Good Friday…

The kids didn’t have school on Good Friday, which meant Steve planned a master breakfast and we sat around discussing the holy week and the importance of Good Friday – and answering the kids questions as to why it’s called Good Friday when it was really the darkest day. I think we were both pleasantly surprised with how well the kids participated and how long they stayed engaged. After a while we cleaned up the kitchen and the kids started to disperse. Steve and I were reveling in our ideal lazy family morning.

And then we received a tragic phone call. Our neighbor/friend had just passed away while on a work trip and his wife was unconsolable next door.  Steve and I dropped everything. When we walked in that door, we had no idea what we would face. Suddenly the phrase, “Mourn with those that mourn” took on a whole new meaning for me and I saw a depth of pain I had never witnessed before.

Its hard to describe the emotions of my mind and heart on that blurry day but I remember a couple things that kept coming to my mind: the thought of Good Friday, the discussion we had just had with our kids just minutes earlier and my very favorite Easter quote I posted last week.

Our poor friend experienced her darkest Friday and it was almost unbearable to watch. We spent the weekend mourning with her and at the same time celebrating our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his resurrection – the day that changed everything. The day my faith and hope is built on.

Today at church, I listened to a children’s choir perform I Know That My Redeemer Lives. It brought me to tears as I thought about our neighbor and several close friends who are mourning a loss right now and what the resurrection means to them as they cling to the hope of seeing their loved ones again.

What struck me is how many times it says HE LIVES. He lives for each one of us.

My favorite line is at the end of the last verse, “Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: “I know that my Redeemer lives!”

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.
He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”


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Easter Weekend…

Several years back, Steve and I were asked to speak on Easter Sunday. It sounds cliche to say, but I was grateful to have spent so much time studying the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ on the final week of his life. This year I find myself in the same position, yet again speaking on Easter Sunday (of course with a different topic, although still related to Jesus Christ) and I’m once again grateful to have put so much effort into studying as we come into Easter. Although Easter is not one of my favorite holidays as far as traditions are concerned, it is one of my favorite holidays as I focus and reflect on things far more important in my life. This has been and is still my very favorite quote in regards to Easter.

I hope those that are heavy with sorrow and pain and heartache feel some peace this weekend as they celebrate Easter and more importantly celebrate Jesus Christ. He brings hope and clarity to my life and I love the opportunity to focus on Him. Happy Easter.

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The pool is open…

I’m not quite sure how it snuck up on me so quickly but a few weeks ago I found myself scouring the internet for swimsuits. The boys are on spring swim team and it was a little comical watching them try swimsuits on for the first time in several months – it was proof that they have all grown a lot!

So I’m stocking up for a summer of swimming: Swimsuits, flip flops, goggles and sunscreen – that is probably the best description of our next 5 months.

And I’m trying to embrace the summer heat wave that always seems to creep up too quickly for my own liking. (98 degrees on Friday means summer has come in full force.) On a happier note – the pool is open. It’s still a little chilly but when the outside air is 98, a cool pool doesn’t feel so bad! Let the pool photos begin!

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Get in the photo…

I often joke that my kids are going to look back at all their documented childhood memories and wonder why their mom was never around! They went and did all these fun things and I was never there.  But I was – there may be very little photographic proof – but I was there.

You see – if there are photos being taken in the family, it’s most likely me behind the lens. I really love taking photos and I always see an opportunity to capture something. But it does result in a photographic past with a very absent mother.

Yes, I suppose I could ask others to take more photos of me, but it always feels weird asking. Like a little self-centered – which its not.  So instead, I stay behind the camera and wish I had more photos with my kids or on vacation or just candids.

Our last time in Mexico, the only photo I was in the whole trip was a family shot the last day. I’ve got hundreds of photos from the trip – and I’m only in one. Mom problems, right? So recently on that same trip, I mentioned this to Steve and asked him to be a little more conscious of it. (It’s not something he even thinks about, but he did great!)

I also handed the camera over to Hallie for an hour one afternoon when she was looking for something to do. You should see the shots she came up with as she walked around the beach and observed everyone playing and hanging out. As I scanned through the photos, I came across this picture:

I’m not sure when she captured it and I wish Steve was in the frame just a little bit more – but there I am with an ocean in the background – proof that I was there. I’ve got to hand the camera to Hallie just a little bit more!

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Team Sport…

A while back we were talking to Hallie about sports. We were lamenting the fact that we never had her play a team sport. She plays tennis and loves it – but she’s on her own and hasn’t ever experienced a team. We even suggested she look into the sports the school offers and perhaps try one of those.

Just before spring break she came home with a flyer for basketball tryouts. Basketball wasn’t the sport I was thinking she could easily pick up with little experience – but it’s the last sport of the school year and she wanted to tryout.

Her basketball experience has been limited. She has a decent shot because she plays pig and speed but she didn’t know anything else about the sport. We spent two whole weeks teaching her the basics. She was out there every single day practicing. Shooting. Dribbling. You name it – she was working on it.

After three days of tryouts, she knew they would be cutting four girls and she thought she was in the bottom group. But she was happy she tried out and she had a good time. After waiting through the longest weekend ever, we drove her to school Monday morning so she could go and see if her name was on the roster. She came walking back to the car and I was trying to read her body language. Then a huge smiled formed across her face and she mouthed the words, “I made it.”

I have not seen that girl work so hard at anything and I was so happy her hard work paid off. There are a lot of girls more experienced than her and she’s working on being aggressive (which isn’t in her nature), but she is loving being on a team. The first game, the first time she got the ball, she looked back at us over her shoulder with pure panic in her face. As if to say, “What am I supposed to do with this ball!?” Luckily, we haven’t had any further incidents like that!

So proud of this girl!

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