Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Bluebonnet Tradition (and the story behind it)

I was reflecting back and couldn't think of a time when my mom didn't see bluebonnets and say "Look! We should stop and take some pictures!" It is like it is ingrained into Texans (or at least Texas mom's) to want to take pictures of children in bluebonnets. And of course it makes sense. The weather is great, the sky is an amazing backdrop that blends well with the vibrant blue in the flowers and the bright green grass. Mix that with the hills and trees of Texas and you have perfection! "An expanse of those blue and stalwart flowers strewn across a pasture or along a highway prompts such a welling-up of joy—it is to nature what an excellent symphonic passage is to music." -Suzanne Winckler  

And I'm guessing Suzanne is also a mom. :)

This is why it is the state flower of course! In 1901 there was a discussion among the Texas legislature about which flower they should pick. The cotton boll & cactus blossoms were top contenders. Can you imagine?! I'm grateful John Green suggested the bluebonnet. Of course nobody else had heard of them. So members of a women's patriotic society witnessing the debate dashed to an Austin parlor and returned with another incipient Texas institution - a painting of bluebonnets. ‘Deep silence reigned for an instant,’ history records states. ‘Then deafening applause fairly shook the old walls.’”

Kids on the other hand - well, they have no idea why in the world they are placed on the side of a highway with loud cars flying by in flowers that itch. But that's the fun, right? Trying to make them smile to capture just a few good moments on camera!

I think Mrs. A. L. Morgan said it best in a 1941 issue of Texas Parade:
"Springtime is when the sky falls on Texas."

Here is my attempt at getting the traditional bluebonnet photos of Mr. Lex...


This has to be one of my favorites. 
Taking it all in...

And regardless of what all of these pictures show, 
he did get tired of me taking pictures. 
Here's one to prove it:


Happy Bluebonnet picture season!
From our family to yours.

Sorry that there are no pictures of Kiir in the bluebonnets. I didn't even try to ask. I think I would have gotten one of those looks like only 21 year old can give. Maybe one day I'll be able to trick him into tagging along.



Sunday, April 06, 2014

Family on Mission - Part 1

Missions have always had a special place in my heart. I remember going to GA's (Girls in Action) every week and learning about missionaries around the world. And I remember thinking that if I didn't find someone to marry; I would just move to Africa and work in an orphanage, being the mom to all of the children without parents. But I did find someone to marry, someone to start a family with, and yet my desire to serve God through missions is still stronger than ever.

This year that special man and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage together!
The Lord has been so good to us!

5 years ago we wanted to travel to Europe and started putting some money away so the 2 of us could take that trip when we reached 10 years. Then, last Fall I was sitting in a church service listening to the sermon when all of a sudden I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. He was telling me that my desire to travel to Europe was very selfish. If I truly loved missions and wanted to serve Him as much as I say I do then why am I not using that travel money for just that. And whose money was this really?

Punch to the gut!


I left church a little angry to be honest. We had worked so hard to pay off our debt, including all of our student loans. We were good and faithful stewards. In my head I selfishly deserved to go, but in my heart I knew He was right. I ate lunch in silence and when I could bring myself to tell my husband what the Lord put on my heart he just laughed and said he didn't think we should go to Europe anyway. It was a little extravagant just go spend money on sightseeing. Why not take a more simple, less costly trip to celebrate 10 years and put the rest toward missions.

A little late in the game to tell me my dreams were off our path since I'd been planning for a while now, but better late than never I guess. 
Next time a little earlier would be nice babe ;)

So with that confirmation, I knew what we had to do. We needed to start praying about where the money we saved should go.

Through prayer, it was quickly revealed that it needed to be invested in relational missions. “What do you mean ‘relational missions’" you ask? I mean sharing the gospel by building relations with non-believers. Living life with them. Sharing our family with them! Plainly speaking, love them.

As we continued praying, we were drawn to a specific region of the world where the people that live there struggle with relations. They do not rely on anyone around them, much less understand relationships. Their hearts are hardened to the outside world and they believe that God does not exist. Trust is something they do not practice. Adoption is a word they have never heard of, nor understand.

And for this reason, we are going to trust them with our children. We are going to trust them with our family. We are going to go over there as a whole family unit and love them, talk to them, hold their hands, and tell them they are beautiful! We are going to let them hold our toddler; let our older son play soccer with their teenagers. Show them how a father treats his children and how a husband treats his wife. And we are going to share our story of adoption with them. Explain how following Him with obedience to adopt a teenage son forever changed his life and ours. And that He does the same by adopting us!

We are saying yes to a trip that is not easy, not cheap, and not what we had originally planned. But we are saying yes to Him who asks this of us.

2 John 1:6 says "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love."

And so, we walk in obedience and love,
following Him to the ends of the earth.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." -Acts 1:8

We would love to have you partner with us
in 1 (or more) of 3 ways...

You can pray for us and our team.
It is a small team traveling to this undisclosed location.
We would greatly appreciate your prayers!

You can purchase a t-shirt.
All of the proceeds will go towards our team traveling funds.
They will go on sale sometime in the upcoming weeks,
so look for a link to purchase in some of the future blog posts.

You can give
Flying a family of 4 across an ocean is not a cheap endeavor. While we set aside money we have saved, it doesn't cover all of it by any means. If you would like to help us fund the rest of this trip, you can donate through our fundraising site HERE. If we raise more money than we need for our family, the rest will go toward helping fund others going on the trip; along with supplies we will take to the people we will be visiting.

If you so desire, please feel free to repost/share this blog with friends you think might want to partner with us as well.

And don't worry,
this is just Part 1
of a series of blog posts
about our trip. 
Stay tuned for more!