Living in the Journey

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“I’m just a young boy, living in the journey…”

Those are the lyrics to a song my youngest son wrote. One time I asked him what the song meant, and his response was simple.

“Well, Mom. It means that I’m just a young boy. And I’m living in the journey.”

Awesome.

I love it.

Living in the journey. And I get to live there with him.

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This summer our family is living in an extended journey. My husband is a teacher, so he has the next two months off. He’s also switching schools and districts, which means we are moving as well. We had two options: Move in to our new neighborhood in June and spend the summer in the Valley of the Sun (uh….), or throw our stuff in storage and travel the country.

We’re traveling.

Duh.

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For the next 60 days we are traveling all over the Lower 48. West Coast, East Coast, Northwest, the South… you name it, we’ll be there. Seeing friends and family, exploring new places, visiting our favorite spots. Camping, hotels, couches… we’re doing this.

And I’m going to chronicle it all here. Because that’s what I do.

So… before we get started, I’d like to introduce you to the characters in this journey.

“J”

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J is Jeremy. He is 15 and just finished his Freshman year of high school. He likes reading, music, and all things baseball.

“The Kid”

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The Kid is Micah. He is 12 and just finished 6th grade. He loves building, creating, and all things baseball.

“The Girl”

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The Girl is Alexis. She is 10 and just finished 4th grade. It is because of her that we get to explore all of the National Parks for free! She loves drawing, writing, and all things baseball and softball.

“Jar”

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Jar is Elijah. He is eight and just finished 3rd grade. He loves camping, swimming, and all things baseball.

“Davey and Jane”

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We are Davey and Jane. We love our family, traveling, and all things baseball and softball.

“Marvin”

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Marvin is Dr. Leo Marvin, our 7-month old lab-mix. We were told he was lab/golden retriever. We see the lab… He loves playing, sleeping, and all things chewing.

“Goliath”

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Goliath is our new tent. We figured that since we would be spending at least 2/3 of the next 60 nights in a tent, we might as well get a good one. It fits 14 people. We are a family of six, so this is a very good thing.

And here we go.

Just a family, living in the journey. Maybe you’ll join us!

See you soon!

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It’s Not Okay

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Youth SportsI am a baseball mom. Well, to be a bit more precise, I am a baseball, softball, soccer, cheer, football, and basketball mom. But out of all of those, baseball is our family sport. From the beginning of February through the end of October, seven days a week, we are doing something related to baseball. Major Leagues, Minor Leagues, College Ball, Little League… we love it all.

But with all of my time watching my kids play, I have realized that there is a problem with youth sports. A very, very big problem. Now, the first thing that someone says when you dare to criticize youth sports is some variation of, “Well if you think you can do better then you can get out there and coach.”

Okay. Challenge accepted. I am a coach. My husband is a coach. Over the course of the last ten years we have coached a total of 51 seasons, from Kindergarteners to high schoolers, in six different sports.

So I have earned the right to say something.

But you know what? I don’t need to have earned the right to say something. And my speaking out isn’t a right – it’s a necessity. Because the problem with youth sports is that young people are being mistreated. And it’s not okay.

I’m not talking about the constant practicing. Although at times it gets a bit excessive, I understand the need to practice. I firmly believe in encouraging kids to strive for excellence, and excellence does not come without a lot of hard work.

I’m also not talking about kids being over-committed. If your kid wants to be involved in ten different activities at a time, and you want to pay for and take them to all of those activities, then go for it. Work that out with your family.

What I am talking about is that in the arena of youth sports it seems to have become accepted that adults will yell and scream at children. Belittling them. Humiliating them. Often times swearing at them.

The very same actions that if we saw it happening on the street, we would stop and intervene. Yet when it happens on the field, or the diamond, or the court, we all sit by and let it continue.

This is not okay.

My oldest son is an umpire and this season he has received a lot of verbal abuse. I understand that in professional baseball the manager yelling at the ump and getting tossed from the game is just something that happens. And you know what? Fine. Two adults throwing a fit and yelling at each other while millions of people watch? It’s a baseball thing. But when it is in the context of youth sports, where the umpire is a high school or middle school student, the dynamic has to change. We cannot simply accept it as normal that a 40-year-old man is going to shout insults at a child.

It is not okay.

All three of my sons play baseball and my daughter plays softball. I have seen countless coaches yelling at their players. Not helpful instruction, not even constructive criticism, simply out of control yelling and screaming. I have seen coaches throw things, slam things, and stomp around, raging at their kids.

I even overhead one coach yelling at his players in the dugout, “This is not a game in here!”

Uh… Coach? It is a game. And those boys you just yelled at? They’re 9 and 10 years old. Almost everything is a game for them. And that’s how it should be.

I realize that I have the option of not having my kids involved in youth sports. My son doesn’t have to umpire, and we can find other ways for them to get exercise and be a part of a team. But I have also seen the benefits that come from playing. Not only the physical benefits, but other benefits as well. I love the responsibility that they learn. I like seeing them helping teach the younger players, cheering for their siblings, and the confidence that comes with mastering a new skill. I like the fact that my oldest son is learning how to stand his ground, and realizing that he can take charge of an incredibly intense situation. These are valuable things to know.

Every day we have conversations about the things that they have seen at the ballpark, the good and the bad. And they are learning from everything. But far too often what they are learning from the adults is what not to do and how not to treat people.

And that’s not okay.

So what do we do? Do we just accept that it’s part of the culture? Do we just roll our eyes, vent on Facebook, and occasionally throw passive-aggressive remarks towards the coach?

Yes. I have done that.

But that’s not okay either.

And so I am speaking out. And speaking up. And I will continue to speak out and speak up. Because even if I remove my four children from this environment, that leaves 996 other kids in this league who are being subjected to verbal abuse.

And it’s not okay.

So what can we do? What can you do?

Speak up.

Speak with your coach and make it clear that you will not allow your child, or any other child, to be mistreated. Request a meeting with the director of your league and let him or her know that you are concerned about the fact that kids are being humiliated.

Because it is possible to coach kids without belittling them. It is possible to help them learn and excel, without making them miserable in the process.

I’ve seen it.

Last season my son’s team was undefeated the entire season, including the championship game. And his coach never once yelled and screamed at the players. He was passionate and he was intense, but he never bullied the children.

There are several organizations that have been created to help coaches learn how to coach without the abuse. Contact these groups and have someone work with your league.

Don’t just sit by and watch it happen. Do something.

I don’t want to be misunderstood here. I am not someone who thinks that everyone should get a trophy and that there should never be losers. I am fiercely competitive, and I believe that games are played to be won. I also believe that part of coaching is teaching kids how to win and lose with dignity.

I don’t tell my kids, “Good swing,” when they are chopping wood, and I don’t just shrug it off when a softly hit grounder rolls through their legs. We work on it, and I expect them to do better the next time.

So I’m not saying we need to be soft.

What I am saying is that we need to make sure that the adults who are leading and shaping and influencing children are doing so in a way that is not abusive. It is not too much to ask.

In fact, why would we accept anything else?

So do something.

See you soon.

 

 

 

 

Noble Characters – Baba

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Proverbs 31:19: In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

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Everywhere I look in my house I see evidence of my grandmother’s handiwork. Whether it is in the paintings hanging on the wall, the sweater I passed down to my daughter, or the countless “GG Blankets” my kids use, her artwork abounds.

Having raised seven children, “Baba” knew how to make anything and everything. She could sew clothes, knit sweaters, and crochet the most incredible blankets. She was constantly working on new projects, and I don’t think there is anyone in our HUGE family that does not have one of her trademark fleece blankets. I found out a few years ago that she is terribly allergic to fleece, and would spend days sick in bed after making the blankets. I told her that she shouldn’t do it anymore, that everyone would understand, but she wouldn’t hear of it.

Baba is not a warm and fuzzy grandmother. I mean, don’t get me wrong, she loves us all dearly and makes sure that we know it. But the mushy sentimental stuff is not her thing – that was my Papa! He would cry at anything. We all knew, though, that if we moved Baba to tears we had said something truly profound.

Because of her no-nonsense outlook, she has always chosen to express her love in ways that were practical and useful. She would make the blankets, of course, but she would also help make sure that kids had shoes and that school supplies were available. She wanted to know that we all had cooking utensils, blenders, and clocks, and she also freely gave ice cream dollars, because every once in a while you just need ice cream.

My Baba – Pearl Pack – is a woman of noble character, and I am honored to be her granddaughter. She has devoted her life to serving others: her husband, her children, her grand and great-grand children, friends, church members, and anyone else she would meet. She knows how to love, and she knows how to express her love.

She is a work of art.

See you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Noble Characters – Kathy, Melissa, and Gina

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I am going to jump around in the Proverbs passage today because I absolutely had to write about these three lovely ladies in one post. You see, when we were in college, I had the privilege of being their RA, and we had a lot of fun.

Gina, Melissa, and Kathy

A whole lot of fun.

All three of them were in my wedding, and I have always considered it an honor to be their friend.

The verse that makes me think of Kathy and Melissa is Proverbs 31:18:

She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

 Kathy and Melissa are both wives and mothers, and they both work as nurses.

I am a huge fan of nurses. Through my four C-sections, my dad’s many surgeries, and my mom’s heart surgery, I have seen firsthand just how important nurses are, and how much they truly impact recovery.

I have also seen that their job is unbelievably difficult, requiring so much strength, patience, grace, and wisdom.

They work ridiculously long shifts, many times through the night, serving people who most times can give absolutely nothing in return.

This is the career that Kathy and Melissa have chosen.

And I am not surprised.

As long as I have known both of those ladies – Kathy since college and Melissa much longer – I have known them to be kind, caring, loving, and gracious.

I have also known them to work through the night, doing whatever needs to be done.

I admire these two more than they will ever know.

The verse that makes me think of Gina is Proverbs 31:22:

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Now, on the surface this makes sense, considering the fact that Gina is an incredible interior designer, and she also has an absolutely adorable personal fashion sense.

But the reasons this verse makes me think of Gina are far deeper than that.

Gina brings color to her world. Whether through her humor or her adventurous spirit, she brightens up life, not only for her husband and kids, but for everyone who knows her.

She also passionately fights for those who are cast out and scorned. She rallies people together to love and serve the least of these, demonstrating with her life the importance of being a voice for the voiceless.

Gina shows her children how to love without prejudice or discrimination.

She makes this world better, in both the temporal and eternal things, and I can’t believe I get to call her my friend.

Kathy, Melissa, and Gina are women of noble character. They inspired me so many years ago, and they still inspire me today.

In one sense I feel proud of all that they have accomplished, like I have watched “my girls” grow up. But in another way I look up to them, and strive to be the type of person that they are.

Either way, I am so thankful that we were put on a hall together, all those years ago.

 

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noble Characters – Darlene

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Darlene lived cross the hall from me our freshman year in college. From the very beginning, she and I were very different from one another.

She is tall, I am not.

She had curly hair, I did not.

She was in a sorority, I was not.

Her room was beautifully decorated with coordinated floral prints, mine was not.

And Darlene was usually very graceful, proper, and dignified.

And I was… not.

Despite our differences, though, we became fast friends. We would study together, eat together, and when I wanted to break curfew and go to the beach at midnight, DarDar was my accomplice.

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One thing we had in common, though, is that we were both night owls. Some of my fondest memories of that time in college are the early, early mornings, sitting in the hall with Darlene, talking.

We would talk in detail about what we wanted our lives to look like when we got older, and in even greater detail about what we didn’t want our lives to look like.

We were passionate and idealistic.

And had no idea what reality would bring.

You see, in all of our conversations of what we wanted for our lives, never once did Darlene say that she wanted to eventually be a single mother to two boys with autism.

Yet here she is.

The verse that makes me think about Darlene is Proverbs 31:17:

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

I will never forget the way that Darlene let the general public know about her divorce. She posted a Facebook status about completing a small home-improvement task, stating that she had reached a major milestone for a single mom.

And that was it.

A strong, bold statement that although she had not chosen this for her life, it is what her life became, and she would handle it with her usual grace, dignity, and courage.

She vigorously works for her family, and her arms – and will – are strong for her tasks.

She is there for her children – loving them, serving them, helping them, and fighting for them. Tirelessly, fiercely, and without recognition.

She is keenly aware of educational policy and advocates on behalf of those who cannot advocate for themselves.

She volunteers her time to help the outcast and overlooked, and she is a devoted mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

Oh, and on top of all of that, she is also a classroom teacher, faithfully serving the students in her care.

Darlene is truly a woman of noble character, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for all that she is.

She inspires me to learn more, to serve more, and to love more.

I am so honored to call her my friend.

See you soon.

 

Noble Characters – Adora

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In the middle of the 8th grade I transferred to a new school.

I still remember the outfit I wore on my first day: black Guess jeans, a pink and white Guess shirt, and some pretty funky-trendy boots.

I was so cool.

Or not.

In addition to my incredible fashion choices, I also remember one of the first people I met. Her name was Adora. She was kind and welcoming, introduced me to several people, and went out of her way to make sure that I didn’t feel left out.

Adora and I quickly became friends, and not long after that we became sisters.

My house was her house, and hers was mine. My mom was her mom, and hers was mine. My brother was her brother, and hers was mine.

I had her back, and she had mine.

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One of the things that I first admired about Adora was her capacity to be genuinely happy for other people. At the end of 8th grade we both tried out for the Colorguard at the high school. After a two-week clinic, the day of tryouts finally arrived. We were nervous – there were 60 girls trying out for 20 spots – but we were also excited. Adora helped me braid my hair, and we went over and over the routine.

At the end of the day, the list was posted, and Adora and I rushed out into the parking lot. We found my mom and Adora jumped up and down, so excited that I had made the team.

Finally my mom asked Adora if she had made the team, too. She said that she had, and there was more giggling and jumping.

But Adora’s first excitement was for me.

And that’s just how she was. At the end of the year when she was recognized for being the only freshman to make the Varsity team, she was more excited for her friends receiving other awards.

When she was named Captain, she was more excited for her friend who was named Lieutenant.

She thought of others first.

Adora always inspired me to try and be a better person. She didn’t gossip, she worked hard, and she knew how to have fun.

Our Senior year in high school, I decided to quit the Colorguard. I will never forget the conversation I had with my director when I told him my decision.

“I understand what you are saying,” he said. “And I’m sure you’ll be fine. I only hope this doesn’t cause a strain in your friendships, because I know your best friends are all on the Guard. Especially Adora. You two are tight.”

“I’m not worried about that,” I said. “Our friendship is beyond Colorguard.”

Twenty-three years and countless memories later, I think it is safe to say I was right.

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I still deeply admire Adora, and one of the greatest honors of my life was standing up with her when she married Josh.

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The verse that reminds me of Adora is Proverbs 31:16:

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

Now, it’s kind of funny that this verse makes me think of her, because I have no idea what she does for a living.

I know her title, but I don’t know what it means. I know the name of her company, but I don’t know what they do. I know it involves math – lots and lots of math – but I don’t know how or why or what.

What I do know, though, is that she works hard. She travels, she attends conferences, and she is well respected.

But her work does not define her.

She is a wife, she is a mother of two precious boys, and she is a fierce Golden State Warriors fan.

She is a sister, she is a daughter, and she is a friend.

She shows me the importance of working hard and doing my best in my career, yet keeping the first things first and living a full and balanced life. She teaches me to help support my family however I can, yet not lose sight of who I am.

Adora still inspires me to try and be a better person. Every day.

She is a woman of noble character and I am honored to still call her my sister and friend.

See you soon.

Noble Characters – Patty

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Last Saturday night, for 2.5 hours, my mom sat and watched a cheer competition. Now, she didn’t know anyone on the teams she watched, but that was okay. She wasn’t really there to watch. She was there to learn.

My niece had competed earlier in the day and would be competing again the next day, so my mom said she wanted to learn more about what she was seeing. She wanted to learn the difference between a full and a tuck, a prep and an extension.

Not because she is that into cheer, but because she is that into her granddaughter.

When my boys play baseball, she learns all she can about pitches, strategies, and protecting the plate. When my daughter plays soccer, my mom learns the different positions and why the keepers do what they do. And when my other niece is swimming? My mom is learning all she can about the sport, and telling us all about how fast the girl can cross the pool.

Again, not because she’s into those sports – football is her thing – but because she cares about her grandkids and wants to understand their worlds.

She’s always been that way.

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When my brother and I were growing up, she was not only Mom to us, but also to so many of our friends. She always kept the front door unlocked, an open invitation for people to come into our home, and into our lives.

Even after my brother and I no longer lived at home, friends would stop by the house just to see my mom. Sure enough, the door was unlocked.

The verse that makes me think of my mom is Proverbs 31:15:

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.

When I was growing up, my mom worked in a law office. At first, the office was in Orange County. It was a relatively easy, 30-minute commute, just a few miles down the freeway from our town. Eventually, though, the firm moved to downtown Los Angeles.

The 30-minute commute became at least two hours, usually closer to three.

In order to stay at her job – which she enjoyed, was good at, and paid a decent salary – she had to figure out how it would work. The only solution that would allow her to also stay involved in our church and be there for school events was to change her hours and utilize the rapid transit system.

This meant that every day she was gone from the house by 5:30 AM. Every single day, without complaint.

Getting up while it was still night, helping provide food for her family.

Now, my mom didn’t have female servants, but she sure did provide for other people. Whether it was donuts every week for the Sunday School class she and my dad taught, taking my friends out for lunch after church, or even taking gifts to the lady who cut her hair, my mom loved to give.

She still does.

She has a “fun basket” at her house, and my kids know that every time they go to Nana’s, there will be something new in the basket.

She even buys toys for our dog – and she’s not really a dog person. At all.

When I was in high school, my mom and I would walk every night. I used to think that we were just racking up miles, but now I realize that she had a method. She called it, “Walk till she talks.” And it was exactly as it sounds.

Every night, rain or shine, we would walk around the neighborhood. She would ask me questions, and the walk would continue until the one-word answers turned into sentences, and the shrugs became explanations.

It wasn’t an option. It was essential.

I realize, though, that with all of the walking and talking we did – and still do – that I never actually told her the one thing I really should have: Thank you.

So I will do it now.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you for showing me how to work hard. Thank you for teaching me how important it is to make sure that my home is a refuge – not just for my family, but for anyone who may need to come over.

Thank you for helping me see that small does not mean weak, and that a strong will, a strong mind, and a strong sense of self are some of the most important attributes that a woman – or a man – can have.

And thank you for being a woman of noble character, and for living the type of life that would inspire your granddaughter to write this note:

Nana, Jesus loves you. And I know you love Him too.

It doesn’t get better than that.

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noble Characters – Cathy

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One of the most vivid memories from my childhood is from when I was 8-years-old. I was in the car, riding with my two cousins and my Aunt Cathy. We had all of the windows down, and Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was blasting on the radio. We were all singing and dancing, throwing our arms out the windows, and pretty much just having a blast.

Last April, at Cathy’s youngest daughter’s wedding, the four of us got out on the dance floor and once again rocked out to that musical gem.

As memorable as the “Jitterbug Moment” was, what happened a few minutes before is what made an even bigger impact on me.

When we first got into the car that day, my cousin and I were making snide comments and just not being very nice. Cathy looked into the mirror, made eye contact with me, and simply said, “Girls!”

That was all it took to snap us out of it. And I never forgot it. Here was Aunt Cathy – the epitome of all that was cool and fun and admirable – reminding us that tearing others down was not cool. Or fun. Or admirable.

Then she turned on the radio and on we went.

Loving discipline followed by an epic dance party. That’s the sort of thing that really stays with you.

I have so much love, respect, and admiration for Cathy that it is difficult to narrow it down to one blog post. In all honesty, there are several sections of the Proverbs 31:10-31 passage that make me think of her.

The one that I am focusing on today, though, is Proverbs 31:14.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

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I know. That seems a bit strange. So let me explain.

This verse isn’t really about being a ship. Although, Cathy does love to be on the water. Whether it’s a cruise ship on the ocean or a boat in the river, she can’t get enough. But that’s not it.

This verse is referring to making wise financial decisions to provide the best for her family.

Now, I know that saying that someone is good with money isn’t exactly a glamorous or exciting thing. And I’m not talking about the amount of money she has – because I don’t know and it’s none of my business! But here’s what I want you to know about Cathy, and what has happened because she is wise with money:

Cathy has shown her three incredible daughters how to budget, save, and make educated financial decisions.

She was able to take in and help raise a child who was not her own.

She was able to take in my family – all six of us – when I was deathly ill and we were desperate.

She is able to help care for her mother.

And Cathy and her husband, Joe, are able to help sponsor and tirelessly serve countless young men and women as they pursue a life with Jesus and start to see their worth in Christ.

Cathy exemplifies what it means to take whatever you have been given – no matter how much or how little – and use it to serve and glorify God.

She is strong. She is intelligent. She works hard.

Cathy is dedicated, protective, and loving.

She is willing to provide discipline, and she is willing to have the difficult discussions and confront messy issues in order to find resolution and peace.

Cathy will make decisions that no one else wants to make.

Because she will do the right thing, even when it isn’t easy.

Cathy is a woman of noble character. I love her. I respect her. And I am so thankful that I not only get to call her my aunt, but also one of my closest friends.

See you soon.

*Photo Credit: Jordan Jameson

 

 

 

 

Noble Characters – Karly and Emily

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In the summer of 2005, David and I moved in to a little house in a small Northern California town. Our oldest was only three-years-old at the time, and our second son was an infant.

The day we moved in, I looked at the house next door and saw two nine-year-old girls looking back at me. There they stood, identical twins with long blonde hair, just watching.

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A few days after we moved in I officially met the girls and their mom. I already knew their older brother, Jordon. He had quickly jumped into our lives – and our hearts – in true Jordon fashion. But the girls – they were more reserved. They took their time getting to know us.

Well, I should say they took their time getting to know David and me. They bonded instantly with our son, and before long not a day went by without dinnertime stories of all that Karly and Emily would do and say.

One day, though, things began to change. I heard a knock on the door, but when I opened it all I found was a single sticky note with a single word: Hello.

I answered.

They wrote more.

And so it began.

Through the course of several months – and hundreds of sticky notes – we got to know each other. As the girls got older, technology changed, the notes turned into text messages, and the conversation deepened.

I am so thankful to say that the conversation continues to this day. Not a day goes by that we don’t text each other. Sometimes we talk about silly stuff, and sometimes it’s not so silly. But it’s constant.

Karly and Emily are key figures in the lives of my kids. They watched my oldest play t-ball, and were front and center at my second son’s first birthday. They held my youngest the day he was born, and my daughter took her first steps at their house. Whenever something good happens, my kids’ first request is to make sure Karly and Emily know about it. Whenever something bad happens, their first request is to make sure that Karly and Emily know about it.

Nearly identical on the outside, yet each with their own unique, beautiful personality, there are not enough words to describe how much these two young women have made my life better.

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The verse that makes me immediately think of them is Proverbs 31:13:

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

Karly and Emily each have an incredible work ethic, and they always have. When they were younger, they helped their mom with her in-home daycare. They house sat, babysat their cousins, and took care of several kids in the neighborhood – ours included, of course.

They worked at camp with us, helped at the coffee house, and could be relied upon to do above and beyond whatever was needed.

As young adults, they continue to work hard. They help run a candy shop, working not only at the store but also sporting events and every major festival that comes to their town, all while staying fiercely devoted to their family and to “the boys” (their two dogs).

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I admire Karly and Emily so much. I admire their strength, their courage, their dedication, and their faith. Just last Sunday they both stood before their church, declared their faith in Jesus, and were baptized.

They are young women of noble character. Every day they inspire me, and I am honored to be a part of their lives.

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noble Characters – Heidi

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Anyone who knows anything about Heidi knows these two things:

  1. Heidi loves Jesus.
  2. Heidi loves Troy.

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Heidi and I were not really friends when we were growing up. Now, I knew who she was and she knew who I was, and we had a lot of friends in common, but our paths just didn’t intersect. We weren’t enemies, but we weren’t friends either.

Then, about 20 years ago, Heidi married my friend Troy.

I remember at their wedding, Troy was so excited he could hardly stand still.

For the first little while after they got married we weren’t really in touch with each other, but I would get updates about them from my friends and family. I knew where they lived; I heard when they were expecting a baby, that sort of thing.

Then came the big wide world of social media and we were able to reconnect a bit.

I remember one of the very first things that I saw Heidi post. It simply said: Heidi loves Troy.

I thought it was the coolest thing. A sweet declaration, reminding everyone that although they had been married for over a decade, she still had a crush on him.

The verse that makes me think of Heidi is Proverbs 31:12:

She brings (her husband) good, not harm, all the days of her life.

 Everyone who knows Troy knows that he is a good man, and deserves a good wife.

And he has one.

I love seeing the way that Heidi will talk about the way that Troy still makes her heart flutter, and how much she adores their little family.

Because of Troy’s career, there are times when they have to be separated. They will start a countdown of how long it will be until they are reunited, showing everyone around them that it is okay to still be madly in love with your spouse.

Heidi inspires me to do a better job of letting my husband know how much I love and appreciate him.

As much as I admire the type of wife Heidi is, that does not paint the entire picture of who she is or why I respect her.

Heidi is a devoted mother who is passionate about her two children. She teaches them to know and love Jesus, and she teaches them to strive for academic excellence.

Not only does she teach and instruct them, but she models it for them as well.

She also serves the youth and children in her community, bringing the hope and promise of Jesus to those that come her way. Heidi uses her gifts and passions to make an eternal difference, and that is a beautiful thing. Just recently she posted that her goal for the day was to “make sure they meet Jesus.”

I can think of no better goal.

Heidi is a woman of noble character, and I am so thankful that I get to observe and learn from her.

See you soon!