Wednesday, July 27, 2011

God is good.

He meets us where we are.
He rescues us.
He carries us as lambs.
He brings us in close and speaks tenderly.
He never let's go.

This isn't religion.
This is a relationship.
This has nothing to do with what I do- but everything to do with who He is.

I don't get theology.
I don't get God.
I have a lot of questions.

But I do know the feeling when everything falls apart around you, but there is still a greater peace.
I do know the empty feeling when you learn, in a really hard way, that an invincible man isn't invincible.

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

The first phone call was shocking.  It was BJ.  "Mom and Dad have been in an accident, but they are okay."  Lynn clicked in.  She was crying.  "But they are okay."

The second phone call was terrifying.  It was BJ.  He was sobbing.  "Laura, Dad's neck is broken."

The next following long hours Amy and I spent talking and skyping.  Greg headed home from Mom and Dads house, ironically.  He had been fishing with Slatten.  Mom and Dad were somewhere in Colorado being care-flighted to thankful BJ was there.  They made it to ICU in Denver.  We still didn't have much information.  We just waited.

Amy and David took Caroline to the ER to check out her ears, in fear of an ear infection and flying.  I fell asleep holding the phone and my laptop.

Looking back I see the peace of God everywhere in these moments, but in the midst of it I think we just felt numb.  The next morning we headed to Denver.

There is so much I could say about the next days...weeks.
Hugging BJ at the airport.
Seeing Mom for the first time.  And dad. Whheeew.

Broken C1, broken collar bone, broken ribs.
Watching mom not leave Dad's side.

Caroline and Oak learning (or not so much) to spend their days in a waiting room.

Jimi and Lynn.  Jon and Donna.  Dennis and Susan.  Incredible friends.
Seeing the pictures of the accident.
Learning how dad took the brunt for mom, that he laid the bike down, which probably saved her life.
Saying goodbye to those incredible friends.
The good nurses.  The not so good nurses.
Dads will.
Dads STRONG will.
The Texas Bear.
The man made like a horse.
Moms strength.
Gods peace and grace He daily poured on us.
BJ's servants heart.
Park Church who took us in and loved on us with homes and meals and prayer.
Watching Dad in pain.  Didn't know that was possible.
Amy's nothing less of a rock presence.
Figuring out how to get Caroline and Oak asleep in the same hotel room.  Quite tricky.
Lynn's bra on Gregs head.  Dads first smile.  Moms first laugh.
The comfort in having Greg there with me.
The feeling of guilt because I was happy we were all together.
The scary day of uneasiness.
Playing with the geese and having a picnic.

Feeling like a grown up kid.  With a grown up brother and sister.
Dads determination.
Mom's never gonna leave, never gonna quit, never gonna need anything for myself, selfless, attitude.
Dad makes a 180.
God, You are always good.
The joy Caroline and Oak brought everyone, especially mom and dad.

Seeing where BJ lives, their new church building, and getting to know the people he walks so closely with.
Coffee.  Lots of coffee.
A very vulnerable feeling with the thought of the flight home.
Being over-protective.
A sweet man who took great care of us at the airport.
An incredible flight.
A lady who gave her job to Greg after I scared her with my lecture.
Greg running dad into the wall.
The amazing feeling of seeing Nancy, Blake and family.
The uneasy ride home.
Pulling in that driveway.
AND seeing Dads lips for the first time.  In my entire life.  Without facial hair.

He has great lips. :)

We have all learned (and are learning) through this crazy thing.
It has been amazing to see how God can use the bad and stitch things together to make the good.  He can take this situation, He TOOK this situation, and did a million good...GREAT things with it.  And we continue to see those unfold.

What have I learned, first hand?:
The most immortal man is... mortal.
The strongest man I now... can be weak.
The safest, most cautious man... can have an accident.
A month ago, in Denver? LIVE.
This summer? LIVE.
Right now? LIVE.
I constantly have felt God speaking. LIVE.  Live this life I've giving YOU.

I have been going through a really hard season of leaving and cleaving.
(HA!  I was suppose to do that 3 years ago, right!??  Well, I've been a little slow at it.  SHOCKER.)  Making my family, MY family.
Greg. Me. Oak.
In the "normal," you would think mom and dads accident would not help, but hinder this hard process.
BUT, God is not normal.
Somehow, someway he is changing me heart.  Teaching me to LIVE.
Teaching me about family.
MY family.
Immediate. Extended.
Being a wife.
The patient, sweet husband I have.
Being a mom.
A daughter.

And thats just the tip of the iceberg.
Dad?  I think he could write a book on his thoughts, God, and what he is learning.
And Mom, Amy, and BJ and the many people touched by this accident could too.

Dad is continuing to heal.  Not as fast as he would like, but we are so thankful he GETS to HEAL.  
Mom continues to be incredible, wearing a million and one hats... she does it full of grace and thankfulness.  

I'm overwhelmed right now because we are all headed to the beach this weekend.  
All 9 of us. 
I can't wait.  We get to ALL be together.  
No hospitals.  
Just a condo and a beach.  Do you realize how sweet this is?!!!!
I am so thankful!

My dad is incredible.
He is a mighty Man of God.
He is a protector.  A man of his word.  His is faithful and loyal to his core.
I am so amazed by his life, who he is, what he has been through, and what he has overcome.
And God isn't done with him on this earth.
And I am so thankful.

"You keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
Philippians 4:7

Monday, July 18, 2011


Oak Jack,

You are nine months today. 
And boy howdy, you are doing new stuff like crazy.
This is so much fun!
We have had (another!) busy month!  This past week we were in Beavers Bend and Edmond/Norman, today we are in Tulsa, tomorrow we will be in Martins Mill, and then home to Waco on Wednesday.  WHEWWW! (not to mention what this weekend and next weekend hold! oh my!)  I wouldn't trade it, though! (Well actually, if we could create a town with all our friends from Waco and both sides of our that, THAT I would trade for our days on the road!)  I love being with our families so much.

So, whats been happening this month?

-right at about 8 months (or a little before), you started trying to wave.  you look at our hand. look back at yours. open. close. open. close. and then you are so so proud of yourself.  CUUUTTTTEE!

-at about the same time, you also started giving "high-fives."

-Baby Joy was born!  She is precious and we are so excited she is here!

-Pulling up.  I completely forgot to document your "pulling up firsts."  Before you started crawling... probably about 7 1/2 months, you started pulling up.  Again, you are so proud of this accomplishment.  And of course, we are too.

-You played at a splash pad for the first time and LOVED IT.  I love it too!  It is such a great alternative to swimming pools!  Thankful for splash pads!

-Every new thing is so fun.  And every new thing, I think "oh that is the cutest thing I've ever seen."

I am starting to see the tips of your top two teeth...coming soon!!!

-You are crawling like crazy!!!!
Faster and quicker every day!
 You still crawl with your left foot up and flat on the floor, and your right underneath you.
 It is a whole new world!!  We haven't been home much this month (do I sound like a broken record? yes. have we created a lifestyle on the road? yes. no. big. deal.), but the little we have been home I have been chasing you and rearranging the house to fit your new exploring ways.

-You love floor vents.

-You favorite form of entertainment has to be "The Buttercup Song." (from Three Amigos)  It ALWAYS gets your attention and ALWAYS makes you smile.

You also love the itsy bitsy spider.  You watch that spider like it is the most interesting thing you've ever seen.

-You swam at Mama's for the first time.
This was a special day because it was also Grandad's Birthday.
He would have been 90 years old.
I can't wait to tell you all about him, he was pretty amazing.

this is the best pic i got of the three of yall! ha!

-You have started saying your D's.  Da Da Da DaDA!!!!  So, you've got your M's, D's and B's down!!!

-You are CRAZY about cars.  Grandma and Caroline both have cars to play in at their houses, and you LOVE playing in them so much.
And Caroline...she LOVES pushing you!
Works out pretty well!
Yall are quite the team!

-Your "dinosaur mouth" (your little widows peek that comes to a point on your top lip) has been the talk of conversation lately.  You've always done this look...but more and more people notice it.  You usually do this face when you try not to smile.  It is a great little smirk.

-You still LOVE water.

-We stayed at Dennis and Susan's (aka PeePop and BeeBop) house during Laci's wedding weekend.  You pretty much fell in love with them.

-You ate chocolate for the first time!!! We were sitting at Laci's Rehearsal Dinner and they had mini Hershey bars scattered on the table.  We were visiting with people, looked down, and you had helped yourself to your first bout of chocolate.  Your face was covered.  You loved it.  You were up REALLY late. :)  Here is the chocolate you devoured.

You are eating and loving everything. (except avocado, still.) New things?  Mango, butternut squash, mum mums and puffs.
Puffs.  You definitely didn't understand why in the world I was putting something of such size and texture in your mouth.  But a few weeks of trying, and you love them.  They have become a great "go to" on the road.  You give a great dinosaur smirk with puffs in your mouth.  You haven't quite figured out how to get them in your mouth after you pick them up.  Therefore, you tuck them in your fist and have nubs for the remainder of the day until I pry them out of your hands.  I think you would truly hold onto them forever.

We went to Bevers Bend National Park in Broken Bow, OK for the Hopkins Family Vacation.  We rented a cabin, played games, had a talent show, ate yummy food, played in the river, and rented a boat on the lake!  It was so much fun!
The following pictures are a mixture of Beavers Bend, Frontier City(first time!), and time in Edmond/Norman.

Sweet Papa

Mimi's Birthday
Frontier City

Your first time swimming in a lake...of course, you loved it!!!

You love Beau and Nate!  I am so amazed at how good they are with you!

Happy nine months monkey! 
I love you so much and am more proud of you every day.  

You are the sweetest nine month old i've ever met.
I love you.