Thursday, December 24, 2009

Do EVERYTHING without Complaining...

I'm a complainer. Self proclaimed and otherwise (just ask my sweet husband). It's something that I am dealing with and desire to be free from. Lately we have been telling Jayden not to complain. When he starts whining (like most/all 2 year olds) we remind him by saying "please don't complain." I want to show him what it looks like to live honestly but "to do everything without complaining or groaning." I want him to learn to have a thankful heart. Funny how you see your own behavior in your kids.

I'm coming to realize that the opposite of a complaining heart is a grateful one. I have so much to be grateful for in my life...and honestly very little to legitimately complain about.

I wanted to share a link to a girl's blog I've been following (ok I'm stalking her). Her name is Katie (her boyfriend Ben is on the track team at Univ of FL), she's 21 years old and she bought a house in Uganda (where she lives with her 14 daughters) and started a ministry to orphans and the poorest Ugandan families. Her faith is remarkable and her love for her "neighbor" is inspiring. The blog is also a reality check for me. There is real, hard core, legitimate, seemingly unending suffering going on all around her and she gives her readers a glimpse of it....while be grateful and even cheerful (yet HONEST).

Elf Yourself-Can view until 1-15-10

I'm sure you've all done the "elf yourself" videos. My mom sent this to us and of course we laughed hysterically. Jayden and Journey dancing hip hop to "jingle bells."

Monday, December 14, 2009

December :)

What's up.

Just doing what I do...chillin.'

I know this isn't a good picture but I wanted to make sure I got one photo of Journey in winter attire. Yep, it was cold for part of one whole day. Don't's back in the 80s.

This was taken at some seminary friends house (Sandy and Heather) during a Christmas brunch. We had a blast and the kids enjoyed some extra time with Daddy. If you look closely you can see Journey's bald spots. She has started pulling her hair out in clumps. I trimmed it today in hopes that she won't be able to get ahold of it to pull it out. By the time I cut it, it was quite thin and she only had hair in the middle/top of her head.

My sister Angie came to hang out for a few days. She also brought ornaments for our Christmas tree. Thanks sis! (Don't we look alike:)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Did you know? Me either. Now we do.

  • every 1 second a woman dies from complications in child birth
  • every 5 seconds a child dies from hunger related complications
  • every 15 seconds a child dies as a result of unclean drinking water
  • every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria

"Fifteen thousand Africans are dying each day of preventable, treatable diseases-AIDS, malaria, TB-for lack of drugs that we take for granted. This statistic alone makes a fool of the idea many of us hold on to very tightly: the idea of equality. What is happening in Africa mocks our pieties, doubts our concern and questions our commitment to the whole concept. Because if we're honest, there's no way we could conclude that such mass death day after day would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. Certainly not North America, Europe or Japan. An entire continent bursting into flames? Deep down, if we really accept that their lives-African lives-are equal to ours, we would all be doing more to put the fire out. It's an uncomfortable truth." -taken from: The hole in our gospel.

This part of the book impacted me because a young couple in our church has a baby that has been diagnosed with a fatal disease and I have been so sick about it. I have woken up at night praying for them as my heart aches to consider their pain. It's so much easier to identify with one child as opposed to 26,000 children who die every day (every day?) in African countries.

"Don't fail to do something just because you can't do everything." Bob Pierce

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Psalm 82:3

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Some good come-backs....

In light of my last post I'd love to hear some good come-backs. You know how sometimes you walk away from a stranger and say "man, I wish I would have said ________."

I met a lady at the YMCA a few days ago that has 5 kids (the youngest two are twins). She said many times people in public will ask her, "did you want all those kids." Ummm, no not really just the first three. Or many of my friends with twins hear people ask, "are they fertility?" Ummm, no they are children and that is actually a really personal question. A friend of a friend has a biracial (asian/american) child and someone at a church function asked her, "when did you get him." Ummm, about a second after I gave birth to him. Someone asked me a few weeks ago if my children had the same father. Ummm, yes but that really is none of your business.

We were having this discussion in my small group at church and a few good, straight-to-the-point come backs were shared. I love them and maybe you will too the next time someone says something dumb to you about your family :)

"Did you forget to think before you said that."
"Where those inside words that accidentally came out."

If you have any other good ones...please share!

On a lighter note....maybe.

Something has been bothering me for a while. My kids have some obvious differences. The most frequently mentioned is their hair. Strangers and friends alike comment on (compliment) Jayden's hair all the time. I think he is absolutely stunning and handsome and I think a lot of times most people mean well. I do really appreciate the positive way people respond to our kids in public, it is a great reminder that people are accepting of our racially mixed family. I also think some comments reveal some hidden racial preferences about beauty.

When I have both of my kids together and all I hear is how beautiful his blonde hair is (or how beautiful he is in general), it bothers me. Not because he's not beautiful (or unique...I get that) but because she (with her dark kinky hair) is too. Someone has literally said to Jayden, "how did you get to be the lucky one with all that blonde hair." I just wonder how Journey will interpret those comments? I'm not sure how else she could other than thinking darker hair, skin, etc. is not as pretty as light skin and blonde hair.

Sounds like I'm succumbing to the age old argument that "people shouldn't mix races because it's just hard on the kids." I am aware that my kids could potentially face some hard questions in life. I cringe at the thought and also welcome it. My response to the many, many people who have asked that age old question is this...."As Christians, is our primary responsibility to teach our kids what is easy or what it right."

In the image of God he created them.

Is that not what it means to know me?

Blogging has been a great way to keep up with family and friends and post cute pictures of the kids. I have loved's been like an online journal I hope to print out someday (since I skipped the baby book thing).But, somewhere along the way I just kind of decided to keep from getting to personal. You know what I'm talking about. I have wanted to post more meaningful things in the past but for whatever reason chose to keep it light. At the same time, I have a real desire to share what I'm learning. So, I hope to contribute a little more than I have in the past. Honestly, my heart has been burning to share a few things that God has revealed to me over the past several months. So, I'm going to start doing that a little more.

Check this out. All along I've thought of the Christian life in terms of prayer, bible study, fellowship and evangelism. I have taken versus about being "Christ-like" and "obeying" God personally or inwardly. For example...I thought (and have been taught) those concepts refer to my attitude, my heart, avoiding sin in my life, etc. I'm sure that is part of it. But what I'm learning lately is this....

"He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 22:16

I have always said I cared about the poor but seriously I did not realize that this is what Jesus was all about. Do you know how many references he makes about this? Like 2000 or something. I (we) have been all about improving ourselves and even telling people about Jesus (when we "get an opportunity"). I have been spending the 10 years of my Christian life learning what knowing Jesus means, and I've missed a big part of that.

My hope is that I will not forget this. That one day this could be said about me..."She defended the cause of the poor and needy."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Hole in our Gospel

I stumbled across this book written by the president of World Vision, a humanitarian organization that is committed to fighting against poverty and for social justice. Can I tell you....

IT IS AMAZING? I put it down three different times because it's one of those that once you digest it's content you know you will be called to action. Yes, I put it down on three separate occasions because "once you know" you have to act (I wasn't sure I was ready to "know" but are you ever ready? I am almost half way through it (the author says, "God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called). According to the author the idea behind the book is quite simple. It's basically the belief (based on scripture friends) that being a Christian, or follower of Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God. It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.

Barnes and Noble has it right now on their website for $9.99 and free shipping. It has a section in the back for small group study. If you lead a small group (or church for that matter) or have a few friends that claim to care about our broken world this book would absolutely grow your heart and as a result impact the world. I am excited (and truthfully a little nervous) to see how God wants to use my life to make a difference. I literally almost wept today in the YMCA lobby reading chapters 10 & 11.

Rick Warren (quotes in this book). The first Reformation...was about creeds; this one's going to be about our deeds. The first one divided the church; this time it will unify the church.

"Faith without deeds is dead."

Is it just me?

Do you ever get so far behind in something that you just can't seem to get started again? I'm that way with just about everything. If anything piles up I get all overwhelmed and paralyzed.

Well, I have a lot of fun pictures on my mom's camera that I would love to post but I haven't got around to getting the pics on my computer. So, I took forever to update the blog because I dread skipping that stuff. Oh well. I decided I just needed to move on and give a real-time (almost) update.

An update...Finally

We had our second annual family vacation over Thanksgiving this year. Just the four of us. No turkey or fixins...just a whole lot of beautiful scenery and much-needed rest and relaxation.

We had 5 days and nights together. Just another thing amongst the many we have to be thankful for.

The Girls...

Contrary to the what it looks like...our kids (and the daddy) do not really care for the beach because of the sand. That's right. They tried to play in it but just didn't care to get dirty. Demetrius takes full responsibility for this one.

Some Cute Ones...

The fussy-girl face. I personally adore this face.

She LOVES climbing into chairs.

Sweet face. "hi camera."

How about those expressions?

Sharing the chair...sporting their Bahamas t-shirts.

Reading with Daddy.

Best Man I Know

I told Demetrius when we first started dating that he was the best man I knew. He was...and he is. He'll be the first to admit when he's wrong. That says a lot about a person. Not that they do everything right but that they can admit their shortcomings and pursue godliness. I love him more every day. He is an amazing, patient, loving father to our children. I have fallen in love with an entire different side of him since Jayden and Journey have come along. He would tell you in a second...."it's just the grace of God."

The Daddy and his babies.

There is always a swarm of little Summerville children anytime he sits down. He has learned that he cannot even eat at the table if they are awake because they want in his lap.


I have to admit Journey is becoming (ok....has become) a Daddy's girl. I knew it was coming. It's here.

Thanksgiving Retreat

Checking out the water "crash" on the sand (Jayden's word).

My friend Melonie and her daughter Selah came to visit one day and spend the night while Demetrius was school and work. We had some FUN in the tub (well, the kids did anyway).

New nickname: Hollywood (that's what my neighbor called him this morning at 8am as he rode his tricycle down the sidewalk with some rock star sunglasses).

Rub-a-dub-dub...3 kids in the tub. I was on bath duty while Melonie went to get some delicious seafood from "Boston's." Thanks Mel for the "birthday" dinner :)

In your best singing voice: "If you're happy and you know it do all three...(CLAP CLAP, STOMP STOMP, HOORAY). This was taken at the Hooray part can you tell?

The Mama and her little flock.

My sweet friend Melonie and the most chilled out baby in the world....Selah!