Monday, February 25, 2013

My Man!

I am so happy to have such a good man to be with all my life.
He is a great Daddy to Collier and Kenley.  A great provider.  Makes life fun.

He makes parenting these two sweet babies easier and honestly helps me to laugh through some of the times I stress over too much or take to seriously.  He takes care of all of us and is protective of all of us. 
But over being an amazing Daddy he is first a wonderful and sweet husband.  I am thankful for him in so many ways.  He is a devoted husband and I know that he loves me so much.  
This weekend we spent at Compass Lake...just the two of us.  [thanks to Mella & Buzz for keeping both of them all weekend]  We had lots and lots of rain, relaxing, naps, good meals, cooking together, uninterrupted conversations, no distractions, we ate a whole bag of peanut butter m&m's, watched lots of Dayton racing and quality time that I needed so badly with my man.  Today we celebrate 7 years together and I love thinking back to our wedding day and all that has happened between now and then...but I just can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the many years to come.

Justin, I love you more and more with every passing day.  Thank you for an amazing and relaxing weekend. Thank you for loving me and for spending your life with me!  You are a true blessing.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Truthful Tuesdays - Forgiveness

So, I have had this thought in my head for a few weeks of sharing God's truths a few Tuesdays a month. So, I am going to try it and see where the Lord my lead me.  I feel like He laid it on my heart to share these truths that I know and that I read and study about and quite honestly I have been sitting on my hands the past few weeks. I was so excited about it and the possibilities and then when I went to actually start typing....I froze in fear.  I am not the best or most eloquent with my words and typing...I have these thoughts but putting them to words that make sense to others sometimes is a struggle.  Then I thought, who am I to try and explain God's truth...I am not worthy or qualified.  So, these lies crept into my head and so I just kept putting it off.  Each week the Spirit would nudge me to share on this idea and I would find a million reason's not to sit and type.  I have been unfaithful.

Which leads me to my first topic about His Forgiveness because I need it!  And I need it a million times over!  It is funny when a reoccuring theme appears in your life.  Like every time I turn around I hear or read something about forgiveness in the past two weeks.  It started with a conversation with a sweet friend and how important it is that we teach our children about forgiveness and as I mentioned a few post back, I want to begin having these conversations with Collier so that he can also understand.  But then, I went to sunday school this week and guess what the topic is for the next 4 weeks?  Yep, forgiveness.  And then, I read my lent devotional over the weekend and Psalm 32 is the scripture... V.5b
I said to myself 'I will confess my rebellion to the LORD'.  And you forgave me!  all my guilt is gone
and I was reminded that when we do confess, that we are forgiven.  And through His forgiveness we are then 'free to hear a fresh call from God, to hear when He whispers and feel when He nudges'[YouVersion Bible App Lent for Everyonereading plan by NT Write].  According to Pslam 32 we can rejoice in our forgiveness and that is something that I am not sure that I have done very well but want to learn how to. Instead I am normally walking away with my tail tucked between my legs and my head down instead of looking up to Him.

In sunday school we talked about how there are different kinds of forgiveness[from John Claypools, Mending the Heart] or wounds that are in need of mending: forgiveness when we have been hurt by others - grievance.  Forgiveness for the wrong we have done - guilt.  My personal struggle is with the latter!  I am learning though more and more about identifying the sin in my life, which is often revealed to me through The Spirit, and being able to confess that wrong thought and/or action and turn from it so that I can rejoice in the forgiveness that I am granted.

So, then on Friday I went for a quick run by myself and this song came on, I am not sure that I have ever heard it until Friday and I was yet struck again with the topic of forgiveness.  Ok God, I hear ya! There is nothing to big for God to forgive.  We will all fall down, but if we call out to Him we can be set free.  He forgets what has been forgiven.

Then on the flip side....this song really puts into perspective about our ability and need to forgive others. Sometimes it is just hard to let go and let someone off the hook for what they have done.  But honestly God does it for us every day.  God wants us to forgive others...because it free's us from the bondage that grips us and puts us in a downward spiral of anger, sadness and guilt. Something that was said in Sunday school was 'let go and look up'.  oh such good advice.  If we are not letting go we can't move forward and no one wants to be stuck in the same place.  It can just make you crazy re-hashing and replaying whatever happened over and over in your just isn't good.

We are loved so much by God that He sent His son to live and die on the cross, but he raised Him so that He defeated death itself.  Through Jesus we are forgiven.  So, lets also forgive other and rejoice in this freedom!

Friday, February 15, 2013


Collier had his class Valentines party on Wednesday. We put his valentines together the night before...nothing like being last minute.  He was having a hard time understanding why he was giving these to all his friends.  He told Justin he was taking surprises to his friends at school and he was going to get surprises from them...close enough!

They made valentines necklaces before they got heart shaped doughnuts and snacks

Yesterday, I made heart cinnamon rolls for Collier's breakfast and he got lots of goodies from his grandparents that he got to open.  He then packed it up to go to Nammy's...he didn't want to leave anything behind he was so excited about his valentine surprises.   He was especially happy about his harmonica aka his microphone or barmonica.  And we are not short of candy - not sure which is worse - halloween or valentines! We rounded our night off with hamburgers (true romance in the Hicks house hold) and I also made a strawberry cake for our dessert.
 Thank you Pinterest
 tapping his foot to his tunes

 I am on a quest to find a good strawberry cake recipe for someone's 1st birthday that is coming up verrrry soon! - if you have a favorite...please share!
Collier also go some mustaches and we had quite a bit of fun with those

I will leave you with a Valentines performance by the one and only....

Sorry for the shaky camera work...I had a little money in my lap!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Discovery Weekend and Lent

Justin and I participated in a weekend event through our church (All Saints Episcopal)  called Discovery weekend. The purpose is to grow both in you faith as well as in the church community.  The whole reason that we changed churches was to find a church family.  In the past year or so that we've been attending All Saints we have really loved it and we are very comfortable in and at this church.  I personally love that Justin likes it as much as I do and there is not discussion (or persuading) about if we are going to church on Sundays....we both want to be there and so if we are in town we go!  I don't even mind going alone when Justin is out of town...and I am certain I would never have done that before.  For the first time since we've been married we have even started going to Sunday School and trying to get to know other people of the church even better.

So this weekend was great in the since of getting to know some other members of our church, it was a small intimate group, as well as challenging my faith in a real and personal way.  I sometimes feel that the Episcopal church doesn't do a great job of diving into God's word in the sense of really studying His word.  Let me make a disclaimer: our preachers all preach from the Word of God and they to preach His truths.  Not saying that the Episcopal church doesn't use the bible, but we don't carry our bible to church each sunday :)  Make sense?  But this weekend I felt I was covered in His truth and love.  I experienced personal growth and I am thankful for all of the people who took their time to make the weekend as great as it was.  In addition to the speakers and discussions that we had we also had amazing praise worship and some delicious and amazing food.   Plus Papoo and Nunny came up to keep the kids so we were all set the entire weekend.  It was really great!

I feel like the timing of the weekend was just perfect.  Nothing like getting on the ground floor of your heart with God and then heading straight into Lent where we will spend the next 40 days humbling ourselves, repenting of our sins and realizing the true depth of what Jesus did when He died on the cross and then overcame death when He was raised up.  can I scream run-on-sentence?

Last night we went to our Ash Wednesday service.  I decided to not bring Collier in for the imposition of the ashes but then did get him for communion.  What I did not know was, at chapel yesterday during school, Father Jack spoke to them about ashes and about lent.  So, when I went to get Collier for communion he looked at me and said 'I need a cross, look I don't have one and I need the cross'.  He would pull his bangs back so that I could clearly see that his forehead was clear of any ashes.  Then I realized that he was more aware than I thought that he would be and he kept telling me he needed a cross.  So, after the service we found Father Jack and he was so kind to take the time and give Collier a cross.  Reminding us 'You have come from dust and to dust you will return'  Jack also reminded Collier what they spoke about in chapel that 'even though you mess up sometimes that God still forgives you'.  I think I need that lesson too!  Oh, melts my heart.  I am so thankful to a church and school that is teaching these truths to my children.  I love it!

I struggle with Lent sometimes because I am not sure where or how to sacrifice....what to 'give up' for 40 days.  I have read a million articles about what to and not to give up and how to go about it.  But the bottom line is that in my heart I feel that I should give up something that will be for the greater good of God.  Something that will help me grow closer to Him or that will teach me something that I am needing to learn at this given time in my life.  I have given up everything from chocolate, pasta, beer and even listening to the radio.   Time seems to be the one thing that makes the most sense to give Him more of my time...instead of scanning facebook or pinterest to read His word or even just sit quietly (not listing off my wants and desires) but to just sit and listen for Him to speak. So, that is my goal.  Quiet and stillness.  I am also going to join Justin in no soft drinks!

In addition to this, I am going to make a strong effort to talk to Collier about forgiveness and to start using those words in our every day moments when we mess up and need forgiveness so that on the bigger scale he can understand what it means for Jesus to have died for us to be forgiven.

Jesus love me this I know, for the the bible tells me so.  Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.  Yes, Jesus love me.  Yes, Jesus love me.  Yes, Jesus loves me.  For the bible tells me so!

There is no greater love than the amazing love of our Heavenly Father
Happy Valentines day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Annual Butt-Off

We celebrated the  annual Butt Off today.  The all day cooking of Boston Butts that are judged by all who are present at half time to taste and determine the Best and the Worst Butt's cooked for the day.  We had a good time and a good day.  Lots of food, fun, visiting, football and did I mention food?

The cooks....Poe, Justin, Smiley, Patten (who refused to look at the camera)
 The ballots...we vote for the best and the worst
 reading the votes
 Jen giving a little Biance while reading the votes
 proudly took the trophy

Smiley won the toilet seat for the worst!  
So when we vote every year I never know which number Justin's is, so I try and guess based on taste and vote for him.  But the past two years I votes for others thinking I was voting for Justin.  It was a clear and easy decision, I knew that #3 was the best tasting and when I found out his was #3, I knew he would win.  He did awesome and cooked it up perfectly this year.  So proud of him.  

when we crawled in the bed last night and I was about to give him a kiss...he said 'come here and kiss a champion'.  Oh boy the bragging is only beginning.