Sunday, December 23, 2012

Be the Good

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."  Proverbs 4:23

My sister and I were out shopping this afternoon, and we went into this fab little shop in downtown Roanoke, called Addicted.  Inside I found this fantastic shirt with Proverbs 4:23 on it.  This is one of my favorite verses anyway, but lately I keep seeing it in different, unexpected places.  And that makes me smile....more proof that God is in the details. He shows up in fun places where He knows I'll see Him. :)

Reminders like these have been good for my soul, especially here lately.  Things seem bad.  Things ARE bad.  I normally don't watch many news programs because it's nothing but doom and gloom and only causes worry; these past couple weeks have been so much worse.  On Monday I started watching Good Morning America and found myself sobbing as I watched a sweet couple talking about their 6-yr-old daughter, Jessica, one of the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary.  I don't remember ever sobbing like that over a news story....this is one of the things about the ridiculous amount of media we're exposed to every day.  It's shoved down our throats so often that we're numb.  You hear about killings and tragedy and death and destruction so much that it starts to lose it's meaning.  THAT is tragic.  But this story about Jessica Rekos turned me into a sobbing mess....which is exactly what I needed to be.  And I found that I couldn't turn the tv off, as much as I wanted to. What I needed to do was mourn with that couple who lost a daughter the same age as my youngest son.  They deserved that much. So I did.  And then I tried to go about my day, and found that I really couldn't.  I was worried about my babies who were all at school.  I was worried about my husband who was at work at church.  I was worried that something might happen to me while I was out.  I was consumed with worry.  We're told in Matthew 6:34 not to worry about tomorrow, that tomorrow will worry about itself.  That's a personal struggle for me, something I battle with every single day.  I wish I was laid back and relaxed, secure and trusting, but I'm not.  I want to be...and I'm going to keep working on it until I am. But in the meantime?

We're in TX this week for's good to be in home. :) I've been lovin' on my baby niece and nephew since we got here, soaking up their yumminess and making sure they are well stocked up on Aunt Jac love.  I'm crazy about those babies.  Sat with Finn in my lap teaching him how to play Angry Birds on my phone....holding that little finger as it pulled the slingshot back and let it go, listening to his little laugh as the birds crashed into the pigs, and then we'd do it all over again. And again. :)

And then I rocked this little girl and put her down for a nap.

Typically her routine is read a book, rock a little bit, then night night.  But I couldn't put her down.  It wasn't long, after lots of talking about all kinds of different things, solving the worlds' problems ;) that she fell asleep.  And I rocked and rocked that sweet girl, marveled at how beautiful she is with those long eyelashes and tiny little punkin nose, her pretty little mouth.  I thought about how far she and her brother have come in the year (and a couple months) since Reagan and Jon first became their mommy and daddy.  Their chatter about things (after not speaking a single word when they first came), the way they both give and receive love, their senses of humor (they're both hilarious), how smart they are....they're amazing. And I started thinking about what their life was like before, and what it is like now.  That they were rescued in every sense of the word. That because Reagan and Jon were faithful to obey what God was calling them to do, to take the hard road to find these two...well it's nothing short of a miracle. And it's good.  It's very good. In a world full of hurt and pain and yuck....there's good.  And although our prayer is that they will have no memory of their life before, I'm sure if they did they would tell their parents how happy they were that they fought for the good and brought them home.
I bought this necklace the other day...something I rarely do.  Buy myself jewelry, I mean. But there's a little something I've been praying for and I know it's going to take a miracle to make it happen.  Thankfully I know a God who is really into miracles, so I'm trusting in His timing, believing that if His will is to answer a yes, He will.  And if not it will be because He has something better.  Hopefully one day soon I'll get to share that prayer with you.  We will see. But I had another reason for buying this necklace....I need the reminder.  I need to wear it close to my heart, because I'm having a lot of trouble remembering right now that miracles do happen.  That there is good.  Even though I know better....that if you're paying attention you will see it everywhere. 
There's these 3 boys that Brian and I had the awesome privilege of bringing into this world. That God saw fit to trust to us. It's scary raising children today.  There are so many things I want to protect them from. You can refer back to all my previous posts about scooping them up and going to live on a farm or in the mountains somewhere, far away from But I can't keep them in my bubble.  It's not what we were put on this earth for.  And the thing I've been kicking around in my head these past couple of weeks is quite easy, really.  It's simply this:

It's up to us to be the good.

Living with 3 little boys and their Daddy...well, there's lot of talk of super heroes, the bad guys, the good guys.  In our house the good guys always win. Always. And in my (somewhat delusional;) world where everything is rainbows and puppies, sunshine and butterflies, everything is happy.  Happy is the norm. Usually. Even when it's not easily seen, you can find it somewhere.  You just have to look.  And I know that happy isn't really the norm all the time. You have to chose the happy. It doesn't always come easily. 
I was mulling all of this over during church today, listening to a great message very relevant to this very topic, and God brought this verse to mind: 

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even when it seems impossible not to.  We are to stay focused on the end....on what's ahead.  And even now when our troubles seem like anything BUT light and momentary, the hope is that someday when life in this world is over, when we get to meet our Savior face to face....well, none of that will matter anymore.  And it really will be rainbows and puppies. Forever and ever. ;)

But in the meantime? In the meantime I'm not letting the bad guys win.  I'm going to fight for what is good. For what is right. I'm going to work hard to be a light in what can be a really dark place. To show kindness. To smile.  To be on the lookout for the needs around me and to be brave enough to help where and when I can.  To keep going about what God has called me to be here for, and to teach our boys to do the same.  Even if we're scared.  And tired.  And it seems too hard.  Because it will seem too hard sometimes. But it will be so worth it. 

It will. I promise. :) 

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you WILL have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Over 3 months later....

Hi.  If there was a reward for worst blogger ever, I'm quite sure I'd be a frontrunner.  I like to win and all, but I'm not going to let that keep me least for now. I was thinking about what I should write about, because it's been so long and surely there is something interesting to talk about, or some kind of revelation or something....but nope.  Nothing.  We've been our usual busy selves, which is good, I suppose...but what I've longed for these past several weeks is for things to slow down and become boring.  And I guess if I really look at things I realize that what I've tried to change about myself~ to be more present, an active participant in life.  Off of my phone, the computer, the tablet, etc. etc. I know they are fun and convenient, but sometimes I want to chuck mine into the lake.  I won't....but I kinda want to.

But anyway.

Fall brought with it a fall baseball season for these two....

....which included first-time pitching for this one.
He comes from a long line of baseball players on all sides of his family (my dad, B's dad, my grandpa, cousins, etc), and I've watched a lot of baseball.  Watching your son pitch, however, is hard.  Like, make-you-wanna-throw-up hard.  He liked it ok, and for his first time did awesome. He plans for now  to work at it, but is (thankfully) more comfortable at, and has more fun playing short stop. Whew. ;) We'll see.

This one finally got his two front teeth....

....and added two of these firebelly toads to his critter collection. :)
They're names are Burnie and Bob, and are most definitely the easiest pets we've ever had to care for.

He also earned his orange belt in karate.  All 4 of us were there to cheer him on, and he rocked it.
Hunter Bug was awarded "Student of the Month" for the month of September.  Quite a big feat for the first month of kindergarten, and we are super proud! We are THRILLED with his teachers this year~ they are the perfect team and we love them both. :)
In related news, he and I are both adjusting to school just fine.  Him better than me. It's still weird, but we're good.

Fall is my favorite season, and when I saw these boots they seem to scream fall. ;)
I love them so.

Mimi came for a visit in October, and we took her with us to a pumpkin farm and had so much fun!

I officially launched my decorating business, called The Turquoise Giraffe.
I LOVE doing what I do.  Check out the website here. :)

This is a pic from my latest decorating was really fun!

I made time to finish up this one area of our bedroom, and am loving that it's done!

This sums everything up for me.  Truly. ;)
Ok, not really...but it is comforting to know when I feel like I've lost my mind there are others right there with me. ;)

Dr. Stanley celebrated his 80th birthday, and the boys dressed in their Sunday best (with a Hatcher-funky spin) in honor of his big day.  One of his favorite things to say is "Look your best, do your best, be your best," and we wanted him to know we feel the same way, and we celebrate him.

The littles' school had Grandparents Day last month and my Dad pulled off a big surprise for all 3 of the boys.  He showed up at school and Hudson and Hunter were completely was priceless.  And surprising Harrison that afternoon was hilarious.  I love that our family is able to visit like this. :)

Harrison fell at church and cut his eyebrow open, requiring 3 stitches.  This was his 3rd (yes, 3rd) ER visit in the 2.5 years that we've lived here.  Wowzers. He's fact, you'd never know he even cut it. 

Last Sunday he dressed like a toy soldier and sang with his praise team at church.  Darling. :)

And speaking of dressing up, B and I were elves last weekend for a Sunday School department party.  The things I  We had a great time with a great group of people.

After Thanksgiving we had our first official real-Christmas-tree-finding-and-dinner-out-night.

It was FREEZING that night and I was so cold I forgot to take pictures while we were choosing the tree.  Oops. :/

Eli the Elf made his Christmas 2012 debut last weekend, and brought breakfast! The boys loved it.

Things are good. I'm still thinking hard about writing a book.  I have a title and the first few pages written, and am hoping to work on it more over the Christmas break. Enjoy this month with your family, and take the time to create some Christmas magic for your family.  Soak up the time with family and friends.  Make memories.  Have some hot chocolate.  Look at Christmas lights.  Watch your favorite Christmas movies. Cozy up by the fire. And most important, take time to thank the One that we are celebrating this month.  Lots of love from our family to yours. :)