Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Letter to My Brother 4 Years Later

Four years ago, I wrote you this letter to say that I love you and I love her and I love that you love her and she loves you. That was the gist. Little did I know, just a glimpse of your story would draw people in so quickly and consistently. 

Maybe it's the pictures, young love and rosy cheeks. Maybe it's idea of marriage and fresh beginnings. Or, maybe it's the hope of what could be in their own lives. 

By now, I'm sure you've figured out that marriage is tough. 

There are good days and bad days. Dynamite days and get-out-of-my-face days. There are days you just want to lay in bed, forget the tasks knocking down your door, and cuddle. And then there are days you think, "Do we have to fight about this again?

My plan for this letter was to tell you why it's worth it. Why the fight is always worth it. I was going to tell you that for every bad day there are 100 good days. 

I was going to tell you that the history you two are writing together will forever be irreplaceable and it's the thread that binds your heart and mind and soul together, tighter and more aligned with each passing year. 

But over the last 6 months, I've never been more proud to watch you grown into the man of God you've become. The love we saw way back then, has proven to be just the tip of the iceberg that is you. Your affection and devotion for this girl has been an absolute joy to watch. 

You lift her up. You adore her. You praise her and trust her. 
You know her inner battles and you soothe them with your presence. 
You hold her even when she thinks she wants to be alone and you comfort her when her world is crashing around her. 
You see her wounds and you do everything you can to heal them.
You take joy in her, knowing she's yours and you're one lucky son of a gun. 
You make sure she belly laughs by doing stupid dances in the kitchen.
You make sure her eyes sparkle by bringing her flowers.
You let her explore her passions and dreams and you are her #1 cheerleader for every race she decides to run. 

You're not perfect, but everything she deserves, you have worked to give her. 

I've never been more proud of you. You two are beating the odds. Your marriage is most definitely a beacon shining in the the darkest of nights. Keep fighting, keep loving, keep laughing, and have a kid or two soon eh?  #jk #butseriously

I love you,

- Julie

Sunday, July 19, 2015

So...Chalk Anyone? | A Baby Surprise!

Guy Version:
We're having a baby!

Girl Version:
It's true. Totally unexpected, but totally true. AH! Ty and I were actually in a fight the day we found out. We'd just moved into our new home, sang at a wedding, had a mini-anniversary/mini-birthday celebration for us and Sym, and did a full weekend at church. 

Needless to say, by Monday I was exhausted. According to Ty, I was irritated, grumpy, and distant. The jury's still out on that... 

Things finally bubbled to the surface when he asked "Babe, you ok?" for like the 17th time. You know that meme that says I was fine until you asked me if I was ok for the 17th time, it was like that. 

Yes, babe, I snapped. I'm fine, I'm just exhausted, hungry, my stomach is bothering me and...we should probably stop by the store on the way home. 

So we did. Got home, peed on that silly stick and so many memories came flooding back. 

I handed it to Ty and he just stared. 

"So, if it has a + sign, it's positive?" he asked. 


The moment my eyes met the stick I had the same exact feeling I did when I found out with Sym. My stomach dropped the same way and my eyes welled with tears at the same pace. Instantly. 

OK. I looked at Ty, still reeling. This isn't possible. This isn't supposed to be possible. 

But God. :)

It seems His favorite thing to do is the impossible, because then we know, without a shadow of a doubt, it's from Him. 

It always is. 

Also, fun fact: The day after we told family, our old pregnancy announcement on FB resurfaced...but of course we couldn't say, "HEY GUYS NOT PREGNANT!" Because we totally were. #gotcha 

We're so ecstatic (and a little nervous) to add to our little family. Life in Austin has been amazing. This community has quickly become family. We're forming our tribe, and now we're gonna need them more than ever. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Want My Daughter to Know Why We Sing

I have a fear that one day my daughter might come to despise the church, without ever really knowing or discovering for herself what it stands for.

I've seen my fair share of pastors' kids or kids with any connection to the Church, turn their back on it all because of any number of reasons. Some, because of all the things it took away from them--recitals, dad at their ball games, family dinners, vacations, Sunday morning doughnut runs. Others, because of the chaos it comes with--fishbowl lifestyle, open home, early mornings and late nights.

I know some parents completely missed the signs; the warnings and cries for attention or help from their children. But some really, really tried. Like really.

That's what terrifies me.

I'm afraid I'll try my hardest to be balanced and still miss the mark.

So I started a journal. For her. Hopefully the first of dozens that I'll write in, pray over, cry through and laugh about.

It's just one more attempt to go out of my way to let her know, to let you know, sweet Symphony, why we get up early and stay up late, why we spend most every Christmas and Easter in the walls of a Church.

This is why you know your way around the sanctuary and church halls and where every bathroom and trash can are. This is why everyone you waddle past knows your name.

Because Jesus loves us.
He saved us.
We, me and your Dad, we shouldn't be here.
He wasn't planned.
I was supposed to be a sexual abuse statistic.
We are not supposed to be here, in this place, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

We made some bad decisions.
Destructive decisions.
Petty, self-righteous, and sinful decisions.


Trust me, that's some crazy good news.

We sing because we have to. 
We have to tell the world about this magnificent grace and love.
We have to show you that it's the most real thing you'll ever experience.

This is why we sing, and dance and act like crazy people on and off the stage.

Grace, love, peace.
Redemption, restoration.
It's all because of Jesus.

- - - - - - - - - -
Our family worships and serves at Shoreline Church in Austin,TX. If you're local we'd love you to join us! And tell us when you're here. Obvs :) 

^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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