Friday, March 29, 2024

Awaken My Soul

 I'm finally sitting in my own home this morning after a couple of (life giving) weeks of traveling. 

It's Good Friday today. Typically our Holy Week is filled with devotions and activities leading up to Resurrection Sunday, but this year has looked a little  lot different. And so it is as kids get older and seasons change (and you go out of the country and then out of town for spring break).

So I headed outside to have some sun and Jesus time. I opened my Bible and it just didn't feel right to pick up in Ezekiel where my Bible reading plan currently has me. I decided I'd read the accounts of Good Friday in the gospels.

I opened up to Matthew, found the night of the plot to kill Jesus, and picked it up from there. I got about halfway through the account of the woman who poured oil on the feet of Jesus and I just felt this inclination to stop and pray. The words that kept coming to mind were "awaken my soul".

So I began to pray for my own soul to wake up. For my eyes to be opened to what these words were portraying. To wake up to the gravity of the cross. Taking it from merely a story I read and hear about all the time, to an actual event in history that has forever changed my life. Changed the world. It is so deeply personal and I wanted God to help me FEEL it again.

I lingered there for a minute before the Lord began bringing other people to mind. Dear friends and family members. I felt a heaviness to pray for an awakening of their souls to the freedom and life and peace that is made possible because of what we celebrate on Easter.

And this is my prayer:

For those of you who are weary in life, feeling like the world is spinning all around you and you cannot catch your breathe...

May your soul be awakened.

For those of you who have the faith but it feels as though it is asleep, lying dormant, and you cannot find your bearings...

May your soul be awakened.

For those of you who have been hurt, disappointed, and feel jaded by those in Christ's community and simply don't know who to trust...

May your soul be awakened.

For those of you who have been through the unimaginable and feel forgotten and unheard by the God who you have cried out to...

May your soul be awakened.

For those of you who have lost faith but are still searching for something...

May your soul be awakened.

For those who have never really started a personal relationship with this God who sent his only son to die on our behalf...

May your soul be awakened.

I'm praying for you today. I'm praying for me today. That we can experience Him in a way that opens our eyes and awakens our souls.

Friday, March 8, 2024

The Greatest Victory

Our team from Seven Marks wrote an original song for Easter this year.
We put our buddy Travis Motley on the project with his studio at Diamond Productions
to place his creative touch on it and it is sounding amazing. It should be up on Spotify soon!

Josh and I took Patience and Zeke and headed down to Kannapolis for a day in the studio.
I'm not sure which was more fun, the actual car ride with one of my best friends talking about everything from food and politics to parenting and unexpected life turns. 

Zeke came along too and experienced a day in the studio for the first time.
We needed him to capture some b-roll.
I think he was pretty impressed and came back creatively motivated! 
Travis was so sweet to take the time to pour into Zeke as he asked all sorts of questions about owning a business and even equipment and the ins and outs of having a studio.

We got the vocals and violin laid down as well as some great B-roll and headed back home.
As soon as we got home Josh put out a quick email to our team to invite them over for food and gang vocals. We had a great turnout, even with the last minute notice. 

We'll let you know when the song drops! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

February Milestones and Memories


Josh was supposed to run the Umstead Trail Marathon last year but had a knee injury and had to defer to this year. He said this was so much more difficult than the Richmond Marathon he did because of the trails. His goal was to make it in five hours. He crossed the finish line with 4 minutes to spare! I got to meet him at the finish line since it was local.

If you know Zeke at all you know that he always has to be working on some kind of project. His current project obsession is turning our basement into a workout room. He went to Home Depot and bought some supplies to finish walls and paint. He has spent hours down there cleaning it up and it really does look nice! Now, to save for some equipment!

The kids asked if they could invite some friends over for the Super Bowl. I absolutely LOVE when the house if full of teenagers and kids. And their friends have awesome moms who always come through with extra snacks and drinks to add to what we've got to feed the masses. I'm pretty sure Josh and I were the only ones that watched the first half, but by the half-time show came around the kids were into it. 

Cai got a haircut. Yup, you read that right. He hadn't had a haircut in probably seven (or more) years. I was shocked when he came and asked if he could cut it because it was starting to drive him crazy in his face, especially when he was playing sports. So I made an appointment (This one is kind of a big one. Mama ain't gonna be responsible for this cut!) and he went through with it. Smiles and all.
The final pictures were right after getting home after the haircut so the curls hadn't even taken form yet, but it is so curly and so cute! I love it. And he does too!

A Full February

 We had such a full February. 
Both Rainy (turned 19) and Jude (turned 12) had birthdays this month.

After Jude and Josh returned back from Guatemala several of the team members began getting sick. And sure enough both of my boys were down for the count within 48 hours. Josh's whatever-it-was lasted nearly the entire month. Poor Jude was so cold and chilled that he couldn't get enough layers to keep warm.

Alethia has thoroughly enjoyed her science class with my dad this year. Nearly every Wednesday evening I'll find her showing Josh what she learned that day:)

Zeke is so thoughtful sometimes! One morning he must have been in the mood to cook and made ALL of us breakfast. Even his older sister who hadn't even gotten out of bed yet. I love these little snapshots of sweetness.

Sports, sports, sports!

Cai finished up his indoor soccer season just as he and Jude's outdoor season kicked off. Jude's basketball season has been so strange. They began in November but their 8 games have been spread across 4 months. He actually has his last game tonight! Cai also wanted to try out for he school track team and made it! He is enjoying keeping in shape for soccer with running. And if that weren't enough, hockey keeps the boys active and happy in their spare time. And then there is the every present pull ups and dead hangs around the house.

Josh had gotten us tickets to see Nickel Creek for my birthday so we got to go enjoy phenomenal music together this month.

There were some other sweet moments I couldn't help but capture this month. Josh was dancing with Andi before a rehearsal one night, Josh and Cai watching the sunset together and Cai passed out on the couch after a long week of all the things.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

SOAR Aerial Competition

A few months ago Rainy asked if I would go with her studio to an aerial competition. First of all, I was thrilled that my nearly 19 year old daughter still wants me around and engaged in her life, passions and friends. Second, I was excited to experience the competition and watch the performers. So we loaded up the van with performers and headed to Fort Mill, SC for the weekend. The competition was real. I told my friends that I felt like I was walking around in an episode of Dance Moms. The adrenaline and the intensity were think in the air. Our girls did AMAZING, especially with it being their first competition. Rainy was beautiful as always, but at the end of her performance she told me she was not built for competition and didn't want to do it again. Although, a couple days later she was talking about what she wanted to work on for next year;)

There were 66 acts. Rainy was entry #34 and was awarded Elite platinum. Just a few points short from the next tier. She was also part of a Lyra ensemble. She started an Aerial Instagram page. Make sure you go follow her to check out her professional competition pics and you can see some videos from the performance HERE.