Stills from that glorious afternoon + evening when the sky + ground were white with snow, and we didn't waste a second of playing in it. As usual, we couldn't feel our noses + fingers + toes, but that didn't stop us. What's better than throwing snow balls at some of the people you love the most? Nope, nothing.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Last May, I explored the Lake Placid Trail with Melanie + Freeman, and Teesh + Cannie Ree did it with me this go around to kick off our twenty-fourteen hiking season. We slept in (well, until half past seven, at least), and then made the fifteen minute drive to Paris Mountain State Park to do some wandering through creation. It was a chilly morning, but, thankfully, it continued to warm up as we walked on. The sky was cloudless + the water was calm, making it a peaceful time of fellowship with each other and our surroundings.
This year, I pray that all of our eyes would be opened to all the magnificent beauty that lurks around every corner. Sometimes you have to dig a little, but I promise that what you see will be worth every ounce of energy put forth to find it. Why not embrace all the loveliness around us instead of only seeing the things which are not quite as alluring? Enchantment is everywhere, and I pray that this is the year our eyes are opened to that fascinating truth.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Not only did we spend part of Sunday afternoon at Sky Zone, but we, also, made a pit stop at Chuck E. Cheese's before heading home. First, we jumped on trampolines, and then, we ate pizza and played games? This day was almost too good to be true! Not to mention how Wilber had a slumber party with us the night before + we worshiped Jesus all together earlier that morning. Yepp, I loved everything about this drenched-in-countless-blessings day!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Nobody has fun quite like this group of guys + gals, and Sunday afternoon was proof of it. Between jumping + dunking the basketball + playing dodgeball + bouncing into the foam pit, the laughter + excitement were endless. The thankfulness of having such great friends was pretty overwhelming, too. 'Twas a Sunday funday, indeed.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
I have been to orientation + taken a tour of the campus + met several new friends + registered for classes + purchased my books + attended my first chapel service + eagerly awaited this day for months. This morning, I will arrive on campus as a graduate student at Bob Jones University. I will park our big ol' truck in the parking garage and get out of it dressed like a lady, something I'm sure no one will be expecting. I will walk to my 8AM class, giddy with both nerves and excitement, and then attend three more classes after that. In the middle of my day, I'll walk to my assigned seat and sit through my second chapel service, hopefully continuing to befriending the people sitting around me. Then, at the end of the day, I'll hop back in the truck + drive home + get reorganized + wait for Teesh to come home + spill my guts about how my first day was.
That's it in a nutshell, but I know it will be so much fuller than what I've just described. My favorite part about this new endeavor? I'm going to school to study the Bible and further learn how to apply it to my life + career + relationships. My prayer is that at the end of this new journey, I will look more like Jesus than I ever have before. I, also, pray that I would be filled with His wisdom as He rids me of my own. He has been so good to me my whole life, exponentially better than I have ever deserved, and I am confident that His grace will continue to lead me in His perfect will. I pray that obedience will always be my only response, even in the midst of doubt + fear.
"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous."
Monday, January 13, 2014
We were invited to celebrate our dear Wimberly turning thirty years young on Saturday night, and we had so much fun pretending like we were back in the eighties! I barely made it into this colorful decade, and I take any opportunity to dress up and pretend like these were my prime years. The room was filled with music + laughter (mostly because of the outrageously awesome costumes) all night, and Wimbo enjoyed every second of being the center of attention (as she should have, of course). The outfits were great, the food was delicious, and the company was perfect. An incredible evening, indeed.
Happy birthday, Wimberly!
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Yesterday, I closed out the season of my life that has been the best season so far. We played all morning + partied all afternoon in true K4 fashion. The Lord was faithful in granting me grace, and most of the day was spent laughing instead of crying (yep, you guessed it: I saved all my tears for the ride home). I got more hugs + kisses than I've ever gotten before in a single day, and I heard "Ms. Anna, you're the best teacher in the whole world" from a different kiddo every few minutes. On top of that, I was flooded with gifts that will forever remind me of all the precious memories made at City Kids.
It's hard to believe that three years have passed so quickly, but I guess it's true that time flies when you're having fun. As long as I'm alive, every flashback I have of my kiddos will make the biggest smile appear on my face. I'll love my kiddos, all of them, forever + ever!
"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."
Friday, January 10, 2014
Trust me, I heard Him say. I'll never leave you nor forsake you. I will lead you down paths of righteousness for My Name sake. My plans will prosper you as they draw you closer to Me. Seek Me and you will always find Me. Step out in faith and simply trust Me.
So I decided to trust Him.
Today, I will live out my last day as the K4 teacher known as Ms. Anner Bananer at City Kids. There will be tears, just as they're pouring out even now, but I know I will be comforted through the falling of each one. I will give out hugs and kisses, most for the very last time, to my precious kiddos, and I won't want to let go as I hold them tight. I will tell my co-workers and directors goodbye, and pray that our paths will continue to cross, if even from a distance. Parents will be greeted by me for the last time, and when I tell them that I hope they have a great weekend, I'll know that, come Monday, I won't be hearing all about their adventures from their excited children. Leaving this place that I have eagerly reported to five days out of every week for the past three years will be one of the hardest things I've ever done. Change is never easy, especially not when you love the thing that's changing as much as I love this one. This will be the most difficult chapter I've ever closed for so many reasons.
As much as my heart aches for this day that I have dreaded for months to be upon me, I am really excited about the new chapter the Lord has opened up for me. On Wednesday, January 15th, 2013, I will be a student again! I will wake up early, probably overwhelmed with feelings of both excitement and nervousness, and drive three miles down the road to a school I've passed a million times. I never thought I'd ever pull onto any campus as a graduate student, but that's what I'll be when I arrive at Bob Jones University in just a few days. And, hopefully, by the end of this year, I will be holding a Masters of Science degree in Biblical Counselling with my name on it.
Turning the page and moving on to the next chapter may not be easy, but I am confident that it will be the best one yet. I serve a mighty God who loves me in spite of my imperfections and begs me to follow Him. It is my prayer that I would keep my eyes fixed on Him, even as potential struggles are already being placed in my mind by the enemy. I am so blessed to be in a state of grace, being used by the Father to shine His light into the darkness and help people find their way home, some for the very first time. I may not know what my post-graduate life will look like, but I know that as long as my focus remains on the Author + Perfecter of my faith, I will never be lead astray.
"In Christ alone, I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the cross. In every victory, let it be said of me: my Source of Strength, my Source of Hope is Christ alone."
(In Christ Alone, Brian Littrell)
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
It's always fun at the bungalow, ladies + gentlemen. This particular day's activity? A homemade catapult, compliments of the one + only, Melanie Elizabeth. Because everyone needs a break from heavy lifting, right? We think yes!
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Scenes from that early Sunday morning when no one's eyes were dry as we watched P. Sawyer embark on her journey of pursuing the dreams placed in her heart + soul by our Father who carefully crafted them just for her.
"Your Designer dreamed dreams for you before you were even born, then skillfully wove them into your DNA as you were created, along with the ability to find and fulfill them. His destiny for you will be the sum of those dreams. The journey of life, then, is meant to be a dream quest; finding those dreams your Maker has dreamed for you brings life's ultimate satisfaction and should be life's ultimate pursuit."
-Dutch Sheets, Dreams