Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Lost Wallet

This past Sunday I lost my wallet. I laid it down at the Jimmy John's restaurant near the drink fountain and left it. My natural instinct is to blame my girlies. They were both in the WORST moods and were crying and fussing about everything. I also want to blame my husband. I have no legitimate reason how to blame him, but in my flesh, I just want to blame someone, anyone but myself.

We had been at oldest curly girlie's soccer game and she was not participating. She was pouting and fussing and I wasn't really sure why. But, I was frustrated. I was disappointed that once again she was choosing to sit in the grass and not play. 

We left the soccer game and decided to stop at Trader Joe's to grab something for dinner. It was at this point that I realized my wallet was gone. We called Jimmy John's and there was no sign of a wallet. We stopped by there and looked all around in the restaurant, the trash and the surrounding area. We then went back to the soccer field to look there. No wallet. No sign of it anywhere. I immediately began sobbing. 

I felt vulnerable and anxious about the situation. The day before, I had gotten some cash out of the ATM machine so that we could start using it for our groceries and eating-out expenses. I had about $200 in my wallet. I NEVER have cash. NEVER. So, that of course bothered me. But most of all, I was concerned about all of my personal information being in the hands of a stranger. 

I cried more and more. I was simply devastated. I was so upset, not just about the wallet but about the entire day - the "spat" that I had with my oldest girlie about getting ready for church that morning, the fact that we ate at a restaurant that I didn't choose, the whining and crying from the curlie girlies, and then the soccer game turnout.  But amidst all of the chaos of the day, both my husband and my oldest girlie just prayed. They kept praying and praying that we would find my wallet.

The next day we prayed more and more. I called my family and friends and asked them to pray. I thought to myself often that there was no way we would find it. It was long gone. I called the restaurant and the soccer league. I went back by Jimmy Johns. I even asked the next-door restaurant if they had seen it. I imagined that someone had picked it up from the restaurant, taken the cash out of it, and thrown it away. It seemed really impossible. But yet, I just felt compelled to pray for a miracle.

On that same day, my youngest girlie fell off a piece of playground equipment and seemed to be in a lot of pain. So, we visited our pediatrician and she insisted that we go to the hospital to have an x-ray. I started laughing because I have no wallet - no license, no insurance cards, no debit card - nothing that will allow me to admit my little girlie to the hospital. 

We spent the afternoon laying on the sofa watching a movie because little girlie can't walk or do much of anything. My oldest girlie, who is soooo persistent and says whatever is on her mind, kept praying that day. She told people about the missing wallet and just continued to pray throughout the day. She was very sweet and I could sense a real genuine concern from her for both me and her sister's foot. Hubby comes home from work, takes us to the hospital, and a few hours later, after much praying for the wallet and her foot, we get the results. It's not broken, just a minor sprain. We are so relieved! 

Well, Tuesday morning arrives. I take my oldest girlie to preschool and she prays for both her sister's foot and my wallet. I tell her that I really appreciate her prayers for my wallet but that Mommy was not worried about the wallet anymore. It was gone and we would be fine. We had cancelled all the cards, ordered a new wallet, spent an hour at the bank getting things re-sorted, and so I had accepted the fact that the wallet was gone. She told me, "It's ok Mom. I prayed. We don't need the money. I'll get you a new wallet for Christmas."

Well, you won't believe what happened next that afternoon. Hubby came home from work and brought the mail into the house. I received a soft package from a random man off Piedmont Road. I remember thinking in my mind that I had no idea what this could be and so I laid it down as I got distracted by the girlies. I came back to the package, ripped it open, and there inside of it was MY WALLET! Yes, someone found my wallet and mailed it back to me! The cash was taken but all of my things were still intact, even my gift cards to J.Crew and Starbucks. I was ecstatic! I started jumping up and down and yelling with excitement! My family couldn't believe it - we were all so excited and so thankful that the Lord did answer our prayers. The persistent praying and begging was heard by our Great God and He gave me back my wallet. 

In my last post I talked about the book "A Praying Life" and how Miller writes that Jesus wants us to pray like a child. After the events of this week, I fully believe and understand the importance of praying consistently, saying what comes to my mind, and without any eloquence. I'm so thankful for my wallet because I have a tangible reminder of the Lord's goodness. It spurs me to "rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer." (Romans 12:12)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blog Break

I'm back! I took a nice little break from blogging so that I could evaluate my intentions with this blog. During my time off, I've learned that I just simply want to write about our family. I don't want to impress anyone with the recipes that I'm cooking or the sewing that I'm doing. I don't want to compare my blog to the other blogs around me. I want to write when I feel like it and when I can find the time. I want to write about the life of our family and the fun adventures that take place.

I am reading Paul Miller's "A Praying Life" for the third time now and wow, it just gets better every chapter. This past week I read about the importance of praying like a child. How does that look? Well, my oldest curly girlie is so very persistent and asks over and over again for things. She is quick to say whatever is on her mind and heart, with no pretense. She comes home from school, jumps in the car and just starts blurting out everything from the day, in no kind of clean, neat order. Well, that's exactly how Miller tells us to approach God in prayer. God wants us to ask repeatedly of Him and to ask for anything and everything. He wants us to come before Him messy and needy, presenting our real selves to Him.  Matthew 11:28 says, "'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

That's how I want this blog to look too! Now, I know that the people reading this blog aren't God, that's not my point. But just like the Lord wants us to be ourselves with Him, I believe that He also wants us to be our real selves with our family, friends, neighbors, and community.

So, how will that look now for me on this blog? I'll just write about our life, with no pretense, no eloquent words, and no fancy order. I will strive to write so that I honor the Lord and preserve a memory. I won't write to impress nor to make myself feel better because I did a neat and pretty craft with my girlies. More than likely, I'll have to post about a craft that we did that looked messy and caused a fight to take place between the girlies because they didn't want to share the glue. Maybe I'll write about making jell-o jigglers for school that didn't turn out to jiggle, they just made a big glob. Who knows? But, I'm excited about experiencing freedom! I'm excited about being me - wife to my hubby, mommy to my girlies, and most importantly, daughter of the King Jesus! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beach Bums

We loaded up the curly girlies and little nephew and headed to Gulf Shores, AL for a week at the beach. We had such a wonderful and relaxing time! We spent the week with my parents, sister, nephew, and brother-in-law in a great little beach house just a short jump from the beach.

We are so thankful for the Lord's grace towards Doug! The week before our trip, his leg was not doing well so he used crutches all week and we spent a tremendous amount of time praying for healing. On his weekly visit to the prosthetist, he got a new water leg which is designed to aid in walking in the sand and swimming in water. Doug wasn't really sure how it was going to work, but he was hopeful. So, on our first morning we headed to the beach and his water leg worked great! The leg enabled him to walk on the sandy beach and swim in the ocean waves all week long!

We spent most of our mornings playing at the beach.

Oldest girlie really enjoyed riding the boogie board - she was so brave! 

Youngest girlie had fun playing in the sand and building sand castles!

We all found lots of pretty seashells.

Someone sure was loving the water!

Both girlies loved searching and digging for sand crabs with their Daddy. We ended up going home with two little hermit crabs as pets. Unfortunately, we've already lost one, but Sally is still (barely) hanging on.

My favorite part was our time spent together at the beach! The waves were so much fun and the water was so pretty. I loved watching the girlies giggle as they dug in the sand and I even got in a great read, "The Help".

Over the course of our week, we spent an afternoon at the water park, did a little outlet mall shopping, saw Cars 2, played a round of putt-putt (which was hilarious with three kids under four), put together puzzles, had breakfast with some princesses and pirates, played cards, and ate yummy seafood.

We spent most of our evenings swimming in the pool behind our the house. We had a blast!

I'm already thinking about next year!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blazing Days of May and June

I can't believe May has already come and gone and now it's June. Wow, where does the time go? We had a very busy, but fun May. The curly girlies both finished preschool and had fun little parties. Oldest girlie is very excited that she is now 4 1/2 and will be starting Pre-K in the fall. I can't believe she will be turning 5 in just a few months! Youngest girlie had a great little half-year in the two year old class. One of her favorite little friends was in the same class with her which made the time extra sweet.

Oldest girlie enjoyed a great week of Bible School with some of her friends. She memorized Psalm 121:1-2 and she is so proud of herself! I love the expression she uses when she says, "Where does my help come from?" On the last day, she participated in a huge assembly and it was awesome! There were about 500 children singing "Our God" and it was powerful!

Both girlies then spent this past week doing swim lessons with my Mom here in Atlanta. It was a very fun week and both girlies can really do some swimming now!

A June highlight for the girlies was hosting a pajama movie night! It was a blast! Four of their sweet friends came over for pizza, popcorn and Toy Story 3. As you can imagine, the kids were full of energy and excitement! They watched some of the movie, ran around, watched a little more, had a little pillow fight, and then finished off the end of the movie. We hope to make this a monthly event this summer!

I've been enjoying lots of little sewing projects. I've made a few skirts, dresses, hats, headbands, purses, and even made myself a skirt. I find that making and completing these little projects really inspires me! I've taken a few pieces of clothing that we already own and turned them into patterns. This is definitely a challenge because I don't really have an eye for design, but I'm finding that I actually like the trial and error process. By nature, I like the finished project. I like someone else telling me how to do something. I'm not the best learner. However, in the past few weeks, I have found myself growing in this area. These fun projects are growing me in patience and I'm learning the importance of perseverance in the midst of confusion.

It's actually been a really tough month for our family. Doug traveled to San Francisco for work and I got to meet him there mid-week. Sounds real tough, huh? Well, he got an infection while we were there from all the walking on his prosthetic leg. We did, however, have fun together and made the most of our time there. We spent some time in Wine Country, visited with some friends in Oakland, checked out Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown, drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, and enjoyed a lovely morning at the Farmer's Market.

Since that trip, we have been experiencing lots of ups and downs with his leg. He has spent most of the past five weeks in the wheelchair or on crutches. This has been quite challenging for all of us, especially my sweet husband. He is now on a second round of antibiotics and has begun wearing the leg for a few hours at a time. We are praying that he gets a new leg this week that will fit properly and will enable him to get back into his gardening!

This new trial and phase of the recovery has brought about lots of doubt in my heart about the Lord's plan for us. It seems that He doesn't really care. In the midst of this confusion, I want to run and hide. I want to sit on my bed and cry and doubt the Lord's goodness. However, the Lord graciously points me to His Truth. He points me to how He has cared for our family and spared Doug's life. In a recent sermon, Walter used Psalm 126 to comfort me and challenge me. He said that God brings blessings through our tears and He brings about growth in our lives through suffering. God's dreams for my family and myself will far exceed my own dreams for myself. I'm clinging to these promises!