Chris's Change of Command

Chris's Change of Command

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The thought of this post has been running around in my head for weeks.  It seems God has billboards up everywhere pointing out this one theme in my life right now.

Don't you love it when God continues to put a "theme" into each and everyday of your life?  When you know without a shadow of a doubt that He is telling you something.  Something He wants to refine, sharpen, and bring purpose to in your life.  For the past few months, God continues to bring the thought of GRACE to the forefront of each minute, each day, each week of my waking moments. 

Grace was described to me by a wonderful Bible teacher and mentor over ten years ago while we lived in Hawaii.  Grace is a gift.  A gift that we don't deserve but that is lovingly given to each of us.  It is an unexpected gift.  For instance, hypothetically speaking of course, when a child does something that you have warned a million times will hurt him/her if he/she continues down this path.  The child then continues down the wrong path and he/she ends up hurt, angry, frustrated. Grace is a parent not saying "I told you so"  but instead  "I love you and forgive you.  Let us learn from our mistakes and move on."  A gift, so unexpected....GRACE. 

The ultimate display of grace of course is Jesus, dying for us on the cross, forgiving EVERY wrong doing, so that we may be with Him and live with Him in Heaven where there is no sorrow, no suffering, no pain.  A gift so undeserved, but He loves us that much.  Humbling.  Life changing.  So the question is....what do I do with this grace that has been given to me. 

Share it.  Live it.  Give it.

It is as simple and complex as that.

When my family doesn't deserve grace, I need to choose to give it to them.  To be a reflection of our Heavenly Father.  When the lady behind the counter at Walmart is grumpy and slow, I need to show her grace.  When my friend has hurt my feelings, I need to show her grace. When the man cuts me off in traffic, I need to show him grace.  It challenges me.  Stretches me.  And I believe it is exactly what God wants from me. 

No, it is not huge and earth shaking, but God is in the small things too.  And with each small act of grace, God plants a seed.  He grows it.  He tends it and watches it flourish and bloom.  And soon, there is a garden of Believers.  A garden that goes out and shares grace with others.

Such a small word with an ENORMOUS meaning. 

My point....

To remind myself that if Jesus can lavish grace on me, a sinner, then I most definitely can share His gift with others.  My family, friends, a stranger.....

That's all.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Because...

She will only look like this for a little while....

And make these silly faces for a short time....

And her "whale spout" will only be her hair style for a blink...

And these moments are fleeting....

And we just love her so......

Because my memory of this stage will not do these pictures justice...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Meet Baxter

This is Baxter Bear, a beloved friend from Mrs. Wallen's Kindergarten class.  Hayley had the chance to bring Baxter home with her over the past week and they had some wonderful adventures together.  We are not new to having a bear visit our family.  Last year, Luke brought home Becca Bear, Baxter's sister, for a visit and we had so much fun.  We knew that having a bear as a guest meant having plenty of cinnamon toast on hand (a bear's favorite food) and to be ready for a busy and exciting week ahead.
Here are some highlights from the week.

Baxter riding Hayley's horse, Abigail.

Baxter's first taste of Chick-fil-a lemonade.  He LOVED it!

Reading time with Baxter was so special.  He was a little nervous to be in a new place, so Hayley thought it would be nice to read "Ira Sleeps Over" to him.  He loves this book and reading together helped him to feel at home.

Going for a walk on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Now for a bike ride.....

Baxter even got to join Hayley at the Little Gym for her gymnastic/ballet/tap class. The theme at class this week was dress like a pirate day!  So much fun.

We were all sad to say goodbye to Baxter today.  Everyone was so happy to have him as a part of our family this week.  I know that he will always hold a special place in Hayley's heart.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lemonade for a Cause

We have been having the MOST beautiful weather the past few days.  I could live outside as long as I have my Allegra and Nasonex.  With the sun shining and short sleeves on, Hayley came up with the idea of having a lemonade stand for everyone in the neighborhood yesterday.  She was diligently making a sign for her stand when I asked her what she would like to do with the money.  She thought for a few seconds and said, "Give it to the poor."  Then you could she her think a moment more, and a light bulb went off. 

We had been listening to KLOVE (Christian radio station) one morning this past week and one of the stories during the news segment was about the people of Japan and the earthquake and tsunami that had devastated the area.  She asked me to explain further asking me what a tsunami was and then she declared that she would be cleaning out her room and sending Japan her toys when she got home from school.  As kind as the gesture of giving her toys away was, I tried to explain that the best way to help right now was to donate money to organizations like the Red Cross or Samaritan's Purse who can get blankets, food, clothes and water to Japan right away.

Back to the lemonade stand....  Hayley piped up and yelled, "Oh, Mommy, we can send this money to Japan."  And so that is exactly what we intend to do.  Love to see her heart for others and the actions that she takes when she feels for those in need.

Laundry Day

St. Patty's Day

I love a reason to celebrate.  A reason to make cupcakes, hang streamers or just to make the day extra special.  St. Patrick's Day is definitely one of those fun holidays especially with kiddos.  I just love looking for leprechauns and making sure we all have on green so there is no threat of a pinch.  We also happen to be a bit Irish from the Steele side of the family which makes the day even more special. 

My hubby of course gave us all a history lesson on who St. Patrick was and why he was important to Ireland.  The Veggie Tales also have a great little cartoon story about St. Patrick that the kids watch every year. 

Hope you all had a great St. Pat's Day and that you didn't get pinched (or maybe that you did).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daddy of the Year

Chris and I met when I was 20 and he was 22.  I knew in a few short dates that he was the one.  God had His Hand on our relationship from the very beginning and continues to bless us in so many ways.  Each time I learned something new about him like when I met his parents and siblings for the first time or met his childhood friends and their parents, God provided more details of this man I was falling in love with and only confirmed further than he was most definitely the ONE.

He is truly my best friend.  I couldn't imagine life without him. 

When we were a young, newly married couple, I used to daydream about what our family would look like.  I thought I would be a Mommy to a house full of boys (God had other ideas and I couldn't be happier with His plan).  I would imagine what kind of Daddy Chris would be and he has far exceeded any thought I had before our babies were born.  He is hands on with them.  He loves and protects them.  He teaches them, molds them and shows them what it is to be a Man of God.  I love him more and more each day as I watch him with our children.  I am so blessed.

But why does he get Daddy of the year?  He PLAYS with them.  Hide and seek, kick the can, soccer, baseball, kickball, Nerf tag, red light/green light.....the list goes on.  He takes them on scavenger hunts, hikes through the woods, fishing, ands bike rides.  They go to the beach, the get the idea.

Last weekend, he went over the top (in a good way).  He set up a zip line in the yard!  Not only did our children enjoy the fruits of his labor but the whole neighborhood got to enjoy some fun.  I leave you with....
The Zip Line......

Line to take a ride

Yep, Daddy of the Year for sure!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My big guy is about to start another season of soccer.  We are trying out the Upward Soccer program at one of our local churches this go around.  He went for an evaluation last Saturday that involved a lot of kicking, dribbling through cones, and running.  The church should be calling in the next week or so to let us know the name of his team.  I look forward to watching him play this season.

I took a few pics of him right before we left to go to the field.
I was in shock when I looked at the pictures and thought about him turning 8 in a few short months.  Well, maybe 4 months, but still, 8.....can't be happening.

WHEN did this baby boy..........

Get to be this BIG!



Folks...this girl is prissy, thoughtful and fun.  She loves with ALL her heart and feels everything with deep emotion.  Her sweet giggle is infectious.  She loves lip smackers, finger nail polish, purses, and SHOES.  She is creative, silly, and can keep up with the boys.  She LOVES her Daddy, her Mama, her brother and sister, and Bunny Bunny.  When she draws our family picture she still includes our beloved black lab, Jeb, who passed away over 3 years ago.  She is sweet, compassionate and sentimental.  EVERYTHING is a keepsake whether it be a sticker from the Doctor or a ribbon for excellent behavior.  We need a storage unit for all her "special" things. 
I am constantly amazed by her independence.  When she sets her mind to something, she does it (good or bad). She can be so focused on something that nothing else in the world matters.....

Carefully making each mark just so...

I love the biting of the lip.  I do that too.

Completed work.

Fantastic job, Hayley Bug.

I love you so!