Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Discovering a field of flowers...

We finally found a few minutes to go play in the bluebonnets and the girls had a sweet time.....

It's neat watching their different personalities in a field of flowers. Brylee sees the entire field and runs across it....

Cerly picks one spot and focuses on the details of the flowers...

Audree didn't move...she wasn't sure where she was...

Discovering and learning about new things is fun. Experiencing things for the first time is exciting too. Loved the playful time in the flowers....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fight hard & Love deeply.

I laid down last night and my mind was a circus. This is nothing unusual for me as many of you know. Night time has been a struggle for me for a long time. Sleeping is hard. Resting is hard. Trying to find clarity at the end of each day is hard. Regardless of whether it has been a beautiful day or a day where my sinful flesh took over, the end of the day always looks the same. My head hits the pillow, I think, I try to understand what I did well and what I could have done better, I pray...the list is endless.

Last night my mind went to the last time I really cried hard. I have never been afraid to cry, and there have been times in my life where I have cried more often than I would have liked, but lately the tears have been stuck. It just doesn't happen often right now so when it does it is for a good reason and I remember it well.

The last time I really cried hard was about a week ago. Brandon and I were talking and I desperately wanted him to understand a part of my heart that really mattered to me. The more I tried to explain it, the more I cried. The need inside of me for him to "get me" was strong and my emotions began to take over. All I could do was cry. Sometimes we feel things so strongly inside but we find it difficult to put those feelings into words. I tend to struggle in these moments because I want others to be patient with me until they get my feelings but this doesn't always happen. Not everyone gets me all the time like I desire.

After a few attempts to share my heart I decided to tell him how I wanted to be remembered when I am gone. I thought this might help him understand why I spend my time the way that I spend it in regards to loving and serving women.

When I think about my funeral, my only prayer is that people sitting in the chairs listening will think and feel one thing. I want them to feel different and challenged because of how God used me in their life. I want them to sit there and smile at the good times we shared but more than that I want them to remember the moments where God shined through different seasons in the life of our friendship.

My heart overflows daily with love for others, especially women. Over the last few months I have been broken and have come to place of complete humility. God has allowed me to see that I am just as human as everyone else and it is only by His grace that He can use me to help others. It's a good reality check for anyone, but especially for leaders. He's using my weaknesses to grow me and to show me that it is never my place to judge another soul. As much as I wish I were different, I am not. I struggle, I have thoughts that I shouldn't have, I have a past that is far from perfect, I lose my patience as a mother, I fall short as a wife and my flesh fails me at times. I allow the wounds of my past to interfere with Gods truth and I have to wake up each day ready to fight against an enemy who desperately wants to take me out.

So I get it. Life happens to me just like it does you but at the end of the day all I think God cares about is whether or not we loved and served Him in the midst of our weaknesses. And I do. I may fall over and over in different areas in my life but I fight hard and I love deeply. I wake up each day with an added pressure to do my best because God has called me to lead. He doesn't require perfection but it is more difficult when I fall short since there are many eyes on me.

I spend a large portion of my time investing in women because that is where my heart is. When God called me to women's ministry He was clear. There were moments of difficulty and I wanted to run from that calling but God used key people in my life to assure me that I was in the right place.

I try not to think about when my funeral will be or whether it will be sooner or later but I often think about the hearts God allows me to connect with and how they will remember me when I am gone. I allow myself to be very transparent and vulnerable most of the time because that is when God can shine even brighter. It's humbling to think that He uses me to carry out His will when He knows all of me and all of my shortcomings. It's a huge reminder that only He can take broken and make it beautiful. I know this because my choices throughout my life have often times led to brokenness but yet through years of hard work He has been able to put the pieces back together so that beauty could be seen again.

Tears continued to fall from my face as I ended my conversation with Brandon. Brandon has known me since I was 12 years old, and he knows everything about me, but as we grow we change. My heart has taken a turn this last year and trying to express change can be hard. But he listened and he tried to understand me the best he could. One of the last things I said was this.....

The only way that all the pain of my past will have meaning is if I allow God to use me to help others who are hurting too. It is what I am called to do and I want to spend the rest of my life doing it.

That's my heart and it is not changing. We don't get to choose when our time is up here on earth but we do get to choose how we number our days. Lets not strive to perfect...lets strive to fight hard and love deeply.

I saw this picture last night and it allowed me to see myself in a different way, from a different angle. Sometimes it's important to remember that others are watching, from all angles, and they are desperately searching for the light that can only be found in Jesus. When we fight hard and love deeply then I believe that we shine.

post signature

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter weekend pictures

Lots of pictures from Easter weekend with our families before the week gets away from me! 

We are very fortunate to have precious families that love us and our children so much. 

The first half is of our time with Brandon's family and the second half is with my family :) Enjoy!

Can you guess who dressed up as Peter this year?! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter baskets!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. The Horton girls did and they sure enjoyed the fact that the Easter bunny came. Kinda like Christmas for me and them both!

Just a few more pictures from this morning. Have a great night!

Easter Sunday 2014

Easter Sunday is about grace, fresh starts and second chances. Today I am thankful for Gods unconditional love and for His sacrifice on the cross so that we can have hope and everlasting life in Him. 

Happy Easter! 

Love, The Horton Family

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A very Good Friday.

We spent our Good Friday with lots of little people, crafts, an egg hunt and an Easter bunny and it was so much fun. As I watched all the kids run around I thought..."Nothing makes me happier than to see children running around my house filled with joy!" They are so genuine and all the efforts put into things are always so worth it when I see them smile. 

We started off by decorating eggs and turning them into animals. I was pretty impressed with some of the outcomes!

Once we were done with the craft the kids saw Peter on the porch and they loved watching him hide all the eggs. Peter is our friend that visits several times during Easter. We love him! 

It was a very Good Friday. 
I pray that everyone has a very special Easter weekend!