Sunday, October 14, 2018

spirit of discontent

we have just remodeled our home. 
if you are friends with me on any form of social media, you already knew this. 
we started at the beginning of April and moved back in sometime in July, i can't remember exactly when. 
People often ask, "are you done?"
to which i reply, "no, we still have x and y to complete, but we're living there"
each time i answered this question, i was revealing a small part of my attitude i had towards my life.
and in me was brewing a feeling that i was not aware of. 
one of discontent. 

i started to feel unsettled. about everything.
our house. my job. our marriage. our church. my friends. everything.
but i couldn't quite put my finger on it. 

i tried to talk to GT about it, but couldn't quite articulate what this feeling was that i was having or why.
after one particular conversation, he said that it sounded like i wasn't content. 
and it was like i was ungrateful for so many of the things i had prayed for or had wanted.
i had no response.
he was right.

after that conversation i began praying and asking God to give me a heart of contentment
of gratitude
of awareness and perspective.
GT and i talked a lot about this 
i made a deliberate decision change my attitude
about our house
about our family
about my friends
about our church

in Philippians, Paul talks about being content in any circumstance.
and, no, i don't think he meant for me to learn to be content with my old couch in our new living room until we get a new one. 
He was content in any circumstance by knowing Jesus Christ

and i do think it's that simple. 
knowing Jesus
knowing peace
knowing grace
knowing hope
knowing JOY, true JOY
that's enough to outweigh any circumstance
whether it's a broken friendship
a dwindling bank account
an unstable job
a quarrelsome church

whatever it is. knowing Jesus Christ and all that HE provides is enough to bring contemnent

Here are a few practical things that have helped me daily in being content

3 things to combat a spirit of discontent
1. service
it ai't about me anyway
first, stop thinking about yourself. 
look around and find ways to help someone else

2. an attitude of gratitude 
cheesy, i know. but sometimes it's all it takes. 
a deliberate change in attitude
start listing the things you're thankful for. 
look at what you prayed for, asked for a year ago, or 10 years ago and see if you have those things. 
be thankful for them.

3. stop comparing 
quit looking at other peoples stuff. their relationships. their Instagram photos. 
they're wanting what someone else has anyway. 

simple steps 
(but not that easy)

this is not new
and i know i'm not the only one who has felt this way
Paul wrote about it over 2,000 years ago for crying out loud! 
you know i love the bible for it's practicality and ability to be relevant to all people at all times.

we are not the first generation to feel oppressed (for whatever and anything)
the first church family to have discord
the first culture to have crazies
the first nation to have political unrest
we are not the first family to feel overwhelmed
i am not the first mom to feel guilty or not good enough

this is life, this is people, this is a broken world
we will never feel happy with or fulfilled by ANYTHING people or this world has to offer
that is why Jesus is it.
the only way.
if you are only looking to find satisfaction in how people act (even leaders) or by things (even nice things), it won't happen

when you start feeling unhappy with something or someone
start at number 1 up there.
find someone else who might need something you've got.
your heart. your hands. your time.

that's what Jesus did. 
He served.
 and i guarantee, not once, did He feel discontent
He knew his purpose
in serving others and knowing His purpose, He gave us ours

Sunday, August 12, 2018

3 months with sister girl

3 months.
1/4 of a year.
Kirby Jane is just sweet as pie.

She has been laid back from the beginning and that continues to be the case. 
I think that's part of her sweet disposition and one of the millions of reasons that we continue to fall for her daily.

her brothers ADORE her
every single time she sees Judson, she smiles. every time. a guaranteed smile

she is definitely not short on attention and love

and hair accessories

Townesy, literally, can not get enough of her.
he is in her face constantly

she tolerates him
kind of
she is easy to get to sleep for the most part and sleeps all night!
she starting to break out of the swaddle, so perhaps we'll switch to just a sleep sack soon.
she still sleeps in our room, as we haven't completed her nursery just yet since the remodel
she is a great, efficient eater and stays pretty much on a 3 hour schedule during the day
she is "talking" like crazy.
she can be sensitive when surprised and will throw that bottom lip out in a heartbeat.

if she's fussy, she is typically either sleepy, hungry or gassy. 
or wants me to hold her.
She is already very aware of who is holding her and prefers her mother (not complaining one bit as i know this only lasts for a short while).
Her smile transforms her entire face and you can not help but feel joy from your head to your toes in return. 
She likes to sit up, almost on my hip, so she can see what is going on.
Already, if i'm cradling her "like a baby" she is doing a sit-up trying to look around. 

when she is really sleepy, she will press her face right up next to mine and rub her nose back and forth. 

i really can't seem to get enough of her.
neither can her dad or brothers.
or the rest of the family.
we simply adore her.
the other day GT said, "Kate, you're just smitten, aren't you?"
yep. unashamedly.
he also asks which headband she will wear when i'm dressing her.
it kind of makes me melt watching him with a daughter and care that she has matching accessories. 

what did we do without this little dose of sweet in our family???

she has the BEST big brothers.
they are always wondering where she is if she isn't right beside them.
when they see her, they reach up to give her a kiss and a hug. even if they did 3 minutes before. 

we rarely call her Kirby Jane, but have fallen into the habit of saying "baby girl" or "sister"
Townesy calls her snuggle bug, sugar bean, pretty princess or kooky. 
when he addresses her it's with a breathy, "heeeyyyy sister. how's my snuggle bug. heyyyyy" 
it's quite hilarious.
Judson looks at her and just says over and over, "i love my sister. i love my sister..."
my cousin, Korie, said it best, "she's quick to give a smile"
and she is!
we love our sweet girl and thank God daily for this gift of sugar in our family

Friday, July 20, 2018

from a Tuesday at home.

the boys are in Tyler with my mom
having the time of their lives with their cousins
yesterday before they left Townes told me that they were going because, "me and Bubby have never seen Beau and Luke in lots of years". so they went

it's just me and baby girl.
and Woodrow and Poe Dameron (Townes' fish that he got for his birthday)
and Rosie, the Roomba, who sounds very much alive right now. bumping into everything and driving Woodrow crazy.

sister girl just ate, so she's incredibly relaxed and making the best company for this rainy, overcast day.

i went back to work last week. 
let me clarify. 
i'm working a few hours during July.
Nothing crazy. 
Just getting back into the swing of things and helping out at the clinic.
but, it's along enough to miss Kirby Jane and the boys.

so i'm enjoying this slow morning at home.
although it's been a productive morning so far!
currently, i'm staring at our home and the insurmountable task of putting it back in order.
we moved back in last Wednesday.
well, we didn't move everything back in. we started sleeping here.
there is still a lot of stuff/clothes at my parents that i need to get.
we are slowly putting things away, cleaning, sorting, throwing away, selling, etc.
bit by bit, i suppose.
although i'd really like it all to *poof* be magically completed.

do you ever feel so overwhelmed by a task at hand that you do nothing?
i do.
a lot.
and that's kind of where i'm finding myself lately.
mostly, in relation to the house.
so i just start with one pile of stuff and move on to the next.
or one room.
the kitchen is clean, so i move on to the boys room, then to our closet, then the laundry room, and so on.
the hardest part is getting started. and not losing momentum.

i also feel this way when i hear of hard things that are happening.
i watched the news the other day.
i don't do that often, hardly ever.
my news source is Facebook, unfortunately and GT.

like most people, i felt overwhelmingly discouraged, angered, helpless, sad after watching the news.
so much tragedy, hatred, injustice, sadness in this world.
i thought how far removed i am from all of it.
as i sit in my home with my family, safe. protected. nourished. loved.
worried about my STUFF.

i could go (most likely) my entire life pretty sheltered from what i see on the news.
but, i don't want to.
i want to be aware of what's going on in our world.
and not aware to simply know.
but to be spurred to do something.

but how?
what does it look like to help or be involved in world issues when i'm home with my kids?
seriously, i'm asking this question.
i can justify my not doing anything right now by saying, "i'm raising little world changers", but how will they know how to if they don't see it demonstrated.

well, that's all i have for today.
probably not, but i'm stopping.
i don't have a solution to my rambling thoughts. they're only thoughts.
i'd love to hear your thoughts or ideas. seriously...

Friday, June 8, 2018

why do i worship?

i grew up in the Church of Christ
acapella worship
and i loved it. still do.
there's nothing more beautiful than the sound of a hymn being sun in four-part harmony.

last year, we started a second service at our church that uses instruments during worship.
i love it.
the implementation of instruments within the building has brought in many new people. unfortunately, it has been the reason for some to leave our fellowship.
i won't discuss that here.

what i would like to discuss is my heart for worship
and that it is not determined by the use of or lack of instruments 

i'll tell you why.
it's because i love the people
and i love what the Lord has done in their lives
when i watch people that i love worship, i witness their outpouring of love for their God and of praise of what He has done for them.
I get to see people who have known hurt and pain live with joy and peace because of the hope of heaven. 
when i watch people worship, i can't help but do the same.
because i follow a God who changes lives.

i don't determine if i can worship by the quality of the music being played, or if the lighting was right, or if they play songs that i know.

it's sitting by the elderly woman who has lost a child and a husband in her lifetime.
as she sings, 
"when peace like a river attendeth my way
when sorrows like sea billows roll
 whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well with my soul"
only accompanied by the other voices, no instruments
she taps her tightly-clenched fist on her leg, eyes closed
because she knows, even in the midst of terrible pain, it is well with her soul.
she personally knows the God who has given her peace to sustain her.
and she can't help but praise Him (however quietly) each time she sings those words of reassurance and comfort.

or sitting next to the young guy who had never stepped foot in a church building until a few years ago when he was required to attend a recovery program within the walls of the church.
he learned about the grace of God and has found forgiveness and hope.
and as he sings, 
"i am redeemed, i've been set free
 so i'll shake off these heavy chains, wipe away every stain
 i'm not who i use to be. i am redeemed"
 to a full band, lights dimmed. his hands are raised and he is on his feet. 
because he had no hope and now has hope
he was guilty and ashamed, now we has no shame and has a new identity in Jesus Christ

when i witness these two very different-from-the-outside kinds of worship, my response is the same.
usually i'm crying.
emotionally, i am overwhelmed with love for others and the joy i feel in watching them worship.
i am in awe of the power to sustain and the power to change that comes from knowing Jesus.

so, it doesn't matter whether i attend a service that has a band or just has the voices of those in attendance.
what matters is the relationships that i have with those behind the voices and the music.
it matters that i know the One who changed their life.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Josh & Kristen. (alternately titled: A new sister!!!)

(first of all. let me note. these are all out of order. my computer won't cooperate for long, so organizing them in order of events just ain't happening)

they're married!

the wedding and reception were absolutely GORGEOUS!
the wedding was at Royal Lane Baptist church and the reception at the Adolphus downtown, where we stayed
the flowers were exquisite
and all of the details were just perfect
we really had a wonderful weekend with our family
GTs parents came in town to help with the kids, along with Garrett and Cristie
and they were a HUGE help!
i seriously could not imagine doing the weekend without them.
they had the boys since GT and I  were both in the wedding and doing bridesmaid/groomsmen things all weekend. baby girl just hung out with me and the girls. 
i have the absolute best in-laws ever. the end. 

i so wish Kristen were in this photo!

trying to feed the baby at the reception, but Townes can not leave her alone, ha!

all of the crazy grand-boys

Kristen looked amazing!
getting ready with the bridesmaids and Kristen
and watching the Royal Wedding

my cousins from North Carolina came in!
we always could use more time together...i love being with Memory
and Debbie

the rehearsal dinner was at Campisis downtown
it's dark, but Josh looking at Kristen while talking about her. he was a crying mess. it was adorable

you're welcome for the photobomb x 4

looks good on you, Josh

cutest little ringbearers

bridesmaid luncheon was at the T-Room in Forty Five Ten 
Kristen was so sweet talking about her relationshp with each of us, her family and Josh

this girl, y'all
she's too much with that smile!

sweet grandmothers

i am eager to see the official photos from the weekend!

it really was an all-around wonderful weekend.
not only was it all beautiful, but it went smoothly and they're married!

I gave a tiny little toast at the rehearsal dinner. 
and besides being an emotional wreck (which i quickly blamed on the 1.5week post-partum hormones), i talked about my relationship with Josh.
as a sister, you know a lot about your brothers. you know how annoying they can be and what buttons to push to really make them mad. 
but, i've also watched Josh become a really good man. 
a man that has worked incredibly hard in his education and profession. 
he is an unbelievably loyal friend. with friends all over the country that he accumulated as he gained 2 masters degrees and a doctorate degree while living Mississippi, Texas, and California and Tennessee.
He seeks truth and understanding. He is quite hilarious and a gifted artist. He is a ridiculously good and natural athlete and loves to compete. 
 I so so strongly wanted him to marry a woman who knew these things about him and totally appreciated him for it. 
and he did.
Kristen adores him. and she puts up with his quirks (rambling, to name one).
She is his perfect match and a super-awesome new sister-in-law. 
Josh adores her. 
it's been fun and slightly awkward to watch him show affection and be all lovey-dovey with her. 

as much grief as i've given him over the years, I sincerely only want the absolute best for him.
and ya know, he got it.