Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reunited...and it feels so good!

I spent the weekend away finding a new home for our family. I had a wonderful time with a dear, dear friend; we shared a weekend of memories. We share a love of all things food. I spent the weekend introducing her to my favorite flavors in Colorado. It was excellent, but we are ladies that love our families. Home last night was a welcome sight. Our stomachs could not handle another meal, and we were ready for our own beds. More later on the trip. I woke up in fast forward. I had planned to have our family photographed. (slideshow soon to follow) Fortunately, we worked with the kindest, most gentle professional. We enjoyed an hour exploring a very cool old factory and just happened to have a few pictures taken. It was such a fabulous experience, I highly suggest anyone looking for some family pictures consider working with Jennifer Owens. She is so kind and patient. I am so thankful we managed to get this in before the big move. Things finally slowed down after lunch. We read our books, did our math, and I turned on the music. We enjoyed a dance party to The Cure and reconnected over our silly dance moves. I quickly wore out. I put Story in my lap and covered her face in kisses as I watched the others shake their tail feathers. Story proceeded to look at me and say sweetly, "you love me." I tell you I could have wept in that moment. I'm of the mind that I do, in fact, love to hear my children say they love me, but much more importantly, it is my job to love them. I did not have my children to fullfill some unmet need in myself. I enjoy these children, and understand it is my high calling to love them with the vast, and generous love that the Father has loved me with daily. She was at rest in my arms in my love, she looked in my eyes with such contentment knowing that love was overflowing with gratitude. How richly, richly blessed I am.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The hard truth of trust

I follow a good and trustworthy God. I daily face my own unbelief and weakness. I am about to enter a new season of life that will bring me face to face with my depravity. I am leaving what is known and comfortable and entering into the unknown. My exciting new and hard reality is one of faith and trust. I do not do this alone; I will be moving to Colorado Springs with my best friend and my four covenant children. Team Tippetts is about to enter a new season of life.

The next few days I'm heading to Colorado Springs with a most dear sister in Christ. We will get to have a weekend as a great final hoorah together. It will be sweet as we know the goodbye soon looms for us. The joy in goodbye among believers is that it will truly never be goodbye. Our daily activity in one anothers life will change, but our friendship will not. I have so many dear sisters here that have been such a blessing to my life. It is not going to be easy to leave such an amazing group of dear friends.

It is going to be very hard to leave this place. I have walked a hard road with trusted friends around me. My love has only grown through this past year. I rejoice that goodbye will be difficult as it is an indication of fondness and connection to Christ in a community. They are not bitter tears that I know I will be shedding, but rather, tears of love and gratitude in getting to know such excellent and amazing people through this season of my life.

As our family enters this exciting new season, I leave this place stronger from what I have learned here, richer than I could ever imagine in friendship, and greatful for the experiences in joy and pain I have had in my community. We have shared so many experiences in North Carolina we take with us. We came from the Rockies to North Carolina nine years ago young, naive, weak and ready to see what God had in store for us. We leave nine years later with more kids, more friends, more of Christ, naive, weak and ready to see what God has in store for us. We look to the future trusting Him to provide community for us in Rockies just as He has done for us in the Blue Ridge.

The hard truth of trusting God is that He is good all the time. Even in the pain of change. He is good in the providence that moves me 1,400 miles from what is known. He is good in the lonliness of entering a new place. He is good as He builds the community He desires for us in Colorado Springs. He is good, and trusting Him is my joy. Truly the hard truth is not hard at all. It is my thankful, wonderful, joyful privledge to follow Him as He has great things in store for this weak vessel that is Kara. I get to look forward with faith and backwards with gratitude.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Needful Truth

Psalm 73 21-28
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me wit your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dazzle them with his love

He chose us out of his sheer grace and because he loves loving the unlovely. Because of his great love he deserves to be fully honored by us. This means that we transfer our entire trust (and keep transferring it over and over again) to him. This is faith. In the same way that you trust in him and not in yourself for your salvation, you can trust in him for the salvation of your children. You can give yourself grace, he's in control, he is loving, his plan is best. And you can give your children grace, too. Parenting with grace isn't another set of rules for you to follow. It's a story that you're to rejoice in. Share the story with your children. Show the savior. Show them Jesus. Dazzle them with his love. Elyse M. Fitzpatrich, Give them Grace

This book has been such a good book for my heart. It has reminded me of that first taste of grace I experienced. The joy of my salvation that had nothing to do with my merit. As we enter parenthood without guidance from our own upbringing, rules often feel safe and secure. We can easily slip back into the law with our parenting. This book has reminded me the Jesus is enough for today and all eternity. The law exposes our need for a savior, but it is the savior that will fulfill our hearts greatest longing. Jesus loves us specifically today. He loves my children more than I ever can comprehend. He will draw them with his love, not my pushing and prodding. I need to live transparently before my children in love with Jesus.

The law says, "do this," and it is never done. Grace says, "believe in this," and everything is already done. Martin Luther

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Praise be...

A dear friend of mine called me yesterday to read me a quote from the bulletin of her new church. (paraphrase) Sometimes we spend so much time lamenting over a closed door that we forget to notice the door that has been opened wide. Oh, I have thought over that quote so much the last two days. It has convicted my heart and encouraged my focus. I need to leave the closed door to the Lord, only He can bring true peace to the hurt. But today, this day, He has opended amazing new doors to THIS day. For that, I'm thankful! Thank you for sharing that dearest Lois! It was just what the doctor ordered! I love you!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

life on the move....

there are moments in life in slow motion...
moments, seasons, you wish would pass quickly..
pain you would rather not feel,
moments that speed up without our knowing...
moments we meant to savor...
time we thought we cherished,
but just like that time passes...

even the hard, the hurt, the slow
is glorious..

life is speeding and at a crawl..
we live it here intentionally with kindness..
enjoying love...
Great, Glorious, Extravangent love
speed up you are going to slowly,
slow down, my head is spinning.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Constantly changing

The scripture says: "Do not be anxious about ANYTHING"

Anything? Truly, but what if you are? "In everything, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

So, I'm not to be anxious, but rather pray. So simple, and yet so hard. We are in crunch time with various decisions to be made. I can hardly believe what the next six weeks could have in store for us. We simply have so many unanswered questions, but it's an exciting time.

Prayer, that's the key. And yet, I still feel anxious. It's an exciting time, I'm going to choose to embrace the unknown. But I will certainly rejoice when some of my questions are answered!

Friday, August 5, 2011

John Piper

Pastor John from 1981:

There are six things in the word of Joab that I think should characterize every effort at team ministry in the church.

1. Humility

First of all, humility. "If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me." Joab was a mighty warrior, but not so foolish as to think himself wholly self-sufficient. "Abishai, my brother, I might be inadequate for the task today." And he was not ashamed to ask for help. Humility willingly acknowledges its own finitude and need. It is open to be helped, and it is open to being taught, and it does not resent good advice or counsel.

2. Diversification

The second characteristic of team ministry illustrated by Joab is diversification. Abishai was sent against the Ammonites; Joab went against the Syrians. It is wise battle strategy, when the enemy is widespread and diverse, that we not engage all the troops in one place. It is also wise to have everyone doing most of the time what they are best at. And it is a solid biblical principle that God has given all of us different combinations of gifts.

3. Mutual Helpfulness

The third characteristic of good team ministry is mutual helpfulness. "If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you." Diversification in the church is not so ironclad that we can't leave our appointed bailiwicks and help one another. Fundamental to all successful teamwork is that the team members be for each other, not against each other. Competition in ministry is anathema to the Spirit of Christ.

4. Strength

The fourth characteristic of effective team ministry is strength. "Be of good courage and let us play the man." More literally, the Hebrew simply says, "Be strong and let us show ourselves strong!" When the battle begins, do not limp away weak and fearful. Attack! "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10). The power that we need does not come from within ourselves. It is the strength of God's might with which we must be strengthened. When we put on God's armor, we get God's strength.

5. Benefit to God's People

"For our people and for the cities of our God!" Joab said. Even though it must be our goal to help each other, yet we must always ask, "Help each other do what?" And the answer is, "Benefit God's people." No Christian team lives for itself alone. We strive for gospel humility, we employ our diversification, we live in mutual helpfulness, we maintain strength not for ourselves alone but for the benefit of God's people.

6. Surrender to God's Sovereign Guidance

There is one final characteristic of team ministry that Joab illustrates: surrender to God's sovereign guidance. "Be of good courage, and let us play the man for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him!" And may the Lord do whatever seems good to him. O, may we always approach our work in this way, bowing together before God and saying: "God, we aim to be humble, to be diversified, mutually helpful, strong in the Lord, working hard for the benefit of your people, but, O God, we acknowledge you are sovereign and we are finite, and we would say no more than Joab: in all our plans and all our labor, you do what seems good to you!"

Excerpted from For Our People and for the Cities of God.


Recent posts from "Piper's Pen" —

Entertainment-Oriented Preachers vs Bible-Oriented Preachers
What Will It Mean to Live for Christ This Week?
How Can You Identify a Woman Who Fears the Lord?

Life in film

It always happens.. Once I decide to really get going on my blog, life hits me hard, crazy, fast, and my blog takes a backseat. I'm considering switching platforms and getting some help with my sight and getting a domain, and all at once things take off at a speed I can hardly manage. Sleep has been elusive lately. I am not wasting my mind in worry, but my mind simply won't shut off when I hit the pillow. It's an exciting time in our life. I can't wait to see what the Lord has for us. In the meantime, here is our life in photo! It's a hard job I have, somebody has to LOVE it, and I sure do love it!

It was a great couple of weeks playing at our favorite Montreat park, swimming, visits from grandparents... It has been one full summer!

My sweet girls enjoying one of our favorite places on earth!

Special big girl lunch at the Veranda with Bella.

Amazing treat movie with Jerry, Darnell, and Erika... First movie for Story. Big, big time!!

Is there anything more photo worthy than a sweet sleeping babes?

Day at Montreat park!! Our Fav!!

More pool love! It's where the best of childhood happens!

life rearranged

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Safe in His arms sweet Simi...

Here is a hard story to read, and yet I know my God is in control. This sweet family is now in my constant prayers. I cannot imagine the reality they face this side of heaven absent from their sweet daughter, but in glory, what a reunion they will have. My heart grieves the loss of this child, and my prayers are with you.

Some Final Words on the life and death of ‘Simi’ Goodwin

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rainy Day Thoughts

Rainy days make me contemplative and sad, but this rainy day was without thunder. I told the kids to stay outside and enjoy the silly wonder of play with rain. I sat and watched each of my children.

Some played with abandon, some with reserve and uncertainty, but the wonder of a child is intoxicating. I enjoy watching the unique qualities of my children. I see how some of my children enjoy more freedom to be truly free.

It makes my heart wonder what I can do to nurture in them more freedom to be free... It is why Jesus came... For freedom, He came to set me free. To set my children free. What do I do to quench that freedom? What do you do to steal true joy? It's worth some contemplating this rainy day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's alright with me...

I have come to terms with the fact that I'm just not that cool. I don't fight for coolness, and I am growing comfortable in my middle-ish state of life. I am free to be a little bit goofy and behind the times. I don't know what the newest music is, the next trends in food don't impress me much. I like food best that doesn't cause me to throw up nowadays!

In high school, I was a vegetarian... Not so much for the rights of animals... Though I probably said that was the reason, truly, I thought it upped my coolness. I kept on that track for nearly seven years. I lacked any type of mammal in my diet for my cool value. Now I'm considering becoming a vegan... Not to be cool... because my gallbladder doesn't really work. How old lady is that. So, no... I'm not a bit cool in my possible quest to have a faceless diet, I'm getting old and grizzled. I remember my cool days, and I really don't miss them much.

Mammals, you are safe around me, well maybe, I'm on the fence if I can actually do this. I learned a few things this past week at assessment (the place where your life is laid bare before totally strangers, who decide the possibilities of your future), it's okay to be who I was created to be. The challenge to begin to divorce myself from the outward things that define me, and to simply live the gospel in the created being that is Kara. Not a simple challenge.

So, I don't know what's cool in music, I pick my shoes for comfort, I don't really know what a libertarian is, and I may just pick a junk book to pass my time, but today, I get to live in the great Covenant with my children. The joy of faithfulness I can seek in this day is endless. I want to live in the reality of where Jesus has me. I get to embrace the freedom of repentance and living near to Jesus.

The greatest challenge I face in my reality is not fretting about what the future holds. New exciting doors may be opening, and I don't need to be anxious! Living in the trust that a loving God holds my days, my moments, my future, and not fretting over tomorrow. I know I won't be cool in that future place, but I know I will be lovingly kept in His hand. Praise be!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Best Birthday!

When you have a big family, every day feels like a party.

When you are married to your best friend, every night feels like a sleep over.

When you grow older, you cease to care about cool and value what is real.

When you have a full heart, you see the blessings in the moments that truly matter, the people next to you... Your nearest neighbor.

Things of this world pass away moment by moment, but the things of God are here, eternal and forever.

Love spent today on kindness matter....

Gift, today is a gift.... As was yesterday, that just so happened to be my birthday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Truck drivers and blessings!

I have the great honor of being alive today. The privledge of breath and life. I get to snuggle my children and point them to Jesus.. It is my blessing to wash clothes from a trip and spend some money at the grocery store. I get to gently correct my children and read them books. My blessings never end.

I have a baby who wants to wear a swimming suit and a son that refuses to wear a shirt. Lake has the privledge of exploring our back yard. Our girls have already completed a craft and are onto dressing up and playing house.

My husband headed happily, though a little tired, off to work. Tonight a dear friend will be coming to stay the night with us. Every moment is a gift, every person we encounter a joy. Today, I want to spend it all.

You see yesterday I was driving along a fast highway at a high speed when suddenly a person in front of me decided to turn left off the highway, not the usual waiting a mile to exit to the right. Her sudden stop on the highway left the rest of us with no place go. I heard Jason make a tense sound looking in the rear mirror as the semi, heavy laden with steal beams behind us, also had no place to go. He was coming quickly to the place my four precious children were sleeping soundly in their seats.

I quickly drove forward into the median, only to watch as the trucker expertly avoided my car by inches. Jason looked at me, told me I did well and encouraged me forward to the nearest stop. The lady who caused our near miss went on without thought that her poor driving could have cost the life of an entire family.

I pulled over, almost threw up, and Jason took over driving. It was nearly fifty miles before I stopped shaking. I looked back at my children, still sleeping soundly, and immediately thanked the Lord for His protection. I know if we had been in that wreck His grace would have been sufficient. I know He is good ALL THE TIME! I get to serve Him one more day. I get to be His daughter today, tomorrow and forever.

And to you dearest truck driver. Thank you for expertly doing your job well. Thank you for your quick reaction. You will forever have my prayers for safety! Thank you.

Thank you for another day with my tall, tender daughter; my tiny, sweet daughter; my shirtless, loving son, and my screaming, snuggly baby. Thank you for the gift of another day married to my best friend. But mostly, thank you for another day to worship Your goodness even through the joy and pain of living in this world. I can't wait for the day I meet you in glory. It was not part of your plan to take us home yesterday. I pray I live well today. I want to enjoy You today.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Story Jane

Last night I enjoyed watching fireworks with my sweet baby in my lap. She nearly fell asleep. When they were over she turned to me and said, "amen."

That's right little girl, "amen."

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Best Babysitter

We have been beyond blessed to have amazing babysitters. They have each become a special part of our family. Laura, Mary, Erika, we love you! Thank you for loving my children well and walking with Jesus in front of my children. This song goes out to you all!

Friday Love.. A week in photos

 Our week in review... Week in pictures. Had an amazing moment with this one after a struggle. We jumped in my bed, pulled out the Bible and discussed how it applied to the struggle. One of those rare moments of grace where there is not only connection to one another, but also to the word.

I was not a bit surprised to find that my son and I share a love of fire on our camping trip. We loved building the fire, collecting wood, and watching wet wood dry out. Every moment of every day... "Can we make fire now?" Is there anything better camping than fire?

It doesn't matter how old, long or cool they are. When our children wake up, each one finds a lap to wake out of slumber... It's simply the best..

Little bit playing school with her big sisters. I think they will have her reading on her own in no time.

 Jason and I both reverted to our backpacking days when we went camping. We wore the same outfit all weekend long. So this is the handsome man I was with for two days!
Harper LOVES a silly picture. She prefers a silly picture. Often when I'm looking for a good family picture I see her silly face in the corner. It's really the best thing. I don't ever want it to change. Her quiet silly ways tickles my silly bone!

life rearranged

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Bounty

I love where I live. I'm about a mile from my dear friends. With them, I share my life, faith, my tears and a garden. The best of life wrapped up in an amazing place. If only we could get the weeds to stop growing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Memories and me...

The way I remember my life comes in two different categories, how it smelled or how it tasted. Tell me of a time in my life with joy, and I will tell you what it tasted like. Remind me of a trip to my grandparents farm, and I will tell you how it smelled. My life is sensual, but not in the classic sense. I just remember the smell and taste of things. Perhaps that directly relates to two of my greatest pleasures and greatest splurges.

I am a careful shopper when it comes to food, clothing, most everything. In two places, we have never found a cheaper substitute. Trust me we have tried. I splurge when it comes to our morning cup of coffee and my soap.

My favorite time of day is when I smell the coffee and hear the final sounds of it coming through the coffee pot. It means time reading the Bible, time talking with Jason, and our time of prayer together. It's the best part of my day.  Jason and I mix together Starbucks house blend and their decaf house blend. I have found the best prices at Target.

And when it comes to my soap. I have tired many alternatives. But I found that the cheap soap doesn't last, but when I spend a little extra and buy the French milled soap, it is actually economical as it lasts over three months. And the smell, it's amazing! So my stolen moment of quiet actually becomes a great smelling joy filled experience well worth the extra money spent. I plan to write this company today to thank them. When I looked at the label, I noticed they were here in North Carolina. Thank you South of France, the stolen moment of quiet increases my patience with my children! Thank you. What increases your joy? Where do you splurge? Comment....I double dog dare you!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Camping with kids...

Camping with kids is much like fishing with kids. Where I fondly remember moments fishing and camping of years past, that is now replaced with a newer understanding and appreciation of them both. First, I grow only deeper in my appreciation for the patience of my grandmother and all the fishing trips she took me on. I have memories of endless bliss of reeling in fish after fish sitting companionably with my elder brother.

Now that I'm a mom, I realize the hard work my grandma did to build such beautiful memories into my young years. Truly, it is sweaty, hot work of endless baiting, fish removal, and fixing hung up line. Somehow my memories seem so peaceful, but I imagine there was one tired grandma at the end of those hot fishing days. Grandma was tireless in creating joy in my childhood.

That takes me to our first camping trip with all four kids. Unlike my backpacking days in Colorado with Jason, we did not ponder life around a fire as we read thoughtful books and gazed at the beautiful scenery.

No, the joy of this trip was much different from the quiet moments of my twenties. Camping with the kids was all go, go, go, and then and eventual crash in sleeping bags. We played so hard, we hoped for an easy bedtime. After a few chapters of an excellent book I've been reading with the kids, they peaceably found sleep.  And Jason and I were able to steal a few moments to talk around a fire...

We went swimming, hiking, wading in a creek, exploring, hunting firewood, hunting bugs, wrestled. The trip was a success, but I came home very tired. Very dirty. Very full. We laughed together with the kids, we laughed watching them feel comfortable in their new outdoor surroundings, we enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

Someday I will return to the quiet camping I once knew, but somehow I think I will miss the busy chaos. I'm forever like my grandma; hard working for the bliss of the joy in watching my children embrace life at it's best!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lamentations 3

22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The place where the best of life takes shape!

This is where I do life! I connect to my story here. I celebrate family and friends around this spot. I live in the chair on the left, it has a hole in the seat, and is nearest the kitchen. My best friend takes up residence on the right. We ask important questions here. We laugh here. We eat a smattering of food here. This place is important, maybe not to you, but to us it is where important moments happen. When I have been too long from this spot, I feel uneasy. My old hand-me-down table, mix of chairs, Hoosier from my beloved grandparent, very simple, scratch filled, but perfectly broken in, create home for my manageable mix of chaos!

Where do you do life? How does it nurture your soul?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quishable Lake Love

Oh, my kids are all such treats. Each of my children hold a special place in my heart. He still remains pronoun confused often saying things like, "him's my friend"... Lake spends his days working, and rarely plays. Actually work is play for my son.

One day recently, some dear friends of ours were moving. I was heading to the pool while Jason would spend time helping with the move. Isn't crazy to think my son would rather swim than work? As I was dropping Jason off, Lake spotted a group of workers. Better yet, he spotted strong men working. Jason gave me a kiss goodbye, and Lake started to beg, cry, plead to be allowed to also work.

As I neared the pool, the heartbreak of my son became too much. I seriously wondered if I made the wrong decision to rob a boy of a day of work/play. Suffice it to say, he saw his friend at the pool and was distracted. Thank goodness for the red headed friend that met us at the pool. He has brought Lake out of many a funky mood.

My new favorite thing about my son. Words that begin with S and another letter come hard for Lake. ie.. Mom, there is a pider (spider) I need to save you from/ which he bravely often will do for me. Last week he came in our room one morning, snuggled in between Jason and I. We made a yummy Lake sandwich and loved and loved on him. He smiled, he giggled, he pretended to fight... Then he said, "you are QUISHING me"....Which just made us do it more, because I love to quish my little man! He's very quishable!! Unique Lake!!! I love you!!

 I will be sad when his pronouns improve, the baby chub on his wrists vanishes, and when his S makes an appearance in his speech. I celebrate the unique qualities of my children this day.. How do you love your children specifically and intentionally this day?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The beauty of a young lady

Our family celebrated a huge milestone... Ella turned ten on June 8,2011. It was a big event that we decided to mark with a trip alone with me. Jason and I puzzled a long time over the right place to take her. We had several really neat spots in mind, but in the end, the Lord knew just where he wanted us.

We decided to visit our dear friend Mary Jett in Williamsburg, Virginia. Not only is it a beautiful setting with lots of fun things to do; there were two amazing older young ladies for Ella to enjoy.

I picked Ella up from school and we headed North. We were so excited. We played loud music and found some Mexican food to start our journey. On the way to Virginia, I made clear our weekend was for fun, but it was also to talk about Ella growing into a young lady.  I cannot tell you the joy of a weekend of focused attention on Ella.

But the neat thing, it was not just my attention, but the attention of Mary and her roommate Annette that made the weekend so special. Ella laughed hard, tried new things, and enjoyed herself to the fullest.  We went to Busch Gardens, where I nearly had to be carried out from the heat, and we also went to Water Country USA. I think that was the favorite of us both. We also spent a mellow day shopping and catching a movie.  We ended our trip attending the worship service with Mary and Annette. Truly it was one of the best services I have ever attended. I simply cried through the entire service. I will save that for another post. It was such an amazing service, one that I wish Jason could have seen. We have talked for years about worship, and I really think he would have loved what the Lord is doing at Grace Covenant in Williamsburg.

Truly the weekend was amazing. Ella and I had great time together. She was excited and mature about the adult topics we discussed. She loves Jesus, and I see her desire to follow him in her own way. What a gift to have such a daughter.

Ella was surprised by her trip. Harper and Lake are already putting in orders for their trips. Harper asked if she could take hers when she turn 7, and Lake said he's going hunting on his trip. Moments like these cause me to rejoice in my children growing older. It's such a treat to be a mama to these sweet babies!

I really think this age was the right time to have important talks with Ella. She was mature discussing relationships, sex, friendships, and what kinds of things will come her way as a young lady. We talked about the temptation she will face to distance herself from Jason and I, and the importance of choosing friendships wisely.

Kindness is something we spend a lot of time discussing as a family. It's hard work, it costs a lot, but the value of a soft tender heart is priceless. But not kindness for show, kindness that understands the love and kindness shown to us from the Lord. I see that deepening in my daughter. It's a daily challenge for us all. I would recommend to any parent to look at ten as a milestone to celebrate. More than that, I hope we all look for intentional moments with our children. Time is fleeting, and what we do with it is important. I do not want to regret moment missed!
A place to find encouragement to love your little ones, your husbands and those you come in contact with daily. Two does not have to be terrible. These are years to grow not simply get through!