Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yet Surprisingly, Upbeat.

All of a sudden today, I got the most overwhelming sense of melancholy/panic/a whole bunch of other crazy emotions. . . It all started when a dear friend talked a little bit about her daughter turning 7 (SEVEN!) and posted some pictures of her when she was 18 months old . . . and I flat-panicked y'all. I mean, for serious, is Jayci really almost 18 months old? How did that even happen?

Don't you remember being in school and thinking: this week will literally NEVER end; I will never make it out of middle school; the clock must be broken because time has stopped and we will be sitting in sociology class for the rest of our lives.

I've switched from counting minutes and waiting for the bell, to watching days tumble past each other, weeks fly by in quick succession. I mean, is it seriously already MARCH? I swear yesterday is was 2009.

And the rapidity of time is making me panic. Jayci learns new things on a daily basis. She's growing so fast and changing so much. And I just don't want it to keep happening. I want her to stay little. I want to be able to keep holding her in my arms and rocking her to sleep (without being like the creepy mom in Love You Forever). I want her to always say 'gook' for book, and to toddle all the way across the room with her arms outstretched for a 'huk.' I want her to tell me she "wove" me every single day.

But mostly I don't want to miss today. I don't want to miss a moment of Jayci being almost 18 months old because I'm too busy looking at the horizon or watching the clock. I want to treasure my time with her. To play on the floor and build towers instead of checking my email one more time. To burn each moment into my mind and heart forever, so I will remember what she was like when she was 18 months old. So that one day, when she's seven, I can look at her and say: 'when you were 18 months old, you loved to play "peet-boo." Or "when you were 18 months old, you would play in the bath every second of the day if I'd let you."

So Jayci, for you, this post is a place where you can look and see the DELIGHT that you were (and still are) every single moment for me. I love you more than my jumbled words can ever convey.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Linky-Love

More weekend links for y'all. Now that I started doing this, I'm a little addicted to giving you guys quality stuff to read and watch. My love language IS gifts, after all.

How Mentoring Can Change the World - an excerpt: "We believe the government is large because the church has been too small." Bam.

Jesus Changed the World


Help Haiti Live -- Don't miss this my friends.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Break-Time . . .

Tech-Fast

Catch y'all on the flip-side . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cultivating the Soil

For the last few weeks I've been in somewhat of a funk (and by "somewhat" I mean "majorly"). I think it's a result of feeling stuck in our house and unable to move downtown. I was honestly (yikes to writing this down) feeling angry at God. Because why would He give us this vision for serving and living in the city, and then not provide a way for us to get there?

Not to mention that it was frigid-cold and I have been cooped up in the house for days on end with my defiant 17 month old. I felt like my ministry was non-existent. What I was doing didn't matter. I used to go downtown and volunteer and work with the kiddos 3 or 4 days a week at least. Now it's one day on a good week. So why would God be moving me AWAY from what I was certain He had called me towards?

But then this week, the Lord did an amazing thing. No, He didn't sell our house. Or provide us a house downtown. . . He changed my perspective and transformed my heart.

Sometimes we can get so overwhelmed by the size and abundance of our vision (or God's blessing) that we forget how much time and work it can take to get there.

Take, for example, the Israelites. In the description of the Promised Land in Numbers 13:23, the Word says: "They cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them." Um hello? A single cluster of grapes that has to be carried on a pole by two people? Those must have been some freakin' huge grapes people. I mean, not even I'm that out of shape that i can't just pick up a cluster of grapes and carry it all by my lonesome.

For the Isrealites, the huge grapes were a promise of an abundance in the land they were going to inherit. But fear, and disobedience, prevented them from immediately laying hold of that abundance. In our lives, we see these ginormous grapes, this vision we've been given for our ministry in the city. And I'm all like: "well great, I love giant grapes, lets do this thing . . . "

However, I learned this week that grapes take a long time to cultivate. Three out of four seasons during the year, the vines aren't producing fruit. In fact, sometimes they look downright dead. Because maybe it's not the right season for fruitfulness. Sometimes you have to cultivate the soil. Or prune the vines. Or wait. . . But just because something looks dead, doesn't mean it IS dead. Because scrape the surface, and you'll the green that's germinating and hiding within.

I realized that even when my life might LOOK dead, and I might not be producing fruit like I want to be, things are happening. God is cultivating the soil and working under the surface to grow my roots. To prune me. To strengthen me. To prepare me.

With that realization, my heart and perspective were transformed. Because this season is just as important as the fruit-producing season. In fact, without this season, there would be no fruit. So I will rest in the work (which sounds like an oxymoron) that Christ is doing to prepare me. And I will anticipate and envision and pray for those big grapes, that promise, the vision I know He's given us.

What about you, what is He cultivating in you during this season of your life? I'm praying that you will remember that it's all important for the harvest. And those people who are in their fruitful season, they might LOOK more exciting and "good" and like they're doing more for the kingdom, but you never know what's happening and what God is doing below the surface to work in those who might LOOK like they're dead.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." - John 15:5

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

True Love

Meet Jayci and Turner. You probably already know them if you've spent any time around here. Jayc is my 17 month old daughter, and Turner is my best friend's 2 year old son, who lives just down the street from us. These two little munchkins have a special relationship. I mean it, they like each other a strange amount. In fact, Sabo performed a little marriage last time he was over here. They were sitting in their side-by-side high chairs and Sabo made Turner say "A-do." The ceremony concluded with Turner trying to pull Jayci's chair closer to his own while Jayc blew him kisses. It was special. Unfortunately the photographer was laughing too hard to take any pictures.

For their honeymoon, they went for a joyride. Jayci was thrilled about it.
And then bathed together (scandalous, I know).

Now that they've been married for a few weeks, here's what they do in their spare time.

Peek-a-boo from Becca Stanley on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Heart Faces: Hands

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is HANDS. In a strange and exciting plot twist (Community anyone?) you don't even have to actually include a face this week.

Since they put the linky-thingy up early this week, and I'm up significantly later than usual, I figured I'd go ahead and throw up a picture I shot of Jayci's little hands with her sippy cup playing outside today. And can I just say how ecstatic I was to see the sun so much this weekend? My mood was infinitely better. Infinitely.
Although I am protesting the fact that this looks like a little kid hand and not a baby hand. Slow down time. Please. Pretty please?
See more hands (I'm positive there will be lots of adorable little chubby baby fingers this week . . .) at I Heart Faces. And the fantastic Becky Earl is the guest judge. Love her. And NO I am not sucking up in the least.

**Edited to add: I swear I added my link last night and was #24 or something . . . and now I cant find mine on there at all, so I'm re-linking up. Maybe I've been having dreams about I Heart Faces, which would be a little pathetic.
**EDITED AGAIN to add: oops, now I have 2 links. I'm so lame and un-tech-savvy

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On Our Faces

I don't mean to be bossy, but watch this episode (there's 2 parts) of Extreme Home Makeover. For realz y'all, that's what we want our lives and home to look like in Atlanta! I'm not saying we want a big, beautiful extreme makeover house (although we wouldn't turn it down) -- but their hearts, their HOME, their family being a safe place for those kids. . . It's beautiful.

(*side note: that beautiful white furniture was probably not the best choice Ty. Just sayin, I know from experience)
Speaking of Extreme Makeover, watching this episode reminded me of something that Louie Giglio said at Catalyst this year. He pointed out that when the bus moves, the first thing they show is NOT the house, but the people's faces when they see their house. Why? Because the house is on their faces. You KNOW it's a beautiful, life-changing, amazing, fantastic house simply because of the looks/tears/expression/jumping-up-and-down of the family seeing it. And that's how we should be as Christians. People should be able to look at us and see Jesus on our faces.
(ps- this is not the family from this week's episode, I couldn't find a picture of them, but you get the idea )

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord."

-2 Corinthians 3:18

Linky-Love

Him Thinks About Me
Millionaire gives away his fortune
I don't want my children to be happy.

Our story on the One Million Arrows blog
The Camp Grace dining hall video, which includes one of the families I've been talking so much about around here . . .




Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Ministry . . .

This is the kind of post that simply shouldn't/couldn't be written quickly. Despite that, I am in a little bit of a pickle, so it will inevitably be written quickly.

For those of you who are new here, (first of all, HI, I'm Becca) you may not know that my husband and I (and Jayci too) work in ministry to inner-city kids in Atlanta (and for those who aren't new here, you clearly already know this because I'm not so good at being concise and non-repetitive).

It all started with a summer camp for kids who can't afford to go. And we fell in love. And then my hubby started a mentoring program, because we realized our kiddos needed more follow-up, someone to walk through the darkness WITH them. Next? We are planning on (God willing, someone please buy our house!) moving downtown Atlanta to live in community with those we're serving, and hopefully start a youth/rec center downtown to run the mentoring program from.Basically, we work with kids in our own backyard (not Africa people) who live in poverty, surrounded by drugs, violence, sex, abuse . . . They have failing schools and a higher incarceration rate than graduation rate. Girls get pregnant at 14, and it's completely normal. Marriage is unheard of. . .Once we realized that these were our neighbors, the "least of these" that Christ commanded us to love as ourselves, we could not claim to be Christians and not love them with our lives.

Like I said, this post really deserves more (not that I can even necessarily do it justice on my best days). But I only have a few moments right now, so if you want to read more (and I don't know why you wouldn't, with this stellar writing/explanation), here's a few posts that (hopefully) do a better job explaining our ministry and lives and why/how we're doing what we do.
Our story on Broken Voices (we're episode 3: Jump)
Talking about our lives on One Million Arrows
The Little Blue Box
One Very Cold Night
Why the Last Minute can be the Best Minute
Never Doubt in the Dark What you Know in the Light
Baby Steps



*If you want to read more about other people's ministries, visit Kelly's Korner.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Clutter-Master

I've always rolled my eyes and laughed whenever anyone talks about having a messy husband. Because Adam? He's basically a tornado with legs. Clothes and papers strewn in his path, he leaves piles of dishes, shoes, etc all over the place. One time I came home from a business trip to find a large chocolate milkshake all over our white ceiling. Yes, I said ceiling. (To be fair, another time I came home from a business trip to find that same ceiling with all the popcorn removed and brand new crown molding put up).

Here's where I should talk about how neat and orderly I am, putting everything in its proper place and cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming, folding laundry (and so on and so forth) on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I've always been somewhat messy. I remember being sent to my room to clean it up, and it would literally take me hours to unearth and organize the various and sundry items I had shoved into my closet and under my bed. Not to mention that inevitably I'd find some book I never finished reading, or old notes from friends, get sidetracked, and tack another couple hours onto my room cleaning time.

My mom always told me that if I'd just do a little bit every day, I'd be spending a whole lot less time cleaning up than by saving it all for one big job. Apparently, the truth of that lesson never quite got through to me. Because I still save it all up. And then it takes me an entire day of HARD work to get it cleaned up. The worst part is that it then takes us a mere 49 seconds to return it to it's previously messy state. Between Jayci, Maverick, Adam and I . . . with our powers combined, we are a powerful force for messiness.

Trying to sell your house apparently means you should keep it clean (or at least cleaner than we typically keep ours). Because sometimes people will call you and ask if they can come see it in 15 minutes or so. Resulting in a mad dash to clean up mess, which may or may not include throwing large quantities of clean but unfolded clothes in the attic. Not that we've ever done that or anything.

A few people had requested some more pictures of our house, so I snapped a few the other day. I found it hysterical, however, that not a single one included a clutter-free home, suitable for house-selling photography purposes. I actually deleted them, but kept thinking about how funny they were, so I rescued them from the "recycle bin" to share with you here. Don't say I never do anything for y'all.

*Look! Messy curtains, dirty dishes, and brightly colored bibs. Perfect kitchen decor.
Notice the UGA snuggie, large mound of toys, pink tricycle, red peacoat and sewing machine on the table. Oh and note to self: CLOSE the armoire doors next time. No one wants to see your large collection of DVDs (we're a sucker for the 4 for 20 deal at Blockbuster) and not-working speakers.
Maverick sneak up on the couch, and he's not even wearing his cone of shame. I have no idea what that unidentifiable orange object is in the middle of the floor. And yes, that's the kitchen timer on the mantel. I think it adds a little something to the decor.


Monday, February 15, 2010

The Great Snow . . .

When the weathermen (I mean, weather people, my apologies) started calling for snow, I'll admit I was more than a little skeptical. Growing up in Canada means that I don't consider a light dusting and a sheet of ice (which I apparently can't drive on) a "winter storm." Call me crazy.

This time, however, the weather-people were absolutely right, and I was delighted to see big soft flakes falling for hours on Friday. It was the kind of snow I remember from my childhood. The kind that blankets the world in a beautiful silence, weighing down tree branches and delighting children everywhere.

And apparently delighting some adults too.
Jayci says "not cool throwing snowballs at my head dad. Not cool." I have a feeling Adam's going to be hearing "not cool dad" a lot from Jayci.
Jayci was slightly obsessed with playing outside in the snow. Me? I was obsessed with the snow on her cute little pigtails. Yum.
Turner trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue. I reserve the right NOT to share the picture of me teaching him how to do that.
Adam and Jayci in the "snow fort" he built. Whatever that means.
Holden also joined the fun outside. Although I believe immediately following this picture Adam helped him make an "upside down snowman" which was slightly inappropriate. And then he (Holden, not Adam) started crying "why WHY, it's so cold, my hands hurt, I don't want to go inside" . . . Kid's logic is so impeccable.

Unfortunately all that snowy goodness melted the next day, never to be seen again. But we enjoyed it while it lasted!

I Heart Faces: Dancy-Dance Time

Jayci watched this Yo Gabba Gabba video from time to time called the Dancey-Dance Bunch or something like that. It's a little odd, but she loves it and it cracks me up when she dances. Unfortunately, I have yet to capture a picture of her in action. Which is unfortunately because she already likes to shake her little tooshie, not to mention that her daddy taught her the sprinkler and the wash-and-rinse, complete with sound effects. It's classic. By the way, pretty much everyone downtown thinks it's hilarious/fantastic when Adam busts out his dance moves, which happens quite frequently. I prefer to maintain an aura of intrigue surrounding my dancing ability. In other words, I don't dispel the kids' notion that I can dance by ever actually, well, dancing.

Since the picture theme this week at I Heart Faces is Dancing, I dug up this fun one from this wedding a while back. I love it. Mainly because Adam always tries to make me do the fish/reel/whatever dance move. I normally just laugh and stand there awkwardly, but Brooke and Chris clearly have it down pat.


For more fun dancing pictures, visit I Heart Faces as usual!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend Linky Love

Don't ever say I never do anything for you. Because don't I write mediocre and random posts on a semi-regular basis? But seriously, because I'm such a giver, and I'm stuck inside while the road is a giant sheet of ice . . . here's some good reads, listens etc. Enjoy!

This one made me cry. In a good way.

Orphans in Haiti
Day in the Life: This made me smile - a lot.

Want some great new worship music? I highly recommend Carlos Whittaker's new EP. And I don't "highly recommend" lightly.

If you're a wife, then this post is fantastic. Plus I love Megan, so go read it.

I found this 2-part post talking about gentrification in the hood to be so so interesting. Now if only we had some more answers and less questions.

Have you visited our Gini's creative blog yet? It's wonderful, she's so crafty and cute and fun. Now if only I could hold up my end of the design team, things would run a lot more smoothly. Luckily we lived together for two years, so she knew what she was getting herself into with me.

Links, Snow, and More Unrelated Stuff

It turns out my computer needs a completely new hard drive. Which means I wont get it back for another few days. Which is totally lame. But on the plus side, it allows me to spend a little time frolicking in the snow, which is currently holding the record for most snow we've had at one time since living here for 10+ years. When I lived in Canada, however, this would probably be considered a laughable dusting rather than an opportunity to bring our snowboards to a hill down the street. Not that my husband would do that or anything. Never.
Since I don't have my computer, I don't have Photoshop, which means I don't have any pictures (snow or otherwise) to share. However, I thought I'd share a little Fix-It Friday fun with all you dedicated readers who are still here after that last ridiculously random and pointless post. And also, since I don't have my usual Photoshop, here's a special tip for anyone looking for a good FREE photo editing program. You should try FotoFlexer. It's super-easy to use, AND the only one I found that has the ability to add layers, adjust curves etc (side note: it's probably not the only one, I might not have looked all that hard). You can even add texture like I did for this week's fix, and I'll show you how. Because I'm helpful like that.
*Ok now my little caveat is that I couldn't figure out a way to delete the texture from her face, which I would usually do when applying texture with photoshop. But just because I couldn't figure out how to do it does NOT necessarily mean it's not possible.

But if you do want to add a texture to the entire thing, here's how to do it.
1-Go to FotoFlexer and upload your picture.
2-In the basic tab, you can crop, adjust the brightness and contrast and saturation. For this picture, I brightened slightly, and upped the contrast a little. The sliders are super-easy to use.
3-Make changes to BW, sepia etc. You can even turn it into a painting, pop art and more.
4-Under the "beautify tab" I removed some wrinkles under the eyes using the dewrinkle feature. I also sharpened to bring out the eyes a little.
5-I then went to the "Geek" tab and clicked on curves and added a little "s-curve" (pick up the middle of the curve a little, then lift the part to the right above the curve and pull down the part to the left and below)
6-Finally, to add the texture, I went to the "layers" tab and clicked on add image. Upload the texture you want to use (or you can find one on the web by clicking that handy little button) Then you're going to want to adjust the opacity until it looks right. Then you can merge them in order to make any more edits. And then VOILA, a texturized image. Be sure to let me know if you can figure out a way to get that texture off the face.

And just for fun, here's a BW version I made using FotoFlexer.
For those of you who asked, and DO have Photoshop, I'll share how to do textures with Photoshop sometime soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh Dear, I Think I'm in the Wrong Car

I got my computer back this morning from the IT people at my office, because it was acting funny. And by "funny" I mean completely incorrigible. Almost as bad as Jayci. Upon my computer's return, I felt like I was being reunited with an old friend. It was a tender moment really. In a sad plot twist, my computer still didn't work properly, so it was cruelly ripped from my arms for another night with the IT folks. It was like a bad Lifetime movie. Let's just hope for a happy ending.

Is it weird that I had a dream about Mexican food? In the midst of a high-stakes adventure of some sort, I dont remember much about the chases or adventures. But those enchiladas? I remember them perfectly. And I dont even have to ask about last night's dream. Because I KNOW it was weird. Why? Because I was attacked by a parrot. Yup. Weird right? I am terrified of birds. We're talking like phobia-level fear. And in my dream, everyone was laughing at me because I got so nervous about someone bringing their pet parrot to my house. And I was right, and ended up with large beak-marks on each hand. Strangely, they looked a lot like Jayci's bite marks from the other day.

Let's just talk about the fact that I have been the gym approximately 2 times in the past 7 months. The first time I went back, the old man at the front desk informed me that it had been 161 days since I was there last. Thanks for the encouragement buddy. I unwisely returned to the gym again a week later, and took a class called Body Flow. This class is a mixture of yoga, tai chi, and who knows what other forms of torture. I think they're Chinese methods. No I kid. It's actually not that bad, unless you pull a muscle like I did. It still hurts, and that class was 2 weeks ago. Which is a little embarrassing.

To counteract my unusual number of gym visits, I had a girls' night with some friends this week. We watched Couples Retreat and ate lots of food: Popcorn with M&Ms, Velveeta cheese dip, sour patch fruit, mint M&Ms. I feel sick just remembering it.

When I was leaving Blockbuster after picking up the movie for girls' night, I sat in the car for a moment getting myself and Jayci all situated. And not even joking, a random old lady got in my car. I just stared, dumbfounded, and she was all "oh dear I think this is the wrong car." It was freaking hilarious.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Heart Faces: We Love Kisses

Honestly, I didn't think i had any kiss pictures to enter this week at I Heart Faces. And then I found this gem. How cute are they right? And this little family, they're some of our bestest friends in the whole world. Sadly, they are moving to Waco, TX this summer. They are going to be missionaries in Portugal, working for The Haven. They rock. And I don't generally talk about them leaving. Although I'm working to be more supportive and make sure they know how much we love them and are proud of them and are going to miss them. Tear.

My computer, sadly, has been on the fritz the last few days. It keeps freezing and then when I restart it, the screen informs me that it has just recovered from a serious error. That's it, all it says. Helpful. And can I just ask why in heavens name are all keyboards so different? I cannot type on my hubby's laptop to save my life. This little post is taking me forever. Which may be good news for y'all, since it's basically forcing me to keep it short and sweet. Or at least just short.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our Week: Cold Rain and Face Slaps.

That post title makes my life sound a little depressing right now, doesn't it? It's the cold rain part that's doing it. The face slaps are old hat by now. Something has to be done about them, I know. But I've gotten quite adept at single-handedly averting my body from the path of her slap and grabbing her hands, telling her no, and putting her in timeout. Where she promptly signs "all done" (while saying "da done" and then "o-bey"). Yesterday (or the day before, who knows, the chill from the cold rain has reached my bones and probably my brain at this point) she got me right on the cheek so nicely that Adam (who was still asleep) was roused and asked "was that noise her hitting you?!" Why yes. Yes it was.

I'm really making it sound worse than it is. Or maybe I'm trying to tell myself that to feel better. Either way, we have some new time-out strategies and discipline books on their way. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow marks my first "tech-fast." I've already tried to talk myself out of it because what am I supposed to do cooped up in the house with the cold rain?! Also, the diet coke part is making me feel slightly panicked. Oh I kid. But seriously, when I was pregnant, my husband wouldn't let me drink diet coke. So I went cold turkey. And oh the caffeine headaches. Also, I had slight shakes every time I heard someone open a coke can. I dont have a problem people. Geesh.

I'm sure y'all are wondering what's going on with this family. The answer is that we don't know exactly. We see them every week and check in with them, but we're never sure where they're staying. And that makes it hard when we arrange a sitter, drive an hour downtown, and can't find them, have to drive an hour back, sit in traffic, pick up Jayci . . . Which leads me to reason #549 we want to sell our house and move downtown. Anyways, we see them on the weekends and have been able to supply them with diapers, formula, and other basic needs as often as possible (thanks to y'all!)

On Monday night, Courtney and I decided we would make our friendship bread (which her friends had given us the "starters" for). Because we felt extra hungry, and friendship bread is really good were out of gallon bags to give away more starters (my sister knows the "real" name for that, but heck if I can remember what it is. I dont think it's English, and I have enough trouble remembering things in one language). It turns out that all those starter kits you would normally give away make a helluva lot of friendship bread. Not even kidding, we ran out of pans and were making friendship muffins, mini friendship bundt cakes. . . But don't worry, we put them all in the oven at once (which my sister says is a big no-no apparently) so we could enjoy them with the two hour time frame of our Chuck and House watching escapades. Not to mention the fact that our hubbies wouldn't stop asking us if it was ready yet. Geesh.

Sorry for the random post. I'm typing with a UGA snuggie on, and I'm feeling slightly distracted by its warm and functional goodness. Not that I need excuses for random posts around here.

To keep things legit, and perhaps to even offer this post some semblance of meaning, here's our week in pictorial review:

"So what if I have muddy cheeks? I'm still rocking a pink hat which means I'm totally girly."
Jayci is obsessed with our dog, Maverick. Every morning, the first thing she wants to do is get him out of his crate. Then she pets him and blows him kisses and tells him HI over and over in a very high-pitched voice.
Bath-time! Normally I discourage standing up in the tub. But look how cute . . . She gets away with too much doesn't she? Shoot.
Jayci is still obsessed with bath time, brushing her teeth and washing her hands. Weird child.
Happy weekend everyone! See you Monday. Or possibly earlier. I totally give y'all permission to call me out on it if anyone catches me blogging or commenting or facebooking tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tech-Fast

Remember how I did the Esther study at a wonderful church (which I dont attend) last season? Well this spring we're doing a study of the book, Scouting the Divine, which you may or may not remember me writing about here (ok I know, probably not, but whatever).

Anyways, this week our homework included picking a spiritual discipline to focus on and practice throughout the week. Because we all know I'm not so good at the self-discipline thing, I thought I should actually do my homework for once. I'm somewhat of a slacker. Shocking, I know.

One of my sweet friends in the study mentioned that she should probably fast from the internet, and I felt a little tug on my heart. Don't worry, I quickly squelched it down. But since then, I haven't been able to get it off my mind. I feel like God is calling me to take one day a week to turn it off. Unplug. Disconnect in order to more fully connect with Him. Because clearly, I need it. So this Friday, I'm going to start what I've deemed my 'tech-fast.' It's kind of like breakfast. But without the yummy. Because did I mention that I'm going to fast from diet coke on this day too? It's true. Sad, but true.

I realize that this might mean I have to take some extra time in the evenings and weekends to get all my work done for the week. But that's ok. Because no television or internet or email will mean more quality time with my hubby and my daughter and my Savior.
One more thing, and I'm feeling a little insecure and vulnerable about this part. But I thought I'd go ahead and make a little button in case anyone wants to join me in my little tech-fast. How long it lasts or what it looks like is totally up to you. Let me know if you want to do it, and I will be praying for every single one of you sweet friends that you will be able to experience God in new and deeper ways with every minute you spend in obedience and connection with Him.

*side note: I realize now that it's weird, but the button has tie-dye because at first I was calling it a techni-fast . . . which reminded me of techni-color . . . but now it's not called that anymore, so I just want you to think that I'm a really cool hippie, ok?

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Heart Faces: Favorite Places

I am a little confused (which is shocking I know) about this week's theme at I Heart Faces. Is it romantic places or just favorite places? I should probably just go check their post/instructions. But since the extent of our romantic trip pictures is this one (which I supposed could be considered romantic in a "hi we're really weird" kind of way . . . )I figured I'd just go with some pictures of one of my very favorite places ever. That's right, Camp Grace. And it starts up again in just 125 days! For those of you who don't know, we work at a summer camp for inner-city kids. You can read some of my posts from last summer by going here and then clicking on "newer post" (I think. To be honest, I'm not really sure if that method works, but it sounds good.)

We went up there the other day to get set up for a retreat group that rented it out, and I got super-excited by all the new stuff that's been added. Like a pool house/pool. And giant tent with walls and carpet. And horses. And an amphitheater.

Jayci is obsessed with the horses. Here she is trying desperately to climb the fence and get in with them. Would you believe that I wouldnt let her run around with about 8 horses, 2 of which are mean little "miniature horses"? Crazy mom.
Here's Jayci and her husband Turner. And yes, when I say 'husband' I mean it, Sabo performed the ceremony last time he was over. Turner said "Adoo" and Jayci blew kisses, so it's totally legit. Anyways, here they are playing in the construction dirt. What fun.The amphitheater is just one of the most beautiful places at camp. And the coolest thing about it is that the guys who built it for us (and donated all that concrete!) researched the dimensions and wood used for the actual cross. So that cross up there? It's pretty close to what the real one would have looked like.The big tent (it's on a deck) for eating, meeting etc. Yay for large semi-indoor space!
The new poolhouse through the trees. Really excited to have the pool this summer and not just the lake!
Oh look! A tee-pee so large it can sleep 10 people inside! The plan is to have 4 or 5 of them so every kid can "camp out" in the tee-pee one night of camp.
The fort. We call it "Fort KW" because Keller Williams has donated most of the money for us to build it. It's only a third of the way built right now, hopefully we'll get it all the way built before camp 2011.
Just so you know, the place is even more beautiful when all the kiddos are there. It's magic I think. I couldn't help but include this one of my best friend's beautiful little boy from our trip up there this week. Look at those curls. I could just die. He's ready for Adam to take him for a Polaris ride. I dont blame him, they're pretty fun. Just make sure you wear your seat belt because Adam doesn't do slow.
As always, visit I Heart Faces for more fun pictures of favorite places. Maybe the rest of them will be romantic. Who knows?

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