love them MORE

I recently spent a week disconnected from “everything”, yet nothing at all.  My week at Hume with my sweet group of 9th grade girls had me closer to intentional relationships and our loving God than I could have ever imagined. That’s the “everything” that counts.
Preparation for a week of leading high schoolers at camp had me ready for all sorts of things. I was prepared for late nights full of giggling and junk food, deep one-on-one conversations with youngsters genuinely seeking the Lord and His plan for their lives, long lines full of hungry, unshowered teens, and hours upon hours of incredible worship through music. But I wasn’t prepared to be deepened in an area of my own faith that I hadn’t realize needed deepening.
Day 5 of 7 at camp came much quicker than anticipated, and I found myself beginning to consider the post-camp real life reality that hits minutes down the mountain as cell service kicks back in.  I began to think of work, appointments, classes, yet-to-be-planned but much-needed-to-be-planned hang outs with old friends, the daily what’s-for-dinner dilemma, and the never ending sweeping and vacuuming of dog hair. I could feel the anxiety rising in my heart like a flooding toilet!!! EEEK! But mostly, I was beginning to worry about the many times I’d need to put my 3 year old in someone else’s care in order to get all of these obligations fulfilled. I worried about my husband and all the work he probably had piling up and the hours of rest he’d need after a full week of playing single parent.
I was overwhelmed, to say the least. My prayers were instantly filled with requests to help me survive the heavy laden life back at home, and my heart was breaking that I couldn’t be everywhere for everyone I loved at all times.  As I sang the words to the worship song playing in the background, “Your love never ends, it never gives up, it never runs out on me…” I felt Jesus gently reminded me that His love also doesn't run out on my daughter or my husband. I slowly realized I needed to trust God with not only my own life, but their lives, too. For the first time, I realized that as much as I love my family and would do anything for them, He loves them more.  Mind blown. No, God, you don’t understand—I love them SO MUCH!!! And then He speaks to my heart and says, “Yes, Gigi, I know. But no matter how much that is, I ALWAYS love them MORE than that.”
Heart released. Calm, settled breathing began again. What an amazing concept to think that He always has, and always will, trump my own love for those two. And because of that, I don’t have to worry. I can trust Him with them—with their whole lives. His plan is so much greater than my own, and because He has overcome the world, I need to let Him love them the way only He can.
So when I feel that anxiety rise, I say a quick prayer and ask that God just do his love thing. Over, and over, and over again. Because they are His—and not mine.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and he will keep your paths straight. –Prov. 3: 5-6


I love every moment with my precious girl. #JA #PeytonReese

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Daddy daughter lunch date! I love her so much! #JA

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small group gets bigger... again!

posted on facebook today, but didn't want to forget this special moment in time...

about 5 years ago josh and i joined a bible study/small group thru our church that met on monday nights.  we were pretty sure we were nuts because we had seemingly NO TIME to be doing anything "extra" in our lives. (HA, that's a joke. we officially know what "no time" really means now... well, until we have less time, one day.) anyway, little did i know that meeting with these 10-12 people each and every monday night would bring us the most amazing, grounded, encouraging, uplifting friendships we'd experienced in our lives. but more than anything, we've been given this incredible opportunity to deeply and personally see God move in our own lives and in the lives of our friends.  i am beyond blessed by this BLESSING He presented us with, and LOVE being reminded of this awesome journey as we walk with our friends through joys, heartbreaks, pregnancies, failed adoptions, successful adoptions, job changes, parenting joys and challenges, fears and anxieties, prayer life growth, spiritual growth, "baby butt rashes" (thank you, francis chan), infertility, relocations, vacations and getaways, sick loved ones, miscarriages, drained hopes, fulfilled dreams, deeper gospel understanding, knowledge sharing, loving one another, answered prayers, pending answered prayers, answered prayers that went God's way and not our way, and miracles, miracles, miracles. joyful to be celebrating the newest member of our small group family today.....welcome, little precious caleb gash! and from last week, welcome baby micah! linds, you're up, girl!


Longing for another vacation with these two! #JA

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The whole family after our 5k this morning. I love hanging with these two so much!. #JA

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Who's that mouse?!

Peyton, you just turned 2! What are you going to do to celebrate? She's going to Disneyland!!!  Ok, so we didn't really go to Disneyland FOR her birthday, but the line was fitting.  A couple of weeks ago Aunt Jacqui helped broker a deal with some friends so we could take Peyton to Disneyland for the day.  Aunt Jacqui has been dying for an opportunity to take her to Disneyland and since it was her first time, Geeg and I wanted to be there to share in the excitement.  

For a couple of days leading up we would ask her if she knew what Disneyland was and she would say, "On the TV!" I'm pretty sure she had no concept that Disney was anything other than a TV station where she watches a few shows.  She didn't really understand that there was a place we could go to see all of the characters she sees on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse right up close, but could tell that she was fairly excited to go "see Mickey".  

Almost as soon as we walked in we saw Pluto...

But she didn't want to get too close.

Then we turned around and saw Minnie Mouse!

But, again, she didn't feel like getting too close.

I wonder if she'll do any better with Goofy…


Oh well, let's see what else there is to do here.

How about the Tea Cups?

Success!!!  Peyton loved those Tea Cups!! Gigi?  Not so much.  There was too much spinning for her tastes.  Almost as soon as the ride was over Peyton wanted to ride it again, though.  The line was short enough so we did.  This time Aunt Jacqui took Mama's place…

Off to Small World!

Then to Toon Town to meet Mickey and Minnie…But first a quick detour to see Pluto again… this time we got a little closer.

Okay, lets capitalize on this success and head over to Mickey's house to say hello...

Not quite as comfortable as she was with Pluto but she still loved it (more than the picture seems to indicate!)

How about Minnie Mouse? The line was a little longer, but at least we had some fun…

Then we got close enough to see Minnie!

There she is Peyton!

No fear this time!! 

Alright, lets find another ride…Dumbo sounds fun! 

Aunt Jacqui bought her a set of ears to commemorate the day…

Then we head over to Jungle Cruise.

A few tickles and laughs while we wait in line.

She was amazed by all the "animals" on the ride…

It was such a great day!!!  She had a BLAST and did great throughout the whole day.  Thank you so much to Doug Farmer for helping us get into the park and to Aunt Jacqui for helping us make such great memories!!!  I can't wait to do it again throughout the years.