Thursday, September 13, 2012

Because Sometimes You Just Need to Build a Tent

It's raining here is West Texas.  The rain has been a continuous stream for the last several hours which illicits cheers around these parts - we are always lacking water and so while Seattle celebrates the sun we "holler" for the rain!

I personally love rainy days because it is the perfect weather for naps, reading, cups of tea, and lots of snuggling with my girls.  And sometimes on rainy days you realize that it is the perfect day for a really great tent.

Selah and I were sitting in the living room when she asked me to tell her stories.  This is typically reserved for bed time, but rainy days are special so I asked her what she wanted a story about - JUMPING was her I told her a grand story about searching for the best trampoline in all of the world with her trusty side-kick Haven, and her eyes glinted with laughter when Selah Belle the adventurous girl found the perfect place to jump.  She wasn't satisfied with just one story and begged for another - this time about TENTS!

So I told another tale of chairs and blankets - more than she could ever count - and how they came together to create the best tent ever. And with laughter brimming & eyes filled with delight it was only natural that we should in fact build a grand tent.  I was in charge of the chairs & it was her task to bring out the blankets, and I must say that mother and daughter made a fine tent (if I do say so myself).

We spent all morning in that tent - we ate lunch inside, pretended to look at the stars, told secrets, and introduced Haven to this wonderland.  And when Josh came home so I could slip out for a couple of hours she couldn't wait to let him explore the tent as well - no doubt dad can find a whole assortment of fun activities to be had in the tent.

And I left - excited for a couple of hours alone - and promptly pulled into a coffee shop.  It looked perfect - desolate with the exception of one gentleman working away at his coffee shop/work station.  I took a long drink of my vanilla latte and settled in for some good reading and quiet when I heard him clear his throat.  I glanced over and he started up a conversation about biscotti.

We talked for QUITE A WHILE about biscotti...and muffins and scones too.  I was polite and even a bit charming as I explained why I did in fact enjoy those crunchy biscotti after dipping them in my coffee.  The banter died down & I was determined to bury myself back into the computer when I heard another conversation start - this time about the war and politics and religion...

And all I could think about was how badly I wished I could build a tent - right this minute over myself and my computer and my books and my latte.  I don't mind discussing biscotti or politics or even my shoes (the conversation was heading there now)...but at THIS moment...with the rain in the background...and the smell of coffee in the air...I just needed a tent.

Inside our grand tent...telling one another secrets
So I left (escaped with a smile while he answered a call)...and now I'm tucked away somewhere else in a tent of my own making.  And this - this quiet - is a grand tent (if I do say so myself).

Hope you find some time in the next couple of days to build your own tent!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Funny Faces, First Hair Cuts, and a little FIshing - Week 41 of Project 365

I hope you have had a great week!  We had lots of fun events with family and friends this past week, and with the cooler weather slowly coming our way, we are expectant of what is to come!

I just realized that this is week 41 of project 365 so I only have 11 weeks left before I finish this first year of a picture a day!  Here is my favorite picture of the week - I was asking Maci to say Cheese & this is the awesome pose I got!  I think this is kind of how our week went - a little crazy and a few unexpected moments but lots of fun!

Maci and Madi love Baby Haven

Day 284 - I shared with a group of Middle School Students last Sunday & was really impressed at how much they interacted.  What a great group of kids!

Day 285 - Happy Labor Day!  We had a family cook-out and I loved capturing this moment.  My mom was holding Haven and my uncle Steve was getting her to laugh.  So thankful that my girls are surrounded by such love.

Day 286 - Selah was "cooking" in her kitchen on Tuesday while I was in other room.  When I came to see what she had done I discovered that she had pushed a chair to the cabinets & had gotten salt & red sprinkles to concoct her creation.  I decided to just go with it and encourage her creativity.  She explained to me how she created the cupcakes and then before I realized what she was doing she dipped her finger into the salt/sprinkles cake for a taste.  It was a bit of a shock & she went running for her sippy cup!

Day 287 - We were doing a video shoot for our Pursue Missions Conference!  If you are in Lubbock, mark your calendars for October 17-19 - it's going to be great!

Day 288 - Josh and I went with our friends Mark & Erin Murray to the Kari Jobe and All Sons & Daughters Concert.  It was really great & I especially loved hearing AS&D live - I've listened to their music for the last year & they were even better in person.

Day 289 - Selah's first hair cut!  It was a big day for her & she LOVED getting pampered.

Day 290 - Yesterday, I worked in the morning at the Lubbock Dream Center getting ready for the service and carnival that we hosted today.  I spent most of the morning organizing t-shirts & doing random jobs and my lovely sister Kelsey was helping out too!  Do you think we look alike?  Cause we get that A LOT!

Day 291 - Carnival Fun!  Selah was fishing...and loved every moment of today playing games and running with her cousins.
Here is to Week 42!  May it be a week filled with laughter and silly faces!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Life Doesn't Revolve Around You

Some days just don't go as planned.

And usually it is my fault.

It's only 9am and I'm already feeling that way.

I was asked about a month ago to speak at chapel services for the week at a local Christian High School.  I immediately said yes because I really like the kids that go there.  Josh and I spoke at a retreat for them last year and I've done these chapels before so I feel like I know them fairly well and I've had some great conversations with a few of the students.

So I prepared 3 days of messages last week and woke up early this morning with bleary eyes and a heart of excitement.  I really love to speak to young a to get to do it on a Tuesday morning was out of the ordinary and I was happy.

I ran around crazy trying to make sure that the baby was fed, Selah was half-way dressed and all was set with Josh and the babysitter.  I was running late (as has become the norm for me since baby #2).

But I got to the school and immediately started chatting it up with students and a few teachers.  My phone was ringing, but since I didn't recognize the number I silenced it - after all, I needed to focus on why I was here.  I glanced over my notes - I was sharing my first day of high school story, and I was going to share the truth that God doesn't just love you - He LIKES you. 

I realized that I hadn't met the assistant principal who had invited me (he was new to the school), but I assumed that all was well since I was sitting where I normally sit and had said hi to people who knew me.

Some kids led worship and then one of the teachers came up to introduce me....but then he started to talk and said, "Well, I just found out 5 minutes ago that I was sharing, but I'm really excited to share something on my heart with you guys."

My brain swirled for a minute - wasn't I supposed to be the one sharing?  Wasn't that why I had run around crazy all morning?  Wasn't that why I had prepared and prayed?

I got up and inconspicuously went to the back of the room where administrators stood.  Their mouths hung agape - "We didn't know you were here" they said...."we tried calling you."

And it was then that I realized that my husband is correct when he tells me that assuming things can often get us into trouble.  I had assumed all morning that they knew I was there because I had said some hellos...but those hellos were not to the people who organized this chapel.  And I had assumed that all was as it should be because I was sitting where I've always sat in the past, but today is a new day - it's a new school year...I shouldn't assume that they are keeping everything the same.

And so I stood there making my apologies and feeling utterly ridiculous when I heard the speaker share his heart.

He talked with passion and a knowing...He talked about identity and that God created them unique.  I quieted my brain and tried to focus more on what he was saying.  He told them to open their Bibles and led them to the EXACT same scripture that I had planned to use.  His words were truth and I couldn't believe my ears as it dawned on me that his 5 minute preparation was leading into the same theme that I had spent much longer time developing the previous week.

And as I stood in the back of the chapel I felt like I got a nudge from God.  A truth to my heart that I needed to hear:

I like you, Paige, BUT that doesn't mean it's all about you.

And in that moment I knew it was true.  I was concerned that I wasn't speaking when I should just be concerned that they still got the truth He had put in my heart...that He doesn't just love them... He likes them.  In fact, He likes & loves them so much that He still delivered the message of His heart to them - not through me, but through this teacher who just quickly shared out of his own experience.

And so it wasn't for me that I was praying or running around crazy this morning.  It was for them - these lanky teenagers who are desperately trying to discover who they are and who God is to them.  The prayers I prayed were not so I could sound good...they were so those students might really hear.

I'm just a messenger....and today, I wasn't really needed.

And so I'm going have a cup of coffee and mull that over a bit more...He does like me, but that doesn't mean life revolves around me.  What a novel thought!  Perhaps I'll try living that way for the remainder of the day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Best friends, birthdays, and bread bowls - Weeks 37-40 of Project 365

Project 365 has mostly become a collection of snapshots of my darling girls.  So, bear with me as I continue to count my days with one picture a day!  Here are weeks 37-40!

Day 257 - Lots of cuddling

Day 258 - I came home to this sight.  Haven asleep in daddy's lap, Selah asleep sitting up, and a very tired dad

Day 259 - Take a picture of me, Mommy!

Day 260 - Selah was packing her bag before we left the house.  She needed her tea set, cell phone, and lip gloss - the essentials

Day 261 - We traveled to Dallas so Josh could officiate a wedding and we could see his family.  I love the way Haven is smiling at her daddy while her cousin Levi hold her

Day 262 - Love this picture - Haven Joy being held by her Aunt Joy

Day 263 - Sabba introduced Selah to the bread bowl.  Selah is like her mommy in that she loves bread - so this was quite a treat!

Day 264 - Haven has been going to work with me, and this was in the middle of the day - sound asleep in the glow of a lamp.

Day 265 - Happy Haven

Day 266 - We had a church picnic & Selah was dancing with her friends Farrah and Maci

Day 267 - I thought I'd see if Haven was strong enough yet to sit in the Bumbo and she loved it!  Of course, that night I heard that they were being recalled...

Day 268 - Haven continues to make new discoveries everyday

Day 269 - Sisters!

Day 270 - Beautiful

Day 271 - We had a staff picnic this evening and I wish I had taken more pictures.  Here is a snapshot of the little kids eating.  I really love the people that I work with - it's definitely a new season at Church on the Rock and I'm excited to see what is ahead!

Day 272 - "Go Daddy! Go!"  Selah cheered on Josh while he did some yard work

Day 273 - She wasn't excited about what I was telling her

Day 274 - Reading Daddy's Bible

Day 275 - Selah says they are best friends!

Day 276 - I went to a beautiful wedding for a family member and I loved this idea.  All the parents and siblings had chosen their favorite cake so there were about 12 cakes on the table!

Day 277 - Running barefoot through soft grass - enjoying our last few days of summer

Day 278 - Molly Kate came over to play & these girls put on quite a performance for me!

Day 279 - Selah & I had a date to the Pie Bar, but more than the pie Selah loved making faces into the mirror along the bar

Day 280 - I have a feeling these two are going to keep life interesting from here on out!

Day 281 - My friend Abby had a great idea.  A group of friends gathered together at 8am in our friend's driveway to cheer her on as she drove to take her first round of chemo.  She was surprised and knew she was loved.  Love you Tomi!

Day 282 - Celebrating my friend April on her 50th birthday!

Day 283 - Over 8 years ago, my friend April asked 4 friends to come to dinner and invited us to each bring a friend.  This group has changed over the years but we have basically eaten dinner once a month since that time and become great friends.  This weekend we celebrated April's birthday and I was reminded that I am blessed with amazing women in my life.

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