Tag: Louisiana life
A Reason to Hope and Other Random Thoughts
We were sitting at our kitchen table with some sweet friends we haven’t seen in literally years; just talking about the world and life and how crazy things seem. And Rob said something so profound I wish I had been able to record it so that I wouldn’t muck up repeating it. Basically the setup for his remark was this…the crazier the world seems, the more ridiculous and outlandish their agenda, the more illogical the realities they push are, the more reason we believers have to rejoice. We don’t need to feel overwhelmed by their anxiety inducing judgements, press conferences or theatrics. Do you know why?
Particularly the very end ~ the way of the wicked will perish.
Not that the wicked will perish, although we know eventually they will be cast out into utter darkness, but that their way will perish. All of the shenanigans will be fruitless and they cannot be sustained. Ultimately it will collapse. If that alone is not enough reason to hope I don’t know what is. As someone I know is fond of saying, “Lord have mercy. Church have courage.”
On Monday I handed my love his morning cup of coffee and apologized for practically coming completely undone the night before when some chopped tomatoes I was trying to clean up missed the bag and fell all over the floor. I was just so tired and it felt as if I had been in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning it, for days. Obviously the next morning after a good night’s sleep I could see how silly my reaction was but in the moment I felt utterly defeated by a fruit that disguises itself as veggie.
Later that morning I was reading something a friend had written about the times she is asked to thrive in what she considers not enough environments and it just resonated. Sometimes we may feel like we just can’t catch a break or the busy season seems to have sat down and made itself at home and things will never slow down. There aren’t enough hours in the day…we need some time alone…we need peace and quiet…we whatever it is we think we need to feel refreshed or restored.
The truth she shared is a truth we must all grapple with. Sometimes there is no relief in the dessert or immediate way out of a desolate place. But God still calls us to thrive, to turn to Him, to trust and keep on keeping on with whatever He has given our hand to do. She ended her post by saying, “…I can taste and see that the Good Life to which we are called, and that we are given, is not the same as “living our best life now.” The Good Life in and with Jesus always takes a cruciform shape. You before me, down before up, them before us. But it always leads to real and lasting life.”
I was so encouraged by that.
We may still be noodling on a name for the farm but we are busy working already! Seeds have been ordered and delivered and we have started building the two flower beds we will begin with. One is completely finished as of today and the lumber is ready for the second.
Rob is doing the majority of the heavy lifting as far as planning out and cutting the landscape timbers for the beds but we are all working to do our share in assembling them. Sam and Claire are part of the work crew and doing a fine job.
These pictures can give you an idea of the scale of our beds. They look huge but I can’t wait to fill them up with flowers! One will have three varieties of sunflowers and the other will have an assortment of cut flower favorites like zinnias, cosmos, and strawflowers, etc. We are planting a little later than is the norm but our growing zone has a fairly long growing season and according to my research and frostdate.com we are still within an acceptable planting time frame.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little nervous about our endeavor. I have a nightmare where for some reason nothing I plant actually grows and all of the work and money and effort is for naught. But Rob reminds of the wisdom of our friend Ron who says the seed goes into the ground, you give it some water and light and it is going to grow. It’s how God designed it to work so trust that it will.
I also came across a few quotes this week that speak well to our situation:
In creating, the only hard thing is to begin; a grass-blade is no easier than an oak. –James Russell Lowell
“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain common work as it comes certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.” Robert Louis Stevenson
I took a drone shot the other day after we started laying out for the first bed. The picture is cool but kinda unreal looking in a sort of funky way.
I plan to chronicle our efforts as we go along and invite you to follow along and join us as we exercise some dominion over our little green square here in Louisiana! I’m thinking as we add in animals it’s going to be a mashup of Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies in reverse 😉
Friday Favorites ~ Color Bombs and Pig Roasts
The last two weeks have been full, y’all! Monday a week ago a sweet family from Friday came into to town for a visit, which was delightful, and they left on Thursday. On Friday Sarah and Devon came into town for the long weekend; we haven’t seen them since the engagement and it was so good to have them here! Her ring looked pretty in the facetime call we shared after he proposed but it is so beautiful in person.
Hays is going to do their official engagement pictures next month but they let me do some silly fun ones while they were here.
Some of you might remember the color bomb session Sarah did with two of her nursing school buddies when they graduated. We used powdered tempera paint for that and the colors were fabulous! The only thing we could find (totally our fault since it was a spur of the moment shoot) was an actual color bomb set from Hobby Lobby. The color was not as vibrant but Sarah and Devon still had fun!
And messy. They got a little messy.
The way he stalked her across the field was funny. You can tell from the tilt of her head she was trying to talk him out of it.
You can also tell she knew she wasn’t going to be very successful.
In the end it was hard to say who won the colorfest but it is safe to say these two are quite happy together. And we couldn’t be happier for them.
Because we were just messing around I asked Rob to use the drone and we caught a few cute pictures with a bird’s eye view. I still have a steep learning curve with it but I am enjoying it!
This week we had another overnight visit with some friends from Florida. It was so good to see them! It is amazing how much children can grow and change in six months. This afternoon Emily and Hays are coming to stay the weekend with us. I love the times when we are all together but that is harder to make happen with grown children with jobs and responsibilities so I will be grateful for weekends and little getaways whenever they can make it happen.
Have a happy weekend, y’all! We will be celebrating Pentecost with a Cochon de lait at church. (Ko shawn de lay is cajun for pig roast.) We plan to feast and fellowship bigly. Come on and join us!
Good To Be Back
The year Sarah graduated she also had four cousins graduate, two were my sisters’ kids and two were my cousins’ kids. Everyone from different schools if I remember correctly.
This past Saturday I had the best time photographing two cousins from church who are graduating this year. I think they have schooled together their entire lives.
It was a great opportunity for me to get to see more of our area as we wandered the streets of downtown Lake Charles. You can still see much evidence of the back to back hurricanes that came through but there are glimpses of what it used to be.
Thankfully, nearly two years after those storms, you can also see some signs of recovery as people and business are beginning to restore and rebuild. It’s fitting to me that both of these young men will be attending New Saint Andrews in Moscow, Idaho as their slogan is Build + Fight. (Think Nehemiah and the people of Israel rebuilding the walls of the temple with a sword in one hand and a shovel in the other.)
Jackson and Wyatt both know the physical and spiritual ramifications of living life this way and I am so excited to see how God strengthens them for work He has called them to do for His name’s sake, both there in college and afterward.
Lovers of Christ, really smart and hardworking and they both play the piano beautifully.
It’s unusual for young men (actually men in general) to make a session so easy but they were quick to respond and eager to keep moving so it really was a lot of fun.
It’s been six months or so since I did a real session and I felt a little rusty. I definitely had some moments of face palming over forgetting some things but all in all it was great to be back behind the camera shooting people! I mean, how could it not have been when they actually brought a sword and a shovel with them? And they also dabbed!
Jackson and Wyatt, may the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you both as you enter this new and exciting season of life. There will be victories because there will be battles but you have been well prepared by your parents to stand fast and be courageous in them. Go, act justly and love mercy and continue to walk humbly with your God.
Friday Favorites – Puppy Edition (From my Phone)
Rex and Louis.
They are such a pair! Full of energy, mischief, and mayhem. But my goodness, we love these little guys! Rob probably not as much because the amusement of puppy antics wears thin for him rather quickly but he does say he will love the dogs they are going to be 🙃
They used to be so little!
Now Rex is about 30lbs and Louis is 26lbs. When I walk them by myself that is a whole lot of puppy to handle!
They are so funny though. One of them will find a stick or something (anything really and I do mean anything 🤢) and they will let just enough hang out of the side of their mouth so the other one can see it. Then the fun begins! The one with something will deliberately pass into the line of sight of the one who does not have something and the shenanigans start.
Tug of war is a favorite pastime of theirs. And so are bubbles which just makes me laugh watching them.
We do spend a lot of time with them outdoors and Rob built them a dog run of sorts that I affectionately refer to as the play pen. Our yard is plenty big so we take lots of walks, rain or shine.
We are working to having them in the main part of the house which they love. They are such social creatures and really want to be with their people. They are finally past the initial excitement of being inside and needing to explore and sniff every inch of everything and will actually settle down and rest inside in whatever room most of us happen to be in. That does tend to be the kicthen most often and they get quite curious when I’m cooking.
They still like watching the horses. As they have gotten bigger they have gotten braver and will bark at them. They horses pay little attention to them.
So that’s the puppy update. It’s funny to me that we now have two cats and two dogs and Rob is also planning on getting chickens. (We will put them in a veritable fortress to protect them from the pups.) The girls are still trying to convince Rob we need cows but Claire is hoping only a milk cow. No way does she want to raise her future dinner 😉
Have a good weekend, y’all!
Just Another Macro Monday*
Good morning! I hope you had a good weekend. We took a quick trip to visit the Porters in Monroe for Em’s birthday and as usual had a lovely time and ate well. Both of our families enjoy all things food so cooking together is a common part of our life together.
We also went to a Superbowl party last night that also had some pretty delicious eats and boy was the sunset amazing!
Lots of things bumping around in my head from books I’m reading and conversations I’m having and I hope to sort some of it out and share some of what I am thinking about out loud. I enjoy the process of needing to organize my thoughts to write them out but also the conversations with you that sometimes come from a blog post.
But today there is a mountain of laundry to conquer and other home tending to do so I’m just going to drop a few macro shots here for you to enjoy and maybe tomorrow we can have more of a visit 🙂
One of the many things I love about our new home are the magnificent old oak trees on the property. They have these beautiful ferns growing along parts of the trunks and limbs the name of which escape me so if you happen to know what they’re called let me know, okay? It’s the sort of thing I know I know but can not seem to bring to the front of my brain and it’s niggling at me in that annoying way forgotten things often niggle.
One other thing that fascinates me with the trees is the sheer number of acorns all over the ground. What makes this fascinating is the fact that there aren’t a bunch more oak trees sprouting up everywhere. God granting a tree to be born out of the ground only when He chooses is a beautiful natural display of His sovereignty and one that gives me comfort. There is a time and season for everything.
Have a beautiful day, friends!
*Bonus points if the blog title made you hum an 80’s song!
Friday Favorites ~ Backroads Edition
Earlier in the week I mentioned riding down some back roads and taking pictures and since I think I have my days straight (it is Friday, yes?) it’s the perfect time to share a few. As a bonus I also have a link to a new recipe to share!
I really do find Louisiana to be a beautiful state. Even when we were just visiting in Monroe as Emily and Hays were getting to know each other last year I found myself enthralled with the bayous. But a new rival for my affections on that front are the marshes.
There is this beautiful color palette of blue and gold that I just love. As a drove further along I noticed a lot of black too and realised they must do controlled burns the way you do forests. Either that or there was one heck of a wildfire recently! The funny thing is that even the blackened landscape was beautiful.
I wanted to get a closer, better composed shot of this bench but when I got out of the car there was a great big sign that said, “Please do not feed or approach the alligators” and I thought to myself, “Not a problem! But has anyone told the alligators not to approach?”
I still have a particular shot in mind for this spot but I will wait until Rob is with me so I don’t have to be concerned about the wildlife!
Speaking of the wildlife…this is another shot still on my bucket list. I want to get a picture of a crane and this one is close to what I see in my head but my timing was off and the light was too harsh. I was still happy to have gotten this one though.
They can be pretty skittish so I captured quite a few fly away shots.
I drove on over to Holly Beach too. From the beginning of our move we have been told repeatedly not to expect Florida beaches here, actually not anything remotely close. So I wasn’t and I can see where you might would be disappointed if you were expecting pristine white sand and those crystal emerald green waters. Because the sand is brown and for about the first mile out from shore the water is brown because well, the sand at the bottom is brown. But you know what I learned? The magic of the beach is something you carry inside and it might have to do with the sound of the water and the scent.
I wasn’t disappointed at all. As a matter of fact I was delighted because the seashells here were ubiquitous and whole. And I promise you as the waves retreated the sound they made cascading over the shells was a music all its own. I picked up and brought home so many shells! I am not sure what I will do with them exactly, although I have a few ideas, but of course I did some macro pictures.
The colors and swirls are just so fascinating.
So no, not the Pensacola beaches I grew up on but I think I am going to do just fine here.
So two more things. First, my friend Tiffany shared this delicious goodness with me last week while we walked around with the kids doing the Cluedupp mystery. It is yummy! So yummy that I am really thankful it is a seasonal item 😊
Now about that recipe I mentioned. Are you familiar with a nearsighted cartoon character named Mr Magoo? He just sort of bumbles through situations none the wiser of the chaos that surrounds him. Do you see where this might be going? My beloved tells me I magoo my way through things sometimes. I, of course, have no idea of what he speaks 😉
Except for this recipe. I read it and thought I was following directions but…
It all worked out though because my version of sausage and gnocchi soup (forever after known in our house as Magoo Stew) turned out delicious and you should click the link and make it this weekend!
Have a great weekend you guys! Our church is hosting a wedding shower for Emily so our Porter people will be in town!
DPP ~ Day 7
From all of the lovely color yesterday to a nice black and white silhouette today.
Crows or ravens, I really have no idea because they look similar to me, but there were tons of them in the parking lot of the store today. The birds here in Louisiana are not shy about being on top of the vehicles either, something altogether different than the little sparrows we would see in Florida.
Just another beautiful difference in this place we now call home.