Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Breaking Free

Today my dad was released from jail. For the past five months he has been serving time for charges resulting from alcohol abuse. He has seen few glimpses of daylight since October, bound by the consequences of his choices-- and concrete walls. I glanced at the clock this morning, only an hour passed since he was dismissed from the Polk County Jail. I imagined him walking out of the jailhouse doors, closing his eyes, and tilting his face toward the sky, basking in new found freedom. No sooner than I finished this thought did I hear these words on the radio:

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me "son
Stop fighting a fight it's already been won"

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I'm redeemed

Can you imagine him choosing to stay in jail after being granted freedom? Walking back in and saying, "I choose to live a sub par life, eat cheap starchy food, and sleep on a cot in a four walled cell for the rest of my life. Freedom is mine, but I'll take this instead." No way! And yet we as Believers make said choice when we live in condemnation or continue to enslave ourselves to the desires of the flesh. To accept shackles and bondage, and failure as a way of life.

I am getting ready to start a Bible study with some ladies from church- Beth Moore's well known study, Breaking Free. Timing happenstance? I think not. It's totally like God to orchestrate such an effective illustration and invitation, really, of what He desires for me. I don't have a taboo stronghold... I'm thankfully not an addict; I don't habitually lie, cheat, or steal.  I do, however, struggle with other things, like respecting my husband, promoting peace in my home, etc. I continually and daily need His grace. It is my prayer that over the course of this study He would reveal to me areas of perpetual struggle, such as these, where I am not walking in His freedom. The jailhouse doors are open, and I do not want to remain an inmate!

God, thank you for this picture! Your love for me is amazing. I am utterly overwhelmed that you would be mindful of me, have even a simple thought of me, let alone, come to earth in the flesh, die a gruesome death to pay my sin debt, and free me from eternal death! You walked up to my cell, called me by name, unlocked the chains that bound me, and set me free. As if that is not enough, you have committed yourself to sanctifying me so I can be more like your Son. Wow! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hog slop and stories

I'm trying to capture pictures of everyday memories, the sweet moments of Grace Louise reading to her brother or helping daddy make hog slop on the tailgate of the truck. You never know what you're gonna get around this house!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy 5 months, James H!

What a difference a month has made! Our precious son is so active and smiley, learning and doing more everyday! 

rolling ALL over. enjoying his mat and toys on the floor. loves chewing Sophie. loves chewing anything. hopeful for teeth soon. lots of drool. brightens up the room with his smile. has quite a scowl too- like his sister. looks like a little snapping turtle. says 'mama' (not on purpose, but really he does!). still nurses in the night. sleeps in bassinet but prefers mama's bed. getting better in the car. watches the dvd player. loves his weekly bath (yes, only one a week). eczema has improved. mama loving soft baby skin again. interacting with Sissy more everyday. belly laughs often. listens to stories. squeals like a girl. joins the family at the supper table, Bumbo style. still loves to be worn. such a lover and just pulls you in!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sweet as Honey

My family has been blessed with a very neat opportunity to dabble in one of my loves... horses. I have been in and out of horses as a hobby since childhood, ultimately realizing that the financial and time commitments of horse ownership are greater than our current budget, lifestyle, and residence will allow!  

I have a sweet friend who has offered a leasing option so that we can enjoy horsemanship without the responsibility of owning. We are currently spending our time with a 12 year old mare named Honey. Grace Louise went from zero to hero in her equestrian confidence. She's amazing! She grooms, rides, and is learning simple groundwork with Honey. I am truly the one in heaven, though. Hoping to brush up my own skills and build confidence through this experience!

Bubby hangs out in the wrap, stroller, or on a picnic blanket while we're horsing around! Sissy's never too busy to come for a little snuggle, though ;-)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year

A little late for a Happy New Year post, but chugging along the to-do list, I finally made it to this task! I'm not much for New Year Resolutions, although I do think the timing for making life changes is spot-on. Eat all you want and procrastinate for the last couple months of the year, which happen to be the most delectable; then get yourself together come January. You have the whole year to try and fail over and over, but there's something about January that just says clean slate. If you are a Believer, friend, I have good news... everyday says clean slate!

Because of the Lord's great favor we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22-23

Sure, I've got some goals for the year... a fitness goal, parenting and homeschooling goals, even a goal to throw the best Hunger Games Catching Fire party EVER...but my greatest aim is simply this- less of me and more of Him. May we always be decreasing, that He may increase and be glorified in us!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wrapping up Christmas

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent with family. What a blessing, to have our families so close and traditions to keep. Grace Louise opened her last Advent countdown box to reveal an activity we always do, spend Christmas Eve with the cousins.

Granny DuBose and the great-grands.

Christmas morning we woke up, snuggled in the family bed for the reading of the Christmas story, and then opened a few gifts under the tree before Poppee Rick came over for breakfast. Grace Louise had mentioned wanting a dinosaur several times over the past few weeks, so her daddy found a very cool stegosaurus whose skin and bones separate for a fun skeleton lesson! I insisted on getting her a jump rope. She opened it, cried because she couldn't do it, and hasn't really touched it since. (Bad call, mom.) I did, however, wrap up a hand-me-down gift that she adored-- a Little People barn with farmers, tractors, animals, etc.  I can see lots of imaginative play time with this toy in the future!

We joined BeBe, Pops, Aunt Lindsey and Uncle Marsh for a scrumptious lunch on Christmas day. We had so much fun just being together. Simple as that.

And the fun (and food) continues... Christmas dinner with my family.

Christmas day was busy and exciting. We decided to wait until the day after to enjoy a Happy Birthday Jesus cake with friends!