Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Seasons

I love this man.  I feel like I've gotten to know him more in the past two years than I have in the past 15 years of our life together.  That's what comes from more time at home than we either had hoped for or desired!  I've watched him handle a loss of job, disappointment after spending months trying to start a new company and failing to see it come to pass, and the constant stress of trying to make things happen to support his family financially. I've also witnessed a devoted father and husband as he  makes breakfast in the morning, takes the kids to school, coaches two basketball teams, and spends time to get to the heart of his family.  I've seen him slow down and invest in relationships with his family, neighbors and new friends.  I've been the beneficiary of his many hobbies including wood working and wine making.  The kids have been his little shadows as he teaches them new things and takes time to play.  His constant presence in our home these past couple of years has changed our family forever.
I'm not saying that this season was without heartache and weariness. There was plenty of that.  And getting used to having him home all the time, was not an easy transition! We both had to take roles that we did not wish to take.  It felt uncomfortable and unnatural.  I have a new admiration for working mothers.  You always have a part of your mind and heart with your children.
But this season of waiting brought us to our knees.  It was a reminder that our security only comes from the Lord, and not from a salary.  A reminder that trusting the Lord with the unknowns is much more freeing than having every step of the future planned out.  A brokenness that makes us aware of how much we need Jesus.  We didn't handle the waiting perfectly.  But, we have a deeper understanding of grace.  We are more in love with our Savior and with each other.  I want to remember this season.  I don't want our family to ever be the same.
Jared started a new job two weeks ago as Director of Operations for an oil and gas company in the Dallas area.   It's quiet around here on my days off.  I miss having the slow mornings with him as we drink coffee and talk about trivial and deeper things.  I kind of miss the interruptions in my plans and the added noise in the house.
But, we are so thankful.  The Lord has been so faithful to our family in this season of waiting.  We will look back to this time with fondness.  Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement during this time. We love you!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Trusting His Heart

Trusting His Heart

Where has the past nine months gone?   There has been a lot going on since I have written last, and I want to get my thoughts down (therapeutic at times). It's also nice to have a place to document the little and big things that have occurred so that we can remember the sweet moments with our kids and to remember God's faithfulness. Plus I'll never get these pictures off of my personal computer if I don't post them somewhere else!
We finally ended up moving into our house the first week of October.  It was very stressful near the end, and I have vowed never to build a custom house again!  My heart has softened slightly since then, but I still doubt that it is in our future.  Although, it is so nice to be settled and to see all the months of planning come together.  The kids have made friends quickly with the neighbor kids.  I always wanted a large family, and at times I feel like I have it with a few extra kids in the house most days.

This picture was taken by the builder's photographer- not my camera!

Soon after we got settled into the house, Jared unfortunately lost his job.  The past seven months have been a struggle for me to be still and wait without knowing what the future holds.  Unfortunately the oil and gas industry is not a hot market to be in right now. There is a really great opportunity that Jared is working on, which we hope to know the outcome of soon.  But, of course, there is no guarantee that a job will emerge soon.  
To complicate things, Isaac's preschool teacher has concerns about Isaac starting Kindergarten in the public school in the fall.  If we choose to do another year of preschool or Kindergarten at the church preschool, that will limit my ability to find a job, if needed.  
Kai also started having neurological tics this fall, which led us to several shunt x-rays, MRIs, visits with his neurosurgeon, and just recently a neurologist.  Thank the Lord, the tics have subsided for now.   
To be honest, there have been days when I am anxious and worry about what will come next.  Will I have to work full time and not be able to handle my wife/mom role well?  Will we make a mistake if we send Isaac to Kindergarten next year?  Will we have to sell the house?  Will we have to move far away to find a job for Jared?  Will our new insurance policy cover Kai's medical bills and supplies?
When I look back to the seasons of "unknown" in our past, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that the Lord provided in ways that I could never have expected.  Those seasons were full of questions that have much more weight than our current circumstances.... Will we ever have children?  Will our babies survive?  Will Kai have brain damage? Will he be able to understand Truth?  Financial problems are so much easier for me to let go of than some of the more meaningful things.
Our pastor quoted Charles Spurgeon last year, and this statement has stuck in my mind ever since.

"If you can't trace God's hand, trust His heart."

While I have no idea what tomorrow holds, I know the comfort of a loving Father who holds our tomorrows. I know His ways are best, even when that includes time in the valley.  

While I am not fond of "waiting" seasons, I know that there are treasures to be found.  One treasure is what the Lord is doing in our family.  Having Jared home was honestly a challenge at first!  We were so used to living in separate worlds to a point.  After we got past the initial stress, we have come to appreciate being home together....most days, ha!  The time and memories that we have made as a family the past year will be remembered as a sweet time.  While we don't wish for this time to last much longer, we will miss it as well.

Here are some more pictures from the past year:

Summer 2015:

August 2015  Fair in Nebraska- We love cotton candy!
We ended our summer with a trip to Nebraska to see extended family.

Jones cousins (minus 2)


driving boat w/ Papa Jones

Loving life

Fall 2015:

My sweet first borns started Kindergarten! It was hard for me to be away from them all day, but they managed just fine!  We decided to put them in separate classes and they were blessed with incredible teachers and friends!
Isaac attended his same preschool 3 days a week. He had a sweet year as well.

First day of Kindergarten 2016

Last "First day of Preschool?"

Kai at therapeutic horseback riding

visit from grandparents

Halloween 2016

Team Avengers! They made up almost half of the  baseball team!

Winter 2015:

We headed to Nebraska for Thanksgiving and then enjoyed hosting Christmas with Jared's parents, and his brother's family.

Nebraska for Thanksgiving

Our first (and last?) attempt at sugar cookies

We hosted Christmas w/ Jared's family

Christmas w/ cousin Mia

Christmas 2016

Smoking cow tongue w/ Andrew

 Isaac turned 5 in March!  We celebrated with a camping themed birthday party.  One of his favorite gifts was the long awaited addition to our family....an adopted dog, Sulley!
Happy 5th Birthday!

"Fishing" in the pool

Over Spring break we drove to California to meet my parents at their time share in Newport Beach.  We loved the beach, our first experience at Disneyland, and time with Papa & Nana Jones.

Jedi Knight Isaac 
Jedi Knight Julia

Jedi Knight Kai

My sister and her family from Nebraska came to visit us for Easter.  We loved the company!

In May we celebrated Kai and Julia's birthday with a Pirate/Mermaid swim party!

The end of the school year was bitter sweet.  We are so thankful for the teachers who poured their time and hearts into our children.

Summer 2016

We just finished our first year in swim team.  It was a big commitment, but all three of the kids loved it and became such strong swimmers!