Sunday, April 25, 2010

Alma Joy Kitchens...Happy 80th Birthday!

I’m a couple of days late for this post. I wanted to dedicate Wednesday to my Mamaw-K because she turned an amazing 80 years of age this past Wednesday. Well better late than never….

There once was a beautiful young lady who grew up in a town called Durham, AR. She was number 7 out of a total of 10 children. She was full of fire, just like any other Irish woman, smart and beautiful. She played basketball, played in creeks and broke young mens’ hearts. She grew up in the same town as my papaw, however they didn’t start “courting” until she agreed to “write” him after he was drafted into the war (War II). Interesting fact: we found out from Mamaw-K earlier this week, she was actually writing another guy at the same time and one of the reasons she married papaw was because he beat the other guy home! Can you believe that! Too funny! Yes, she loved papaw, but I told you she was a beautiful woman and quite the catch! We all laughed pretty hard when she told us and my mom and her sister both said in their very similar sounding voices, “Mother!” Too fun!

Anyways, Mamaw & papaw wrote each other for almost a year and saw each other only four times. I can only say what papaw wrote because he didn’t save Mamaw’s letters but we do know that he was very much in love with Alma whom he referred to as sweet little girl, sweetheart, baby, and my favorite, My dearest Dutchess. We don’t know where the Dutchess stemmed from but it was the most used for her. Our favorite part about the letters were learning things about Jake Kithens that even his daughters didn’t know and things Mamaw had forgiven.

It’s amazing what letters can do. They connected two people, which as the time was only while he was gone for the war. However decades and lifetimes later they are still connecting two people even though one is with our Lord. And BONUS, they originally were for only Mamaw and Papaw. Again a lifetime later they are connecting people who never met him (my husband and my cousins wife). Papaw’s words are touching Mamaw again. They are reminding her of his love for her even though he isn’t here to say them to her personally. They have renewed the fiery Irish woman he fell in love with and she has that “young woman in love” sparkle in her eyes all over again.

After the war was over (which papaw talks a little about in one of the letters) he came home and married Mamaw: again not just because they loved one another but because his best friend and one of her friends were getting married as well. So at the age of 16, Alma Joy married Raymond Jake at age 19. Again can you imagine ladies, being married at age 16. She wasn’t even out of High School yet. But what a life. They lived it all with buckets of memories, stories, adventures and blessings!

They were married 56 years when papaw past away. (3/4 of their life was together). The legacy of their marriage includes an amazing 56 committed years of marriage/two beautiful, talented daughters who are believers of Christ/found the the Grace of God together/4 grandchildren (all Christians), 2 great grandchildren with one on the way (my cousin not me…yet).

She has accomplished many of things such as almost 40 years being a professor and department head at the U of A/helped papaw manage all of his businesses/ dedicated to taking care of the babies in the nursery for decades at First Baptist Church/Volunteer at her church and Habitat for Humanity and so much more.

So here’s to you Alma Joy Kitchens! You have made a great deal out of your 89 years of life and inspire us all to continue to do something amazing with all that we have. To make the most out of all situations in life and no matter what happens in live to keep on keeping on. With all my love……

Mamaw opening my gift to her...a book made of all the love letters Papaw wrote her scanned and bounded into a book and entitled his term of endearment for her...
"To My Dearest Duchess"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

If I could, I would....BABIES!!!

It's not secret that Alex and I love love love children and if God willing we will take as many as He will give us. I even pray we will have twins (know, I hear all of you moms laughing out loud and thinking I'm crazy for praying for such a thing....will call me crazy but we both would just love love love it!)
However we truly feel, at least today, we are suppose to wait until Alex is out of school, which is really only a little over a year away (God willing)! I'm so proud of him! He has worked so hard for us and trying to do wonderfully in all of his classes, which he is! God really did give me an amazing man with that Alex Constien (swoon).

OK, so back to Babies. So to subside my desire and longing of babies,I have been thinking of baby names, nurseries, etc. We even a crib already! Alex and I went to this furniture close out thing and found a beautiful cherry finish ROUND CRIB! It was so a steal of a deal, that we went for it and bought it! That was fun telling our parents but trying not to get their hopes up since we weren't pregnant (they did great). It's similar to this one but slightly different.

I don't want to share names but I loved these nursery ideas and I just have to share, which one do you like the most and why?

The above room is so neat! I love it all
The ski lift and the wall of Colorado, would make a great boy room!

Ok, even though I love my round crib, but seriously this crib is a masterpiece! Plus the color scheme is so me!

Seriously, look at this crib!

I then I like canopies like this. Another thing I already have :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tis the Season to get married!

Today I got to try my hand at my first ever Engagement Photo Session. Thankfully the lovely couple was a blast to shoot and were patient with my first time jitters! Congrats to Mike & Missy on tying the Knot on May 7th at Stables on the Hill (which is where we took these pictures). It turned out to be a beautiful day to be with a beautiful couple. I have enjoyed watching these two grow closer to one another and now watching them start a life together. They have such a heart for God and I know they will Glorify God as the RAKE FAMILY. If you are interested in seeing the rest of the pictures go to the Album on Facebook.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not one more thing

This weekend was packed full of wonderful events. First Friday Night was the last Night of Worship for the Singles Ministry I work with for this semester. It was different from a regular Night of Worship, we asked Neil Greenhaw Band to play a Benefit concert to raise awareness and fund for our summer mission trips (New Orleans, Haiti, Guatemala). We had a great turn out at Trees at Waterside for the concert, raised some funds, prayed over the three groups going this summer and Neil lead us into a great time of Worship! What a blessing!

Then on Saturday I got to pull out my camera and takes some great pictures with my Marco lens (haven't done that in forever)

Then we celebrated my Mamaw Kitchens 80th birthday (which is really Wednesday, which I will talk more about her then). All of the family was there, including my cousin and his wife who are expecting their first!!! They have been trying for years and finally when they gave up, tada! Baby on Board!!! We are so excited for them and can not with to meet him or her! Mamaw loved it bc she had asked me for a baby for her birthday. Well she got her wife, just from a different grandchild. Thanks John!

Instead I got her a book that I made for her. When her and papaw first met he was being drafted for WWII so they wrote to each other for a whole year (like two letters a week or so) and she kept all of them! I got to read them by noticed they envelops were falling apart and some of the paper was as thin as tissue paper. So I spent 4 hours at Walmart one day scanning in all of the letters onto a CD (GREAT Customer Service by the way!), then edited/enhanced the photos on my computer and made a coffee table book on photo center. Then as her gift I gave her back the letters (which I had for over a year) and had her open the book. Here was her face!

I think she loved it! We sat and talked about papaw and how they saw each other only 4 times before they got married when he was released early than expected from the war and the ring he bought her was at the local drug store. She was 16 and he was 18 years old. They were getting married because their best friends were and then afterwards mamaw said she was going home. So papaw went with her. And back then the homes weren't a bunch of rooms so papaw slept with mamaw in a bed that was in the same room as her parents. Mamaw said she doesn't even think that papaw didn't so much as breath so that he wouldn't make a sound! We also talked about how papaw use to tell us stories all the time but would pass them off as the truth. We didn't know he wasn't telling the truth until years later! He loved pulling all of our legs! Great memories!!!

Sunday was a great day of chill time with Alex (which we desperately needed)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Stop It"

I have been attending a class at Fellowship called Principle of Care; which covers the aspects of Care Ministries. Today we talked about counseling and secular vs Christian psychology. right up my alley, I thoroughly enjoyed it! We talked through a book called Christian Caregiving: a way of Life by Kenneht C. Haugk.
But the part I most what to share with you is a video clip our teacher shared with us. It was a MAD TV skit on what counseling should be according to them. I don't know if it is because my major was Psychology and I counsel girls all the time the reason I, personally, find this THE PERFECT COMIC RELIEF FOR ME or what!!! You be the judge, let me know what you thing.........ENJOY!!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

God's Perfect Timing

Today I had one of those devotions where you can almost literally hear God Himself speak to you what He has been trying to tell you. Today was about trusting God and his timing. As you may, or may not know, my job requires me to lead a mission trip every year and this year, through a course of events, God has lead me towards Haiti. We felt like ten was a good number, so we reserved the spots but have yet to a complete roster. We usually set a deadline in hopes to know the teams and then start working on support raising, training, etc. Well that deadline was a week and a half ago and we are still lacking 2 people. We have 8 of the 10 spots filled and my heart skips a beat when worrying about who those other two people are.
My struggle is how I still worry even when God continues to give me confirmation when I begin to grow anxious. He obviously wants us to go help these people and work with Thirst No More (the non-profit we are going through). However, my flesh grows weak as I wonder how and when things are going to come all together. Will I do my Lord proud or will I fail Him? And even worse, when I start to worry with my boss is going to think of me instead of what God. I know shame, shame, shame, on my name.
However, this morning when I read my little Devo book, Grace for the Moment:Volume I by Max Lucado, I read, "Just in Time". Daniel 6:16 says, "May the God you serve all the time save you!"

It's from the story Daniel and the lions den and the king is praying for Daniel safety. Daniel fears not, in the mist of LIONS, that God is going to save him! Again, these are hungry, massive lions that could tear him to bits in seconds. Nevertheless, they didn't sidetrack him from praying to God and trusting that God knew what He was doing with Daniel. And what happened? Daniel lived to serve another day, all due to God's Perfect timing! Because our Lord could have saved him before even being thrown in with the beasts; but He didn't.
Which brings me to the second thing I read, "led by the Spirit". "True children of God are those who let God's Spirit lead them." Romans 8:14. Daniel was a true child of God because he didn't just read the word or talk about God, he allowed the Holy Spirit to move and led him in all that he did. He trusted the trinity and allowed the Spirit to guide him.....
Because, "His Will... be done", which is my final point I re-learned with God today. "May your kingdom come and what you want be done, here on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10. The thing is, God is so big, that we can't even begin to understand or describe the dynamic of Him. He the most powerful! He can and will do as His Will says. What we forget is that God allows us to be apart of the journey. He allows us to make our own decisions and to work along side of Him, but ultimately, if we don't choice to serve He will find someone else. And when we do accept the task we are to trust his Will.
So for me, if God desires for someone to go and help the people of Haiti along with 9 other people, He is going to provide everything we need in order to get there. So I need to keep my eyes on my Savior and let the Spirit be my guide. Because my God will never leave me nor forsake me and because is Seldom Early but NEVER LATE!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Would if I Could.....Chesapeake Bay Retriever

One of the things that Alex and I didn't have in common when we tied the knot was our love for certain pets. I grew up with cats around the house and Alex had dogs since he could remember. So when we got married we decided not to having any pets right away; we weren't really ever home anyways.

However, after about a 1 and a half, we found this sweet orange tabby kitten in the parking lot of our apartment complex. She was young, but old enough to be de-clawed and fixed. She was friendly and clean however there were some wield cats around and we were worried about her safety. So we kept her trying to find her owners but no one claimed her. So Alex, such the sweet husband he is, insisted we keep her. I tried to talk him out of it knowing he knew nothing of living with a cat and the first time she made a mess...I wasn't looking forward to it.

Nevertheless, we kept her and named her "Bitsy" because she was "itsy-bitsy" and she has been the sweetest thing. God gave us the perfect cat for Alex. She acts like a dog sometimes and they play all the time. So great!
Which brings me to my "IF I COULD I WOULD".....I would get Alex the puppy of his dreams.....

They are known as a happy and intelligent breed whose courage, working ability and love of water mesh best with active, outdoor-loving families. Their coats are short and come in three main colors. The above dark brown is close to the color that Alex wants. I can't stand how we don't have the time, room, yard, etc to get one for Alex. I pray every day that God allows us to get one for him. Until then, every where we go he plays with other people's dogs. Some day! Say a pray with me, I know God hears us and HE WILL PROVIDE!!!!