a street called parramore is lined with men who have no home. another cold spell and the people disappear. all but a few. the least among the least?
my heart aches for the man whose feet stick out from a pile of blankets on the concrete. for the man whose feet are propped on his wheelchair footrest. his body is a mound of blankets. who is he? whose is he?
the holy spirit whispers "made in the image of God." and i whisper a pray for his body and his soul.
on a cold day it's all i can make out. the feet of the forgotten.
we have moved into one of the most distressed neighborhood in the city of orlando. there is so much darkness and so much light. we have embraced the call to live incarnationally and to love the way that jesus did. the biggest surprise so far? i really like it here. "like it" as in i feel like i'm at home for the first time in a long time.
i hope to share some of my journey on here as i process the reality i now live in. it's hard and it's good. it is beauty and it is ashes.
welcome to my new season... it's gonna be a long one. probably forever.
i sit on the gallon bucket. the one that holds the paint intended to cover old wounds on the house built in 1925. the paint and the brush will likely never meet. these wounds on wood don't seem to matter much anymore.
three little girls with princess dressing dragging the ground play in the open spaces while someone else's little girl cautiously enters into a decked out SUV. she doesn't know him and he doesn't care to know her.
the holy spirit whispers "made in the image of God." i whisper a pray for their souls.
the buying and selling of women and the running and playing of children. same time, same place. my worlds collide and i hold close the little girl i love and i weep for the little girl whose pain i will never know.
We are alive... and well. My head is spinning with all that we've been up to these last few weeks of summer. Bottom line is that my kids are GROWING UP!
I am starting the weaning process.
Hope turns 1 in about 2 weeks.
She started taking steps this week.
Jayden started school today (tear).
Journey is officially out of pull-ups (day/night).
Demetrius' mom and brother are here with us and have been a huge help with all the craziness. We took a trip to Alabama and North Carolina. We have been swimming daily and going to SeaWorld a bunch. We are still looking for a house to buy in Holden Heights, where our church is exploring the possibility of an urban church plant. I can't seem to find the time or energy to update as often as I would like but I'm not giving up just yet:)
Jayden turns 4 tomorrow. I can't believe I have a KID!
Jumping for joy (with one of his flip flops and one of journey's flip flops) because his friends were over. You know you have a KID and not a baby when his friends knock on our door and ask if Jayden can play with them.
He is really an amazing swimmer. He is now snorkeling! He is so calm in the water and it's so fun to watch him learn and grow.
Tomorrow we are having a race car themed birthday party. I know some people despise "themed" parties but it's his day and that is what he loves!
We started swim lessons this week! This isn't something we originally planned to do but we were given a great opportunity and given the fact that we are here in Florida to stay we decided to go for it. I'm so glad we did. This is PediaSwim. It is more than just swimming and/or survival. It's day 3 for us and I can tell that my very strong-willed little guy is gaining self control and confidence. I can't wait to see what this does for him (and the girls of course).
Journey again swimming from instructor to instructor. She could not and would not swim even a little 3 days ago.
Hope is learning to get to the surface and float. She will eventually learn to turn onto her tummy, kick to the edge and hold on. At this age, it's all about survival and she will need to have refresher courses to progress her to "swimming." No doubt... she hates it. She started crying when we walked up to the pool this morning. But, she is learning!
If you know my boy (or have read my blog for any time at all) you know that it's a fight to get his hair washed. He has never liked to get his hair or face wet. Our weekly or bi-weekly hair washing is d.r.a.m.a. I had no idea how he would do and honestly I was a tad scared he would throw some fists (not a fit...i'm talking punches here). Fears were confirmed and he went nuts! But, his no-fuss instructor was amazing and now he is doing awesome!
Hope and Journey floating on their backs (day 2)
Journey-girl was all about it on day 1. She couldn't wait for her turn. Now she is being challenged a big more and didn't want to go back. She is doing really well and will be like her best friend, Ariel (aka the little mermaid) in no time!
I really thought about quitting this blog... and I might still. There is just too much life going on to capture it all. I get behind and then who has time to catch up on blogging when you're...
hanging outside with 3 little kids expectantly waiting for daddy to get home from work.
figuring out how to parent an incredibly cool, almost-four-year-old.
bathing and rebathing children who seem to pee on everything and who are always covered in food (hope). not to mention the high maintenance hair of the older ones. i love doing their hair but they don't exactly love it:)
making sure we keep up with these cars... and that the boy in this picture is confident in being the fastest, tallest, strongest, etc.
making sure that your two athletically talented children don't come crashing down from the playground built for children 5-12 years old.
daily removing permanent marker (lotion, diaper cream, vaseline, makeup, crayola marker, etc) from your child "artist."
busy snapping iPhone photos of a princess sleeping in such a way as to not disturb her pre-nap tea party (which she had in her brothers bed).
finding and enjoying time with your husband and best friend... oh and 8.5 month old baby who loves to make funny faces.
responding to "look at me mommy" all day long:) aka pouring on the praise and encouragement.
watching your 2.5 year old get so big it makes your heart hurt.
teaching a baby to eat, and sleep, and watching her fall in love with her brother and sister.
watching for parking lot traffic so you're toddlers can ride their bikes over the speed bumps again and again and again (the joys of apartment living).
ummm... does anyone else's house look like this 5 minutes after the children awake? impressive.
For all of my non-healthy eating friends out there (julia)...I would like to share a recipe for Oreo Truffles. I would bet that my non-healthy eating friends (julia) probably already know this one but in light of my last post I think I better share it just in case.
OREO TRUFFLES (with no cool step by step photos)
1 package oreos
1-8oz cream cheese
chop up the oreos in a food processor. mix in softened cream cheese. roll into 1-inch balls. refrigerate until hard. melt chocolate (or whatever candy coating you'd like) and dip balls. place on wax paper or a baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate hardens. keep refrigerated (because of cream cheese) and try not to eat all of them because they are really. really. bad. for. you.
I am the wife of an amazing man, the mother of three amazing children and the daughter of the King. I am learning every day what it means to be a Christian, or follower of Christ. This is what I know so far... Authentic faith, rooted in the heart of God, is expressed in deeds done to ease the pain of others; it is imbued with personal sacrifice, and it comes with a cost (Richard Stearns).