Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Warm Weather Wonderland - Outer Banks Family Vacation 2010

We took a trip to my much beloved Outer Banks this month - just our little family. Well, sorta. The first part of the week my bros Allen and Taylor came to hang with us, then we spent some time with Adam's bro, Andrew and fam who happen to be vacationing there that week too! It was a truly sweet time. So happy there.

Eva had a mystery fever for the first 24hrs when we got there,
then decided she didn't like sand. or water. or wind.
 Thankfully, she got over her diva ways after a couple of days
and actually had the time of her life. (Nathan helped a lot!)

Mr. Fierce Taylor Pierce

(He took some of the best of these pics)

Eva adored the little sea birds.

"Check out my sunscreened hair, Ma!"

On one of our last nights there, we went to Jockey's Ridge
and climbed the dunes with Andrew, Sara, Nathan, and Caleb.

We love these guys. We really do.

It was mercilessly windy there on the dunes, so we couldn't put the kids down to play, so we didn't stay long. That was some good exfoliation tho. Here Eva is reminding me she doesn't like wind. or sand.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing our days, as always. What a sweet time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Of Popular Watering Cans

As a younger lady, I was conscious of what was the cool thing or who was the cool thing and tried to get those things and be that person. I hoped that I was liked and approved of, I wanted to be noticed, and for a time, I think I succeeded and enjoyed that thing called "popularity." Now, as a mother, I find my popularity has greatly changed, tho not diminished. In my house "Mommy" is the most searched for, watched, copied, and requested of anyone here. I am still quite popular, that's for sure, but it's definitely a different kind of popular. When I was a "popular" young lady, I received complements on my hair and clothes and gathered attention - I was being given to. As a "popular" mommy, I do the complementing of fairy dances and potty-going and dole out a lot of attention - I'm doing the giving.

Mothers certainly seem to be very needed people. As a mother, you're constantly giving yourself away - being poured out. This little one needs this, that big one needs that, some here, some there, giving, giving, pouring, pouring. Lately I've been thinking of  how some days I feel I can relate to a watering can. At first it is full to the brim with clean water for all the thirsty plants. Then, as the watering can pours out it's store, all the flowers get what they need and (hopefully) flourish. They grow and show off their beauty and bless the garden. The watering can tho is emptied and stashed in some dusty, cob-webby corner of the shed until it is needed again. It doesn't get the credit for the glory of the garden, that belongs to the Gardener.

As a mother, so often I find that I feel helpless to change or aid my little girl and this metaphor is so helpful for me. I remind myself, I am just the watering can. I cannot make the flowers grow, I can't protect them from frost or bugs. I only do one thing - I water. And that I cannot even do on my own, for a watering can doesn't put water into itself, right? To pour anything good into Evangeline, I must first be filled with the Gardener's Spirit of love and strength. Just like the watering can isn't supposed to till or feed or pull weeds, I'm not made to do more than what He asks me to. And when He asks, He'll also supply for. How comforting! I'm called to faithfully water, but only He can make the flowers grow. How silly it would be if a watering can thot he could do the job of a gardener, and yet, that is just what my heart does! Somehow, I imagine God needs help, or that I will even do a better job sometimes! Usually quickly, I find out that His ways are the best ways and I'm so thankful for His mercy!

Also comforting, is that as the watering can, I'm not in charge of the outcome. I have a role, and influence, but I cannot ultimately make the flowers what they will be. Why is this comforting? Well, honestly, it hasn't always been comforting. In times past, and even still at times now, I find fear leading my efforts to care for my child. I don't want to leave Eva in God's hands - I like to natch her back sometimes thinking she'll be safer in mine. How foolish. Thankfully, the Lord has shown me the blessing that comes from letting Him be the one in control and truly trusting His Word and faithfulness. When He controls the outcome, it is always for my good and His glory (I'm so glad those two go together) and if I keep an eternal perspective, therein is the blessing known as peace and joy. My job is simple - trust and be faithful - in that order. He knows, I do not. He grows, I do not. And truly when I get this, I am happiest here!

When I find that I'm lacking patience, compassion, or maybe I'm discontent, these are all signs that I'm empty and need refilling. If I'm wise, I'll run back to the Fountain of Living Waters for a refreshing filling. My family is much better served when I'm not trying in my own efforts to care for them. And hey, I'm happier too remember! God's design, once again, is best.

One thing about my metaphor doesn't quite fit tho... and that is this: to the Good Gardener, I'm more than a watering can, I am one of His prized flowers as well. He has me be both an instrument in His garden and something He is tenderly working on, encouraging to grow, feeding - something of beauty. Though a watering can might be tossed aside when it's purpose is fulfilled, God does not treat me that way. He cares for me just as much as He does His other flowers. So while He is growing my Sprout, He is growing me too. I hope to be able to communicate this to my kid(s) as I "water." "Mommy needs help just like you do. We all need the Savior Jesus." And how good to know He is right here with this "popular watering can" and her little flower in the garden He made for us.

All this makes me want to go check on my real plants. It's been a hot week... maybe they could use some water? I'm popular with them too. : )