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Be still and know

Be still and know

Ok, he’s finally asleep, and my nerves are fried.

It’s been a monumental week for our little guy, and challenging for us! Today he is 9 months old and on Tuesday of this week, he got his first tooth AND figured out how to stand by himself all in one day! Exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting for mama and dad!

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For some reason in all these firsts, he’s forgotten how to sleep or even how to let himself try to sleep.

I’ve just finished wrestling him for the last hour, combination: exhausted and next tooth pushing. He won’t lay down, but won’t be held either…he wouldn’t stay still in my arms, so finally I tried tying him on my back. Even that took four tries before he’d stay still enough. Walking up and down the driveway, he started to calm down. Oh, he was tired, no doubt about it, I think he even knew it, but he just wouldn’t let go and relax. Then as soon as he started to calm down, I think he realized that he was giving in, and picked back up again. Squirming, twisting, pushing, fussing, so I took him back off and held him in my arms.

More squirming, a little less squirming, less squirming, a head finally laying on my shoulder. I covered him in a blanket and soon my sweet, active and very strong little guy was peacefully asleep.
PHEW.

As I walked past a mirror looking at him squirm in my arms, I got to thinking about shepherds and how at times they have to carry their sheep. Do the sheep squirm and wiggle and try to break free? Probably.

Do the Shepherds patiently hold them and whisper calming words trying to help them see that the shepherd only wants to help, knows what the sheep needs and is fully capable of taking care of the sheep if it will only relax into his arms and let him?

Or let Him?

In his arms

Too often I think (I KNOW) I am the sheep squirming and thrashing and refusing to be held, cared for, or tended to by the one who is most capable.

And, there’s my sheepish thought for the morning.

The Big Kid Bed!

We have a big kid bed!

Perhaps not so terribly exciting for most of you. But, we’ve just had a mattress on the floor since we were married almost 12 years ago, and Matt decided it was time to get a real bed!

The problem was, as we tried to find used beds, we were never able to find ones we liked or that were in our price range.

We’d finally figured out the style we (I) liked which was a great step, but how long until one showed up on craigslist or we could afford it?

Solution: One Superhusband who said “I can build a bed for you!”

(Have I told you just how blessed a woman I am to have married said Superhusband??)

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So…build a bed he did. And, I’m talking a capital B Bed, not just a little b bed! (I helped a little too with nailing and putty-ing, but decided the chop saw was NOT my thing!)

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So excited to enjoy this bed for years to come! Thank you Matt!!

Which way is up!?!

Yesterday we went to an amusement park with the kids…on one of the rides Taylah was the “driver” and as we went round and round and higher and higher (and about to hit the trees at any second, I was sure!) I started to lose track of which direction we were facing, things got blurred, and I was ready for the ride to slow down a bit to get my bearings!

Sort of sounds like our days right now and sometimes I get lost as to which way is up with all the things on our to-do lists!

Getting my bearings a bit this morning as I am working on de-cluttering my desk…not quite as dizzying as riding the Flyer with Taylah but I realized that despite my best intentions, this has been a pretty quiet blog lately!

So, this morning’s goal (before the ride gets crazy again), is to work on getting a few blogs updated! (Sendum and Fundem was the first!!)

And yet, even though I am feeling dizzy…if I would just stop long enough to listen to the “ride operator” who says…Trust Me. Follow Me. Glorify Me. Then it seems like the priorities all come into focus and I am not left reeling and sort of feeling like I am ready to throw up!

Thankfully, school is done, and the kids are enjoying the freedom of doing whatever they’d like during the day. As we finished up the year, we figured we’d done MORE than enough Geography on our trip, we’d covered lots in the normal subjects, but we really let Art class go in the chaos of new babies, and travels and trainings.

So, the last week of class, we did a much stronger focus on art. And, I promised them I would share some of their “masterpieces!”

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Oh, and I realized as I ran downstairs to grab something that our laundry pile (clean at least), seems to have gotten lost in this week’s dizzy blur! Know anyone who LOVES to fold laundry????? HELP!

I thought this was bad last week....

I thought this was bad last week….

Then I saw today's!  Yikes!!

Then I saw today’s!
Yikes!!

Sendum and Fundem

Just after we got back from our trip out to Colorado, we took part in the BFC denomination’s annual mission rally.

With 8 minutes to share, and lots we wanted to say, we decided to try a little something different (For our Salida friends, Bud and Rusty just weren’t willing to travel to the East Coast!)…

It was a great day hearing from many different missionaries all over the world! We are thankful to be part of the BFC denomination! Though we’ll have to get creative when we come home to share again in 4 years!!

And, just for those who tried to pause the video to see what on earth the pictures were of, here are a couple:

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Messicks in Deputation 100

STAY TUNED…There should be an even more exciting update coming your way in the next week or two!!

un-pause

Ugh…I was getting blogs up no problem (and feeling quite pleased with myself) until we hit Colorado. Then it seems I hit the pause button on computer time mostly because we hit the fast forward button on life, deputation, presentations, and visiting!

I will get caught up eventually, mostly because I want to share the last 3 weeks, but for those who just want to get to the point, here’s the speed recap:

We arrived in Colorado March 25th and spent a few days at WorldVenture

We finally added our handprints (all 10) to the WorldVenture TCK hall of fame!

We finally added our handprints (all 10) to the WorldVenture TCK hall of fame!

picking up like it was yesterday with friends...

picking up like it was yesterday with friends…

We went to see some of the essential Denver tourist sites...

We went to see some of the essential Denver tourist sites…

We went down to Salida to visit friends and to connect with our supporting churches there.

Never enough time to hang out all we want with the Hills

Never enough time to hang out all we want with the Hills

Headed up S mountain for some family exercise time...

Headed up S mountain for some family exercise time…

Got to hug on the necks of special special friends like the McBrides (and yes we forgot to take pictures often this time)

Got to hug on the necks of special special friends like the McBrides (and yes we forgot to take pictures often this time)

We took a few days to rest and play in the snow at WinterPark

Pretty cool to celebrate our 6 year old Winter Park style!

Pretty cool to celebrate our 6 year old Winter Park style!

The kids loved getting to meet Julie!

The kids loved getting to meet Julie!

Full-family selfies!

Full-family selfies!

We spent Easter in Denver with (almost) family and hitched up the trailer for the drive back.

Always so nice to go "home" to the Palens!

Always so nice to go “home” to the Palens!

Waiting for the Easter egg hunt craziness!

Waiting for the Easter egg hunt craziness!


Now THAT's a load!

Now THAT’s a load!

We’ve been hit by a stomach bug on the road, so at times it’s been (more than) a little messy. Thankfully, we were with wonderful friends in St. Louis where it was ok to just be! Our state line pictures came to a sudden halt when I spent the entire trip yesterday sick and asleep in the front seat! (sorry Shanes!) Overall, these last 6 weeks have made for such a good trip, and/but…we are so excited to be home in 2 more sleeps!

And you know so so SO much more has happened than that! But, those pictures and stories will have to wait until I can get us all unpacked, unwound and on the same time-zone! Praising Him who has guided our path and will walk before us these next months as we get closer to leaving for Ecuador!

Time Travel in Texas

It is hard to believe it is already over a week since we landed in Texas! And while people keep talking about throwback Thursday, it was a Throwback State for us!

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We started off in Temple, Tx where we visited with John and Janet. They were Matt’s supervisors when he was there, they knew Matt when he met a “girl”, they were our supervisors when we were both there and they’ve always been a couple we’ve loved and learned from at a distance!

Always so wonderful to see these two!

Always so wonderful to see these two!

It was so great to visit them and remember times in Nigeria…at one point Matt said the name of a restaurant we ate at out of the blue and I could almost taste the agusi stew! Crazy!!

The next day we went to see Bob and Sharon near Dallas, friends we had known in Salida. Sharon recently had an accident so it was one-armed hugs, but so wonderful to catch up with them and introduce both Taylah and JJ to our friends!

It was hard to believe that they hadn't met Taylah yet!

It was hard to believe that they hadn’t met Taylah yet!

Then we headed south of Dallas to visit with Larry and Trish. We used to visit Larry and Trish on Sunday nights when we lived in Nigeria for popcorn and milkshake nights (which we had last night for fun!). It was their son Beau who was traveling with Matt when we met, and God has continued to connect our families in the most interesting of ways!

Trish got her baby fix!

Trish got her baby fix!

Matt helped Larry with a project

Matt helped Larry with a project

Amazing to think about all that has happened since our days in Nigeria!

Amazing to think about all that has happened since our days in Nigeria!

Another friend, Kara came to visit while we were there and we got to meet her precious little girl! JJ and Annie had quite the time hanging out with each other!

JJ and his new friend...

JJ and his new friend…

So glad that Kara could make it!

So glad that Kara could make it!

Enjoying some time out of the car and in the trees!

Enjoying some time out of the car and in the trees!

Kara had some fun travel snacks for the kids!

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Then we had one last Texan night in Amarillo. We had all been so well fed through our travels we decided to go light and have a Messick picnic for dinner…we got some of our favourite fruits and had a little buffet before we enjoyed the pool.

apples, mangoes, pears, cucumbers...our fruit tanks were full!

apples, mangoes, pears, cucumbers…our fruit tanks were full!

Then it was through the rest of Texas, New Mexico and into Colorado! (hooray!)…we learned just how flat the road could be and how to destroy tumbleweeds as we drive over them! (and that there are rattlesnake warning signs!)

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F.L.A.T!!!!!

F.L.A.T!!!!!

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rest stop...or run around stop is probably a better term!

rest stop…or run around stop is probably a better term!

we were hoping they were all sleeping still....

we were hoping they were all sleeping still….

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We were thankful to finally arrive in Colorado and know we’d be unpacking our bags for a few days! And, our dear Miss Cheryl welcomed us in her special way!

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Always good to come "home"

Always good to come “home”

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Thanks for praying for us…this has been a fun/exhausting/exciting journey! And, please keep praying for our support…we are so close to breaking the 80% mark!

We’re getting a little road weary after a couple of really long days, but Saturday we landed at an oasis in Shreveport Louisiana!

It is our first time in Louisiana for all of us and we only half caught the sign racing over the bridge!

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We were coming to stay with our friend Julie’s family here, and she’d been telling us just how welcome we were going to feel here and she wasn’t kidding!! I think we got a super-sized helpin’ of Southern love and hospitality!!!

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It felt like we packed three days of outside fun into one afternoon (after 8 hours in the car to get there!!)….

The kids fed the geese

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Played on the swings

We all fell in love with Miss. Dinah!

We all fell in love with Miss. Dinah!

Rode the bikes

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There was a marathon game of soccer baseball/kickball with Jacob and Aaron (JJ and I even played!)

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Taylah found a dollhouse…

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and JJ got lots of love!

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And of course we ate and ate some awesome southern cookin’ too! We loved the chance to visit with new (that feel like old) friends…We were wishin’ all the Gibsons were here too, but we are so so so so SO thankful for Julie sharing her family with us!

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Realized as we drove through Brandon, Mississippi Saturday, that we had friends living there as well…we tried to visit with them, but unfortunately when we called, they were in Florida! (We’re sorry we missed you Mannings!!) This road-office seems to be working pretty well though!

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We made it to Temple Tx last night where we are visiting with some wonderful friends from our time in Nigeria. This week we’ve traveled PA, MD, WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, and now TX…that’s a lot of drivin! Ya’ll have a great day now! (that’s my new Louisiana speak!)

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Oh, and I can eat me some breakfast!!!

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