Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Death Cab For Cutie

My musical dreams were made a reality this past Friday when I got to see Death Cab for Cutie live, in concert. 
My friend won tickets to the show and I presume knows my love for the band and offered a ticket to me. So, not only did I get to see the show but I got to see it for free...and we got to park about 8 spots away from the entrance to Gexa Pavilion which made everything 100x better. 

I have loved DCFC since early high school...which for me was around 2005. I was introduced to their album Plans first. Their music just resonates with me. It's melancholic, soulful, and then at times just rocks your entire being. 

I got a text from my sister asking if I wanted to join them for the show and I about jumped out of my seat. I immediately asked my dad to watch my kids...nothing was going to stop me from seeing that show. 

I don't know if I can adequately explain how excited I was to get to see the show. As I was sitting in my seat waiting for the band to start my sister, Elise, asked me if I was having a bad time or just unable to control my excitement. 
I had been chatty the whole evening but once the band was about to start I was just silent. 
I'm not exaggerating when  say that I was acting the same way I did when I walked down the aisle to my husband and when I held my son and daughter for the first time. In every one of those experiences I was silent with emotion that I couldn't control. It really was that impacting. 

Their set list was nothing like I expected. 
They opened with I Will Possess Your Heart. It had a long interlude of musical genius before Gibbard began to sing. The whole band looked so calm and comfortable. It was this amazing experience where I felt like I knew these people...which was really so weird. The connection people make through music is so interesting and fascinating to me. They played The New Year towards the end of the set and I was instantly transported to my mom's Expedition when I listened to that song on my first solo drive after getting my license. 

Gibbard took the stage alone and played I Will Follow You Into the Dark which made me immediately wish my husband had been there so we could dance. I was genuinely surprised people weren't dancing in the aisles. 

Quickly the concert was over. They started and ended perfectly on time. I was so appreciative of how prompt they were. It made me love them even more. I wish the encore had been an extra hour. 

I have never been to a single concert and not thought 'I wonder when this will be over'. I never thought that once at this show. It was over and I felt like it had only just begun. 

Even though they didn't play even half the songs I wish they would've- Transatlatisicm is my favorite album and they only played a couple songs from it- it was still the best concert I've ever been to and I can almost confidently say I will never be to one as wonderful. 

Really, I might as well never see another live show. I should also mention that I tend to lean towards dramatics. I will most certainly go to other shows. But I'll leave saying 'that was good...but it was no Death Cab.' 

I like to think that since it was one of Chris Walla's last shows that he picked the set list and those are his favorites and mean the most to him so it makes me feel better about not hearing my favorites. He didn't give a long goodbye he simply put his hands at Heart's Center and gave a small bow as he exited the stage- saying more about himself than a long speech could have done. 
He was so wonderful to watch during the set. As he sang vocals behind the upright piano he looked as if his whole musical soul was pouring out of him. And the long glances he and Ben shared were sweet and seemed to say 'I'll miss this, brother'...and maybe I was reading too much into everything. But it was nice to share in their evening. 

My takeaway is that music is powerful and impacts people more deeply than most things. I wish I could hang out with Gibbard and the gang and talk about Jesus and learn more about their music. 

Here is a photo from the show...
I barely took any because I was too entranced. 

Here's the one video I took

video


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August


This time of year makes me remember and think about two sweet things:
On August 23, our sweet Rayne will turn one...
But before Rayne...before even Ryder...there was Isaiah. There was my first pregnancy that only lasted 8 or so weeks. Isaiah is what we call him. We had no way of knowing that he was a him but we felt it.

A quick Google search reveals these options for the meaning of the name 'Isaiah'
Biblical Meaning: 
The name Isaiah is a Biblical baby name. In Biblical the meaning of the name Isaiah is: The salvation of the Lord.
American Meaning: 
The name Isaiah is an American baby name. In American the meaning of the name Isaiah is: The salvation of the Lord.
Hebrew Meaning: 
The name Isaiah is a Hebrew baby name. In Hebrew the meaning of the name Isaiah is: The Lord is generous. Salvation of the Lord. 

Isaiah was due to be born late August 2011. Rayne was safely delivered the week of Isaiah's estimated due date. I find so much sweetness in that fact. "The Lord is generous." He sure is. So generous that 3 months after taking Isaiah home- he filled my belly with Ryder.

Ryder is my wonderful, kind, generous, loving, rambunctious first born son. He will be 3 in November.I guess this month makes me think of 3 sweet things because if Isaiah hadn't been called home then we never would have met Ryder. Talk about a blessing in a time of struggle. That boy brings more joy to my life than I ever knew existed. The first time he took my face in his hands, looked me straight in the eyes, and told me he loved me I melted. The first time he said, 'mama, i need you' I came running. The first time he closed his door to his bedroom with me on the other side but told me to 'watch your fingers' I knew he'd always try to protect me. He's it.

Rayne will turn 1 in less than two weeks. When she first walked all the way from one end of the room to the other just to get to me I was so proud. When she learned to wave and clap I was giddy with laughter. And last week when she said 'mama' with intent for the first time I wanted to cry. She's a joy and she is my delight and I love that she is a shining light all by herself but also is a beacon of hope, reminding me of her brother.

God used my body to house, nourish, nurture, and comfort three babies. We have only met two of those babes earth-side but one day we will all be reunited in Heaven, Lord willing. I will get to hold my Isaiah. I will get to comfort him.

The Lord is generous. Isaiah never knew pain. He never knew the suffering that comes with living in this broken world. He is with our King and that is the best prayer you can offer for your children- that they would know the Lord. What a great comfort to know the King.

Here is a LINK to the blog post I wrote post miscarriage.
What I feel today is the same I wrote then:
The Lord is good. The Lord provides.
The Lord's timing does not fail.

Onward to the rest of August and to celebrating my babies.
Here is the birthday girl-





Monday, April 28, 2014

Titus

As I was reading a thread today about a woman desiring a puppy after a recent loss it made me think about my own loss and my own puppy...

Right around this time 3 years ago we got our sweet puppy Titus on the heels of a miscarriage. We went to the humane society 'just to look'. We went in knowing we one day desired a golden retriever/lab mix and didn't expect to find one. You could tell it was spur of the moment because I was wearing all black and what clothes respecting human goes to visit dogs wearing all black. 

We looked at all the puppies and small dogs in the indoor space and of course we saw adorable pups but didn't even bother to get any out to play with. We went to look at the outdoor dogs and made it through an entire row without coming to a stop. We reached the second row...about halfway down Garritt and I both heeled (dog humor) and looked at each other. Before us wiggled a golden lab mix. He was small and beautiful. I had a minor freak out and began frantically asking Garritt how we went about getting it out. He said we should ask and I told him to go find someone while I stood right there, guarding the dog. I stood in front of that cage positive that if I moved someone would sweep in and take the dog. 

We walked Titus around a little and then sat in this small area with grasses and two benches. While I cuddled the pup, black clothes now masked in hair, I asked Garritt what we should do next. "Where do we go from here?"

Apparently this sweet dog had been bought before and returned. He had been taken to a home...the family decided they didn't like him...and discarded him right back into the shelter. He went from sleeping in a house to sleeping back on cement. He went from feeling loved and cared for to being cared for but not feeling the love of a family. Because of that he had all of his shots and microchip and we could take him home that day if we chose to. 

We chose to. 

He was wonderful and adorable and we went straight to Petsmart to buy him a collar with his name on it. 
We named him Titus and like his name he was strong and kind and protective and gentle. He was everything we needed him to be. And we became everything he needed. 
He got a little sick a few weeks after having him. As I cleaned up a mess he made I remember falling to the floor to cradle him in my arms and I began to weep and cry out to God to keep my puppy safe. If you remember, we were on the heels of a miscarriage... I begged the Lord to save my puppy. I didn't want another loss. 

3 years later and Titus has never been sick again. Aside from living fully to his lab potential and eating all kinds of things he shouldn't and then throwing them up! 

I just see so many parallels between loss, being saved, and finding hope. 

Now, we're on the heels of celebrating Easter. 
Jesus was embraced by a group of people... then rejected by the same people...brutally murdered...and then came back to fulfill His promise to save the very people that mocked and rejected Him. 

It may seem a far stretch to go from talking about a dog that helped bring a family peace in a time of sorrow to talking about the Savior of the universe. But the Lord is good at all times. In times of sorrow and in times of great happiness. He knows what we need and provides it... even when it doesn't make sense to us. 

It's three years later and our family has grown. 2 dogs, a bunny, and two children. 
We couldn't be more happy. Or tired. 
I'm hugging Titus a little tighter today. 






Saturday, December 1, 2012

We do not punch our friends in the stomach.


A lot has been going on recently. In the last month or so I started working two days a week at an after school program with pre-K and Kindergarten aged kiddos. I spend a lot of time at this job comforting the kids. I am not used to being around this age group. I knew that they get hurt in small ways often but I didn’t realize how often they cry. I didn’t realize how often they NEED comforting. Yesterday, I spent most of the day talking about consequences with my kids. I didn’t intend to do this but we had a few occasions that really called for it, consequences that come from punching someone in the stomach and not obeying. I also spent a lot of time reassuring and loving and hopefully teaching.

After not working for a week and a half, due to Thanksgiving break, I wasn’t horribly excited to go to work yesterday. But, I came home feeling so great. It is not like I had an easy day or even an abnormally fun day. What I had was a day, which I realized, would have discouraged a lot of people if they were in my situation. What I saw was my gift, my natural instinct of mothering. I do not have the gift of coloring (as one girl repeatedly asked me to do). I do not have the gift of teaching (I would absolutely hate being in a classroom day after day). I do not have a lot of gifts that I admire in others but what I do have is the gift of being nurturing.

I realized this after I came home last night. I have known ever since I gave birth to Ryder that I was meant to be a mother. This is what God set me apart to do. But, I didn’t necessarily know that my gift extends to others… but, I think it does. And I couldn’t be more thankful. I love a lot of things and I would love to be the best at a lot of things but I felt so content last night in my calling to do exactly what I’m doing and that He has me exactly where I am. I want to celebrate my gift. I want to publicly thank the sweet Lord for designing me the way he did. I am thankful that while I am constantly changing and the world is quickly becoming a scarier place that God is steadfast and never changes. He is yesterday, today, and tomorrow and will stay the same at all of those times.

Celebrate your gifts. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Mexico, CO, Anniversarys, and more...

The last month of summer has flown by so quickly. We have done so much I thought I would take this opportunity to share some pictures...

Ryder and I took a trip to CO and on the way we stopped in New Mexico. My dad and I spoke at a conference in Denver, CO. My dad has been speaking at this conference since I was 7 or so and I have the fondest memories of Colorado from when I was growing up. When the opportunity came up for me to go this summer I was SO excited to take Ryder and for it to be his first vacation. It was just my mom, dad, Ryder and I piled in the mini van headed for adventure! On the way, we stopped in New Mexico and visited a few places my dad's family used to go when he was growing up. I get so much joy out of seeing my dad show us places of his youth. Sometimes, I probably wouldn't ordinarily care about some of the places he shows us but because he has such fond memories and he loves telling us the stories that accompany each place I find myself falling in love with every place we visit. 

NEW MEXICO


NM was beautiful and it was so much fun to see where my dad's family used to vacation. Ryder loved it too! He got to hang out in a hiking pack that his aunt and uncle so kindly let him borrow. He was such a trooper on the 10-hr drive. By far, the longest car ride he had ever taken. 

GARDEN of the GODS






Garden of the Gods will be the place I tell my kids stories about when I used to visit. I equate Colorado with Garden of the Gods. I love that place. It is beautiful and I have such fond memories of going there with my parents and brother especially. I could not have been more excited to share that place with Ryder. I know that he will not remember going there but I will definitely remember it and I will tell him about it all the time. It's just a shame that Garritt didn't get to share in the experience with us. But we sent him a lot a lot a lot of videos and pictures. 

COLORADO 

Garden of the Gods is in CO but I thought they needed two different headings. Going to Denver was a fun experience too. I have a lot of experience teaching and speaking in front of larger groups but I am used to speaking to teenagers. I got to speak to a room full of adults at this conference and I felt so comfortable. It was great. My dad and I spoke about parents and teens and about raising teens as young adults instead of old children. I loved it and I definitely would be interested in doing that sort of thing again. 


It was an unforgettable hour for me to spend with my dad. Tag teaming a seminar with him was one of those memories we will be able to share together forever!

I also got to see my wonderful, best, sweet friend Lauren-Claire in Denver and I can't believe we didn't take a picture but it was so much fun to see her and her new house and just to hug her. I had missed hugging her so much. LCP, you're the greatest and I have the highest of hopes for you and your future! 

My mom and I went to the cutest street I've ever been to, Highland Square. We went to a super cute book store, the greatest thrift store, and the best restaurant either of us have ever been to! Of course, that I have a picture for...



I mean, seriously, the queso was AMAZING! Brilliant. 

2 YEARS AND COUNTING






We got home from our trip just in time for mine and Garritt's 2 year wedding anniversary. Last year, we went to Medieval Times for our anniversary and this year we decided to carry on the now-tradition of going to kid-like places for our anniversaries. We chose the Dallas Aquarium for this year's anniversary. It was a hit! Ryder loved it and we had fun going somewhere neither of had been before. It was a good time! 

Anywhoo... that was my last month. WHAT A MONTH! It was great. 

Ryder still isn't sleeping through the night...but he is getting better. I am still so not even close to being the perfect mom AND wife...but I feel like I've made strives. I haven't finished my whole summer goals list...but I've done more than I have in past summers. Overall, God is still good and I'm so excited for what this year is going to bring and I've still got the cutest pumpkin muffin sweetheart baby. 

I'm not proof reading this blogpost... PS



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Prowling Lions


As I am waiting to start the SheReadsTruth prayer devotion tomorrow, I decided to read Proverbs 31 this morning. For two reasons, I woke up this morning feeling victory over the enemy and feeling very grateful {in general but also for specific reasons}. Yesterday, when I read Chavon Taylor’s first blogpost I was reminded that in Heaven I will no longer be tired. Last night, when Ryan Hamon spoke at Impact I was reminded that God has beaten Satan already and that I was leaving room to be tempted into bitterness during my multiple night wakings. Today, I am going to write about all of that and more:
.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour
1 Peter 5:8

Man, have I felt that for the last-oh-8 months. I didn’t even know I was feeling it. But, it became clear last night as I put Ryder in his crib and it became abundantly clear as I woke this morning feeling refreshed…along with waking last night feeling refreshed and again last night still feeling refreshed {a refreshment that only comes from the Lord}. I was up just as much last night as I have been all week but my attitude was new and different. I have been praying on loop for weeks that God would give Ryder, and in turn me, more sleep. I have gladly woken up multiple times a night for my sweet baby for almost 8 months now but I have only very recently begun to get really sad about it. I have started to let it overcome me. I have not been sad that I have been waking up but I have been sad that I have not felt the Lord answering my prayer. Not even my prayerS, just my one prayer. I have cried out nightly for Him to show me what I am supposed to be learning during this process. How this nightly routine is teaching me something? How I am to grow through this? But, I haven’t felt anything and I think it’s because I was only looking for my answer to be MORE SLEEP. “Just a 4 hour stretch tonight, Lord, please?” And, I have found myself becoming discouraged because I started to think that I wasn’t asking for much. Why isn’t He giving it to me? I’m not asking the world here, Lord, I just want more sleep.

But last night as I prayed for Ryder while he slept in His crib I prayed a new prayer. Actually, I scream prayed a new prayer {in my head, of course. Don’t wake my sleeping baby}. I told the devil that he has no business in my home and he is not welcome here. I cried out that the God I serve has defeated him and will always and forever be victorious over him. This battle isn’t ongoing. It’s won. The battle in my heart is ongoing, however. I cried out to the Lord in apologetic tones. How selfish I am! So, I gently kissed my sons head, went and kissed my husband goodnight, and read a little of 2 Timothy before I fell asleep. 4 hours later, Ryder woke but I felt more rested than I have in a long time. I felt the kind of rest that can only mean my SOUL had found rest. I was at peace with being awake and I was praising the Lord from the moment I woke. And, I continued to praise throughout the rest of the night and now I sit writing this refreshed even though I slept no more than normal.

It’s all about attitude, y’all. God is sovereign and He’s going to get what He wants, regardless of what we think. He wants me, us, to run to Him. He desires to be our everything. So, why wouldn’t we oblige? Why don’t I take up the cross every single day and find refuge in HIS strength when I am weak? Because, most of the time my attitude sucks. Most of the time I am selfish even in my kindness. Most of the time I find flaws where He says I’m redeemed. Most of the time All of the time I am a sinner that doesn’t recognize the depths and grossness of my sin.

Watch out for that lion. He’s waiting in the wings, in your thoughts, in your midst. He’s waiting and will wait as long as he needs to try and steal you from the Lord. He’s patient. Don’t let him devour you.
I was going to write about Proverbs 31 today too but I think it would be better for a later blogpost. But, let me just say that Proverbs 31 teaches you best how to be the kind of woman revered by God. It’s awesome. If you haven’t read it, read it. If you have read it, read it again and learn something new!

God is good, y’all. And He’s faithful even when we’re not. He can’t deny Himself. 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Loving your city through loving the homeless

Ryder is napping so I thought I would take this opportunity to write a quick blog post.

First, I would like to say that this is the second blog post I've written this week. Who am I? Apparently someone who is starting to blog more often. Add that to my last blog post! Another summer goal is to blog more often...I am not going to doom myself by saying how often. Let's be real, I am going to accomplish all of my summer goals and I don't want to paint myself into any corners I cannot escape!

Alrighty, here goes it.

       I went to the grocery this morning and was met by a semi-familiar face when I got there. There is a homeless man that I have seen quite often there that is deaf. He holds a card explaining that he needs help by way of food. Wishing Garritt or my mom were there (they know sign language) I spoke slowly (slowly for me so it was probably still too fast. Really, I speak like a Gilmore Girl) so he could read my lips. I told him I didn't have any cash on me but asked if he was hungry. He signed that he needed food, I know that sign. I asked him if he wanted me to buy him something and I would bring it out when I was done shopping. He said yes and I told him it would probably take an hour for me to shop but I promised I would be back.
      For whatever reason, he was not there when I returned. I knew this was a possibility for many reason; I took much longer to shop than I intended, he may be told that often, he may not have understood my speed talking, or he may have just wanted cash. Whatever the reason, I am so glad it happened. I'll tell you why... It gave me an idea. It gave me an idea that I want to challenge you with.

CHALLENGE: When you go to the store why don't you go ahead and buy an extra meal. A meal that can stay in your car and not be effected by the weather. Or, a nice cold sandwich and chips to give away as soon as you leave the store. Find someone in need and give them that meal!  Look, an extra $5 at the store is not going to break your budget. It's a simple way of loving our city through loving the homeless.

    After I left the grocery store I didn't want the meal I bought to go to waste and it couldn't sit in my car without going bad. I then proceeded to drive around all the hot spots near my house that I usually see homeless friends on the side of the street. I drove around for probably 20 minutes with all of my cold groceries in the back just looking for someone to bless with a meal. You know what happened? I couldn't find ANYONE! Not a one person. So, that lead me to the second part of my challenge...

CHALLENGE PT 2: While driving around looking for someone to gift your meal to PRAY for your city.

     That's what I did. I drove around for 20 minutes looking for a homeless friend while praying for Ft. Worth, TX. I didn't find anyone to give a meal to but I felt so refreshed and filled with love for my city and the people in it. This is not a life-altering challenge. It's not even a hard challenge. It is a REALISTIC challenge. This is also a challenge I plan on doing myself, for the rest of my life. With the hopes that my sweet son Ryder will grow up loving the homeless through loving the Lord.

So, that's it. Get out there and love your city through loving the homeless!
AMEN