Friday, October 31, 2008

The Cutest Little Giraffe

Jayci was a giraffe this year for her very first Halloween. Although she wasnt too impressed with all the festivities - she sure was cute!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Living in the Now

"Even seemingly meaningless activities are used by God as tool to guide us toward His plans. Never think your circumstances are disconnected from God's leading and His will. Don't spend your time wishing you could get out of the season of life you are in; rather, spend your time looking fervently at God's hand in your situation."

Isn't it so easy to just wish your life away? I mean, while I was pregnant I couldn't wait for Jayci to get here; when she was born, I couldn't wait to take her home from the hospital; then I couldn't wait for her to start smiling, cooing, babbling etc . . . but I could keep going on and on wishing for the next milestone until before you know it, she's leaving for college! I don't want to wake up one day and realize how much I've missed.

I know that God has me right where He has me for a purpose. He is teaching me something while I stay at home with my little Jayci, getting her to smile and listening to her babble. So today I pray that I will notice His hand in it, see the miracle He has performed in giving us Jayci and be thankful for every moment!

Little Miss Personality (aka Like Father Like Daughter)

Little Miss Jayci is starting to show her personality :-) I love it! It's been so fun to watch her grow so fast already. I can hardly believe she's already almost 6 weeks old - it seriously seems like yesterday that we were waiting for our hospital room. I'm going to get a little teary actually remembering that day. It was the best moment of my life (so far) when they handed me my beautiful little bundle, and my husband squeezed my hand and tears ran down both of our cheeks (dont tell Adam I told you that though . . .)

After 9 months of nourishing her inside of me, its a string of miracles and milestones now that she's outside of me! I love watching her grow and discover the world around her. Just a few days ago she looked into my eyes and grinned for the first time - and I'll tell you what, I absolutely melted!

My kids downtown tell me that I am going to let Jayci do whatever she wants. They say that I'm a softie . . . and I think they're right - One look at this little face and I'm a goner!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Stanleys by Altmix Photography . . .

So a few weeks ago, when little Jayci was just 12 days old, our sweet friend Kate (of Altmix photography)came and took family pictures for us. Even though she is not a "newborn" photographer, you would never guess that by looking at the amazing pictures she took of our little one! I love every single picture and dont even know how to pick just a few to share with you! That said, here's a couple - I'm sure I'll share more later (and if you have facebook, you can see most of them here)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Camp Grace Fall Festival

This weekend we braved driving two hours to the new land for Camp Grace's Fall Festival - Jayci did great on the way down and while we were there, but literally cried (screamed really) the entire ride home - it was very stressful!

Overall, however, it was a great day with church and then the festival - It was really good to see the land God has provided for camp, and where we will be spending our summer. I'm so excited about the vision for the land (check out that vision here) (By the way, anyone who wants to help make that vision a reality can donate to Vision Atlanta on their website).

It was also really wonderful to see some of the kiddos from camp this past summer (and have them hold our little kiddo!) What a blessing it is to watch these kids live in transformed ways (despite their environment) as a result of decisions they make at camp. I am blown away at how powerfully God continues to move through the work we do at camp - there's nothing I love more than seeing Him in His children!

One of the things I'm trying to commit to is being better about sharing our life and needs with those around us. God designed us for community for a reason! That said, there are several ways you can be lifting us up in prayer right now:
-That we will be wise and effective parents to Jayci - full of patience and love.
-For Vision Atlanta's fundraising efforts - it would be really great to have a building this summer so we dont have to live with a 7 month old in a tiny room!
-For guidance for us career-wise and ministry-wise . . . there may be some changes in our future - pray for guidance and wisdom in making decisions.

We really appreciate all your prayers and love our friends and family so much!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Infatuated :-)

Adam says I'm infatuated and I think he's right!

But it's a good thing I am or it would be a lot harder to deal with all the crying and fussing and eating and pooping . . .

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rosa Lee

I just finished reading a fascinating (and heartbreaking) book called 'Rosa Lee.' The book is about the life of Rosa, a mother of 8 (she had her first at 14 years old) and grandmother to more than 30. Rosa lives in the housing projects of Washington, DC. She has always lived in poverty and is a heroin addict, prostitute, chronic shoplifter and drug dealer. Of her 8 kids, 6 of them followed her into a lifestyle of drugs, violence, and poverty.

I was heartbroken to read about how she helped her kids shoot heroin, turned tricks while her daughter slept in the bed next to her, and used her children and grandchildren to help her both shoplift and run drugs. Even her adult children live with her, bum money off her to buy drugs and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Reading about the conditions they live in (plagued by fear, filled with mistakes and violence) I am both angry and broken. Yes, Rosa's children are living lifestyles that are just wrong and yes, I am angry at the fact that they are doing the same things to their children that their mom did to them (in fact, many of Rosa's grandchildren are also addicts, in prison or dealing drugs etc). My anger, however, is tempered by the realization that neither Rosa nor her children know anything different. No one has shown them another way to live, and how can they be expected to make choices differently than their mother, and everyone else they see and experience in their environment?

That said, 2 of Rosa's children DID make it out of the projects, and live within the bounds of "normal" society, with good jobs and without dependence on drugs, welfare or their mother. So what happened - how did these two make it out unscathed? The book's author asked the two children the same question - and it turns out that both of them had one person outside of their family who took a vested interest in their lives and success. For one of them, that person was a teacher who taught him how to read, and for the other it was a social worker who drove him to tutoring and just was there for him when he needed someone. Both of these people were able to demonstrate to Rosa's children that there was another way to live, that drugs and violence were not the only option.

My heart literally broke as I was reading this book, both for these kids and for the possibility that MY kids (ok i use "my" loosely here) might be living in these same circumstances. This possibility makes me want to rescue them, to take them into my home where I can love them and feed and clothe them properly, teaching them responsibility so they dont fall into the many traps that surround them in their environment. All I can do though, is pray for them, and hope that maybe Adam and I can be those people who offer these kids a new perspective, new options and a way out.


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