Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall in Atlanta!

It's finally fall in Atlanta.  It's my favorite time of year.  Pretty much October 1 through January 2 is full of more exciting things than I could even name...apple picking, pumpkin patches, my kids birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and our 7 year anniversary (and much more!).  The fall is a time that it's so clear in nature how much life is changing and evolving.  The leaves and their beautiful colors remind me of God's hand in the natural order of how things are supposed to change!  Watching my kids this year has been amazing.  Ava has always amazed me with her crazy personality and funny sayings.  At almost 4, she doesn't change as much physically but she comes up with something new everyday that she is learning.  Today she said "Mommy, aren't you so glad to have me around to help with Jay?  What would you do without me?"  She also said yesterday with as much attitude as a teenager "Mommy, this is hte only cute shirt I could find in my drawer to put on!"  Jay on the other hand is constantly changing physically.  He has outgrown most of his clothes and now he crawls, pulls up on things, and walks around holding on to anything he can find.  He may be the happiest little guy ever and always greets us with lots of smiles.  For Caleb and I, we feel like we are on the cusp of change.  We are ready for God to move us in one direction or another.  We have been looking for a new church home for several weeks.  We continue to pray for wisdom but often feel lost in finding answers.  We attended Trinity this past weekend and heard a GREAT sermon from Kris.  It made me miss having a church that we call "home."  He talked about the Gospel of Sin Management.  If we correct our behaviors and sins then we will find favor with God and He will pat us on the head and say "good job."  This is pretty much the opposite of the true gospel...a gospel that says "you can't earn my love, because I love you inspite of your sin!"  I think sometimes I spend so much time figuring out what is the next step for us, where we need to serve, how to correct my often pitiful attitude, etc.  These things are important at times, but they are not what God is desiring for me and they aren't why Jesus died.  He died to forgive sins and give us life abundently.  I want to live in light of this promise.  I want to seak to serve my heavenly Father and from that have a life that pours out service to others.  So, as much as I am still struggling with the unknowns and the inevitable changes ahead, the pressure is off to find the perfect solution.  I serve a God who freely gives Grace...even (and especially) when we have no idea what we are doing! 
In other news...One of our first neighbors we met during Mission Year moved in across the street from us a few weeks ago.  Anne and her family were like family to us and even though it's been several years since we were all involved in each others lives, it feels so familiar to have her living close again and I am so grateful.  We head to Indianapolis this weekend to the Christian Community Development Association Conference.  I am super excited to spend time with the other Mission Year staff, hear some great teaching, spend time with Caleb, and dream a little bit about what we want this next year to look like.  I leave you with pics from the last month or so!

 Anniiyah, Makayla and Ava have all gotten HUGE!
 Karim Graduated from High School!
 We got to go on a double date with the Henley's.
 Ava has been LOVING dance class!
 Andra took a family picture for us that included Jay
 All 11.5 of us went to the Pig restaurant!
 Ava and Christopher had an AWESOME time at sweetwater!

 This is the classic Jay face!