Friday, July 27, 2012

Ben Shanika and Judah

My brother and sister-in-law Ben and Shanika were due with their sweet baby Judah this August. Yesterday we got the sad news that the doctors couldn't find a heartbeat. Here's an update from my father-in-law about what's happening now. Please keep our family in your prayers!

 I need to just say how proud I am right now of my son and daughter-in-law.  The doctors expect that our grandson will be stillborn sometime tomorrow. At a time when their world is crashing in, they are unshaken.  Their feet are firmly planted on the Rock, their Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  While gales blow around them, and lesser foundations crumble, they are standing firm.  Their countenances reflect a peace and hope that would be unfathomable to many.  They are surrounded by like-minded people who are reflecting back to them the strength, courage, and encouragement that Ben and Shanika have given to them in the past.  The result is a body truly working the way a body should.  We live in a broken world, but the relationships that have been established in this church family are mending the tears and even now fostering the healing that must happen.

 We are sitting in the hospital hallway.  Babies are being born in rooms all around us.   They are being rolled past in a constant parade.  Each one brings a genuine smile to my son’s face.  He is truly joyful at the blessings received by others, because that’s who he is.  I also believe that he understands the beatitude, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they will be comforted.” (emphasis mine)  He is experiencing communion with his Father, who knows the pain of losing his only son.  He is trusting in a larger purpose and a greater love than he can imagine, even as he cares for his wife with a gentle touch and a strong heart, and reconciles the expectations he had for his son with those that God had purposed.

We do not place any limits on God.  He who called Lazurus from the dead, and raised the Centurion’s daughter still lives and rules.  Our prayer is for God to take this cup from us, but not our will, but His be done.  Thank you to all who are praying.  We believe that God hears and answers with infinite mercy and wisdom.  Continue to uphold Shanika, Ben and Judah James, that all them, through the lives God has ordained, will bring glory and honor to him, and light to a dark world.

Trusting in Him,
 Harley and Beth

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kasey and Matt's Big Day!

We had a blast celebrating these two!  Everything about the day was awesome.  Kasey had so many details and sweet, little touches that made the day so special.  There are a ton of pictures.  You can check them out here.  I hope you do!

These doors were my favorite.  They were in the back of the ceremony and we all got to walk through them.

Pictures of our grandparents on Kasey's flowers.

The girls.  I love how all the dresses looked together.

The boys

Loved seeing this cutie all dressed up!

Awww....some of my favorite boys!

Me and my beautiful sister!

Kole loves his Tia!

This is one of my favorites!!

Kasey's Bachelorette Party

Now that all the partying and the wedding are over, I finally have some time to catch up!  The week before Kasey's wedding we got to throw her a party.  I wanted to do something a little different and fun.  Here's what we did...

We started out at my house for some snacks...more on this peanut butter ball later...

Then we walked up Main Street to a little shop called Artisticology

We got to pick out our own piece of pottery and paint

Abbey painted an awesome fruit bowl

Mags made a cute decoration for baby Luke

I did a plate

Jalea and Sarah painted some bowls

Painting in the lines is hard work

The bride to be painted a spoon rest

She's real pretty

Carolyn stenciling

Add caption

The whole gang

Then Kasey opened presents

A beautiful group of girls

Kasey's roomies and Judson friends

Kasey and Melissa


Then we grabbed dinner outside

Sisters to be...:)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

three years today

It's 7-11 today! I love having the same anniversary as free slurpee day!  Not that we have ever actually gone to 7-11 and gotten a free slurpee, but whatever, it's cool and you know it.

Last year, I kinda outdid myself and wrote this long, thoughtful post about our marriage and the great things about it.  I read it again today and still really liked it!  And I'm happy to say I still really like my husband!  He's just about the best ever.  There are so many things I love about that man.

I love that every morning of the school year you would wake up with me and make coffee and put my English muffin in the toaster.  You'd even put peanut butter and jelly on it too.  Some days you even made me scrambled eggs.  You could have just kept sleeping while I got ready, but you never did.  Thanks for doing that babe!  August will be here again soon...just FYI.

I love how you play with Kole.  And even though all Kole's injuries (bloody noses, goose eggs and bumped heads) have come from playing with you, I just feel like that's the way it's supposed to be.  I love how you play chase with him and hold him upside down and throw him on the couch.  I love the way he laughs when you scare him or growl at him.  He only laughs like that when you're around.  I love the way Kole screams "dadin!" whenever he sees you, or even when he sees a picture of you on the fridge.  I just think you are such a great dad, and I can't wait to see how you will be with our little girl!

I really want to thank you for how you take care of our household.  I'm so thankful that you are so organized.  You pay all our bills, and deal with annoying internet problems, and fix the computers.  You put gas in the car and always take out the garbage.  You even do the dishes and I am in love with your love of vacuuming; you even get out the hose and vacuum all the corners and underneath the cabinets and other sneaky places where dirt could so easily hide.  I'd just leave it there and pretend like it wasn't there, but not you.  I love how you never get mad at me (or at least you don't show it) for leaving ridiculous amounts of garbage in the side compartments of the car.  You just clean it out while you're vacuuming out the car.  Then you wipe down the inside of the car and take it through the carwash.  You just like things to be clean and I am more than okay with that.

I just love you.  I love your ambition and your drive and how you are never satisfied with things that are just okay.  You are always wanting to do better.  That 40 you shot yesterday could have so easily been a 38 or 39.  I love your ideas and your creativity.  I love that you get an idea and you actually do it.  You work hard, even at things you don't exactly like doing.  You never leave a job unfinished and you do things right the first time, even if it takes you longer.  Thanks for never being so stubborn that you don't listen to me.  You take my suggestions to heart and you let me tell you that a 40 is still a really good score.

Thanks for leading our family and for taking us to church.  Thanks for setting such a great example in the way you serve others.  Thanks for not having everything figured out and for not knowing all the answers.  It's so much more fun that way because then I get to try and figure them out with you.  Thanks for sharing your heart with me and for being so willing to learn and for admitting there are some things that we need to work on and some areas we need to grow in.  Thanks for choosing me and for loving me.  Thanks for giving me a whole extra family who I love so much and such a cute son and now a new baby girl!  Life with you is exactly perfect for who I am and what I need in order to be who Christ made me to be.  I have loved these three years and I can't wait for more.

Maybe we could go get a free slurpee tonight?