October 15, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch

Nick and I took Silas to the pumpkin patch on Monday. This pumpkin patch also happens to be a petting zoo with a train you can ride. Every little kid's dream, I'm sure.  Silas's favorite part of this place was the corn box. The train ride and the animals, not so much. Now, here is a dilemma I am facing with this post. Do I mix all the pictures up, so as not to bore you with multiple pictures in the same spot all at once, or do I lump all the like pictures together so that you can have the full chronological effect of our outing? This issue has been occupying way too much space in my brain with my blog posting lately, and I am perplexed about which is the preferred method.  This is important stuff, because, as Nick said yesterday (in his most annoyed voice), "This is not a fun family outing. This is a photo shoot." I hate to drop such a heavy matter on you, but please take a moment to ponder this for yourself and weigh in with your valued opinions on the matter. To accommodate all opinions, including the conflicting ones in my head, I chose to do a combination of lumping and mixing. On with it....Even though he never cracked a smile, the beginning of the train ride was pretty smooth. By the end though, he was grabbing me and trying to claw his way out of his seatbelt.Silas has gotten really into biting these days. That T-Rex was all the inspiration he needed for this photo. Fitting, since his Halloween costume this year is a T-Rex.  You can see last year's trip to the same pumpkin patch here. What a difference a year makes...I miss my tiny Batman baby! But, this little toddler is pretty freaking fun.

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October 11, 2014

The Marriage of Joy and Sorrow

This part of my life will always be with me, and I will never forget it. It changed me and shaped me and tested my faith to it's very limits. But I am making my way to the other side, with a new understanding of God's grace, as I learn to be joyful in ALL circumstances. Lament and joy are not mutually exclusive, and I have experienced enough pain and enough comfort, that I will carry both in my heart for the rest of my life, as I wait with longing for my heavenly home.
A few months back, I decided to start a new journal and wrote the above in the old one before transitioning to the new.  I still had a lot of space left in my old journal, but it was full of heartache and sadness and represented a dark time in my life. I was avoiding writing in it, because whenever I pulled it out, I found that the old anxiety, depression and despair that filled those pages would start to creep back into my heart. Those feelings would still resurface at times, and still do occasionally even now, but they were not and are not representative of the majority of my life at this point. I've found a great deal of joy and a renewed purpose in this last year that have given me a passion for life again.

That being said, I still live with longings that are unfulfilled.  There's sadness in my heart that I know I will always carry. I often times find myself in the midst of a joyful moment or thought, simultaneously feeling the sting of something sorrowful in my life, whether it's a broken dream, an anxious heart, or missing someone who's no longer here to experience this with me. 

In the same vein, there is heartache that I experience that cannot take away the joy that fills my life.

I have come to accept that the rest of my life will be lived in this tension of joy and sorrow. I actually am thankful for it, because each moment of joyful sorrow or sorrowful joy keeps me longing for heaven. These two opposites work harmoniously as a daily reminder that I need Jesus and that this world is not my home. 

I found this devotion in Streams in the Desert the other day that I loved. It is such a beautiful picture of living simultaneously with joy and sorrow:

"Sorrow was beautiful, but his beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the woods......He would weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to him.

Joy was beautiful, too, but hers was the radiant beauty of a summer morning.......She could rejoice with anyone who rejoices, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to her.

Sorrow longingly said, 'We can never be united as one.' 'No, never,' responded Joy, with eyes misting as she spoke, 'for my path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom when I arrive, and songbirds await my coming to sing their most joyous melodies.'

'Yes, and my path,' said Sorrow, turning slowly away, 'leads through the dark forest, and moonflowers, which open only at night, will fill my hands. Yet the sweetest of all earthly things--the love song of the night--will be mine. So farewell, dear Joy, farewell.'

Yet even as Sorrow spoke, he and Joy became aware of someone standing beside them. In spite of the dim light, they sensed a kingly Presence, and suddenly a great and holy awe overwhelmed them. They then sank to their knees before Him.

'I see Him as the King of Joy,' whispered Sorrow, 'for on His head are many crowns, and the nail prints in His hands and feet are the scars of great victory. And before Him all my sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness. I now give myself to Him forever.'

'No, Sorrow,' said Joy softly, 'for I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nail prints in His hands and feet are the scars of terrible agony. I also give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him must be sweeter than any joy I have ever known.'

'Then we are one in Him forever, 'for no one but He could unite Joy and Sorrow.' Therefore they walked hand in hand into the world, to follow Him through storms and sunshine, through winter's severe cold and the warmth of summer's gladness and to be 'sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.'"

Speaking of joy and sorrow, we've got a little bit of both going on right here...
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September 27, 2014

Celebrating My Mom

Last weekend, we surprised my mom to celebrate her 60th birthday.  She thought the only celebrating we were doing was singing to her at Silas's birthday party. But, this birthday was too big, and she deserved her own special night. We had a lot of fun hanging out in Laguna Beach, having dinner, giving her her gifts, and walking along the beach. We have the best mom (and grandma) and love celebrating her any chance we get!
Happy Birthday Mom!

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September 26, 2014

Well, It's Fall.



Can't you tell?
It doesn't look like we'll be busting out the sweaters, boots and hot drinks anytime soon. One heat wave after another means we are wearing next to nothing, spending days at the beach, and trying to survive in a house with no air conditioning. But I'm not complaining. I don't think my kid is either. #endlesssummer

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