Friday, June 25, 2010

What love isn't...

Love isn't a $3.99 greeting card. It isn't a bouquet of flowers or sparkly jewelry. Love isn't going out to an expensive restaurant. Love isn't even a beautiful white gown and a big huge celebration with all your family and friends.

Love is still being happy to see each other at the end of a long day. Love is a sweet kiss on the forehead. Knowing what the other person is going to say, before they even say it. Love is being able to laugh with each other when you are sleeping on a mattress in the living room with three children who are taking turns waking up every half hour to vomit. Love is supporting each other's tough decisions. Love is encouraging each other to grow in faith. Love is biting your tongue instead of grumbling about things that don't really matter. Love is 10 years of marriage and knowing you would do it all over again. Every bit of it.

Yesterday, my dear husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Well, really, since we were high school sweethearts, we actually celebrated 21 years of being together (which in today's culture is like a little piece of fairy tale in the making.) A story like ours doesn't happen very often and I don't have the time to tell it all now but we've got a lot of great memories together. I can't imagine being married to anyone else.
Yesterday was a pretty typical day. We did order some Chinese for supper though, which is kinda a special treat for the 7 Shoes...Yum! Anyway, I'm sure we'd get quite a few really sad reactions to the fact that we didn't even really exchange cards or have at least some attempt at a romantic dinner together. The world has tricked us all into thinking that love is a thing that you can buy or gift or exchange on significant occasions, but true love is simply being content enjoying life together.

We don't have to buy or give each other anything to show our love...

-he works hard to provide for our family and often times helps me "catch up" on his days off.

-I don't mind if he goes for a run, even if I haven't had any "free time" in days.

-he doesn't complain when he walks in the door after a long day of work and trips over toys on the floor and can't find something he needs because our kitchen counter resembles a picture out of an "I Spy" seek and find book.

-I don't complain when there is a major home improvement project that he started over a year ago and has not yet finished.

-he tries really hard to teach the children to respect me and be grateful for my "homemaking".

-I've done my best to teach the children that one of the best things in the world is the time when Daddy gets home from work.

-he still finds me attractive after my body has been forever changed by 5 pregnancies and the fact that I'm often found wearing my unshowered hair in a "mom ponytail" and sporting a t-shirt from the 1990's.

- I don't make "Honey do" lists or grumble about picking up his dirty socks off the floor.

That, my dear friends, is the kind of love I'm talkin' about. Like I said in my original post, we try to keep it simple. Truly, no amount of money or vacations or stuff could ever replace the love my husband and I have for each other. It's the best kind of love: faithfulness, devotion, encouragement, stability, laughter, tears, five beautiful children... What a blessing. How could we ask for anything more?

Don't worry...we are planning a much needed mini get-away in the near future. But it's hard to find a time to sneak away, when you have 5 little ones, there's always something going on.

Like a first-born daughter turning 7 in about a week...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To everything there is a season...

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says, " There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."

Well, it's officially over...not just the graduation festivities, but my sister's childhood. Unfortunately, as probably often happens with a sibling who is 18 years younger, I missed a huge part of it. Her firsts of everything took place as I, myself, was experiencing what my sister just finished enjoying...the last Homecoming, last exam, last times with high school friends. Being away at college got in the way of my opportunities to go to soccer & basketball games, school concerts/programs, and getting to know the little friends she was making. I vividly remember the tears streaming down my face as my heart broke, leaving her standing in the driveway waving, as I made yet another trip back to college. But as they say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." The time that I did get to spend with her was even sweeter and more cherished because I was away so much.

And now after a weekend of celebrating her grand accomplishments, I've had a chance to ponder how proud I am of the beautiful woman she is becoming. She can't possibly comprehend how much I love her and how much she means to me. May she stay Forever Young, not in the literal sense, but that she would always find joy in the little things of life. I pray that she would learn to be "content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Phil. 4:12). So many verses come to mind...Romans 12:9-16...Romans 12:2...1 Sam. 16:7...too many to list here.

I gotta be honest, I've really struggled with what I wanted to include in this post because there are so many ways I could have gone with it. Reminisce about memories? Give advice? So many choices...I'm so overwhelmed with emotion that I can't really find the words for all I want to say, so unfortunately, I have to lean on my internet resources. I like the way explained Ecc. 3:1-8, when it says "...this passage teaches that there's a time and place for everything. On the one hand, it's a sobering reminder that nothing lasts forever; but it's also encouraging to know that difficult times will eventually but inevitably be followed by times of peace. God is in control of it all."

Remember that Jac. Whatever the future holds, God is in control of it all. Becoming a "grown up" is not easy but you are soooo ready for this (Phil. 4:13). Trust Him and His perfect plan. Just keep smiling that beautiful smile and let the joy of the Lord be your strength. Pray hard. Use the gifts God's given you. Serve others. Be thankful for the life He's blessed you with. Congratualtions, Jacci. Go out there and knock 'em dead! Not literally, though, cause you're gonna be a nurse and all. Love ya, Sis!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hop on over to Red Thread Stitches!

I don't know if any of you have checked out any of the other blog links listed on the left hand side of my page but I thought now would be a great time for all of you to do that...Red Thread Stitches is a really wonderful blog and they are currently raffling off an absolutely gorgeous quilt to help raise money for an overseas adoption. I found this blog through a few friends of mine (Megan and Tiffany:), who had organized a "Fun Run" to help this family raise money to bring a beautiful little girl named Mia Hope to the U.S. from China. Red Thread Stitches has been a way for Mia Hope's family to raise money for overseas adoptions, not only for their family but also for others who are struggling with the outrageous costs that go along with saving children through this type of adoption. I don't have the words to explain it all, but Robin clearly has a heart for children and I hope that you will hop on over to the Red Thread Stitches blog to check out the raffle and while you're there click on their family blog button to visit Dreaming of Tea for Three to find out more on this family's heartwarming story.

**I'm busy as a bee helping with a few things in preparation for my "baby" sister's graduation, so I won't be posting again until next week. So take this opportunity to check out a few of the blogs on my list. Peace.