Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bluebonnets 2009

This year as we went to our familiar hill of bluebonnets to take pictures, it was with a sense of finality. This will be the last spring we will be able to dive into the sea of Texas wildflowers. I realize that Oklahoma is not a barren wasteland, and I'm sure that we will find new ways to continue our springtime tradition of picture taking, but they won't be bluebonnets.

Mama and Daddy were with us this year, so I was able to get a few shots of them with the kids. Sadly, Nathan has reached the age where he is completely disinterested in taking any type of photograph and it's clearly evident in the few shots I was able to get of him. The more I fussed about his fake smile, the faker it got so I finally just gave up.

Gracie on the other hand had a great time in front of the camera. She had a moment or two, but overall the shots of her really captured her personality. Once we got her laughing, it was all good. And who knows? Maybe we'll be home for Easter next year and be able to get one more chance at the bluebonnets.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Most wedding ceremonies have traditional elements woven into their fabric. It might be the long white bridal gown or maybe it's the exchanging of rings. There are certain things we expect to see when we attend a wedding: bridesmaids and groomsmen, bouquets of flowers, wedding cake and garters.

Twelve years ago today I walked down the aisle to my beloved. We declared our love for one another before family and friends, and entered into a covenant ordained by God. We exchanged rings and pledged faithfulness until death parts us in this life. We lit a unity candle representing our desire to leave our parents and to cleave to one another in all things.

I chose a very simple, ivory pillar for our unity candle. There is nothing really special about can buy a hundred just like it at your nearest craft store. It's a bit dented and worn from all of our moves, and it tends to get a bit dusty because it is seldom used. But every year on our anniversary, we light our unity candle again. We light it to remind us that we are in this marriage for the long haul, and that we have forsaken all others in order to be as one. We are united in love and mutual respect, and lighting that candle each year just reminds me of how lucky I am to have found my soul mate.

Statistics prove that not everyone is so fortunate, and the knowledge that God blessed me with Trevor just overwhelms me sometimes. I have a best friend for life. Someone to whom I can confide my deepest, darkest secrets without fear, and from whom I never have to hide anything. He is the one person in the world who is always on my side, even when I'm wrong. He loves and cherishes me, and he makes my life complete.
So today I celebrate both the goodness of God for giving him to me, and the gift that is my marriage. Happy anniversary Trevor!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It Makes My Legs Hurt To Watch

A friend of mine sent me this video a few days ago, and I just got around to viewing it.


This is amazing. It's kind of long, but well worth the time. It's 32 elementary school girls from Kings Mill, Ohio and they're known as the King's Firecrackers. This video is of a half-time show at a basketball game at the US Naval Academy. Not even on my best day in my jump roping prime...not even!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Prophecy Fulfilled

Today is a day of mourning and celebration. We mourn the fact that Christ had to die such a horrific death on the cross. We cringe at the thought of the tortures He endured, and the suffering He gladly bore that day long ago. We analyze the events leading up to the crucifixion, trying to make sense of a sacrifice so complete and amazing that it defies reason. We imagine the women and disciples at the foot of the cross, weeping and mourning the loss of the God man they loved so dearly.

But we have the benefit of hindsight that they did not. We don't have to wait until Easter morning to celebrate because we know the outcome. We know that in the midst of our sorrow and horror at His death that He is alive! As the angels spoke to the them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!" We don't have to hide in darkened rooms for 3 days, afraid and heartbroken over an unspeakable loss. We can celebrate every day that our Lord has conquered the grave and that His sacrifice made possible our communion with God. He fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah so that we might be justified.

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53

Thursday, April 9, 2009

House Update

I've received so many emails asking how the move is going, that I thought I would do a brief post here to keep everyone up to date. I know. You were just thinking how much you wished that Xandra would post about the sale of her house. It's on my mind so it must be on yours, right? Right.

So the couple who saw the house this past Sunday gave us a very good offer the next day. We made a counter-offer (I sound very experienced, don't I?) and their realtor called to see if they could come see the house again yesterday. Thank goodness I decided to make the beds and wipe down the counters before I left for work!! They had a few questions that I was able to answer through email and now we are just waiting.

Waiting for the call or email that will let us know if we have a deal or not. I've been anxiously checking my phone all day, and hoping that they agreed to our terms. Is it weird that I want to invite them over for dinner? I want to show them around the house myself, and tell them all about it. The quirks, the special things that Trevor has installed or built to make life easier and the general history of it all. I want them to know where the 100+ year old bricks that form the fireplace are from. I want them to know how wonderful it is to sit out on the deck in the early morning with a cup of coffee and listen to the birds sing.

A friend of mine said that when she moved out of her house, she left flowers and a letter for the new owners. I think I might do the same...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Busy Times

It's been a busy several weeks for us. We have been working hard to get the house ready to sell and the items on the to-do list have slowly been crossed off with great relief. We've painted rooms, replaced baseboards, painted ceilings, gutted the utility room and refinished it, and power washed the house. We've placed flowering plants outside the front door to increase curb appeal. We've packed away most of our personal pictures and mementos to make our home as neutral as possible, and we had someone come in and do a deep cleaning.

The house listed Wednesday, and we had our first potential buyer come see it yesterday evening. The only problem was that Nathan has been sick with a viral fever since Tuesday night, and I had to get him out of the house for about an hour when he wasn't feeling very well. He didn't complain and luckily the virus was on it's last legs, so all went well. Apparently the buyer just purchased the house next door, and he was looking at this one for his brother who has a wife and two children. How cool would that be to live next door to your brother or sister. It would be a dream come true for me!

We have someone else coming to see the house Sunday afternoon, so we'll see how all of this goes. When we started getting calls the day after we listed, I started getting anxious. What if someone offers what we're asking and we have to be out by May? What if we can't find a place in Tulsa? What if, what if, what if??!!! Do you know how ridiculous I felt after my brief moment of stress and speculation? Do you have any idea how faithful God has been to us during this time of change and upheaval?

My friend Kellye suggested that I write down all of the ways that God has been faithful during this time so that the next time I get discouraged I could look back and remember all that He has done for me. For instance:
  • Trevor's company has a relocation package that is reminiscent of the eighties. All expenses paid from closing costs to providing a moving company to pack us up, move us and then unpack us when we get there. We have had very little stress regarding the financial side of this move, and that is a blessing.
  • We found a Nine Marks church online that we plan to visit and that looks like it will be a good fit for our family.
  • We already have friends and contacts in Oklahoma because of business Trevor has conducted there.
  • The schools where we are planning to move are very good, and Gracie will begin Kindergarten there. He has given Nathan a peaceful spirit about this whole move and he is looking forward to starting third grade in a new place. Oh, and they will be in the same building for the first three years, which will be helpful in terms of getting them to school on time!
  • The Monday before we listed the house, our neighbor had a landscaping company come out and clean his yard. Not much of a blessing until you realize that his backyard was still covered in debris from Hurricane Ike. Let me do the math for you...that was over 7 months ago. Just let your imagination run with that image.
  • I have two job interviews when Trevor and I fly to Tulsa in May to look for housing. One is a PRN position (ideal) and the other is a full time (I'm not going to turn down a job!). Our goal is for me to stay home with the kids, and this PRN position would allow that.
  • We have a dear friend who is listing our home for us and taking care of all the details. Not having to worry about any of that stuff has been such a blessing, and we know that her business dealings are filtered through a Christian worldview.

I have been praying for weeks now that God will make the path broad and easy to see with regard to this move, and He has been more than faithful to us. Every decision seems to have a clear direction, and so many doors have been opened. When I have my "what if" moments, I just remember His faithfulness, and that He is in control of this whole situation.

Trevor is in China this week, so any offers made on the house will have to wait until he gets home. He arrived safely this morning in Shanghai, and we were able to talk to him before he passed out in his hotel room! I'm so glad that it's only one week instead of two this time, but he's going to have a hard time adjusting to the time change with such a short turnaround. He'll get home the night before Easter around midnight, so we'll be doing Easter morning alone this year! My parents will be here though, and it will be fun to cook with my mom one last time in the kitchen. This will definitely be a meal for the china and crystal!