Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Quiet Season

I have been sensing the end of a season. I have begrudgingly called it the "quiet season." I remember telling a family member about it in the first few months and them laughing at me. Oh you'll be wishing to go back to this season one day when you have lots of kids, car pools, activities every night and more relational commitments than you can keep up with. On the outside I chuckled but the inside it was still a really quiet season.

I wanted to write it down so one day I could look back, laugh and remember. Remember leaving people that are more like family, cars, traffic, working with five women within ear shot, shopping, restaurants, and a twelve thousand member church to...

Come to the country (our address doesn't even register in google maps), be a stay at home mom, the baby doesn't talk back, neighbors are not a thing you walk to, and the wind blows like you're on the coast because there is not much around. There were lots of days that I didn't go any place, only talked to people (other than Joe) on the phone, and when I did get to converse with people it was through my best spanglish. Mega-church was a thing of the far distant past and you, as the new person, could be spotted from a mile away.

The last week before we moved, we were hanging out with some friends. A guy that we don't know very well (yet is a very discerning fellow) looked at me with all assurity and said, "Its going to be good." I just excused myself to the next room and weeped until no more tears could come.

Oh does God know what He is doing. It has been good for me, for Joe, for our family, for our future. God knows. He is so sweet to take me kicking and screaming and put me in the center of His precious, glorious and blessed will when what I really deserve is the hot pit of hell itself.

Not that we're leaving the country but I sense the pace of life picking up a bit. Another little blessing on the way, prayers for others to come quickly, sweet relationships, greater job responsibilities...God expanding us.

The scripture that has been resonating in my heart lately:

"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16:5, 6

Regardless of what season we are in, I'm so thankful that I get to look into this man's eyes as we walk this journey together.

I thank God for friends, like you, that have encouraged me and held up my arms on this journey. I love you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Test

Last night as I lay in bed preparing to meet with the specialist today, I was reminded of how faithful God has been through this journey. We have encountered our share of trails and tests beginning last spring.

All pregnancy long, I have just sensed in my heart God asking, "Do you trust Me?" Not based on circumstances, what the doctors say, or especially what your emotions say. "Do you trust ME?"

We received some questionable news last Wednesday and I was really disappointed. What I wanted to say was, "Are you kidding me?" Of the 15 or so appointments I have had with my OB for this pregnancy, there have only been 1, maybe 2, that there was not some red flag, concern or problem. When we met with the doctor about their concerns, she just painted a picture that I had not painted for our little girl or her arrival.

On Thursday morning, something broke...something in me changed. I had a Daniel moment. I came to a place where even if things don't turn out how "I" had hoped, the enemy could not steal my joy and my peace along with it. Either way, we have been fighting for her and we aren't going to stop any time soon.

Several people have asked me if I had heard Watermark's song, "Elliana's Song" (They spelled their little girl's name differently than ours). I don't know how I missed that song. I have been a fan since back in 1998 when they lead worship at the Metro Bible Study in downtown Houston. I do believe that a few years ago when they dissolved "Watermark" I shed a tear but was so overjoyed when she released her solo album this last year.

You should listen.

Last night as I listened, I surrendered her afresh to God, who is much better at taking care of her than I am.

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption." Psalm 130:5-7

Today, we got wonderful news from every side from the neonatal specialist so now we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our little fighter. (Above picture is from my sono from last week of her face and she is sucking on her arm)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tacky IS as Tacky Does

A couple of life groups teamed up to have a Christmas party out in the boonies- at our house! We were so excited that everyone was willing to make the trek. This wasn't any old Christmas party. Kendra suggested that we go with the fad by wearing our tackiest Christmas sweater. In our case, it was the tackiest Christmas item that you could find at Good Will, was given to you last year for Christmas or that you could make yourself.

Let me tell you, at first, I was just not sure how I felt about this. I was 34 weeks pregnant. Enough said. Not to mention, I had this Christmas sweater from when I was pregnant with Isaac and was the emcee for the Gateway Women's Christmas party. I was just wanting to get my money's worth out of that little purchase.

Instead, I was left to my devices.

Tacky Christmas sweaters. Hmmm. Mine was more of a tacky Christmas shirt. I wore a white tank top with a red shirt over the top. Then, with my most craftiest self, I cut three holes in the shirt to make it look like a white snow man and then with a permanent marker, I gave my snow man a top hat.

I know this is a weird picture of me but its the best one of the shirt. Yes, folks, that's as crafty as it gets around here.

Here's another shot where you can see the bottom half of my snow man real good. (This is with the cute newly engaged ones- what a fun season)
Now for my Joseph, over the last few years, I have had to have some clothes interventions. His memaw did not help my efforts either because every year she would get him a new sweater. I did have to put some shirts off limits. These overalls were immediately put on the "do not wear list" -even if you are just doing man work. Even though he hasn't worn them, he couldn't part with them so they were still in his closet. This is where tacky draws the line. Red neck tacky was just too far. These sweet friends were coming out to the ranch, we didn't necessarily need to look the part too ;)

For my little man, he was given this snow man sweater last year for Christmas (G-mama you know I love you). My little manly boy just could never pull off a snow man sweater UNLESS its tacky Christmas sweater party, then its P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

Our sweet new friends from Iran came and this is their son, Arman. Isaac's first friend who speaks Farsi. Too cute!

Only real men can wear poinsettias.

Sweet Stephanie.

The Dutys working tacky Christmas 90s style! Love it!

Arman's dad, Mahmood.
This look too cute to be tacky!
Some more pictures to enjoy!....

Fun times!

My Supermom

My mom is a supermom in every sense of the word and not to mention, she is quite a beauty! She makes 64 look like 24...oh wait she IS 24 (or so she says ;) My dad has said on several occasions that he couldn't have picked out a more wonderful mother of his children than her. I couldn't have said it better.
She ferociously loves all of us kids. Never once have I wondered if my mom loved me or believed in me. I knew in her eyes, I could do anything that I set my heart on. She is always encouraging yet slow to share her opinion. She just doesn't sweat the small stuff. I wish I could count how many times I have heard her say, "If that's all I have to worry about, then I would say I'm doing pretty good." She manages to do more than five people in the matter of a week's time and has a smile on her face while she is doing it all.
The above picture is her and I at the prayer shower for Elyana Joyce. I was so thrilled and honored that she could make it. It just wouldn't have been the same without my mama.
The BEST part was that we got to "steal away" for the night just her and I- no children, no husband, no dogs, no work for her, no other siblings, no other responsibilities. Just me and my mom. Its been a long time. I loved every minute.
We lived it up, yes we did! We drove to Austin and did a little Christmas shopping. We ate some dinner- boring Chili's but the company was 5 star. I got to hear about her childhood, her parents, her heart, and some of her memories too. So sweet. I will treasure that time. Then, we went wild and crazy ;) and saw the 10:15 showing of "The Blind Side." I couldn't have picked a more perfect movie for us to see. We are both suckers for "feel good" movies.
Then we laid in bed and didn't go to sleep until after 2 a.m. It had been awhile since my eyes had seen that time on the clock (and the last time I was nursing my sweet boy.)
If that weren't enough fun, we got have smoothies at this very Austin-y place that put hemp protein in our smoothies. Suspicious, I know. Then, we both got massages. GLORY!
With reluctance, we headed home.
I am so grateful for her example that guides me, her love that supports me and her encouragement that spurs me on. You did good, mom, real good.
Thank you mom for a wonderful night away with JUST YOU! I love you with all my heart...

Girly Glory

I can't say enough how grateful we are for the church family that God has brought us to. He knew exactly what we needed and then put lots of icing on that the form of these beautiful women.

They offered to give Elyana a prayer shower and I was so excited! When I was pregnant with Isaac, I worked at Gateway and every day in some way or another someone offered to pray for my upcoming arrival. I was so honored to have these women join in praying with Joe and I for our sweet baby girl- what a gift!

Not only did they fervently pray, they showered us with yummy, yummy food, delicious homemade frappucino drinks (perfect for my sweet tooth!) and sweet girly accessories! Now, I am just about ready for her gloriously girly arrival...

I love you all!

Lights are on in Bryan!

We had such a fun time meeting some friends at the Bryan tree lighting event! Hope you enjoy some pictures...

Friday, December 4, 2009

'Tis the Season...

One of our Terry Family traditions is setting out the day after Thanksgiving to pick out just the right tree. There is a tree farm out in the boonies (close to our house) that we have had oh so much fun going to the last two years.

Isaac's favorite part....the tree cart becomes his wagon!

Here is our glorious tree and our "big helper" chopping it down!

Hope you are enjoying the wonder and splendor of this time of year as we anticipate the celebration of our Lord's birth!