Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Truly No Greater Joy

Checking in to say hello!  Photos will follow later (smile).

What a GREAT long weekend I had with good friends!

Friday was kinda blah because hubby was supposed to be coming home after a week in D.C., but sweet thing accidentally booked his flight for 8:25 A.M. instead of P.M. and therefore got a terrible surprise when he arrived at the airport that night (after a not-so-good week and a head cold).

He made it in Saturday and after Martial Arts training, Alex and I headed for one last pool day with Toni and Jamey.  I am still laughing that it was 102 degrees that day and today I needed a sweatshirt!  But, I love Autumn so bring it on!  Cinnamon smells, s'mores, and vibrant colors.  So glad to be in the midwest again!

Sunday we enjoyed a family breakfast at the ole IHOP (gift cards rock!)...a rare treat for us, but we needed some reconnecting time with Dad!  We had lots of laughs and yummy pancakes!  We did a little shopping, came home, and fixed a feast in honor of Toni and Jamey coming over and Chris, Crystal, and Conner arriving that evening.

We played Phase 10 (my WORST game ever...stink!) and enjoyed seeing how big baby Conner was getting.  Crystal and I stayed up talking about motherhood and how her life has changed until 4 A.M.  It was great!

Monday we headed out to our favorite ice cream place (Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen), the mall...where the boys traded in some games, and then to our favorite pizza place (Wick's).  We ended the night late (again) with Euchre and Tri-Bond.  Crystal and I were slap-happy and sleep-deprived by this time!  Hilarious!

Today we went for free (yay!) breakfasts at Chic-Fil-A, did some shopping, and toured the Muhammad Ali Center (nice Groupon find).  It was a very nice facility and neat to learn about another's life story.  Dinner on the river at Joe's Crab Shack (can you say gift card again!) and back home in time for Martial Arts class, where sadly, Alex pulled a muscle in his chest...yikes!

But now...the Rourkes have gone home.  Daddy is on the road again.  I have sleeping boys all around me...oh and one lazy dog.  

My belly is full (too full...back to healthy eating tomorrow)...my house is cozy...my bed is comfy...

Why am I so blessed?

No matter what I do in a day...no matter how great of a time I have...memories of the faces and eyes I have looked in don't leave me.  They are a part of me forever...my friends in other countries and poor cities in my own nation.

I am so glad I remember them.

I never want to forget what so many in the world live in while many of us live in something so vastly different.

I find myself thinking on my pillow tonight, "What else can I do Lord?  What else can I do?"

Boys~Why are you so blessed?  It's simple.  Don't make it complex or deeply theological!  You are blessed TO BE A BLESSING.  You are not blessed to hoard.  You are blessed to give.  It's okay to have fun and treats like you have had this weekend, but those things should never rule your life and cause you to hold on too tight and be greedy.  Your earthly father delights in lavishing you with gifts that you need and want, but it is meant to teach you to pay it forward.  It truly is more fulfilling to give than to receive.  My heart thrills at watching you get understanding of that even now.

Trey~I was so excited for you when you offered to pay your own admission to help Dad today.  That was incredibly thoughtful, yet you offered it up with so much gusto and so little thought.  You saw a need and you were ready and willing to give aid!

Alex~Your care for Conner and offers of help to Ms. Crystal did not go unnoticed by any of us.  Over and over, we caught ourselves amazed at your consideration of him and his needs.  You could have went off playing, too busy to help with a baby, but you humbled yourself and assisted your guests!

Garrison~You never fail in looking after your brothers and guiding them to do what is right.  I appreciated that even while you were trying to have a good time at the museum, you kept a watchful eye out and reminded your brothers when they were starting to get too rowdy.  Even when Alex got hurt at class tonight, you stopped what you were doing and came specifically to pray for him.  You could have been self-centered and focused on your own wants and fun, but you laid down your life for your brother!

It is my absolute honor to get to watch you all grow into men of integrity and truly train your own hearts to be selfless even when it is hard!  Great love this weekend guys! 

There is truly no greater joy than to see my children walking in truth.

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