Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Getting back in the game...

1. My dad returned home from Sudan yesterday...thank you so much for all of your prayers...They have great stories of doors opening and doors closing. Most of all they have stories of people receiving help, receiving care, receiving prayer... Today he and my mom celebrate their 38th anniversary. We love them so much and celebrate daily the joy of their continues to bless their children and grand-children. ( I love Andy in the background of this picture trying to make Benj laugh.)

2. People continue to ask what it is like to have my sister and her family home. It is all kinds of wonderful. Last weekend I was able to pick up my nephew Jonathan and take him to a birthday party, it was such a great feeling to be able to do that. I love talking to Kelly and knowing we are not going to get cut off. My sister left for Benin before I had even met Tony. So much has changed since we last lived our lives in the same area...So many great times ahead...I am loving every minute of it! She can leave a comment to say how she is too. (just a little test to see if the Vaughns are still reading.)

3. I mentioned in a previous post that Benjamin talks himself to sleep. Payton goes to sleep immediately...sometimes Benjamin needs to feel like someone is listening even if they are sound asleep...he just needs to know someone is there. In other words sometime we look in Payton's bed and see this. Oh how we love these boys.

4. I talked to Benjamin the other day about how now that he is three we should start working on not sucking his thumb, He looked back at me and said with the sweetest grin, "I gonna suck my thumb till I an old man." OK...I will save that argument for another day.

5. Payton has moved up to 200 piece puzzles...He loves them...If I ever mention someone is coming over he runs to complete 3 or 4 of them so "they will have something to look at when they come in." I love it...It gives him something to do for about 5 minutes.:)

6. Parenting is the most wonderful, yet exhausting thing Tony and I have ever been apart of. We have never wanted anything like we want to have kids that grow to reflect the Lord and His heart for His people. (even as I type that I realize that sometimes it feels like we would do good to just keep them from screaming and falling prostrate in public places.)Some days (most days) I wonder what we are doing...and I recognize on a deeper level my absolute desperation for the Lord. May His grace continue to abound. Today I called my mom and said, "thanks again for raising us...and I am sorry" (and proceeded to list of many times I know I made their job more difficult.) Yep, it was that kind of day.

7.We eat at the Cracker Barrel every week...Sometimes we take pictures...We are nerds...Nerds that love hot biscuits.

8. A couple of weeks ago my sister and I got to spend sometime with our cousin Julie and her husband Steve. It is a great gift to be related to J and S an even greater gift to know their hearts for each other and the Lord. We love you guys so much. (just a little test to see if Julie is still reading.:)) Plus I had to show a picture of Julie (who is beautiful and by the way does not age) and of Kelly (who looks so beautiful in this picture) and of me (because what is that lump on my head?)
9. My two tigers...

10. I am speaking next month on the need for transparency in the Body of Christ. I was deeply convicted last year when 2 friends had their marriages fall apart and did not feel like they could tell anyone before it was too late (one has reconciled the other has not)...One said, "It just felt like everyone else's life was so perfect, we did not want people to know we were struggling." In the same week another friend confessed some issues she had been struggling with for years...and had not talked about...She too said, "it felt like no one else wanted to hear my problems." Over and over again in the same week I was faced with different people, different problems, same issue.... they did not feel like church was a place they could share their "not perfectness".
The Lord brought a deep conviction to my heart of wanting this to be different...and it has not left...but I have to confess my conviction these days looks more like a wrestling match as I have realized the difference begins with me being different. I am struggling at the core of me with the nakedness of vulnerability. I am steeped in sin. There is a deep ache in me that I try to fill with a multitude of things besides the Lord. I want to crawl in a hole. I want to put on a great act...and be good at pretending. Its easier (thats a lie) It feels better (another lie) People like me better (another lie) The fact is the human race started hiding from God and others in the Garden of Eden and many have not stopped. I don't have an answer to this. Jesus did at the cross. I am wrestling with it daily...wanting it to take root, while at the same time wanting to wallow deep in complacency. Like I said, its a wrestling match.


Jill said...

I love reading updates on your boys...they make me look forward to being a parent. Every time I read your blog, I wish that I lived closer and could spend more time with you because you always encourage me in some way. I want to be like that. I would love to hear you speak on the transparency of the Body of Christ. I too have known several marriages that have fallen apart and no one knew until it was too late. I know that I hide from others too and long to feel that I can just be myself sometimes. Ok...enough rambling in your comments section! Thanks for the encouragement!

sj said... made your mom proud once again! Love you, love Tony, love those boys to bits...needless to say I sure do love your dad!!!!

I even loved your one liner on my reminder to check the new material!

You are a complete joy!

daughteroftheking said...

I love to read your updates. I laugh every time I read. Your boys are so precious they crack me up! So glad to hear your dad is home. When are you speaking? (you can e-mail me) I would love to hear it.
Be Blessed
love you girl

Kristen said...

I found your blog through someone else's. I enjoyed reading all the things from your heart. (I also love Cracker Barrell by the way) Take care!
Kristen Demaree

Lisa said...

I just found your blog again and caught up! SO THANKFUL to the many prayers that have been answered over time for your family! Your boys are just precious, how blessed you are!

I love reading how The Lord is working in you and in your heart- by your writing these things for the world to read, He is working through you even further. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish I could ever hear you speak.

mindy tyndall said...

So glad you posted again...I've missed reading your amazing words and insights. SO HAPPY your dad made it home. Prayers answered! And sounds like so many good things happened while they were there! Your boys make me happy...sleeping or awake, sitting or posing (Peyton's very good at this!). I love what Benjamin said about sucking his thumb...who could say no to that!
Love you!

Lana said...

I love this post. I am so glad your dad is home. God is good! Your boys are so funny. I love reading about them Your last number really touched my heart and gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for always challenging my thoughts and beliefs and leading me to search the word : )

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

I am still reading!! I love being in the same town with you and love being able to talk to you on the phone multiple times a day. i love for my kids to ask to play with your kids and i can say, "Ok let me call and see what they are doing, maybe we can meet up!" I have missed you so much! I love being with you and then coming home and checking your blog! I love my sister Becky!


Julie said...

I'm still reading too! Thanks for posting the picture. It was so much fun being with you and Kelly. Steve and I had a great time. We need to get our families together real soon! You're so kind to me. Thank you for your kind words. I love reading your blog. I'm always encouraged by something you have to say. You should write a book someday. It would be a best seller I'm sure and no doubt it would bring glory and honor to the Lord. Something to think about... I'm thrilled to see the picture of Uncle Morton. I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear of the Lord's goodness in this last adventure. Give him our love.
I love you!!!!

Kendra said...

This was a great one, and I really want to know when and where you are speaking. Can I come? Please? Sure do love you and your family, and am so glad that I'm "connected" through family to you forever!! he!

K & A said...

I'm so thankful your dad made it home safely. I've been checking your blog and continuing to pray about him. The situation in Africa is one that makes my heart ache.

You are such a spiritual giant and an inspiration to many. I wish I could hear your speach you're doing. Love you!
(your boys are precious)

Summer said...

So thankful your dad made it home safely, loved hearing updates on the boys and your sister, and I am desperately wishing I could come hear you speak. We have been talking alot about being transparent among our small group and again in Bible Class at church. I would like to get your insights on this. Do you have notes you could e-mail me sometime. We are starting up our own version of Joy for the Journey on Thursday nights, and I would love to share this idea with the other women.