Category Life

Jude is 5!

Our sweet boy is 5 years old today! He is silly, he is smart, he is kind, he loves order, and he loves to learn. We are very lucky to be his parents! Happy birthday little monkey!

Jude age 5

See year 4 and year 3.

 

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several weeks of celebrations

The past several weeks have been absolutely full to brim with fun work and personal events! It’s a big month all around!

We kicked everything off with the opening of the Austin Boardwalk. The private donor event was first (and it was so beautiful and perfect) and I got to wear my new Stitch Fix Sally Mixed Stripe dress in a very appropriate cocktail length/summer weather event. Add another to the list for ‘my job exceeds every and all expectations’.

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And then we followed with the public grand opening! And what a memorable day it was – bands playing, drum lines marching, aerial dancers dancing (and a partridge in a pear tree?)! My co-worker and I got this fun photo with the giant ribbon cutting scissors. This project encompasses so much to the community – connection, safety, health, beauty, progress. I’m floored that I got to play the tiniest of little pieces in it’s implementation.

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At the public opening event there was a stunning performance called East~West by Blue Lapis Light Aerial Dancers to celebrate the connections achieved through the completion of the Boardwalk trail. The underpass of IH-35 at Lady Bird Lake was made beautiful (probably for the first and maybe only time) by these talented dancers.

Blue Lapis Light Performs

We finished off that weekend by celebrating a dear friend’s wedding, which took place at the Zilker Clubhouse (check out that incredible view)! Isn’t that hanging backdrop beautiful?

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And we wrapped up the work events with a practically sold out 10th Anniversary of the Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run & Party. The run portion was successful and the party was beautiful, but we were unfortunately driven inside by tornado warnings and rain.

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Next up, celebrating our 5 year old… And then I am going to take a very long nap. 😉

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sorting out the feelings of church planting

I’ve been trying to find my words to describe the season we are in for quite some time now. Two years ago, I shared a bit about the adventure we were beginning, but I haven’t been able to clearly articulate the church plant journey throughout. It has been messy, challenging, surprising, beautiful and just plain hard. I have learned how my heart is quick to anger, that I jump to feeling entitled, and how easy it is to judge everyone else. All things I thought I would never allow myself to be. Turns out, I’m just like everyone else.

My faith has been challenged and stretched. I knew it was going to be hard for me to live in the city, where it is easier to agree with the academics that there is no God: faith is for the unintelligent. And it is hard. I struggle to claim my faith everyday and I question just as I always have. The doubts will not subside. But the Holy Spirit won’t let me go (and just saying that sets off the ‘kooky’ alarms in my brain, but my heart agrees). I am coming to peace with the tumult of my doubt. No surprise there, my life is full of paradoxes and I am growing to find comfort in them.

I have felt tremendous love and closeness to my neighbors – I care about them like they are extended family, and that feels right. I have watched the small group of people that make up our church love well, lavish grace, impart the practical to our city, all to express Jesus’ love and our love for them.

I still experience moments when something about Christians makes headlines and I want to tear away from all associations of ‘the church’ – it would be easier to be a lone ranger, live faith on my own, but then I turn my eyes to our little piece of the Body in front of me and I am encouraged. We are a ragtag bunch and often I still feel frustrated, but we have fun together, we do our best to love well, we try to trust that God will use us and most of the time I see Jesus in it.

We have no idea how to do what we’re doing, but we’re taking guesses based on those who have come before us and doing it anyway, making changes as we fail. We’re all a mess, but I think it’s working. We are loved by God and we are working to love Austin with God.

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8th Anniversary

I love that we get to celebrate our marriage each year. Each year has it’s own character and much like a child, our marriage learns new phrases, discovers new favorite foods, experiences new adventures. Our 8th year of marriage has been one of resettling into our love – learning each other again and letting go of criticism. It is refreshing to experience an unexpected newness after 8 years – what will that be like at 10 years, 20 years? We are beginning to tell the same stories to the same people – we are becoming that couple, our lives are so intertwined.

For all of the pain, the times that we couldn’t stand each other, where is was more difficult to work through the problems than to sweep them under the rug, the hard work to continue loving each other has payed off. I really do love this man and I am more glad now than the day I married him, that we get to spend our lives together. Happy 8th anniversary my love.

jason-beth

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Family Photos 2013

Our lovely friend Dawn took our family photos again this year, still helping benefit the adoption of their little girl they are adopting from Ghana. I have some very talented friends.

We took a few photos in front of the new children’s museum, The Thinkery, which will open soon (can’t wait – it looks so awesome!).

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I think Dawn did an amazing job capturing our little family.

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And this kid, I love him so much. I love age 4.

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But he’s still a ham that loves to be the center of attention. 🙂

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Even when he’s being tickled. 🙂

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And a huge thanks to my friend Krista for letting me borrow some of my favorite new pieces from Noonday Collection (ooooh those earrings! the necklace! And all that arm candy!)!

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Halloween 2013

Oh hello again. I think I’m back once more. I think. Now that I’ve survived the months of September and October. 🙂

We had a great Halloween this year – Jude actually wanted to dress up as a fox (thanks pop culture)! There was no way the costume was going to be homemade this year, not with the schedule I was trying to maintain! But he’s cute as a little fox!

Jude and Anne Halloween2 2013

He went around trick or treating with his neighborhood buddies and had so much fun. So stinking cute.

Jude and Anne Halloween 2013

 

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still here

Well hello there. Two months have passed and I bet you thought I abandoned this little space that I have here. Part of me thought I abandoned it too. I’ve questioned my use of this space in a season of such little free time. But somehow, a bit of a myself feels missing, not sharing. What a quandary for this introvert – being around people all the time and still not feeling like I’ve shared enough, emptied myself of what is most valuable. Ah so many paradoxes in life.

I’ve felt stretched thin and taut in the past months. Things have torn and required time to stitch back together. Everything is always so much harder than I think it should be – parenting, marriage, family, friendships, faith. I’ve allowed the weight to feel heavy on my heart, I’ve struggled to know how to rest, to take pleasure in the things I’ve completed or done well.

But here we are. Life struggling along as always, the beautiful alongside the ugly, just as it always will. I always find myself back in this place – calling out to God, telling him I don’t believe in Him and yet, I do. I don’t want to but I do. I will never make sense of it, this dance of belief and unbelief. And yet I rest my life in the place of belief, pushing forward with trust (of all things).

What is there to do but keep moving onward?

 

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Happy 4th Jude!

Happy 4th Birthday Jude!

Jude at 4-01

See last year’s photo mosaic…

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this whole marriage thing

I’ve been watching this week’s marriage drama unfold on my facebook feed. It has been deeply disturbing to me as people I love on both sides take hard definitive stances – some advocating love, some hate, some religion. So much division.

If America truly were a ‘Christian nation’, as so many would like to think it is, would the American dream not be reflective of the gospel instead of self-indulgence? Would the church not love others deeply (especially through our differences as Jesus modeled for us) and act out of that love instead of building yet another building? What about the separation of church and state? Our faith doesn’t get to make the laws. If it did (as many seem to believe it should), wouldn’t there be a laws against divorce since the Bible so clearly says ‘God hates divorce?’ (Malachi 2:16). Shouldn’t we be focused on fixing the marriages in the church? Isn’t there something in the Bible about about removing the plank out of our own eye (Matt. 7:3-5)?

The deeper I’ve dug, the more I’ve read (Torn, Love is an Orientation and Washed and Waiting), the more unsure I’ve become on what the Bible actually says and I’m learning to live in the uncertainty. It is not as cut and dry as people would like to believe – there are a myriad of complexities. Different translations. Debates on what some very important words actually mean. Cultural background, both current and past. Bibliscism says that the Bible only says one thing and that is definitive but I feel that the idea that you can know what is truly ‘Biblical’ is not wholly possible (and I’m not the only one that thinks this) – we will all get something wrong even with the best intentions in place. Being wrong is an inescapable part of the human experience. God is big and he is bigger than our understanding.

I do know that I love my gay friends and that is where I am going to live. And to those dear friends, I am sorry for the hatred that you feel from the conservative religious community. It is wrong. I love you. Jesus loves you exactly as you are and He will love you no matter what the supreme court rules.

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandments there may be are summed up in one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10

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‘flu’-pocalypse

Nothing like a bout of sickness to reveal the true contents of your heart. Man, the past week with the flu was terrible. I haven’t been that sick since college. I hate being sick because I can’t DO anything and if you know me, you know I have a hard time with being still. I always want to be working on something: laundry, work, knitting, cooking, reading, blogging, cleaning, sewing. Busy is my drug. It makes me feel like I’m going somewhere in my life. (Sidenote: yes, I realize this is a total lie.) There’s gotta be some sort of pleasure wiring in my brain for accomplishing things. It’s the best high ever.

Being still is about all I could handle with this flu and I’m sure everyone knows how much 3.5 year old boys like being still. Right? Right. On top of that, since we were quarantined from all human interaction to prevent further infection, the kiddo was acting out. I get it, he was stir crazy. But oh. My. Gosh. I was spit on, hit, kicked, bit, smacked, talked back to, scratched, pinched. . . And the fits. My kid can scream. And scream. And scream.

Y’all, sometimes being a mom is my least favorite job. There. I said it. My patience runs out and I want to auction my child off to the highest bidder. Another time out. More discipline. Take another deep breath. Swallow those unkind words. And I was struggling this past week. It was so hard to be the adult. I wanted to throw my own childish temper tantrum (and I may have once or twice – sorry about that Jason).

But it’s finally over. And we are settling back in to our normal routine. My monster child is slowly being coaxed away and getting replaced by my sweet child. I’m left to look back over the week of my raw actions and thoughts and I am sad. So many harsh words.

It’s humbling to realize what a total mess I am. I don’t have it all together. I make tons of mistakes. I have to apologize and ask forgiveness from my child (and husband too) and explain to him that I make bad decisions just like he does. And just like a child, he instantly forgives and offers love.

Thank goodness for grace. Thank goodness each day is new.

My prayer for the rest of the week is something I read on Monday: let every person [me] be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19

In light of who my heart revealed me to my own self to be this past week, I want this more than ever. I want a changed heart.

 

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