Monday, September 30, 2013

More on Being the Change

If you recall my post earlier this year about the 5k our family participated in, then you will understand that this is a continuation of what we can do to change the world around us. 

Pornography is a very real problem in our society. Scientists are studying the destruction it causes in young and not so young brains and are confirming the worst. Pornography changes the brain the same way an addiction to drugs can.  This article, written by a former editor of an "adult" magazine, gives very frightening (and *disclaimer* pretty graphic) statistics on the effects of pornography on children.  Specifically in England, the government has begun taking action to protect kids from internet pornography a number of ways. This inspired Unbound, the anti-human trafficking arm of our organization, to bring the fight to our soil. Why can't we do something about pornography right now? What's stopping us?


The answer is nothing. Nothing is stopping us. 

Sign the petition. Spread the word. Say no to pornography. 

It really is her hope. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Keep Hitting Repeat.

In our family, I am not the repeater. Even if I love a song, movie, food, etc. I'm pretty content to enjoy something once, maybe twice, and then I'm satisfied. Jake, however, will play songs over and over until I'm pretty sure I've gone insane. But he's perfectly happy to keep listening. Same with movies. I'm really hoping that I never have to see Paul Blart Mall Cop ever again...

Anyway, that's why this is so strange. I can't stop listening to this song.


This song is not new, and yet it touches me to the core every time I listen to it.

I feel like I am in a season where God is exposing a lot of my inner workings and struggles. I see things that need to change and I resist or I self-loathe or I mourn. I try to fix myself and fail. God is ever so gracious and tender with me but it leaves me feeling raw and, honestly, unlovable. I know I am loved, but I just can't imagine why. Do you ever feel like that?

But this song takes me full circle. I need God to show me all the unsurrendered and dark places in my heart. I have to trust that He is good enough and strong enough to bring me through deep transformation. I need Him to do that. I am too weak to do it on my own, but His spirit is strong and His love is great. And at the end of the day, He will not fail me. And He won't fail you either.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

So if you need a faith refresher in the form of a song, go ahead and hit repeat a few times. I'm with you on this one.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My PSA.

Now that it's been over a week and a half, I think I can tell you this story without emotionally traumatizing myself... again...

First of all, let me just say that I am pregnant. I am not blaming this on my son, per se, but pregnancy brain is a real thing y'all. Further, I'm not really sure I ever regained my normal cognitive processes after Harper was born. Even so, I never thought this would happen to me. I mean I'm a pretty together person; not very forgetful or absent-mined. All of that to say...

I locked my daughter in my car.

I didn't forget about her. I just didn't realize that the doors were locked when I threw my keys in the diaper bag and shut my door. Panic (in my head) ensued. Did I mention my phone was in the car, too? I was at the doctor's office (thankfully!) so there were a myriad of receptionists, nurses, and security guards/police officers to help me. Harper was the calm one in all of this. Playing peek-a-boo, waving at nurses, and trying to take her shoes off.  She whined one time in the whole 25 minutes she was looking at us through the window. When pop-a-lock, my hero, came the door was opened in seconds.  S/O to those guys! It used to take me the better part of an hour to break into my car. Anyway, Harper was completely fine (other than the fact that she had to have her temperature taken... rectally) and got apple juice for the first time since we were all worried about her.

So, my Public Service Announcement is this. Invest in the magnetic hide-a-key for your car, people!! You may never have a brain blitz as bad as mine, but wouldn't it be nice knowing that if you did there is a back up safety feature? And for those wondering, I NEVER leave my keys in the car anymore. If I can avoid those hours and days of feeling like the worst mother in world by keeping my keys in my pocket, then heck yes I'm going to do that.

And it's all about perspective. At the end of a really hard day, I can say that at least I didn't lock my kid in the car today.


*disclaimer*I am in no way trying to make light of the tragedy of children forgotten in the car. If you are a mother, father, grandparent, or ever have kids in your car for any reason, please check the back seat before you leave the car! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#sillystringfail

We thought that it would be September, at the earliest, before we found out the gender of Baby G #2.  It was pretty much killing us, though secretly we both thought it was a boy. Then, some really great friends of ours took us to get an early ultrasound the week after we got back from Utah and a month earlier than we were expecting. Thus began the brainstorming on ways we could share the big reveal with our families.  We did the balloon reveal with Harper and we thought it would be cruel to send a  video of us cutting a cake they couldn't eat... So we got creative. Here are the results.

video

Revealed the news, traumatized the baby.  #sillystringfail

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Wooden Anniversary

This is my and Jake's 5th anniversary. The traditional anniversary gift for this is wooden. so I'm anxiously awaiting my whittled flute or walking stick. (Hint hint...)
Five whole years.  Y'all, that's just crazy. Sometimes I still feel like, "OMGoodness, is he sure he wants to date me?" Other times I'm like, "did I exist before June 2008?"  Life is sweet being Mrs. Jake Griffin.  Not only are we living the dream of advancing the kingdom of God in Baton Rouge, but I'm living the dream of being married to the best person I've ever met.  In honor of my deary, here are the top 5 things I've learned from him.

5. Exercise is good. Well, I don't know if I've learned this yet, but sloooowly it is getting ingrained in my thick head... He is obsessed with being active. He not only thinks it's fun but he also sees it as being faithful in the little.  I like that about him.

4. It's always a good time to laugh. As Jake says, "if we aren't having fun, we're doing something wrong."

3. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.  My coach of a husband can't help but live his life this way.  Of course, we don't really believe in luck, but the principle stands.  Be prepared for whatever might come your way.

2. Drink strong coffee. If you can't chew it, it isn't strong enough.  I'm glad I can drink coffee like a man now.

1. Purposeful living. The man does not waste a second of his day.  He really is a good steward of his time, gifts, and passions.  He lives as a man that will give account for it.  I hope that I have picked up at least a sliver of this from him!  

We've done a lot together in five years- led trips around the world, bought a house, moved cities, started a family, gotten a dog, laughed, cried, and dreamed- and that just makes me excited for the next hundred. The best is definitely yet to come! 

Abigail 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer's High Five (so far)

It is summer! Hallelujah! I say that now, because I know that in about 5 minutes I'm going to be cutting my way through the humidity to get to my car everyday.  But until then... yay summer! We enjoyed spending Memorial Day at a family friend's pool with our team.  It was a blast.  Our pace of life has slowed down slightly and with that has come time to enjoy the little things in life.  Sno-balls, fans blowing my hair, and Harper's giggles.  Speaking of, there are all kinds of new things coming out of this child. Personality, opinions, and words galore.  Since I've slowed down, I've noticed a lot more of the sounds that I hear on a regular basis. One of the perks, I guess. And in the High Five Friday fashion, here are the top five things I hear everyday.

5. Barking. Ruby is a good guard dog and we have a fairly busy house, so she barks on the regular.  Thankfully, Harper has an immunity to this, I guess since she's heard it beginning in the womb.  She either gets excited about whatever Ruby is excited about or sleeps through it.  (but Ruby really isn't that bad of a barker, just so we're clear)

4. The ding-ding-diiiiiiiing of the microwave as I warm my coffee up 12 times.  Y'all, I can't drink a cup of coffee before it gets cold.  It's like a mental block or something.

3. The rattling of the condiments in the refrigerator door. Because it has super suction abilities and I have to literally put my entire body weight into the pulling motion sometimes.  It's weird, but it's kind of like a game.  Will I be able to open the door?  How many condiments will fall out?  How important is this milk?

2. A loud crash followed by innumerable Uh Ohs.  Harper, of course.  I dropped my cup on purpose, uh oh.  I threw your keys, uh oh.  I pushed everything off the coffee table, uh oh. And sometimes she just says it because she can.

1. DADADADA. Yelled, sometimes screeched, by Harper in extreme excitement. Most of the time, he's not even in the room. Never mama...

Griffin life is fun and now you have a little taste of it.

Abigail

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Very Good Place to Start

Let's take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? This route will take us way back to the beginning of this whole adventure.  Not to the 80's and 90's, which are arguably the best decades there ever were, but to 2009. The fall to be exact.

The question was, "would you be interested in planting a church in Baton Rouge?" My answer was, "no."  Simple question, simple answer.  Thankfully, Jake's answer was somewhere closer to yes and we agreed to pray about it.  I could have given you a long list as to why it was not for me, the least of which was that it wasn't glamorous enough (I knew so little back then...).  But since I had agreed to PRAY about it, I put my feelings aside and listened to Someone who is much smarter and more gracious than I am.  Consistently, Jake and I both felt like God was asking us a counter-question to our own.

Why not?

I came up with an even longer list of replies.

Because I've never even been to Louisiana.
Because I like Waco.
Because, I don't know about you, but I'm only 22!
Because I've only been married for a year and a half.
Because someone else would be so much better at it.
Because I'm not gifted enough.
Because I don't know if I'm ready.

And because God is gracious, He met me in those questions.  You see, those weren't really answers to God's questions; they were more questions for him.

Am I strong enough?
Am I able to do what you've called me to do?
Do you really want me to be only Jesus some people in Baton Rouge might ever see?

And He answered (again!) with a question.

Will you trust me?

If I'm being honest, I wanted to say no.  When I have about 2.1 million reasons to say no and one reason to say yes, it is a battle for me to feel confident. But that one reason to say yes was the Creator of the universe inviting us into an adventure with Him. I'd say that's the trump card of all trump cards.  

Sometimes, when I feel vulnerable and like my shortcomings will be on display, I still feel like saying no.  But it's in those moments that I try to remember the invitation God is giving me.

He is asking me to come and be weak so that He can be strong.
He is asking me to have a morsel of faith so that He can move mountains.
He is asking me to lay down a seemingly insignificant life so that the most important Person in the world can be glorified.
He is asking me to rest in His arms and leave the heavy lifting to Him.
He is asking me to leave my questions behind and commune with the one who is the Answer.

How can I say no to that?

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Kentucky Derby First Birthday

When I started looking for ideas for Harper's first birthday party, I was overwhelmed with the amount of cute themes. Make paper roses, they said.   Order a polka dot cake from this bakery, screamed the crowd. I mean, I'm just glad there wasn't Pinterest when I got married or I might have gone insane.
Well, I'm not super crafty (and I'm not rolling in the dough either) so my saving grace was the simplicity of a Derby-themed party (and the fact that Harper won't remember whether or not there were paper roses...).  We asked people to dress their Derby best and had the traditional spread of Hot Browns, Derby pies, and mint julep cupcakes. The extent of my craftiness was spray-painting plastic horses and making Oreo blue ribbon favors. Which, for the record, wouldn't have happened without my mom and I will never do again.  I think the kid really enjoyed the cake herself and everyone looked smashing! Here are some beautiful photographs taken by our talented friend Rebecca Guidry (thanks so much!!!).










same expression...










not interested in presents at all!

just a horse and his jockey








finally realizing she loves cake!











It was so fun to celebrate our little girl and a good excuse to dress up! Thanks to everyone who helped make Harper's first birthday an event to remember (for us anyway...)!

Abigail

Monday, April 29, 2013

12 Days of Harper: Twelve-bar Original

This is a series celebrating my babe's first year of life. One day for every month of her life leading up to her first birthday. If you've missed any of the fun, you can catch up on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth,seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh months and then mosey on back for the final posting!

Happy Birthday baby!!

This month flew by!! I can't believe we've reached the little lady's first birthday! This month, Harper started really cruising on the furniture or if we're holding her hands. She still prefers crawling, but we know she'll be walking in no time. She also started doing some sign language, shaking her head and just generally trying to communicate with us more. And because I know you've been too shy to ask, she has no teeth. And no signs of any either.... I know one day I will miss her toothless grin, but for now I'm just wondering if they're even in there. (The doctor assures me they are) We traveled back to the place of her birth Waco, all had fun celebrating her daddy's 30th birthday, and she welcomed her 3rd cousin, Emily Aileen, into the world. So much action for a one year old! Here's the photo documentation:






Thanks for journeying with us this year (and the last 12 days). We have loved every minute of the these months and can't wait for the next 12!! 

Abigail

Sunday, April 28, 2013

12 Days of Harper: Eleven O'Clock Tick Tock

This is a series celebrating my babe's first year of life. One day for every month of her life leading up to her first birthday. If you've missed any of the fun, you can catch up on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth months and then come back for the rest!

This month brought the beginning of Spring and more of our little lady's emerging personality. She's opinionated, funny, and very curious! She liked (and still does) to eat everything, including anything she could find on the floor... keeping mom on her toes and jumpstarting dad's gag reflex. Harper attended her first parade in Baton Rouge on St. Patrick's Day and was an excellent bead-winner. She, also, managed not to get hit in the head which is almost a miracle! Here's the ham:





I'm wrapping up the series tomorrow, so don't miss it! 

Abigail

Saturday, April 27, 2013

12 Days of Harper: Ten Long Years

This is a series celebrating my babe's first year of life. One day for every month of her life leading up to her first birthday. If you've missed any of the fun, you can catch up on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth months and then return for the rest!

 This was about the time in Harper's life that I began to think, "what happened to my baby?" She started crawling and realizing she was funny and communicating other ways than crying. It felt like forever ago when she was just a lumpy swaddled bundle sleeping on the couch. Suddenly, my days consisted of keeping said lump from crawling into the fireplace and eating the dog's food. In case you're wondering from yesterday's post, Harper gained weight... whole milk and peanut butter will do that to a person... Here's the little piglet in all her 10th month glory:





Daddy's girl! The countdown continues tomorrow.

Abigail

Friday, April 26, 2013

12 Days of Harper: Love Potion Number Nine

This is a series celebrating my babe's first year of life. One day for every month of her life leading up to her first birthday. If you've missed any of the fun, you can catch up on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth months and then return for more goodness!

A new year and so many new skills to master. But before she could do that she needed to gain weight. She stayed a measly 13lbs at her 9 month check-up.  And let me tell you, it wasn't because she didn't like to eat.  The girl never stopped eating.  She enjoyed her first New Year's meal of black-eyed peas and cornbread and never looked back.  Also, huge breakthrough, she started liking baths.  Like shrieking, splashing, laughing kind of enjoyment.  If any of you are keeping up with her development, she still had not started crawling.  And I was enjoying my life with a child that stayed in one spot.  Here's the tiny 9 month old:






Check back tomorrow to see if she gained any weight...
Abigail