Molly: Hannah music video

I talked with a friend this afternoon that had seen Molly’s Hannah song video and wanted to ask me about it. It reminded me that I hadn’t posted the video here on the blog, and I wanted to be sure to document it! I was so proud of Molly. She wrote the lyrics. She wrote the music. She played the piano, the guitar, and the cajon. And then she sang each part! Super proud of her effort and creativity. She turned it in for her Old Testament Class at school😊

Sweet Sixteen for Sweet Ruby

I suppose most parents are surprised when these monumental birthdays sneak up on us. How can it be that my first baby is 16 years old? How is it that I can look at her and clearly see her swaddled in a baby blanket or standing in her crib or walking to me at only 10 months old in her white onsie? I can see her in dress up clothes that she wore daily. I remember her marching up to me after watching Charlie Brown Christmas and telling me that she believes in Santa Claus even if I told her he wasn’t exactly real. I can see her in a stubborn stand off with Josh over a piece of corn she was being encouraged to try. I can see her reading books at all times of day when she was about 8 years old—even while we walked through the grocery store. I can see her walking into her first youth bible study when she was about 11 years old. I remember how she told us we could move to Charlotte, but she wasn’t going anywhere. I have watched her grow into a lovely young lady right before my eyes, and yet, thinking of her as a 16 year old is kind of weird.

I love Ruby’s loyalty to people. I love her sensitive heart. I see her stubbornness as an asset and can’t wait to see how God leads her in the years to come.

Molly, in true Molly-style, planned a surprise for Ruby at the last minute. Things are still a bit strange as we are all slowly and cautiously coming out of stay at home orders because of Covid 19, so we were honestly unsure of how to best celebrate this milestone birthday. Ruby still has quite a few hours of driving to get under her belt, so we weren’t ready to unveil a car. Throwing a big party with friends wasn’t exactly going to be approved these days either. So I let Molly handle inviting Ruby’s friends and it was a total success.

We took Rolo on a walk to waste some time til 7:00 when the friends would arrive. Ruby wasn’t so happy about a walk on her birthday in the humid May evening. But she complied.

What a sweet group of girls! What a sweet sister Molly is! She was so thoughtful and fun throughout the whole planning and the surprise itself. Ruby felt greatly loved! What a gift.

Quick Family Trip

We went to see family and enjoyed our time. It is unchartered territory as we continue to navigate life and time together without Mama. I have lots of thoughts but they are still rolling around my head. For now, photos only.

7th Grade was good to Mack

Awards Day—our very first one—was conducted over video. It was kind of the teachers to do it this way, yet it was still quite strange. Mack received the 7th Grade Difference Maker Award. We were humbled and honored for him to get such a kind award. It goes to the student who shows leadership and kindness and works to include everyone.

He got his medal when we picked up his locker belongings in a large black trash bag. Not the normal way of accepting an award, but still happy to have it!

Mack also received the Cougar Pride Award from his baseball team. He was voted to receive this award by his peers! This award goes to the team member who exemplifies servant leadership and represents Christ on and off the field. We were so proud of him! We told him 7th grade was a banner year for him—it may all go downhill from here, but yay for these awards this year!

Last Day of School

Well, I’ll spare you the complaints and frustrations of ending our first “real” school year under a Global Pandemic with distance learning (home school) taking place. It was sad. It weals zero fun. We felt robbed. BUT we did it! We all grew in new ways throughout the whole school year, and I’m so glad the kids thrived at Carmel Christian.

Goodbye 10th grade! Hello, Junior year!
Goodbye 9th grade! I’m a sophomore now.
Goodbye 7th grade! I’m an 8th grader now.
(Mack seems to have changed into a totally different person! And he’s grown an inch in less than thirty days!)

No Safe Place but Jesus.

I had ATM troubles the other morning, so I called the bank to get help. Each bank employee I spoke with ended our conversation thanking me for banking with them and then passionately and solemnly saying, “Be safe out there.” 

Considering we are in a global pandemic, I assume they were referring to not getting COVID-19. And I appreciated their sentiment—I don’t want to get the virus. I don’t want anyone to get the virus.  I am all for precautions. Staying 6 feet apart, washing my hands, not touching my face, and even wearing a mask in the grocery store so people won’t think I am rude.  (I am not for wearing masks while outside exercising alone. If someone could explain to me the reasoning behind this, I’d be much obliged.)

However, I am not sure why these passionately spoken words, “Be safe out there,” sort of annoyed me. Maybe it’s the news of a friend’s sister dying unexpectedly. Or maybe it’s the story of the instagram gal whose son died in an accident while playing. Or maybe it is the story of the three year old girl who celebrated her birthday at home on hospice because there is nothing more the doctors can do to keep her alive. Maybe it’s the news of Ravi Zacharias’ health decline and the fact that he is home with his family living out what are likely his final days on this broken planet. Maybe it’s the email we received about the classmate whose mother passed away in her sleep last week. Or maybe I am extra sensitive these days since this time just last year I was faced with my own mother’s suicide. So, in reply to their well-intentioned “Be safe out there” comment, I wanted to yell, 

“IMPOSSIBLE!  Are you even paying attention?! There’s not a ‘safe’ place on this planet.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am not driving down the opposite side of the road or licking door knobs before I open the door, but if our main goal of life is safety, again I say—IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!

This world is full of dangers and hardships. Are there wonderful realities along the way? Of course! With a grateful attitude, I could list a million blessings in my life on this planet. But there is only One person where safety is found—Jesus. And there is only One place where we will experience perfect peace, no more tears and where “sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 35)—Heaven.

The Psalms continually reveal the world as an unsafe place. David cries out to God for help so many times in so many high tense situations. Over and over again he finds God to be his only safe place. 

Psalm 54:4 “Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul [upholder of my life].”

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”                                                                                                 {G. Campbell Morgan says about this verse: “To cast the burden on Jehovah is not to be rid of it, but it is to find One who carries, sustains the burden-bearer and so the burden also, in a fellowship of love and might.”}

Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”

Psalm 55:16-18 “As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me.”

So maybe instead of “Be safe out there,” a better exhortation would be “May God be your Sustainer out there” or “Trust in God out there.” He is the sustainer of my life. I pray He is yours, too.

Scarcity vs. Bounty

There is a simplicity to following Jesus. No doubt, I have complicated matters with my flesh and stubborn will, but when I am alone with the Lord, He has a beautiful way of simplifying life. I am grateful for this.

I have recently been operating from a scarcity mentality. From wondering if I will have enough toilet paper in the house to wondering if God actually cares about my personal struggles here in Charlotte, NC. This scarcity mentality isn’t new to me. Deep inside there is a wound that God continues to patiently nurse for me—-the wound of thinking maybe God has dealt with me out of the leftovers or the little bit I have given Him to work with. And I know in my head this cannot be true. I read in God’s Word that actually, the opposite is true. 

Psalm 116:7 “Return to your rest, o my soul, for the Lord has dealt BOUNTIFULLY  with you.” 

Psalm 84:11 “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly,”

Psalm 13:6 “I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt BOUNTIFULLY with me.”

Psalm 65:9-12 “You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth. You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless it with growth. You have crowned the year with Your bounty, And Your paths/wagon tracks drip with fatness, The pastures of the wilderness drip, And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.”  {This is one of my favorites. The wagon tracks He has laid for me will provide more than I need! I want to walk in His tracks.}

He is not a God who holds back good to His children. He doesn’t measure out His gifts for us, afraid of running out. He is not worried we won’t have enough or be enough. He doesn’t look at our circumstances and see what we are lacking and wonder how He will work with us. He is more than enough. We are His children, and He takes good care of us.

I wrote a prayer after reading these verses and sitting in the truth of who God is. 

“Lord, help us keep on Your path, trusting You to work in Your way, at Your time, and for our good. Amen.”

It’s simple. God has called me right here, and specifically, in this house a lot lately. The space between my feet is His place for me. I am not lacking any good thing. He has dealt bountifully with me.