Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Incredible!


I had a friend email me about a passage in a book I had talked about months and months ago in a bible study. She wanted me to send it to her. I picked up the book to search for that passage and found myself once again lost in this magnificent piece of work by Max Lucado, "No Wonder They Call Him The Savior". READ IT! Give it as a gift to someone. It is powerful. Thank you to my friend for causing me to pick up this book again.

Below is from Chapter 25 after he reflected upon several tragedies (i.e. a woman losing her husband and son in a car wreck, a child hit and killed by a truck, parents who found their teenager after he hung himself):

The list goes on and on, doesn't it? Foggy tragedies. How they blind our vision and destroy our dreams. Forget any great hopes of reaching the world. Forget any plans of changing society. Forget aspirations of moving mountains. Forget all that. Just help me make it through the night!

The suffering of the broken heart.

Go with me for a moment to witness what was perhaps the foggiest night in history. The scene is very simple; you'll recognize it quickly. A grove of twisted olive trees. Ground cluttered with large rocks. A low stone fence. A dark, dark night.

Now, look into the picture. Look closely through the shadowy foliage. See that person? See that solitary figure? What's he doing? Flat on the ground. Face stained with dirt and tears. Fists pounding the hard earth. Eyes wide with a stupor of fear. Hair matted with salty sweat. Is that blood on his forehead?

That's Jesus. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Maybe you've seen the classic portrait of Christ in the garden. Kneeling beside a big rock. Snow-white robe. Hands peacefully folded in prayer. A look of serenity on his face. Halo over his head. A spotlight from heaven illuminating his golden-brown hair.

Now, I'm no artist, but I can tell you one thing. The man who painted that picture didn't use the gospel of Mark as a pattern. Look what Mark wrote about that painful night:

When they reached a place called Gethsemane, he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." And he took Peter and James and John with him. Horror and dismay came over him, and he said to them, "my heart is ready to break with grief; stop here, and stay awake." Then he went forward a little, threw himself on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour might pass him by. "Abba, Father," he said, "all things are possible to thee; take this cup away from me. Yet not what I will, but what thou wilt."

He came back and found them asleep; and he said to Peter, "Asleep, Simon? Were you not able to keep awake for one hour? Stay awake, all of you; and pray that you may be spared the test: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Once more he went away and prayed. On his return he found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know how to answer him.

The third time he came and said to them, "Still sleeping? Still taking your ease? Enough! The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed to sinful men. Up, let us go forward! My betrayer is upon us."

Look at those phrases. "Horror and dismay came over him." "My heart is ready to break with grief" "He went a little forward and threw himself on the ground."

Does this look like the picture of a saintly Jesus resting in the palm of God? Hardly. Mark used black paint to describe this scene. We see an agonizing, straining, and struggling Jesus. We see a "man of sorrows." We see a man struggling with fear, wrestling with commitments, and yearning for relief.

We see Jesus in the fog of a broken heart.

The writer of Hebrews would later pen, "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death."

My, what a portrait! Jesus is in pain. Jesus is on the stage of fear. Jesus is cloaked, not in sainthood, but in humanity.

The next time the fog finds you, you might do well to remember Jesus in the garden. The next time you think that no one understands, reread the fourteenth chapter of Mark. The next time your self-pity convinces you that no one cares, pay a visit to Gethsemane. And the next time you wonder if God really perceives the pain that prevails on this dusty planet, listen to him pleading among the twisted trees. Here's my point. Seeing God like this does wonders for our own suffering. God was never more human than at this hour. God was never nearer to us than when he hurt. The Incarnation was never so fulfilled as in the garden.

As a result, time spent in the fog of pain could be God's greatest gift. It could be the hour that we finally see our Maker. If it is true that in suffering God is most like man, maybe in our suffering we can see God like never before.

The next time you are called to suffer, pay attention. It may be the closest you'll ever get to God. Watch closely. It could very well be that the hand that extends itself to lead you out of the fog is a pierced one.
Lucado, Max: "No Wonder They Call Him Savior", pages 116-118, Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1986

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wedding

Here are some pictures of the girls yesterday all dressed up to go to a wedding. Averi has been wanting to go to a wedding for a long time now, so this was a big day for her.









I wish I would have gotten pictures from the wedding & reception. It was truly an incredibly beautiful wedding. Averi danced the night away with her friends, her daddy, and even the bride & groom. Kinsley hung out at the table most of the night snacking on crackers.

Eddie was a groomsman, so as he was walking down a bridesmaid, Averi got a little upset and whispered a little loudly, "Hey, daddy can't marry that girl cause he already married you!"

Anyway, we were so excited to share the day with Chad & Christal and will be thinking about them this week as they are cruising around the Caribbean. We love you guys!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

Well, our bellies are full after our second round of Thanksgiving dinner. Averi discovered that she likes deviled eggs, and Kinsley enjoyed her turkey leg.



Okay, Kinsley really didn't eat that. It was just a photo-op.

Averi enjoyed doing a little baking...



Actually, she did more mixing than baking since it was a "no bake" cheesecake. The photographer got the picture of the box in the shot, so I figured I'd come clean. Thanks alot, Eddie.

And while I'm posting pictures, here is Kinsley from Halloween. Better late than never, huh?

Jordan "Jamming"

video

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Parade

Averi had her Halloween Parade at school this morning. Here are a few pictures....




Monday, October 6, 2008

Birthdays & Updates



Jordan had his birthday party last weekend. This is a picture of his buddy, Andrew, at the party. Jordan had 20 of his closest friends over to swim, play volleyball, and eat pizza. Eddie and I didn't do anything embarrassing, so I guess that means the party was a success. Maybe next year Eddie could borrow Andrew's costume.



Averi riding the new scooter she got from Grandie & Papaw for her birthday.



Me & Mini-Me



Kinsley is crawling, pulling up, clapping her hands, and dancing now. Jordan will put her in her bumbo chair and sit her in his room while he plays his drums. She just sits there bouncing up and down to the music. Her two bottom teeth are coming in, and she had her nine month check-up a couple of weeks ago. She is doing great!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mum's The Word








Homecoming time is here and that means mum time. Jordan was actually born on Homecoming night, almost 14 years ago.....WOW! Anyway, Jordan informs me that he is going to need a mum this year. YES, that means he is "taking" someone. By "taking" someone, I mean riding together in mom's minivan. You can't get much cooler than that! He doesn't actually have a g-friend. He's going with a "friend" that use to be his g-friend. That's all I'll say about any of that cause I don't feel like talking or thinking about it right now, and I'm sure it's TMI as far as he's concerned also.


Being the "Frugal Francis" that I am, I decide that I'll just make the mum. Seriously, to get a decent mum these days, you're looking at $60.00 - $75.00....SERIOUSLY! Oh, and I agreed to make Tyler's too. Do I have any mum-making experience? Ummm NO. Am I sometimes a little over-confident in my abilities? Ummm DEFINITELY!


So, I headed to Michaels and stocked up on ribbons and trinkets and did a little (a lot) of gluing and stapling, and let the mum-magic happen.

Now, let's hope that they don't fall apart before, during, or after the game!

Whoa Nellie!

Soccer has started, and Averi ain't playing around! She's had two game so far and has scored 5 goals. I'm telling you, SHE MEANS BUSINESS! Don't be fooled by the sweet hand holding that's going on in the picture with teammate, Summer. When they are on the field, it's GAME ON! There's no flower picking, cloud glazing, or ring-around-the-rosie playing!

I know Averi was excited to have Grandie & Papaw at her first game!




















Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Great Gift













As I was putting all of my cook books on the shelf of my new banquette, I smiled as I picked up this one and realized it was definitely deserving of 15 minutes of blog-fame. This was a gift from my grandmother's mother (Mrs. Pigford), and I am so grateful to still have it. I actually still use it. Every time I see this cook book, it brings back fond memories of Mrs. Pigford. What I love most about this book is that she wrote a personal note to me on the inside, along with the date. I can't even find words to explain how meaningful this cook book is to me. So, the next time you get a child a present, skip the toy section & pick up a good cook book - and don't forget to write a little note inside because that's the true gift.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hodge-Podge Post

Well, Jordan is officially an 8th grader. All went smoothly, aside from him forgetting his schedule and the bus not showing up this morning. Luckily he had his schedule memorized from texting it so much, and he was able to hitch a ride with Tyler's dad and made it to school just fine. Here is a picture of him minutes after he got home. He really wasn't in a get-your-picture-taken-by-mom kinda mood, so I did have to resort to a few questionable parenting tactics to get this shot.
He should have a very full and challenging year. He is in all Pre-AP classes again, starts off the year in 1st chair for percussion, and will be doing cross-country and track.


Averi has her first soccer practice tonight. She is super excited.

Kinsley is doing fabulous. She almost has the crawling thing figured out. When she is trying to crawl to get around & can't quite "go", she starts rolling to get to her destination.

We (Eddie) just finished the banquette. It's just waiting on some cushions & pillows. The back of the shelves are lined with scrapbooking paper (an idea I borrowed from another blog). Eddie outdid himself on this project for sure!




This is a picture of the $5.00 garage sale chair that I recovered.


I found these two chairs at Hobby Lobby. They were regularly priced at $79.99 but on sale for $15.99 - possibly a mark up to mark down, but I didn't mind paying the $15.99 for them. Eddie had named them the "pretzel chairs". He's not fan. I'm thinking of recovering the seats & painting.

Moving on, Sunday was our 6 year anniversary. We celebrated by loading up the girls and heading off to the city for some fine dining at Uncle Julio's. When we were dating, we ate many of fajita dinners at good ole Uncle Julio's. Averi asked on the way there if we were still going to "that man's house for dinner". I guess she thought she was going to meet her long lost Uncle Julio. It was still as good as ever. I asked Eddie that night if he realized how fortunate he was to have me as a wife and told him that I was pretty sure the bible said, "Blessed is the man who gets to marry Sammi". He didn't seem to remember that passage. Actually, I think 6.5 years ago, Eddie's conversation with God went something like this, "Really, Lord, you want me to marry her? Are you sure?" At least that's how Eddie tells it.

That's all for now!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Before & Afters

We are in the middle of a total kitchen makeover. Here are a few things I've done in the process.


Before: A plain off-white bar stool (one of two) I picked up at a garage sale last summer.
After: Bright red that looks awesome with the new paint we just put on the kitchen walls (not shown in this picture).

Before: A $3.75 garage sale find from 2 weeks ago. I picked up 4 of these and passed one over to my friend, Kristen. She already had one ladder back chair from a garage sale that she painted black (note: she paid $4.00 for hers).


After: A little black paint and it's a perfect addition to our kitchen project.



We are getting very close to being finished with the kitchen. The banquette looks so beautiful...another fabulous job by Eddie. Once I finish glazing it, I'll post pictures of the finished product!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Tribute to Mammaw

She would be so proud!





When I tell people that by the age of 4, I was frying eggs, making tuna fish salad, and baking, they look at me like, "sure....whatever". Well, if you doubted, here is "mini-me" cooking up some pancakes, just after she fried up some eggs. I know that Mammaw is smiling!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Project: Kitchen

To give us a little more counter and storage space, my handy-dandy hubby is building a kitchen banquette (that's the fancy word for "nook"). I basically printed out a picture I found online, and the next day Eddie ripped up the baseboards and project mania began at the Fergs. He isn't quite finished yet. It will have a butcher block countertop. Here are some pictures of the process.



If you are wondering about the painted designs on the wood, these were pieces that Eddie laid the headboard he made for Kinsley's room on when he painted it.



Notice the bead board....love the bead board!

The back side will be shelves.
Primed....More storage under the seats.

It just needs a countertop and some paint. It's wonderful having a handy-dandy husband!