Mack turns 11

Oh me, oh my! My baby boy turned 11 today.  He is such a sweet kid, and I am so glad he was born. His love language is GIFTS, so when Josh said he wanted to see him open all of his gifts this evening, Mack was in pain.  He couldn’t believe he had to wait all. that. time. But he made it!

He even got to play his first tackle football game this week, so he has been a happy guy.

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My mom and sister and her kiddos came to get Molly this week, so we had ice cream cake and sang to Mack for his birthday while they were here.

He had a great birthday, and he chose OUTBACK for dinner.  This mama was happy he changed his mind from “let’s just stay home and eat home-cooked hamburgers” to the steakhouse.

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This cool kid is gonna rock being 11.

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This is how Mack and Rolo ended his birthday. They are so cute.

At 11, Mack loves University of Georgia football. He is ecstatic about playing tackle football for the first time. He collects football cards and talks about football every day, a lot of the day. His favorite snack is chips. He loves PawPaw’s dressing. He begs his sisters to play outside with him every chance he gets. He sleeps upstairs in the girls’ room at least three times a week because he loves being with people. He likes history and writing.  And I have never met a more talkative 11 year old boy in all my life.  I love him so and think he is so fun to be with! Happy 11th birthday to Big Mack, Mack Attack, Mackie-boy!

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This year I am ready.

Spring is here! And I am in full-step with the beauty and the blooms and the warm sunshine or refreshing rain.

Why is this a big deal? Well, last spring (our first spring here in our new city), I distinctly remember taking walks in the neighborhood on beautiful afternoons in March and April and feeling like I was carrying around a perpetual winter in my soul. I was sad. I was lonely. I was in a hard place that felt like it was here to stay.
Today, I am so encouraged as I see the beautiful trees in bloom. And when I see the sun shining on green grass and hear birds chirping their hearts out every morning at the break of dawn, I am reminded that seasons of life do indeed change. The fog lifts. The darkness gives way to to light. The birds will find their song again. It is not according to our timetable or the timing of earthly seasons that hearts are relieved of their heaviness. And in truth, much of our circumstances are quite similar to one year ago, YET I have grown in my walk with The Lord. I have put faith to work and have gotten in return, more faith. I have put one foot in front of the other on days I would have rather stayed in bed. I have chosen truth over lies. I have let go of control in so many ways and found life more peaceful and full as I trust God who has all things under His perfect control. I have sowed God’s Word into my heart and have seen that it always brings a harvest. It’s not so much about the tears of sadness or the joy that fills a heart, but the sowing of God’s Word and presence into whatever circumstances I am facing. He is so faithful.

 

PSALM 126
1 When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, The LORD has done great things for them. 3 The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad. 4 Restore our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South. 5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. 6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Molly-Moo and Ruby, too!

Molly has been singing in the youth band for almost as long as we’ve been a part of First Baptist Charlotte. This was not something I saw coming. She did teach herself the guitar and enjoys playing the piano from time to time. She also likes to write music, but I didn’t foresee her singing with the youth band. I am so glad they welcomed her in and let her use her gifts weekly! Ruby sings very well, but she doesn’t love being in front of people, so she hasn’t help lead worship…yet. She did help Molly when we did a girls-only session each Wednesday evening in February.

I snapped some pictures of Molly last night and will post the video of the girls singing together.

This was a practice run, and you can see how Ruby quiets down when her youth minister walks into the room to do something. She is definitely not looking for an audience.  🙂 Molly, on the other hand….

 

Psalm 11

The other morning I read Judges 6 and 7. Gideon was chosen as the “valiant warrior” as he beat out wheat in an old wine press (hiding!) in order to save it from the Midianites. As the story progresses, we see Gideon with a massive army, ready to fight against the Midianites. This massive army gets whittled down to 300 men. The first group that decided to leave the army and return home were ones who were afraid and trembling. 22,000 to be exact.

As I reflected on the Word of God and what it said about these people, I asked myself if there was anything I was currently afraid of. Am I living in fear of any person or  any real circumstances or imagined circumstances… all the “what ifs” that can easily press their way to the front of my mind from time to time. Is there anything God is asking me to do, but in fear, I am being disobedient and turning away from?

That same afternoon I was reading Psalm 11. David is re-hashing some bad advice he got from his friends and answering them with the truth of Who God is.

v1-  3) In the LORD I take refuge; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to the. mountain; For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, They make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

These friends were encouraging David to run from Saul because it looked pretty dangerous to not run away and hide. David basically was asking to be killed if he didn’t run away in fear. The friends likely meant well and wanted David to be safe, but David wanted to trust in the unshakable, immovable, all-knowing, all-seeing God.  Their last question likely pushed David over the edge…“If the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do?”…The Foundation that matters cannot be destroyed!! And David answers them:

v4- 7 ) The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.

I was reminded that worry, fear, panic, hard circumstance can cause us to shout out, “What if the foundation of my life is destroyed, what would I do then?? What if everything falls apart???”  What I fix my eyes on during these times is super-important.

There is no room for panic in my life. There is no room to doubt that God is in total control of every circumstance of my life. I get into trouble when I put my eyes on my circumstances or when I allow worry to make a home in my heart. Fear and worry are one in the same, really.  I love G. Campell Morgan’s thoughts on this passage: “To reckon with circumstances and to leave God out of count is to omit the principal factor in any and every situation. What unutterable folly to confuse scaffolding with foundation.”

Wow. Am I confusing scaffolding with foundation? Am I looking at a hard life circumstances for just what it is at face value? OR Am I considering God in the midst of that very hard circumstance? Trusting that the foundation is Christ, and He never changes and never fails…all His works are perfect and good…The hard life circumstance is scaffolding and won’t be what brings my life to shambles. I am founded on Jesus Christ and cannot be shaken or destroyed. He sees me, He knows me, He loves me, He has not given me a spirit of fear. And one day I will see His face and be able to know in reality what I believe by faith…“the upright will behold His face.”

 

Tackle Football

Mack has had a banner year as a ten year old.  He spent many hours begging for a dog and to play tackle football.  Seriously, if he wasn’t asking me why he couldn’t have a dog, he was asking me what I had against tackle football. It was non-stop. The boy is determined.

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I have to admit, it so so fun to see him get so excited about something. He already talked about football 95% of his waking hours, so getting to actually play tackle ball is making his life. He has told me, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this, ya’ know?”

 

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Should be a fun season for all of us!

School–Making Progress!

Spring showed up early for a couple of weeks and then ran away to hide, leaving us with rain and cold temps. We are sitting around a fire doing school work today. I haven’t blogged about school work lately–it’s just a lot of math, grammar, spelling, some history and science, reading, choir practice, lots of taking care of the dog, laundry and cooking and cleaning!

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I have changed the way I have planned many, many times throughout our homeschooling journey. At this time, I take an hour or so on Sunday evening to look ahead at our week and get things in some sort of order for each kid. Post-It notes are my current “thing.” I write the subject and let them know what to do. It at least gets them started in a general direction before I am needed. I am enjoying an hour working out in the mornings, and when I return I am happy to find three little kiddos working away on their school work. Well, most of the time that’s what I find.

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Mack is working on grammar here.  FixIt grammar has been a great way to study grammar and editing without it being absolutely mind-numbingly boring. Each kid is on their own level in this curriculum and it works great for us…Mack is still trying to learn prepositions…they can be tricky.

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This is Molly, still in her pajamas, doing math. She is the one that likes cozy and comfy over a desk or table. Oh, this child cracks me up.  She is QUEEN of trying to get out of school work.  She just came down a second ago and said, “Mom, remember when you told me to take my grammar and spelling back upstairs?? Well, I did and now I cannot find it. I looked EVERYWHERE.” My response was soooo like a mom.  “Molly, it didn’t sprout legs and walk away overnight. Go find it.” And her response was soooo like Molly.  She text me from upstairs, “ok i cant find it so imma take a shower then look. i rly don’t know where i put it”

Ok then.

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Ruby is taking a four week online writing class. She is reading essays, marking them up and responding to them and also responding to other classmates’ writings.  It is a neat class, and I am so glad she is taking it.  I love to write, but directing and teaching someone to write is totally different!

Ruby is reading INSURGENT. Molly just finished WALK TWO MOONS. Mack and I are reading THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD.  I read UNDOING OF SAINT SILVANUS by Beth Moore and EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON (and other lies I have loved) by Kate Bowler, and I re-read WANTING TO BE HER. All were great books!

Mack spent some time with Rolo outside yesterday between his school work.  They are becoming best buds, and I am glad.  At first I wasn’t sure this dog situation was all Mack was hoping it would be.  I caught them on the hammock and snapped a pic.

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A boy and his dog. And now this boy will have tackle football, too.  I believe he should be happy all the days of his life now. Well, at least these are two things he wasn’t denied and won’t have to talk to his counselor about one day.  🙂

Now let me go see if I can help Molly find her grammar and spelling that she looked EVERYWHERE for but could not find.