Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vacation 2013: Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island

"Butterfly" beach...

South Beach... 

That's right...Davis is rocking the pink stroller.  Sorry, Baby D.  That's how it goes when you have an older sister!  There IS an upside.  You already have more character in your pinkie finger than most people will acquire in a lifetime!

Bike riding to Harbor Town...



Monday, August 19, 2013

Olivia's First Day of School

We've been talking about school for countless months (years, really) and it's hard to believe it's here upon us!  

We attended orientation yesterday where Olivia met her 4K teacher and saw her classroom and desk!  We also presented Mrs. C with a little treat to kick off the school year!

And this morning, Olivia woke up cheery and excited and a little giddy!  She was really looking forward to getting to school!

Last night Kevin and I prepped for a special "First Day of School" breakfast for our little "4K PRINCESS!'  

Olivia's breakfast of choice was Mickey Mouse pancakes!  Mama always made teddy bear shaped pancakes for Allison and me on our first day of school when we were young, so it was such a sweet sentiment to continue that same tradition on Olivia's big day!

Mickey Mouse and the letter "O" pancakes!

It's important to note that it rained this morning.  I mean it RAINED.  Monsoon would appropriately describe the drive to school.  The front entrance of the school was literally flooding when we arrived.  There was a "crew" of guys sweeping and squeegeeing the water away from the front door!  We had hoped to walk Olivia in and take her to her classroom this morning and take her picture, but the rain "dampened" that plan.  The school principal and director were, get this, bare foot slushing in ankle deep water carrying kids through the food into the building.  Kevin, Olivia, Davis and I were all huddled under a golf umbrella at the mercy of the down poor when the principal swooped Olivia up and off they both went.  It wasn't exactly the start of school that I had imagined, but Olivia took it well (despite the slight nervous look on her face.)  

This little guy missed his sister while she was at school!  He just looked over at her empty carseat on the drive home.

So after we picked Olivia up, she wasn't in the best of moods, unfortunately.  She was tired and ill and wasn't at all interested in telling Mommy about her big day.  I guess it was the "weight" of the day that took it's toll on her.  Mrs. C sent a note home that said Olivia had a great first day, and, finally, over lunch, Olivia said she got to play with toys from the toy box and played a Nemo game on the computer (but she did not talk to the lovely little girl that sits beside her.)

So, with that, the first day is complete.  After naps this afternoon, we're off hit up the "Golden Arches" for ice cream courtesy of Grandma! 

I spy a little photobomber!



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Heart My Church

The last few months have been especially HEART CHANGING at NewSpring!  Every Sunday is BETTER than the one before!  I feel my heart being expanded, changed and awakened like a wave is rushing over and through me.  It's CRAZY AWESOME!

I love my church.  To me, it's not just a saying on a T-shirt.  It's weird to say it, so I know it's weird to hear it (or read it, I should say.)  I've NEVER, EVER heard ANYONE E.V.E.R. say they loved their church before coming to NewSpring, and when I really (really) thought about that, I realized that's weird.  I love my church for many reasons.  I love my church because:

1)  It's real.  The Pastor is real.  It's full of real people--people that KNOW and openly CONFESS their sins and struggles.  It's like no church I've EVER experienced!  

2)  The gospel is PuuuuuuuuuREACHED!  And when the gospel is preached, HEARTS WILL CHANGE!  EVERY TIME!  Without fail!  And it doesn't matter if someone has been in church since birth or if they have been in church for 5 minutes, WE ALL have room for our hearts to be changed.  It's the only way to strengthen my relationship with God--allow Him in to change me.  

3)  The sermons are never boring, predictable or safe.  NEVER!   Let this sink in...really, read this and really let it sink in...think about it...JESUS DIED FOR THE CHURCH.  Let that into your heart.  Make it personal...who would you die for?  Your husband?  Wife?  Mom?  Dad?  Children?  Do you think Jesus LOVED and DIED for the church so that it could be boring?  Predictable?  Safe?  NOOOOO WAY!  The sermons are challenging, convicting and scripture based.  I love that NewSpring will do whatever it takes (aside from sin) to change hearts.  Even if that means blasting "Highway to Hell" for the Easter Sunday opener!

4)  I know that Olivia and Davis are learning about Jesus on their level in KidSpring.  I L.O.V.E. that Olivia is EXCITED to go to KidSpring!  We count down the days until Sunday!  I love that NewSpring invests in children NOW.  TODAY.  While they're still CHILDREN.  KidSpring teaches children they are VALUABLE TODAY, not just when they're old enough to tithe.  I love that my children are getting reinforcement through the church that they were made on purpose and for a purpose.  I love that Olivia and Davis will graduate from NewSpring's Children Ministry and enter into the Student Ministry where Pastor Perry lays down BIG and BOLD prayers:

(from "My Gauntlet Prayer (A Prayer for the Next Generation)")

I am praying…
I am praying for a student ministry who will lead the way…
Who will not be silenced by the skeptics in our society…
Who will not compromise their calling by God Almighty! 
I am praying for a student ministry who will dream big dreams for their lives and the life of the church…
Who will pray big prayers, take bold steps of faith and never stop believing in the greatness of a God who sent His Son to call them out of slavery and into a life that is immeasurably more than anything they could ever ask for or imagine. 
I see a wave of salvation for our nation led by the students in this room.  I see chains of addiction, human trafficking, sexual sin, greed, compromise and spiritual apathy being broken by believers who refuse to settle for less than God’s best. 
So may we step back into our state with passion in our hearts, fire in our eyes, confidence in our steps and freedom in our minds and lead an awakening that will change the world as we completely devote ourselves to JESUS CHRIST, the One who was and is and is to come, the one before whom EVERY knee shall bow and every tongue confess that HE IS LORD and He has GREATER THINGS in store than we could ever imagine.

My heart overflows with gratefulness that Olivia and Davis will grow up in a church that I wish I had as a child.  

5)  It's a place where its OK to not be OK, but it's not OK to stay not OK!  It's a place where change happens!  It's a place where I am learning what it looks like to have a relationship with God and how to walk with Him ONE STEP AT A TIME!   It's a place where I have learned that it's perfectly acceptable to EXPECT CRAZY BIG things from God--He's GREAT enough to deliver!  It's a place full of people that are on FIRE to reach 100,000 people for Christ in the state of South Carolina.  It's a place where Kevin and I worship together, pray together and grow in Christ together.  It's a place where marriages are saved, where addictions are broken, where culture's "all-about-me" mentality is shattered.  It's a community of fellowship, the body of Christ coming together and listening to Jesus and doing what He says.  It's a place where no perfect people are allowed and where there is encouragement to take my "next step."

I love my church!