To Read on the Journey

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Emilie's Blessing Party (Part 2)

 For Part 1, which contains decorations, fun menu, and Emilie's surprise go HERE. 
CAUTION! This post contains dancing (mini flash mob).  Uncontrollable laughing may occur. 

  to bring a gift to another 
while kneeling out of respect or awe;  
to do or give something
 of value to another. 

Giving the gift of blessing is something that both Michael and I are passionate about.  We have both been stirred to give blessing to our children from the moment we found out we were expecting our first.   For us blessing most often comes through speaking Truth, delight, and promise over the future.

For Emilie's 13th birthday we wanted her to be blessed not only by us but by a small group of cherished women and friends.  Our hope was that this time of blessing would root Emilie in Truth, and show her that she is "surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses" who see her, treasure her, and long for her to fix her eyes on Jesus and live in the fullness of God's immeasurable love for her.


Thanking God and praying for sweet Emilie.
Sharing our lives and a delicious meal with each other.   
Laughing together.
Receiving  Gifts.

"That's What Makes You Beautiful"   
A (mini) flash mob surprise.
Emilie thought "the girls" had a special choreographed gift for her...
she had no idea a few adults were in on the surprise, too.

Singing Happy Birthday and 8+5= 13
(note to self- remember to buy candles!)
 Speaking Blessing into Emilie's Life.

 Overwhelmed by love and Truth.

 Some of the words shared and  spoken into Emilie's life...

"You already possess so many wonderful qualities. You are: kind, intentional, patient, forgiving, fun, and elegant. My blessing for you is that, as you grow into a young lady, you would remember that you are cherished and you are valuable. My prayer for you is that you would find confidence, not in the world, but in God."  Tia Toni


" My Sweet 'Little' Emilie....13 is wonderful and challenging.  Your self identity really starts to form and sometimes stays with you until your an adult and you go to therapy (Just Kidding).  When I was 13 I was overly aware of everything I did and embarrassed by everything my parents did.  I now know that so was everyone else.  Not everyone is looking at you and judging (even though it very much feels like it).  They are thinking of themselves.  Know that you are beautiful and loved.  You are not alone and not alone in how you feel if you are feeling down.  I pray that you always know you are loved by God and that he is there in your happiest moments, in your saddest moments, and everything in between.  I pray that 13 is a great year for you as you become a teenager.  This is such a defining time in your life.  Remember who YOU are and what is important to YOU."  "Big" Emily

"dear sweet emilie have many amazing qualities that i want to highlight for you, and encourage you to continue to grow in these ways.
your love for your family: its obvious to all who see you.  you are respectful and caring to your parents, siblings, cousins, all of us!  i want to continue to have your family as a safe place, as home base, and you will teach your friends endless lessons by just doing that.  sure, someday your friends may seem cooler than your family, but your family will never deny you and will always be by your side.
your confidence:  you try anything.  and you do it with a smile on your face!  whether you succeed or fail, trying is the hardest thing.  you step out of your comfort zone to try new things and seeing your confidence in doing that makes others more comfortable to step up, too.
your goofiness:  now this one you definitely got from your dad.  and maybe me.  to be a dork and to laugh at yourself makes life more fun, for you and for those around you.  your fun-loving personality draws people to you.
your passion:  God gave you all of these gifts because He wants to draw people to you, for His sake.  He has big plans for you.  He knows your strengths and your weaknesses and He knows where you fit in His kingdom.  Emmers, your passion for doing the will of God will carry you through the ups and downs of the emotional teenage years, and continue to bless you and others into adulthood.
we love you so much, emilie.  so so very much.  have the happiest of birthdays and thank you for being who God made you to be." aunt lindsey
This following portion of blessing is a must watch. 
given by  the lovely (getting married in 5 weeks) Nicole


....The world needs good women, Emilie, and you will be one of them.  
But don't forget. When the world gets heavy, dark and deafening, don't forget that you have been loved deeply and truly and thoroughly, and that love is yours to hold on to forever. Don't forget that you are loved.  
May God cover the roads you will walk with grace so thick and fragrant, that you can't help but breathe it in." Melanie 


"One of the traits I admire in you is one I see in many Godly women and that is compassion. I see that God gave you a tender heart. It becomes easier as you get older to become hard hearted towards this world. The gift of compassion is the way to bridge the gap to those who are lost to Christ. That trait gives people hope and purpose that this world is never too far gone. Don't let the world steal that away and always try to use it wisely with discernment."   Julie


There were many more lovely words of blessing spoken into my girl.
Words she will reread and cherish her entire life.
After soaking in the blessings I asked her, "what did you hear?" 
Here is her tender response.

How I love my thought-full girl! 

My prayer and blessing for Emilie is this... ALL THIS...   

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen"
Ephesians 3 

Do you give the gift of blessing to others?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blessings for Emilie (part 1)

Last spring when Noah turned 13 I had in mind to throw him a "bro-mitzvah."  I envisioned men gathering for a hearty meal of BB-Q.  I imagined that after they inhaled their grub each man would welcome Noah to manhood with words of Blessing.

It would have been an unforgettable time... for me.  Noah, who doesn't care to have attention showered on him, wouldn't have enjoyed it AT ALL.  So I ditched my "bro-mitzvah" plan (and surprised Noah with a Gorilla instead) and asked the men I would have invited to the gathering to welcome Noah to manhood with words of blessing written to Noah.   Their words of encouragement, Truth, charge, and understanding of these transition years had and continue to have an incredible impact on Noah (and me).

(In the near future I will blog some of their godly, humorous, and moving words spoken to my boy)

As Emilie's 13th birthday approached, I had no reservations about whether or not she would enjoy a blessing party where women would welcome her to womanhood by lavishing her with love and affirming words.  I was CERTAIN she would LOVE it... and I was 100% right!

Here is a glimpse of the decor, food, and my girl walking through the door to SURPRISE!

Emilie's silhouette painted on mason jars served as vases for vibrant flowers. 
Emilie's great grandmother (Vava), Josefina Teodosio's crocheted table cloth and pink bed covering from the "old country" served as table cloths.

Emilie's great great grandmother, Marie Pickering's china was used.

B/W photos of Emilie through the years were hung on twine with clothespins. A few cherished baby items were on display, too (what a sight I was draped over the hope-chest in tears going through all my baby's things).

A simple yet filling taco salad, Chinese chicken salad, and fruit kabobs were on the menu...
leaving plenty of room for what we KNOW women really want...Dessert! 

 And Cookie Dough Dip with Granny Smith apple slices, chocolate graham crackers, pretzels, and Nilla wafers for dipping (this was a  BIG HIT). 

The punch looked pretty, too.

Emilie, who had been at the water-slides with her father and siblings all day celebrating thought she was coming home to a simple dinner and dessert, was blindfolded on the drive home and had no idea was was in store for her!

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE her joyful face seen in this short video as she was greeted by the dozen of us who waited to shower her with an evening of Blessings!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Sharing two snapshots today from Emilie's surprise blessing party.
Mama Holly wrote Truth for Emilie on a mirror gift.

"Remember...concentrate on your inner beauty first."
1 Peter 3:4

"God loves you...just the way you are." 
Oh! how I want my 13 year old girl to GET it...
How incredibly beautiful she is inside (and out),
How IMMEASURABLY God loves her.

I want to Get it, too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I intended to sit down and blog about Emilie's Surprise Blessing Party (which included a mini-flash mob), but there are so many pictures and videos and lovely words to edit and formulate that I got overwhelmed! 

Emilie's silhouette

You know what happens when a blogger gets overwhelmed ... she gets to looking at pinterest, facebook, and other blogs instead. 
Which is what I did. 
And that is how I stumbled upon a blog link-up party and got SIDETRACKED. 

Right now, a link-up party sounds like an easy-peasy blog-post alternative for this poopedoutsurprisebirthdaypartyplanner. 

Here ya go! 

1. What is your biggest phobia? 
 Stains & mice (*shiver*) 
stainphobia: an unreasonable sort of fear that can cause anxiety and panic when an item of clothing or a material good is soiled, spotted, or discolored.
mice: the devil in beady-eyed rodent form.

 2. If you could relive any day of your life, 
what would it be and why? 
June 19th, 1988- the day I put my faith in Jesus.  Why? Because If I'd known then what I know now I would have taken a RUNNING LEAP into His saving arms.
3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, 
what age would it be?
I'm picking two ages-
19- When I met Michael AND owned a 65 Ford Falcon.  
New love and an awesome car= Life was GOOD! 
30- My kids were 2, 4 & 5.  They were all squishy and yummy and thought I was amazing. all. the. time. 

 4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?  
 Uh, NONE!  
My sister thinks I look like a brunette Katherine Heigl.  
One For They Money

You can't tell us apart can ya! (ha)
In my photo search for my "twin" I discovered "Kat" is on pinterest.
Follow me in pinterest here.

5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Your Eyes- Peter Gabriel
These Are Days- 10, 000 Maniacs
How Sweet It Is- James Taylor
Fly- Sara Groves

Magnificent- U2

Now, tell me your answers or link up and play along. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Remembering 13 Years Ago

13 years ago today Emilie Erin Jones was born. 
She surprised (and terrified us) and arrived 7 weeks early!

My dear friend, Diane, took wonderful care of Noah (14.5 months old), while we were in the hospital.

She penned the following words recalling the day Emilie was born, written from the proud Big Brother Noah's perspective.

We read them to Emilie this morning.

Needless to say, both Michael and I were in tears!  

God SURPRISED us with such a BLESSING in our sweet girl, Emilie, that day, and for the past 13 years!
She is the most delightful, thoughtful, and loving  girl  young lady.

What a gift it is to be her mommy!!

She's off to the water-slides today to celebrate her birthday. 
When she returns home there will be a SURPRISE PARTY to welcome and BLESS her!

I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

He Is

When we arrived at church Sunday a.m. the church pillars had been tagged.  Our first reaction was disappointment that the building had been vandalized, but as we came closer it was evident that the words written on the pillars were not those of foul play but instead resonated with the many characteristics of God.

Our church's summer series is, "He Is."  The messages declare who Jesus is in both the New and Old Testaments.   For instance this week we studied Jesus as Redeemer, and saw Him as the promised Redeemer in Genesis 3, just sentences after Eve ate from the Tree of Good and Evil.  We learned that the moment sin reared it's ugly head God was right there with promises of Redemption! (He still is).

After the service we were invited to grab a can of spray paint and "vandalize" the pillars with who "He Is" to each of one us.

  As I watched others spray their words I wondered what their stories were...what it was that caused Jesus to be "Healer. Life. Love. Friend. Grace. Mighty..." to them. I praised Him for the ways He magnifies Himself to each of us so uniquely and wonder-fully.

As I read the words I prayed for these characteristics of God to not just be written on the pillars of our church building, but that who "He is" would be the pillar (a firm upright support for a superstructure)  for each person-the church.

Who "He Is" to me at this time in my life is "Breath."  
I think of God breathing life into Adam (into dirt).  
I find myself needing Life breathed into me daily because my "lungs" are easily deflated.  
I feel them collapsing as I wrestle with my desires for favor and worth.  
I feel the "wind being knocked out of me" when finances are a struggle.  
I feel like I'm out of breath when worry about my children's future and our future consumes me.   
These things can be suffocating. At these times I find myself asking the Spirit to fill my deflated lungs with who "He Is."  
I pause and breathe Him in deep.  The Spirit breathes into me- Truth.  Savior.  Provider.  Hope.  Future. He Breathes into me "God is God there is no other!"
I inhale and He FILLS ME deep with HIM.  


 Tell me who "He Is" to you at this time
in your life.

Monday, July 9, 2012

4th of July, 2012

Linking up with Cuppakim and Katygirl  
with our 4th of July highlights

My husband, Michael, grew up enjoying the fireworks show from a boat on Bass Lake with his family every 4th of July.
It has become a tradition for our family, too.
It's a tradition we couldn't wait to  share with Michael's brother's sons for their first time!

Dessert in a jar is perfect for the boat.
Blue n' strawberry shortcake. 

We arrived at the in-law's dock to board the boat and met the 4th of July week renters,
 who have been renting the in-laws lake house for independence week for 21 years!
They recognized us from the photos displayed in the home,
and started hooting and hollering
when they realized Michael
was the infamous Jones who they refer to as
"Mullet Man."

{In the early 90's -before we met- "Mullet Man" had some serious
"business in front, party in the back" going on}.

We loaded the boat, laughing at "Mullet Man,"
and made our way out on the water to join the hundreds of boats headed for the show.

The lake is really fun on the 4th. Many boats are decorated in their red white n' blue, and patriotic tunes are heard from one end of the lake to the other.  
The nephews, Luke and Nicholas, were loving it!

Dessert was a big hit, too.
Once it got dark, I cuddled up with "Mullet Man,"
who became my sweetie 19 years ago on the 4th of July,
and watched the show.
Nicholas was in awe of the show.

My favorite is always the finale and listening to the crowd on the water and surrounding the lake erupt with cheers!

These sounds make me,
"proud to be an American."
The full moon rising over the mountain as we made our way back to the dock,
 while listening to
Michael Jackson's greatest hits blaring from the boat beside us.
How did you celebrate Independence Day?