Monday, April 17, 2017

A Little Different Easter This Year

      This picture, my friend, is NOT what Easter is about.  My heart was convicted after reading a blog post by the famous author Jen Hatmaker.  Her church was gearing up for their 10th Under the Bridge Easter for the homeless of Austin.  My sister shared Jen's post with these words on top, "I so much  this. This is what church should be. Can't we just do this instead of buying Easter dresses? Are Easter dresses even still a thing for people?" 
     Why yes, Easter dresses are still a thing for people (especially in the south) but not this year for us.  I made a choice right then & there to not go out or even internet search for hours,spending hundreds.  After all, we have more clothes & shoes than we need, more than we ever will wear.  Thankfully, we had company that flew in & hosted Taxidermy classes in our shop the entire week before Easter.  It not only added extra on to my plate & kept me busy cleaning up after, washing extra clothes, & feeding the small army of guys but also my thoughts in check from second guessing the decision (I guess you can call it mom guilt & some crazy inborn nature to fit in to society that tries to rear it's ugly head from time to time.).  The moment they left out on that Saturday, the very day before Easter, I shared my heart about it with Nathan.  Of course he hadn't worried a bit about having clothes for Easter & jumped right on board with not running to town in a panic to buy last minute.  To be honest, I think I told him for accountability for myself, to insure that I wouldn't cave under pressure.  That was the right choice for my family this year.  Afternoon approached.  We braved the local Dollar Tree for candy for our crew & the church kids & ended up only spending $9 on a few cheap prizes to set in front of their baskets.
     As anyone can see, we most certainly did not do without.  If you look closely, you can spot a tag or several hanging from the clothes.  What we discovered was that we had more than enough springy clothes & shoes to choose from, some that had been hanging & never worn.  We all had nice clothes on even though every item wasn't new.  The kids woke up excited as usual.  As I type, I have sticky men dangling from the ceiling overhead.  No one did without.  The kids never missed a beat nor even noticed.  We are beyond blessed already.  No need in wasting more.  Maybe after my last 2 posts, less is more may be motto this year.  There is really no need in promoting ourselves.  The thought comes to mind, "After reading this, people will think y'all are broke."  Think that if you want.  It's a heart thing, not a wallet issue.  
     Our 7 all got ready for Easter Sunday morning service.  We didn't stress too much about hair dos this year either.  That's no small feat for me.  We left an hour early to pick up the our "bus" kids as usual.  That ministry is our heart.  I threw a few extra clothes in the back of our van in case that one in particular wouldn't have anything to wear again.  I was shocked & surprised at how dolled up they were.  There's just something about Easter that everyone knows is special.  New faces were present.  Happiness abounded in the air.  We sang His praises.  The kids choir livened things up with "Jesus is Alive & Well!"  The Lord passed by & anointed Nathan to preach a tremendous message highlighting Peter's part in the story of Jesus' resurrection.  Jesus' life insisted that mercy triumphs over criticism & judgement.  He chose to love & live among the outcast & call them the beloved children of God.  Jesus stood in the gap for us.  He accepted the crucifixion, but it did not defeat Him.  Nothing can keep you from that kind of love outstretched.  Death of this world could not conquer my Savior.  He LIVES & came to see about even Mr Peter who cursed & denied him thrice.  There are no conditions on His love for ALL humanity.  Our service was truly a resurrection service, one I won't soon forget!
The Kiddos at Papa & Meme's House Easter Afternoon
          Easter afternoon was filled with family fun.  No big to do dinner this year.  We all met up about 3.  EE did work her magic for us a mouth watering Easter cake.  We made a humongous mess dying, coloring, hiding, & hunting eggs.  The kids opened gifts, ran, played, & ate way too much junk.  Nothing lacked.  Again, less really is more!
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Photos compliments of EE's Cakery Facebook page!  
Go look & LIKE her page!
You will NOT be disappointed!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Marched Off

     March is birthday month here.  The 6th is the day we celebrate Marianna Jewel & the 26th is Clay Walker's day.  This year we seemed to march off the grid the whole month for lots of fun!
     For starters, Marianna wished for a horse ride on the beach.  She had no idea that we'd deliver.  We told her the beach was a go for celebrating her 11 years but the horses were a stretch.  We woke them early to adventure to Fernandina Beach, FL.  We ate great, played hard, posed for pictures, & just as she thought we were leaving, she found out the horse trailer unloading across the parking lot was just for her.  Her wishes were granted!  The excitement in her eyes were worth it all!  We left the island with tummies full of seafood, thankful hearts, & new memories.
     The next week, my mama whisked us girls away to North Carolina.  To say we had fun would definitely be an understatement!  Even with fine dining & lots of shopping underway, both pale in comparison to touring the Biltmore Estate!  It was absolutely amazing.  I couldn't imagine a castle being any larger.  No words could describe it justly!  If you've never been, GO!  It's the largest estate in North American & 85% is open to view.  Best of all, you experience the romantic love story of how the family reached out to others with heart's of gold.  To add to the beauty, the snow was pouring down like soft rain & stretched as far as you could see were carpets of spring tulips.  Just remembering makes me want to pack & trek right back!
     After we settled back home, our church held revival with some of our great friends.  It's so encouraging to see others that we don't see very often & experience how time & space never damper true friendship.  God has richly blessed us with many of those in ministry.  I cherish the time spent in the company of others as they share with us their hearts.
     Even though Clay may have thought his time would never arrive, it surely did!  His wish for a 6th birthday family camping trip had been planned out for months down to even the smallest detail.  While we had our say in ordering the tent, he picked out most everything else right down to the meals.  To be completely honest, I may have tried to talk him into "camping" at the cabin only to have had a BLAST.  Going to bed with the fire crackling, crickets singing, & owls hooting & waking up to the sun rising over Walker Campsite on the banks of the river felt like the closest thing to Heaven.  We swam🌊, built campfires for us & the army men🔥, fished trot lines🐟, hunted turkeys🦃, grilled steak & shrimp🍤, roasted marshmallows🍙, kayaked⛵, sang way too loud🎶, blew out candles🕯, ate EE'S delicious cake🎂, opened presents🎁, partied nonstop🎉, & played way too hard!  The slow pace was exactly perfect.  We left with memories that will never be forgotten.  The 100 quart cooler of dressed fished was only the icing on the cake.  We can't wait to go again!
     Between all of these adventures, we squeezed in a museum field trip with our local homeschool group as well as a few other hunting & fishing trips.  Spring here has sprung!  The beautiful weather has it's pull on us to get outdoors.  Marching off the grid was nothing short of perfect!  I'm sure I missed the lastest memes & what someone else whom I barely ever see was up to, but that doesn't even compare.  Try it sometime!  Less really is more.  💗

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     Reflection= PRICELESS!