I know weather in Texas is crazy, but I think west Texas weather is ridiculous!! In the morning, I wear sweat shirts because it gets down to like 40 degrees and then that afternoon we're lathering on suntan lotion at the track meet because it's 80 degrees with no clouds or trees!!! Everyone says you get used to it...we'll see...lol Our laundry loads have increased in size.
Hannah is 1 year old now!! Soooooo crazy that time has flown by, and that so many things have happened! She is such a little cutie though...so big. Walking around and learning so much. Like Chaz, she really likes us to read books; she'll walk around the living room, pick up a book, walk to the couch (where one of us usually is) and then throws the book at us and says, "Read!" (well, her "r"s are "w"s, so it's "weed!"...but she's not a pothead, I don't think she associates drugs with books.) They say not to compare your children, and I never thought I would (I hated being compared to the other 5 of us!!) but it's so hard NOT to compare!! Chaz was talking much better and saying more words than Hannah at this age...but Hannah crawled and walked WAYYYYY earlier than Chaz!!! Personality wise, Chaz is soo outgoing and talkative, can be attentive to people's feelings/what's going on...also has become 100% boy despite the fact that he claimed Hannah's birthday dresses were "precious!" lol And that he loved the idea that her birthday was princess themed!!!
Hannah, is so shy and quiet around most people. She loves being held most of the time, but once she warms up to you...she won't let go...especially if you have good food or a kitty!!! I actually can tell she's thinking sometimes before she decides to do something. I'll see that "look" (the wheels in her head spinning) and I'll have to figure out what in the world she's about to do! And I love her laugh! She has grins, and giggles and "polite laughs" (I think it's hilarious that babies learn polite laughs like adults do) but when she REALLY laughs..oh man, it's like a Sally/Julia Roberts laugh...I LOVE her laugh! :)
It was so good to see everyone at her party! it stinks bc you never really get a chance to talk because there's so many people there and so much going on...but leaving this time; I cried again. I love it here, I really do; but when I'm not here...I really wish we were in Ennis or somewhere in East Texas again. I have been learning so much lately as I've been doing a Bible study about Esther. Esther was an orphaned, nobody Jew raised by her MALE cousin...that must have made an interesting past...I'd never thought about it before. In today's world, a girl like that might have all kinds of struggles emotionally, etc. And she was chosen by God to accomplish a mighty work, not DESPITE her past, but perhaps BECAUSE of her past!! And I'm coming to realize, that perhaps Daniel and I were given this youth ministry job here not DESPITE Daniel's past, but perhaps BECAUSE he overcame it. Sexual impurity is everywhere. I was walking Hannah to the park a week or so ago and there was a used condom (YUCK!) on the walk there. Now it could be two married people made love there, but if I were a betting woman, I'd put money on the higher odds which is that two people traded parts of themselves for deceiving pleasure in a way that made them embarrassed and probably not very intimate; they were left feeling used and more alone than when they arrived there I'm sure. What two people in a loving, safe relationship make love in a park using a condom and then have to throw it out the window???
One of the youth guys here lost his dad almost a year ago. His dad had a lust problem and an addiction to pornography. He helped out with VBS, he was a deacon, very involved in the church and community...been married for over 15 years, and struggled with lust for quite awhile I'm told until sin led to death just as the Bible says it does. Sin, any sin, becomes an addiction unless we yield it to Christ. And addictions make a person want more and more...lust is the same; it's not enough to lust at a woman and masturbate in the shower, it's not enough after awhile to look at pornography...after awhile...sexual addictions lead to more. This man began to sneak into another woman's house while she was gone, and eventually got caught. He was devastated, as was his family; after his bail was posted...he walked to the local park and hung himself. It has not even been a year for this family since this happened.
Is it a coincidence that sexual sin is rampant not only in the world, but here in Big Lake, and that Daniel (through Christ) has found victory and freedom from sexual impurity?!? Maybe it's for such a time as this; that we have been called here. It's going to take a lot of courage on our part to really speak out and find others who want that freedom too. (it's sad that not everyone in bondage wants to be free.) Pray for us. There's a lot of fear for me about this...but there could be so many powerful things God wants to do with us since we've come this far!! I want God's will to be done in my life and in this broken town, just like it's done in heaven. Maybe that can be your prayer too.