Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Sweet friends! March 30, 2008

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 8:15 pm

I am constantly amazed at the way I am blessed with wonderful, uplifting, godly friends.  One friend from college sent me an encouraging, uplifting email filled with hope.  One friend watched and loved on my children Saturday so I could be with Mark at the hospital.  One friend took over church responsibilities for me when her plate was way, way more than full.  I have had many phone calls and email messages from precious friends just encouraging us and letting us know that they are praying for us.

I am truly thankful and my cup is full.  My friend Jenny Pruitt wrote a beautiful, encouraging but raw look at some of the emotions and questions we are dealing with right now.  She put it so well that I hope you will take some time to meditate on it at .  And I am including a wonderful email from my ultra positive friend Kara.  I talked to her this weekend and she was dealing with a household of sick children and husband all the while sick herself, yet she found time to reach out and encourage me.  That is what I am talking about.  I can’t stay down in the dumps with friends like that. To whom much is given, much is expected.

When all else fails, I find myself on my face again.  Longing to feel the presence of my King and not the cares of this world.  I thought with the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, I would send the beautiful women in my life a song that has inspired me in more ways than one.

I sometimes break down and cry when I think of the woman who wrote this short song and how

she allowed God to wrap His arms around her, pulling her closer to His heart.  When you read these words, know this mighty woman of God sat down at her piano shortly after the death of one of her children and sang these words:

I have come with one intent, one desire to fulfill,

to Worship you  Lord, laying down everything,

falling at your feet, I sing

You alone are worthy, You alone are faithful,

You alone are God and worthy to be praised

You alone are worthy, You alone are faithful,

You alone are God and worthy to be praised

When we are faced with the impossible and may not see the beautiful weather that lies past the storm that surrounds us, remember: ALL things are possible with Him and He knows the plans He has for you.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, that beautiful rainbow in the sky is coming.  In the mean time, we wait, He will give us strength, but patiently wait……even if every now and again we are falling at His feet.


Tough Day March 29, 2008

Filed under: Health and Safety — erikaivory @ 10:23 pm

Today was tough, emotionally draining and unfortunately, probably the first of many.  And compared to the rest of my precious Chapman family it was truly least difficult on me.

 We found out today that, Tom Chapman, my father-in-law has cancer.  This is the beginning of a hard journey.  My wonderful husband Mark has started a blog at to chronicle his part of this journey.  I encourage you to check it out, especially those of you that know him.

Please pray for us when you think of us.  Especially Tom and Pat Chapman.  We are so thankful that we are not alone in this journey.  We have each other but mostly we have our God.

“The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Hiim, and I am helped.”

Psalm 28:7


Sweetest pose March 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 8:24 pm

sweetest posePlease click this link to see the cutest patooty you may ever have seen.  This is my little (well not so little, look at those arms!) middle fella.  The picture is like three years old but I found it recently and I couldn’t resist sharing it. Plus I am trying to figure out how to put pictures on here.  I think I know how to make it a link but not just show the picture yet.  Those of you that know the Haigster will really appreciate this picture:)


Review of my day

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 8:17 pm

Praise the Lord!  I have grass in my backyard!  Some very nice fellas came and made light work of a job that would have taken Mark and I like a week.  And then we probably still would have ended up with dead grass.  I am not trying to be a negative ninja it is just the truth.  So I want to give a shout out to Scott Brokaw and his team with Innovative Landscape Design.  If you are looking for help with landscaping big or small they were great.  Polite, kept everything clean,  courteous, nice to my kids, timely.  Great guys:)

I have been wearing work out clothes all day but have yet to make it to the gym.  When I set my mind to do something I become a bit obsessive about it.  So at 8pm as I was putting the kids to bed I was thinking that I would still go to the gym.  I had to take some deep breaths, look around me at the 2 hours of cleaning I still have before me and face the reality that although my best intentions were to run and try to be prepared for the Cooper River Bridge Run…it just is not happening today. 

I am really trying hard to ask the Lord to plan out my day and then actually listen to what He wants me to do versus what I think would be the best use of my time or the most fun.  I really want my focus to be on my kids and not the whirlwind around me but I get so distracted.  I also find myself serving other people much more than serving my kids.  Does that make sense to anyone else? 

So that is where my head is tonight.  And I feel like I so often fail miserably and the only remedy I know of is to take it to Him and pray, pray, pray.  So I am going to try to get to bed at a decent time tonight so hopefully I won’t be a crabby mommy but one that is loving, sweet and filled with energy and praise:)  Thanks for reading my rambles.  Nighty night!


Big Announcement March 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 10:46 pm

No I  most certainly am not pregnant and we are not moving:)  Thankful for both at the moment.  I am so glad that I can finally with much excitement announce that Newspring Church in Anderson, SC will be opening a Newspring Florence campus sometime this year.

Whoo-hooo!!!! The Chapmans are super, duper excited.  This has been a long journey accompanied by many prayers and this is one big answer to those.  You can read a few more details at this site

Michael Brown will be the campus pastor.  Mark and I went to college with Michael and his wife Vanessa at Charleston Southern University.  They are a super couple and they have a sweet little boy that is 1 1/2.  They will be moving to Florence in June.  So the Chapmans are ready to start working and getting our hands dirty starting this new church.

Newspring is dedicated to reaching the lost for Christ.  They do small groups/home groups and they work hard to bless the community they are in.  So anybody interested please, please holler at me and I will answer any questions I can and certainly put you in touch with Michael.  He would love to talk to you, meet with you.  My email address is  God is doing great things in Florence and He is about to do some moreSmile  I am excited!!!


Mission Accomplished!

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 10:31 pm

Since we went to church yesterday at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC we did not go anywhere to “church” today.  We felt like everyone on our street thought we were heathens and we wanted to post a sign that said we went yesterday:)  But it was actually such a sweet, restful, beautiful day!

We went and bought doughnuts (actually Mark did) and we had a family devotion time.  We stayed in our pajamas most of the day.  Everyone but Mark napped, including me, which was glorious.  The little guy was up with a cough much of the night so sleep was hard to find for some of us during the night. 

After my nap I felt so rejuvenated and it was so pretty outside that I decided to tackle cleaning out the garage and moving a bunch of my husband’s work stuff out there.  He helped for much of it.  When I set my mind to accomplish a task like that I become a maniac.  Nothing is going to stop me from doing it and getting it done.  Mark said that I am not allowed to take naps anymore on Sunday afternoons:)

But we really are both glad to get it done because it is one of those chores that we have been putting off for like over a year.  Now don’t get me wrong, it is not really clean or organized but it is soooo much better than it was.  And at least a little safer:)  Our garage is one of those places that I only want people who really, really care about me and love me unconditionally to see.  Because someone that doesn’t know me well might look in there and their opinion of me forever be marred:)

So thankful for a restful Easter.  If you have a moment check out the website  This church in Charlotte, NC is less than two years old with two portable campuses that meet in high schools.  They have multiple services and had 4800 people attend this morning and 500 first-time decisions for Christ!  What!!!! Yes, is that awesome or what?  Steven Furtick is the pastor.  He is a 27 year old guy from Moncks Corner, SC and he is sold out for Jesus.  They have an awesome staff, actually for CSU folks that read this, Philip McCart is on staff there. 

Anyways many of you have heard of them, but it is totally worth your time to listen to one of their services online and even better to go for a visit.  It is only two hours from Florence and they give out free earplugs at the door because that is how pumped up their praise and worship is.  Oh and their volunteers really love on your kids!  So, really, check them out!


Easter March 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 10:23 pm

I LOVE dying Easter eggs.  My brothers used to tease me that the only reason they participated in that activity was because I made them do it.  It was probably true.  So yesterday the boys didn’t have school and we dyed Easter eggs and for the first year in a long time it actually was fun and not stressful!

I also adore Easter egg hunts but now that I am officially too old to hunt for them and simply am the hider over and over and over and over again.  It is not quite as much fun.  I also love Peeps.  Anyone else?  The Easter bunny always brought them (I actually first typed the word brang– what in the world is wrong with me?  Have I just lived in SC too long?  I am convinced I need to start taking memory enhancers or something and I swear I am not pregnant.  Oxygen deprived? Sheesh!) Anyways the bunny brought them and I always traded my brothers my marshmallow bunnies for the Peeps.  But now I am the only one that likes them around here so they don’t arrive in our baskets anymore:(

These are great memories but I love how the older I become the more significant the true reason for Easter becomes.  It is really, truly amazing.  Someone made the point recently that we spend like two months building up to Christmas but we spend maybe a weekend at most celebrating the resurrection of Christ.  Which is the main point of what we believe, you know?

So feeling convicted about that I am trying to find more ways to teach my boys how important Easter is and what a time of celebration it is.  I also want to let my youngest know that Easter is about more than this huge rabbit that he, turns out, is scared of.  He cannot understand why we are excited about a large bunny coming into our house in the night when we are asleep.  Not into that.

We do the Resurrection Eggs, which have twelve colored, plastic eggs and in each one is a symbol that helps tell the Easter story.  They love those.  We went and bought a special children’s book that is about Christ’s death and resurrection.  They like to look at that and read through it together.

Someone also sent a cool recipe to make cookies with a Bible verse for each ingredient then overnight they cook and in the morning they are “empty” like the tomb.  We are going to try those tomorrow.  So what about you?  How do you make Easter special and memorable for your family?