I am thankful:
~ for an exceptionally well-done chapel performance from Kora and her 3rd grade class, American History Hall of Fame. Each student dressed up as a historical figure and recited a brief speech about their accomplishments, researched by reading their biography. It never ceases to amaze me what talent lies inside our young children – GCS sets a high bar, and the kids invariably RISE TO THE OCCASION! What a great foundation for their future, not only to learn about the men and women who have made this country great, but to be able to stand in front of several hundred people and speak clearly a speech they have written themselves (perhaps with a little help)! AMAZING! Our Kora Jean was Katharine Graham. When she came home with this selection, I’ll admit, I’d never heard of this woman in my life. But thankfully, Kora researched about her, and taught me that in the 60s and 70s Katharine Graham was one of the first female publishers of a major newspaper, the Washington Post. She did such a great job!
~ for tiny cowboy boots. Seriously, is there ANYTHING cuter than tiny cowboy boots? (Tatum calls them her “cow boots,” and demands them “on!” almost every day.
~ for 2 softball and 1 baseball game in the books. The kids and I have had so much fun loading up with our chairs and our dinner and the dog for a good evening of ballgames.
~ for how sensitive children are to the Spirit. It blesses me so much to hear them behind me in the car singing sweetly, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand…” And then one day this week, I was praying aloud as I was driving, and Tatum piped up, in her trademark. abrupt. sentence. structure, “Mama. Talk. God?”
~ for a fun photo shoot with Carson Grace for a few senior pics.
~ for the next fun step of preparation for next month’s Children’s Cancer Fund Gala: choosing an outfit! Dillard’s is the official wardrobe sponsor of the event, and so there was a mass try-on event in Dallas this weekend. But the wonderful and kind CCF folks wanted to save us a trip, so they arranged for a private try-on session for Sawyer right here at the Dillard’s in Tyler! We had an appointment, 2 personal consultants, and the freedom to choose whatever Sawyer wanted! It was so fun. Now, Mama had to give a little constructive guidance/editing…all my boys have been very drawn to ACCESSORIES, and Sawyer is no different. He picked out a super preppy outfit, some SLAMMIN’ high top sneakers, a fedora, bow tie, AND “SPLENDERS!” It took some convincing to get him to let some accessories go, but we finally worked it out. So looking forward to the Gala and Fashion Show!
~that Gavin didn’t cut his finger OFF when he slammed it in our front door.
~ for the wonderful news that little Georgia got to go home from the hospital this week! There’s still a long road ahead, but today we REJOICE!
~ for a much-needed dinner date with my Love. Life is busy and everything needs our attention…and we come last. It’s just the way it is. But even though we know we are in this season of putting everything else ahead of us…we know our marriage still has to be a priority. We have to make a way. Steal a moment. Hold hands in the car. Sit down for afternoon coffee. So we slipped away for a quick, DELICIOUS meal at a new place for us – The Shell Shack. The seafood was as fresh as if I was sitting at a table on the Coast. Soooooo good! But I don’t care if it’s decadent seafood or a gas station burger, if I’m with my Baby, I’m exactly where I want to be.
So I’m working on this project. This crazy, why-would-you-ever project. We have these awesome rugged exposed beams in our great room. They were one of our favorite features that drew us to this house. But as we’ve settled in and made this home, I kept looking at these beams. They are coated in a heavy brown paint, and I just wondered what they would look like stripped down. So one day, I scraped off one tiny corner. Oh man, the wood was so beautiful! And I knew that lightening the dark beams would transform our entire house. But there’s just no easy way to go about stripping these beams. But I decided to go for it. So I tried natural stripper, chemical stripper, bleach, and broke an orbital sander…finally landing on an electric planer for the (very few) flat surfaces and a 2” blade for hand-scraping the rest. It is messy. And sloooow. (I’ve worked all week and gotten 2 done. I have 7 more to go.)
And it’s so, so hard, absolutely back-breaking. And Tatum K doesn’t like it. (“No. Mama. Loud.”) But the result is absolutely beautiful and exactly what I wanted. And there’s no turning back now. (I mean I guess I could repaint the brown.) It’s a labor of love. Everyone thinks I’m crazy. No one else would touch this project. BUT I HONESTLY DON’T CARE! I’m not giving up! I don’t care how long it takes. I see untapped beauty that’s worth the effort. Jesus saw that in me. He didn’t give up.
~ Never ever give up. The hard is worth it. Your marriage? Don’t give up. Wrestling with addiction? With anger? Don’t give up. Are you the parent of a prodigal? Don’t give up. The work is worth it. God is always working. He works in front of us, He uses us, He shows us His glory. But He also works in secret. He never sleeps or takes a break. He doesn’t tire or grow weary like we do. Under all the layers of dark, there’s BEAUTY. And that’s what He’s after. Yes, we need to cease STRIVING. We need to stop trying to FORCE things to happen in our own strength. But there’s a difference. Cease striving but KEEP BELIEVING.
Just you wait and see these beautiful beams when I’m done with them.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5