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Comings and Goings


Joy

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart….” or is it, “If I wrote you a symphony, just to say how much you mean to me (What would you do?)”…   Well, if you were Abby Stokes, you would DANCE!  Abigail means “joy of the father” and Abby has surely been our sweet joy of a child.  She surprises us more every day with the things she finds funny and the ways she can make us laugh. 

Here’s a video of her rocking out to the new JT single (sorry for any bad things you may hear Jay-Z say. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but we were so tickled we didn’t stop playing it.  

To see Abby’s mad skills, copy and paste the link!   http://youtu.be/aNk6gWm_qd0 

Don’t think Emily doesn’t add to the fun around here. She’s just a little more serious and shoe-loving.. here’s an example from Christmas…. 

Emily’s shoes: http://youtu.be/YGSzkwZIbxA

Sorry I can’ t get them to embed for some reason (wordpress doesn’t want to toggle to text!).  

 

 

 

 

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“When my world is shaking…

… I’ll never leave your hands.”  I love that JJ Heller song. If you don’t know what in the world I’m talking about, check her out on you tube.  She definitely knows how to put things into perspective with her lyrics.  Lord knows, we need some perspective right about now.

To catch everyone up, since November we’ve had quite the mess on our hands around here. Robbie has still been looking for work, his dad has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer, my grandfather’s health has seriously declined, and I lost my job. Oh yeah, and we had baby girl #2 (Miss Abby) in November!

This week, Robbie started a new full time job within 20 mins of the house.  I found out today I have a new job in academics of all places!  I will be teaching in the PA program at ECU as soon as they can get my contract drawn up.  I can’t wait, but at the same time I’m anxious about all I will have to learn.  Nonetheless, I know I’ll make it.  If God is for me, who can be against me? If God is with me, I will stand.

If I have learned anything in this time, it is about the faithfulness of God. Somewhere in all this, I have been clinging to the concept of “light”.. “God is light and in him is no darkness” more specifically…. These verses in John inspired me to dig a bit deeper. Within a day, I found this passage written by David in 2 Samuel 22: 1-37, 47. I have highlighted the verses that spoke out the most to me…

1 David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said:

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior
from violent people you save me.

4 “I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and have been saved from my enemies.
5 The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
6 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

7 “In my distress I called to the LORD; 
   I called out to my God. 
From his temple he heard my voice; 
   my cry came to his ears. 
8 The earth trembled and quaked,
the foundations of the heavens[c] shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
9 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
10 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
11 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared[d] on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness his canopy around him—
the dark[e] rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of his presence
bolts of lightning blazed forth.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke of the LORD,
at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; 

he drew me out of deep waters. 

18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
20 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

21 “The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; 
   according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. 
22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; 
   I am not guilty of turning from my God.
23 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
24 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
25 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness[f] in his sight.

26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, 
   to the blameless you show yourself blameless, 
27 to the pure you show yourself pure, 
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
28 You save the humble,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
29You, LORD, are my lamp; 
   the LORD turns my darkness into light. 
30 With your help I can advance against a troop[g]
   with my God I can scale a wall.

31 “As for God, his way is perfect: 
   The LORD’s word is flawless; 
   he shields all who take refuge in him. 
32 For who is God besides the LORD? 
   And who is the Rock except our God? 
33 It is God who arms me with strength[h] 
   and keeps my way secure. 
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;
your help has made[i] me great.
37 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.

47 “The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! 
   Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!

There are SOOOO many take home points from this passage, it is overwhelming to me.  What I liked best about the passage, is that David says he cried out to God who heard his cry… but it doesn’t say God immediately came to him and anything/everything was “perfect”. It says that as God came near, things got pretty ugly. The earth quaked.  The skies got “dark”. Darkness was his “canopy”. There were even lightning bolts. But through all of it, although those dark clouds “carried” God to David, God’s hand reached down and lifted David up.  Praise God for his faithfulness!!

Of course, here are some pictures to catch you up…

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“Here I am! Rock me like a hurricane!”

Do you have ANY idea how many times I heard my husband sing this one line from that song on Saturday?? I stopped counting at some point. I’m surprised Em didn’t start saying it!  We did get rocked, quite a bit actually by some significant winds in the 50-60 mph range. We saw LOTS and LOTS of rain. I still don’t know the rainfall total but it pretty much rained non-stop from 4pm Friday until at least 10pm Saturday (I went to sleep after that and it had stopped by this morning).  We had a good 12 stuffy hours of no power. I grew up in the mountains. Not having power is common, especially during winter storms.  But the summer has something the winter doesn’t… heat!  The wind was so rough, if we opened a window, an entire room got wet, so we had to keep them closed. I walked out on our little porch several times just to feel like I wasn’t “smothering”.

Needless to say, as soon as the sun was up good this morning, I was begging Robbie to get me out of the house.  We took an adventure around downed trees to his parents where we had an unexpected but absolutely wonderful waffle and bacon breakfast! (That’s what you get when you wake up Grandma and Grandpa at 7:30 and let them know you have the grandchild with you in the driveway!)  Em has been really sweet for the most part the last couple of days. Today she got to playing a little rough/silly and had several bumps and bruises, but she’ll make it!

As I typed the title to this blog, I noticed the first line of that song was “Here I am!”  It makes me think of 2 things… Samuel (I think) in the old testament. When he was first getting the Lord’s call on his life. He heard God calling to his name and he said, “Here I am!”… The second thing is a song based on some verses in Isaiah, “Here I am, Lord send me. Here I am, Lord I’ll go.”  In looking at all the storm damage in person today, on the news and knowing there is a lot of damage in the Black Jack community, I really would have liked to have gone down there and helped personally.  That’s a challenge I’m feeling a lot lately. How do I serve God (physically) while still being faithful to my family?  I can’t exactly leave my 18 month old on top of Robbie all day to do physical labor. I shouldn’t go do that type of physical labor being pregnant and all.  I wouldn’t feel right asking Robbie to go do it all without me if he wasn’t called to do it.  It sometimes feels helpless to say, “All I can do is pray.” But at the same time, sometimes that’s the greatest thing we can do.  I guess I’ll figure it out as I go along.

Here are some videos of our booger today:

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overwhelmed

Life has been crazy lately. Crazy enough I haven’t even taken the time to blog and crazy enough to scatter my thoughts so I couldn’t think of what to blog about!  To catch everyone up, Emily is growing LIKE A WEED! She is more like a toddler and less like “my baby” every day.  It’s only 102 degrees around these parts, which don’t bode well on a pregnant woman, not even a half-way there pregnant woman. For all you moms who carried babies at term in the dead of summer, I could almost bow at your feet, especially if you were working a full time job at the same time.  My morning sickness has finally abated!! :) And, we’re having another baby girl!! Woo hoo!  Emme will have a sweet baby sister!! Whose name shall not be named until she gets here…. and when we figure it out :) . We’re still working on that.

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2 peas in a pod… aka Happy Father’s Day

We have had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend. We started off at the beach with Emme, Henry, Sarah, James, Grandma Bendy and the Byrd clan to celebrate Henry’s big 4!  Happy Birthday, Mr. Henry! Today’s festivities included church, having a great talk with my Dad on the way home, and then having  a fantastic lunch (prepared by my mother in law) at the house with Robbie’s parents and grandparents.  We are so blessed that we and our children are so covered in love by all these people!! Em was full of herself and I think a good time was had by all… now to get into VBS this week!

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