Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saying goodbye before we even said hello...

Rough weekend can we be joyfully anticipating this January, but still mourn for you? You'd think I'd break apart to have such conflicting emotions at the same time. You would have joined our family here on earth tomorrow, most likely. I still ache to hold you, to have gotten to know you, to argue with Kelly over who you looked like and what you'd be like. I'm excited to meet your little brother or sister, but you can and will never be replaced. I love you, my angel baby, and I can't wait to meet you past the gates one day...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Family Kelly Blessed Me With - Forever Grateful

This weekend has been full of Hartzell family fun. What a blessing. When I married Kelly (in fact, even well before), this wonderful group became as dear to me as my own flesh and blood. There was never a doubt with Grandma and Grandpa Hartzell that they considered me one of their own from the get-go. I have been led and mentored by the women of this family in ways I can never repay. I have been loved and encouraged by the men in this family, and I am so thankful.

I love each and every one of these people, and I cherish the time we can get together. We are spread far and wide these days, and it had been four years since the last big reunion, but it is like no time had passed on nights like this. Our children played freely, learning all about their cousins that they know more through Facebook than in person. The cousins caught up and reminisced, all at the same time! The older generation shared in all the fun, but also just sat back and savored...many probably thinking how very much Grandma and Grandpa would have loved this. It was on my mind, as well. It doesn't matter that they have been gone for these last several years...when you walk through the woods, or sit on the carport, or go down the main hall in the house...they are still there. This family is so exceptionally special. I'm privileged to be a Hartzell.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Growing up so fast...

For those of you who don't know, Connor is playing football for the first time this year. Wow, it is intense! Practices four nights a week, for three to four hours each. They are working hard, and it is VERY hot out there! :) The Lighthouse Christian Chargers coaching staff are godly men who have an intense desire to make these young men stronger on the field and off. With Christ at the center of the program, they demand excellence, endurance, and commitment. They don't allow bullying, negativity, or mediocrity. You give it all you have, and you give it for the Lord. I'm honored to be a part of the Chargers family, and to have a boy on the field who is learning as much about how to walk with Jesus as he is about football.

I was so proud of my boy today. He was sick with a headache before football practice yesterday, but it passed. He had a very rough night at practice - first one in full gear - and got sick twice. I was so worried he would hate it, or be embarrassed, or say the dreaded Q word, but he toughed it out and finished strong. He came home talking about what he would do differently today to be more ready for tonight. He is one tough cookie. To quote his Uncle Matt, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog. ‪He really is growing up too fast...

Friday, August 1, 2014

I was 19, Kelly was 20. We will celebrate 17 years Saturday, and baby #7 (with one waiting for us in heaven) will arrive the end of January. I wouldn't change a thing. We've grown up together, we've learned life lessons together. We've struggled and celebrated and failed and succeeded in all areas of our life - parenthood, careers, ministry - together. He is my life, my love, my best friend. He drives me completely bonkers! He calms my soul. He holds me, he challenges me, he encourages me, he leads me. I was 17 when I fell in love with this amazingly stubborn, opinionated, hard-working and discerning country boy, and I'm so thankful God brought us together so young. We have had more years together than apart already, and so many more ahead! We are indeed abundantly blessed.

This article is so well written, and told from a perspective I can totally understand and relate to. I don't know about every couple that marries young, but I truly believe that discouraging young couples to marry is not the right thing to do. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Unfortunately, divorce is not something looked at as negative as it once was. But I do know this: marrying young and growing up together gave us opportunities to learn more about one another and ourselves than waiting could ever have done. Read it, and see for yourself.