Posted by: charleswsmithjr | March 6, 2009

a Gospel lesson from my two-month-old nephew

Seriously…if you don’t have any niece or nephews, you might want to reconsider (or at least start bugging your brothers and sisters). They are the best!  I mean it–especially if your family is geographically scattered like mine. For instance, last weekend Lindsay and Hudson flew down to Mississippi and what do ya know…BOTH sides of my family got together to come celebrate Hudson. That only happens when someone gets married, and well, Bethany’s got two more years of college, and come May I’ve been married two years. All that to say, times like these are truly rare. We had great-grandparents, great aunts, great uncles, second cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncle, and mom all under one roof and boy was it great!! Hudson is already a family man, and he’s only two months old…by the time he’s 20, the girls are gonna be fightin for him for sure!

In all seriousness though, I’m reading this book right now that talks about the spiritual blessing that children are to this lost world, as well as to their family. Raising a child is no easy task (so I hear), but as my Dad said once, “God did not call us to a happy life but a holy life.” Just like marriage, the goal of parenthood is holiness. Not giving your child a checklist of right or wrong, but praying that by His grace in your example, that your child see Christ and be conformed into Christ-likeness. In parenting, one must unconditionally give of onself for the sake of the other. Watching my sister Lindsay care for Hudson was so sweet to my heart and soul. Sure she may be sleep-deprived, but no doubt the Lord is using Hudson in her life to make her more like her Lord, as He is certainly using Lindsay in Hudson’s life! What a gift to be used in such a way! I thank the Lord that He has opened my eyes to see the Gospel in a new light through my niece and nephews…looking forward to even more!

P.S. Here is a picture of Hudson, ready for take off, on his way back home to Indiana… and I’ve also included a picture of my adorable other niece and nephew, Cole and Cate. Thank you Lord for them all!

Hudson, 2 months oldhcr-plane

Cole, 2 years oldcoley1

Cate, 1 month oldcate

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Posted by: charleswsmithjr | February 18, 2009

a little Q&A to just keep things going…

I have a great Adult Bible Fellowship (aka Sunday School Class). It is full of wonderful people and  always challenges me to dig deeper in the Word. We have a great website that keeps everyone up-to-date on the latest areas of study, and it serves to also facilitate the community within the group. One way they do this is a member profile. They just put the spotlight on me to answer a few random questions so click here if you’d like to read my answers. It was good time of reflection for me.

P.S. Stay tuned…I promise to do better with my blogging. I’ve made a promise to myself to get back into shape!

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | February 12, 2009

The beauty of dirty bandages…

I’m sitting in the bed next to my husband, watching him sleep as he recovers from gallbladder surgery. It’s usually an in-and-out kind of deal, but unfortunately they found some internal bleeding while they were operating so here we are…

It’s my first time in a hospital bed. In fact, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been in a hospital, most of which were due to the arrival of a new baby. Charles requested a private room so they put us in the pediatric unit in a room with three beds, two of which are taken by Charles and me. I kind of feel like Ricky and Lucy with this set up. 🙂 But watching him sleep through the window next to me, I am laughing in gratefulness.

I was telling some friends of mine how I was dreading this day. For one, Charles was going to be in surgery, and I would have to wait alone. Two, I was not a nurse for a reason (enough said). And three, after today, Charles would be stuck with me as his nurse (again, enough said). So as you now understand, I was really going to have to do some major “growing up” today. And as for most of us, a good “stretch” isn’t always easy. Rather, it usually brings on quite a bit of “soreness.” But that was my problem today. I was focusing on “soreness” instead of the actual “growth” that I would gain from this little bit of “stretching.” (Alas, I can be a bit short-sighted at times…)

Today has been a great day though. I actually looked down at my husband’s IV in his hand, and for the first time ever, didn’t feel queezy. I actually asked to see his “wounds”…which is definitely a first. And believe or not, I had a nurse tell me I should have been a nurse, who claims she wasn’t crazy when she said such words (…though we all know she MUST have been in her first 5 minutes of her shift and after all, was given a tall, dark, and handsome patient, also known as my husband…). I guess you could say I took some deep strides in my maturation today. Most of all though, I think the Lord has used this greatly to teach me more of His love. There is simply no end to the depth or width of it. As I was praying for Charles as I was waiting for him to come out of surgery, I thought about how much I loved him. No sacrifice I could make today would come close to the sacrifice that Christ made me and you on the cross…to save wretched people from a penalty (death) that they so deserve, all because He loves us and wants us to share in the same fellowship that He has with His Father.

Today I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the Lord for graciously bringing Charles out of surgery safely. I’m grateful for friends who care and encourage during times like these. I’m grateful for the supernatural strength that the Lord provided to me today. Most of all though, I’m thankful for the gift of my marriage, as there is nothing else that has allowed me to understand the love of Jesus Christ for His Church as it has.  This morning I certainly wasn’t looking forward to the lessons learned today, but now I am truly grateful. The Lord has opened my eyes to see His Hand is always at work to sanctify me to Him, to become a woman who delightfully desires to love sacrificially, even if it does require changing “ever-so-nasty” bandages. Oh, the beauty of the Lord…how I desire (and need) more!

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | January 30, 2009

Just in case you’re wondering, I’m alive…

Three days ago, I was wishing for “a” snow day…it’s been THREE going on FOUR! I have certainly enjoyed the down time but would have never wished this upon anyone. As of this morning, there were 500,000+ people without power due to the pressure ice has placed on the looming trees. Believe it or not, they have declared that this is the worst storm to have ever come through our area…EVER. Being the mere Alabama girl I am, I have never seen such conditions. However, I have loved seeing the community help each other, specifically the Church. It has ministered to my heart greatly, and I could not be more grateful that the Lord has given me the joy and privilege to serve His people. Even in times where so many are suffering, I am ever amazed by His grace.

Below are a couple of pictures from the street outside of our complex. Please continue to pray for those without power, and for the city leaders and workers as they try and lead this city to restoration.

After we woke up Tuesday morning, before the extra 6 inches of ice and snow…

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Thursday…note the weight of the trees over road.

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Spring fever, anyone??! Only two more months!! 🙂

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | January 5, 2009

More pics…

 If you would like to see more pictures of Hudson, click here.

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | January 5, 2009

Meet Hudson Clark Rouse!

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Charles and I arrived in Crown Point, IN, at 5:00 pm on New Year’s day. The rest of the family arrived by 10:30 pm. Lindsay gave birth to Hudson Clark Rouse at 2:47 am, so he was born on Jan. 2, 2009. He was actually the first baby in their particular hospital to be born in 2009! It was a long night for all of us, but especially Lindsay. Nevertheless, the Lord was extremely gracious to us all by giving us a beautiful and healthy baby boy, just as we prayed he would be. Lindsay was a pillar of strength and I couldn’t be more proud!  I left this weekend simply amazed by the handiwork of God, but more so that He chooses to use people like us to bring His work to life!

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | January 1, 2009

It’s a New Year Baby!

I got a phone call two hours ago from my sister saying her water had broken and she was on her way to the hospital! To say the least, the caravan is on its way to meet Hudson Clark Rouse…stay tuned for pics.

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | December 31, 2008

Christmas and Baby Update…and a few words for the New Year!

I’m glad to say that my nerves have settled since I last blogged. I actually made all my flights that day…my first plane was in fact delayed in Louisville for 15 minutes, but fortunately it wasn’t a packed flight so I sat in the first row. All I can say is that I wish someone could have filmed me running across that airport. Even after 15 minutes of sitting in the plane, I was still heaving for air.  The guy next to me actually asked me if I needed some water…bless him…

But Charles and I had a wonderful week in Montgomery with his family. I hadn’t seen them in 2 1/2 months so it was a sweet reunion. They overloaded us with gifts as always, and naturally, I ate everything that was put in front of me. (My food filter is non-existent any time a holiday or reason to celebrate comes along…its quite shameful.) I made a double batch of Spritz cookies for Charles and his family (one of our first Christmas traditions I’m afraid), and a single batch of Martha Sugar Cookies for co-workers. You’d think I’d never eat another buttery-sugar cookie again after three batches of it (and lots of dips into the cookie dough bowl)…but I’m tempted to make some more just for us! Yikes! Christmas day I made Strawberry Pretzel Salad, which was kind of a disaster in more ways than one, but no doubt I will get it right next time.  Charles and I sang on Christmas day for the Coleman Christmas talent show…not exactly my preference but did so upon request. Though I do love singing with him as he plays. We got a good bit of rest and did plenty of shopping! Needless to say, my love cup is filled! 🙂

Charles and I left Sunday morning and met my parents and sister in Birmingham for lunch. They followed us up to Louisville and spent the night with us on Sunday night. Monday morning we all went to breakfast and then they left for Crown Point, IN where my older and very pregant sister, Lindsay, lives. She was scheduled to go to the doctor on Monday, and in case the doctor decided to induce her (which my parents were confident he would), they wanted to be there. Unfortunately, the doctor said it was too early to induce and that the earliest he would feel comfortable inducing would be next Tuesday. Today is actually her due date, but the doctor didn’t feel like her body was at a point to deliver right now…so we aren’t expecting any action until next week. We are sad that we don’t get to see Hudson today or this week, but are looking forward to next week. Charles has class next week so he won’t be able to go, so it looks like I’ll be the photographer for the weekend. Another yikes! So be checking late next week for those…

Well, Happy New Year! Don’t forget your black-eyed peas…but most of all, don’t forget to consider God’s past faithfulness in your life and choose to believe in His grace for the future!

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | December 23, 2008

The Christmas Hustle

Today my stomach has been in knots. I’m scheduled to fly to Montgomery to meet my husband for Christmas with the in-laws, and I’m praying against every bit of angst in my body right now. I bought my flight around a month ago, and it was the cheapest flight option that I could find that would allow me to leave after work. However, the travel situation is exactly what I would call “ideal.” Allow me to explain, 1.) it’s Delta 2.) which also means flying through Atlanta (which I abhor more than any other city I’ve EVER been to) and 3.) I have a 45 layover in which I have to run from Gate A to Gate D to catch my connecting flight. So you see the situation wasn’t all that pretty to begin with.

Then comes the ice storm that appears to be dooming all holiday travel. It’s supposed to be icing around lunch time today, but eventually subside to rain during the evening.  I hear that Louisville is especially on top of things with de-icing the planes and all the protocol that goes along with that. And as long as I get to Atlanta, I should clear of weather problems. I just need to warm up my hamstrings and get ready to hustle…Lord, give me haste.

Posted by: charleswsmithjr | December 22, 2008

My new favorite little man…

As you may/may not know, my older sister, Lindsay, is due to deliver her firstborn son, a.k.a. the first grandson and the first boy in our family, on December 31st. To say the least, she is great with child. Of course, by “great” I mean she looks beautiful!! She has carried him with such grace and poise. Seriously, she gives me so much hope. (If you really know me, you’ll understand that statement.)

Well, Hudson Clark Rouse is going to be here any day, and I simply cannot wait. He’s my first nephew, by blood, and let’s just say, I’m pretty obsessed about being an aunt. 

Being that I’m the closest relative (geographically) to Lindsay, I decided to spend this weekend helping her get as settled as possible. It was such a blessing to help her this weekend…. despite the fact, that I battled the coldest temperatures of my life ever (or ever will hopefully!).

This week I go to Montgomery to visit my in-laws, and then comes the waiting for my new favorite little man. It’s amazing how the Lord has given us such a special place in our heart for our children…(and even those that aren’t technically our’s!) Bring on the baby!

Here’s a pic of my sister at 39ish weeks. It’s time.

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