Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunday Dinner

Every Sunday for as long as I can remember, my dad’s family has met at my grandmother’s house after church for Sunday dinner. This is one of those things my family has always done that I probably took for granted before moving to Nashville. There’s something about growing up doing things a certain way, that sometimes makes it hard to see how rare and special family traditions truly are. I almost fell in the mindset that everybody’s family has the option of getting together at least one time a month; therefore, what’s so unique about my family?!

Thankfully, time and circumstances have a way of putting these things back into perspective sometimes. I now realize how fortunate my family has been to have kept this tradition alive all of these years. My grandmother is ninety-three years old and yet we still meet at her house EVERY Sunday after church for lunch.  And if the good Lord’s willing, I hope we continue this Sunday tradition for at least ten more years!

Of course things have changed over the years.  We have added new members to the family by birth and marriage. The menu has changed from my grandmother’s legendary pot roast (that I used to crave when I was sick) to fried chicken. The grandkids no longer play dress up or go swimming after lunch- instead we’re cutting up with the uncles in the dining room.  And my grandmother is no longer rushing home from early church every Sunday- instead my aunts are faithfully preparing the food every Sunday morning. 

But do you know what hasn’t changed… the laughter (sometimes through tears, but mostly through joy) we share as we discuss our busy weeks; the memories we reminisce on Sunday after Sunday; and the way my grandmother’s face lights up when we walk through the front door after church.


On this particular Sunday, our relatives from Colorado and Hong Kong came to visit my grandmother. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them!

My friends know without a shadow of a doubt where I will be on Sundays after church. They also know they are always welcome to join me because in the words of my grandmother, “The more the merrier!” And if I were a betting woman, I bet she would probably even greet you with a smile and tell you, “We're so glad you're here.”

Thank you, Jesus, for another Sunday dinner with my family. We could not have asked for a better matriarch for our family.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sibling Camp

What an incredible weekend?! Our church group just arrived back from a children's camp at Seeker Springs. We had a blast! This weekend was known as "Sibling Camp." The children who were invited to this camp were from different sibling groups that live separately due to foster care, broken homes, and/or the absence of both parents. Here's a picture of a few of the girl leaders from my church that helped out this weekend. 

Here's a few of us sitting at the well in front of the dormitories waiting for all of the campers to arrive. Exciting!

The weather couldn't have been more perfect! It was a little chilly in the morning, but the rain held off and the sun peeked through just enough to provide some warmth during the daytime.  

We fished, played games, jumped on inflatables (I'm definitely not as young as I used to be), listened to a bible study around the campfire, went on two hayrides, laughed a ton, and made great friendships. And just for the record... no children were harmed in the making of this photograph. That's pure joy, my friends.

Several of the children experienced many "firsts" this weekend such as catching crickets, fishing for the first time, and touching the fish they caught. I may have even baited a hook or two:-). Jeff and Jessica (one of my best friends and her boyfriend) didn't think I had it in me. Let's just say I did it like a boss. That's right. 

It was sooo sweet to see all of the cane poles held by those tiny little hands hanging over the water. And we may as well have thrown a party every time a fish was caught! There was lots of clapping, hooraying, grinning, and picture-taking. I think it's safe to say memories were definitely made.

Did I mention this tractor was our only mode of transportation while on the camp grounds?! If you look close enough, you can see all of the cane poles sticking off of the back of the trailer. Love it.

I wish I could show you some of the most beautiful faces with the most precious smiles, but due to privacy laws I am only allowed to share certain pictures via social media.

I had so much fun with these sweet children. I just loved looking in their little eyes and hearing their sweet (and sometimes sassy) stories.  Before they left to go back home today, they were asked to share something they learned from this weekend. Instead of reflecting back on all of the activities they participated in over the weekend, many of them just read verses straight from the bible. When we would ask them to tell us where they were reading from in the bible, they would reply with the page number.  It was such a beautiful testimony of God shepherding His sheep and calling each one of them by name. 

Since I can't share the pictures of everybody dancing, I figured I would at least leave you with a video of me learning the Cupid Shuffle.  Just pretend there's music:-).

Thank you, Jesus, for showing me your face in each of these children this weekend.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11

"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:7