Friday, December 11, 2009

Hello friends


So, the last time I wrote on here, I was grieving the loss of a beloved friend. I am grieving still. The term "moving on" really doesn't work around here. Oh yes, we continue to live our lives and do the good work and protect and provide for our family to the best of our earthly abilities. We strive to live goodly lives, reflecting the light and the love of the God we trust. Yet we ache. Because all around us life is breaking down for so many. So many hungry, homeless, and hurting.

This is the season I love best. The lights, the candles, the scents, the colour. It is a treasure to my heart to be able to witness the miraculous beauty of Christmastime. While commercialism and selfish gain often cloud the magic of the season, I can still look out my window at the wintry sky and give thanks for the warmth that spreads in my little home. Love warms our house. Joy and peace and the wonderful fruits of the spirit. I find myself grieving our Joe, but still able to enjoy the laughter of Christmas and that in itself is a powerful thing. Because we do grieve differently than those with no hope. Our hope is in Heaven and Joe is basking in the fullness of true and perfect worship.

I will have to post some pictures of our cozy living room. It is a wonderful sight to behold. The Christmas lights make all the difference :)

*jade

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Blessed Opportunity

Grief is never easy. I cannot bear to tell you the extent of my heartbreak. Heartbreak for my precious friends, the Houstons. Heartbreak for my precious friend, Jenn. Heartbreak for my sweet little champion, Asher Houston. So many different kinds of heartbreak.

But so much love.

I was thinking about the first day that I met Joe Houston. It was the day of our church Easter Festival. His mom, Glyndell and I struck up a conversation and I loved her immediately. Her gentle spirit and gorgeous smile resonated within my heart and I called her family from the first moment. I met Asher, Big John, and then, finally, my precious friend Joe...the one in the hat. :) I loved him that very first day. I could see in his eyes that the transition from San Diego to Corpus was a difficult one for him, but it was where the Lord had called him and so he went. We stood in the drizzle talking about life and love and God's plan and I was already looking forward to our next meeting.

I left that day with my heart opened wide for this man with so much promise. I saw in him a bright spark of hope that the Lord keeps his promises and offers us so much in return to the little we give. But Joe Houston wasn't a giver of little...he was a giver of much. He loved fully, encouraged gently, teased constantly, and laughed often.

That laugh is the laugh I dreamed of that first night we searched
for him. I prayed earnestly for a different outcome. I prayed passionately that we would be reunited with our joyful friend. I prayed, prayed, prayed.

But the Lord's ways are not my ways.

And so I grieve. I grieve OUR loss. For Joe is in the presence of the King. Oh how he must pity us, because we are living in the land of the dead...and he is living in the land of the King. While there are many disturbing after effects that we must deal with in this season of pain, I take great pleasure in knowing that my charming friend is rejoicing in the kingdom. I take great joy in knowing Joe has peace.

But still I grieve.
For these things are never easy.
And yet we must champion forth for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Thank you for your prayers, my sweet friends. They have lifted us to great heights. The Lord has never left us, and though we feel great pain, we continue to love and give praises.

Please continue to pray for Joe's family. The heartbreak is very great, but they continue to shine and teach me so much. Yes, they shine.

Knowing Lt. John Joseph Houston....it truly was a blessed opportunity. And I praise you, Lord.

*jadie

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Storm

Forgive me for not having the energy to share my heart. I am somewhat overwhelmed emotionally. I hate being so redundant, but I really could just use some lovin'. This is me being real.

P.S. if you can't see the video, click on this link to go to my blog and you can see it there.

"and I will walk on water
and
you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
and everything will be alright
." --Jason Wade

Monday, November 09, 2009

My Soul Thirsts

Depressed. Anxious. Overjoyed. Confident. Uplifted. Sad. Encouraged. Destroyed. Delighted. Rejected. Elated. Miserable. Thankful. These are just a few of the emotions that have swirled within my very soul since Friday, October 30th, the night we first decided to look for our precious friend Joe.

I have been carefully documenting this search for our friend who's plane went down October 28th during a routine training flight not 30 minutes from home. I haven't the energy to relay you my painful details, my moments of exultation, or my moments of peace. But I will tell you this.

The Lord is moving. He brought together an incredibly diverse group of strangers all who love Joe. And what the Lord made was GOOD! Deep, new friendships were cultivated. Friendships that were desperately needed. And we are so blessed.

Matt, Nicole, Peter, Amy, Dave, James, and many many many more....they are new loves in my life.

And for the moment. I am thankful.


From Psalm 63:

1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.


What's going on....

Hi everyone,

Well....how do we even start.
First, I think a Huge, GIANT THANK YOU is an understatement! During one of the hardest things we've ever been through, the outpouring of love shown by you has made not only us humble beyond words, but it has shaken to the core of some very "unshakable" people. They have seen God using you and have done things that are against protocol and completely unexpected. For example, the commander of the entire Naval base out here has been so moved by all of our efforts and love that he had put off Joe's status changing until ten days rather than the typical four. God has moved the hearts of many through people like you!
Those of you who went and searched, I pray your feet and body are recovering and thank you for your time, energy, efforts, sweat, blood, tears, etc, etc, etc. It was not in vain at ALL! We needed those eyes, those feet, and those hands to cover ground for a peace that it had been completed. Those of you who donated money and supplies, what can I say but WOW! Our searchers were fed daily, our planning team didn't have to cook or do dishes so we could spend our time planning instead and did I mention how good the food has been? We were so thankful for the plethora of water! It wasn't a great joy to carry it in our backpacks up and down hills and dunes, but goodness it was fantastic when the load was lightened and our bodies hydrated. Your money....can you believe we've had almost $4, 000 donated to our search? PRAISE GOD!!!! We will be sending out a detailed list of exactly where the money went and how much. Just a rough list would include fixed wing airplane fuel, helicopter rental, gas for our fearless leaders' way home, boat gas, four wheeler gas (the gas companies I'm sure loved us), and we'll be making a donation to Texas Equusearch and other various areas. Then, our networkers and prayer warriors. We couldn't and wouldn't have had the endurance, hope, manpower, peace, and community closeness without you. I beg of you not to stop the prayers or the getting the word out.
The body of Christ has many parts and it was awe-inspiring to be witness to the body working as one. I will NEVER doubt the power of our almighty and how He has His body move. I feel so humbled that I was on this end seeing it all coming together. It was a taste of heaven and my eagerness to be there just multiplied tremendously!
As for where we are now. We have searched all that we were allowed (included the entire coastline of St. Joe's island (in 100 yards of the dunes), the south end of Matagorda island, the entire coast of Port Aransas down through Mustang island and the marshy areas on the bay side). Basically, there was very little land not searched thoroughly in the entire coastal area. As you may know, we have not found Joe. However, now we know that at least we've looked! We're not done either! We are praying about the Lord's direction for our next steps and have taken a sabbath to rest today. We plan on sending a plane out when this storm passes to all of the coastlines again. We are going to take a four by four (or two) all the way down south through the National Seashore with binoculars to search. Who knows, maybe a marshy area will unveiled by the tides going down.
This has been the hardest day of all! We are faced with the very real thought of not getting to see Joe and it is a pretty horrible feeling. We're hating that his family has no more answers than they did a week ago. We're so sad that instead of his fiance planning her wedding, she is probably going to be attending a Navy memorial service instead. His son, ...can't even go there right now.
I feel like the Lord keeps laying 2 Corinthians 4:6-9 on my heart: For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness", made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
This is a reminder to me of God's promise that Joe is in His hands. God's ways, though we may not understand them, are not ours. The lives that have been changed during this would only make Joe proud! Joe walked that verse and it would be futile for us not to acknowledge that!
We have not lost hope of not only finding Joe, but finding Joe alive. The Navy has changed his status to deceased as of yesterday and will hold a memorial service. There is nothing we can do about this. Joe's mom and Joe's fiance said it best, who leaves the courtroom before the trial is over? No one. There is no evidence either way of Joe. God gave us a spirit of expectation to witness something miraculous and we will wait to see that revealed. No mother, father, brother, beloved, child, family member, or friend should be left on such a plateau and we pray that God frees us of that!
A beautiful family has been born out of this and will grow stronger as the days and months pass.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! What all you've done is not in vain. Someone of you may be saying, "I didn't do anything", but the fact that I could write to you means that you have done something in my or my family's life that lets me know you have been near.

Here is the blog that we've created, please keep checking it as it will be updated often. http://findjoehouston.blogspot.com/

Here are a few websites that portrayed your efforts:
http://www.kristv.com/news/volunteers-continue-searching-for-missing-navy-pilot/
http://www.caller.com/news/2009/nov/04/volunteers-search-for-missing-navy-pilot/
http://www.caller.com/news/2009/nov/05/volunteers-officials-continue-search-for-missing/
http://www.kristv.com/news/volunteers-search-for-missing-navy-pilot/
http://www.kztv10.com/news/blog-setup-for-missing-navy-pilot/

The sun always comes up in the morning and we rest in that promise!
Yours,
Tawny and Nick
Nathan and Jade
Matt and Nicole
Dave and Amy
Peter
and many others

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Updated Info on the Search for JOE!!

The searchers were able to cover 8sq miles of San Jose Island with 25 volunteers today. The island is 23 miles long. They designated search areas with flags and coordinated search groups and all went smoothly.

We desperately need more people and boats. The ferry only drops people off at one place. Therefore, everytime the searchers are dropped off they are having to go over the same area that has already been searched. We need boats to be able to take people to different points on the island. We do have one 18ft shallow water boat owned by Jeff that will be here at 3PM. We need boat captains to operate commercial boats.

Tomorrow (11-05-09) we have kayakers that are going to cover marshy area. There are at least 2 so far. They are starting at 7:30AM. We have access to more kayaks. If you are an experienced kayaker and would like to help, please get in touch with us.

There will also be at least 5 people on mountain bikes. This enables them to go further and faster up the beach. We need more mountain bikers. If you are coming out and have one, please bring it. Street bikes can't make it over the terrain. It must be a mountain bike.

We had someone contact us with a search dog who is going to be out tomorrow.

There will also be 2 helicopters flying in from Houston. They will be leaving from Corpus Christi Internationl Airport to start their search. They are each taking 2-3 people with them to be lookouts. The pilots names and Brent and Dominic and we are so grateful for their services! One is doing this for free and the other one is negotiating a price with the helicopter's owner.

There is also a fixed wing aircraft flown by a volunteer marine luetenant that will be covering San Jose and Matagorda Island. Two volunteers are needed to fly with him and serve as look outs. They need to have good eye sight and observant.

Equusearch is also mobilizing their resources and volunteers tomorrow.

About 3/4 of the island is owned by Bass. We need them to give us permission to search the property. Please pray that we get in contact with someone from Bass asap. This is of utmost importance.

Car pooling or just giving rides is definitely appreciated. We have volunteers already that are getting here even without their own vehicles. In particular we are looking for someone to drive to the West Side of Corpus Christi by Sams Club to transport a volunteer to and from Fishermans Wharf for the 7:30am drop off.

If you're not able to come in person to search but would like to contribute, we are in need of money. There are resources to be paid for and the funds so far are low. You can contact me for the mailing address for checks and money orders to be sent to or you can send money via PayPal to
nhimitrust@yahoo.com

We have set up a blog so people can easily access all the updated info.
http://www.findjoehouston.blogspot.com/

Again, please contact us if you want more info or to sign up for the search. Thanks for all your efforts!
Amy Warner 361-334-6703 Volunteer sign up and general information
Tawny Novosad 361-876-8969 Food and supply coordinator
Nicole Lamberti 973-477-8051 Search planning and resources (ie boats, aircraft, search dogs)

Top priority is access to Bass property, boats, and funds. Please pray for all these to be provided and if you can help, please contact us.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prayer

I just copied this from my pastors blog:
Most of you know at this point that a T-34 went down in the water yesterday afternoon and that the two pilots are missing. It has also become public knowledge that one of the pilots is a Creeker - Joe Houston.

Tonight (Thursday) we will gather at 7:30 at the building to pray for our friend and his family - and for all our military/and other families who are in pain. If you can only come for a little while, that's OK.

It's open to anyone and we will have childcare.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please be in prayer for Joe's family, his beautiful fiance, and all of his loved ones who are anxiously awaiting any news.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

They were the best of times

I found some old photographs from high school today. You wouldn't believe the sick feeling I had when I discovered many of them were damaged from heat and neglect. How frustrating that we were graduated right before the digital revolution and whilst digital cameras were around of course, they weren't the affordable type that are available to us today. How life would have been different back then had I known then the possibilities that the digital world held. :)

All the same, I had such a wonderful time going through the pictures and remembering good times with old friends. Special memories lay nestled in my heart and I just become so overjoyed at the gift of reminiscence that the Lord provides us with. Just being able to think back on those happy times, those difficult times, those awkward years of bad hair and insecurities that weren't spoken of...that just makes me so happy.

I look at the faces of my peers and see them on Facebook now...I see where they have come in life and I just am excited to see the gifts and talents that they have been given being used in many powerful ways. Teachers, writers, mom's, dad's, artists, business folk, the stories are endless. It just reaffirms my faith that we are all born with purpose and given the opportunity to change the world...even in the smallest measurement.

Anyways, I'm going to bed now, I just wanted to share with you all the joy I feel when I see my schoolmates living life in full and wonderful ways. Even through our painful moments, our times of depression, grief, or frustration, we are all with purpose, and we are never alone.

Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sail the Sea, or Sail the Sky

Obviously my appreciation for children's literature is splashed across the screen more often than you care to read. But there is just something about the memories I have of my childhood that brings outbursts of delight to my heart. I often remember laying under my desk, the very desk I sit at now, and reading stories that lifted me high into the sky on a ship that sailed through the cotton candy clouds of my imagination. When I first read the story of Wynken, Blynken and Nod (a poem by Eugene Fields) I was 8 years old. I stared out my bedroom window into the sky, just waiting to see a wooden shoe float by. Stories like that are so explosive to my psyche and the colors and songs and even the very scent of the tale are magnified in my head. I can cheerfully go on and on about children's books and poems that affected the days of my youth.

It's a joy to have pages come alive to me. One set of books I owned were a set of children's Bible stories that focused on a young girl who would find herself in "Bibleland" involved in the real story of
Adam and Eve or Noah and the Ark, or Jesus and his ministry. I loved those
books because the scriptures came alive to me. And at the end of each book there was a small limerick that stated "Reading is the key to take you where you want to be" and I held that close to my heart, along with the verses that came alive for me, and the poems and stories that allowed me to swim with dolphins and fly to the moon.

One of my favorite stories from my youth (and truly, I must say this of all my childhood loves) is the book "Where the Wild Things Are". The idea of sailing across the sea to an island of wild beasts who
I could rule and tame and love was so magical. When I saw the movie preview for the book, I nearly knocked over my chair, it looked so gorgeous...just as I imagined. Often I hate movies for ruining the ideas in my head of certain stories and books, but this movie just looked so magical! Well, my friend Cole Abaius wrote this lovely article on his take of the movie and I just have to share it
with you. He is one of my favorite writers, but I might be biased because he's been on my list of favorite people since my awkward teenage years.

Obviously, when I see the movie this weekend I will give you all my personal insight on the film. As a general rule, if I absolutely love something, only mush comes out of my mouth. And if I detest something, only garbled grunts and pouts come out. So really, my take on such things are sort of moot. I never make any sense.

I must say that the idea of sharing these stories with my Wesley and
introducing him to the tales of my youth brightens my day considerably. Even when surrounded by despair in this life, there are always the places tucked away in our mind that we can run to.
Wherever that place is to you, be it Narnia, Middle-Earth, a tree-house inhabited by a certain family of bears, you can always find a sort of joy that clouds out all the rest.

Whenever I see my son laying on his tummy with his trains, or horses or dinosaurs and talking to them in his sweet, innocent toddler babble, I am overwhelmed by such a happiness and I have to go lay on my tummy by him and play all over again. Those are the moments to give thanks for.

To shout it really.

A Poem by Eugene Fields:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe--
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea--
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish--
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam--
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea--
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

Where to begin...

Where do I even begin?

Since I last wrote on here quite a few things have come and gone.
  • Let's start with Nathan getting sick. He is almost all better now, don't get me wrong. But whenever my sweetie pie isn't feeling well, it just makes the equillibrium of our house go berserk. I hate it when he's not up to snuff. I am so thankful he is feeling so much better.
  • Then this moves on to number two. I got rear-ended by a very impressive Ford truck. Yep. My poor Corolla got a beating. The good news is that since Nathan wasn't feeling well, he stayed home from valet, which made me leave Wesley home with him while I ran a few errands, which means that Wesley was NOT in the car with me, which makes me a very happy mama. Otherwise I might have lost it.
  • I stayed at the hospital for a good portion of today waiting for my friend to have her beautiful baby! It was a great joy to be a part of that. What incredible parents they will be!
  • I didn't get to go see my friend Jackie for her baby shower on Sunday. :( That made me quite sad, but I hopefully will be able to see her in a few weeks when I drive to Oklahoma to see my Heather!
  • Jason H. broke his clavicle. Yea, that has nothing to do with me, but i've never known anyone to break that particular bone. Bummer.
  • Our church had Serving Sunday...and as always, it's awesome to see our families go out into the community to love people and give their time and energy to impact the world. Awesome!
  • I've been reading about the Galapagos Islands. Yea, that's not anything too extraordinary, but I really enjoy the mysteriousness of that archipelago. What an incredible experience it would be to travel there. Maybe I'll stop in Bogota and visit my cousin on the way :)
  • I will probably go to Vietnam before I go to South America. Never quite thought that I would say that, but you go where you're sent, right?
  • I am making Wesley a Max costume for Halloween (Where the Wild Things Are)
  • We made stew this weekend. Another sign that the holidays are quickly approaching.

You know what, this is going to probably go down as one of the lamest updates on the planet. Because it's 1:24 in the morning and I am exhausted.

So I will bid you adieu and leave you with this:
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” --C.S. Lewis



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Some Serious Heat



Wow. So a few things to address here. Our AC unit in our house decided to go to Heaven on Saturday. It was a good run, but it was time. Needless to say our house has been slowly smoldering itself to self-destruction and we moved in with the my folks for a few days while we figured out how to deal with the hunt for a new unit. Well, thanks to the Lawleys, we found a guy who could help us out and he is installing it as we speak (praise the Lord!). Though, I gotta say, I do feel so badly that these men are working so hard just to give me some cool relief from this outstanding heat on this last day of Septemeber....I told the guy this morning, "it's good for us to go without AC every now and then. It reminds us to be thankful for what we have." He said he couldn't agree with me more.

Speaking of the last day of September...today happens to be my big brother's birthday! Woo!! Happy Birthday Brandon! If you know my brother, you will agree with me when I say he is a great guy and deserves the best that can be given! He is a hard worker, a generous friend, a great chef (who coincidentally likes to show off) and a creative genius. He was the best man at my wedding and he is the best Uncle
that Wesley could ever ask for. It's a great joy to my heart to see my brother play with Wesley, knowing that Wes will grow up with the kind of relationship with his uncle that kids dream of. Even though they live far apart, Wesley walks around our house saying "Uncle? Uncle?" and wants to iChat with him on the computer even if it's just for a wave and a high five (virtual high fives rock). He just loves his Uncle Brandon. Annd all the toys that BG likes to spoil him with, I'm sure.
So here's to you, big brother. I hope you have a fantabulous week celebrating you!

Oh and this picture is one of my favorites from the day Wesley was born. :) Uncle Brandon and Wesley :)

Time to get some relief from this heat! As soon as the AC is running again, I am going to sit down and write a nice long blog for you. I know you're all just dying to get inside my head, right ;)

Happy last day of September! Bring on the cool weather, October!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall!!

I love the changing of the seasons. The most unnoticeable change for us South Texans is the change from Spring to Summer....From March to November, it's mostly summer weather with an occasional lull in the heat, but still...ever summer I anticipate the fall change. Putting out pumpkins on my porches, hanging my pumpkin wreathe that I made my first autumn as a married woman, lighting pumpkin spice and sugar cookie flavored candles. So sweet. I also love it when Starbux carried Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Coffee Waves makes pumpkin pie gelato :) Yay! I'm not a coffee drinker, but the holidays is probably the only time I occassionally order a peppermint mocha or pumpkin spice latte. And it's rare that I do order it, but oh the smells of B&N and my favorite coffee shoppes. DELIGHTFUL!

This morning I was awakened to THUNDER and saw lightning dancing behind our bedroom curtains. I love that we are getting some rain!

Have you noticed that I am extremely cheerful for being awake at 7am? ;)
I better run now. I wish my husband could stay home with me today and we could rent movies and order pizza. Maybe tonight we will do that...or make homemade pizza!
Happy First Day of FALL!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Birthday Love


Happy birthday to my precious friend TAWNY! We are kindred spirits as both of us are named after a color :) She is a delight to my heart and I love that the Lord brought us together in friendship! Our babies bless us and teach us so much (they are only three weeks apart) and we love having Kya and Wesley play together. If you ever meet Tawny, the first thing you will notice is her enthusiasm! She has a zest for life and love and family and you can't help but smile when you're around her!

So.....Happy Birthday sweet sweet friend! You are a joy to my life and you definitely add so much color to my beautiful tapestry of friends! I love you, sista!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never forget

Eight Years Ago
I got to class early that day.
It was BCIS with Mrs. Dearsing.
Ernest Cortinas sat next to me.
Our teacher generally had Fox morning news playing in the background.
That day she turned it up.
We saw that something had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center
Then we saw the second plane.
We saw the destruction at the Pentagon.
We saw the tragedy in a Pennsylvanian field.
I remember seeing footage of people jumping...or falling.
I remember the deep crunch of grief that welled up in my heart as I saw lives being destroyed.
And the word "terrorist" was suddenly splashed across the screen.
I walked numbly to my next class where we still stayed glued to the tv mounted in the corner of the room.
I saw the towers fall.
My mom called me out of Art that day.
She wanted us all to be home together.
My whole family sat in front of the TV that day watching...and waiting.
I will never forget.
I will always remember.
Such grief and sorrow that September 11th.
My senior year of high school.

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Labor of Love

We had a busy Labor Day weekend! Nathan had today off, which I absolutely loved AND Jamie AND my brother were in town this weekend, so it was like Christmas in September for me. We went bowling one of the nights and Jamie, Nathan, and I rented 2 movies this weekend AND we played outside a little bit today with the camera. (Not to mention a scrabble game last night!) It was such fun.

The downside is that Wesley had such a bad fever on Sunday. It started Saturday night and broke last night during the night. I am fairly sure it is his teething. (we can see his giant back molars coming through) He hasn't had any other symptoms (besides excessive fussiness of course) and didn't want to eat. His appetite came back this evening though, so that makes me think he is getting over it. Just pray for him because I want him to be healthy and happy this weekend when our dearest friends the Thornes come to visit!!!!!! We are so super excited to see them for Mark & Maida's wedding on Saturday. :) Aaron is gonna dance the Thriller. He just doesn't know it yet. ;) YAY!

I am in the middle of painting our master bathroom, so I can't sit here and go through pictures and play like I'd like...but I just wanted to just shout out my joy right now. I had a really fun weekend. :) So thankful for those.



Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Divine Romance

The fullness of Your grace is here with me
The richness of Your beauty’s all I see
The brightness of Your glory has arrived
In Your presence God, I’m completely satisfied

For You I sing I dance
Rejoice in this divine romance
Lift my heart and my hands
To show my love, to show my love

A deep deep flood, an Ocean flows from You
Of deep deep love, yeah it’s filling up the room
Your innocent blood, has washed my guilty life
In Your presence God I’m completely satisfied
-Phil Wickham


Today is Matt Beveradge's Birthday.

I spent a good portion of the day meditating on his short life and how he affected the world with his courage and faithfulness.

I am so honored to have known him.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Visual Love












































































A little of what I've been able to see through my lens.
Love actually is all around.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friends

One of the simplest pleasures in life is the ability to sit and be yourself with another human being. This is what I would call authentic friendship. I consider myself to be a person who puts herself out there....sometimes. Sure, I blog here, I blog there, I champion authenticity all around, but I find myself forgetting to just be "me" around all I meet. I suppose with anything in life, balance is key. There is no reason to be completely vulnerable with complete strangers, and yet I find myself wanting more and more to just take the moment to smile and be "real".

I am deeply blessed to have so many of those "authentic" friendships. They stretch from Dallas to California to (soon) Louisiana and all in between. Those friendships where I can sit and be quiet and not feel the need to fill the silence with useless chatter. I am able to be smile and laugh and tease and be teased. We share quiet moments of pain and shout joyfully from the rooftops together. It is a gift that I dare not take for granted (though I often do) and I am so thankful for those friendships.

Oh dear! Jade! It is 2 in the morning? What brought on this sudden burst of thanksgiving? Why now, when you should be tucked in your bed dreaming of dancing bears and painted wings, are you thinking instead at the foot of your computer of all these things?

Well, I shall tell you. :) I am working on pictures! Getting caught up on my summer of madness and making CD's left and right and exporting to my website. It is my favorite thing to have finished products and printed photographs in my lap. :) And one of the CDs I am making is that of my dearest friends the Stapper family. :) Chris was my boss at Zephyr and I was blessed to develop a closeness to his sweet little family. They bring a joy to my heart and I count them among my list of authentic friendships. They listen to my crazy ideas, they laugh politely at my lame jokes...and then at me, and they love deeply. I miss them when we are apart but when we get together, it is like no time has passed. And as I was printing a few pictures of them for my fridge, I was suddenly reminded that friendships are such a gift from such a giving God.

So if I don't tell you often enough...I will say it now:
Thanks for being my friend :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

All choked up

I am trying not to be too sentimental right now. :) But it's reallllllly hard for me. This morning I caught my son straddling his crib, about to leap off it, very very angry with me for sticking him in it for naptime. Most of you know that my son refuses to sleep in his crib. He will eventually fall asleep if I just leave him in there "crying it out", but in his 19 months, he's never gone down quietly when I put him in there.
Well this morning, little buddy was falling asleep on his feet. He woke up earlier than normal and was playing hard all morning and so I thought, "hey, he's super tired...let's give a morning nap a try". So I stick him in there, wish him "night night" and walk out of his room. He screams. Angry, frustrated screams. So I think "I will wait 5 minutes and if he is still crying, I will go check on him". Well I heard him slowly wimper, then quiet down. Then SCREAAAAM. So I hurry over to take a peak....and low and behold, my son is trying to find the best way to get down from the bar that he had climbed up...and crying miserably because he did NOT want to be in there.
Of course I grab him quickly (and yes, the freakishly obsessed photographer in me wonders if I have time to take a picture...but of course the mommy wins out) and I hold him till he stops crying.
So then I think...well, maybe if I pull out his matress, put blankets on it to give it some padding, and give him his pillow, he will go lay down when he is ready.

Sooo...by the time 1:00 rolls around, we've had lunch, we've played and done some laundry, etc., I walk him to his room and ask him if he wants to go "night night" and he says yes and goes and lays down on his mattress. He pats it and points to an extra pillow suggesting I come lay with him. So I go sit by him and pat him a little, and next thing I know...he is fast asleep. In HIS room....on HIS mattress.

And suddenly, I feel like crying. haha
It's tough being a woman.
But it's REALLY tough being a mama.

But neither of which are without it's perks. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Small Inspirations

This past weekend I attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit for the first time ever. Our church was one of the hosts for their nationwide telecast and I am so thankful that I went. I've heard big things about it before and pretty much ignored people's encouragement for me to attend. :) I tend to rebel in my own way and naturally the Lord pushes me until I finally surrender my pride. Oh how grateful I am that He never gives up on me. Hehe.

Well, many of the teachers, interviews, and worship moments stood out in big ways, but the one that struck a chord in my tiny life was that of a young woman named Jessica Jackley of www.Kiva.org. She was engaging, energetic, and had a radiant spirit and I was so enamored by her presence that I went straight to kiva.org the first chance I had. Jessica is the co-founder of Kiva, a business created to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. She witnessed first hand the power of micro-financing when she was in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda while working with Village Enterprise Fund and Project Baobab on impact evaluation and program development. She and her co-founder researched what lending to small business owners in Africa would do for them socially and how it would help in the fight against poverty and she had a vision. What if peer lending became a reality for these people and you or I could just lend 25.00 or 500.oo? How would that help in their sucess? Well, visit www.kiva.org for more information. You will not be disappointed. Jessica's is a story that touches my very core. She, like me, had the desire in her to help fight against some social injustice, and the Lord has blessed her for it and more importantly, the struggling entrepreneurs of these countries she loves. Her story of success just gives me courage. It reminds me that I am living in a world of many great injustices, but that by being faithful, I can help to make a difference. I don't know what. I don't know how. I don't even know when. But I pray that with whatever gifts and talents that are in me can be poured out on this nation and on this world for the glory and for the kingdom of God.

I realize that you critics and cynics might be rolling your eyes at my over enthusiasm tonight, but really, truly, I feel in my heart such a great fire. I pray we all can take the small, but necessary steps in doing our part. There are so many small inspirations every day to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Came to my rescue

We sang this song on Sunday at our church. Needless to say, it moved me. One of those altering moments in your spiritual journey.

I was looking for a song widget to place in here so you could hear it, but this YouTube video will do the song justice enough.
In fact, just close your eyes and absorb the words.


Falling on my knees in worship
Giving all I am to seek Your face
Lord all I am is is Yours

My whole life
I place in Your hands
God of mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at Your throne

I called You answered
And You came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where You are

In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high
And You came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where You are

In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high

Pray for me as I journey towards greater communion in my life. This song is my prayer for this season I am living in.
As it is, it's 1:30 in the morning and I have got to get to bed!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Faith, Hope, & Charity :)

Well kids. You've missed me, haven't you? It's alway a whirlwind of activity in this house. Life is certainly never boring around here.

I feel the need to update this, but I am just so "empty". So much has been churning within my heart. This is definitely a growing season for Nathan and myself. The Lord has blessed us with some close friends who challenge us to be better every day and for that I am so so grateful. :)

Today is my friend Charity's birthday. Her and her twin, Leah. (both are on my blogroll). They are such joys to my heart and I just want to wish them both a delightful birthday! You girls are wonderful and live out Proverbs 31!! Charity, I am so glad we are friends and that my computer is full of wonderful pictures of us. :) I love you both! Happy Birthday!!

Ok...I'm out. More in-depth updates and noodles to come. Honest! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Zephyr in Review

Well kids, I'm back from my short time up at the ol Camp Zephyr.
You know the story.
I fell in love up at Zephyr as a young teenager in more ways than one.
I first walked the caliche roads there as a fresh 14 year old girl, new to the world of "faith lived out loud" and deeply desiring a life of victory and faith. I heard the Gospel preached, felt the sound of worship penetrate my young heart, and made some lifelong friends.
Then not too long after that, I walked those same caliche roads as a lowly intern, dreaming of one day becoming a Zephyr Staff member. Those beautiful girls that worked all summer at camp must have had it all together. I mean come on, they were gorgeous, they loved Jesus, and they had boys surrounding them all summer long. What could be any better than that?
Finally, the summer after I graduated high school, I walked through those doors as a full on Summer Staffer....ready to serve, ready to experience Jesus in a new way, ready to do my part. Little did I know that I would spend four summers living, loving, sweating, breaking, and mending at that beautiful, beautiful camp.

Well, I spent the first half of this week running around camp pretending like I had a purpose. :) I was supposed to be taking pictures of the campers (which I did, of course) but really, I was lost in my own memories.
I was remembering the first summer I spent out at Zephyr as a camper. In the days when my soul mates were found in my best friends and "the Zephyr Zombie" was cool to talk about behind our youth minister's back. And the snack shack had yet to be painted like a cow.
I remembered the first summer that made Room Six my home. Laurie, Candace, my sweet roommates who taught me so many lessons on being a woman of character who lived out 1 Peter 3:3-4.
I remembered my final summer, as I prepared to marry the man of my dreams. The summer that signaled a change in the future of Zephyr. Change was on the horizon and a new era was about to dawn. It wasn't easy to leave, it wasn't easy to let go. I remembered the tears that fell as I packed my little car up with my stuff and drove through the gates with blurred eyes.

But then I remembered the summers in between. Meeting my future husband. Sitting on the back porch of the conference center with various roommates marveling at the faithfulness of our God. Walking from Room 6 to the kitchen in the early morning light wondering what the day would hold. Burning the coffee pots repeatedly because I could never remember to collect them after morning breakfast. "Five minutes!" from Stuart. I remember playing hide and seek on the gators and making Sunday evening runs to Wal-Mart. I remember being there with Erin in her last months of her pregnancy with Emma. Sitting at my favorite picnic table and reading books by my heroes of faith: Corrie Ten Boom, Elisabeth Elliot, Leslie Ludy. The ridiculous banter that never seemed to cease, morning, noon, and night, and every moment in between. The numerous faces of youth ministers, students, sponsors, children, and friends that poured through our doors. Each with a unique story, each loved so dearly by such a great God. Each who have been touched in some way through this camp.

It really was such a joy to me to just hang around. Wesley was with Grandma Nancy, Nathan was in town working, and I was without the duties of my daily life for nearly 3 whole days. I soaked it up. I didn't have any life-changing moments as one might expect, but I did have some good moments of peace and solitude, lovely conversations, and some good rest. I was able to see some familiar faces and catch up with some dear friends.

I was also able to see how incredible that staff really is. The leadership has blossomed, and the Lord is blessing them for their faithfulness. I wish I could adequately explain to you how put together this group of people are. Of course there is no such thing as a perfect working environment, but this group of young people are darn well close. Really! I only knew a handful of them when I arrived, and now I can say that I just adore them all! They blessed my heart more than they know!

So if you're a student pastor out there, or even a leader of a small group or church, don't hesitate to take your church family, students, or own family out there for a weekend retreat or weeklong camp. You won't regret it.

Oh...and pray for some rain. :)

p.s. I'll make a FB album of the pictures as soon as I dig through them all.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Secret Garden

One of my favorite classics to read is "The Secret Garden". I get lost in the silly language of the moorland folk and the beautiful visions of buried gardens with secret stories locked away within it's walls.

Tonight, as I wait to feel sleepy enough to crawl into bed, I think about those moments in life when you wish you could discover a wonderful and beautiful new adventure, like coming across a key in the earth that unlocks a garden. A garden where anything is possible. A garden where you can grow right along with it's tiny seeds and blossom right alongside the grandest rose.

I suppose that's the beauty of the written word. You can get lost in it's depths and travel to the moors of England, or the damp rainforests of the Amazon, or the glittery depths of the Bermuda Triangle. Adventure awaits. I love that.

The Secret Garden...it is a lovely thought.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

And so on, and so on

I can't even remember what the last thing I blogged about was. Life has been swirling by in a flurry of adventures for us and I can only be thankful that I have pictures to help me remember where all we've been in the last few weeks. :)

I suppose we can start with the Fourth of July weekend. My favorite brother came down for the weekend and all of us went to my in-law's lakehouse to pop fireworks and eat lots of brisket ;) The Novasad's joined us and we had a BLAST. I, unfortunately, could not ride the jet-ski because I had a slight boo-boo that was not allowed to be in the dirty yucky water of Lake Corpus Christi. Plus I was on antibiotics that ordered me to stay out of direct sunlight. So under the awning I went and played in the mud with my son and his little girlfriend Kya. :) They are pretty stinkin cute little toddlers.
Wesley is growing so much, I can't believe he is going to be 18 month
s old next week. He has molars coming in and it's so frustrating, but he is taking them in stride. He loves the outdoors and the dogs, although he is a little rough, he loves chasing Stormy around.

I am really really really behind on pictures. I had quite a lot going on these last three weeks, so I am playing catch up. Personal photos, jobs, weddings, aahhhh so much to organize.

Did I ever tell you, oh blog world, that I bought a Mac? Yep, I have entered the Apple world. I even got a little decal with my computer. I want to put it on my car, but I'm going to save it for when we get me my SUV. :) Yes, I am a nerd. Welcome to my life. It is pretty colorful. Just don't drink the water here, you just might get some silly juice on accident.

Wesley's favorite thing is to talk to Brandon on iChat. He absolutely howls when we sign off. He is saying "Uncle" so much now and he runs to the office to point at the computer because he knows Uncle B is living inside the computer. Hahaha. It's pretty funny.

Wesley is waking up from his nap, and I just think my brain is fried from all the sun, fireworks, and well...brisket. :) So I will have to write mas tarde!

Love you all and hopefully we can catch up soon!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

First to Eat Contest

A couple weeks ago, Jade, Wes, and I were watching Wheel of Fortune. Apparently Wes had already figured out the puzzle and decided to do something better. The next thing we know, he is sitting in his high chair.

Being the good parents we are, we wanted to make sure what he was doing was safe, so we had him reenact if for us. It seemed like he had a pretty good handle on things. Jade has been practicing with him and I think he's ready for competition.

This video doesn't show his best time, because we didn't want to show our strategy to potential competitors, but you get the idea.

Let me know if any of you parents want to set up some scrimmages. Are there any local competitions for this kind of stuff or can Wes only compete at the national level?


video

Friday, June 26, 2009

So it seems

"So I go to church, not because of any legalistic or moralistic reasons, but because I am a hungry sheep who needs to be fed; and for the same reason that I wear a wedding ring: a public witness of a private commitment." --Madeleine L'Engle

While I don't agree with all her thoughts on faith and Christianity, I do enjoy this one sentiment by one of my favorite authors.

And I realize the world is talking about the loss of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, etc, I can't help but think how swiftly life moves for us. It is a grievous thing, to live and love and grow, because our end is guaranteed. But what a joy to have the opportunity of life. Like many of us, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett were faced with decisions to make and opportunities to grasp. And like many of us, I am sure they were not the easiest of choices.

I don't care who you are, famous or not, death is never easy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lifehouse

BG is in town and he stayed over here at our house for the weekend! I always like it when he comes home for a visit. We got to go see Shane & Mer and little Brooklyn @ the hospital last night.
Meredith did so awesome and I think Brooklyn looks so much like her. What a joy, it definitely made me a little sentimental. :) I love that sweet little family. I got to take preggo pictures of Meredith last week, so we got pictures in just in time. She was a super sport letting me drag her to a field and then to a park. She humors me so well. :) What a good friend.

Anyways, I am here at home instead of at church because I feel sick and I will spare you the details. Bleh. Let's just say, staying home was the best thing for me. I am about to run and nap before we head over to my parent's house this afternoon.

I just wanted to send a shout out to my dad and husband. Two extraordinary men. Two incredible husbands. Two generous and loving fathers. How can I be so blessed? They teach me so much and I never think twice about their love for me. I just pray that Wesley can grow into the kind of men that surround him. He is such a blessed little boy to have such strong male influence in his life. He definitely is all BOY. Jumping off the couch and drinking straight from the waterhose. He has loved playing with his Uncle BG this weekend. This morning when Brandon left for church, Wesley went and knocked on the guest room door and yelled "BAAABAAAAA". That was new. Usually everything is "dada" but I think he starting to get the "b" sound. He was definitely looking for uncle B.

Well, I sat here too long. Nap time. Have a blessed day all you dad's out there or dad's to be :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wesley Loves Kya

So Nathan and I have a small group that we meet with on Wednesday nights. We enjoy our time of discussion (our topics vary from east to west) and we love to talk and laugh together. It is such a blessing to our heart to find a group of people we can learn with and grow with and just be ourselves with. It is definitely a group of authenticity. And I love it.

Last night we had tacos and I wish you could have seen the mess we left behind in our kitchen. It was truly a sticky mess of dried frijoles and queso and salad on the floor and counters. :) Well, if you know me, I LOVE to wake up to a clean kitchen and it was nearly 1130 by the time the evening was completely over and Nathan (my darling, wonderful husband) helped me clean it all.
And I was just completely ecstatic when I woke up this morning and and strolled into a kitchen of sunshine and baby rosebuds in my vase. Definitely one for the books. So this is my THANK YOU to my man for helping me scrub away the mess last night and load the dishwasher, etc. It made my day :)



Oh, and when our friends showed up last night with Kya bear, Wesley was swooning over her....too funny!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

La-La-Laredo!

This past weekend we went to go visit my brotha' in Laredo. Let me tell you, it felt like we were in Vegas all over again in August. It was so stinkin hot. But a different kind of hot. Desert Hot!

We had a good time, of course he fed us way too good. Ribs and pork sandwhiches and omlets and grape soda and brownies a la mode. :) not all at once of course, but it was so good. It really made me miss him more so than I had been, but I'm glad Wesley can video chat with him. Well, Wes doesn't really chat more as drool and yell and say "dada" to everything. Haha, but he loves his uncle Brandon and had an especially fun time tearing through his apartment.
Bg even took us to the Laredo Mall and Jamie and I stared in awe at the godzilla sized New York in Company store they have.

And on the way home, Nathan asked "is this where I turn?" because Jamie had already been down there and knew the way and we forgot the Tom Tom and didn't care to check a map. And for some strange reason I said "yes" and Jamie just agreed with me and we ended up south of Hebronville headed towards Zapata (which is on the border of Mexico, farther south) before we realized our error and had to turn around. Then we got pulled over because our taillight was out. Woops, didn't get a ticket though, but now I need to get that fixed. Needless to say, it was quite adventurous. And I think that's the last time Jamie will ride in the backseat of our car with Wesley. :) She might demand shotgun from now on.

Oh and the above pictures are my most favorite pictures from the weekend. The boys are so silly! They make me laugh.