when the plates fall

For most people it happens a least a couple times in life. We come to the end of our rope.

For me it was the first semester of my Senior year of college.

The semester started great. Deborah had returned from a year long internship in Texas. Soon after we got engaged and set our wedding date for the end of the school year. It was my last year of college. And work was going good.

But then towards the end of November we moved our wedding date up to Jan 2nd. Finals week and my procrastination were accelerating towards a head on collision. And for reasons I can’t remember I was either fired or quit my job.

Our college also had a 2am curfew, so Deb and I, the star-struck love-birds that we were often stayed up till 2am talking or going out. So my sleep level was at an all time low.

And then I just stopped. I knew I couldn’t keep all these plates spinning at the pace I was going. I knew something was going to crash, soon. My body was shutting down and I didn’t see how I was going to survive everything that was demanding my attention.

That’s when I needed a savior. Something, or someone to not just “help me” but instead to rescue me.

To this day I’m not sure how I did survive. I don’t actually remember much from those last 3 weeks of December, it’s all a blur. I’m sure Deb was a big help. And I’m sure I probably leaned hard onto God. In those moments what else can you do.

If you’re experiencing #FallingPlates, I pray that the God described in this video will be your Savior too. As we approach Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, will you trust the only One who can save. (http://www.fallingplates.com)

One of those “better late than never” kinda posts

We enjoyed our first Christmas morning in Arkansas. The afternoon, evening, and 4 days that followed without power are and adventure we’ll never forget.

Here’s our annual orchestrated chaos of unwrapping the presents video.

A special thanks to the Hopkins who sent extra funds specifically to buy the kids some gifts, and to the Reapers Life group who sent an unexpected surprise package full of gifts for the whole family. Your faithfulness and obedience to God in your generosity towards us is amazing and helped make this Christmas special.

tick tock

do you remember those kids from high school or college that started their class reading the day the teacher assigned it? or began their class project early in the semester and had it completed and turned in the week before it was due? or the kid that consistently reviewed their class notes a couple times a week and thus didn’t feel the need to “cram” the last 24-48 hrs?

ya, i knew them. and no, i definitely wasn’t one of them.

i was the other kid. rarely did any reading for the class out of laziness or through methodically calculating that i could still pull a B out of the class if i didn’t do any reading at all! the kid who remembered there was a class project due when that other kid turned hers in a week early. the kid that thought 24-48hrs was WAAAY too early to start studying for the quiz/test/final. (just give me a good solid 30 min.)

maybe it’s the adrenaline rush that comes from making the deadline, but my mind would thrive off of them. (when they’re close)

I often thought a 4 day work week wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The basic idea being whatever work you can do in 5 days, you can cram into 4 if you know you only have 4 days to do it. We often fill our days with “things to do”, but we aren’t always filling them with the best or right things to do.

so especially for those important but not so urgent things in my life, i set artificial deadlines. Like this blog post. i only had 20 min before my next meeting. so whatever can be thought of, laid out, written, and formatted in that time is what gets published. 

i’m 5 min late now to my next meeting. so i gotta go.

Which kid were you growing up? or now? What areas of your life could you add artificial deadlines to improve your productivity?

preemptive learning

sometimes it’s the simple unexpected words or phrases that really cause our minds to think, ponder, simmer.

earlier this summer, Deborah mentioned one such story about  someone who was worrying. And rephrasing Jesus’ words on how needless it is to worry, “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself” (Matt 6:34 ESV). she went on to say, “why should we spend time worrying, when instead we could spend our energy with ‘excited anticipation’ of what God is going to do!”

at the time there wasn’t anything that i was worried about. but yet that phrase got a hold of my heart and mind. for several days i mulled it over in my head wondering if in fact there was a situation where that wouldn’t be applicable. finances? sickness? broken relationships? nope. nope. nope. all of them areas where we can instead lean hard into God.

then last night in our small group we read Philippians 4:4-7, “…do not be anxious about anything…” (emphasis mine). A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!

really Lord?

that’s much easier said than done. go ahead, find a person who’s worrying, and tell them “stop it.” and see how well it works.

but he goes on to say, “…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” He’s a big God. He’s not intimidated by our requests. Does he already know? of course he does. Does he delight in us coming to him with our true sincere heart, laying aside all of the masks of how we think a Christian should  act? YES, absolutely YES!!

this kid

it takes a while for her to warm up to you…

…but once she does, it isn’t long till she’s taken over your heart.

Happy Birthday to our precious Rachel!

yeah, 6!!!

 Rachel Joy Lara
Rachel Joy Lara

(meant to post this yesterday from my phone, but it kept giving me errors. and then we got caught up in the day’s activities. FamilyLife staff picnic (with b-day cake for rachel), then family movie night (we took the kids to watch Brave)