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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jonathan Trentham Our Harvest Missionary

Jonathan Trentham is our (Harvest Church's) resident missionary to Cambodia. He's been there over a year now and will remain there for likely another year before his return home.
He's working as a teacher there in Cambodia which as you can imagine, is not an easy job. However, he's flourishing there and God is using him mightily.


Jonathan is also our friend and brother and sorely missed while he's away. When he was called away he left a hole here... that hasn't quite been filled even with the many who've tried to step in. He has a gift and a heart for young men that is large and he pours himself into these guys like no one else can.


Jono, Justin and Isaac




We all love you Jono and we're praying for you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Timothy's New Favorite Thing

True Relationship

True relationship requires both parties to give and to take. There cannot one person who is consistently leaching off of others, there cannot be unrealistic expectations, there cannot be prejudice or jealousy, there cannot be lies, there cannot be divisiveness or manipulation... there must be respect, there must be GRACE.

Without grace you have NO true relationship! Only what you may think is relationship. Empty acquaintances really...

People who love us most celebrate who we are as individuals and as husband and wife/father and mother; and we in turn, can celebrate who they are as individuals and as husbands and wives/fathers and mothers.  People who love us have our best as their interest when they're with us; and we in turn, have their best at heart.

It all comes down to this:

1 Corinthians 13:2-8a

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it's own, is not provoked, thinks no evil' does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

You miss out on so much if you find yourself unable to love no-strings-attached. If you find yourself unable to see past self and love someone so deeply that you're unafraid to do or say what is inconvenient for you, you're missing out. The rewards of loving someone deeply are great.

Truth is, no one really knows how to love exactly as was laid out in 1 Corinthians... but, by grace through a relationship with Jesus Christ we can strive to love one another as Christ loved the church. Selflessly, devotedly and passionately.

Lord may I ever be found loving others as You love me.


Timothy's 3 Month Onesie/Photo Shoot

Ya'll remember my 2 month onesie I made right?
Well ta-da. It's already time for the 3 month onesie photos.
Here they are :)





Three months was a HUGE milestone for Timothy. He went from severly colicky baby to a much more happy and only slighty continually fussy baby! Thank God for 3 months!

I love you Timothy,
Mommy


Monday, March 28, 2011

Gabbi Grace and Timothy

Two-Three times a week Megan Cummins and myself try to go on a walk with out little ones. We both came to the conclusion that this would not only be good for us moms... but for our little babies as it's getting warmer outside.

Here are a few pictures of our last walk. The sun was just perfect so they turned out exceptionally well.

"Look at me and be jealous!"

"Oh my this bottle's good."

"Burping isn't my favorite part."

"But, knowing I get more bottle afterwards makes it worth it."

"Back in my stroller I go."

"I love my mommy."



"Hi mom, this is cool."

"Mom, where are we going?"

"What's that little black thing you're holding?"

"Mmmmm good...."

"Heh. I know I'm cute."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weekends


Justin, Timothy and I are trying to make it a practice to get away just us, at least every other weekend for a small outing. Weekend before last it was to Cades Cove in the Smokey Mountains and last week it was to Seqouah Hills (an upscale neighborhood here in Knoxville).
I would love to share with you just a few of the moments that we had together beginning with cades cove:


Me N' My Baby Boy

A coyoti we saw driving the loop

A majestic buck watching us from the shelter of the woods

You can kind of see Timothy raising his hand in this photo. It's very hard to take snapshots of your whole family on your own without a timer.


Now onto Seqouah Hills


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Soul-full


I play piano. Not *extremely* well... But, I can hold my own.
I've loved piano since I was a little girl... and when I was around 11-12ish I told my parents that I wanted to play the piano and lead worship for our church; Harvest Church.
My father while a talented guitarist and incredible singer, taught himself to play and didn't even know where to begin on teaching me the basics on piano. I would cry in my room because I wanted to learn so badly and  I prayed that I would have the opportunity to receive lessons. One day, someone annonymously decided to begin to pay for my sister and I to receive music lessons knowing that we'd voiced the desire to use those lessons to one day participate in worship on our worship team. The lessons progressed and I progressed along with them but soon found that it was very difficult practicing on the little Walmart keyboard that I'd borrowed. The keys weren't weighted... there were only 48 and the sustain/damper peddle didn't exsist.
So, what else did I do but pray for a piano the day that I realized this keyboard would no longer cut it. What happened? The next day my father received a phone call from a young man who was moving with his military unit. He had a piano that he wanted to donate to a church. My father was honest with him and told him that Harvest didn't have a need of a piano but, his daughter might like one.
Less than 5 minutes later this young man called my father back and said, "I went to call the next church and the Lord told me your daughter was to have this piano."
My dad called me directly and asked, "Hannah, have you been praying for a piano?" to which I responded, "Yes daddy, I prayed just yesterday why?" He told me the story of the young man and that evening we went to pickup this beautiful piano.
Long story short... today I'm a worship leader... not because I'm that good... but because I have a desire to worship the Lord with my instrument and He by His Grace allows me to do so.

Thank you Lord

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

All-Star

Meet my brother Isaac Atchley.
(better known to some as Pickle)
Isaac has incredible "skilz" as he would say, when it comes to basketball and to playing the drums.
These stats have since become much higher and reflect his time playing with the Ambassadors beginning Fall 2010 and ending the end of next week after finals.
My unbiased opinion is that he's the best there is right now. But of course, no one would believe it's unbiased. Believe me though, he truly is really good and I do believe that God has gifted him with a special ability to play basketball and to play it exceptionally well. He was beating high school basketball players when he was as young as 13 and 14 years old and today has whipped a few college players.
We tell him he's the Tim Tebo of basketball and he would love nothing less than that.

He's had a prophetic dream about seeing a harvest come with each shot he makes on the basketball court. We're faithfully waiting to see that come forth from him.
Pray for him as he embarks this next year on one last season playing high school basketball... we're asking for a full-ride athletic scholarship.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Best Things Come in Two


I am a blessed woman. Just over 23 years ago I was born into this world on July 31st preceding my best friend and twin sister Sarah Howe by a mere 30 seconds. We are identical twins who look very much alike and who are polar opposites. We get along better than you and your best friend... and can fight harder than spouses. She is always there for me; and likewise, you'd better not mess with her or else... We've been together our whole lives from the womb on and as such have a bond that no man/woman could every compete with.
I love the movie White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Allen. In it there are two sister who are struggling entertainers and it shows them doing a routine called "Sisters". The lyrics go something like this:
"...Sisters, sisters. There were never such devoted sisters; never had to have a chaperone no sir, I'm here to keep my eye on her. Caring, sharing, every little thing that we are wearing; when a certain gentleman arrives from Rome, she wore the dress and I stayed home. All kinds of weather we stick together, the same in the rain or sun. Two different faces, but in tight places, we think and we act as one. Those who've seen us, know that not a thing can come between us; many men have tried to split us up but no one can. God help the mister, who comes between me and my sister; and God help the sister, who comes between me and my man."



You don't get to choose between my sister and I. We come as a packaged deal; we were born that way, and we'll remain that way. The only people who can claim a closer relationship to either Sarah or myself would be our husbands... and even they understood that we were closer than most and had to be okay with our relationship. We see each other on a regular basis and in between, we talk on the phone at least.


Sarah's strengths are my weaknesses and her weaknesses are my strengths. We've made the best team and have had the blessing of even working together at the same companies. Our employers quickly recognized that we made an incredible team and that together... we could accomplish what it would take a whole team to accomplish otherwise.
Sarah was a construction worker; unafraid of manual labor and gifted with her hands. She plays guitar and loves to practice mechanics when she can. She was always taking apart radios, bikes and other miscelanious items. She'd tie knots in most everything and beat up any boy who would taunt her, challenge her... or bother me.
I am a designer, lover of all things beautiful with a history in visual merchandising. I play piano and have always loved to keep a home. I would run to her with boy trouble and wince during wresling matches. I'd try to paint her nails to cover up the dirt and oil and fix her tangled hair from her outdoor excursions.



The best things... come in two. This I know without a doubt.
Sarah, my best friend and the one who knows better than any woman how to encourage and strenthen me; and who I know is going to read this because you love to be involved in what means a great deal to me...
I love you very much! Thank you for always being there for me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Downtown Knoxville


Yesterday my sister, our friend Emily and I went out for a girl's day out. We found ourselves in Downtown Knoxville, TN. There we treated ourselves to loose leaf tea at The Remedy Coffee shop and browsed all of the eclectic, delightfully overpriced shops. Design stores, boutiques and pubs are around nearly every corner and around us people were scurrying to prepare for the art walk to take place that evening.
Downtown is literally ten minutes away from where I live but sadly, I never visit there. So, I allowed myself to behave like an out-of-town tourist taking pictures of everything that tickled my fancy.


This is an old train station that you'll find off the bridge on S. Gay Street. I am a lover of anything and anyone who tells a good story. I believe it's a lot of my grandfather in me. Anyway, as such, this train station captured my imagination as I tried to picture the many people who traveled via this station back in the day when that was the quickest form of transportation.



I'm sure that in the day this station was in it's prime.. there were no paved street and no need for street lights.
I imagine that no one "ever met a stranger"....





I simply *heart* Downtown and have purposed to visit more often and hopefully  become a regular ol' native.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Signs of Spring

Last evening mom made some incredible NY strip steaks seared on a cast iron skillet restraunt style
with sides of roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes and the most incredible mushrooms that she had "brewing" in the kitchen for a total of 8 hours!

This meal just melted in your mouth and tasted like Spring...
Thus, my post today is going to celebrate the Spring that is to come and is trully just on the horizon.






Just a little P.S. here..... these photos are all of flowers, etc. out of my mothers garden last Spring/Summer!

Praise God for the Spring



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Best Buds


Timothy Paul McConnell and Ethan William Cantrell were both born on
December 14th 2010
just hours apart from one another.

The funny thing--- Wendy Cantrell (Ethan's mother) and Doug Cantrell (Ethan's father)
are my adopted aunt and uncle who would babysit my brothers, sister and I when we were
Timothy and Ethan's age.

Ethan was their surprise blessing as Timothy was ours... however I can imagine their surprise was
the greater one.

This season has been a cherished one to share with two of the most precious people in my life.
The idea of being pregnant together and mothers of newborns together had never crossed my mind before;
but, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's been so sweet to share.

Thank you Aunt Wendy for being a continual encouragement and friend to me in this my new season and your 4th child!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rituals of a New Mommy

My ritual begins at about 3am every morning when I wake up to this little guy:

At this time he's normally hungry and ready for his bottle.
Daddy gets up, makes the bottle while I grab little one, change his diaper and prepare to feed him.
About 3 hours later at 6am... he's hungry again. This time I get to prepare the bottle while daddy takes the rest of the routine.
After this feeding it's normally "Mommy and Me Playtime".



As you can imagine...
There's no better way to start your morning than talking gibberish, acting ridiculously to yank smiles and
snuggling with your 2 month old.

This will go on for at least an hour or so then I'll lay him back down in his crib to watch his mobile (which actually is quite hilarious... as the mobile is ocean themed but, he loved the teddy bears on his old wind up mobile so we tied them to the fish) while I try to get dressed, make my bed, etc.
I'll barely complete these tasks when it's time to eat again. But, this time we go in our living room to eat because my favorite TV show is on....  Martha Stewart Living!

Some people may dislike her but I adore this woman. She has taken homemaking and made it an art form... something worthy of admiration.

Okay, moving on. 

Now, my baby boy is somewhat colicky. As such, he doesn't nap well during the day, nor sleep through the night... and... when he is awake it's not always as the happy, adorable baby you see in these photos.
Thus, while I love being creative it is sometimes hard to accomplish throughout the day.
That's when Mimi steps in sometimes and give me a break.

My mother Sheila Atchley, Is the most talented, beautiful, inteligent woman I know and I strive to be like her.
Right now my husband and I are living with she and my father Tim Atchley while Justin (who by the way, scored in the top 15% of anyone to have ever taken the mathematics teachers licensing exam) completes his Masters Degree in Mathematics and his internship at Bearden Highschool.
Timothy just adores his Mimi time, and I adore it also as it opens the doors of creativity for me... and I have much to be inspired by in this home of ours/my parents. Just check out my mothers blog: http://www.aseasonofharvest.blogspot.com/


All of this said, my ritual is that of one blessed woman.
I wake up with a beautiful baby boy, a loving, hardworking husband and a family unit that strengthens, encourages and loves me.
Ritual- you must love me as mine is the best in the world.

My husband Justin and our son Timothy