Friday, May 13, 2016

For Such a Time as This


Sometimes perfect strangers will see me out with my children and say things like, "I can't imagine parenting in this generation." Or, "I can't imagine how tough it is to raise children in this culture."

They mean well. And I understand their sentiment. But it's not encouraging a bit.

Whether they're referring to this internet-addicted generation, or smartphones and social media and technological distractions, or even our crazy culture wars... or all the above.

Yes, it's very difficult to raise kids in this generation. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say raising kids is probably a challenge no matter what generation we're in. I would not wish to be a parent watching my boys march off to war in the first half of the 1900's. I would not prefer to keep my marriage together and my children fed and clothed during the Great Depression.
I sure wouldn't rather be a first century Christian momma.

So while - yes - it's quite difficult, I'll pick 2016. And I'll pick it with confidence and contentment, because it does not surprise the Lord that He's got sons and daughters trying their best to follow Him, stay committed to each other in marriage, and raise our kiddos to bring Him glory in 2016.

He knows, and He will equip us.

One of my mother's day gifts last Sunday included an hour and a half at a small table in a small coffee shop with just my boys. The original plan was a stroll through Fort Worth's Japanese Gardens straight from church, but the windy, rainy morning found us sitting around a cozy table at Avoca instead. One of the boys brought up the national election, and then we moved onto some rather divisive local politics with our city's school board.

I listened to both of their thoughts on the matters, listened to what their friends are saying and their observations from school and media. I told them that while there are lots of great things going on, these things (and more) are disturbing to me. That while God is still on the throne, this is not quite the America I grew up in. I wanted them to know how much has truly changed in one generation. And locally ~ our new superintendent of Fort Worth schools (not a native Texan, I'll add) is making some changes stretching our city into a divisive uproar.

But... here's the bottom line. And I'm repeating what I said in that coffee shop here, because I want my sons to read these words again someday:

Branson Charles Wilson, you were supposed to be born in 2000. 
And Hudson James Wilson, you in 2001. 
If we believe God's Word, that you are His specific workmanship, that He tailor-made you before the creation of the world to do good works, then we can be confident that you and the era you're living in is His perfect design. 

Both of you, along with Basden and Esther, and all of your twenty-two cousins, and all of the precious kiddos we know, were born for THIS generation. The Lord planned it so, and He has GOOD works ahead of you. 

I don't know if you will fight in war, if you will have to physically defend yourself and your loved ones. I don't know if your future is in a peaceful America or one that escalates to Martial Law. But I do know you will stand alone. At some point, in who-knows-what circumstance, you will get to defend what you believe, and it will be difficult. 

But Dad and I are going to hold to that umbrella of Ephesians 2:10 and parent in hope and confidence and joy that these days are gifts. That both of you, Branson and Hudson, are gifts. And that you were born into a generation for such a time as this.

Corbin has two favorite passages, and one of those is Philippians 4 ~ do not worry, in everything give thanks. All those years ago when the Bible was written and sovereignly pieced together, God knew we'd need encouragement not to worry. Actually, a command not to worry. A command not to fear, that there is no fear in love.

So let's talk politics, let's discuss bathrooms and sneaky superintendents and liberal media, but let's do it with an overriding confidence that as my mother-in-love would say, God has already redeemed this. Our job is to watch and walk in faith, watching what He's already accomplished unfold. And in the meantime, we can rest in the hope that NOW is the time for unwrapping the gift of getting to raise these amazing children.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Monday, May 9, 2016

Practicing Gratitude ~ 5.9.16

- Basden’s accommodating spirit ~ “Whatever is easiest, Mom,” (what she wants for b-fast) and “not if it’s going to be a burden” (asking me to take her to school early)

- Essie finishing her homework independently

- Finishing up gymnastics for the year ~ Basden learned a ton and competed great!
here we go ~ last meet of the year
cute girls!
floor routine ~ she's quite graceful
 - Our Moms in Prayer movie Monday ~ War Room
these women are the best
 - NickMo’s dinner here, amazing to hear his story and vision of heading back to Kauai with Young Life. Especially thankful all four grandparents and all four of our kiddos were here. Love to see Nickmo's support and you stirring hearts, Father.

- Yucatan’s catering. Made hosting the dinner so do-able on a May week night (!), and it was really nice to actually offer a dinner and not just dessert

Love this kid

- Daboo taking Essie to the dentist for me, 25 minutes away, to get a cavity filled

- Hud taking pictures for me

- I am Light, in whom there is no darkness at all. 1 Jn 1:5

- Relaxing in the knowledge that the One who controls my life (and my children’s lives) is totally trustworthy.

- Heart friends

 - Connor bringing me an early morning pour over and honey roll - yum!
I will miss this
 - Finding these on my porch from Moms in Prayer group

 - Sweet friends. Time with Mollie before she heads back to the UK

 - An excited Essie trying on her new baton costume ~ lovely!

- With Essie's team's season over, getting to play as a guest on Coach Baxter's team ~ a treat!

 - Straight from soccer to volleyball

- Oh my gosh. One of the absolute highlights of our year with all these awesome guys ~ the jelly belly game. Crying with laughter
Basden, Connor, Chase, Shaun, Colton
Hud joins in
 - That in these days I need your help, Lord. Every minute. I need your energy, your hope, your sustenance

- That when we fall into bed absolutely exhausted, we’ve got a comfy bed to fall into

- Michelle W and Dana P’s encouragement

- Betsy's encouragement

- Mother's Day. Corbin sent me on a date to Avoca with the boys, then shopping with the girls. He took such great care of me AND our moms
Yummy lunch, three gorgeous flower bouquets
our year with Connor and Chase coming to a close... lots of thoughts on this one

Happy Mother's Day to YOU, Mom!
Wilson (and James!) women
Co-Madres. No words to express my gratitude for these two.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Practicing Gratitude 5.5.16

Well, by golly, this title is correct.  Practicing gratitude. When life weighs in heavy, when I'm taking deep breaths in the normal of my daily routine... Mrs. Voskamp accurately described it in that book of hers... practicing gratitude.
It takes practice.
But that gratitude tempers everything, changes everything.
So here goes.

- My favorite writing perch ~ this scenic backyard

- Hearing laughter from the pool house ~ at this very moment it's Connor, Hillary, Preston, Chase and Essie

- Thick skin and that it's really not terribly thick

- A perfectly-timed call from Jessica. And learning how lobsters grow.

- An hour of Ga Ga Ball last night with all four kids, Connor and Hannah. We all came out pretty drenched with sweat. These spring evenings are just gorgeous.

- Tanner staying with us for the month of April... what a gem
Essie roped Tanner into watching her latest twirling routine
- Funniest moment with Tanner... Essie couldn't believe his manual "roll up" windows!

- Where she does her homework just to be close to me

- Mama cooking dinner for Bran and Hud

- Kids so independent with their schoolwork

- Corbin and Hud's visit to meet baby Elena Gerrish

- Wileys taking Basden along to Six Flags ~ what fun

- These two cuties

- Corbin's job. And even while demanding, he loves it so much

- Our get-away to both Austin (WithYou retreat) and COS - Broadmoor

- Time with Kurt and Jennifer in Colorado Springs ~ refreshing

- Four days at the Broadmoor... just a bit of Heaven

Seven Falls
- Hosting a Wyldlife girls' night

- Watching War Room with our Moms in Prayer group. Such an inspiring film.

- Betsy's flowers (from our MIP group) and her note, and how timely that encouragement felt.

- That we’re about as happy as we decide to be.

- Reading Ben Carson’s autobiography (again). I just love his mom.

- Girls enjoying practicing volleyball together


- And the trampoline...

- Essie and her "besties"

- Hud's 8th grade track season, qualifying for City, and battling his hip and back muscles those last few weeks. Difficult to watch, but I'm practicing thankfulness in all things.
Anchor on the relays
He is FUN to watch run
Love this kid
Bran trying to encourage him when Hud's hip muscles kept him from competing. Tears in those brown eyes.
-Airrosti Rehab and Dr. Taylor, and that at least right now we could afford it.

- Another visit to sweet Baby Elena

- Psalm 37:5 - Commit your way to Me, trust in Me, and I will do it.  Father, that I can trust You with the “clutter” of the fullness of life. Thank you for examples of Rachel and Dayna who also LLL and show me examples that it can be done with grace.

- That she loves to read! I've got one out of four... I'll take it! (and the verdict is still out with Essie... she just may become a reader yet)

- Mama and Papa taking Hud to Franklin, TX for a baseball tournament, and then Daboo taking him. Lots of grandparents to cheer him on.

- Connor and Hillary
How much we adore these two
- Lunch with Essie

- Watching Basden cheer on her volleyball teammates

- 21st Baylor Reunion at Brandon and Kirsten's Green Acres retreat

Getting to meet up with another BU reunion group... amazing gals
- Saying “no” to several things this week. Like Bob Goff, quitting something every Tuesday (or whatever day he says)

- Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand. Is 64:8.

- Juanelle ~ one of the most brilliant examples to me of being willing clay in Your hand

- Bran surprising Adeline for her prom

- Daboo buying Bran’s plane tix to ATL in exchange for painting her porch.

Packed for ATL, headed to pitch before catching his plane
One of his favorite places
- James and Hills so willing to take care of Bran while he’s in Alpharetta
Adeline and Bran with Kristin and Eric

the piano
Uncle Trey & Bran
Cutie Scarlett!
Thanks, Amy and Trey, and happy anniversary!
- The Net, Survivor Leader Luncheon - wow wow wow

- Misty Davis and her tremendous work on that luncheon!

- Mama, Papa, and Daboo taking care of the kiddos with us gone (and Cappy - I know you're working!)

- How encouraged Essie felt for Coach Baxter to think she's fast

- Finding Esther's pictures on my camera

- More pics by Essie on my camera... our great friends and neighbors

- Corrie's work at church and showing up for family events

- Coach Thomas and all of his generous rides for Hudson to baseball practices

- Danika ~ awesome friend
grateful for this friend and next-door-neighbor
- Basden, that she trusts me

- Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lam 3:22-26

- Cappy and Papa loaning their cars to Bran

- PHS coaches

- Yelling and cackling and laughing sounds from the front driveway ~ Connor schooling Basden and Esther in a late evening basketball game

- PHS dodgeball tournament
Essie and her team of ALL boys
Basden and 6th gr team ~ darling girls
Hud's 8th grade team

Instructing Essie
- Girls' sports dominating our Saturdays

- Another Purple Panthers season... some really great teammates

- Basden's creative, ever-changing hair styles

- Grieving and growing, and trusting that they go hand in hand

- Good friends

- Light at the end of the tunnel with school... exactly one month to go

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12