Friday, September 17, 2010


I have been thinking that the black background with white writing is a little hard to read- is it just me?  So I thought I would try out a white background with black writing... what do you guys think?  Which one is better??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Life is going at about 180 mph and isn't showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.  No time for a longer post, so in the interest of keeping all 10 of you who regularly stop here up to date on our crazy life, I thought I'de just do a quick bullet list of what we've been up to lately, and some things I have been thinking about.  

  • We moved two weeks ago.   We are in the process of purchasing our first home (YIKES!! SERIOUS YIKES!!!), but our lease ran out before the house closed. So two weeks ago we packed up our house, put it in storage, and moved in with Andy's parents in Virginia Beach.  Yup, right at the beginning of Abby's first year of preschool and in the middle of the busiest time of the year for me on campus.  We like to live on the edge.
  • My in-laws are amazing.  I'm sure that when you finally get to be an empty nester, you never imagine that your children will be moving back in with you, with their children and animals in tow. We bring a LOT of mess and noise and craziness and business with us.  But Bruce and Trisha have welcomed us graciously and provided for us so lovingly.  Some people would have a near panic attack at the thought of moving in with their parents/in-laws, but so far it has been great and we have really enjoyed living with them.  We are, however, counting down the days until we get our house and get to be back in Norfolk near all of our friends.
  • It is so crazy and so the Lord that I am even saying that last sentence- that I MISS NORFOLK!  Norfolk, the last place in Virginia I wanted to live when Andy was doing the job search a year-and-a-half ago.  Norfolk, the place I was sure I would hate forever, after the first month here missing Blacksburg and Harrisonburg and all my friends and being able to walk to campus. I miss Norfolk and all it's quirkiness.
  • Did Saturday really happen?  What??? This is the first time my loves for both JMU AND Hokie football have collided.  After the game Saturday I felt both elated for my Dukes and totally bummed for my Hokies.  I still feel bad that their season is pretty much over now, but I am pretty excited about all the new buzz about Dukes football that I am seeing. Common, Big East....
  • And speaking of Hokie football, Frank Beamer is the man.  We listened to his post-game interview, and I was reminded again of what a level-headed, humble guy he is.  
  • I've been really struggling with putting Abby in pre-school lately.  I feel confident that it's the right thing for her right now- and it's only a total of 6 hours a week, for pete's sake! But lately, I have been really wrestling with feelings of guilt and regret over the last (almost) 3 years of her life.  Guilt over all the ways I have sinned against her and all the mistakes I have made already (and she isn't even a teenager yet!) Regret over all the things I never did with her that I wanted to do. It's normal mommy guilt I know. But, I think it reveals a deeper heart struggle- my lack of faith in Jesus to be the one who meets all of her needs perfectly, and my lack of faith in Him to spread his grace over all of my mistakes and failures.  And, my perfectionism, pride, and idolatry.  Ugh. So, I am wrestling- surrendering some things and still clinging to others, but wrestling nonetheless.  And trusting the Spirit will work in me and grow me in dependance on Him.
  • There are far too many drive-through Starbucks down here.  I know of three between the Benson's house and preschool and campus.  This is not good for my wallet or my post-baby belly. 
  • Charlotte is 6 months old now.  HALF OF A YEAR!  Say what?? She is rolling all over the place, trying to crawl, almost sitting, eating solid foods (and loving it! and still nursing 6x a day-the girl loves her groceries!), sleeping until 6am, and looking more and more like Abby every day.  Seriously, I call her "Abby Shea" all the time by mistake because she looks and acts just like baby Abby.  I love love having a baby around again and could just eat her to pieces.  She is so much fun and we love her so much!
  • Yesterday evening I overheard Abby playing with her dolly.  This is what I heard: "NO Dolly! STAY. IN. BED.  Get out of bed one more time and get a SPANKING!"   Two seconds later: "Ok Dolly, get a spanking!" She then grabbed her dolly, laid her face down on her lap, and spanked her!  I was half cracking up, half concerned, because this is exactly what does down every night with HER, and it's really revealing to hear your child repeat back what they hear you saying to them.  But then, I peeked in and saw her hugging her dolly, saying "Pray God, pray Dolly listen, pray Dolly stay in bed, pray Dolly to obey.  Yuv you, amen." It was encouraging, because we always pray that she will really "get" that when we do spank her, it is to teach her to obey us and God and to restore her relationship with us and with Him, not to punish her or to manipulate her to obey us out of fear.  Disobedience is always sad, and spankings are too, but reconciliation is sweet and restoration is always promised!
  • Back to house-buying:  The fact that we are in the process of buying a house here in Norfolk is really, really huge if you know me at all and know my dream of raising my children a block away from JMU. The past five years have looked something like this: ask for Hburg, looks like Lord is saying "yes,"  looks like He is saying "not now," get angry, surrender and trust Him, move to Blacksburg, see God's provision in a new place with new friends and see that His ways are better than mine, looks like He might give us Hburg now, ask for Hburg, looks like His is saying (again) "not now," get angry, surrender and trust Him, move to Norfolk, see His provision and goodness again and that His ways are (still) better than mine, looks like He might be opening a door and finally saying "yes" now, ask ask ask like crazy, looks like His answer is still "not now," pray about what it would look like to really settle in and invest in this place- our city, our church, our friends. And that's where I am.  Praying, trusting, surrendering.  I really, REALLY know that His ways are far better than mine.  There have been way too many tangible reminders of this in my life over the past three years.  I don't know if He will ever say "yes" to Harrisonburg.  I still ask Him to, someday.  But I think I am finally at a place where I will be "okay" if he doesn't.
  • Our close friends are waiting to welcome their first baby, a girl, into the world any minute now!! We are on pins and needles waiting to hear news that they are in the hospital.  They are already a few days past their due date, which I know is really discouraging and frustrating.  So if you think about it, pray for them?! This baby is the answer to so many prayers, and this family has been through a lot in the past year. We cannot cannot wait to meet her!!!