Monday, December 30, 2013

Of Christmas Cheer (and love and germs)

We've had an extremely eventful, but not always fun, Christmas holiday.  What a doozie!  I'm reminded, however, that I have friends who are really struggling this season.  For instance, I know of three very recent young widows this Christmas who have suffered loss so great that I can't even imagine.  The girlfriend of my sister-in-law's brother passed away as well.  I think that if anything, the frailty of life and the fact that we do not know how long our days with one another are has been reason enough to hug a little tighter… even… if it meant… we were spreading GERMS.  We had one of those illnesses that keeps extra family away!  What might have ordinarily meant several family members coming to our house on Christmas eve, turned into only one brave soul coming over who loves us like family anyway!  I can't say I blamed people for not coming over either!  We appreciated our friend Scott so much because he helped Whitley move stuff around in our house on the 22nd & 23rd and was not deterred even by the stomach virus that cycled through 4 of us!   Whitley and Scott moved our futon that was in our laundry room down into the basement, chunked into the dumpster the heavy, bulky TV that was also in that laundry room, and then they moved Isaac's stuff into that space.  What?  YOU don't share a bedroom with a washer and dryer??  Well, you are not as cool as Isaac!  And hey, when you are 12 and getting all grown up, having your own retreat is kinda nice!

On Christmas Eve, Whitley & Scott moved the brand new TV downstairs (but kept it a surprise), and I did lots of wrapping down there too, since it seemed like we might actually get to unwrap presents the next day afterall.  We were constantly not sure if the illness was over, or just beginning.  I mean 4 of us  getting sick is still only half of us!

I'm not really sure how to handle the basement pictures in this blogpost, since that is where we had Christmas.  I think Whit probably wants me to share about all of the improvements and the significance of certain things, and about future plans.  So much has been accomplished down there, but I think I will reserve all of that info for a future post (sorry if you live far away and that is disappointing).

Whitley said, "Shelly, go be Vanna!"

We came upstairs after doing all of our work to find David in our room sleeping like this:


On Christmas Day, my parents came over.  They get a star for bravery!!  But, in fact, no one else got that stomach virus so we were really glad we got to at least do part of our gift opening on that day.

Started out the day with Whit's Cowboy Christmas Breakfast!

The older three got their own sparring pads from us, Nana & Papa, and Oma and Opa…
Group effort, but they are doing so well in there they deserve to have their own!

Look at the monkey behind the princess!

How quickly this sweeeeet face, turned into

this one: 

The day after Christmas, Timothy started getting sick with an upper-respiratory infection which we eventually found out was RSV.  -Just days after he was the one who started the stomach virus plague.  Good grief!  I initially took him to see the doctor thinking that his ears might be hurting.  They certainly were!  He cried a lot for several days but really started turning the corner yesterday. He is still wheezing, but no fever or pain.  Luke is really sick with it now.  I took these two pictures (above) earlier today, because for two whole days this is all Luke wants to do… sit with Daddy.  He does not want me, but I do not say that in a grumbling tone because I think it is sweet and I've had my arms busy with Timothy.  It's so funny when Luke starts kicking and screaming when he sees me coming near him.  I'll say, "Do you want Daddy?"  He will then sweetly say, "Uh--huh!" I don't think Whit planned on spending his 10 days off helping me nurse sick kids, but I am so thankful for his help!!  In that, I find lots of grace in this timing.  

I'm adding this picture that I took as I was writing this post.  I got up to go in the boys' room because Luke sounded awful and saw this sweet scene.  No wonder we keep sharing germs.  I mean I can't seem to keep the kids from loving each other so much!!  This sweet boy loving on his sickly brother made me cry!!

'Tis the season for sharing, right?
Love from our family to you and yours,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Cup

In this writing I referred to these scriptures that I would love for you to enjoy along with me:
Proverbs 8:32-35; Psalm 23:5-6; Psalm 59:16-17; I Corinthians 12:9-10

My Cup

The answer.
I'm never enough on my own.
His cup is the answer of how and why my life is possible.
The answer to the person who says to me, "I don't know how you do it."

My Cup

The reason.
Because His cup is full of grace that flows down to mine.
It is simply because of who He is and not because of what comes from me.
Never because I am patient, strong, loving, or super-mom enough on my own.

My Cup

Full of life.
Full of obtained favor from the Lord.
For the one who finds You finds life and finds that favor.
My cup is filled by the blessings of listening, watching and waiting for you.

My Cup

It overflows.  
Pouring over with goodness and mercy.
Full of this gift all of my life that urges me to dwell in Your house.
I will sing songs of Your power and Your mercy early in the morning. 

And when I find myself 
at the corner of brokenness and grace, 
that is when I am at the heart of where you can use me.  
It is when I need to tap into your grace and power the most.  
It is when your power is made completely perfect in my weakness. 
Sometimes nothing that I do seems to work out right and I just feel defeated.
And I need to spend time at Your feet because my cup is just simply too full of me…
You faithfully remind me that I am, in fact, "in over my head." -That I cannot do it  -alone-

You are the only One who can replace emptiness with Your overflowing grace.
You are the Answer. You are the Reason. You are the Life. My cup overflows.
May I honor You by pouring out Your great grace on my little ones today,
and may I honor You by finding the Wisdom in coming back for more
Thank You for filling my cup again, Lord.