Monday, January 22, 2018

What a Weekend

The weekend of January 21st will be unforgettable to our family forever. Its unforgettable fate was set in stone last year when Jax asked Jesus to be Lord of his life and we planned his baptism on the weekend our family could come celebrate with us (January 22). We had no idea what else that weekend held. In the wee hours of the morning on January 21st, a tornado ripped through our safe sweet City of Petal. Little did we know what a blessing it would be to have family here with me and the boys so that #PreacherHubs could spend the day serving, loving, & ministering to countless families who had just lost their home. Our church was opened up as a headquarters for first responders, a shelter to the suddenly homeless, & the very next week it also became Petal Upper Elementary School (during that time I took great pleasure in calling Dustie, "Headmaster Dumbledore").
Later that Saturday, #PreacherHubs & the ministerial staff had to make a decision on what to do for church the next day. They all decided that we would have church. If there was ever a time to worship and praise God, it was then! In the midst of the destruction and devastation, not one life was lost. D & I also decided to go ahead & proceed with Jax’s baptism. On Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 our son was able to preach his first sermon & tell our church family & many visitors from the city that the God we were all worshiping & praising & thanking for His mighty hand of protection; THAT GOD was the Lord of His life!
It has been beautiful to see my Heavenly Father love on and reveal Himself to my child. One day, months later, our contemplative Jax asked me a hard question. He said, “Why did God let the tornado come through Petal?”
I thought, “Help me, Jesus.” so, of course, He did. I told Jax that that was something even adults struggled with understanding. For ages, the question has been around, “Why do bad things happen?” I explained that we don’t have the same perspective that God does, so there are some things that we may never fully understand. But then I told him to look at the situation with me through our earthly eyes: no lives were lost, we met many new people and made new friends, we were able to tell our new friends about Jesus, many were saved, many who did not have a church home now call our church their home, we get to see the beauty in each home that is rebuilt or restored, our entire city got a healthy reminder that we are not in control of things (especially me!)& so many other great things have come from this tornado that we saw as a really bad thing.
One year later, we continue to see God’s mighty hand making all things new. Yesterday (on the anniversary weekend) we broke ground at our church to begin a rebuilding & renovation process to prepare for “those yet to come.” This is something that began as a vision from God & continued to grow through years of prayer, research, and planning. I love that the ground breaking fell on this weekend - I know it was not a coincidence. Year after year it will be a reminder that God redeems all things!
2 Corinthians 5
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” v 17

Monday, November 13, 2017

He is My Plenty

I want to share from my Quiet Time today. I'm reading through the Psalms right now &, amazingly, today's focus was giving thanks.
God is so cool, y'all. He's not at all surprised that I'm reading this the week before Thanksgiving.
These words spoke to me so loudly; I wanted to share in case someone else needed to hear it.

Give Thanks in Plenty
Psalms 23-24; John 10:11-18; Acts 1:9-11

It seems so simple: give thanks in plenty. That's what those cornucopia centerpieces adorning our tables at Thanksgiving are all about, right?

I'm relatively well versed in bowing my head when times are good. I return thanks at mealtime for the food set before me and for the hands that prepared it. I have lived my life thanking the Lord when my needs were supplied - when college acceptance letters arrived and job offers were received, when the harvest was good and the report card was favorable, when the touchdown pass was completed, and that time I made it to the gas station just before the remaining fumes in my gas tank were exhausted.

"You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows." Psalm 23:5

Literal plenty makes a whole lot of sense to me - to all of us. We know it when we see it. We slap a "blessed" on the gifts we've been given, knowing full well Who the Giver is.

But I can't imagine that's where we ought to land. I don't think that's it. 

The truth is, plenty is oh-so-much more than moments and mail and meatloaf. "Plenty" does not equal prosperity, just as "want" does not equal poverty. Our circumstances are not situated on a sliding scale from famine to abundance, and we would be sorely mistaken to allow our thanks to take a ride on that hypothetical scale.

For the believer in Christ, plenty and want are both constant states of being.

Yes, we all have real, felt needs. And we have noticeable, tangible blessings. But beyond the surface - in light of eternity - our constant state is a want of grace, and God is our constant and plentiful supplier.

He is our plenty. Our overflowing cups have absolutely nothing to do with bank accounts, or people, or horn-shaped centerpieces. They do not overflow with success and they do not empty with failure. Our cups overflow with the grace and mercy of an everlasting God - they overflow because there is always more than we can ask or imagine. This is our plenty.

Wherever we find ourselves on the worldly poverty-to-prosperity scale, let us see ourselves in constant want of His grace and ever in possession of an overflowing cup of mercy from an all-sufficient God. And let us give thanks.

"Think how much grace one saint requires, so much that nothing but the Infinite could supply him for one day; and yet the Lord spreads His table, not for one, but many saints, not for one day, but for many years; not for many years only, but for generation after generation." CH Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

From the She Reads Truth Bible 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

June is for Partying!!

June was chock-FULL of fun & excitement! 

Grab a snack if you're getting ready to check out this blog post & have some fun with the Dunns!

I love seeing all the fun things the boys come up with. Here, John made a home for Jeb.

We always have lots of fun in Daddy's office before Wednesday night church!
(Daddy LOVES it!)

The boys took swimming lessons at the beginning of summer.

This is how I survive busy weeks. Planning! 
These are the outfits (shh...don't tell Dustie I called them "outfits" the boys will wear the week of VBS. Also, people usually ask me about the boys' clothes as if it's hard work to find matching clothes for them. Their matching clothes make my life SO much easier! I just buy their 3 sizes at the same stores. (Carters, TJ Maxx, Ralph Lauren) Then, when I need to pick out clothes for the boys to wear, I pick out ONE outfit instead of three. It's really so much easier.
I say all that to say, these matching days are numbered. Jax is pretty much over matching (I get it, I don't blame him,  I knew the day would come.) But I told him that he has to wait until he outgrows this size because that's all he owns! ha!

Sunday Funday!

Sunday Funday visit from some sweet friends!

VBS Day 1 - The boys are ready to be SUBMERGED!

We are always so blessed with the greatest teachers!

Submarine Parking!
We had a wonderful week at PHBC VBS!

Because we're crazy (& because of our crazy life schedule) we had Jax's birthday party Thursday night during the week of VBS. He wanted an arcade-themed party.

What an exciting adventure!
Check out a snippet of the adventure:

Cupcakes with cookies on top!

Even the birthday song was an adventure:
Here's a view of Jax during the song:

What a fantastic turn-out to celebrate our Jaxy!

These precious ladies below are the answer to many prayers prayed over Jax by, not only me, but also friends & family. We have been gifted with women who have invested in Jax's life to help him in developing intellectually, developing his character, & (just from their overflow) developing spiritually.
It meant SO much to us that they took the time to come celebrate Jax's birthday with us.

Ms. Wanda was Jax's preschool teacher. We love that Ms. Wanda is part of our faith family at church & we get to see her all the time. She continues to motivate Jax & cheer him on. She was Jax's VBS teacher for VBS. Jax LOVED IT. Ms. Wanda spent all week with kids & then chose to give up a night to do it some more. We just love her so much!! 

Mrs. Robinson was Jax's kindergarten teacher. She won our hearts over on the first day. Jax walked in (pretty nervous, but tried to hide it). She whispered to him, "Are you a little nervous?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Don't worry. I'm a little nervous too." (Cue this Momma's ugly-cry!)
What a wonderful school year it has been! Mrs. R was a fantastic kindergarten teacher!! She took the time to know my kid & how he learns, how his mind works, & to know him personally. 
I could go on & on, but I think it speaks well for her that she gave up a night of her summer break to celebrate her former student. We love Mrs. Robinson!!

Finally, we just HAD to have Ms. Myers come to the party! Ms. Myers (I wish I could spell the silly way Jax started saying her name. M'Myers?) was the TA in Jax's class. From early in the school year, Jax found a super sweet bond with Ms. Myers. They have similar joyful, sweet personalities. He really thinks of her as one of his best friends. :)
She also took the time out of her summer break to celebrate with us. We love Ms. Myers!!

Thank the Lord for friends who love you enough to help you with your kids' parties!
Deanna (& Nita) not pictured are always such amazing support at my kids' things- photographers, cake servers, husher-uppers, wranglers, organizers, I could go on & on! So thankful!

& yes, Deanna's daughter, Emma, hit the jackpot on one of the games! So fun!!

Yay for Jax's birthday!

Oh no, don't even try to think the celebrating was over!
We still had to have Jax's family party on his actual birthday.
Jax chose dinner & a movie at the house. (That is so Jax's personality to want to stay home.)

He requested chocolate cake with strawberries on top.
He always wants homemade, dreamed-up creations for his cake.

& finally, the traditional donut-cake Sunday School birthday celebration!


Oh friends, the summer partying has only just begun!

The following week, Jax & John went to stay with Pops & Belle Belle at Camp GranDunn!
They went for some fun family time & to go to VBS with their cousins.
I sent a note for them each day.

The notes were tucked away in the bag with their outfit for that day.
When I got their bags back, the notes were still in their outfit bags, untouched.
haha! Oh, to be a boy-mom...

The boys had the best time with their cousins!

Granny & Aunt Beth came by for a visit one day!

The boys had the greatest time!
So thankful for our precious family!!

The Women's Ministry had a fun game night.

We collected games for the Big Brother/Big Sister program.

We had another fun visit from sweet friends.

We had a fun Father's Day!

D never really wants anything, nor does he buy anything for himself, nor does he ever shop, so we got him a few (much needed) clothing items!

Fun socks make me happy! Yay for shark socks for Shark Week!

Dustie & his mini-mes on Father's Day!

Lil Jebber is such a Daddy's Boy.

We had dinner at Cracker Barrel for Father's Day.

Pacely and I started a Summer Bible Study!

I love my P Diddy!

John started wearing patches for a couple of hours a day to strengthen his right eye.

Time to celebrate John's birthday!

One of his interests/obsessions is golf, so he wanted a golf party.
We decided to party at the new indoor mini golf place.

Sweet JohnJohn!

We had a great time celebrating John!

& celebrating John some more!
John chose to go to a movie at the theater for his birthday 
& then do the rest of the celebrating at home.

Their birthday choices fit their personalities perfectly.
Jax loves to stay at home, often keeps to himself, & he chose to watch a movie at home.
John loves to go, go, GO! I always say he has his "go-pants" on.
His celebration definitely involved going out somewhere!

Later that day we had dinner & cake & presents at the house.

John wanted chicken nuggets & mashed potatoes for his birthday dinner.
A big part of his special dinner request was to eat his mashed potatoes with the beater. :)

John wanted ice cream cake for his cake & dinosaur cookies.

John got a few presents that were shipped from the grandparents.
He got a couple of small things from his brothers.
Here, he got a big bag of gourmet gummy bears. He was in heaven.

John's gift from me & D was to go to Jurassic Quest.
John loves all things dinosaurs - especially blue stegosauruses! 
When we found that this fun event was coming nearby, 
we knew it would be the perfect birthday gift for John.

We love our sweet 4 year old boy!!

& finally, John took a donut cake to his Sunday School class!

Jax missed his friend, Kaylee's, birthday party because he had his baseball tournament that day, so we planned a fun playdate for them & their little siblings.

Poor guys always have to run errands with their Momma.
Also, Jeb insisted he wear his bear slippers this day. Haha!
I just pick my battles...

A Jebber super happy to be eating a dinosaur cookie.

& our final party for June...SHARK WEEK

Shark Week was much earlier than usual, we almost weren't prepared to party.

We are thankful for our life & are crazy blessed to have the greatest people to spend it with.

We hope you find something to celebrate every day!