Friday, August 30, 2013

Everything I am for your Kingdom's cause

"Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth until eternity"  -Hosana from Hillsong United

These lyrics consume my heart every time I hear them and I stay singing them inside my head for weeks.  I ask myself what really matters in this journey of life: the perfect job, a big house, renovated kitchen, new car, leisure trips around the world, your kids clothing?  Do any of these things break God's heart?  If God placed me on earth for the specific purpose of glorifying Himself and intends to use me, though He does not need me, to draw others close to Him while gaining a better understanding and deeper love for Him why do we spend so much time chasing after things that don't matter?  God created us all individually with different interest and desires.  What area has He shown you that breaks His heart?  What actions are you taking or are you simply ignoring Him because it is not comfortable or because your life is too busy?

My heart breaks at the injustice and judgement of people by other people.  God created all of us in His image and in individual ways for his glory.  He never fell asleep on his job and woke up surprised at how a person turned out.  He never simply forgot to give a person certain talents and gifts.  Psalm 139: 13-14 says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.   I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  No one is more valuable than anyone else.  It may just be the very thing we judge someone for is the very unique characteristic God gave them specifically to accomplish His will on earth. God shows me this in the work He does in my own family.  We are blessed with four wonderful children.  God uses Logan to bring to bring a fun-filled spirit into our house.  His curiosity about so many things keeps us on our toes, especially his questions and knowledge about God.  His urgent need to tell everyone about salvation through Jesus is humbling to Preston and I.  God also teaches Preston and I a lot about grace, His love for us His children, and acceptance through the way Logan loves ALL people.  Nathan always exudes pure joy.  His smile and the lighting up of his face can turn anyone from sad to happy.  His determination and hard work are an example I try to follow my own life.  Mia accomplished more in her 9 hours of life than more of us do in a lifetime -she united Nations in prayer and brought many people to their knees before the thrown of God who had not been there in a while.  I often think how neat it must be to enter heaven's gates and have God tell you, "well done my good and faithful servant" at such a young earthly age.  The way Owen can hardly catch his breath when he laughs because it is so hilarious to him makes his personality so contagious.  Everything he does is with extreme passion...Georgia Tech and baseball.   He works so hard in school tells me every day that he got to play with Jo (Mary Jo his aid) and Maggie.

One thing God gave our family that is unique from most is two boys with cerebral palsy.  It is an incredible blessing  because we see God use Nathan and Owen in ways He could never use us because we don't have CP. Our mission trip to Lebanon would not have been as meaningful without them and their CP. God is developing Logan's character far beyond his years and his love for all people through his brother's CP.  Logan is also an incredible example to others about loving kids with disabilities through his natural love for his brothers.

So, what breaks my heart is the judgement of people by their appearance and perceived worth to your own personal life.  As I have learned there is much more worth to a person than what is seen on the outside.

The other thing that breaks my heart is exploitation of people through so many purchases we make from sweat shops.  God gave me the privilege to travel to Cambodia a couple years ago and I saw it first hand.  Four girls in a concrete room, one bed with no mattress that only three can fit on so they take turns sleeping on the floor.  A toilet, tiny window and hot plate finish out the room.  The girls make about $67/month working 70/week in a factory with no AC.  The room cost them $20 each/month and an additional $2 for a light.  I with clear conscious cannot say it is okay to support this injustice through my purchases so our family no longer shops at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Land's End, Kohls, or any clothing from Target.  No matter the "sale" we will not spend our money in support.  We shop as much fair trade as possible from clothing to coconut oil.  We want to use the resources God has given us to glorify Him not to hurt His people in order to obtain more earthly possessions.  

I desire every word that comes out of my mouth, every purchase that I make and every action in my life be to be for His kingdom's cause as I walk from earth until eternity.

If you made it to the end I am impressed.  This one was extremely long!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bell Center Tailgate Challenge

We had the awesome opportunity to participate in The Bell Center Tailgate Challenge.  This fun event is a major fundraiser for The Bell Center, a place where the boys received early intervention services.  Preston's company, Hoar Construction was one of the sponsors.  We had a tailgate tent there.  We had great participation from many of Preston's coworkers.
We had tons of yummy food!  I made fried dumplings with BBQ in them.
We also had to a of other yummy food. 
Thanks to all who came out to support The Bell Center!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First day of School

Today Nathan and Owen started preschool.  They loved it!  I knew they would because last year they really enjoyed their time.  They have their same teachers this year.  We just adore Miss Katie, Mrs Patsy and Mrs Mary Jo.  They also have a new teacher Mrs Melanie who were are looking forward to getting to know.
The boys are in the car on the way to school.

 Nathan was not as excited as Owen to go into the building.  Once he got to his class he stopped crying.
Nathan and Owen are now ready to stat learning.
The boys are so excited to have their life long friend Mason in their class.
The boys came out of school all smiles.  Logan also wanted to get in the photos.  He gets out of school before Nathan and Owen.  Logan is so excited to be able to pick them up from carpool every day.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ending a long transition!

Today feels like the end of a four year long transition!  Four years ago we were living in the East.  We felt certain this is where God called us and our plan was to stay until Logan graduated from high school.  God had other plans on the length of our stay when He brought Nathan, Owen and Mia into our lives.  For years we kept hoping we could go back. (The problem is the extensive therapy needed for Nathan and Owen to thrive is just not available.) All our decisions were based on the short term not believing we would be in Birmingham too long.  We moved a few times from Homewood to Vestavia and back to Homewood, knowing none of these were permanent stays.  In the meantime Preston got a contract job  at Hoar Construction which turned into a great full time job.  He loved his job but found his real passion and calling in teaching not corporate life.  After looking at various teaching possibilities God clearly opened the door for Preston to teach at Samford.  We are very excited to begin this next chapter in our lives.  Preston is now an Associate Professor teaching in the Interior Architecture department and is still doing some contract work with Hoar Construction.  In June we purchased another house in Homewood.  This home better accommodates our family and provide all the room the boys need.  Since May 2009 we moved 7 times....the next 4 year we plan to move 0 times.  We are glad this long transition lead us right where God wants they always do.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nathan update

Nathan is doing okay post tonsil surgery. He is still up every night crying in pain.  Thursday morning he started drinking (big answer to prayer since it was three days after surgery).  He is now drinking about 4 cups of milk a day but still not much food.  Hopefully that will come soon.  He has times of being his old self and times where he just does not feel good. It took Owen a full ten days to recover from his surgery and Nathan is only on day 6.  We are anticipating once he has fully recovered in several weeks he will begin eating non-purée food. His tonsils played a big roll in his inability to eat solid foods. The food would lodge between his tonsils and gag him.  We appreciate your prayers for Nathan's continues recovery.

First week of school

Logan had a great first week of school!  He came home every day telling me it was the greatest day and he enjoyed everything.  To top off the great week he had a school wide back to school party at Skates 280 Friday afternoon.  He really enjoyed himself.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nathan's Tonsils are gone!!!

Monday morning bright and early Nathan and I traveled to Children's Hospital for his tonsillectomy!  (Preston took Logan to meet the teacher and set up his desk). We had a record short stay and were out by noon!!!!!  Nathan is doing okay in his recovery.  He does have lots if times where he just cries in pain.  He is not drinking and it only eating a little.  I feed him a few bites at a time, all day long.
Nathan pre-surgery.
Getting ready to go back.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Logan's biggest decision

One week before Logan's 7th birthday he made the personal decision to trust Jesus as his Savior.  He is very excited!  This past Sunday Logan officially joined Dawson as a believer in Christ.  Soon we will schedule his baptism.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

first day of 1st Grade

Today is Logan's first day of 1st grade.  He was so excited he woke up at 5:45 this morning, which is really early for him.  He told me what he is looking forward to most is getting to know his teacher, Miss Thetford, even better.  Westminster is a wonderful school that focuses not only on growing them academically but also spiritually.  We are blessed to be a part of the wonderful community.  Here are some pictures from his first day.

 Miss Thetford is Logan's teacher this year!

 Owen and Nathan were excited for their big brother.  They are going to miss him this week.  They do not start back to school until the end of next week.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

photo highlights

Preston made this incredible Star Destroyer cake for Logan's party.

 These are our pool noodle light sabers.
 Owen and Nathan really enjoyed the party.

 Logan and Oma light saber fighting.
 Logan and Walter light saber fighting.
 Me and PaPa light saber flighting.

 Preston and Brian (Preston's brother) light saber fighting

 Preston and I light saber fighting.
 Logan and Evan light saber fighting.
 Eating pizza
 Logan blowing out his candle.

 Darth Vador
 After Logan's birthday party we got in the car for a surprise trip!!  He had no idea we were going anywhere.  This is the picture of the backseat when they realized it was Disney.  (they learned that from the big Disney sign as we drove in to the park)