Pages

Monday, December 4, 2017

Redeem:

To compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something.

Today seemed like a normal Monday, the type of day that follows a wonderful long weekend. Well, mostly wonderful but that's another blog post...  My coffee was once again brought to me by my love as usual (a daily gift I NEVER take for granted... EVER!) Woke up in my usual manner of having quiet time and getting set for the day.  Shower, store, stop by to see my mom... normal stuff until...

I'm headed home and there I see him in the distance. I begin to slow down... noticing a large dump truck behind me, I started honking my horn and tapping my brakes thinking maybe it would alert the truck AND this precious dog playing in the highway.  I literally wanted to stop and park sideways in the road and escort the dog across. Thankfully, he made his way across 4 lanes and continued his muddy adventure at our local greenhouse.  I pulled in trying not to panic but wanting terribly to find him and somehow get him home.  It was VERY obvious he was NOT an outside dog, he was totally oblivious to the oncoming FAST traffic all around him.  I didn't realize it until later but I jumped out of my car, left it running and the door open, I started calling him but couldn't see him.  Another lady pulled in having seen him cross her side of the road as well.  We kept calling him until I saw a spec of muddy white come barreling towards me.  He came right to me!!!! Thankfully, he had a collar on with a name and number. I held on to him and gladly petted him and sat with him while the other lady called the number and informed them we had their dog.  We waited a bit and then his momma came driving up.  With tears streaming down her face she got out and was just a mess of thankfulness we had found him.  My new friend's name is Dusty.  I may never see Dusty again but that's ok.

Here's the redeeming part...

A while back, I was dogsitting for some neighbor friends and their sweet dog escaped. I remember the panic and how scared I was.  Unfortunately, her story didn't end so well. She was hit trying to cross this exact road that I found Dusty on.  Although, I could never replace Tinker... I shed some tears of thankfulness for God allowing me to be a small part of rescuing one his little furry friends.  I'm not sure why He chose to not save Tink but.... that's why I'm not God and He is!  I trust Him!  

As often God does, He takes a situation and says "look... I've been trying to tell you this, dontcha see..."  (although I'm not sure God says dontcha...)  All day He's been lovingly whispering to me about what a Redeeming God He is!!! He redeems time, people, circumstances... etc.  Even when our own humanness is to blame - He lovingly, in His mercy, Redeems!!!!!!  

Meet Dusty! He needs a bath... and so did I :)


Saturday, July 29, 2017

I see you!

The job of a preschool photographer is similar to herding cats. A friend made reference to herding cats this morning and I fully understand! These little ones are so unpredictable it keeps things very interesting. One little boy got my heart this last week...

As he comes in his teacher fixed his obviously new shirt, buttoning it straight. He looks at me with a shy grin.  His teacher tells me he's a poker face - challenge accepted! He sits down on the floor next to me and we talked.  Not about anything particular, just chatted like old friends. His friend was having his picture taken.... err... I mean - PLAYING. We don't use the words "having picture made" it sends kids into a frinzy faster than the word "dentist".  As we sat there I said "oh, that was an awesome smile". I looked down and said "you have a smile in there?".  He gives me this BIG BEAUTIFUL grin and I thought "fantastic! we broke through before he even gets in front of the camera". As his friend finished up we sat and chatted a little more.  Then, his turn.... he goes and sits down and.....
nothing. Not even a slight smile.  We worked and worked, trying all the tricks we knew to try.  Thinking I had a connection with him I go up close and talk to him. He looks in my eyes... deep into my eyes, without saying a word I think he was reading my soul. He answered with his eyes "ya know, I really want to smile but I just can't.... not now".   Sweet little boy!!!   So, we were done. A photographer HATES not to get a smile... it feels like failure ya know.   He starts to walk off and I said "hey... come here".  I give him a hug thinking - I'll hug him real quick and just let him know everything was cool.  He hugged me, not just a hug but a bear hug that wouldn't let go... as in I couldn't let go.  Had there not been other amazing little smiles we needed to capture I have a feeling I would still be there.  Without a word from either of us, just a strong "hey, it's all good" hug... he headed back to his class room.  Although he walked out of the room, he left with me the smell of a man. It was then I realized, his sweet momma or daddy dressed him up and put cologne on him that day, getting him all ready for picture day.  His sweet tender heart was so shy he just couldn't smile. He wasn't being mean at all... just couldn't do it.  I'm a smell person, smells get to me. My memories are connected to smells... for the rest of the day, I carried this smemory (it's a word, trust me).  I prayed for him - I prayed for this sweet one who wanted to say so much but could only hug.  That's ok little one, this momma needed a good little boy hug..... carry on sweet little man - I see you!!!!


Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Little Buddy

Have you ever spent any time with a 3 yr old????  They are amazing right?!?!?! 
I've learned so much by working with preschoolers.

They don't know how to be anyone else but themselves. I love this!
They say what is on their mind.
Dinosaurs and Super heroes are SO SO SO COOL!!!!!

I have 2 boys, trust me when I say I know how trying they can be on a day to day basis.  Trying, annoying, difficult.... all the things! BUT... as an adult with adult kids I see 3 yr olds as something truly inspiring!!!  Maybe because I get to send them HOME but still.....

Let me unfold a story for you - Family walks in for a photo session. 2 precious little boys! While mom and dad were getting there picture taken I was being entertained by this amazing 3 yr old boy! "and... and.... you know what??????"  Not quite clear what followed each time he said that but I'm convinced by his tone and expression it was VERY IMPORTANT!!!!  The sweet mom had brought a bag of goodies for the boys to use as props (I LOVE it when that happens... it's so fun for us AND the kids).  In this bag was this little man's favorite book. At some point he says "you want to read this?".  My reply was quick and meant to distract him from wanting to read this entire book "sure, maybe later".  The photo session went a little long but they did SO GOOD!!!  As they were getting ready to leave this sweet boy says "will you read this now?".  Yeah, tell me you wouldn't have given in, just tell me....
So we sit down on the floor and I open up his favorite book "The Monster at the end of this book".  Knowing I had to still stay in "work mode" I was determined to skim through this book and "read" it so he would be satisfied and all would be good.  No thing doin! He had every word memorized, no summarizing was accepted.  We did make it through the entire book and I didn't even cry. He was happy, I was happy, all God's chill'ns was happy!

Now, here's where it gets interesting! Ever experience something that should just be a situation and you move on with life but somehow this situation brings a myriad of memories/thoughts/feelings that you're really not sure what to do with at the moment so you store them away until there's time for further examination (WOW that was a long sentence, and I didn't breathe the whole time I was typing ha). This little experience made me remember precious times with my boys when we would sit and read. Their anticipation of what was to come was the same every. time. we. read. the. book.   Letting a few tears flow as these memories seep out on the computer screen. The days are long and the years are short.  I feel like I missed quite a bit of time with my sweet boys due to circumstances beyond my control and I would love to get that time back but... that wasn't God's plan. Things very rarely work out as we "plan", so I will trust HIS plan!!!  

This might be chapter 1 of "Photographer adventures with 3 yr olds!".  This was a favorite from the week, along with a very animated little boy who while eating popcorn decided we would watch a movie AKA his brother getting his picture taken.  When I asked him what the movie was he said "Thomas". Then every time we would try to talk he would say "SSssshhhh watch the movie!!!".   

I'm blessed.

I'm encouraged.

I'm tak'n a trip down memory lane but I'm ok with that :) 

Love em and laugh with em!!!!!!

Until next time - watch out for boogers in strange places!




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

And.... there it went....

About 5 years ago we were planning a trip to visit a Mission Agency in England. It felt like it would never happen. We planned and researched, prayed and anticipated. This trip was amazing, it was just what God intended for it to be. We had some emotional healing that took place, family memories that will forever be our favorites and OH THE CHEESE!!!!  Wow, they have the best cheese!!!!  And then.... it was done. Just like that, we were looking back at the memories. What felt like an eternity to happen, went by with the blink of an eye.

And just like that.... we're done. I'm no longer a homeschool mom. I remember when my boys were 3 and 5 and this journey began it was full of planning and anticipation, fears and excitement! Nights spent wide awake praying that we had made the right decision in keeping our boys home to educate them.  Each year we would look at where we were at and pray about what school was going to look like for our boys. I did set curriculums, unschooling, "mommas tired, I'm done", Co-op.... it feels like we tried it all these past 15 years.  I knew I would have these moments of grief and moments of happiness.  Honestly, it's been mostly happiness... I feel so overwhelmingly blessed to have my boys and those L O N G days that felt like they would never end, they are now memories. Sweet, blessed memories!!!  I've grieved my mistakes, asked for forgiveness for my human-ness. My prayer is that in spite of me, God will use my boys to further His kingdom! There's an excitement with this next phase of life... a little scary but I'm ok with that.  I know I'm not alone in this journey, I have so many friends who have kids graduating and are heading in this next phase of life.  As we are not empty nesters per say... there's just a realization that this stage of our life is done.  So... in honor of 15 yrs of homeschooling, here you go...

1. The kitchen is the best class room
2. A park day just might save your life (or your child's life)
3. Quiet time after lunch should be required for all of the human race!
4. A storm is a perfect time for a picnic lunch on a quilt in mom's room
5. Gum does in fact NOT pull boogers out of a little boy's nose
6. "mom, just let me blow" may end with a lego jetting out of a nostril
7. Dining rooms are great school rooms
8. Downstairs neighbors don't care for music class (think pots and pans with wooden spoons)
9. Never be scared of messes... they make the best learning experiences and memories
10. Cliche alert: the days are long, the years are short
11. Boys will break everything. Period.
12. Things are not the most important thing in life
13. "They are just being boys" is never an acceptable excuse
14. It's a proven fact that broken bones heal faster when one eats ice cream
15. Every second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year... was worth it!!!!!!!




Team Thomas 





Monday, March 6, 2017

Blog they said.... It'll be fun they said......

I'm not a fan of shopping. Yes, I'm a girl... I still don't care to go shopping. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family so I will endure shopping with them only because it means I get to spend time with them and possibly get coffee somewhere along the way.  To shop means to make a decision, to make a decision means to spend money, to spend money means my stomach flips in circles.  Some of you are agreeing and some are scratching your heads trying to decide what planet I've hatched.

Decisions

It may just be an extended version of a 4-letter word.
I've always been the type of person that would rather just let "God make the path". Ya know... move through life very content like until the "door opens" and then you just walk through because well... I mean, the door opened so it must be right, right?

Wrong.

Just because it's an open door doesn't mean it's the right door. Just because you see a shirt you feel would fit a need doesn't mean you should buy it. I mean you CAN... if you have the money and it fits then you CAN buy it right?
Lemme try to splain.... again, it's just TOO STINK'N MUCH!!!!  so once again I'll do my best to sum up...

Sometimes you make the right decisions, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you should go through an open door, sometimes you shouldn't. What I've learned in my short life here on this earth is that whatever your decision is at some point you will either regret it or second guess it... maybe both. It may come back to bite you or it may be the best thing that ever happened to you.  So what in the world???????  How do you make decisions when you suck at making decisions??????

Trust.

Do you hear me giving myself this pep talk? You Trust. Trust that God has a bigger plan, you trust that every decision you've made can be used by God. He is the Master Orchestrator (I know, it's not a word... just roll-wit-it...)  So, wanna go to school but don't know if you should?  Well... jump in my friend!  Wanna take a job or change jobs.... JUMP!  Just know, I mean TRULY KNOW you'll hit a point where you'll second guess and you may even regret your decision but ya know what............

YOU DID IT!!!!!  You moved forward and that my friend is better than doing nothing.

So you went to the wrong school, or church, or job, or relationship...... You. Are. Moving.   So it really wasn't a "wrong" decision huh :)

Seek God. Love Him. Pray. and then......

JUMP!

Here's to indecisiveness!!!!!  Here's to knowing that second guessing is around the corner... we are all human and life is just going to keep turning and rolling so, let's just roll-wit-it!





Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ponderings of a pasketti brain


Well hey there!!!  Trying my best to remember how to do this "blog" thing :)  It's been a few sleeps since I've been on here. Multiple reasons why to be honest. Time is a factor but even when I've had time it seems my thoughts are like pasketti... all jumbled up in my brain.  Most of you are thinking "what's new???".  True, true but believe it or not I TRY to only post things that somewhat make sense instead of the 100s of things I write, read back over and go "WHAT IN THE WORLD???".  Well now, since that is all out of the way.......  :)

There's a struggle between contentment and persistence. Have you ever felt it?  So much scripture about being still and waiting on God BUT so much scripture about ACTION as well.  Somewhere in there is a nice wonderful peaceful balance. I mean, I've been told there is anyway because I myself have not found it as of yet. What I have found is PEACE. Peace in knowing this struggle is ok, knowing that God knows I'm human (imagine that). Sometimes He stills us and calls us to wait and listen. Sometimes he prompts us to fight, move forward, be persistent!!!!  It's knowing when to do what right?!

I know for today, it doesn't cost anything to treat people GREAT!!!  Not just be kind, but show them they mean something!!!!  My goal for today!!!! (somewhere in there God will reveal if I'm to be quiet or fight... He has shown me I can trust His timing!!!!)

Joyous Randomnimity: I've overcome biting all of my nails but one... 9 long nails is a big accomplishment my friends :)  Coffee.... because I can't post a blog without the word coffee in it :)

Carry on...


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hello Christmas

Momma always says "once August is here, Christmas is next month".  A couple of things... the older I get, the more I quote my mom AND she's 99% right. Ya know she can't be 100% right although I'm still in search for that 1%... trust me, it's there somewhere :)
Wow, has this year FLOWN right on by!!!  Full of wonderful and challenging happenings for sure but it seems like yesterday we were saying "next year for our Peru trip..."  and low and behold the Peru trip is HERE!!!  We leave a week from today... eeekkkkk!!!!  Very exciting with some anxious nerves thrown in there.  When we started this adventure we knew it was going to be rocky and bring a good amount of challenges but can I use a cliche here... "we had no idea"  :)  We've had a few questions asked over and over so let me see if I can explain... no, it is too much, lemme sum up (name that movie and you're my best friend)

Compassion Peru

1.  Are you affiliated with Compassion International?
No.  This name developed years ago when our church in Houston Tx created a ministry called Compassion Katy. We loved the idea of showing compassion and God's love on the area God calls you to.

2.  Are you being sent by a church?
We understand this question because in our society/culture we are used to being sent from one body of believers... that's just the way it's been done.  We are not being sent from one "church" but from THE church that God has placed around us. We are extremely blessed to have brothers and sisters in Christ who are behind us in this amazing adventure. We are with a mission agency World Outreach Ministries, funds can be sent through them for tax deductible purposes.

3.  What are you doing?
Ultimately, our desire is to point others to Christ. Wherever and whoever that may be. This will happen in different ways. We are partnering with other Christians in outreach projects to help in whatever ways we can.  Give food, water or clean/paint a house. Work with the disabled/elderly or build a house.  We are open to God's leading in how and where we will serve, we do know each person we come in contact with will be a divine appointment. God works in each of our lives in many different ways. Our stories intertwine and the goal is to bring others the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ and the joy of living with Christ filling every part of our lives here on earth.

4.  What is Kawi Roasters?
I'm glad you asked :)  Kawi developed with the idea of supporting our passion for missions. We have plans but we trust God will direct our steps! We have a desire for Kawi roasters to support not only us but hopefully others who are walking this road with us.  Coffee has been a part of our story for many years in one way or another and we see God paving the road for this to be an amazing opportunity to reach others with His love!!!!

5.  How do you raise support?
We technically haven't up until this point. We pray about where and what God would have us do and then we set out to do it. No, we are not independently wealthy, we just trust God will provide what He wants to and then we will pay the rest - even if that means paying it off. This is not the traditional way we realize this but... we know this is OUR calling, if God presses on others to give then they will and... they have! We have been abundantly blessed by our friends and family who have hearts to see the kingdom of God grow! We realize there are so many needs and our desire is that you give where God leads you. Serve where God leads you, if that's with us than wonderful, if not then wonderful... just do something!  God will provide for us and for you!!!!  <3

Hopefully this will help clear a few things up and now that everything is clear as mud we ask...
PLEASE PRAY FOR US!!!!  We know prayer is the key!!!  God is so good, He is faithful, He is sovereign in all things!!!!  We rest in Him!!!!