Friday, June 10, 2011

Hello Stranger

I have an excuse.

It's this.



In the beginning of the year I won this travel journal on my friend Nancy's blog. At that time Curtis and I had just taken the church planting plunge and things were crazy to say the least. Some days I would feel strong and faith-filled and other days I would feel weak and unbelieving. God was doing incredible things before our very eyes, but sometimes I would still doubt and say, "Are we crazy?" So I decided to keep a journal for this journey so that when I was having those days, I could flip through it and read about God's faithfulness. I can't believe how many pages I've already gone through. It's wild to think about how far we've come since I began writing in it.

All that to say, the part of me that loves blogging is getting fulfillment from this journal and that's why it's been quiet around here.

This is where I've been writing in it most mornings. I've always scoffed at the concept of an outdoor rug. But I saw how it transformed my friend Tammie's patio and I went right to Home Depot and got one. It was super cheap compared to what else is out there. It's not amazing or anything but it has made my back patio feel like another room. I was so inspired that I bought some flowers to go on the table, too. I love it!





Summer officially started the week of my last post and I've been a little occupied by a certain five-year-old and two-year-old. We are having a great time though. We've been hanging out with friends, swimming, having picnics under the tree in the front yard, and we even went to the zoo one day. My kids thrive when they have a lot to do (even if Mommy doesn't), so we are doing a day camp twice a week, gymnastics, and Jackson is in a reading class.

My sister-in-law gave birth to our first little niece two weeks ago. Her name is Ava Hope Wallace.


We are in love.

Last week we flew up to Springfield to meet her. She is the sweetest thing. Lindsay is amazing. No hormone crazies, no zombie-like exhaustion, no fretful mothering. She is a rock. I'm glad I'm done having babies because I would hate for Curt to think that is normal.

The kids had an amazing time playing with their cousins and grandparents. We hated to come home. Especially since it's already been above 100 degrees here. What on earth? My favorite memories of the trip will be rocking Ava, catching fireflies in the front yard with Jackson, our late night coffee date with Kay and Jerrell, Annabeth playing on a float in the pool with Cael, visiting Silver Dollar City, seeing Grandpa Dixon hold Ava, and eating the amazing pancake my mother-in-law made me.



Pappaw was Jackson's early morning cartoon watching partner. He's having a little snooze here.


Annabeth loved the baby but she did not want to hold her. In a couple of years they will be best of friends. I can't wait.




34 comments:

Gena said...

So much summer happening already! Thanks for checking in. Glad I'm not the only one who can't seem to maintain a journal and a blog at the same time. :)

Sunni said...

We are entering a new season of life and you have totally inspired me to start journaling again.

I'm so glad you had a great trip. Ava is precious!

Patty said...

Ava is beautiful!
I have to tell you a story about the flower/plant you bought for your table. When I was going thru a hard season, I was out one day w/ my sister and we were buying plants for her yard. The owner came over to me and told me that I could pick out any hanging flower basket that I wanted and he would give it to me. I know God directed him to do this. Anyway, I picked out the one like you bought and when I got home to hang it up, I noticed the tag in the basket and the name of that hanging flower basket was...sweet victory. :-)

I have been praying for BCF, God is faithful!

Amanda said...

Patty, that's so cool! I receive it!

Marc and Charity said...

Hahaha, that hormone sentence cracked me up! Yes, we would hate for our men to think that's normal. :) I love your rug, too!

Marla Taviano said...

1. My journals are my most prized possessions. My records of God's faithfulness. My Deuteronomy.

2. LOVE the rug idea.

3. Would love to share a pepperoni pizza at the zoo with you someday. :)

Mari Bryant- Marks said...

Fabulous rug choice! Love your blog, and glad you're back :)

Ashley McWhorter said...

1)Love the rug and the flowers!
2)Love your shirt!
3)Where is Jackson taking a reading class? You think it is something I should do with Maggie who is also headed to kindergarten in the Fall?

Dedra@dfw said...

Amanda
you will not believe this... my neice lives in Cypres, but is about to move in the near future closer to Spring. After a terrible marriage, and divorce she has met a wonderful man to spend the rest of her life with.
They went to church together on Easter and he was so moved by the Holy Sprit that he cried the entire time...(was not raised in church). He kept saying.. "What is this feeling?" My neice said it was amazing seeing him emotional about God. She explained a lot that day!
All that to say this... they need a church to go to. The church they attended at Easter was bigger than what they wanted. When I got to work and saw your mom's blog about starting a new church, I could not believe it. Especially the location. You are practically neighbors.I Hope God calls them to Bayou City Fellowship. I know they will be fed some good teaching there. I did tell her about it and she will be watching for it. Are you meeting openly yet? please let me know
Dedra@DFW

Kristib said...

Gotta love summer! How is the church plant going? And how do you have time to journal, blog, take care of two little precious ones, a husband, etc?

Sent you and your husband some information about our ministry. I sent yours to your lproof email and to your husbands lproof email. Fellow church planters need to stick together.

Praying for you!

In Christ

Kristi B.

Priscilla said...

Hey Amanda, I've posted once before. And even though I'm a 26 yr old who's unattached and has no idea what being a mommy is like.....I love having my 15 month old niece over alot and I have a ton of fun with her, so for now I am an Aunt....I still keep up with your blogs. They're fun to read, and I was wondering about you. I read about your new venture from your mom's blog and I have been praying for you and your family. I figured you were busy with life.....I'm so bad at keeping up with my blog, I wish I could do one a week, that'd be awesome. :0) Anyway, glad to see you're having fun with your family and I do love your patio table, rug and especially the flowers. :0)
~Priscilla

mamajillian said...

You have been busy! I love going back and reading old journal entries, there is something special about handwritten journals. Ava is precious! I love reading your posts, I always feel inspired afterwards!

Missy said...

Happy summer!!! Loving your new patio!

Lindsay said...

Love this picture of Cael and Annabeth!!!

Alison said...

So sweet! Your niece is adorable! Our first niece was born in Sept. and we adore her! I love being an aunt! :)

Kirsten said...

Yay for summertime! Glad I am not the only one who cannot maintain a journal and blog at the same time, too! :)

amybhill said...

love it! now i am getting an outdoor rug! :) also, i am inspired by your busy schedule with the kids- so far, two kids is kicking my butt (i'm four months in with the second and the oldest is about to turn three). curious- how did you decide to stop at two? i always thought i wanted three but i've been talking/praying about this lately. might want to stop at two also. love my girls TO THE MOON but raising kids is HARD WORK- isn't it? also wanted you to know i am praying about the new church. God is faithful! love ya! -amy

Good Stewarts said...

Sounds like a wonderful Missouri get away. Silver Dollar City is right next to Disney World in my list of favorites!!

Dionna said...

I love journals and notebooks. And that's a very pretty one! hmm..you've inspired me to find one and write about a journey my husband and I are on to seek God's direction in ministry.

Also, guess where our family is headed on Friday? Guatemala! I'm both excited and nervous at the same time. :)

Shellie Paparazzo said...

No, Amanda! That is not normal! Josh doesn't dare bring up any serious issues until ours were at least 3 months old, and even then only very carefully!!! And even now, sometimes I'm the cranky zombie lady, and my youngest is 8!!! (Sorry, that's not exactly is encouraging is it!)

The Martins said...

Hi Amanda, I've been reading your blog for a while even though you don't know me. I had a question though...a while back you shared about two books that really changed you I think last year. One was Radical but I couldn't remember the other one. I remember when I read that post that I needed to read that book, and I'm just now getting to it! ha! Could you let me know what it is? Thanks!

Katie

Erin said...

I love that picture of them on the floatie. I tried to put Eli on it today and he was scared to death. Silly boy. :)

Erin said...

Oh, and you're totally right. Lindsay is Super Woman. There's no way I will ever be so pulled together after a baby.

Erica said...

Girl, I was just thinking about all the journals I used to keep...and how, I haven't physically written in one of my own for a really long time. I miss it!
It's also neat because the year the Lord would bring us back to TX, I started writing in a journal that had an airplane on the front flying "east". So neat to go back read that journey!

JayCee said...

So it was you who brought the hot weather to Missouri! ;)

Tenille Rauls said...

God is telling me I have to cut the chase and just get to the point SO I will....I had to just get off my treadmill and come and write this comment. I love to run to Lecrae get my christian rap on :) Well....I am listening to Beautiful Feet and was overcome to pray for your church plant and to tell you about it!
So, I spit it out and I will now tell you I HAVE been blessed SO many times from you being faithful and sharing your heart here for all us struggling with similar things and living out the life we SO want to live for HIM~ KEEP ON KEEPING ON and know you and yours have been added to my prayer list~ Love from a sister in HIM, Tenille Rauls

Rebecca said...

Silver Dollar City is still open??? I can not believe it - we went there when i was young and man, the stories we could share - fun times!!!

so glad to have you back and so glad for the new adventure with the Lord!

Missy said...

I believe your handwritten, private and personal journal will be a treasure to your children one day. Seriously an intimate gift!

I have journaled since I was 15 years old and am so grateful for the chronicle of my journey in life. I love blogging, but if I had to choose, I would journal!

Fran said...

Amanda..I think of you and Curtis and everyone with BCF so very often and simply ask God to provide. Whatever you need...Lord provide.

You are so loved around here. Happy summer!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Amanda, it seems like a good summer for you already:) Journaling your thoughts during this time I can imagine would be so encouraging down the road...I was praying for you all today, that you all would persevere in the easy and hard times that will inevitably come with a church Body of believers and being a pastor's wife. I was praying that your church location would live out what the Church should look like in scripture in all respects of what a church should be with evangelism, prayer, worship, ministry, church discipline even, serving the community, and making and sending out disciples into all the world to make even more disciples:) Love ya'll. I'll be praying for you.

Chrissy said...

Just wanted to let you know that we have chosen you as one of the Featured M2M Blogs on The Preacher's Wife for June 17-30! Look forward to reading more about your church planting journey!

The Jacksons said...

Beautiful kids! I love the idea of a journal, but can never seem to get one off the ground. Right now I am using my blog as a my journal. Mine seems consumed with stories about my kids as well, but they are my life so I guess that makes sense!

Angel Haynes said...

I'm so happy I found your blog! I read about your adventure in church planting, so I've been praying for you and your family. My husband and I along with 10 friends planted a church 7 years ago. It's been a wild ride for sure... wouldn't change a thing! I'll keep praying for you guys. I can't wait to read the stories of God's faithfulness!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Wait - I don't see a sweat towel on that table with which to mop up your face. Good night it's hot.