Monday, June 21, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemonade

Ever have one of those moments where you want to pinch yourself to see if something's really happening to you? I did just yesterday. I was sitting on a park bench, Ryan's arm around my shoulders, watching Evan play in some water fountains during the cool of the evening, when it hit me. My life is pretty darn good. God has blessed me with a wonderful marriage, a happy, healthy son, and brought us to Jackson to serve Him in a vibrant church we have come to love.

That's not to say that life doesn't have its daily challenges. In fact, there have been times over the past several months where I've fought hard against some sour lemons--homesickness, loneliness, self-pity, etc. But God in His wisdom led the Mom's weekly Bible study I attend to do an awesome five month study on contentment. It could not have come at a better time for me. Now when I feel the pull to become discontent (which can come upon me at a moment's notice!), I just remind myself of Paul's words:
"...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:11-13

I desire to learn to live like Paul did, enjoying the good and enduring the bad that life brings, trusting that God is in control of it all. For now, that means I get to thankfully enjoy some tasty lemonade.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Whew! What a week!

Since arriving back from our vacation to Florida, the Dean family has been in full swing. First off, we had the youth "Summer Kick Off/Cook Out/Pool Party" as Ryan so cleverly named it. Turns out Evan is now convinced he can swim like the big kids and finds his float a bit embarrassing (this results in mommy trying to wrestle with him in the water to stay afloat-quite exhausting!).

The next day Ryan's mom, sister Holly, and nephew Kyle arrived for a long weekend. We had a lot of fun taking them to see the sights of Jackson while keeping the boys entertained with swimming, playing at the park, and splashing in the fountains at the Renaissance (an upscale shopping center). We even fed the ducks at the local fave restaurant Cock of the Walk on the Reservoir. Perhaps the coolest thing was that Kyle got to see the hospital in Jackson where he was born (see pic below). Just four years ago, Holly and her husband David made the journey out here on Easter Sunday to adopt him. He's been a part of our family ever since. Funny how Ryan and I ended up living here! God works in mysterious ways. It was a blast getting to spend the weekend with them!

Monday evening kicked off our week of VBS at Redeemer. Ryan helped lead the assembly music, and of course, the kids loved him. I taught the 3rd grade class (shock-shock!) and totally enjoyed my sweet & sassy group of girls & boys. The gospel was shared, and I pray that it'll take root in their lives.

And now it's on to the weekend and gearing up for next week: the Youth's Local Missions Week. It's a busy life, but we love it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Operation Beach = Success!

We have returned from our vacation to Cocoa Beach refreshed, slightly tanned, and relieved that Evan actually enjoyed the sand & surf. It wasn't quite love at first sight, in fact, you might even say he played a little hard to get. Here's how the affair unfolded:

Day 1: Hung out by the water bucket, watering the sand and sanding the water, then watering the sand and sanding the water get the picture.

Day 2: Walked to the edge of the ocean. Screamed in fright as the cold water hit his toes, gradually started to smile after a few encounters with this mysterious "wave".

Day 3: Holding Daddy's hand, ventured out into the ocean about knee deep, decided "This is pretty cool."

Day 4: Begged to be taken out into the ocean by Daddy, Poppy, and Uncle Matt, whoever was closest.

Day 5: Unabashedly in love with the ocean (and perhaps a little too fearlessly).

(This is Evan with his Grammie and Poppy)