Bring Bennet Home

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The List

The inevitable list. I have to make them. When big decisions arise I am compelled to write down the good and the bad so I can see the pros and cons in black and white. I often refer back to these lists and laugh at the things I saw as good or bad before making choices and for the things I  couldn't see beforehand. So here we go!



  • Chris would gain confidence before pastoring/planting. He would be more educated and have a better base of knowledge to lead people as a pastor.
  • The community surrounding a place where everyone is on a level playing field because of a joint goal. Being able to be submerged in a like minded culture and making life long bonds because of the time we'd share in North Carolina.
  • Proving to myself that I can do it. 
  • Getting to make another house our own with creative touches. 
  • Chris and I would have to depend way more on just each other.
  • We'd be a hour and a half from the beach.
  • The boys would be 7 and 4 when we actually plant a church instead of 3 and 1. 

  • It's in North Carolina!
  • We'd be 20 hours away from any family!!! (I feel like this one needs lots of emphasis because this is the BIGGEST con of all!)
  • We know no one.
  • The boys would miss out being surrounded by family for 3-4 years.
  • Isolation of sorts.
  • If something bad happened in Oklahoma we'd be so far away we couldn't do anything to help or to get home quickly.
  • I wouldn't get to see my mom and sisters regularly.
  • Chris will be stretched thin to manage full time school, a job and our family. 
  • Chris would be my only real support system.
  • The next 3-4 years will be some of the toughest parenting-wise because of the boys ages. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Casen's First Haircut

Aunt Sassie made it five months before getting a hold of our Casen Cole's beautiful curly locks. She cut an inch to an inch and half off all over his head. It was LONG! The eldest got his first hair cut videoed and hundreds of snap shots taken. The middle got some pics from the iPhone. And the poor third little guy gets to sit on barstool in a shower for his first hair cut with a big cousin to photograph the whole ordeal. Sorry Casen! At least there are some pictures of the big event, right?

Date Night with Tucker

Last Thursday night my Tucker boy and I took off for a very special date night. He's been asking to go see Turbo every time he's sees the preview so we snuck away and left Daddy with the littles and got some good quality time in. Our closest movie theater is about 25 minutes away and their website said they had a 4:30 showing, but lied. It wasn't until 7 pm. We arrived for the early show and then had to kill some time waiting for the next show time. We walked around and did some shopping. We ate mexican food at the request of my grilled cheese ordering boy. And we made a quick stop at the park to ride the
carousel and the train before finally heading off to watch a snail become a race car. It was a fun night and I look forward to many more dates with all three of my little men. It's good to be the Momma of boys!

Asking The MOST

In 2006 I entered into a covenant relationship with Chris Gordon. I agreed to life with him. I willingly said "I do" and we started a partnership that has been good. We work well together. We have not been without our share of bumps, disagreements, growing pains and hardships, but we've always been able to work through the things that have come up because we have always been on the same team, the same page, working toward the same end.
This weekend he asked me to do something that I do NOT want to even entertain, little alone do. He told me that he thinks we are being called by God to move to Wake Forest, North Carolina for him to attend seminary at Southeastern.
Before this life altering statement our plan was to begin the steps to plant a church in Norman, Oklahoma. We were planning to attend a church planting conference in September in LA. To begin looking for ministry positions in the Norman area so we could live where we want to plant and begin to build relationships. All of this is 20 minutes from my family. Dream. Come. True. We have friends there. We know our way around. Our family is close. We love Norman and have always wanted to live there. 
But Chris came to me Friday and said instead he'd like us to move 20 hours away. To live in married student housing. With three little boys. Chris would be going to school full time, working to provide enough for us to get by on and being my only source of support. All five of us living in 1,000 square feet for at least three years, probably more. Little money. Far away. All alone. None of this sounds like a good idea to me. It sounds a lot like prison for me instead of the dream I'd pictured in Norman. 
We literally "know" five people there. I say "know" because it's not like we're close to them. We know of them. Barely acquaintances. Having three boys so small at the same time is hard and I cannot do it alone. I've had to have lots of help. I don't like to ask for it, but my family has stepped up in unbelievable ways. As have lots of friends in Sayre. They give of themselves and their time to help me out and give me enough sanity to scrape by some days. The thought of moving TWENTY hours away is really unthinkable. I don't know that I'll survive it. I've never lived that far away from my family, nor had any desire to. I have had lots of adventures, but I don't feel like we're in an adventuring season of life right now. We are still in survival mode in lots of ways. Day to day is all I can handle. It's a challenge.
The bottom line is I do not want to move across the country. The boys are part of the reason/excuse, but really I don't want to. We are really praying about it and I'm trying to be open to the idea, but it's hard to even ask the Lord what He wants in this situation because I already have my mind made up. I don't want Him to make me do this. I think that Chris is capable of being a fantastic pastor/church planter without seminary. I don't see that what he will gain will offset what moving there will cost all of us. I can see it as a benefit to Chris, but not to the four other members of our family or our marriage.
Trying to process this has dominated my thoughts all weekend and they don't get more positive. I don't want to go kicking and screaming and I don't think Chris would do that. But what are we supposed to do if one of us feels called to something the other does not? How does this scenario end in Happily Ever After? I don't know. Ugh.

Next Steps

Next. Sometimes next is a scary word. Sometimes it's exciting or nerve wrecking or unknown or an adventure. Sometimes it's all of those things in one.
A year and a half ago we received a phone call from a church asking for Chris's resume. This was the first call like this we'd received in three years! This was a big change because before that we had recieved calls pretty regularly. At the time we couldn't imagine leaving Sayre. Saying good bye to these students and people who have become our extended family. The ones who have helped us welcome our babies and supported us through thick and thin. It was really inconceivable. That oppertunity didn't pan out (for the best) but it made us start thinking through what would be next for our family.
Soon after that interview I discovered my woman crush - Jen Hatmaker. I love her. I want to be her best friend. I would love to go to Austin and stock her until she finally added me to her Tribe. I started reading her stuff and quickly gobbled up all she'd ever written. I also read a book her husband had written and began to become super burdened for doing ministry differently. She talks a lot about typical churches "blessing the blessed." That has rang in my heart for over a year. That's what we do. That's what our life's work is. Blessing blessed kids. Making sure they're entertained and engaged and kept comfortable. Not exactly what the Bible talks about. There's not a Beatitude that says, "Blessed are those who bless the bless for they shall be blessed even more." Nope. Jesus tended to look on the outskirts for followers. For people who would believe in Him with all they had. Without questions or reservations. Those who weren't all clean and shiny and expecting. The widows. The orphans. The prostitutes. The invalids. Those society would rather forget about then deal with. We still do that. We still push those who make us uncomfortable to the side expecting welfare programs to care for those who can't care for themselves. I don't want my boys to grow up and not know what need looks like. To become an adult with no idea of what struggles some people face. I want them to know how blessed they are to live where they live and have what they have. I don't want to compete with society and name brands and entertainment. I want them to know what it is to serve others and not think themselves any better then those they're serving. I want them to BE Jesus, not just know who He is.
When Chris was in high school he went on a mission trip to Montana (I think) he thought then he'd be a church planter some day. He's always had a heart for spreading the Gospel by means of church planting. When I brought that up to him after reading Jen Hatmaker he got excited too. We dreamed and talked about what we'd hope a church would look like. Programs and outreaches to those really in need. About being Jesus' hands and feet in a much more literal way then we've ever done in our life or ministry. But we didn't want to just go plant a church because it sounded cool or because we'd get to do things the way we wanted/thought they should be done. I guess mainly due to those thoughts we assumed that planting would maybe come later in our ministry, especially after we found out we were going to grow from a family of three to five really fast. So instead we readjusted our thoughts and prayers.
About a year ago Chris began to feel like he was supposed to transition from the role of Youth Minister to Pastor. He has grown and developed so much while we've been in Sayre and I can see the traits of a Pastor growing in him. He is a man I'd want to follow as my Pastor. He began sending resumes to churches all over the state of Oklahoma. Big. Small. City churches. Country churches. Older congregations. Younger ones. All different types of places. Only one church called him for an interview. We went and visited with FBC Amber, Ok in February. Everything looked really promising but quickly fell apart. The door closed and we went back to praying.
I should say I have not been even a little excited about the thought of being a pastor's wife. I don't think I fit into that mold of who I think a pastor's wife should be. I'm not precious. I don't sit on the front row or go forward to pray every week. I don't want to direct VBS or kids choir or ladies Bible study. Well maybe that last one, but I just have had a really hard time finding my place in this new avenue of ministry. I feel called to ministry too. And I've had a big part of our ministry the last seven years. I don't feel like I'm done or that motherhood is my only calling/ministry even though it does dominate my time right now. I still have a purpose outside of our house in ministry. I've prayed and tried and supported as best as I can, but I've just never been as excited about pastoring as the next stage as Chris has been. Not like I was about church planting a year and a half ago.
On July 6th Chris and I got a whole day to ourselves. I think this is the first time since Casen was born that we've had a whole day by ourselves. We drove to Norman for a concert (GARTH BROOKS!!!) and then came home. We had a lot of time in the car to talk. Like finish conversations and everything! Only parents of young children can truly appreciate how nice it is to finish a sentence or whole thought without interruption. Luxury at it's finest! We hashed a lot of things out and found out that both of our hearts were still drawn to planting. Not because there aren't enough churches. Not because others aren't doing it right. Not because another church hasn't hired us, but because we both feel an inexplicable drawing to it. Because it's the only thing we've both agreed on or been excited by. Because we've done our due diligence with looking for an existing church.
It looks like this is what's next for our family. There's an organization called Acts 29 that partners with planters and teaches and supports them. The way they go about things is really cool and just fits with our direction. They offer a bootcamp in September we're planning on attending to help flesh more of this thing out. There is much to happen and line up for this to continue past this dream stage, but it's exciting none the less to think of this new thing. New body. New way of doing church for our family and our boys.
I'm so excited to see how God works the details out and what this looks like further down the road. Hopeful. Excited. Anxious. Lots of emotions, but a confidence knowing the direction the Father has for us.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

First Stitches... well kinda

Our lazy Sunday afternoon became pretty exciting pretty quickly. Chris was getting ready to head back to church for deacon's meeting around 4 o'clock. Tucker woke up during this process, so Chris had both babies in our room while he was getting dressed while I cuddled with our sleepy big boy.
I heard Bennett playing with the mirror in our room. It's leaned up against the wall and I thought to myself that we needed to move it to a more secure place. Chris walked the two steps across the hall to tell me he was about to leave and we heard a crash. Bennett had pulled the mirror over on he and Casen in the 30 seconds Chris had his back turned.
Chris ran back into our room and yelled for me. I could tell there was panic in his voice so I rushed in. He was holding Casen and trying to wipe blood off his forehead. I grabbed him from Chris and quickly decided the gash on his forehead was for sure worth a trip to the ER for stitches. We quickly put clothes on the boys and I and rushed out the door. On the way to the hospital we called some friends who could watch Bennett and Tucker. Chris dropped Casen and I off and came back to deposit the other boys. He then rejoined us at the ER. The small ER is one of the benefits of living in a tiny town: you know the nurses, its quick and there's no judgement! (I was a little worried just because of Casen's age that the hospital staff would make a big deal out of a tiny accident.)

They quickly cleaned up our baby boy and were able to use glue to close the gash on his forehead instead of stiches. He didn't even cry! He just laid super still and let the doctor work on him. He's a pretty tough guy!

We are all home and fine now. It ending up being a pretty stressful afternoon, but we're thankful Casen is ok. It could've been so much worse! My great grandma always said little things happen so big things won't so we will be watching our little tribe much more closely and not taking chances. It really only takes a few seconds!

Bennett's Nine Month Letter

Bennett Harris,
My sweet baby boy! If I were to describe your personality in one word it would be sweet. From top to bottom that's what you are. You continue to be our laid back boy whose happy to be along for the ride or watching the excitement around him. You are just uber precious and an instant charmer to anyone who meets you.

You are getting so big and doing so many new things. You crawl anywhere you want to be and you're pretty fast. You are pulling up like a champion, but you do it backwards from most babies. You push up on your legs with your hands (booty in the air) and then walk your way up furniture with your hands. You get what you want this way, that's for sure! You have five teeth and I think a couple more will be through soon.

You are wearing size three diapers and 6-12 months clothes. Your nine month things are getting really snug though. You eat baby food three-ish times a day and like everything except green beans, peas, apricots and peaches. You still like your bottles and are flexible between eating solids and bottles. You also like puffs, mums mums and rice cakes. You also have started eating tiny bites of table food most times we eat. Mostly soft vegetables and breads, but you really like them none the less.

You patty cake all the time, blow kisses, wave your hand no-no and flap your wings to be picked up. You're becoming a pretty proficient communicator without words! You have come up with several this month -- "Dada" of course is most popular! You love your Daddy and are for sure a Daddy's boy. I knew you'd say his name first and I'm glad you finally got around to it. You can also say bye-bye, Bubba, hi and several other sounds that aren't quite words yet. Soon you'll be talking up a storm I'm sure.

Our ever flexible child you have been lots of places this month. We have been to the park in Elk City, swimming at Red Hill, Falls Creek and to watch lots of weeball. You were unsure about the carousel but you liked the train. You LOVE the pool and Falls Creek. You were a happy little spectator for the week. Your laid back personality is such a blessing to our busy life.
You LOVE balls and play catch with anyone whose around or by yourself if necessary. You love the water and have dipped your face in the bubbles just like Tucker does several times. You are happy as long as you are close to Tuck. You also like to bounce on Tucker's trampoline while he plays in the back yard.
You do not like to go to people other then Momma or Daddy. You are having a little separation anxiety these days, but I think its just a stage. You also don't like to be still now that you've figured out how to be mobile. You are intent on getting things you set your mind to and don't enjoy us telling you no, even if the thing you're reaching for is Casen's hair.

You are just easy to love and love very easily. You are very loyal to your Daddy, me and Granna. You LOVE your brothers so much and chase Tucker all over the place. You even sneak up on him and wrestle a little sometimes. I hope you always keep your sweet spirit and loyal love.

Ben we all just love you so much!!! I can't imagine a better middle baby or one to have lost his spot as the baby so quickly. You give the best kisses while I rock you to sleep and you smile so sweetly most of the time. You are pure joy and I'm so glad we have you in the middle. I love watching you grow and learn, even if time is passing all too quickly. I can't believe you are already nine months old. For some reason that feels like a landmark age. You just keep growing and learning and being great! We love ya so much Bennett Harris!!!

Love you more,

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Casen's Five Month Letter

We have had a crazy busy month. Welcome to summer as a Gordon. Dad was gone a LOT in June to different camps. You spent a week with Granna because the rest of us were at Falls Creek, but I don't think you minded the concentrated attention and spoiling I'm sure you got.

You have just been busy growing and doing great things. You are getting so big and smart and coordinated and you're still opinionated when you think its necessary. You are sitting up really well. You're still a little wobbly and loose your balance when you reach too far, but you're making progress. You really like this new view of life around you. It puts you right in the middle of the action with your big brothers who are rarely still.

You weighed in a month ago at 15 pounds and 7 ounces and you were 25 inches tall. Right on the 50% curve for both height and weight. Just perfect. You are wearing size two diapers, but are getting close to a size three. You still wear your 3-6 month clothes.

You are sleeping like a champ! Most of the time you sleep all night and we just LOVE ya for it! You biggest brother was far and away the worst sleeper of the trifecta.

You have started eating rice cereal and you like it. You are figuring out what to do with the goop we're shoveling in your mouth and you make the funniest expressions while you eat. We will add oatmeal as soon as your rice is gone and move on from there.

We have had lots of fun adventures this summer. This month we went to the park in Elk City to ride the train and carosel. You cheered on the big kids from the sidelines and enjoyed some lovies from your Nana Lue, Granna and Popper. We also played the part of cheerleader for Tucker's weeball games this year. He play four games. At the games you and Bennett got passed around and loved on a lot from our Sayre friends and most of the time napped through at least part of the games. You turned five months old on the Fourth of July. You LOVED watching the fireworks and sat captivated by them for the entire firework show.

You love bath time, watching your brothers, sitting in laps/being held, and smiling. You do not like laying on your back, being alone or your car seat.

You are just a joy these days! You smile so easy and so often. You love to be held and take in our crazy world around you. You don't talk yet, but we sure know what you're thinking most of the time. You still are either really chill or really not. Your all or nothing personality is tricky sometimes, but you also know what you need when you need it. Things continue to get easier with you and I'm so thankful that you are the third boy in our family. I can't imagine life without you now that you're here! 

I love you more!