Friday, June 28, 2013

High Five for Friday

This week seems to have flown by! I'm hooking up with The Lauren Elizabeth today for High Five for Friday and Darci of the Good life for Five on Friday!

1. Orange Leaf for the little lady
2. Hanging out with this guy is always an adventure! 

1. and 2. My bosses are both out of town so I get to take my kiddos with me to work. It's not as easy as it used to be. They don't just lay on the floor like they did when they were 6 months old, so I don't take them as often and I don't very often take them together. But I try to take them as often as I can. I love the extra time with them! My sister is watching the kids for the summer, so on the days that I took one of the kids, she's spoil the other and take them out for ice cream. We get to do it again next week! Love summer!

3. My amazing chocolate chip cookies are a great evening treat! 
3. I don't like to brag, but my chocolate chip cookies are pretty amazing. Everyone that eats them tells me this. I've been encouraged to open a bakery. But that would be my only item on the menu :) Still, my family thoroughly enjoys it when I make them! I'll have to do a post with the recipe sometime.

4. T-Ball 2013
4. T-Ball for this Spring 2013 season is officially over. This little guy loved every minute of it! He's only 4 so we don't want to over do it, but he loves to play. I see lots and lots of baseball in my future.

5. Crazy Storms last night! 
5. We had a crazy storm last night. I can't remember the last time I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep because I was just scared, but last night I was. I really wondered if our house was going to make it and the background noise of the storm was just odd enough I was pretty concerned about a tornado. Fortunately the damage was minimal, but our neighbors right behind us lost one of their trees. I hate that for them, and for the shade it gives to our yard! We've been waiting 6 years for those trees to grow and give us shade! God is good though and we're thankful for the minimal damage compared to what so many have had in the last few years with horrible storms.

How has your week been? We are growing through some struggles and the physical difficulties my husband is having with his eye. And there are days that it's been hard for me to have faith. I've got some thoughts rummaging around in my brain that I'll share soon. But in the mean time I'm trusting in His mercies and faithfulness. He is a faithful God!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What I've been reading and loving...

1. I desperately want to teach our children well about sex. What is right and what is wrong and how it fits into God's big picture. I want to protect their little hearts and do my best to help them choose purity and righteousness over sin. I thought this article had some good suggestions in it.

The sweet little lady hanging out at the office with me yesterday! Love these days! 

2. This article has had people talking. I think very differently than this woman based on my understanding of Scripture and how God has designed us as women. and I say that as a working mom. But it's worth looking at to understand how many women do think. She does not seem to have anything near a biblical view of womanhood, motherhood, or her work. I'm guessing she's not a believer. But sometimes it's good to evaluate thinking that's 'on the other side.'

3. Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorites parts of summer. I grew up with acres and acres of strawberry plants thanks to my over ambitious step-dad and his love of gardening. We always had more strawberries than we knew what to do with. Store bought berries have nothing on the fresh from the garden kind by the way. Making strawberry shortcake is one of my favorites though and this is a fun twist on the old favorite!

4. I'm not much a photographer, which is why you'll see most of my photos are from instagram. But these tips were helpful to me, even with a standard point and shoot. Especially the tips on the white managements. My little camera has some nice presents that you can adjust for the lighting and I've found it very helpful!

5. Spending time together worshiping as a family is something I want to work at as my kids get older. Two toddlers don't do this very well, but spending time in the Word together, for purposeful teaching is important. This article has some good tips.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Fridays are quickly becoming my favorite day of the week this summer! Due to summer scheduling at the college where my office is I get to work from home on Fridays, which basically means stay close to the internet and get your stuff done. For me, that means I can hang out pool side with my kiddos at my sister's apartment. I can answer my phone and I'm close enough to the internet that it's all good, and in-between, I'm working on my tan and hanging out with my kiddos, all while (actually!) getting my work done. It's a total win win for everyone! Did I say that I LOVE Fridays?! Here's a few other segments of my week....

1. Blueberry Pancakes on a Friday morning
2. Fridays. Need I say more?
3. Visits from friends are the best

4. Running through the rain! 

5. The hard part of the week
1. I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast last week. They were utterly delicious with the fresh, farmer's market, pure maple syrup my step-dad sent me home with last month. Weird thing was the little lady took one bite and spit them out. Crazy girl! Everyone else thoroughly enjoyed them.

2. A picture of our typical Friday's this summer. Utter perfection in my book. I plan on being there today too.

3. Last weekend a young lady who was in the youth group my husband was youth pastor of in Tulsa visited us. She just graduated from college (gulp.... time goes too fast!) and had a few weeks before taking off for a fun summer job (teaching Theater at a posh summer camp in Massachusetts!). I was so glad she came to visit. It's such a joy to interact with people God has allowed your life to intersect with. She was just a young Jr. Higher when I first met her and seeing the lovely young lady that God has grown her into is just a joy. I really can't wait to see where God takes her next! (Springfield, MO?! Springfield, MO?!) Love you girl!

4. Saturday morning we headed into town to go grocery shopping and needed to let the kids run off some energy beforehand. It was pouring, so the mall was our best bet. Our kids love the play area. Heading in we were all in our rain jackets running through the rain. Running through the rain with two toddlers is an adventure all it's own, but I adore it.

5. Chris had his 2nd eye surgery on Wednesday. You can find my blog post about it here and my blog post about his first surgery here. Things came out well. The doctor was able to repair the retina and didn't have to do cataracts. He chose to remove the oil he put in last time and put a gas bubble in his eye. Now he's in a one week period where he has 'face down recovery.' Like his face is down all the time, allowing this bubble to rise to the back of his eye, holding the retina in place. This is probably the most annoying part of it all. I've been reminding him all day to put his head down. It should be an interesting week!

Lots of ups and downs this week, but God if faithful through it all and we are thankful for what He has accomplished!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Failing Flesh and Faith

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.--Psalm 73:26

My husband has been quoting this verse all morning and I don't know if it's ever been more real to me. 

He's back in surgery right now. This year we have felt the effects of failed flesh as we've struggled through what's been happening with his eye. It's such a tiny part of the body, but oh so important, and to have it fail has big results. It has amazed me how trusting Chris has been and how little he has complained. And because of his faith my heart has had a bit of an easier time coping through it all, but at the same time, I'm not gonna lie.... I've struggled. 

I've struggled at times to believe that God is good. I really have. I've struggled at times to believe that God is for me, for my family. It's felt sometimes like so many things are coming down on us. Things that should be good and easy and that we've asked for are hard. Granted we didn't ask for this one...  And that makes it feel ever harder. It doesn't FEEL like God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Do I even want this portion? (honest question). 

And I'm a girl, an emotional girl that cries at a drop of a hat. As three friends have stopped by the hospital and prayed with us this morning I've fought back tears because my body just produces them. I've had to be strong for so much of my life that I think now the tears just come more easily. And I know that I shouldn't live by my emotions, they are not always reliable, but they are there none the less. 

Monday this surgery and just the condition of Chris' eye hit me harder than it had in the months  before. And I just wanted a good cry all day long. But there never was time for one. 

I've counseled other women through these feelings, but I'm feeling them myself now and I'll be honest.... it's slightly irritating! But good for my soul to work through them in real life too, because this is real life. Our flesh fails. Our hearts fails. It's hard to have faith sometimes. It's hard to cling to God. It's hard to trust that he's good and loving and working all things for our good. But He is. 

Sunday had some timely truth for me from Psalm 56:8-9  You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.  

David is talking here, but the truths are good for me too. God is intimately aware of me. He knows all of my running around and the inner workings of my heart. He sees my anguish. He puts my tears in a bottle it says, keeping track of every one. This was a practice of mourners. Literally capturing their tears. Everything is recorded in God's book. And I'll be honest. In just that, I get kind of irritated with God. He KNOWS it all. He knows all of my hurt, and my brain says 'why do you leave me in the middle of all this hurt?' But David says something astounding then.... this big faith statement. 

This I know, that God is for me. 
Ps 56:9 

Right here he doesn't say how he knows this, or why he believes it (although we see lots of other reasons throughout Scripture of how we know this). He just throws it out there as if it's just to believe it himself. 

God knows. And He cares enough to keep track of it all. All of these feelings of fear and frustration and hurt, God has bottled it all and recorded all of it. And it's real. It's human. It's a result of the fall. But even in the midst of them I'm choosing to trust, as David did, that God is for me. God is for my husband. God is for our family. He is right here with us in the midst of it all, carefully using every detail of these hurts for His glory, and our good. We get to be like Jesus at the end of it all, and really the glory of that will far surpass any pain in this life. The fact that I even have been given the grace to grow toward that end goal through the pain is astounding. This pain has a purpose. Because God knows the details of me, of Abbie, so well he knew that this situation in my husband's life would be perfect not only for him, but also for me to grow me in sanctification, grow me to look a little bit more like Jesus. And it does the same for my husband. He intertwines the two perfectly.  God really is for me. I just have to trust Him with the details.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What I've been reading and loving....

Some of my fave articles and pictures from the last week:

1. This was timely advice for me last week. I have to remind myself often to slow down. As a working mom of 2 toddlers I feel like I'm always in a hurry. And my little people just don't grasp time, or that fact that I'm always running late! I appreciated the reminder to just enjoy life with them and not make everything such a big hurry. This was great too, 'When my heart is all self-centered and I get angry that anyone could even think to impose on me for one more thing, I need to beg God for help.' I can't ever stop praying for myself as I parent, and for my little ones' hearts!

2. My sister and her hubs are currently building a house literally 3 streets away from the home we rent. (I think she's not so subtly sending me a message that I can't move my kids away from her!) I thought these were great tips from 6th Street Design School for upgrades that are worth paying for and ones that are not when you are building a house.

image via

3. A former teen that we worked with in the church my husband was on staff at in Tulsa visited us this last weekend. It was so nice to catch up and we had several good conversations about life and theology and the collision of the two! One of her dear friends converted out of the Catholic church. I saw this book today and it looks like a good and helpful read.

4. I finally figured out how to do a decent top knot from  Thank you!

5. How cute would it be to make matching shirts for me and the little lady?!

6. I made this One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta 2 weeks ago. It was absolutely incredible!


Friday, June 14, 2013

High Five for Friday!

On Friday's I'm going to be linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday! This will be a chance to reflect back on my week and all of God's goodness, and let's face it, perhaps the difficulties, because those stem from His goodness too.

I hope this will challenge me to make sure I'm taking good pictures throughout my week, and not all of my kids, as is what is usual for me. Although they are certainly fun to take pictures of!

1. Friday night's bike ride
2. Birthday Party
3. 50th Wedding Anniversary
4. Dropping off the kids for swimming! 
5. Wednesday Morning

1. Friday night we took the kids out to Springfield Lake. Chris and our little man rode their bikes. I pushed the little lady around on her tricycle and tried to run a little. It was a beautiful evening before all the heat hit this week. While there we saw this hot air balloon come so close! We really thought it was going to land, but instead it skimmed over the water and kept on going. The kids loved it. They had never been that close to a hot air balloon. 

2. On Saturday we attended a birthday part for a friend from church. The little lady apparently liked the frosting on the cupcakes so much that just hers wasn't enough. She needed to steal some from a the birthday boy! 

3. On Sunday we had the privilege of celebrating a 50th Wedding Anniversary with a dear friend from church. She had her dress on display from 1963. It had a beautiful neckline. I loved that she did that. 

4. Dropping the kids off each morning is so hard. But I know they are having such a great time this summer hanging out a few days a week with their Aunt Brittany. They love getting to swim with her! 

5. Isn't this just a precious moment?! The kids have really taken to our dog and I'm so glad. I've never been a big fan of this dog, but she's growing on me and I'm glad we kept her for the kids sake. 

How was your week? What has God been doing in your life? 

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