Happy Monday, friends.  How was your weekend?  Mine was so much better than last since we didn’t have to spend hours searching for a missing kitten in the rain and cold, mourning his loss.  This weekend was quite the opposite, actually, like a little kiss from Heaven.  Matt and the boys ran errands together for a bit on Saturday, giving me the quiet time I needed to sit down and get going on my photobook for September thru December.  I decided to go again with what we talked about last time photobooks came up, and design a Blurb book.  This time my process was even a bit easier and I may be getting the hang of it.  And, my obsessive-can’t-think-about-anything-but-my-current-project-self ended up working on it all day until it was finished.  798 images, 239 pages (the max is 240!).  I’m THINKING about adding journaling, but I fear that would push ordering it out until it is time to design my next one.  So, we’ll see about that.

Sunday after church we did our grocery shopping then climbed the hill home, emerged from the fog that was settled in town. After lunch with these left-overs (best soup ever), I went outside to try to get Millie (our black and white kitten) off of my trellis and noticed that my clematis was blooming out and I realized I had to cut it back.  Thus began the rest of my day.  This is just how I am now, more and more as I get older.  Get me started on something and I just.can’t.quit.  Again, I’m the obsessive-can’t-think-about-anything-but-my-current-project type of gal.  So I gardened all day until I could grip and squeeze my pruners anymore.  Now, here I sit now, on the front porch with Matt, watching the sheep try to further prune my newly blooming candy-tuft as the sun is going down.  Love it.

Along those lines of being hooked on something, let’s talk more about Bible journaling!

Exercise, drink coffee and Bible Journal:  That’s my morning.  Homeschool, make meals, clean of some sort, Bible Journal: That’s the rest of my day.  😀  With ‘interacting with my family’ mixed in there as well.  😉

I am so incredibly hooked on this.  This morning in church I was thinking about why that is and aside from it just being fun to write in neat way, it is this circular cycle with the Word of God. This is generally how it goes:  I think about the verse I want to do via either a verse I have thought of from memory, or from a pin of a verse I have on Pinterest or maybe one that our pastor referenced in a sermon.  OR, one that popped out to me in the process of journaling.  The process moves onto writing out the verse in pencil, then pen, then coloring it in, all the while pausing to re-read the verse, read the chapter it is in, read onto other chapters before and after … and pretty soon I find myself saying, “OOH, that’s a good one!!”, “Ah, I love that verse!”, “Yes, that one, too…”.  Then I have at least 3 more verses (or chunks of verses) that I’m excited to focus on next time.  And all along as I’m reading, hearing God’s Word, I’m completing this cycle by penning it back into the Bible.

I do not go as far as to paint or use stickers or anything like that on my pages.  Simply words, pens, and colored pencils do the trick for me.  I get so into the words that I can’t imagine doing anything different.  I get SO into the words, in fact that I’m having to use inserts (Project Life 4×6 cards, attached with washi tape) just to get them all in.  

And then sometimes, the two columns AND an insert are already filled so I’ll jump to a random page in a more ‘historically informative’ chapter to write one in, like I did here in Amos.  

But low and behold, there is GREAT stuff in Amos, too!  

I just can’t get enough of my Bible and spending time in God’s Word, and am so excited to feel that for the first time in my life.   I’m finally grasping this: how are we supposed to know the truth and be able to identify the lies in this world if we don’t spend time in the truths that God gives us in His book?  ♥

♥ Joshua 1:8  ♥

Have a wonderful week and thank you as always for visiting!

You Might Also Like:

  • Mom - Incredibly gorgeous. So glad to know your weekend was better and “all the creature great and small” are all accounted for. :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Thank you. :) I thought of you while I was finally updating them!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - First off I have to say your journaling is beautiful. It inspires me to dive deeper into my Bible reading!

    I do have a question on your Blurb book. When you ordered what paper choice did you use? Does it hold up to little kids turning pages?ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Brittany! Thank you! I just used Premium Matte for my paper. It is one of the options in Lightroom so I kept it simple and went with it. My boys don’t go through the books very often so I don’t know how it will hold up with lots of looking, but it sure seems really durable and the pages are not flimsy at all. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Lacey, these are just fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • Mom - BTW, I love your newly updated website photos :)ReplyCancel

  • Carol - You are SO talented! Love the scripting! It will become a keepsake for your boys someday!ReplyCancel

I’m so excited to share this story with you.  If you are a prayer, it’ll confirm the power of what you’re doing (or, actually, in the One you’re praying to)… if you’re not a prayer yet, hopefully this will encourage you to become one. ♥

eveningwalk-110

This past Saturday, Gage and I were driving home from running errands and having a little Mama-Son date and as we drove along the road to our house, just before getting to our driveway we saw Matt’s pick-up parked on the side of the road.  “Strange,” we thought.  Now, as you recall, we live in the country, so “just before our driveway” is dense forest.  I slowed down as I passed his truck, then glanced in my rear-view mirror and saw him, Cooper, Kaden, and Charlie emerging onto the road, out of the woods, waving us down.

Looking exhausted, sad, concerned, and frantic.

“GusGus jumped out of my truck and is lost in the woods,” Matt said.

“What was he doing in your truck??” I asked, figuring he jumped out of the window or something …

“Hiding in the engine, I guess.  I starting picking up speed so the hay would blow out.  I looked in my rear-view mirror to watch it, and told the boys to look back because it looked like a tornado flying out the back and then I saw him fly out from under the truck.  He flipped a bunch of times and then got up and ran into the woods.”

My heart.  Oh, my heart sank.  Gage and I drove home quickly, changed into our boots, drove back and joined in the search.  They’d already looked for 45 minutes, and we stayed out there until the boys were soaked up to their knees and couldn’t feel their hannies anymore from the cold.  We’d searched, we’d called, we’d covered over an acre of dense woods who’s floor is covered one after another with downed trees, and thousands of huge bunches of ferns.  The piece of land is on a steep hillside that slants down from the road and comes to a rest at the raging creek.

It was wet, it was cold and what had started as a hopeful, “we just have to find him” search turned into a “how can we possibly find him out here?” search.  We prayed and prayed, I listened to my boys plead to God in their cries out for Gus to be found and my heart was full knowing they were turning to God, but aching in the reality that it just wasn’t looking good for our kitten.  I took them back home, upacked all of the groceries and then returned to the woods on my own and searched until dark.

I hate being outside in the dark.  I don’t hate many things, but that is one of them … especially out in the dark, in the woods, alone.  But for that little kitty, I just had to.  Picturing him out there was enough to keep me looking until I slipped and fell down the hill, heard some noises and freaked out.  I scampered up the hill, scared and sad and a little bit ridiculous.

Backing up… if you’ve been around here for a few months, you know GusGus.  He’s one of our 3 kittens that we rescued at about 4-weeks-old.  He’s more like a dog than a cat, following us, coming when called, wrestling with Charlie… even preferring Charlie’s food over his own.

eveningwalk-19

eveningwalk-18

He is a unique, personality filled cat that had absolutely stolen our hearts.  All 3 kitties have, actually.  I do.not.like. how much I adore these kittens.  They were supposed to be barn cats.  Mouse-getters, out-side livers.  Not melt-my-heart-with-your-purring-cats.  Not snuggling-my-boys-to-sleep-cats.  Not I-look-forward-to-seeing-you-everyday-cats.  Not I’ll-search-for-you-in-the-cold-dark-rainy-woods-cats.  But they are.  And then GusGus climbed into the underside of Matt’s truck, got himself flung out of the truck onto the county road and friends, we were devastated.  Crushed.  I kept telling myself, “He’s a cat.  A cat.  These things HAPPEN, especially out HERE.  He’s a cat.”  But still…. we were devastated to know he was gone, to not find him, to not know if he survived or if he was just needing us to search harder for him.

Matt went out again after dark with his flashlight, hoping to see his eyes reflecting but saw nothing.  And heard nothing other than the creek that separated where he was lost with the established property we live on.  The creek that made us pretty certain that if he did survive he would not be traveling back the direction of home, but likely in the direction of thousands of acres of forest.

I parked on this verse that night:

BibleJournaling2-45

We were distressed, the boys especially.  And Cooper, particularly.  He blamed himself for not checking to see where the kittens were before they drove away.  He had the image of GusGus flying out from under the truck, flipping across the road in his mind and he tried to put on a brave face for me because he knew his pain fueled my sadness, but his ache broke through.  Honestly, I was totally shocked by how much I immediately missed him.

Sunday, the boys shared their story with their classes and their friends joined them in praying for GusGus.  We looked again after church and after quite awhile, agreed that this would be our last search.  We decided to think that GusGus was living the life of a wild cougar now roaming these woods, but just as soon as we said we were done, angst and sadness took over again.   Maybe if you have pets you understand this … or maybe it is just overly sensitive types like myself (and apparently my children) that feel so extremely sad about the loss of a little critter, but boy oh boy did we spend some time crying.  And comforting each other.  We were quiet, and … kind.  The beautiful thing about this experience is the way it softened all of us to each other.  As we prayed together and just spent time around each other there was a tenderness in our home, between the boys especially, that has been missing.

And friends, this is where it is so clearly shown how God works all things together for good, for those who love Him.  That ‘good’ isn’t necessarily material goodness or goodness in the blessing form that WE think is appropriate.  But the goodness comes in the form of bringing us closer to each other, to Him, to His Kingdom.   Sunday afternoon we went to a birthday party for our friends’ 90-year-old-grandma and my oldest had a conversation with his Mimi (Matt’s mom) about Gus.   She told him that she has had LOTS of pets go missing over the years and each time she prays to the Lord that if it is His plan for that animal to be a part of her life that He’d show it the way home.  And He had, many times.  Two dogs, two different times, in fact, were missing for a week and both came home.

That night we watched War Room.  If you’ve seen this, you know it sparked in me the desire to keep praying!  Now, I know our situation is small beans compared to that in the movie, or in most people’s lives who are desperately seeking the Lord in prayer.   But my prayer was shifting.

Shifting from not just bringing the kitty home if he was still alive, but that God would use this experience to SHOW these boys His presence … either by the miracle of bringing Gus home or … OR … in soothing their hearts and giving them the peace that they needed.  So that no matter what they’d know He was with them and that He would receive the glory regardless.  I did plea, however, for that miracle of Him bringing Gus home.  😉

Monday, we went about our day.   We went about school.  And the sadness began to lift.

Tuesday morning, Cooper and Kaden both told me they had dreams about GusGus coming home.  I felt the pull though to keep praying that if he was still alive, that he’d find his way home.  Out-loud, we’d all agreed that he was gone.  We agreed not to talk about it anymore, because really, talking about him just made it worse.  But my hope just wasn’t gone.  I kind of wanted it to be, though so I could move on, but it clung.

At 12:00, I found out why.  Our neighbor who lives across the street from the woods Gus ran into called us (for the first time ever) and said, “Mrs. Meyers, I have your little kitty!  He was in my barn and my dog sniffed him out and now he’s in the cab of my truck waiting for you.”  Matt had talked to him at the 90-year-old-grandma’s birthday party and told him about Gus, what color he is, and all that.  Low and behold, when he saw him in his barn, he knew it was Gus!

I’ve never seen my boys get ready to go out the door faster!  (And now that I know they can, no more excuses for doddling!).  We zipped over, and with the boys crying and hugging our kind ol’ neighbor, got Gus out of his pick-up and brought him back home.  God brought him back home.

gusgus-11gusgus-2

Please hear me when I say this:  God always answers our prayers … with a ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘not yet’.  We received a ‘not yet’ so that we could receive the blessings of suffering together for a bit.  The comforting each other, the discussions about loss and why we love even though loss may be inevitable, the prayers we said, the prayers the boys sought from their friends … all blessings.  And also the blessing of us seeing that after suffering for a time, life can and will go on.  I just have this feeling that that lesson will be very valuable and one I will remind them of at some point.  And then, God brought Gus all the way home as a gift to these boys telling them “I HEAR YOU, AND I AM HERE.”  It was God’s gift that that little kitten thought to run across the street and through property that homes 3 barking dogs.  His gift that our neighbor was there at the party on Sunday and asked Matt specifically about the kitten.  His gift that that neighbor made the trek up to his barn that day and His gift that our neighbor looked up our phone number and made the call.

We’re really, really happy that Gus is home.  He’s right back at his goofy ways.

eveningwalk-14

But we’re even happier (eternally happy!!) that we have a God who hears us and who is so powerful, yet tender, that He will let his mightiness be known to 3 little boys by bringing their kitty back to them. ♥

 

You Might Also Like:

  • Jade Kost - So many tears!! Mostly tears of joy, but as someone who has grown up living in the country, I know all too well the dangers of loving a little creature so intensely. I am so glad that God reunited GusGus with your family, and that he is again safe and warm, snuggled with his siblings. Thank you so much for sharing your story.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - So happy that God answered your prayers.So often when we pray we want an answer right now. But God in His infinite wisdom knows when to answer. That’s not always easy to take. Enjoy that little kitty!ReplyCancel

  • Megab - This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing how God answered your prayers!ReplyCancel

  • sarah - Lacey, this is so so so beautifully written. Oh my goodness can I ever relate to this story! Our indoor kitty once went missing for 10 days! We prayed and searched and prayed and searched and prayed some more until finally he showed up in our yard one evening (looking terribly thin and meowing like crazy as if he’d been searching for us as much as we were searching for him). We were so grateful to God for returning him to us! It’s so crazy how attached we get to these fur babies!ReplyCancel

  • More Bible Journaling Entries! » This is Life. With Country Boys {Lacey Meyers Photography} - […] friends.  How was your weekend?  Mine was so much better than last since we didn’t have to spend hours searching for a missing kitten in the rain and cold, mourning his loss.  This weekend was quite the opposite, actually, like a little kiss from Heaven.  Matt and the […]ReplyCancel

  • Shannon W. - Lacy, this was so wonderful to read and I am so joyful for the miracle that brought your GusGus back to your family. Gosh, I can’t tell you how close to home this post is. Our family lost our kitty of 7 years about 3 weeks before Christmas. We did the same as you, searched and searched, and for weeks. We talked to all our neighbors, we posted signs, we posted on social media, we called and called our local shelters, and nothing. And the weather was bad not long after he went missing…unsurvivable type cold. While I have been grieving, I have only recently started to accept that he is gone and won’t be coming back…and it has been so hard. Because we don’t know what happened, because after 7 years of being an outdoor very healthy cat, he’s gone out of the blue for what seems like no reason. I’ve been searching for the right prayer for where we are now, and now I think it’s time I pray for peace in our hearts and acceptance of the unknown. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said/thought, he’s only a cat, but he was so much more…he was a member of our family. Just like your GusGus.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - :( Shannon, I’m so sorry. :( My first thought is to question why God brought our kitten back and not yours, but then know that does no good at all. All we can do is wonder what we can learn and pray for from each of our own individual experiences. I pray you and your family have peace over this. <3ReplyCancel

      • Shannon W. - Thank you so much, Lacy!! I appreciate that. I think about all the sweet memories we had with him and I’m so happy/grateful that we had 7 years with him. I looked back on all the photos I have of him and of course, I wish I had taken more…but I’m glad I have the ones I do. Somehow I think reading your post was God’s way of helping me. So thank you again!!ReplyCancel

February 1st.  Not too late to share a “favorites from 2015” post is it?

I’ve said this before so forgive me for repeating myself, but these type of posts are so hard for me!  I have so many ‘favorites’ for such different reasons and as I pull images together others immediately filter into my mind.  I suppose that is to be expected when I’ve taken some 33,000+ images in 2015.  But really, I think so many images mean so much to me because they are all part of our story of the past year.  And when the past year feels like it flew by in the blink of an eye, I’m all the more grateful to have these stories to show.

Although, then I look at the photos from, say, Cannon Beach last February and I say, “That feels like just a week ago.”  I used to always cringe when people would tell me how fast my boys’ childhood would go because there was a time when ever hour felt like an entire day.  Now, I’m pleading with my minutes to slow down.

And that leads into what I hope to share this week about my word, or phrase, or whatever, for this year.  I know that nothing can slow time but hopefully with a very conscious effort of living with Intention the fleeting moments of our lives will be better spent, then more appreciated, and less wasted.

Happy Monday, friends … I hope your week gets off to a fabulous start.  ♥

You Might Also Like:

  • Marita - Oh!!! These pictures are just BEAUTIFUL!!!! And sooooo inspiring! Thank you :-)ReplyCancel

  • Chesha - Lacey! I am so glad you did this – Feb 1 is not too late at all. 😉 As one boy mom trying to capture what childhood looks like at our house to another doing the same in her own breathtaking location – your work inspires mine on a daily basis. Thank you so so much for sharing it.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Walker - Hi Lacey, these are just fabulous! I was curious if you ever teach a workflow/editing course at click-n-moms or elsewhere? Thanks! – JessicaReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Jessica! I go over my workflow as part of my Breakout that is sold in the CM store, and also share some of my process within the forum in a few different tutorials. :) And thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Ahhhhh…..all so wonderful. :)
    XOXOXO to GCH from Grammie, who is so looking forward to Disneyland!!ReplyCancel

  • Carol - I just don’t know how you do it. Every one of your photos is a favorite! Thanks so much for sharing your talent and family with us.ReplyCancel

  • valerie a. - Just stunning! So many amazing images! I just LOVE that one of Kaden running down the stairs, framed by the tree foliage (third one down)…and of course, so many others! My goodness. You are SUCH a fantastic photographer!ReplyCancel

My biggest struggle with homeschooling is my push for structure, getting the lessons in (and done) and work ethic, over doing what I can to encourage their love of learning and fueling their creativity.  I read all the time from homeschooling parents who say that has to be the focus in order to have a successful meaningful homeschool experience for children … I, however, am drawn to the checklist of our curriculum to be sure that all subjects and lessons are completed.  I’m doing better at recognizing when pauses need to be taken and more time needs to be given to a concept before pushing onto the next one.  Actually, I take that back … I’ve generally DONE that, but it used to really give me anxiety because it would push us off schedule and throw off the checklist.  Thank goodness I’m maturing away from that.  😉

Because I struggle with how my personality longs for school to go and how my heart suspects it should actually go, I’m in a constant state of wondering if what I’m doing is right. I wonder if I’m stifling their natural desire to learn interesting things by working our way, day by day, through the different types of pronouns.  And I wonder if I’m squelching their childhood creativity by having them sit through organized book lessons rather than spending hours constructing a replica of the Colosseum and reacting an ancient Roman feast.

And then comes a day when we decide not to do school and they spend all day outside in a winter-run-off stream/pond that they discovered, making a fort in a cluster of cedar trees.  And I breathe a little easier because of this balance they seem to have (no thanks to me) between their school-lessons and all the goodness and freedom and creativity that comes from being a kid in the country.  With logs to turn over, and bridges to make, and hammocks to fashion and water to wade through and springs to find and branches to cut down and water jugs to fill and trees to climb …  I’m just really thankful that they seem to know just what their little souls need.

After they had some alone time, I ventured out to find them and while they did know I was there, I basically hung out with my long lens and photographed them undisturbed.

(On a totally different subject, this is a favorite game that Charlie and Matt play… )

I will keep on mulling over in my head how to make their ‘in-the-classroom’ lessons the most beneficial for them.  But I do rest a bit easier knowing that time spent like this, outside with their brothers, creating their own little survival adventure can nurture their character in a way that no book, lesson plan, worksheet or flashcard ever could.

It amazes me how seeing them soaked up to their knees, mud splattered, cold and tired, and smelling of pond water and fresh air and earth can be so incredibly comforting to this over-thinking, often narrow-minded-when-it-comes-to-how-to-educate, Mama.  ♥

Have a fabulous weekend, friends, and thank you for visiting!

You Might Also Like:

  • Stephanie - That was quenching to my soul, sister!
    We are having a day like that ourselves, except that it cold & windy out, and my girls prefer ballerinas and classical music to mud & cold.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - As a retired teacher I look at these photos and see all of the learning going on. A little science–finding what is in pond water…how to balance on a branch…creativity (and probably more science and some math) in building in the woods…teamwork…exercise…and much more! They are going to be great problem solvers too!

    Learning doesn’t have to be just books and a classroom!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Ohhhh…..I totally feel this post! The balance…..its a tricky tricky thing when you homeschool! But sometimes, a day outside taking photos of the best people in the world while they, learn and play can always make the world a better day! :) Happy Schooling (and shooting)!
    PS. Awesome photos! I love the one down the path in the woods!ReplyCancel

I had the intention of writing a longer post this morning but I slept in (Kaden came into my bed at 5:30 because of a bad dream and that is always an invitation to stay in bed and snuggle for longer and then I fell back asleep) and that is never a good start to actually accomplishing anything that takes my focused attention.  So, my inbox begged for cleaning, the boys burst downstairs with lots of energy the second my coffee started brewing, kittens needed to be fed, showers needed to be encouraged, a bath given, kitty food and water cleaned up from all over the kitchen floor, oils applied to feet fresh out of the shower, an image thrown up on Facebook, kitty litter needed to be vacuumed up, a host of breakfast requests entertained and obliged, an original marble course created by one boy that spanned the entire school room needed to be patiently watched over and over until it finally worked … laundry started, beds made, kittens shewed away from scratching the couches, and about 100 responses to “Mom __________________”.  And that was just in the past hour.

It is no wonder well thought out posts have been hard to come by here on this ‘ol blog.

So here are just some images from a walk we took last weekend.  A path we haven’t taken in awhile, but one that is always great to revisit.  I never tire of it.  I tire of mornings like this when they don’t start out slow, but I never tire of walks through the woods.

This boy uprooted this little dead tree and proceeded to carry it the entire time.

“Mom, take a picture of me jumping over this!”

“Mom, take one of me, too!”

Doh.

He was laughing.  Promise.

I love that this walk through the trees emerges this beautiful view.

We only stayed for a few minutes because once that sun goes down, Mama doesn’t want to be walking through the woods.

Home again, home again.  This one, still carrying his little tree.  ‘Determined’ is his middle name.  Or ‘Goofy’.

I have a kiddo cooking eggs and sausage on the stove now so that’s my cue.  😉

Happy Wednesday!

Thank you for visiting!  ♥

You Might Also Like: