The Pictures Between the Pictures


Easter has come and gone and I hope it’s obvious our primary, over-arching focus was joining once again in the death, burial and resurrection of the Risen Lord.  But let’s all be honest with ourselves and admit as gifts are to Christmas so outfits are to Easter.  True to form I was shopping at 11:00 pm Saturday night trying to find clothes in a color palette that coordinated enough to satisfy me without matching too much for the teenagers.  You’d better believe after all that heartache I wasn’t about to let the day get away without a few pictures.  It didn’t take long for Luke and I to decide the pictures between the pictures tell the truer Story of Us.



Show me your best side.




Not you, Bailey.  That is inappropriate.  You are embarrassing Sawyer. (Don’t look, son.)







It’s important to clarify which kid you are talking to when instructing on how to stand like a girl.



Syd’s laugh.  It cures all that ails.  Except Sam’s head.



You didn’t believe me, did you?  Please look at that face and just try to have a bad day.




This is the picture we were going for.  Almost.  We have some eyes closed.



And…. better.




And yet these poses lasted only a moment.  I like to call this one, “I Crack Myself Up”.




This laugh.  It cures all that ails.  Wait, don’t I have another kid with that same super power?



And my favorite…the rare photo where all six of us are on the same side of the camera.  The better shot would have been the one of me sprinting across the yard to beat the timer in stiletto heels.  Easter is work, man.

As much as the Resurrection deserves profundity,  I will instead leave you with the simple truth that I look at this picture and am so incredibly grateful to God who died for us and lives in all 6 of us.  He lives for us while we are putting a great deal of effort in to having it all together but He works best in us in those pictures between the pictures where are most authentic selves are revealed.

It took some time but I’ve learned to love and embrace those moments the most.

Please remind me I said that next year if you see me shopping at 11 p.m. on Easter Eve.


April 7th, 2014 is the 24th anniversary of the day Luke and I said, “I do.”  It is just ridiculous to believe that many years have passed considering he and I had just started dating as his parents were about to celebrate their own 25th year together.  So basically, they were the age we are now as they planned a party to celebrate what seemed an impossible milestone in a life together.  And yet, here we sit on opposite sofas in a home God gave us enjoying the simplicity of Sunday’s postlude after serving a church that was no where on our radar when we walked the red-carpeted aisle and promised each other our forever’s.

The marriage that began in unchartered waters now has the safety of much exploration.  Because of this there are some things I can now count on as known points on the map.  Our lives are rich with friends but if that were not the case and every person on this earth failed me, this one would not.  Luke is steady.  To some a certain amount of predictability may translate “boring”. To me it spells faithful, trustworthy, and true.  Aside from God, this man is north to me when I feel confused, lost, and vulnerable.  He is an amazing father who teaches me daily what it looks like to be a student of our children and to learn their ways so we can love them and connect best to their unique personalities.  He is a selfless pastor whose mind is on the people he serves day and night.  He is a friend to the friendless and takes the time to see straight into the hearts of people who stopped believing long ago they deserved to have anyone care that deeply.

I am one of those people.

I do not know what I did to merit a love like that.  The more I think of it, my marriage is grace.  God knew what I needed, who I needed, and gave him to me as protector, provider, and friend.  I am humbled for the privilege of being a helpmate to him.

I love you, Luke McKay.  Here’s to 24 more.

(And maybe one of these years we will get to make that trip out Route 66.  Or Jerusalem.  Surprise me.)






Riding the Storm Out

I am piled up on the sofa under more than one blanket while the Great Winter Storm of 2014 continues outside. Luke just walked out to measure the snow and howled at the moon because CABIN FEVER.  Really, he’s hoping our neighbors heard it and rushed to the window to see what mysterious creature made such a horrifying sound.  Calm down, y’all.  I know these are frightening times but tonight, it’s just your pastor.

Yesterday was really the better play day because the snow was just the right kind for building.  For the kids anyway.  It was just right for me to try to get a couple of pictures of them because who knows the next time the South will be in the center of the Polar Vortex?

This is my nephew, Jake.  He’s hanging out with us a few months until his sis, Shelby, gets back from St. Jude.  His assignment for the day was to back away from the Playstation and build himself something from that cold white stuff on the ground.


He worked and worked.  And worked some more.  We decided unanimously he had built a seagull.  Could it be more awesome?  (Dear Children’s Services,  at one point I promise he was wearing gloves.)


The other guys weren’t as thrilled that I had a camera lens stuck in their face.



“Mom!”  And then he rushed me.


Come at me, bro.


I asked Sam to hug his sister for a picture.  Rather, he tackled her.  He is no snow angel.


Sydney, in happier times.


We bought her a Snowman Kit for Christmas never dreaming she would have the chance to use it which explains the perfect, though deceptive, carrot nose.  It is plastic.  Her snowman had a little work done. (Where are your gloves?!)


And lo, there was a snowman out in the field, keeping watch over the house by night.


 I’m leaving this guy on guard because I have to admit my Freak Out Level has been elevated with all the apocalyptic weather warnings just on the heels of the interstate icy-road disasters in larger southern cities.  Tell me the power may go out and my mind goes straight to anarchy and zombies and how if we were Amish we wouldn’t worry about living with no power and is there really an Amish Mafia?  Something tells me Lebanon Levi doesn’t stand a chance in World War Z. (In fact, Luke and I discussed today that even I could probably beat him up.)  And then there’s food.  How long will my pantry last with a house full of teenagers?  Sam can hunt and fish but we only have one box of ammo.  We’d be good for a little while but then what? THEN WHAT?

See. Freak Out.

This is why I’m glad to have a husband who howls at the moon.

Pretty sure no zombie would mess with that.



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