Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's a GIRL!

We knew it was going to be a girl but the great news is they are home with the baby! All is going well for mama, daddy, and baby E. I am thrilled for them. I was hoping to visit them while I was in Michigan this week but some runny noses and coughs kept that from happening. I'll ask her about a pic, but just know that your prayers were answered. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Praise Him!

My cousin and her husband have wanted to be parents for a long, long, time and tomorrow it looks like it's going to be the day! They have an adoptive mom who has chosen them and is going to be induced tomorrow. I broke my no blog rule and checked hers for updates and found out that tomorrow is the day!

I remember not being able to sleep the night before we went in to have Grace. I remember being so stinking excited, but also nervous, but mostly excited and I know that C and M are going through the same emotions. I'm sure it's motherhood (hormones) but I cannot help but tear up at this joyous news for them. I have believe with them for a long time that God would answer their prayers to be parents. Praise the Lord for answered prayers. They don't happen in our time, but they are always, always good.

I immediately thought of Psalm 139 when I read her post. God knows our thoughts, he knows our hearts, and he knew us when he knit us together. He has such a special plan for this precious little being and I am so thankful that He's included my cousin in this plan.

Please pray for them tomorrow. (wednesday)I know you don't know them (well some of you do!) but our prayers are always heard! Pray for this birth mom that is making a brave, tough choice- Give her strength, courage, and peace. Thanks!

Psalm 139:13-14 (New International Version, ©2011)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spirit of Power

Hi there! Sorry I am a day late on my post.... I was out '"late" last night with some girlfriends at a swap party. So much fun, and a great idea! Basically, for those of you who may be wondering what a swap party is-each person brings 3-4 items that you don't want anymore (last night it was a purse and jewelry swap), and you come home with the same number of items you came with! So I brought 2 purses that I did not want anymore, and left with a cute bag and a necklace! You can also do it with books, homegoods, whatever!

Anyway, I was tuckered out when I got home, so my post is a day late. I just wanted to encourage you all who are memorizing scripture with us. It is definitely becoming more of a challenge now, isn't it? The other day when I was at the dentist, I was trying to go through all of them in my head-- not an easy task! But keep at it, and you will reap the rewards of the Word!

My verse for the end of this month is from 2 Timothy 1, verse 2:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

I love this verse and how it reassures me that God did not create me to be a wimp! So many times I get that feeling of fear rising up in me as I approach a hard task or face a challenge. I fiercely dislike change and confrontation, especially. This verse, I know, will be one that I can access to help cut down those feelings of fear and insecurity. God's word is mighty like a sword, and it can strike those negative feelings out of our hearts and minds.

Keep up the good work ladies! Don't get discouraged, don't be timid in your studies! Even if you "fell down" and got behind, get back up and go for it!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Journey

My sweet little man is 6 months old. He is so much fun. Tonight he sat on his dad's lap and couldn't keep his eyes off of me. I kept making silly faces at him just to hear his deep chuckle over and over. I do believe I have emerged from the "new baby" stage. What does that mean? Well, for one it means that I can no longer say I'm exhausted from my "new baby". He's pretty close to sleeping through the night and he is on a fairly consistent schedule. It also means that I have no more excuses not to exercise. No more, when the baby sleeps through the night or when I'm rested, or ... you name it, I've probably said it.

Let me give you a little big of background. I have never been much of an exerciser. I played sports in high school. but I really use the word "played" loosely. I was on the volleyball and basketball team, but I was not good. (and I'm not just saying that!!!) In college I had a short time of losing weight in an unhealthy way and then exercising in an unhealthy manner. Thankfully God worked in some mighty ways and that was straightened out before it became habitual. When I lived in Haiti after college, I exercised sporadically, but let's be honest. When it was always 90+ degrees- I mostly just came home from teaching and crashed in front of a fan.

It wasn't until I moved back to the states that I decided to do something about my health. I was pretty quickly adding on the lbs because of all of the great food that was suddenly available to me (no Micky D's in Haiti people). I started watching what I ate and for the first time in my life I started running. I was so blessed to have a dear friend be my running partner and for 3 years we met each morning before work and hit the pavement. I never felt better.

Then I - met my husband, and was married and moved to his town within a year. I quickly realized that running by myself was not my favorite. Not at all. And besides, that about 3 months after saying I do, we were expecting our first baby! And then to sum up the last 3 plus years-exercise=not so much, pregnant, baby weight, slimmed down, pregnant, baby weight, and.. that's where we are now. With lots of baby weight still sticking around.. and remember? My "new" baby- not so new.

I know that some of you have heard of Lysa Terkeurst and her new book Made To Crave. I had a sweet friend give me this book a few weeks back and I just started it this weekend. LOVE. that's all I can say. Another friend told me that she thought that if she could have written it, she would have said the exact same thing. I am only a few chapters in and I already am excited for the journey that God is going to take me on in my desire to be healthy and live a life that pleases Him.

This book isn't a diet book. It's not meant to tell you how to lose weight. It's actually meant to go along with whatever you (I) choose to do to lose weight and be healthy by a Bible study that will help us "want" to.

I am excited about this journey. I've made some steps to start it, like exercising 5 days a week, keeping track of what I eat, but the big part was missing. God needs to be the center of why I do what I do. Without Him, I cannot succeed.

I'm going to take the next few weeks to share what I am learning with you. Please feel free to share any insights with me. And, if you don't mind, would you please pray for me? I can use all the help/support I can get!


(PS- I do know that Graham is technically still "new" and that it hasn't been all that long- it's really not about that weight and what the scale says, but feeling good with myself and being happy with my body- you know?)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

40 days

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season (the 40 days leading up to Easter). Many churches, including the one we attend, celebrate Ash Wednesday with a service and the imposition of the ashes on the forehead. As we were sitting around the dinner table tonight talking with the kids, we reminded them that tomorrow was Ash Wednesday. They were both excited about getting the ashes because they think it's cool to have dirt in the shape of a cross on your forehead. And they are SO sad four days later when those ashes have finally disappeared from sleeping, baths, hats, etc.

They asked me what the ashes mean, and I gave an general answer that satisfied their curiosity. Later though, I did a little research into Lent and the meaning of the ashes. I thought I would share a little excerpt of what I found:

*Ashes are referred to many times in the Old Testament as a sign of sorrow, repentance, and mortality. The ashes on our foreheads reminds us that we will die because death is the penalty for our sin. The sign of the cross is a reminder that it is only through Christ that we will gain salvation and eternal life.

Also, in our family we have often committed to 40 days of fasting in some way, whether it be giving up sweets, a video game, or other pleasureable thing. I think fasting and doing things like this can be beneficial, as long as they are done for the right reasons. Sometimes we tend to get legalistic and it becomes about "following the rules" instead of focusing on Christ and his gift. We can never do enough good works, or earn His forgiveness. We can never repay Him. Lent is not about giving up something to please God-- it's about what He gave to us by dying on the cross. He gave his perfect, sinless life to repay the debt of the sins of the world.

Lent is a time of reflecting on all of this. I have thought about how we can make this real to our kids as well. Maybe a nightly devotion reading together with a candle? I don't know. But I want these 40 days to be not just any ordinary 40 days. How do you set apart Lent as a special time of fellowship with the Lord?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

today I am thankful for-

* a lived in living room. Children live here and they fill this house with so much joy. Lots of stuff too, but mostly joy
* good friends- I have many and God seems to bring each one in for a specific time. I am blessed
* a great church family. We had a carry in last night for the kick off our our WNNW (Wednesday Nights at North Webster) If you didn't go, please come next week! It was great and I'm excited about the community we are continuing to build
* memorizing scripture- Do not work for food that spoils but for food that endures to eternal life which Son of Man will give you, for on him God the father has placed his seal of approval" John 6:27
* time away. Going with some girlfriends this weekend to do some shopping. I can't wait!

How about you? What are you thankful for? :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Hands of Comfort

For the past 24 hours, I have been the hands of comfort to my children. First, my daughter who woke up with an excruciating earache last night, then a few hours later, my son with the flu. I was the lone ranger too, as Jason was gone for the evening on business. As I went through the sleep-dazed motions of handing out medicines, tucking in blankets, rubbing backs, and holding up heads for drinks of water, I looked into their weary eyes and saw peace as they were comforted by my tending.

Of course, we love our children unconditionally and yearn to comfort them in their illness, weakness, or sadness. If we love our children this much, can we even imagine how much our Father loves us? And don't we all crave the tending of our Father? The comfort of being in His presence, His peace, His security?

Just as my children rested in peace knowing that their mother was there to care for them, we should also rest in peace knowing our Father is caring for us-- that He can comfort us in any situation. His medicine is His word--healing for our weary souls. He holds us in arms that are stronger than any rock, but gentle enough to soothe. His water-- the Living water that never runs dry. Let us drink and never be thirsty.....

He is the God of all comfort..... rest and know you are loved.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 1 Corinthians 1:3-4