Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th Festivities

It's been a glorious 3-day weekend around these parts!  The weather simply could not have been more perfect!  It felt more like spring than July!  It's been glorious!

We kicked off the 4th of July a little early.  Sweet (newly engaged!!!) Miss K came over Thursday night and had dinner with us and then she and Olivia had a PJ party and movie night!  Here's a pic of the girls watching Frozen!

We spent the day Friday knocking some things off our To-Do List like washing my car and Kevin's truck, yard work, grocery shopping, and such.  

Friday night was all about chillaxin and enjoying the fireworks show Olivia helped put together!

Kevin NEVER skimps on the fireworks, and this year was no exception!  I was too busy enjoying the show to get any good pics, but they were spectacular!!

We spent the day Saturday at Nana and Papas enjoying lunch and soaking up the beautiful weather!

Sarah came home with us for a sleepover!   

These kiddos packed a ton of fun into just a few short hours after we got home!  Oh my good gracious!  We roasted marshmallows and made s'mores, sang campfire songs, went on a bear hunt, picked blackberries in the back yard, and played with leftover sparklers!  

Those girls' heads hit their pillows like rocks, and they were O.U.T. in no time!!

Sarah went to church with us Sunday.  Kevin really came through for me once again and rounded up these 3 kiddos and got them to church on time all by himself Sunday morning!!  **Sweet**

And, finally, Sunday afternoon, we logged some serious time in the pool!

 It was a long and fun weekend!  It couldn't have been better!   Hope yours was just as grand!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Can I Really Do All Things Through Christ?

I count myself pretty privileged to be a part of this Bible Study that I wrote about here.  

I'm standing at my kitchen counter writing this, and literally my arms are weak and shaky at this very moment because...

I'm learning where I am weak, and where He is strong.  

Where I have doubt, and where He gives truth.

Where I say, "I can't!"  And He says, "You can!"

My heart is expanding, and I have this thirst and desire for more of Him!  And He is showing up big time and just blowing. my. mind.

One thing Beth Moore encourages in this Bible Study is "Faith Journaling."  In other words, taking the day's lesson and turning it into a written prayer for my life, or writing a response to what was taught, etc.  One thing I've learned about myself through that process is that I have this paralyzing fear.

I fear that I will let God down.  

I want to represent God well.  I want to represent the Christian faith well.  I am a Christ follower, so I want to represent Jesus well.  To other believers.  And to nonbelievers.  

I see in my past where I have failed to do that, and I struggle with a real fear of failing Him.  I'm afraid of being the Christian that claims to love Jesus while giving Him and the Christian faith a black eye.

I fear that I will fail in the very area where He's placed me.  I fear that I will never be equipped enough or gifted enough to be successful where He's telling me to go.  

The crazy part is that I see both my sin and His redemption in that.  I see the Gospel.

I'm looking at myself and my weaknesses, my fears, my hang-ups instead of looking at His strength, His truth, His grace.  

A lot of "me," "myself," and "I."

This is why the Gospel never, EVER gets old.  This is why it's just as alive and active today as it was 2,000-plus years ago!  I need God's grace and strength to cover me in my weaknesses and doubts and fears and sins.  I need to look UP TO HIM and not into myself.  Even in my fears, He reminds me that he is greater! 

One aspect of my faith that is really being challenged is:

But do I really believe this??  Do I know with confidence that this is true?

I don't know...sometimes....maybe?...I'm not sure....I think so?...

Listen, I'll be the first to admit that I am very much a work in progress.  I want my faith to grow so that Philippians 4:13 becomes a part of my DNA!  

That's one thing I've been praying for over these last 4 weeks, and, OH MY GOOD GRACIOUS did He blow me away last night with this...

God says to Joshua, "I will not fail you."

I. will. not. fail. you!






In that very moment, God (and please excuse this southern terminology) hit me upside tha head!  

I have no reason to fear that I could ever fail God.  In fact, it's not about me at all!!  



He. will. not. fail. me!

Imagine little ol' me standing up to the God of the universe saying, "No.  I can't.  No.  I'm too scared.  No.  I don't know you well enough yet.   No.  I'm not equipped.  No.  You seem to forgotten the junk in my past.  No.  I might fail you."  And just imagine the God of the universe pointing his all mighty finger into my chest and saying, "NO.  I WILL NOT FAIL YOU!"

I could have jumped right out of my seat last night right there in the middle of friend A's living room!  Because when God speaks, it's like a bolt of lightening straight to the heart, and in an instant, things are different!  BAM!  Heart changed!  Just like that!

He is soooooo good!

I'm still a work in progress, but a huge chunk of that fear is simply gone now!  

Today, I'm looking at Him instead of myself and begging him to turn me into a person that will be a blessing in the place he's telling me to go!

My best is yet to come!



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

Time flies when you're having fun!

We had a jam-packed 3-day weekend!

We were up and at 'em early Saturday morning with yard work which also consisted of driving 200 fertilizer stakes in the ground to feed a row of leyland cypress trees in our back yard.  Yikes!

Don't mention it to Kevin.  His quads are still recouping!!

Late Saturday afternoon, my fam came over for dinner and a pool party!  We feasted on Kevin's grilled burgers, Mama's baked beans, my bro-in-law's baked potato casserole, and, a favorite among Kevin and me, Grilled Panzanella!  For dessert, Mama brought chocolate eclair which has been an absolute favorite of mine since childhood!  Every bite was out-of-this-world fantastic!

Sunday was a BIG celebration day around these parts!  Not only did we celebrate one GREAT Daddy, but it was also Kev's birthday!!

Kevin took Monday off, so, again, we were up and at 'em early headed to Lake Keowee with a picnic lunch in tow!

Davis wasn't much interested in swimming with the rest of us, so he chilled on the boat and knocked back a couple of cold ones.  (Sierra Mist, that is!)

Kevin whipped me around on the tube.  He tried his best to knock me in the air, but I dug deep and held on!

It was a long, fun-filled weekend!  The kiddos were comatose on the drive home!



Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Quick Biltmore Getaway

Kevin and I slipped out on Saturday for a quick, overnight trip to one of our all-time favorite places, Biltmore Estate!  Love.  Love!

This was our first night away since before Davis was born (he's now 20 months old) so it was a looooonnnggg overdue trip!

We really do adore staying at The Inn.  It's pure bliss!

Here's just a peak of The Inn as we meandered up the winding roads on the Estate.  Aaaaaahh!  It was calling my name!

The moment we checked in, we soaked up this view from the veranda just off The Inn's lobby.  

This was our 6th blissful time staying at The Inn.  The accommodations never disappoint, and these beds are like sleeping on a cloud!

My eyes didn't pop open until 9:00am this morning!  That's right, peeps!  9 o'clock!  

I was like Kate Winslet in The Holiday!

We hiked to the top of the esplanade where I told Kevin to strike a pose.  This is his 1998 prom pose.  

Hey, Kevin!  1998 called and wants its pose back!

So this is his "I don't know how to pose" pose...

This is my "Kate Winslet" pose (again, from The Holiday)....

Kate Winslet in The Holiday. Source.

Back at The Inn, we hung out in a couple of adirondak chairs and took in the peace and the view!

We had dinner Saturday night in the Dining Room at The Inn.  

And after diner, we enjoyed a fireworks show which from a sunset wedding back over at the house.

Lobby at The Inn.  

Just before we left the estate today, we took a quick breeze through the first floor of the house and spent some time lounging on the back logia.  Again, pure bliss!

We count ourselves pretty blessed to have one of our favorite places on earth just in our "back door!"  Huge hugs to Nana for staying with the little ones so Kevin and I could get away for a bit.  It was so nice, and Kevin and I both savored each. and. every. minute. of it!