Our first official family vacation

Two posts in two days! Can you believe it? I wanted to post about our recent vacation to San Antonio. This was our very first family vacation that wasn't to see our family in Alabama. Not that you guys don't count, it's just that this was the first time just the four of us went somewhere for fun. Not that you guys aren't fun. Sheesh! Anyway...

Last December, at our church's annual Family Christmas service, our family (who had only been at the church for six months) was given an amazing gift. Well, two gifts actually. One was the Will Saunders Day at Wild River Country, which I posted about this summer. The other was an all-expense paid trip to San Antonio to go to Morgan's Wonderland. It is the world's first ultra-accessible family fun park - an "amusement park" for people with special needs and their families. Their sign reads "Morgan's Wonderland - Where Everyone Can Play." And it is true. We had the most incredible time over that four day trip. We never would have been able to afford it on our own and are so grateful for the generosity of our amazing church family.

We drove (10 hours, yuck!) down to San Antonio on Thursday. Friday we ate breakfast at Taco Taco Cafe, which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and voted best taco in America by Bon Appetit magazine - it was amazing! Then we went to the zoo and ate at another local dive, Chris Madrid's, for lunch. Friday evening we went to the Riverwalk to explore and eat dinner. Saturday we spent six straight hours playing at Morgan's Wonderland. I'm pretty sure the kids could have made it another two hours (at which time the park would be closing and we would have been forced to leave), but Jeremiah and I are apparently getting old and were so stinkin' tired we couldn't see straight! Saturday night we went to dinner at La Hacienda de los Barrios, which was wonderful. They have a playground and some kids were ugly to Will. Cate came back to our table almost in tears and finally told us that some kids were ugly to her "brudder" and it made her sad :-( She is the best sister in the whole world! Anyway, after our delicious supper, we returned to the hotel for Jeremiah to watch the LSU/Bama game. I fell asleep only to wake up right at the end of the game to a very disappointed husband. We traveled back to North Little Rock on Sunday after a fun-filled weekend.

I know I've said it a million times, but thank you First Assembly NLR!!!!! You made a dream come true for our family. We feel so blessed to be a part of such a generous and mission-minded church family. We love you!

Now, for the best part...pictures!


It has been quite a while since I last posted, and I apologize for that. I have, however, learned something during that time that I would like to share with you all...
I started a Bible study called "Grace for the Pace" by Beth Jones a few weeks ago with some of the girls from my Sunday school class. The study is to teach us how to live our busy, stressful lives with God's grace - how to have standing and serving grace. My first thought was I'm too busy to do that. Ironic, isn't it? Well, I decided to make time to do this, and I am so glad I have. We meet on Saturday mornings at 7:00, so it means I have to set my alarm and get up early every single day of the week, but it has been worth it so far.

Grace is something I certainly need more of. I need it from Him, and I need to give it to others. When you think about grace, most people only think about God's saving grace, that He showed sinners underserved kindness and mercy by sending his son to save them. And that certainly is an extremely important type of grace, but it isn't the only grace God can give us if we let Him. God can give us grace for the pace. This is something I think every busy, stressed out, scheduled to the max, working full-time, taking care of your kids, husband, and house kind of girl needs to know. I could write a lot of stuff, but I think Beth Jones puts it best in her book, so I'm going to quote her words instead...

"Grace for the pace is when God Almighty gives us a supernatural deposit or endowment of inner strength, giftings, ability, know-how, understanding, knowledge, and favor which first leads us to salvation, and which helps us to stand in victory and serve God. God's grace helps us with the pace - the stressed and overloaded lives we often face. We need God's grace for the pace! Grace is His free gift to man. It's the most amazing thing, that God Almighty would impart his grace to us and that grace would supernaturally help us succeed in whatever we face! When we truly receive God's grace for the pace, we receive the ability to function at the pace required of us. Living in the grace is to receive, recognize and identify our God-given gifts and bents, and connect them with the God-given season and callings in our lives. Like a glove and hand, God's grace and our life work together in a supernatural rhythm. In practical terms, grace for the pace is when God graces us to be a Christian, a wife, a husband, a mom, a dad, a friend, a business person, an entrepreneur, an athlete, a builder, engineer, doctor, lawyer, homemaker, manager, chef, clerk, pastor, evangelist, coach, volunteer, banker, baker, candelstick maker, and the list goes on. If you have grace...life is like a well-greased machine. There's a flow. There's a supernatural ease. You know when to say yes and when to say no. Whatever you need to know, be or do - God wants to grace you in such a way that you have His supernatural ability in that area. Grace is huge! Can you see how wonderful God's grace is? 
The other side of the coin is this: without grace you will eventually burn out and resent the very things you once loved. Without grace, you'll do what you have to do, but eventually you'll start to feel like a "flat-liner" in life and you will experience a sense of detachment. Without grace you function, but there's no unction. You survive, but you do not thrive. You may be skilled but you are not fulfilled. You live and die but never know why. Get the picture? Without God's grace for the pace, in the end there will be sorrow and regret."

I have told you these things so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  - John 16:33

God tells us we will face stress and overload in our lives. But, He also promises that if we remain in Him, we will overcome. That is what His grace for the pace is all about.

I am still learning how to receive His grace, and how to show it to others. But, I feel like I'm getting better at it each day. I am learning when to say yes, and when to say no, which has been something that is very hard for me. I am learning to depend on Him and His grace to get through each day. That is all I can ask. We aren't even promised tomorrow, right?  So, live each day by His grace, and not only will you survive, you will succeed!