine of growth. So many challenges that seem to stretch on and wind their tendrils around anything it moves past. This scandent behavior has felt overwhelming, at times. It's easy to become weary ... of feeling weary.

Yet, the interesting thing about growth is that the intent is to bring fruit. Off of the woody, invasive vines, those tendrils latch on to provide security, to develop a base in which fresh green shoots can launch forth with an astonishing growth rate of their own. After a winter of seeing only barren stalks, the green bursts forth yielding vibrancy and the promise of a harvest.

This last year my health has presented itself as a forerunner for our attention. However, there is now a springtime of activity in our lives that is bursting forth in a most dramatic show. Some opportunities for our family that we have prayed about for years now seem to be unfurling with remarkable haste.

It feels strange moving forward into possibility rife with the unknown ... particularly since I have not yet wrapped a bow around the box of my health challenges and set it on a back shelf to collect dust. But here we are. And we acknowledge the issues of the day and press forward into the promise of the yet to come.

It's a bit terrifying. But it's exciting. I don't want to prune off the new growth from the old. Summertime is coming and I'm curious about the harvest.

I am the vine; you are the branches. 
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; 
apart from me you can do nothing. 
John 15:5

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Captured Heart

This past Saturday, my little boy turned 13 years old. In my mind and heart, he is still this fuzzy-headed, bright-eyed little boy.

We are all better people for knowing and admiring this young man. He inspires me year after year.

Monday, February 17, 2014

With Elegance and Intentionality

 I heard someone say, recently, that when they are engaged in conversation, or are posed a question, they ask themselves, "What am I trying to say?" They added that this internal dialogue resulted in a more concise and intentional comment, which is a much more elegant way to converse.

Now, I love a good chatter session, but so often I find I am jawing but not really sharing meaningfully or listening thoughtfully. Love this advice.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, 
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  Colossians 4:6

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Merits of Simplicity

Shells upon a radiator, Aigaliers, France 
"The fewer things you keep, the more special they become..."
-Rachel Meeks

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Look Back, Lucette Turns Ten

True, it's February, and Miss Lucette turned ten last May. But I've just returned to blog-land and these photos make me smile, regardless the time of the year.

We do love and adore our dear Lucette. She is a joy to our days and always a reason to celebrate.

 The day of her party was a glorious spring day, with sun and temperatures that sent us outside to happily cavort and cheer on our girl. We love a good excuse to gather together.

We love who you are and who you are becoming, sweet one. Your first decade was a smashing success.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Even There Your Hand Will Guide Me

Reminding myself of God's provisions and bounty. No matter where He has me, my confidence is full because of who He is.

Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It Takes Two Grown Men

I had to laugh at these summer photos I just rolled across. Snaps and arm holes are not a man's friend.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Little Rascals Start Again

Jane, 2nd grade

 Lucette, 5th grade
Peter, 7th grade

Another new year ...

... but they are still my same little rascals.

Through the years:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How to Turn Eight, Jane Style

 Start with some Grandma time on a blanket in the sun.

 She'll listen to everything you have to say.

Since you love rocks, use them as decorations and weights for a stack of napkins or fly-away tablecloths.

 Make sure you serve angel food cake with peach sauce. Everyone will come to the party, for sure.

Speaking of cakes. Hydrangea make the perfect cake topper.

 Sometimes it's too windy and the candles won't stay lit. It's okay if your mom just lights one candle and you blow it out very quickly.

The last step is to enjoy your cake and be loved by those that love.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Jane Turns Eight

Jane's Birthday in Pictures



All she wanted for her birthday was a trip to the coast with some of her most favorite people on earth. Happy days.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rahr-Rahr and Miss Flocon de Neige stay for Dinner

As of late, we often had dinner guests.

They dress up in their finery and practice quiet and refined manners.
 They often require Jane to taste their food for them, being high-class an all, but she is a gracious host and willing to oblige.

While there is an obvious class distinction ... an us/them, upstairs/downstairs element to it all ... they do elevate our dining experience and we are better for it.