Friday, March 9, 2012

Crazy busy - Crazy blessed!

I promised I would catch you up on our crazy life, so here I am. My husband was gracious enough to leave me with only one - very easy - child, so I can actually do some things I've been meaning to do. Since the first of the year we have been in a whirlwind of sorts. For starters We have a birthday almost every month of the year.

Since we have six kids we do birthday parties in threes. This year Chandler, Carson, and Jac get birthday parties. Two of these are pretty hard. Chandler has downs syndrome. He is one of the most precious, sweet, gentle, go-with-the-flow type kids you'll ever meet (although part of that I think he's picked up from Aaron's gentle spirit). With a personality like that mixed with limited verbal expression it's hard to plan a birthday party. Usually our kids will tell us a million and one things that they want, but Chandler just wants chicken (his obsession), daddy, and aunt Kir (Aaron's sister). When I ask what cake he wants, it's simply lightning mcqueen. You may wonder why I'm complaining... seems pretty simple and easy. Chandler spends most of his life doing what EVERYONE else wants. He plays what the other kids play, watches what the other kids watch, like what the other kids like, and say what the other kids say. My mission is to help him find his voice. And I think, even if for just one day a year, he should be able to get exactly what HE wants, and to find that out it takes time. Lots of time. Pictures of birthday cakes and birthday ideas and toys and a thousand yes or no questions - which are all completely worth it when his face lights up because he knows he has been heard. 11 days and counting.

Then there is Jac's birthday... which I am sure he doesn't really care about BUT I always do first birthdays big. First birthdays and golden birthdays are pretty special. So apparently I have come up with an idea (Billy Goats Gruff) that is no where to be found, so I am decorating from scratch. See, Jac eats paper. I'm pretty sure he might like paper more than food... and no, he doesn't have PICA. So it just seemed natural to call him a billy goat... sometimes a Jacer goat. 26 days and counting.

My amazingly beautiful "little sister" is getting married and I get to do the decorations! I LOVE weddings, I LOVE decorating, so naturally I LOVE wedding decorating. I am so honored to get to be a part of her special day in such a big way... which also means, I'm pretty scared to screw it up in a HUGE way. She's a really easy bride so there isn't pressure from her. It's in my own head. This is her one and only wedding day. Photographed and remembered forever. When the wedding is over I'll post pictures and DIY's from the wedding, but until then it's a surprise until it's unveiled. 36 days and counting.

Apart from all the party planning there are the regular everyday challenges that come from being a part of a blended family. There are limitations I have on sharing this part of our lives on such a public platform, but sometimes it's just plain hard. Thankfully God has surrounded us with AMAZING friends, and Aaron and I have such a strong commitment to each other, that even through the trials and attacks we see God's love and peace in abundance.

We've also been blessed enough to be a part of a church plant. Just 8 months ago Aaron and I left a church that I had been a member of for 6 years and he had been a member of for 10 years. God had us both on the same page, but there weren't many things about our decision that was clear. We knew we were to go, we knew we were to use the giftings and desires that Christ has placed in us to serve our community and the body of Christ, but we had no clue where that was or what it looked like. We just stepped out in faith, and boy did God show off! We immediately got plugged into a small 5 year old church in canton that we loved. We began building relationships, learning from others there, and serving. It was great and we were ready to become members after about 4 months. The holidays came and time was rare, so we were just kind of waiting to become members around the first of this year. What seemed like waiting for our plan turned into waiting for God's plan. Mid December we were invited to a meeting about a local church plan less than 5 mins away from us. We knew some of the people and had rejected the idea before, but again God placed Aaron and I on the same page. We loved the church we were in and were so ready to become members, but neither of us could shake the feeling that we needed to commit to, at least, a few months in this church plant. So we spoke to the pastor at IK (Isaac's Keep - the canton church) and much to our surprise he encouraged us to try out something that was focused on our immediate community and gave us the freedom to still join them for anything they have going on.

So with the blessing of the friends we had made, we began in the church plant of Sojourn Woodstock on January 14th. Church plants are crazy busy. Everyone is getting to know each other and knitting into one anothers lives which takes a lot of time, but also encouraging one another to live with our local community and neighbors, which takes even more time. We are blessed to have some pretty awesome neighbors who share children of the same age in common with us. Then we spend a lot of time maintaining our friendships with dear friends from IK and the church that we originally left.

Basically... our calendar is at max capacity most months. Between mom dates and dad dates with our kids, dating each other, sunday mornings, community group, ladies get togethers, mens get togethers, family night, birthday parties, weddings, community building, home improvements, keeping in touch, and just our regular life of having six kids in a blended family, it's crazy. REALLY crazy. But I trust The One who holds it all in His hands as I'm asked to just be diligent and a good steward of what He's given. I'm thankful beyond words for the MANY amazing friendships He has blessed us with. I'm blessed to get to live this out with my best friend every day, and I'm overwhelmed that in God's mercy He has chosen me to give all this to.


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