Sunday, May 12, 2013

Change is coming

Not to detract from Mother's Day, but my dear husband made this emotional announcement in church today. He says it much better than I could have, and I wanted to record it here.


To the Congregation of Lakeside Community Chapel, The Lord has made it very clear that it is time for me and Laura to serve the Lord elsewhere. This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make. You are our family. We have served along side of you for nearly eight years, and you have become very dear to us. We love spending time with you, growing with you, sharing in your lives as you share in ours, watching your children grow, and having our children grow up as part of your family. So many of you have demonstrated the love of Christ to us, opening your homes and lives to us, helping us when we needed someone much handier than myself, volunteering to serve in the ministries I have overseen, and so much more.

This has been a wonderful place to grow in the grace of Christ. The elders have helped me in so many ways. Before coming to Lakeside, I had attended a graduate school but not a seminary. Lakeside has been a seminary where the elders have brought me along in how ministry should look. These men are my friends and have invested time and energy, helping me grow as a leader in the local church. They’ve taken the time to help me grow as a preacher as well; Pastor Steve has especially taken the time to do that. They’ve encouraged me and corrected me; they’ve defended me and confronted me when it was necessary. And there are other men that I would include in this as well. Men like Bob Carver. Men who took the time to walk with me and share their lives with a young man, helping me see through their example what my walk should be like. It is very clear that God brought us to Lakeside for our good, for conforming us into the image of His Son. And I will be ever reminded that our sovereign God is good when I think about the church family that He brought us to.

I should explain a little as to why we are leaving and where we will be going. Let me begin with why. For many years, I have had a strong desire to teach. However, my role at Lakeside does not afford me the consistent opportunity to do so. For quite some time, I have waited in hopes that the opportunity would arise where I could continue with my responsibilities and add a more constant teaching role, but that is not the role God has chosen for me here. Along with this desire to teach, I have recently come to some different conclusions than the rest of the elders on a particular doctrinal issue. The issue involves how I interpret the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments, which impacts, among other things, how I interpret prophecy. This doesn’t change my vast agreement with the leadership of the church, but it does cover a specific area where there needs to be unity among the leaders at Lakeside. I still strongly affirm the Bible teaching of our leaders, whom I greatly respect. I will continue to recommend Lakeside to others that move into this area because I continue to believe that it is a great church. In order to preserve the unity of the church, I will not be speaking about this doctrinal issue further. If you have questions, please ask the elders.

With the combination of my desire for a consistent teaching role and this difference of doctrinal understanding, it became clear both to the elders and to myself that it is time for me to pursue other endeavors. At this time, we are planning to move to Louisville, Kentucky, so that I can attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on a part-time basis, and Laura will be working in a Christian School System in Louisville. While not all the details have been decided, we anticipate making this transition to Louisville in mid to late July. I want to make it clear that I am not leaving simply in order to gain a “higher position”. The Lord has made it clear that this opportunity to serve at Lakeside is ending, and He will provide the next opportunity in His timing. Until that time I am doing my best to be responsible with my time by seeking further growth and training.

I want you all to know that you will remain dear to me and my family. Change is almost never enjoyable. I am quite confident that I would have remained here for a very long time if the Lord hadn’t made it so clear that it was time to leave. Throughout the process, my wife and I have worked hard to remember that God is both sovereign and good and that His plans are wiser than any plans we could come up with. At the same time, I do long for the time when we will not shed a single tear of sorrow again and instead enjoy the presence of our Maker together for all eternity. Orson Wells, it is said, once spoke these words, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.“ Praise God that our story will never really end and that it reaches its climax in a blissful eternity together with Him.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My sweet little Floridians

While talking about what it will be like when I am old and am a Grandma, I asked the kids what the would call me then.
Mackenna: "mommy"
Micah: "old mommy"


When leaving for preschool, we told the kids they needed to put on a jacket because it is chilly outside.
Mackenna: "but we have long sleeves on. A jacket and long sleeves? That's silly."

Sleepy Twins

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another six months of changing from my biggest kids


Six months seems to be the magic number...I was just thinking I should update on things my older kids can do that they couldn't six months ago, and sure enough, I posted this the first time in March, just about six months ago.

Here are some new things they can do....

- Unload the dishwasher (Micah) and assist me in cleaning the bathrooms (Mackenna)
- Make their beds
- Go places at night without falling asleep in the car (well, mostly)
- Memorize references to go with Bible verses and quote the correct verse when prompted with a question
- Micah can sound out cvc words and definitely knows what letter almost any word starts with.
- Mackenna is awesome at rhyming words.
- Write their names easily
- Ride a bike with training wheels
- Get themselves dried off after a bath and put on their PJ's by themselves
- Mackenna now sleeps in underwear without a single accident.
- Micah loves adding on his fingers.
- Ride kiddie rollercoasters and like them (especially Mackenna).

I love them.

Before I finish, I wanted to record a little something about being the mom of twins. There have been times in the past four years where it really isn't like I have twins; it is just like I have two kids and the things I struggle with are the things that every mom of two kids struggles with. However, there have also been some unique twin mom times too. (Potty training two at once comes to mind.) I'm at another one of those unique times. Micah and Mackenna are two very unique lovable individuals - who just happened to be born on the same day. They are different players, imaginers, learners, etc. Micah shows a real aptitude right now for learning - he is ready to read and likes trying. She isn't quite there yet, which is totally fine since she is still a young four years old. She loves books, probably more so than him. So I am at this difficult place of figuring out how to encourage him and be excited for him without discouraging her or making her hate books. Also, the decision of when to start kindergarten is always a challenge for parents...but we are faced with making a decision that is best for each individual child but is also best for the pair of children. It isn't easy. Praying for a lot of mom wisdom.

Also, since I'm seeking to see my children as individuals, I recently made a change to our rest time routine to allow for more one on one time. Here is what we are doing now.
- Monday - family day so each week is different
- Tuesday - my "Monday" so the twins will do rest time together on my bed listening to audio books while I do laundry, clean, etc.
- Wednesday - Mackenna gets time with mom while Micah gets to pick all the audio books for his own rest time
- Thursday - we switch and Micah gets time with mom
- Friday - Movie day

So far so good....


Friday, September 28, 2012

Sleep tales

Today I was putting Jocelyn down for a nap at a friend's house who recently had surgery so I could clean her house for a bit during naptime. Jocelyn didn't think this was a great idea and vocally expressed as much. I went in to comfort her and she quickly snuggled into my shoulder, she then pulled back so she was sitting up on my lap. I asked her if she was ready to go night night. Her face instantly turned upside down and she quickly rushed to lay back down on my shoulder. It was clear  that she knew exactly what I had said and that she didn't want mama to leave her. This little episode reminded me of a few other random things about Jocelyn's sleep.

- She doesn't consistently sleep through the night, but she has gotten much better since her birthday. Up until then, she was faithfully waking up once a night, if not two or three times. Since then, she has only woken up once by herself and twice when a sibling cried in the middle of the night. One time, she woke up really really early, and I was able to just go in and rub her face and comfort her and she fell back asleep. The other times, I do take advantage of the opportunity to cuddle her, feed her, and give our little peanut a few extra calories.

- She isn't super attached to any "sleep special thing" yet, but she has grabbed for her swaddle blanket a few times and we did find pink bunny a few days ago and have started giving that to her in bed again. (I'm a big fan of special things when it comes to sleeping - makes sleeping in random places like the car or stroller or stranger's - family's - homes much easier.)

- She takes much better naps in her own crib than in anyone else's home - even if it is dark and quiet. But she will usually give up and sleep other places, just not as long or as easily. She likes her crib, although she usually sleeps in it sideways so that her head is touching the crib back and her feet are touching the crib rails. Doesn't look very comfortable.

- If she falls asleep in the car before naptime, she will usually let me carry her quietly in and lay her down in bed. This was a total shock - and absolute blessing - to me.

- She is currently napping twice a day - from about 10:00 - noon (sometimes longer if I let her, even 9:30 - 12:30 on some days). And then about 2:00 - 4:00 (sometimes later, almost 5:00). Bedtime varies based on the day of the week, but it is anywhere from 7:45 - 9:00 (those late days are hard for her), and she is consistently awake at least by 7:30, sometimes as early as 6:45.

- Sharing a room with three kids is going pretty well in regards to sleep. With preschool and no naps, M&M fall asleep really really quickly at night. The smoothest nights are ones where they read their story, pray, and get tucked in all before Jocelyn comes into the room. If they have a few minutes to calm down in the dark room before she comes in, they will often have already fallen asleep. If the room is already quiet, Jocelyn will wave goodnight to the parent who isn't holding her, happily blow a kiss, and snuggle into bed without much fuss. However, if there is any delay to the quiet room, she sometimes really fights laying down and can scream for 20 minutes or more. M&M are very willing to sleep through this crying! (And she can sleep through their nose in the middle of the night or early morning about 50% of the time.)

- She sleeps with equal frequency on back or belly.

- I always want to watch her sleeping - but she is a super light sleeper so I'm usually scared to check on her.

There are my random naptime comments about Jociegirl's sleep patterns. Thankfully she is sleeping right now :)

She hadn't napped at church that morning and fell asleep on way home. She stayed asleep as I carried her inside, laid her on the bed while I changed, carried her back to car, and drove to the birthday party that afternoon. She was zonked.
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Early Theologians

Mackenna: "Are there two Gods?"
Me: "No. Why do you ask?"
Mackenna: "Because God prays."

Amazing conversation about the trinity ensues....Wowzers.


Micah: "Hey, Dad, some people say that God shines. So, do you think that maybe God is the sun?"


She loved the start of her birthday!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Dear Baby Girl,
You are ONE! I can't believe it. I would ask where the year has gone, but as I looked through pictures today, I was amazed at just how much we have done this year. It has been a really good year. You are such a good baby, a sweet girl, a precious gift from God. I have loved having you as my sidekick. It is rare for you to not be content just being with me, being carried wherever the two of us need to go. We have been to Indiana together by ourselves twice this year, and with the family twice also. We have been to Disney probably five or six times, plus the beach, Georgia, Orange Park, strawberry picking, baseball games, the farm, 4th of July Parades, the park, and much more. I'm so glad that we had you as a part of our year.

Sometimes it blows my mind to think about the fact that you aren't always going to be a baby - that you are going to grow up and say funny things, and learn to read, and talk to me about life and go shopping with me. We are going to have a relationship. You are my forever daughter - not my forever baby. As great as this year was - and it has been such a rush - so full of new and exciting things to discover - I know that the best days are yet to come in our relationship. I am just so thankful for the gift of you.

Here are a few highlights from this month -

- You learned to do "so big" and raise your hands up when we ask "How big is Jocelyn?" You don't love love to perform, but you will happily do this for us if we catch you in the right mood. You are pretty proud of yourself about this.

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- You are typically pretty happy in the church nursery, although I still feel like you have probably been in there less than 10 times in this whole year. You won't typically take a morning nap while there, but if I give you enough food you will usually happily play with toys and eat snacks through both services without me having to get paged. One Sunday, a nice lady from church stayed through both services because you had fallen asleep in her arms after she rocked you, and she didn't want to disturb you.

- Very early into this month you figured out how to stand up without pulling up on anything and then stand alone, unassisted for a little while. You just kept getting better and better at this throughout the month until you decided to "eat" most of your birthday cake standing up tonight.


- A couple of days after figuring out the standing thing, you learned to push your walker toy around the family green room.

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- While we were at Disney, you took your first steps while holding onto Dad's hands, even doing it while holding onto just one hand. This quickly became one of your favorite things. You love to get down and walk. Mackenna will actually walk around the room with you like this. It makes you seem so old to me.


- You haven't taken your own steps yet, but there was one night a week and a half ago where you were so so close. We aren't rushing you, but we could tell you were close, and Dad and I were both there that night, so we were hoping it would be the night. Dad did see you take a pivot step tonight on your birthday. We know it is soon!

- You still happily give kisses. If I ask you for a kiss, sometimes you will blow one, but sometimes you will crawl over to me from wherever you are in the room and give me a real one. Dad, Micah, and me are the usual recipients of your kisses. You have also figured out how to smack or make fish faces while giving kisses. Too too cute.

- You have added "please" to your list of signs. You also are getting better and better at mimicking the syllable sounds, saying "uh-duh" when we say "all done" and consistently saying "muh" when doing the sign for "more" (which is still just clapping for you). - You learned to push the button on the ball popper toy to start the air and music - and you love to do it, either while sitting or standing.

- You have been waking up more at night to eat - 85% of the time you get up at least once, maybe 20% you get up twice - 12 or 1ish and then again at 5 or 6ish. The cutest part of this - if Dad takes you back to bed when you are done snacking, you will wave bye to me at the door, sometimes even blowing a kiss. You will consistently start to wave bye bye before naptime or nighttime if you are ready to be laid down.

- You love to mimic back and forth with people. You played back and forth with Micah one day in the car for a long time - blowing raspberries, clapping hand on mouth and saying "oh-oh-oh-oh", playing peekaboo. It was fun for me to listen to. I love it when you really get along with your siblings who love you but don't always express it very well.

- You have become pretty vocal when your siblings get too close. This used to be well founded because they were always too close or taking your toys, but now you start squawking before they even have a chance to do those things. I keep saying you are a sensitive soul. You have got to figure out how to not take it quite so personally when you are told no or don't get to play with what you were hoping to play with. I have a feeling this is a little window into the Jocelyn we will see more of in the coming months.

- This next picture speaks for itself. You are not a fan of being closed in.


- You have figured out how to climb up into chairs. Also, while in Indiana you figured out how to climb the stairs (only falling down a couple once). You also showed yourself to be a little daredevil when you got onto a rocking horse and stood up while rocking instead of sitting.


- You had a successful trip to Indiana to "help" Aunt Christa with baby Patrick. You did okay on both plane rides - you got your own seat on each flight and that helped a ton. You really just wanted to stand up and show off the whole time. You didn't sleep very well there at night, but you did take two good naps most days. You really loved to stand up at night and cry for me probably 3 or 4 times every night! Thankfully, since we have been home, your naps have been even longer and you have only woken up once a night. You seemed to love seeing your cousins. You would interact very cutely with Maggie - smiling huge when you saw her and laughing back and forth with her, and you really loved the calm way that Audra took care of you and played with you.

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- You may be daytime weaning, but you have nursed more since we've been back in Florida than you did in Indiana. We'll see. You are a good eater and still love finger foods and whatever we're eating. It is nice to round out your diet with breast milk, but morning and night would be fine with me too. You definitely have an opinion on this - you are quick to tell me "all done" if you don't think it is the time for "num nums." We have your one year check up on Monday - we'll see about your weight and if you have caught up with your big sister at a year or not.

- Tonight we celebrated our first year with you. We had Aunt Marcia and Uncle Bruce over, and one other family from church. We ate mashed potatoes, chicken and noodles, green beans, and rolls. You got so excited when we put you in your highchair. You seemed to approve of the menu and just ate happily the whole time. I enjoyed cooking a meal for you that I knew you would like, and that was also probably the same meal that I ate for my first birthday. We sang to you and did cake outside. You enjoyed playing with the cake and tasting a little of it - but you really managed to stay quite clean and didn't eat a ton. You sure were cute though as you stood up big and tall on your blanket. You really loved the balloons behind you - probably more than the cake. You were in a good mood though - pretty calm - but definitely a "you" mood. You enjoyed opening presents and tearing the paper, especially the tissue paper. You had LOTS of help from Mackenna and Micah, and Dad too. You got some pretty awesome toys that I'm excited for you to wake up tomorrow and play with. It was a special night - low key and special - just like you.


I know I say it a lot, but I am so very thankful for you. You just fit right into our lives, exactly where you belong. I feel like you are really becomming you - both in the way you look and act. I know this last year was full of changes, but I know from experience that this next year is really going to be a ride. Right now you are still my baby, next year you will be my big toddler girl. I am ready - to take it one day at a time, to count every blessing, to kiss you a lot, to tell you I love you, to soak in every snuggle, to read to you, talk to you, pray for you, rock you, hold you, and I guess let you go as you learn to walk and run into this year of being one. I love you very very very much.

Your Mama
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She'll never be "Zero" again!

Jocies First Year