Thursday, September 18, 2014

the real Elsa and Anna

Let it go.
Why does that song resonate so deeply with me? I find myself almost crying as I watch Elsa walk up that snowy hill and design her dream castle of ice, all the while singing about her new found freedom. I imagine how it would feel to really be Elsa. Not the beautiful princess that every little girl wants to be. But a girl who lived in constant fear that you are going to hurt someone you love. You would never want to or mean to hurt them. But you know you might, because you have so little control over your own condition. Imagine Fear screaming at you every minute of your life - "You are better off alone. You don't belong. You are a danger to others. You were poorly made. Your life is of little value. You are destined to be broken. You will never defeat this. Your situation is hopeless." I can only imagine the list of lies she would be bombarded with. And her parents advice only made it worse - "Conceal it. Don't feel it. Don't let it show." So she did what she thought was best. She cut her closest loved one out of her life. She believed the lies and acted accordingly.

As I watched Frozen yesterday for the 13th time, it hit me for the first time - one reason Frozen has been such a successful movie is because Elsa is such a relatable character. Many of us feel isolated, fearful and anxious as we live out our day to day life. Fear controls us and all our decisions. The idea of breaking free is so bright and beautiful but we don't know how to get there.
Finally Elsa escapes and we all know and love how she expresses her new found freedom. But she quickly realizes she's not really free because fear followed her.
As believers, we know that the way to get freed is to put our trust in Christ... once for our salvation, then daily afterwards for our freedom and peace. Disney makes no mention of our Redeemer and Deliver, but the end of the movie spells out what heals us - "an act of true love."
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13)."

Elsa froze Anna's heart. She didn't deserve Anna's love, but that's the very reason Anna willingly gave it. Anna's act of true love turned everyone's lives around. She sacrificed her life for Elsa and that changed everything. The fjords melted, the flowers bloomed, the sun shone and Elsa's ice powers were changed from a curse into a blessing. Anna's act of true love is a picture of what Christ did for us. As is fitting for a children's movie, the heroine came back to life at the end. Christ gave His love and it cost Him His life. But He didn't stay dead either. He came back..

These are my very random deep thoughts about Frozen. It is a redemption story. God speaks through Hollywood whether they know it or not. I don't know if the writers of Frozen knew how beautifully their story points to the Savior of the world. But I'm thankful to have this movie show my little ones the power of sacrificial love as the only thing that can heal, repair, fix, redeem, save the broken, sometimes including ourselves. "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear..." 1 John 4:18

At the end of the movie when the credits rolled, I heard another verse of "Let it Go" that I hadn't heard before... "I know I left a life behind but I'm too relieved to grieve. Let it go, let it go...."
Amen. May I never grieve the things I've left behind in pursuit of freedom and peace.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

More catching up...

One more highlight of our summer was swim team! This was our 3rd season. Each year we've added one kid to the team and this year it was Laney.
This is our favorite coach. She taught Laney how to swim last summer and this summer she got Bodie swimming across the pool all by himself! Hopefully he will join the team next summer.
Here's all our Copperfield Dolphins. The sweet team store lady even had a onesie made for Sadie that had a big green C on it. She wore it proudly to all the meets.
Between races, there is plenty of time to be goofy. Tatum came over to our tent to show me that her Ariel's head had fallen off, but no worries - she has been resurrected with a huge Tatum head!
 This Daddy loves his baby girl and she lights up when he talks to her.

Another fun random summer story... We happened upon 4 baby cottontail bunnies at a newly constructed park near our house. They were hopping all around the playground equipment when we got there. Our girls and friends quickly caught them and convinced me we needed to keep them as pets. So we brought them home with us and I started researching how to care for cottontails. Well, it turns out all the internet sites I found advised not to keep them as pets, as it could be fatal to them. So we went back that night and let the bunnies go into the wooded area near the park. We felt sad leaving them there, almost like we were abandoning babies in the woods, but as soon as we walked away, we looked back and saw several larger rabbits and mice running all around, so we felt like our bunnies would find their mama soon.

My parents blessed us with our own piano! My mom has been teaching Avery and Tatum on Skype for over a year now. They have both improved so much and they both love to play. My mom felt like our digital piano just didn't do justice to the beautiful songs the girls were learning to play so she came to Houston one day to go piano shopping and found us this beauty! It was delivered late one night, which is why the girls are in their PJ's. The sound is so beautiful! I love to hear it throughout the day.
Another fun memory that I didn't get a picture of was our week in San Antonio. Avery and Tatum went to His Hill day camp for the week and my mom and I kept the 3 little ones busy all day long shopping, swimming, napping and playing. Those naps we took in the afternoons were so sweet. All of us passed out for a couple hours each day, even Laney. It was the week right before we started back to school, so it was nice to be away from home that week to get my mind off school stuff.
Next time, all about our adventures in getting back into school ...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catching up

I'm back.
I was re-reading my blog last week trying to remember how many months old Bo was when I started feeding him solid food. As I was reading, I realized  how priceless this blog is in remembering all the sweet and funny episodes of our kids' childhoods. I am so overwhelmed with life sometimes, but I truly enjoy writing about our kids and what God teaches me through them. So here's hoping I will keep on enjoying this and it won't add to my never-ending to do list!

First of all, on the 28th of March we welcomed Sadie Blyss to our family. She is so loved.

She was our littlest baby, weighing 7 lbs 5 oz. We decided to be surprised with her, so we really had no idea whether she was going to be a she or a he. I can honestly say her delivery was the most exciting and memorable of our kids because of the suspense leading up to her birth. And the pure bliss and excitement when I heard everyone yell, "It's a girl!"

Sadie means "Princess." Brian heard it while we were pregnant and we decided right away that was our favorite if it was a girl. We debated quite a bit for her middle name, but I really loved "Blyss" and Brian finally agreed when he saw it spelled with a "y" instead of an "i."

Bodie's expression is so perfect for this moment of his life! FOUR sisters!!!
On Easter Sunday, Sadie & I stayed home from church. She was still so tiny. But when the rest of the crew got home from church, we had a little photo shoot in the backyard. I love these sweet memories of our tiny little blessing with her big brother and sisters who love her so much!
The boys

We got to go to Foxfire with my family over the summer. It's a beautiful place out in the hill country right on a river. This was our 3rd summer there and we look forward to it more each year. It's so relaxing and peaceful to just watch the kids catch critters in the river, swim, fish, eat yummy fish and the best part... no cell phone service out there.

My brothers came for a short visit and the kids were thrilled to see Uncle Martin and Uncle Matt cruise up on their motorcycles.

 Tatum and Nana
 That's my sweet Mommy and Daddy
 We got to pick peaches on our way home. We had enough for a peach cobbler and a batch of homemade peach ice cream. YUM!

 The kids loved catching crayfish in the river, which their daddy loved using as bait.

 Those were so yummy
 Painting rocks

We also got to take a trip to Galveston with Brian's family.We stayed in a townhouse that was a short walk from the beach and from a couple fun swimming pools. The kids loved catching and playing with the tiny frogs that were all over the place. There was a lot of seaweed on the beach so we didn't spend as much time there as we did at the swimming pools. Bodie got stung by a jellyfish on his belly the first night we were there. Thankfully the next day he was fine.

 Sadie spent a lot of time strapped to me.
 Mud monster Laney
 This was Sadie's first swim, so everyone wanted to have a front row seat to see how she would like it.

 This girl wanted to play football in the pool all day long. She loves being sporty.
Sadie is so happy to be with Avery. And likewise. They are inseparable.
 We love our cousin Tara (and Theo) but he's too little to swim yet too!

What a little trooper! She just goes with the flow and smiles and coos and laughs at all the crazy noises and faces she sees all day. Sweet Sadie, you are such a joy. More about you soon.