Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Wasted 2 Bucks

One of the last times I shared with my brother Craig was at Valleyfair. I payed a boy at a booth to guess my age, I thought it was so awesome that despite having five children he guessed me younger than I was. Somehow he built my confidence and then gave me a stupid blow up bat. Craig laughed at me, he knew it was a waste of time. Three years later, the bat sits my closet and I have aged.
The past few years have kicked by butt in so many ways, showing wear emotionally and physically aging. My heart breaks still anticipating Craig's broad shoulders walking in with a big grin. Today I'm not really ok. It really sucks.
But that is what happens when you love someone, and it's worth it. Not everyone in life receives that love, I've seen it rejected too many times. There is a whole lotta crappy things formed out of fear, including mine.
It's funny how times doesn't make things better, just different. You'd think I would have figured it out by now, but honestly I keep focusing on the end party- it's all I have.
I am thankful for big brothers who have always had your back. For the Lord whipping my snot covered floor while I'm on my knees. I am thankful my confidence and value isn't in found in a booth at Valleyfair, but in His arms. For without it, I'm jacked.

Craig, you're deeply missed. I love you big bro.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A New Vehicle..

We finally said goodbye to the old van. The "new"/different one- it's nice. The only detail though that's really important is that there is room for one more seat. Shouldn't it be filled??

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"A New Highway..."

A year ago I posted that we were going on a "New Highway". It hasn't been a new highway, it's been a lot of new highways, some filled with potholes, some on the left side of the road, and others with steep winding hills. We started our trip with a map of our highway and not too far in, it blew out the window. Sketched on it were my ideals, my visions, my dreams, all left on the dancing down the highway trampled my passing cars. Leaving our family guided by only the compass in our vehicle.
Before you knew it, we went places that we never planned. On roads that were barreled off. Some were completely submersed in fear. There were other with huge road blocks, still the compass told us to continue through. And others that weren't finished and I was tempted to just see where it lead, only to have to turn around and again listen to the compass.
There have been breakdowns and times where we almost gave up and pushed it all over the cliff.
Still, at times the beauty was so overwhelming, as if no one had ever traveled the road before and it was paved just for us. Even so, we were tempted multiple times to stop and ask for directions, or just pick up a laminated new and shinny map. But, we weren't sure anymore of our destination. If we only had a starting point and an end point, we could use technology, all around us are means to figure it out in the world. But, it won't take us there when we are unsure of where we are going. As much as we didn't know where there was going to be yesterday, we don't know the there for tomorrow as well.
We used to look for an end in sight as we drove along, and we would love to let you in on our inclusive destination. See, we have places we would love to re-travel, areas left unseen, but we are not sure if they are part of this trip. Truth is, we have no idea the territory left to cover before us. So we will just keep on driving along, just following the compass..

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Highway

We are moving- I say "we" cause I would really like to get Josh and the kids to share with you too.. but we are heading over to wordpress.. you can find us here:

:) mel

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hello out there..

I guess I haven't had much to say lately.. ;) It's been a weird season.. of sorting some stuffs out..

BUT today id just like to reflect on

New born babies
And black eyes from the swimming pools
and church cookbooks
AND home town parades
And Hope
and crazy aunts
and the old faithful HAT that never leaves Noah's head
AND faithful friends
and library reading programs
AND the grandpa pushing A out on the cart at Fareway
and salamanders
AND five suitcases from place to place
and Nate's message on Grace.

God's been working on this mess.. i am so grateful that He is. I dont know how thankful that ive been lately.

But today, Im thankful that im His.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This video thoroughly prepared us for our trip to Bulgaria.

The kids and I have been researching the culture within Trinidad & Tobago. Where did we go again for solid information? YouTube.

I guess that Bizarre Foods isn't really a great starting place. Five little kids watching Mr. Zimmern catch and cook iguana & mussels, then chase them with pigs tails, cow skin soup, and chicken feet doesn't REALLY prepare them, does it? Does it.. ? Will we really become "trini-s"?

I mean it's one think to live in a culture, but to immerse ones self in the culture is another step.

Josh tried really hard this week. We drove to look at a station wagon. It was if we were the lead characters in some really weird movie. I have tried to put it into words, but I Can't.. Let's just say it's a whole nother world in the hills of Arkansas.

And then... I realized as we headed back home that the white headed figures I saw on roadside a few weeks ago were not some secret meeting of pointed headed alive types, but indeed garden gnomes. Phew.. Note that it was LATE, and raining, and my mom wouldn't let me turn around..

Last night at youth we talked about compasses & maps.

Although we would all love a map, most of the time God gives us only a compass and leaves us with uncharted territory :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Art in the Trenches

During WWI Edward Stinn was a young man in the trenches in the middle of France. Amidst the sounds, smells, and fears he found himself carving into the artillery shells, creating art masterpieces, pieces of himself. He was my grandfather.

Ralph Winter writes of a ship named the Queen Mary who was designed as a beautiful luxury cruise liner. During WWII she was converted into a battle ship carrying men across the ocean. It was designed to carry 3,000 passengers, converted to carry 15,000 soldiers. From peace time to war time.

Are we expectant of the fine silverware and lush feather beds or are we bunked with brothers that we are willing to fight for the purpose before us if it means our life? If it means survival of more, less for us? Is it peace time or war time?

I don't always understand what is going on behind the scenes. Apparently, I think that God should have assigned me a commander & allow me to call things how they are. But, sometimes in war our perception can be the enemy's greatest ally.

He reminds me that this war is already won, although the battles continue. Am I willing to fight for what I believe? Fight past self gain and self pity? Am I rejoicing in the trenches; in the fear, in the chaos, in the dark quietness.. Do I understand that this is His war & that I have somehow throughout all time in grace I been written into it? Am I making Art in the Trenches to bring Him glory?

Watch out, maybe I'll design a tatoo & have my own art up my arms.. that'll get em talking...

I won't tell you about the butterflies tats that I designed in high school for Josh & I.. ;)