Friday, December 31, 2010

good to have known you 2010

Wow, 2010, you packed a punch, but with every blow there was a come back, and for that I say THANKS! You were a good year, because hard is good on God's barometer, and it is only His barometer that counts.

 Thank you for the good times too, the laughs, and tears of joy, the learning, the stretching, the healing. It was during this year that we welcomed two new members, and with that our family grew in more ways than numbers! 

Forgiveness was the word you chose for us, not for others sakes, but for ours. It was this year that I learned that FORGIVENESS is a gift to ones self, and really has very little to do with anyone else, that it can come without the admitting, or the asking, or even the deserving! It was this year that I had to relearn that friends are not always who they seem, and to share sparingly, and trust slowly. Being transparent does not come without a price, and is not always a wise investment. 

That being said, new friends have abounded for us all in this the 2010th year, and for that too we are eternally grateful. It is this year too, that we learned that more is sometimes less, and less is often better, that chickens grow incredibly fast, some puppies pick their own homes, root canals are really bad no matter what they say, and conscious sedation is for me, truly conscious. 

Gardens, puppies, children, and love all grew. Trophies, sports letters, college A's, scholarships and theater tickets were all awarded for good performance.
Refrigerators, relationships, transmissions, and cracked fillings were all repaired. Cell phones, computers, sunglasses and bathroom tiles were all replaced, and magazine subscriptions, distemper vaccines, and drivers licenses were all renewed.

Repaired, replaced, renewed......that was the theme.

Good to have known you 2010, you will not be forgotten!

How was your 2010?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas
From all of us, to all of you

For unto us is born this day,
 in the city of David,
 a Savior, 
who is Christ the Lord!
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

A small town parade that proclaimed Jesus

Night time Christmas parades are new to us, but when some new friends asked us to join them we gladly obliged. It was fun to see our small town folks NOT be politically correct.

The high school bands were so fun to see and hear.

and the old cars were very fine.

I would love to know what it took to get these men to dress up this??

My favorite float!

Night time Christmas parades are the best!

Friday, December 10, 2010

cloche party

Although I am fashionably late, I really wanted to join the fun over at A stroll thru life, and join the cloche party!

I really love cloches, and have in just the last few years tried to collect a few.

Here's a tiny one, at just about 5 inches tall. I simply hung a nativity ornament on the hook inside.

This is my largest, and most favorite,at about two feet. My family gave it to me for Mothers day this year.
I have centered on a candle stick, an antique tiny creche that I found recently, with holly and magnolia greenery as well as some mercury bulbs, to add some sparkle.

This next one I found at TJ Max, for just $16.oo, love it! I just added a small tea cup with a bright red glass bulb on top.

Next is holding my prize angel. My oldest sister gave me this angel when I was very young, just a child I believe. And I have cherished it always. I love that it is singled out this year in a place of honor.

This one isn't technically a cloche, but I like it. Here it is just holding some pretty Florida oranges on some Christmas greenery.

If you weren't aware of cloches before, you will begin to see them everywhere now that you are. 
Join the party, or just stop in for a short visit to see lots of cloches HERE.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

November, where did you go?

So, seriously, was Thanksgiving really a week ago? Can someone answer a simple question for me? Why is it, that when we are children, without a care or trouble in the world does Christmas seem to take so very stinking long to arrive, yet when we get older, and are overwhelmed with all that life throws our way, and can't possibly see the forest for the trees, or conceive of a world where all is ready by Christmas, Does November run into December like a rogue freight train, and the countdown seems to count by 3's?

Haven was my big helper in the kitchen this year, baking both the pumpkin and pecan pies for me Thanksgiving morning. And my ovens are not harvest yellow, although they do appear so, don't they?

Everyone looks like they have already slipped into their turkey induced comas here, but I think we were all so very hungry (including the the photographer) that we didn't look up to smile. Everything was delicious, and all were thankful, so I guess Thanksgiving was a colossal success!
And our initials are not P A, one of our A's had a run in with Chief the naughty power jumping dog!
And yes, if you must ask, that IS a turkey leg on ElizaJane's plate, and yes we did let her have that on purpose, and no she did not eat it all, in fact she only had two small bites because she was to full of mashed potatoes, but no it did not go to waste, and yes it did irritate her brothers that we indulged in such foolishness, and no we didn't care, and yes she was happy.

This little preciousness slept through our meal, but awoke with a big smile, and a sunny disposition, on our very dreary overcast day.

The girls enjoyed a movie together, so fun to see them all snuggled down eating pop corn.

Thank You November,
 got to go,
 December is passing me by.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

sweet baby deer

Today my boyfriend (husband) invited me to lunch. After feeding the kids, finishing their read aloud, swiping on some very berry Merle Norman lip potion, and running through my snarls with a horse hair brush, I dashed out the door with kisses all around. Sometimes getting out the door is the hardest part of getting out the door. Down our long winding driveway I raced, past the mailbox, through the piles of dry crusty leaves accumulating at the end of our road, down the small lane, past the scary dog, the neighbors that are never home, and the neighbors that are always in their driveway, small wave, slow stop to turn out onto the long country road that leads to town, a few yards of nothing but landscape.......and then, I spied her. 

A sweet baby deer had been hit, left alone in the middle of the pavement. I slowed just to observe, not sure why. Quickly my first thoughts went to the mother, and I scanned the perimeter hoping to catch a glimpse of a momma deer close by, nothing. As I passed the small pile of brown spotted softness, to my horror I saw her side move. My brown eyes darted to hers, and she glanced up. Poor baby, she was suffering alone. There was a small wet stain on the asphalt by her mouth, but no blood, no sign of the collision that must have taken place to land her here, alone on the street, dying. All I could think to do was to call Michael, he would know what to do, my white knight would have the answers. His voice reassured me, He said he was on his way. I know my man enough to know that he would think saving a baby deer was silly, but he knows me enough to know that i couldn't bear to not help. He didn't hesitate, he didn't give even a hint that he thought I was silly, he didn't act as if he didn't have time, or that he was late for lunch, and hungry, he just said, "I'll be right there". Quickly I pulled over, and pushed my flashers on. I had to do something, I couldn't drive on, I couldn't leave her alone. Slowly I approached her, and knelt down at her side. I touched her soft fuzz of a coat, and stroked her side. Flashes of my little ElizaJane appeared in my minds eye, oh how my precious little animal lover would adore a baby deer to nurse, and care for. Visions of a frolicking fawn in our yard flooded my thoughts, as I pondered vet bills, and what to do next. Save the deer, I thought, I must, what were my choices, leave her to die, I couldn't stand the thought of leaving her alone. 

Next I called my Kartwright," there is a fawn" I choked," in the road,  I want to save her, will you bring a blanket?" Again, not a "Oh Mom, it's just a deer", or "how are you gonna do that?", or a any hint of my silliness for caring so for a random wounded deer, but just again, "I'll be right there". 

Meanwhile a big shiny red F150 pulled up, and out stepp a broad shouldered man with a navy fleece, and khaki painters pants. As he approached I dared to think that perhaps he would help me move her out of the road. 
"You hit er?" he bellowed. 
"No" I stammered, "I just came upon her". 
"Wayell" he drawled "Ifn you jus leaver here, sheel ventully die", he suggested. Well, that sure is rocket surgery my redneck friend, I thought to myself, Ya think???? You mean, you don't think if I leave her here heaving on the road like this, she might just jump up, and live forever? 
"Illa git er afterin she dies and move er outta the road ifin ya want" he offers. Oh my, how gentlemanly of you I imagined, as he made his way back to his shiny vehicle, and i waited alone again for the two men in my life that would not make me feel stupid for standing in the middle of a long country thoroughfare comforting a dieing deer! 

Glad that the f150 had removed itself from my sweet deers presence, I soon spied my son's car cresting the hill. He pulled over, and quilt in hand approached the baby deer and myself. 
"ummmmm, It's dead Momma" he said softly, as if perhaps she had been all along. 
"I know" I stammered, "she just died".
Kartwright moved the spotted bundle far from the road into the soft grass, and quietly drove away. I too returned to my van, and turned back to town. Michael approached, and I told him the news. He sounded genuinely sorry that she had died before we could help her. His voice did not reveal relief, or frustration that he had made the trip, we made our plans for where to meet for our lunch and separately drove on to town.

As I drove the familiar route, big salty bitter tears rolled down my cheeks. Life is so very fragile I lamented, and I cried for a momma deer that no longer had her baby, and for myself that no longer had mine, and for all the mommas that have lost theirs. I wept for us all, and was reminded once again how very fleeting this life here on earth is, and how we must cherish it, but even more, we must make the most of it.

So, I wiped away the streaks of mascara that ran down each cheek, and had lunch with my best friend, my sweet husband, and we talked, and planned, and dreamed, and solved all the worlds problems in just an hour over a bean salad and corn chips. And as always we gazed into each others eyes, and just knew we would do it all over again if given the chance, and even wished we could. 

Thankful today for
a dead baby deer that reminded me to live,
the men in my life that run to my rescue,
lunch with my BFF,
big salty bitter tears,
Thanksgiving eve,

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Save me a million years Rocket Man


15 years ago today a sweet baby was born that would change my world. When I gazed at him that day, I had no idea how much he would teach me, how he would dramatically change the face of my family, or how the Lord would mold me through his existence. I didn't know what we were in for that day, and I wouldn't wish the pain of that journey on even the worst of persons, but I also wouldn't trade any of  it for all the world has to offer. Thank you Rocket Man, and thank you Jesus for giving me 12 and a half years with him here on earth, and  for holding him now in heaven until I get there too.

 Happy Birthday sweet boy, and
save me a seat at the breakfast table,
save me a dance around the milky way,
save me a million years to whisper in your ears all I wanted to say.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

baby chicks


About 8 weeks ago we acquired 8 of these sweet fluffy creatures. They are Haven's project, and can I just say that she has been a very good Chicky raiser. For four days they lived in our downstairs bathtub! For four more weeks they lived in a big fridge box, and for two more weeks they lived in the box in one of our out buildings. Their living quarters temperatures were closely monitored, they were fed just the right feed, and their water bowl was meticulously changed countless times. They even had to have wood chips and sand to walk on, something about sore feet or something. I now know more then any city folk  should lawfully know about the care of poultry, and no, we will not be eating these girls, they are strictly supplying eggs for their supper, hopefully. Now they are comfortably living in their very own hen house.

I will introduce you soon to what they presently look like, and share with you the place they call home, that my sweet husband built. We affectionately call it the

                             taj mahcoop.

           I trust that will soon make sense to you:).


Are you showing an attitude of gratitude this day? Please share with us all!
Today I am grateful for:

chickens, crazy as they are!
46 years on this earth today, yeah!!!
humming birds, aren't they the coolest little birds!
being called Momma by my children, who would have thought this Yankee girl would have been called Momma? I just love it! Now I am also a Grandmomma :)
silverware, some of our new Korean friends brought me back some beautiful chop sticks, and as fabulous as they are, I am still partial to silver ware, so a shout out to whoever invented that!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

lavendar rose

Lets play Attitude of gratitude

Today I am grateful for:

This beautiful lavender rose that my husband left on my steering wheel recently, and for a husband that is so thoughtful, thanks sweetums.

For a clean house, it is hard work, but it feels so good when it's done, doesn't it?

polka dots, don't ya just love em?

For dish washers, because ours recently broke, so now we have a new one, and her name is Amy :). It is actually very relaxing, and the dishes are cleaner.

Tiny little Polly pocket purses, and miniature rubber Dalmatian puppies, and bright plastic Lego pieces that get sucked up into my vacuum, because they remind me that there are still little people around here, and that makes me very happy!

What are you grateful for today, do tell?

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hoss, Ben, or little Joe?

This kid went to a costume party recently, and his nerdy Momma took the opportunity to snap a few pics of him all decked out as his favorite movie star John, the coolest dude in the west, Wayne. Kartwright thoroughly enjoys a good western, and looks so comfortable in this getup. He was totally born in the wrong era, and for the record girls, he plans to name his first two sons Duke and Cash someday, so if that doesn't suit, well, what can I say? I guess there was something prophetic about his own name!

This handsome dude recently turned 18, and has made the teenage years seem, well, not at all what everyone said they would be. I can't say enough about what a great guy he is, and although I know I am partial, they just don"t make 'em any better. I hate that he is 18, I mean really hate it, cuz that means he will soon be gone, and I can not bear the thought of not having this smiling grin around everyday! Kartwright has made us laugh from the very beginning. He had an undeniable part in helping our family cope with Crockett's diagnosis when he himself was only three years old, cope with his illness for 12 1/2 years, and then heal after Crockett's home going, all with the gift of laughter. Kartwright has a close relationship with his Lord and Savior, and seeks to please him in the choices he makes, and in his plans for the future.  He loves his siblings, and shows his sisters everyday with both physical and emotional affection. They both adore him, and worship the ground he walks on....well, almost. We are known around these parts, as Kartwright's parents, and often hear from people he meets about what a fine young man we have. People like to be around him, he easily makes friends, and is one of the most loyal people i know. He disciplines himself to work hard everyday in his school work, to buffet his body with exercise, and to spend time in the word. I could go on and on, but I already have.  I genuinely enjoy his company, and am prouder then I can possibly express here.

Thank you Lord for the gift that is Kartwright, and thank you son for all the joy that you bring me, and all those around you!

Lets have an attitude of gratitude today

I am grateful for


Grocery lists, to do lists, Christmas lists, thanksgiving meal lists, what would we do without lists?

lunch dates

netflix watch instantly, so easy, have you heard? no more forgetting to send those pesky dvds back.

The book Radical, read at your own risk, only if you want to be changed radically.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fancy Nancy is a star

For Halloween the girls were the Nancy Sisters. Haven was Nancy Drew, and ElizaJane was Fancy Nancy. I know some of you may be offended at Halloween, and not agree with our participation. Can I just say, that there are several things about this Autumnal celebration that I hate. I hate the origin, I hate the gory costumes, and I hate the evil decorations, I hate the yucky of October 31st. One thing I do not hate however, is the fun it is for kids to dress up as someone or something, and express their creativity together with several other children, and then go door to door gathering free candy! I think it is a very complicated issue, and I don't look down on those who choose not to participate, I have listened to, and understand both sides of the debate. I can say this however, it has given us a wonderful forum to discuss with first our boys, and now our girls, how we are in the world, but not of the world. We can shine for Jesus, devoid of blood running down our faces, and horrifying masks, in the midst of the worlds evil, without being part of the evil. 

This year we went to our small towns downtown square, and took in all the festivities. ElizaJane begged to be a part of the costume contest, so right there on the spot, I relented. Here she is curtsying to the judges as she was introduced, a born performer.

She made it to the top ten out of 66 entrants in the 4 to 7 year old category. I was amazed. I must have warned her a million times that she probably wouldn't win out of all those children, in hopes of softening the blow of defeat. She would have none of that negative talk, and was convinced that that shiny trophy would soon be hers.

And she was right! One of two winners out of 66!

Most creative costume, 2010. I was very proud of my little Fancy Nancy.

Have you joined in the attitude of gratitude with us yet this month?

Today I am grateful for,

A Halloween to remember with my whole family

A church where I can feel the Holy Spirit moving

The book of Hosea, what a wonderful picture of Gods redemption, read it today!

That thanksgiving is coming, and I couldn't be more thankful for what the Lord is doing.

My washing machine and Dryer, thank you Lord!

What are you grateful for, please do share with us all!

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Friday, November 5, 2010

She's now in the watcher group

So, yesterday I dropped Haven off to babysit for the first time. She was asked by our local women's shelter to watch the small children of some women meeting there for a luncheon/meeting about the ministry. She and another young girl together sat for nine children under four years old, and according to the director, they did Fan-tas-tic :). While I drove there with my little eleven year old, it occurred to me that it was the beginning of a new chapter of her life. No longer was she the watched, but she had moved into the watcher group. She was excited to be so grown up, and to be in charge. I was a little sad to see her get out of the car, and walk in to the building without me, to do a job. I was sad, but proud. I knew she would do great. We had prayed that she would shine for Jesus, and I knew she would. Still, my little girl was growing up, and she was one step closer to moving on. Two hours later I picked up a very happy young lady. She was bubbling over with excitement and energy. She told me all about the cute children, and each of their personalities. "The baby was just so cute Momma" she swooned, on and on she chatted, about all that had transpired. Haven is a born Momma, she loves children, and I pray one day the Lord will grant her prayer to have several children.

One time, about two years ago, she and I were watching TV, and a commercial with an elderly woman came on. I asked Haven then, in a rather whiny voice, "Haven are you going to take care of me when I get old and decrepit?". "NO", she quickly retorted, "How am I going to take care of you, when I"ll have 16 kids of my own to take care of?". HaHa , I laughed so hard.  More power to ya girlfriend, If anyone could handle 16 children, it's my girl Haven, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the Lord blessed her that way.

Please join me in my attitude of gratitude today, won't you?

Today I am grateful for:

An early birthday present from my sweet husband, a new laptop, so now maybe you will see some pictures on my blog again soon.

Friends who invite me to lunch

pumpkin scented candles that make the house smell like November

toilet paper (we're almost out!)

A God who never changes, is always the same, no matter how I might, he never does. 

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

At our church we have started a new Wednesday night study on spiritual gifts. Before we started tonight I was chatting with my Pastor. He was kidding me about why I was there, and remarked, "You already know your spiritual gifts, don't ya Amy?" "Yes"  I replied, "I was hoping to trade mine in for a new one." He laughed, and replied with a hearty laugh, "OHHHHH, we must accept our gifts with an attitude of gratitude."
You see, I believe my spiritual gift, or perhaps one of them, is the gift of exhortation. I'm not sure sometimes if it is a gift, or a curse. Sometimes my gift can occasionally make one less than popular. I am just kidding of course... sorta. Anyway, Pastor Greg's comment reminded me of my posts three years ago (WOW, was it really that long ago?) in November, on Thankfulness.
I spent that November posting everyday about things I was thankful for, and I invited anyone reading, to join in the Thankful game. It was a great exercise to remind me of all I had to be grateful for, and I so enjoyed every ones participation. I know I am three days late getting started, but lets do it again, and lets exhibit an

 Attitude of Gratitude.

Today I am grateful for....

A loving husband who works hard everyday in an unfulfilling job, to provide for his family, and never ever complains about it.

A six year old daughter that can't sit still to save her life, and drew pictures of Halloween in church tonight, and played games on my Pastor's phone... No, I"m not even kidding!

All of Kartwright's teen friends that put up with said six year old, and are so very kind that she really thinks they are actually her friends, and not her brothers.

My oldest son Dakota and his family only living an hour away, so we get to see them often.

Eating breakfast as a family, and praying together

My new church family


giant curly cheese puffs that make everyones mouth orange

commentors :)

What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Long time no post

So sometimes life moves too slowly, and at other times much to quickly. The last few months have been the later, and while I apologize for my absence, as a friend recently reminded me, life takes precedence!

Our family reached the milestone of one year since we moved to Georgia in August. Our first 11 months here were quite slow by design. Still mourning the loss of Crockett, with a desire to remain in the shadows of sorts, searching for a church in which to minister, falling into a new family rhythm complete with new members, and finding a new place, in our new place.

Finding a church family in July certainly ramped up our social lives, and ministry as well as friendships have been keeping us busy. God has led us to a medium sized church full of sweet brothers and sisters in Christ that have welcomed and loved our family in a very special way.

One week shortly after we joined this church our passionate pastor requested from the pulpit that members of the congregation attend the Sunday night ministry "Celebrate recovery". It is a 12 step program for those with addiction problems, or the loved ones of the same. Michael and I both felt led to see what it was all about in spite of the fact that neither of us has ever struggled with addiction. (other then chocolate of course for which no amount of steps will ever pull me out). That night we were faced with the reality of what we might call the down and out. We were the only visitors, and we were quickly informed by the then directors, that we could not serve if we had never been addicts, and could personally attest to the power of the12 steps. Our Pastor had said that the directors at that time wished to retire from the program, and without more people, the ministry would have to be discontinued.

Within a week our Pastor had a new vision for the program, and a new name, and some new willing helpers in Michael and I. We have been serving these precious souls for about 6 weeks now. Each week there are new faces, and each week we pray over the new and grieve for those who did not return. As the only female volunteer, I meet and attempt to minister to all the ladies that come. Most are from our local emergency shelter, where their physical needs are met for a limited time. Not all are addicted, but most are homeless, and loosing hope. It has been my privilege to pray with prostitutes, single mommas, and former heroine addicts. The first night I even met a man that had served time for killing another man, and asked that we pray for him to control his temper. We did, and I also prayed silently that nothing I said or did would tick him God has used each of these individuals to teach me, and soften me in ways that I can not express here. The words "there but by the grace of God goes I" reverberate in my head often as I lament their poor choices, and confused ways. I know I did nothing to deserve the privileged life I find myself in, nothing to deserve loving parents that guided and cared for me, nothing to deserve a husband that loves me and provides for me. It is not I, but only the Grace of an almighty God that brings me to where I am. I struggle with the desire to bring each of them home with me, to shower and change, and sleep in soft clean sheets, safe from whatever has damaged and hurt them so. I struggle, because deep within I know that most of them do not want my help, or my Jesus for that matter. They eat a hot meal, and return again to the same lifestyle, some I suppose because it is all they have ever known, and others because to them it is safe. There are those few that return again and again though, and they are as hungry for the nourishment of the word as they are for the meal we serve. It is for those few that we are there, and for the spouses and children, and mommas and daddies, that they may one day be reunited with. Some of the gentlemen come to Sunday morning services as well. They often dress inappropriately, with smelly tattered jeans and shirts, or shiny patten shoes and pimpish gold chains. They often say "Hi, Mrs, Amy" and I grin and wonder what the proper Georgian church ladies think of me speaking with the likes of them. I like to let them wonder. I am no longer an outsider looking in, but am now on the front lines of sorts. And as I learn their stories, and feel their pain, and pray their requests beside them, hand in hand, I experience the joy that comes with loving the way Jesus loved, on His terms, in some small way attempting to be His hands and feet, and it hurts really good.

If you think to pray for us in this small ministry we would be very grateful.

Friday, August 27, 2010

west point lake

They taunt him,
as he tries his best to throw them off.

They smile, and wave, and beg to
"go faster".

he zigs and zags the boat,
over wake and wave.

and soon,
all good things must come to an end!
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

beautiful day in town

A recent pretty sunny day in town was a sweet reminder of God's sweetness.
I love our new Georgian town, and her pretty downtown square.

The girls and I went for some yummy ice cream at a cute shop filled with old fashioned candy, and fun signs all over the walls. My favorite was,

"There is a skinny girl inside me screaming to get out,
but I can usually shut her up with a few cookies."

I smile every time I think of it, so funny.

Isn't the sky glorious surrounding that pretty white steeple?

Thank you Lord,
for a sweet time in town with my sweet girls,
eating sweets,
and enjoying your sweetness.

What do you love about your town?
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Monday, August 23, 2010

rogue pumpkin

This white pumpkin vine thinks he is a bird, and wants to live in the birdhouse. If I was the resident bluebird I would be afraid. These pumpkins are growing at a very fast rate, and they are not aware that they were meant to be IN the garden. They seem to have a mind of their own.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

she likes it now

What is it about men that they just love to throw babies in the air?
It is the first thing my man tries with every baby he meets. He doesn't ask permission either, so mothers beware.

Clairebell hasn't liked being thrown up until just recently, and it has been killing Michael that she would have none of it. He didn't give up though, and this time his persistence paid off.

As long as he is sitting down she will giggle her crazy little heart out.

Michael prevailed, and she likes it now.
She even let go of her paci,
and let it fly in the wind, while she enjoyed the fun.
She had to learn to trust him.

Makes me think....
I wonder what I might be missing out on because of fear, and lack of trust, and what it is that I may need to let go of, so I can truly enjoy the joy God has for me.
How about you?

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