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Monday, March 31, 2008

Hunter's Big Day





I can't believe my big boy turned five today! He's so sweet and loving and...tall!

Spiderman, baseball, web blasters and candy float his boat right now.

He's learning to read, to write and to last all day without a nap.

He rides his bike for hours upon hours each day.

He hangs by his feet from everything resembling monkey bars. This includes bleachers, furniture and outdoor equipment.

He runs fast and climbs high.

He makes others laugh all the time whether it's by silly kisses, falling down a million times in a row or painting polka dots on his hair with colored hairspray. He always has other people's happiness on his mind. Everything he has, he'll share, even if he doesn't really feel like it.

He helps me out around the house by keeping an eye on all that's going on, vacuuming and cleaning up toys.

The thought of him going to kindergarten brings tears to my eyes.

He loves spending time with me and loves to be at his home.

I love that!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

from tracy's blog (there's more)

little pink thing alyssa
palmer: just a little excited!! :)
sweet, sweet hunter
our own hannah montana...julia
bald baby extraordinaire

compliments of mrs. smith (and her blog)

this easter at the smiths was really fun for me. the college station smiths are growing up faster than i can believe. last easter hunter was turning 4... now he's rapidly approaching 5.

kindergarten is on the horizon and and his sweet baby face has turned into a lean big-kid face - tho still sweet as can be. julia and alyssa are the trail blazing big kids. i watched them to see all that's to come for hazel claire. alyssa with her spanish proficiency that is rapidly overtaking my own. and julia - with all her fashion know-how and tween tendencies is pretty entertaining.
watching the two of them in particular was... overwhelming and exciting and it brought tears to my eyes for some reason. girls are just awesome.

and then... there's the baby, aka palmer. when he hears the word baby he points to himself and says beebee! he is all smiles and - like his big brother - sweet as can be. he won over uncle matt again with his contemplative style. with his hands behind his back he surveyed the scene all afternoon. back and forth, inside and outside he walked slowly, but with purpose, watching the kids and adults smiling the whole time. what a cutie!!!

and of course there was the easter bunny. the easter bunny is a very generous bunny. each smith grandkid was asked to sit on his/her mat (including the hc) and then they each received a basket over flowing with books, toys and a bathing suit!! how perfect for the lake :) that easter bunny is a smart one.

Easter

I guess I just can't feel good about posting, in a timely manner, about Easter when I still have things left from Christmas that I need to post. So, I didn't even get a picture of my gorgeous Easter egg colored family last Sunday.



Let's just say Julia and I matched in pink and black. I was loving that! She got up extra early to curl her hair and wear a pink beret. Nobody start singing; it wasn't quite raspberry.



Alyssa in all her newfound maturity wanted to wear her hair like "Hannah Montana." Afterall, it is the same color, a long beautiful blonde. She wore a special skirt and blouse, one "Gramma would love." However, we had changed out of it long before we arrived at Gramma's house.

Hunter is just Hunter and will always be my handsome man with that beautiful smile.

Palmer wore his sweet big boy khakis and a black and white gingham shirt. I could just eat him up.

We had a fine time reflecting on what Jesus did for us and taking a trip to Gramma and Grampa's to celebrate that with family.

I am posting Aunt Tracy's take on the day. She sums it up perfectly...and took pictures!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break


We had a lovely Spring Break. Picnics. Roller skates. Bikes.

We were outside each day.

We visited the library three times.

We cleaned our whole house, almost.

Even the busy days were a little slower.

A true break. I mused on the fact that to truly enjoy a break of sorts, you must really and truly need it first.

The weather was just lovely adding to warmth of the week. I love the first days of spring. I love feeling the warming summer sun melt off the icy attitude of winter. I love spring.

I hope Easter weekend is just as lovely and perfect.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Seasons

This week I got a glimpse into the future. I saw the seasons of our life changing.

I saw the curtain slowly lowering over winter's snow-covered trees while the crew backstage was hurriedly painting one last golden ray on springtime's sun.

I am famous for saying, "It's only for a season." This is so easily said to someone else. When it feels like winter has been around forever in my own life, it's much harder to believe.

I feel I have been in the "changing" of the season's for awhile now with the girl's in school and the boys at home. The busyness doesn't seem to stop and responsibility weighs us down.

Hunter went fishing on Monday. He wasn't home during the crazy morning rush to get out the door for the week.

After I dropped the girls off at school there was so much time before our 9 AM activity.

A glimpse. Red curtain a millimeter lower. Sun's final ray dry.

As the curtain lowers on the preschool years I want to enjoy the time I have. I certainly don't want to "freak out" or blow my top that there never seem to be enough socks in the drawers, clean dishes in the cupboards or groceries in the pantry.

I want to enjoy imaginary stories and big dreams. I want to marvel over how much difference a month makes. I want to kiss, snuggle and hold while I can.

All the while reminding myself that seasons are good. Because something is "only for a season" makes it even more enjoyable or tolerable at best.

I want to experience love, contentment, beauty and God's goodness during each beautiful and exciting season of my life.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live...this is the gift of God." (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11-13)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

No Way

Have you ever been asked to do something pretty near impossible and responded emphatically, "No way!"

I know I have.

Just tonight I was looking over my calendar for the week. There are double bookings everywhere, marker on top of pen on top of pencil stating where the six of us need to be and when. There is no way to do it all.

No way in my power.

There is no way I can be working with an out-of-town client at the same time I am at the church registering my son for next year's school. No way.

I learned a long time ago, although I often seem to forget, that things that seem impossible to us are possible with God.

I've learned that He is creative and that He will go to great lengths to care for His children.

So whether I register my son or not on Tuesday for a full to overflowing two-year-old class for next year, I can rest assured that God has a special place for my son next year. It may be that class I have in mind or it may be a possibility I have yet to learn about but wherever it is, it is the very best. I do not have to worry or fret over that. I know that as I seek God in prayer about my schedule and obey Him in what He's called me to do that He will take care of me in a gentle, abundant, exquisite way.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

Experience has shown God's Word to be true. Where there seems to be no way, I know The Way.

Take time to read the following verses.
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
When there was no way for man to be perfect, Jesus became The Way. Thank Him today for becoming your way, The Way, to God.

"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."" (Mark 10:27)
Thank our God for being so creative, so loving, so great that He would sacrifice His only Son to make a way for us to live with Him in sweet fellowship.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Thank God that He gave us Jesus to be The Way.

Thank you God for your great love for us, for giving us your only Son that we might be made sons of God, adopted into your family as heirs to salvation and eternal life. Thank you for making a way where there seemed to be no way.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My B-Ball Baby!


This is my basketball player! She had such a fun season. She worked so hard.
She learned to leave her wristband alone long enough to play ball. She got groovy, cool zip up basketball shoes to wear. She finally found the perfect pair of shorts to wear that weren't too hot or too heavy to run up and down the court in.
She learned to dribble, very well.
She learned to shoot and by the end of the season was making baskets!
She learned to guard the basket and play defensively.
She learned good sportsmanship and perseverance when her team was losing.
She improved so much over the course of the season. She earned the title "Best
Defensive Player." She really knows how to guard with hands high and hands low and wide.
She had to guard against her friends, steal from her friends, listen to her friends and coach yell and choose only one friend to throw the ball to. She worked hard.
She really earned that trophy!



Monday, March 03, 2008

What a Waste

A beautiful singer leads worship at a small local church.

An eloquent writer writes only in a private journal.

A skilled attorney pursues a career in teaching.

A wealthy politician works so hard he has a heart attack at a young age and never travels the world like he'd dreamed of doing.

A successful chef becomes a missionary in a third world country and never steps foot in a kitchen.

Have you ever heard the expression "Wasting your life"?

Some waste their lives by throwing away skill, talent and education.

Some waste their lives by never living up to potential.

Some waste their lives on poor choices.

Some, very few, waste their lives on Jesus.

In Luke 7, we see a woman who "wastes" a very expensive jar of perfume anointing the feet of Jesus. "When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." (Luke 7:37-38)

The others there objected. Jesus tells a story about two men who owed debts of unequal amounts and how when debt is forgiven the one who had a bigger debt feels more gratitude.

This woman had big debt. She had big debt forgiven. She had big, shameful failures that followed her around town...all forgiven by Jesus. She had big gratitude.

"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47)

Big sins.

Big forgiveness.

Big love.

"Then Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven...go in peace.'" (Luke 7:48 & 50b)

Big results.

Big waste?

Today spend time meditating on the forgiveness you've experienced in Christ. Have you "wasted" any of your time, talents or possessions on Him in response to the freedom He has given you? How can you worship Him today?

Meditate on the following verses.
"A heart at peace gives life to the body..." (Proverbs 14:30)

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." (Isaiah 32:17)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Dogged by the Past

Have you ever felt your failures, shortcomings and shamefulness come and swallow you up?

I remember one time I was kind of "spying" on a friend, a friend who had purchased me a very thoughtful Christmas present. I was curious.

I went to the specialty jewelry shop, found the piece I had been given, acted like I wanted to purchase it and began to ask questions. Yes, I admit it, I only wanted to know how much the friend thought I was worth. What was the price tag placed on our friendship?

My questions led me deeper and deeper into this charade. Suddenly I was purchasing a ring I didn't want to the earrings I had been given, a very expensive ring. I had to pedal backwards and dig my way out of the purchase.

Head down, face burning with shame I quickly left the funky little jewelry shop and swore to never return to it or its sister boutique.

By the time I got home I realized how silly my sinful pride was and decided to apologize to the store owner so I could shop there in the future without embarrassment and so I could sleep that night without lying awake chastising myself for what a fool I had been.

I called and fumbled through a crazy, incoherent explanation of my escapade. I felt foolish. Even though I tried to make that incident right, I still could never shop there again for years without feeling incredibly self-conscious.

Have you ever done something you were ashamed of and tried, without success, to atone for it? It may have been something silly like this or it may have been something more serious that destroyed the trust in a relationship. Try as we might to make things right, building trust and forgetting mistakes takes time.

As humans we need time to heal the wounds we experience. We continually look backwards instead of forwards towards the finish line, towards the prize like we are commanded to do (Hebrews 12:2). This backward looking turned Lot's wife to a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:25-27 and Luke 17:31-33)

God is so different than we are. Thankfully He chooses to forget our sin and that's that!

Psalm 103:12 says, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

Removed. Totally removed. As far as Korea is from Texas. Far, far away. Sins. Gone.

What does this mean for us?

This means we can approach God with confidence each day. We can hold our heads high, looking our God in the eye because we are clean before Him. This is God's plan for us, His purpose for us. "according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." (Ephesians 3:11-13)

Approach Him with confidence today. Talk with Him. Praise Him today that He is the ultimate eraser. Mistakes and shame that humans can't seem to get over, He takes as far away as the east is from the west and that's far!

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)