Friday, December 21, 2012

Some Big News, Some Big Change

I have been staring at this screen for a half hour trying to decide the best way to share with you the news that Nathan and I have been harboring these past few months. It's good news, I assure you, don't freak out, but it's BIG news. The kind of news that made us lay awake night after night, praying whether we were truly discerning the Holy Spirit or just chasing a dream.

Well, I'm happy to share with you this new reality that is hitting our family full force this Christmas season:

Our family is packing up our little blue house (not the house, just the people and stuff in it) and we are MOVING to.........CAMP ZEPHYR, the camp that I love. The camp that I met my husband at. The camp that provided deep, beautiful, and yes, sometimes painful, shelter for me during many days of my youth. It's been 7 years since I worked there as a summer staffer and over 12 years since I've been there as a wee camper myself. It's a place that holds so much comfort for me and everytime I enter it's gates, I feel as if I'm home. (Quick edit: some of you might not even know what Camp Zephyr is! Forgive me. Zephyr is a summer camp and retreat facility complete with cabins, a lake, a pond, pool, ropes course, etc.etc. that hosts all sorts of different groups from Senior Adult week long camps to high school band camps and everything in between. It exists to further God's kingdom through service and relationships. More info here: Camp Zephyr)

Nate and I are still reeling over the enormous honor that has fallen to our family. Families come and go at Zephyr, but they always remain just that: family. The Zephyr family stretches far and wide from a small village in Guatemala, up to Arizona (where a beloved Z family is en route to next week) and so many wonderful places in between. People might live 10 hours away from Zephyr, but the moment they are close to its gates, their hearts begin thumping with giddy anticipation. It's a place of refuge. It's a place of growth. It's a place to crawl to the foot of the throne of Heaven to worship. And once you've tasted the goodness that is that place (by God's mighty grace) you are family. (You know who you are, friend from my youth, who is reading this now, Yes, I'm talking to you. You are family too and a part of the Zephyr story).

Some back story: You remember that darling boy that I blogged about months ago? His darling wife got a fancy east coast job in New Jersey and the two of them packed up their little house at Zephyr where they were living and serving and moved to the east coast (just in time for a crazy hurricane!). While the Z family grieved its loss in this cute little couple and their two fur-babies, the praying and searching began to fill his position. A position that my husband applied for. And a position that my husband has accepted.

Nate's title (I believe) is Director of Guest Services. So his job will be a little different than Luke's (Zephyr is an ever evolving place of business, but first and foremost a ministry to further any and all Kingdom work!) but his job will be essentially the same: loving the staff, overseeing guests who walk through its doors, and furthering the ministry that is Camp Zephyr.
We finally shared with Wesley yesterday that we were moving and I'm overjoyed by his enthusiasm. I was nervous, because it's such a big change. But we talked about the things that would happen and the fact that he would have a new bedroom with Spencer and it's okay if he misses their old room in our little blue house, but there is going to be amazing adventures on the horizon. He accepted all that I said with pleasure and excitement.

Spencer will go with the flow as he always does, I'm certain. In fact the big field that will be across from our house will probably be a favorite place of his. And all those trees to climb. How excited am I to see him blossom out there.

Obviously there are a million things to be done, and the fact that I'm very pregnant in the midst of a move, and other previous commitments on the calendar (Photizo!!!!!) I am excited and anticipate for God's glory to shine brightly through these changes.

Nate shared with his coworkers yesterday about his decision and I will admit to tearing up a bit over the relationships he has forged there. God has provided for us so greatly with his job at CITGO and I'm thankful for all of the coworkers there who have encouraged him and taught him on his journey. There are people there (you know who you are if you are reading this) that I know we could call in a pinch who would come to the rescue if ever they were needed. These relationships will be missed, and we are so grateful for them!

Another big question we've gotten from the few people who we've shared this news with: Will we still be at Oso? The answer to that is Yes. YES. We will still come into town to church at Oso. While Nate's job will have him working some Sundays, we all pay our dues and rotate, enabling us to have Sundays free where we can worship where we choose. Oso is our home and we feel no pressure to leave it for a closer church. The commute really isn't so bad. (I will just be leaning a little more heavily on church family on those Sundays Nate won't be with me as I am getting very pregnant and will soon be towing three little wild things around with me)

Things you might pray for:

1. Our little blue house to be rented to responsible renters. We fully trust God's provision on this. Please pray with us on this!

2. Community. My largest concern from the beginning was our need to be connected to people. Z can sometimes be a bit daunting to drive out to for some and there are going to be days where I just won't have the energy (sleep deprivation haha!) to drive into town. I talked with Tammy and Audie about this already :) and trust that you, my friends, will be praying for me as it's a place of insecurity and frustration for me. And the enemy knows it. Our family is a family who loves and appreciates community and conversation. Thankfully, I already have people in the OG area (and of course my fellow camp ladies-wives and my dearest Abby!) who I know I can lean on and pray with.

3. Good health for us all. My pregnancy, compounded with sick children, or a sick husband is a terrible, rotten, no good mix. When Nate starts, (his official start date is Jan.14) he will be hitting the ground running, stuffing his brain with Z knowledge and training. We can't afford to have sickness fall over us. And I have less than 10 weeks before I deliver this little (er...large) baby. So please, pray with me for good health during this transition.

4. Peace. Peace for our hearts, peace for the boys. Transition can be a very painful, but a very beautiful process and we anticipate SUCH goodness from this new chapter in our lives. God is faithful to provide and we are trusting Him in all this.

Thank you, friends. Thank you for your support in this. Thank you for the love you show me and our family so very often. We are so excited. So grateful. Always grateful.

And we are so honored to be one more chapter in the Zephyr story. Woo!
xo, jade....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

His Daddy's heart

I just read a blog that Rebecca Woolf from Girl's Gone Child wrote about her eldest child, her son Archer. She talks about how he can't wait to be a dad someday (he's 7) and most of her article rang so true to my heart when I ponder on the heart of my oldest, Wesley.
If you know Wesley in the real life (and not just via instagram/fb/and blogger) then you know he can be as tender as a child can be. AND he can be as rambunctious and wild a little boy as can be. One minute he will be curled in my arms telling me great and fabulous tales of knights saving princesses and dragons who are actually friendly dragons, whereupon the next moment he is leaping off of his fort with his sword in hand, chasing his brother around and tackling him to the ground. One minute he will be sitting by my side painting or making a craft, the next minute he's Iron Man shooting lasers at Dr. Unstoppable and his legion of Alien Cars (his invention, not mine). He's very well rounded in his tastes and affections. Well. For a four year old. :)

But one thing I've always known is that Wesley has inherited his daddy's heart. Nathan was made to be a dad. He simply was programmed that way. The first hours in the hospital, I was pretty out of it from my surgery and Nathan took the reigns like it was NBD. No fear. He changed that first gross diaper. He fed that first bottle. He held and burped him and cuddled him. No fear. (I on the other hand was completely emotional and a wreck and LOOKED like a really badly groomed fraggle in ugly pajamas. It wasn't pretty). And NOT only did he handle things that first day, he handled them GLADLY and with impressive natural skill.

Today Spencer (who has been pretty sick these last 2 days) was crying and throwing things in the heat of his tantrum over me taking away the ipad.

While he is screaming and throwing things, Wesley intervenes and this is their conversation:

Wesley: "Woa, Spencer! Woa! Calm down. Just calm down. Do you want to go to our room talk about it?"
Spencer: "uh huh"
Wesley (with his arm around Spencer as they walk to their room): "You have to calm down little buddy. It's just no good, no good at all when you get mad like that. You can't be screaming and throwing things. Do you know what happens when I get mad and throw a fit? I get a spanking. Do you want to get a spanking?"
Spencer: "uh uh"
Wesley: "That's right. Nobody likes spankings. You don't want mommy to spank you. You just need to calm down and realize that the ipad isn't important. It's just a game. What's important is mommy, daddy, you, me, and God. And all the people in the world. People are more important than games right? And God is more important than everything. So you need to calm down and quit screaming. Ok?"
Spencer: "uh huh"
Wesley: "Do you want to go tell mommy youre sorry and give her a hug?"
Spencer: "uh huh"

So they come into the playroom (where I was sitting on the window seat listening to their entire conversation) and Wesley says "Mom, Spencer wants to apologize for his tantrum", to which Spencer walks up to me with his head hung low and hugs me.

To say that Wesley is a little daddy is an understatement. A few weeks ago we were at a going away party for some friends and there was a sweet newborn baby girl present. There was a long line of little girls (and some grown ones) ready to hold sweet baby Mia. And of course, Wesley. He was the only little boy in line to see the new baby girl. He looked over at me, gave me his special smile, and stood on his tiptoes to see the baby a little closer. He wants a baby sister so bad, he's been asking about adopting one since there's no guarantee that God will give us a biological one. So we've been talking about adoption and everything it entails quite a bit and I told him someday when he grows up and gets married, that might be something he and his wife can do. I'm not saying no to adoption for us now, but it's given me something new to pray about for HIM someday.

I'm grateful for Wesley's tender side. It reminds me to show more tenderness when I tend to be short tempered and busy.
 How amazingly blessed am I? Always grateful for these wonderful, unique, so incredibly fun and zany children. And I am so grateful for the man that these children are half of. So grateful.

xo, jade..

Sunday, December 02, 2012


It's no secret that I am really into toys. I have many from my own childhood that I still cherish to this day. The boys play with some of my figurines that were some of my very best adventure sharers. I relate to Andy from Toy Story so acutely. The way he imagines these great battles between good vs. evil and the camaraderie that his toys share with one another always gets me choked up. I absolutely lose myself in Toy Story 3. I cry Every. Single. Stinkin'. TIME!! Every time. It doesn't matter if we are sitting in a waiting room at a doctors office and they are showing it on the tv. It doesn't matter if we are at Gatti Town and its on the kids big screen and the place is packed with wild animals running lose high on sugar and game tokens. I always cry. I just loved my toys growing up and I love how the boys (Spence is slowly, but surely, getting there) use their imagination and line up armies to be taken out by Rex.

SO every year, when the new toys come out around the holidays my eyes get big and bright and full of wanting because I love to sit under a tree with my boys and play with GI Joes or my original Strawberry Shortcake figures (yes, my boys play with my girly toys....though they usually end up buried or tied to the back of a truck).

Fortunately for me I married a man who grew up with Hot Wheels and rocks and dirt, so there is a healthy balance (for the most part) of Toy harboring in our family. I go nuts and he brings me back to earth. The first time Nate decides to take me to Disney World, he will probably have to tie one of those kiddie leashes onto me because I will be losing my mind with excitement.

This season, while I've already finished my wrapping for the boys in my life, I still get itchy when I walk through a store. If it has a Toy Story logo on it or a Cars logo or heck, a Tinker Bell or Tangled logo, I stop and daydream about the adventures to be had with this plastic stuff (as Dave Ramsey calls it....and yes, cute Dave is totally right.) But I still daydream nevertheless.

BUT, I walk away. I've done my shopping for the boys. They each got a special little something from me and Nate, and a stocking with a few little things in it I know they will really enjoy, but that's it. It's sort of a big deal that this is happening, because I LOVE toys.

And even though this is a huge deal for me, it's still isn't even enough. Nathan and I have goals to be debt-free (completely debt free. Not just a car payment+mortgage debt free, but completely debt free. One car paid off: check! haha) And it's not just so that we can GET more from being debt free. It's so we can GIVE more. I married a man who has a generous heart. He teaches me everyday about selfless love. I share my love. But I also love to get the lovin' back. (Words of affirmation, gifts, quality time. I'm needy, alright.) But Nate will love with out any expectations. And I want more of that in my heart.

So this video helps me along a bit with the whole selfishness that I often harbor. I hope you watch it. And when you see a toy at the store, wave at it, but don't go into debt for it. Haha.

[AC] 2012 Promo - Basic from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.

Here's to a Bright and Merry season celebrating the BEST thing in the world! The Birth of Jesus!
xo, jade..