Happy Made-Me-A-Mamma Day

Happy Made-Me-A-Mamma Day to my Littles that gave me the face of a teen {hello acne} and the body of an elder {wish you'd leave aches}!image

 

Magdalene Reese 6/22/08
Isabella Ruth 1/13/10
Benjamin Ryan 1/11/11
Elizabeth Rae 12/16/13

Mamma loves you each of you wonderfully & fearfully made Littles so much! It's so daunting yet joyful to watch you becoming the people of God He's called you to be.

To all those who have lost or are still waiting: you are loved. not forgotten. You are treasured. not tossed aside. You are seen. not hidden from God. Seek His comfort. Discover His plan. Allow redemption in the pain. {{hugs}} This season is purposeful; don't let it slip by while allowing satan steal the unfathomable peace and joy Christ has for you.

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Missional Living with Littles

My kids are much better about choosing action over good intentions!

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They know there is a small window of time between the school bus dropping off neighbor-friends after school and evening activities each separate family has every night of the week but that doesn't stop them.

They understand that quality, meaningful, authentic time with their friends is better than the great intention of spending mass quantities of time with them somewhere down the road. The "it looks like it's about to rain", "I'm not sure if they're home", "they might not want to", "there's only __ amount of time" excuses just don't cut it in their God-given love for people.

I'm learning to put aside all my excuses and let them live in the moment, not wait for the perfectly planned playdate, greatly fashioned gift-wrapped treat, or ideal weather. Loving people should be natural. Loving is what we are called to do as we are living not a detailed ministry opportunity we suck all the life our of.

 

Love is dependability.

Love is bonfire-smoke-induced-tears.

Love is forgetting who's toys belongs to who.

Love is bandaging skinned knees from other homes.

Love is sale Easter candy oozing out of children as they laugh.

Love is hearing hurts from a once-stranger child under hushed shame.

Love is splintered bare-feet from racing flying actions figures in hand.

Love is stale hotdog buns with gobs of compensation ketchup.

Love is street ball with dog-slobber-coated basketballs.

Love is side-walk-chalk-covered-dresses.

Love is a guaranteed hug.

Love is availability.

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A Year {and a few days} After The Storm

No matter how much our town would like to NOT be known for last years tornado, it's now a part of our story and will forever define all of us in some way.

The valley {our church plant} lost our rented facility to the storm making it that much harder to ignore the fact that we will forever be changed do to a natural disaster. We've hopped from place to place, have exhausted members by working them to the bones, learned people's true heart and passion, and have most importantly Seen Christ. We've seen His heart and passion. We've seen His presence or absence in people when hard things hit and work gets hard. We've seen His spirit in every dwelling the Church has gathered, reaffirming that the Church is not a building!

A Year {and a few days} After the Storm

There's enough tragedy and struggles experienced this past year we could fill an entire book but rather than focus on the spiritual warfare, I want to focus on the places God's brought us through them:

  • Play Place
    free childcare for those parents working or volunteering after the storm
  • Service on the Slab
    praising Jesus for his sovereignty
  • Mom's Night Out
    stress relief for moms after the storm
  • Survived Super Summer
    our middle-middle child got to experience a 1st for our family with her broken arm {it was mostly fun}
  • Adopted a Dog
    Lulu the {almost 2-year-old} registered English Bulldog became part of our family
  • First Family Vacation
    water park and tons of free attractions in Bran son MO
  • Baby Dedication
    ELLIE! got to be the 1st baby dedicated at the valley church
  • Started Our Families Foster/Adoption Journey
    we've started the process of opening our home for foster care through the CALL ministry and DHS
  • Hosted our 2nd Annal Kids' Valentine's Day PARTY
  • Baptism
    Maggie has discovered what being a Christ-follower looks like for a year and announced this decision in baptism
  • Bought Land and Sent a Former Intern to the Ukraine Mission Field {short-term}
    financially these were the biggest outcomes of people's generosity after the storm that we never saw coming

I feel like the two biggest things that have happened over this past year are the strides in our community and neighbor love'n breakthroughs we've had.

After nearly 2 years in our community I feel like we've finally made some big strides in getting to minister in and with our community included but not limited to helping with the big KaBoom! Playground and cook out to celebrate the park. Those in the community are starting to recognize our name which is NOT the cool part but because they know us more, they are more likely to call upon us to help in needed areas. We are here to serve and are finally feeling like we're getting that opportunity.

We have also been plugging away at loving our neighbors all the while hoping they don't think we're crazy. Our most resent cook outs {just here in our neighborhood/our front yard} have allowed us to meet at least 2 more families. Just living outside our home on purpose has let us get to know our neighbors so much better which means they can know and trust us more which means we can love them in bigger ways. It's a beautiful circle! I truly believe its impossible, or at least much harder not to hate that which you know so well. Ignorance leads to hate; hate leads to avoidance, avoidance leads to ignorance. NOT a beautiful circle. Take the time to trudge away beginning the simple circle Jesus has called us each to, right were you are today.

Live, Learn, Serve Here, Go There in LOVE.

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#mommied Monday: Pulling Weeds

In honor of Mother's Day coming up, I'm going to be sharing stories {possibly weekly} that makes ya wanna say, "BOOM! You just got Mommied!" because it is a super power ;) Often we feel like we just got owned by our children in the small battles so we need some encouragement when we don't lose!

#mommied Monday Pulling Weeds

We have these awesome flowerbeds all around our house! The women who lived her for the 5 years before us was the sweetest, retired, green-thumb with an eye for the adorable. One of the biggest attractions was the curb appeal. I quickly apologized to all the neighbors we met and confessed that the gorgeous front lawn would quickly fade because "I had a lot of humans in our house to feed, water, and keep alive" so the plants wouldn't be a priority, sadly.

Sure enough, last summer, lots of plants were scorched and I chose to dig up 1/2 of the awesomeness to extend our front porch for more seating and hopefully lots more missional living. I hacked down trimmed things back appropriately as the kids have gotten a bit bigger but failed to purchase the vast amount of mulch we need to replenish the beds and keep more of the weeds at bay.

All that leads to the flourishing, weedy, front flower bed. Yeah, it's been oozing with grass and plants that weren't there when we moved here so I'm assuming they're not supposed to be. I announced to the kids they could go in the FRONT YARD and play one afternoon with their neighbor friends {always a win} but only after they each produced 5 bucket-fulls of weeks.

To sweeten the deal, I encouraged them to use their new gardening gloves each of them got in their unEaster Baskets along with their new buckets. THEN I added that they would be earning an entire QUARTER for their hard work {a nickle a bucket} and if they wanted to earn more nickles when they'd finished their 5-manditory ones, they could. Izzie knocked hers out and was knocking on neighbor-friends' doors in no time. Mags was a little more particular about which weeds she wanted to stuff into her bucket. And Jamin...Jamin loathes manual labor and suffered through 2 buckets until I started chopping away at things and told him he was allowed to stuff his bucket with my clippings {saving him the "pulling" part of the job}.

#boom #mommied Happy Monday All. Winning...one morning at a time.

I would LUUUUUUVE if you would share your #mommied stories with us on the as Jules is going facebook page or find me on Instagram to share awesome documentation of your #mommied moment! Don't forget to use the hashtag so we can all find it. Maybe by the time Mother's Day gets here we will all feel the true power God has given us as mommies to train up His lil blessings.

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YOU Can Help KaBoom! Vilonia

Thank you so much for loving us! I know many of you feel we've forgotten about your humble offerings to help but We Have Not! It takes time to pull a community back together after something like this or to even assess needs so  thank you to those still waiting in the wings to jump right in when called upon!

I will remember our CovenantA need has arisen and we need Your Help!

Vilonia Is Getting a PUBLIC PARK/PLAYGROUND on April 18th, 2015!
We're talking "Extreme Park Makeover Show" is going down in our town and you can be a part of it!

This is something I've been passionate about since we moved her and I'm so excited to see how God has chosen to let that happen. The local schools have awesome playgrounds that are open to the public but that's only when the schools themselves aren't using them. Totally understandable but as a homeschool mom with lots of littles, I'd love a place to get my kids out of the house for some great educational outdoor playing, meet friends for a picnic, or just get the wiggles out. And now its happening and I didn't do any footwork. hehe

A group called KaBOOM!​ will be assisting our community in building an amazing playground, funded by Kimberly-Clark, in the same space that last years tornado destroyed the former baseball fields and tiny playground equipment.

Thus far, the professionalism of this group is top notch! Maggie was selected as on of 35 out of 300+ students to be a part of the Design Day and therefore I get to be a part of the adult planning team. eeek!

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The night of the Design Day meeting, the kids sat around and dreamed up their ideas for the perfect park. They chatted with news reporters and colored inspirational drawings. Maggie, in preparation for the meeting, drew no fewer than 30 ideas in a notebook to share with the group {she didn't really know how this was going down} so she copied as many of those down onto her giant paper as she could. She ask friends prior to the day what ideas they has so she could share them as well. <3 That child!
After the kids finished up, the parents compiled their ideas, looked through the gazillion options KaBoom! had for equipment and even down to the colors tried to plan a park of our kids dreams.

Design C{just an example of the possibilities}

Right now, we are currently in the 6 weeks of planning between Design Day and BUILD DAY. There are tons of details for our town to work through and figure out. There are many things I'm attempting to help but with but the main ones I'm focusing on right now that I need YOUR help with are:

How YOU Can Help!

  1. We are collecting toilet paper cardboard rolls! You know, the inside thing you throw away or make pretend binoculars out of and then throw away. Yeah, we are collecting those for a fun project since our playground is being funded by the Kimberly-Clark's "Tube-Free" Scott toilet paper campaign. Don't toss'm. Bring them to ME 😀
  2. We need tools! THIS is the list of tools needs and if you have 1 or 5 of those items, we would LOVE to borrow them for 3 days {prep day 1 and 2, and some of them for build day} but better yet, if you have connections with a hardware store that could donate or loan a giant number of them at once, that would be Even better!
  3. We need YOU! There are so many ways we need you but we definitely need committed hands to show up on BUILD DAY, April 18th, from 8am until about 3pm right here in Vilonia {I'll get ya directions 😉 } We need help ranging from helping play with small children, moving mulch, drilling equipment together, serving food, registering the volunteers as they come in, and to I'm sure I missed something else. This would be great for a short mission trip or youth event. Signing up your Group to help would be a guaranteed fun day they'd remember forever. The Valley will use heading up a Serve Here day with our crew!
    Here is the Link to sign up online or you can print this Reigstration Form for Vilonia KaBoom! Park Build Day for large groups and then input them each. 😀

If you have any questions or have another possible way you'd like to help, hit me up! Thanks in advance!!! This is going to be so fun.

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