Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Within These Four Walls

the sump pump is in the far left corner, ha!
Some days I feel like I am just waiting for something to happen.
Waiting for some kind of event to make my day worth talking about when my husband comes home.
I'll feel like I need some kind of photo or story to share at the end of the day to prove my effectiveness, productivity and embarrassingly enough as it is to actually write, my own disciple-making worth.

Sometimes this feeling is a strong desire for some adventure.
Something, anything, outside of the ordinary rhythm of my life.

Sometimes, like today, I pray hard for an opportunity to share Him with someone.  To be able to have a gospel conversation with someone.  The desire runs so deep that it literally feels like it's about to explode out of my chest!

Often I'll get to the end of these kinds of days wondering if I failed to be all that God wanted me to be that day or if, in fact, I could be right where I'm supposed to be, even without a spectacular story to tell for that day.

Today I stopped and really thought about it,
because sometimes I'm a slow learner and even if I grasp my true identity and purpose in Christ one day it might escape me the next.  So I have to continually realign my focus on Him and fight the lie that I don't measure up.

Every.Single.Day.

I don't have any amazing stories to tell or drama happening in my life today.

Actually, I did have to scale the basement walls to get to the sump pump on the other side of the house to trigger it on since the 4 feet of standing water from the endless days of pouring rain wasn't going ANYWHERE on its own.  This could technically be considered an adventure (and the longest run-on sentence ever), but since I only ALMOST fell in it doesn't count, ha!  (a big shout out to my eldest daughter for pulling me up the steps)

I haven't even had the chance to have any gospel conversations outside of these four walls...but if I am being the mom I am called to be then I should be living out gospel conversations within these four walls every.single.day. Even on the days where life doesn't allow me to leave the house.

These conversations happen with my husband (because a marriage needs continuous gospel conversations to stay focused on the only one who can hold two drastically different sinners together),

with the kids whom God has given me (because parenting is a non-stop conversation toward the reconciliation, truth, patience and heart change that ONLY God can provide),

with my kid's friends that come over before school for a ride, and after school to play, or during school for playdates or babysitting,

with the mail lady who brings packages from Amazon to my door every day,

all the other ladies who walk in these doors who need to talk, vent, ask questions or advice or just walk a couple of laps around the property,

and then there are the texts, phone calls and emails that go back and forth all day long with people all over the world.

Our home has a continuous flow of traffic from all walks of life.
This is the life God has called me to.
And I want to obediently steward it well.
This is my adventure!

I am learning, ever so slowly, that He never wanted us to separate ministry and life. Ministry and family. Ministry and normal routines.  It all beautifully tangles together.  And we can either allow God to use our every day for His purposes or sit on the sidelines just waiting.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Photos

Walking sticks have been all the rage this week at the Colony Casa.
They each have their own to fight off the hawks that come down to swoop the chickies.
And use them as light sabers or swords on the side to fight off the bad guys from Lord of the Rings.

I love hand picked flowers from my littles

This is my view EVERY night!

Doing a little research outside with the chickies

Rainy's science lesson this week was about electricity

This photo is two-fold...Alethia used to be terrified TERRIFIED of all things animal.
Even our first set of chickies.  Now you'll see her cuddling and playing with them!
Also, our cute little chickies are in that awkward not-so-cute tween stage, ha!

the kids made a "family tree"
Another one of Zeke's amazing inventions: an outdoor shower to rinse off the sweat from a hot day!
It's a little hard to see, but he connected the hose and rigged it to hang over the ledge for the perfect shower.

We ate our first salad from the garden this week!
Why does it taste so much better if we grow it on our own?!

Blackberry blossom

The girls have resurrected their crocheting skills from Nonnie

I walked in my bedroom the other day to see some pretty sick beats that Jude was charting


Outside, games, and playing into the sunset have been the nightly routine this week

Poor, poor Gimley.  He has a broken (we think) leg and it is SO sad to watch!
We are going to figure out how to splint his leg today (because apparently that is a thing you do for broken chicken legs).
This week his new name has been Gimpley.
Having a crippled chickie has been really hard on Rainy:(

We played for SEBTS chapel again this week.
I love seeing these two bookends to our family hand-in-hand together as we live life during school hours.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Another (MAJOR) Transformation: of the Master Bathroom variety

There is a super long story that goes with our Master Bathroom.
I will spare you MOST of the details,
but the backstory makes this bathroom transformation all the better!
Because God's timing and provision were behind all the details.

Plumbing and rotten wood have been issues with this house since before we purchased it.

It started with us having to keep the plumber's number on speed dial
because inevitably, whenever we would have a huge get-together at our house
the pipes would back up and we would be left with only one working toilet.

And it was not uncommon for us to be standing in a 3-inch high puddle in the shower.

It got so bad that we were forced to shut the door to our bathroom and use the only other bathroom in the house with the kids for nearly 9 months.
And even with that, plunging became a tag-team event with our closest of friends, ha!


The first two photos above were taken of our bathroom shortly after we moved in.
The last photo was taken after the bottom of our shower rotted out.
A company came out and had to tear the whole shower bottom out to the basement/crawlspace,
and then peaced out after realizing all the work they would have to do to 
make our bathroom functional again.

It sat like that for months!

We called several companies and friends who gave us different estimates and answers to the ongoing,
and seemingly unresolvable, problem(s), but still nothing was happening.

We were beginning to think that we were never going to find somebody to help us fix everything.
So we closed the door and pretended like nothing was wrong.
But somehow, every time I sat down in certain colony member's pee on the toilet I was quickly reminded of the problem we had on our hands.

But after one look at it by our friend from Journey, Ulises, 
he surprised us by actually taking on the job...and FAST!
Within two days he had a crew together to begin demo on the bathroom, plumbing
and replacing all the joists and supports under the house.

Left: The demo from our bathroom went straight through to the basement.
Right: looking into our bathroom from our bedroom.
Left: Josh made the guys breakfast to show them just how THANKFUL and GRATEFUL we were for their help.
Middle: While the guys were jacking up the house and banging under our feet for 2 days we made up fun games to play.
This particular one was setting up all the action figures to see which one would be left standing last.
Right: Jude was motivated to get his own hammer out and "work" on some projects too.
Lowe's trips were one of the most stressful things an adventure with five kids.
The guys were working SO quickly that we had to get supplies and make decisions very fast,
and ALL the kids wanted to give their input as well, ha!
Ulises was SO sweet and patient with Jude.
He didn't mind all his questions and was always finding a job for him to help with.
These two would create quite a bond over the next few weeks as
Ulises team helped finish up a couple of other projects in our home.
We had some friends help us draw out a new, more efficient floor plan
and Ulises' team nailed it!
The day we finally got a full floor down in our bathroom was a day to celebrate!
Then the tile went up

And then the toilet and vanity went in,
followed by the headboard.
Josh and I sanded, caulked and painted

I still can't believe this is MY very own bathroom.
Josh and I have had a running joke about how every time we move our bathroom 
gets smaller and uglier, ha!
But now our bathroom belongs in a fancy hotel.

God cares about the details.
He cares about our needs.
And He provides for us in His perfect timing.

I know I always say this, but nothing is sweeter than seeing God's children use the gifts and talents God gives them to bless and help others.

So if you stop by my home don't think I'm crazy if I ask if you'd like to see my new bathroom, ha!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Week 2017

Each year has looked a little different.

This year we did quite a bit of journaling.
Actually, journaling has become a regular part of our family devotions over the past couple of years.
Josh will read a scripture and then give them something to journal, 
draw or create to depict what we discuss.

I don't remember exactly what Jude said this was, but I think it is the Lord's supper
Alethia found some "Palm branches" in the backyard for our triumphal entry reenactment

Rainy volunteered to be the donkey for Zeke who was Jesus.
Sometimes it seems silly the older and older they get, but hey, they are still into it, and we always have fun memories,
and it is a visual they don't soon forget, ha!
We read about the Lord's supper and its significance




We dyed Easter eggs while talking about the burial, resurrection, new life and baptism.


Tonight we packaged up the eggs into little baskets with candy
and invite cards to pass out to a neighborhood across the street to invite them to our church Easter service.
This also enabled us to put faces and names together with some new people.
I LOVE to see how excited the kids get to knock on the doors and talk to people.

Foot washing has always been a Holy Week favorite for us.

This photo is one of my favorites because,
I mean, just look at Jude's face,
but also Zeke, our germaphobe, washing the most disgusting pair of feet in the house.
It was a humble sacrifice he volunteered for all on his own.
We had some other things planned but sometimes the best way to remember Holy Week is to carve out time to just Be Still.  And that is exactly what we did this weekend.

"And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilot to have him executed,
and when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree,
and laid him in the tomb, but God raised him from the dead, and he appeared to those who had gone up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people, 
and we bring you the good news, that what God promised to the fathers, 
this he has fulfilled in us, their children, by raising Jesus..."
Acts 13:28-33

Happy Resurrection Day!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Photos (minus Holy Week)

Because I deleted social media off of my phone this week
(BEST decision EVER!)
I have a LOT of photos so I'm doing a separate post with our Holy Week activities.

Laithy and I snuck out to get our first (and only) Cadbury eggs of the season

Jude came home from Journey on Sunday SO excited to fill up his sticker chart
as he memorized his verse this week.
Melt.My.Heart.

Jude has been asking me every day if I would wear my hair down.
I finally asked him why and he said:"because you look pretty, and you wear real clothes when your hair is down.
Work out clothes are NOT real clothes!"
So I've been working hard on getting showers every day, wearing REAL clothes and keeping my hair down, ha!

This has always been our thing.
Josh and I got in a little birthday 5K this morning

Yup, Josh found this guy slithering around on our back porch.
The chickens didn't even want to be around this guy!

Rainy made Josh's favorite, cheesecake bars, so we could celebrate his birthday
at rehearsal with the worship team last night.

Jude's first "rock painting creation" from the gift he picked out for his daddy's birthday.
Some of the rock painting creations
Zeke was working hard carving arrows for his Ugandan bow that his Uncle bought for him.

Areyna has been a reading machine lately!
She is on her last book of the Pegasus series.  The last book didn't even last her 48 hours!
Heading to one of our favorite spots in Rolesville per daddy's request for his birthday



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