Monday, October 2, 2017

Where Do We Go From Here

As I sit here tonight, I can hear the white noise over the baby monitor. The boys are asleep. Madilyn is spending time with Cameron in her room. And I am completely heartbroken. How do you even process a world that is so evil? How do we raise children to be lights in such a dark place?
Over the weekend, our small community had a teen commit suicide after the football game (a few blocks from our home) and a teacher was killed in front of his family by an armed robber. Then, this morning, we wake up and hear the news out of Las Vegas--that THIS is the biggest mass shooting our country has ever seen. Absolutely pure evil.
Yet, I hear the still small voice inside me say, "Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things." (Phil. 4:8) & "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Ps. 34:18) & "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
So, you know how I spent my day?
I prayed. I laughed with my kids. I cried a little when they weren't looking. I prayed some more. I spent time with a friend at the park. I made a new recipe that 4/5 of us liked which is a pretty good ratio here. I put down my phone. I shut off the news. And I spread love to those in my circle.
I am not promised tomorrow, but I have been given today, and I refuse to the let Terror and Fear have any of this precious time I've been given. There's too much at stake. Too much depends on me, on us, on this Light that the darkness knows will overcome it. So like a tiny little candle in a big dark room, we will shine. We will love. We will focus on the good and noble things in this world. And we will see Jesus overcome one day. Yes, we will see Him overcome.
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" Psalm 27:13-14

Friday, August 29, 2014

Too Many New Things...

I found myself saying this last night to the Lord. I was walking up to a homeschool co-op meeting. Another new group of people. Another new "job" I've embarked upon. Another new unknown territory.
"There are too many new things, Lord. I can't hang. I can't do this. I don't have it in me."
Lots of people have asked about how homeschooling is going...
It's actually going really well. Madilyn is learning a lot. We have completed 3 weeks of school, and she is reading good. She loves math. She's already learned her 5 senses in science. We're doing it. We're ACTUALLY doing it. Every morning, when we open our school time in prayer, she says, "Dear God, Thank You for not making me go to big school. Thank You for letting me do school with my mommy," which is just precious. Her attitude, for the most part, has been very teachable (although she's had her moments--we BOTH have. haha)
One morning last week, I was feeling particularly tired and inadequate (let's just be honest, okay?), and after our morning prayer, Madilyn says: "Hey Mom. I see Jesus." Um, what's that you said? She says, "Mom, I see Jesus. He's standing behind you and has His hand on your shoulder." Just what I needed to hear. I love how God will give you just the encouragement you need at the proper time.
So, homeschooling is going well.
It's just that, I'm tired of change. I'm tired of meeting new people. Everyone has been awesome. But, I miss my old friends. I miss familiar. I miss Allison (my BFF in Erie). I miss lots of stuff.
It's like I blinked and we're here, and I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not good at being a mom of 2 kids. I'm not good at homeschooling. I'm not good at helping start and lead a Bible study for dr. wives. I'm TERRIBLE at directions, so navigating a new city is actually quite the challenge, and there are multiple times each week that I have to make U-turns because I realize I'm going the wrong way. Geez.
But, can I tell you this? I need Jesus. I NEED HIM. Some people think Christians think they're better than everyone else (and probably SOME do think that)...but let me just say this:
But, yall. When Jesus comes in...when I ALLOW Him into my day, He makes me beautiful. He gives me strength. He fills EVERY SINGLE WEAKNESS AND VOID WITH HIS PRESENCE AND PERFECT PEACE, and just like that, I'm WHO I need to be because He covers me with His grace and love. And when I fall, He picks me up. When I feel scared, He holds my hand. He brings me friends. He prepares my path. He loves like no other.
If you don't know Him. I would love to tell you more about this amazing Savior. If you do know Him, let Him fill you up with all of His goodness.
We were never made to walk this life path alone. We are only strong when His strength shines through our weaknesses. He is faithful. And so amazing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Be a Friend

So, let me just say first off, that I've tried posting pics of Thatcher since his birth. I reeeeeeaaallllllllyyyy have. But, for some reason, my computer kept messing up. And Momma only has enough time for M A Y B E one blog post a day. Not redoing it 5 times. Whatever.
Anyway, I'll post pics of our sweet boy soon.
But, here we are in Tulsa, OK. We moved, and we love it. The weather is amazing. Our church (Church on the Move) is amazing. Our neighborhood is amazing. The food is amazing. The friendly people are amazing. It's all AMAZING. Really amazing.
I have been so tremendously blessed by people since we've been here. Yall. People are NICE here. Like REALLY NICE.
For instance: We go to a decently big church. I don't know how many are in attendance on a weekly basis. But it's big. Like a few thousand people.
So, we joined a small group, naturally. We wanted to make friends.
Can I just tell you...our small group leaders are actually SEEKING US OUT? At church this weekend, they texted us to see where we were. And they came and SAT WITH US! And these aren't your average church attenders. They're like important people at church. Like a staff pastor and church leader. We sit at the back. They sit at the front. They came to the back to sit with us. Can I just tell you how nice it feels to feel like you actually matter to someone? Seriously. What a tangible way to show God's love.
How many times have I just skipped over people to sit with my friends or in my usual spot? What if we all just started actually getting off our cell phones and out from behind our computers to show people that they matter to us? I guarantee this would be a world-changing formula. Showing others that we care. Taking the time to ask how a cashier is doing. Remembering someone's name. Smiling as you pass someone in line.
Another thing: I have a friend in Tulsa that actually called me the other day just to see how I was doing. As weird as this sounds, it was amazing. I feel like technology is so convenient, but it also conveniently causes us to disconnect from each other. Pick up the phone. Have a coffee date. Sit with someone new.
You never know who needs to know they matter.
Be a blessing.
Show the love of Jesus.
Change your world.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How has it been 5 months?

Where have the last 5 months gone? I can't believe my last blog post was when we were in Dayton. It's been a crazy ride. Let's see:
We came back to PA for 8 weeks, went to TX and OK for 4 weeks, came back. The next week, Cameron started interviews for Residency. He's had a total of 8 interviews so far, and he has only 2 left. We have been preparing the nursery for baby boy's arrival (which is in 20 days or less!), made Thanksgiving dinner, set up Christmas decorations, been shoveling snow, and trying to squeeze in every ounce of family time and friend time that we can. I can't believe that Residency will start in 5 months. Our 4 years in Erie, PA are rapidly coming to an end. I cannot believe it! Time flies when you're having fun! :0)
Here are some of my favorite pictures over the past few weeks:
Mason Farms, the day after Thanksgiving!
Sweet baby boy at 35 weeks! Measuring in at 6lbs. 4 oz.

Decorating the nursery!

Madilyn at the "Becoming a Big Sister class" at the hospital.
 35 weeks pregnant!

The massive amounts of snow in front of our house. There's more than this now!

My hard-working husband, shoveling himself out so he can get to work!

Madilyn and Daddy playing on a REALLY cold and snowy day. I will not miss Lake Effect snow.

Building at Home Depot Kids and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa.

Decorating the Christmas tree together!
This year has been quite a whirlwind, but what an amazing ride! God's faithfulness never ceases to amaze me! He has provided all that we need and most of our wants, too. I'm beginning to realize that His timing is so perfect. If we need it, He supplies it. If we don't have it, we must not need it. He cares so much for us as His children.
"And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19

Monday, July 15, 2013

The past few days...

For starters, we went to the National Air Force Museum. It's located here in Dayton. I had no idea that the Wright Brothers were from here or that the air force base was so huge! If you haven't visited this museum, you need to! It was one of those times (that are becoming more frequent as I get older) when I say to myself, "I wish I would've paid more attention in history class. The planes and the history were breathtaking, and it almost brought tears to my eyes (doesn't take much lately--thank you, pregnancy hormones! ;)

We saw the EXACT bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in WWII. They found it and repaired it, and here it is. It's called the "Little Boy."

Here is the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the "Fat Man" bomb on Nagasaki to end WWII.

We also got to see the Wright Brothers airplane! Those men were brave to fly on that thing. No way you could've gotten me on there.

Last night, I snapped this sweet picture of M and C playing games on the iPad before bedtime. Be still my heart!

This morning, we got to spend some time with our new friends at the pool. Madilyn loves playing with her new friend, Olivia! And, she misses her friend Olivia from Erie, too ;) Madilyn is becoming quite the water bug, and she is getting so brave! I'm proud of her!
All in all, we are so blessed. God is so faithful and good to lead us and direct our footsteps. What an exciting year ahead!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend Fun!

This weekend, we had a great time! Cameron was off, and we had some amazing family time. Did I mention our hotel serves a hot breakfast every morning? So, we start everyday off with that. It's been so nice for this momma to not have to make breakfast (and I have a dishwasher and garbage disposal here!--What! What!). Although I miss making breakfast (I think mine tastes better than theirs), it's been a nice break to only worry about providing two meals a day for our family.
Back to this weekend. Saturday morning, we just spent time together as a family. Poor Cameron needed a little notebook (he's been writing notes on NAPKINS this week at the hospital!), so we went to Walmart and explored. We ate lunch in our room, took a family nap (my favorite!) and visited a new church that evening. The church is: Apex Community Church in Kettering, OH. It's about a 25 minute drive from our hotel. We absolutely LOVED it! A friend who is from Dayton recommended it (thanks, Bethany!), so we tried it out and immediately felt at "home." Plus, HELLO! It was a SATURDAY night service. You don't have to tell Cameron and me twice. We're there. We love Saturday night church and haven't been able to do that since we moved from Texas. The people, the sermon, the worship, the atmosphere were all great. I think we'll be going back this weekend. Madilyn loved her class, too. When we got there, she had on purple sunglasses and was sitting with 5 little girls, talking and playing. Warms this momma's heart, for sure.
After church, we got on our PJ's and headed to the drive-in movies!!! We saw Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University. The movie started at 9:30, so we were thinking Miss M might fall asleep while we were there (we didn't get home unitl 2 am!), but she stayed awake and giggled and ate popcorn and candy the entire time. It was SO MUCH FUN.
Sunday we found a nearby park with a playground and a hiking trail. We spent the morning there as a family, including the two little white fur babies. We had an amazing weekend. Today marks the beginning of a new week for us, and it marks the final week of Cameron's Internal Medicine rotation. Next week will be what we've been waiting for--Cameron to rotate in Radiology. Only 18 days left in Dayton.
A scripture that jumped off the page this morning for me was:
"My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:5-8
Happy Monday from the Smiths!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dayton Days

Here we are, living up our days in Dayton, OH. Cameron is rotating at Grandview Hospital, and we are "living" in an extended stay suite. It's not too bad :) The best part is, we get to see Cameron every evening!!! That totally makes it worth it. Also, we have the "Church Channel," and Robert Morris was on the other day, so Madilyn played on the computer while I went to church. Nice :)

We've been swimming a couple of times. There's an outdoor pool that's pretty warm, so as long as it isn't raining (which it has been the majority of our stay thus far), we've gone swimming. Madilyn is turning into a little water bug and getting more confident each time, which is saying a LOT seeing where she started last summer. Yay for progress!
We visited the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery this week while Cameron was working, and it was SO MUCH FUN! While I love the children's museum in Erie, the Boonshoft museum DEFINITELY puts ours to shame. It was Ah-may-zing! We spent almost 3 hours there, and we were busy the entire time.

 And here is our little veterinarian. She's telling me the prognosis of my stuffed animals I brought in. The x-rays don't look too promising. Loving x-rays just like her daddy :)

This exhibit was BY FAR Madilyn's favorite. She was the judge, and she threw me in jail no less than 3 times. We had to keep coming back. And, let me tell you, she's a tough judge. Can't you see the look of disgust on her face?
We are off to explore some more today. We'll see what the day brings. Blessings, my friends :)