Last night in the concert, one of my favorite praise songs was sung… “You are great, You do miracles so great, there is no one else like You…”

It will never get old for me to hear a song like that while sitting in the prescence of my 2 miracles… the babies I supposedly couldn’t have.

So many sad things happened this week, and so many of those things to parents. I know God is trying to teach me so much from these things, and one of them, the hardest and most important, is that these are my miracles, but these children are just on loan to me. So now when they hug me, I still feel a desperate pull… but that desperation is turning from the one to hold on to them to one to show them everything I am supposed to… not just love, but the light of Jesus.

All that said, this has been a great week for our family. It was nice for Rod and me to get away from some of the stress at home (and the weather!) and to bond, catch up, play a little. The babies have had a fun time too and are growing, growing. I also feel very grateful that when we return from a trip like this, exhausted and behind on everything, I have a core of friendship and support to return to… my mom (& dad!), our oldest daughter (& our son – I’m kind of focused on the females, here…), my fantabulous girlfriends (can’t wait, Jen!), my babysitter Brett, and my Mom’s & More Group. These are people who know that during our travel months, I can’t always give things the ‘Martha Stewart’ treatment, and they take me as I am. I cherish them.

Meanwhile, I am taking a moment… Rod is already inside the convention, Kaity is sleeping, Miranda is “resting,” and I am having coffee, sort of catching up on my neglected Branson GMC work, trying to cover up the diesel smell (surrounded by busses) with a vanilla candle, but leaving the music off because the sound of all these generators has become sweet to me.

I wanted to count a few of the fun/happy/sort-of-victorious things that have happened to us this week, remembering to be grateful to the Giver of all good things:

– Miranda had her first scraped knees today (playing on the concrete in her tutu). She barely cried and has been kissing them. That’s my girl… not a victim!

– Rod learned how to make coffee!

– Kaity is taking more and more steps. I think she will be a full-time walker soon. (Walker, Kaity Ranger) She has also learned to fold her hands when it is time to pray. Yay, Kay-kay!

– Josh was accepted into University of Illinois Chicago. While we know the road to attending college still has a few miles, we are really proud of and happy for this accomplishment. We trust Josh is soon going to grow into a strong and successful man of God.

– Paige has done a great job taking care of the household for us. How many freshmen are this capable? She makes my heart smile.

– We The Foursome have had wonderful times playing outside during the day, staying up too late, sleeping in, cuddling together in the mornings, and watching, ahem, Little House on the Prairie. I got burned out on that show the summer I was preggers with Randa (it was on SEVEN times a day, and I tended to catch most of those… it was before I got addicted to reruns of 90210 and The Practice…) Anyway, it is fun to connect alone with our little ones sometimes. It’s hard to believe in a few years Paige will be off to college, too, and we’ll be this oddly normal ‘family of four’ (well, I hope more…) at home.

– We have connected with so many great friends here at Southern Gospel Music Fan Fair. It amazes me how many people I have come to know in the three years of hitting the road with Rod. I always love meeting in person folks who I had only previously met online or in some cases, heard on the radio or something. Branson GMC is connecting us to a lot more people, too. My favorite meetings last night: Wayne Shirey, who was looking around for Kelly Burton and asked Rod if that was his brother :) It was nice to be mistaken for something other than Rod’s daughter for a change! Anyway, sweet Mr. Shirey thought it might have been Rod’s brother who is “behind Branson.” Hee-hee. It’s funy & a little scary how synonymous we’re becoming with “Branson.” I haven’t even visited there yet!

Another great meeting for me last night was with Dot and Nan, two wonderful women who work for Kirk Talley, and getting to hear Kirk himself minister in song. He wrote “He is Here,” which has long been one of my favorite worship songs, and he also has a testimony of God’s grace and redemption that touches me in a very personal way. I spoke briefly with him afterwards and gave him a hug, and Rod was proud of me for not blubbering all over him. I probably would have, but I kept the babies at the concert until almost midnight so I could hear him, and by the time he was done, their victory had long been lost.

I love being a Yankee in the Southern Gospel family… and I love being married to a man who is giving his gift (strong, awesome voice) to the Lord as completely as he can. Thanks for this week, Rod… thanks for keeping us safe, God… and thanks to all those who make home so nice for the returning!

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