Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kids of the Sun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Safety


Dearest Georgia, Henry, Jonas, and Kate,

I've gone through some heavy stuff the last year. In many ways my heart has been crushed.
I am glad that I hit the bottom of myself and then proceeded to go further still. It was there that I discovered some pretty terrible things about my heart. It was full of selfishness and pride. It was bitter and incredibly sad.

Why am I telling you this today? I am supposed to hide this place from you and keep your world rosy. I have to stop here and tell you all that that is kind of a ridiculous idea because we five are bound by the soul. When one is down we all know. We may not say anything at the time but the rhythm of our family is greatly effected.

Where was I... Crushed, sad, selfish, broken.

I am writing you today, my dear children because I want you to know that it is through this pain that I have come to understand something about life and as a result, I have begun to understand how I ought to pray for you.

I want you all to be safe.
Not safe in the physical sense because well, I want you to live and sometimes that means you take physical risks.... I am speaking of Safety in the spiritual-emotional sense.....

 -That is given to you by God. A safety that keeps you hidden in Christ. A safety that says,

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, may the name of the Lord BE PRAISED! 

A safety that experiences loss, disappointment, failure, & sorrow - yet runs hard toward the brilliant truth that Christ is enough for you! That you would feel those things deeply, yet not be embittered my loves, but instead,  find shelter in the all-satisfying arms of the Saviour. 

Crushed you may be. yes. BUT never destroyed.

I pray that the love of God would guard and protect you all. That you would stay hidden in Christ, Leaning fully on the work that he accomplished for you on the cross - where you weren't just forgiven - you were justified and made a child of God.

I pray that His Word would be a light and a comfort -Your ultimate worth to be found in it's content.

I pray that this would be an anchor for your heart and soul - especially when your flesh wants to rise up and have its way.

I pray for an unwavering trust in the goodness and glory of God. That his goodness would wrap you up like a warm blanket blocking out the cold.

Remembering always that He is a help in times of trouble. A constant companion. 

I am praying that God would keep you safe so that when life happens you will stand firm and proclaim -

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:1-7 ESV)


I am praying that God would keep you safe and hidden in Christ because I have seen the effects of a crushed heart which dwells there.

It is tender yet joy-filled. As for its faith - deep.
Praise to the God who keeps us in his care - O Lord, Keep them in your care.
amen.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Adventure is out there!

We ventured to a favorite park on Friday. Seeing my kids so happy reminded me of how I used to be when motherhood was fresh and simple.

We picnicked, hiked, and explored - for zero dollars.

-- As a bonus --

The kids walked the whole trail without help and WITH great joy - AMAZING!

Which led me to one enormous thought...

Parenting big kids is the JAM! 
(although, I must confess there is room in my heart for one more Ethiopian queen.. hint hint Jeff Marshman)


-- On a side note --

 Henry lost his first tooth last week and now - every time I go to photograph him, he sticks his finger in the hole and smiles big! He is just so proud....



We even spotted, "Quick Sand" on our hike. We sent the men down to investigate for us. 


We decided that we would like to build our house up on the platform overlooking the woods.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WWLD


It has become apparent to us that Jonas has an imaginary friend named Luke - which we think may look like a friend he used to have but now is a part of his every day decision making.

They don't play cars or run around the backyard together BUT man O man - Luke is quite influential in Jonas' life.

 Luke mostly leads him in the wrong direction but occasionally, you will hear things like, 

"Luke says it's ten o'thirty and we must go to the park mommy!..."

I really appreciate Luke's wisdom here...

But Luke unfortunately lacks wisdom most of the time and tells Jonas to do things that are not so good... 

Like the time he stole ice cream from the fridge and hid in the laundry room to eat it....

"Well, Luke said that I could take an ice-cream cone and eat it in the laundry room on top of your freshly cleaned duvet cover, mommy..."

Or the time Luke discouraged Jonas from using his head in making decision, so that he could honor and obey his parents...

"well, Luke said to listen to my heart and not my brain, mommy."

It's really hard to not laugh because he is dead serious.

As for Luke - he gets to hear the gospel a lot...





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Love Wins!

I have this new favorite singer/songwriter named, Ellie Holcomb. Her lyrics are deep and true and absolutely life-giving. I have found her music to be such a comfort to me during this season of life.

She has this song called, "Love Never Fails"

Every time I hear this song I come away thinking about Philippians 2. Then I feel this enormous weight on my chest because I suck at loving people this way....

But then... I think about this God who sent his son to die. I think about this son who obeyed and laid himself down. I think about the fact that my failure to love is hidden in His wounds and each day, as I strive to know him more and make him great in my life - each day as I lay down what little I can...

He completes and multiplies my work - as feeble and small as it is.

So this great heaviness is then transformed into feathers as I marvel on the gospel and all that it has done for my very dark and sad heart.

I am not perfect at loving others. BUT Christ is and HE is absolutely mine!
This admonishment in Philippians 2 is not meant to lead me to despair but instead to drive me to the cross. There I can find hope and rest in the fact that he not only saved me then - but is saving me still! 

Brilliant news!

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a Servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by vbecoming obedient to the point of death,weven death on a cross. Therefore God has zhighly exalted him and bestowed on him athe name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus bevery knee should bow, cin heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and devery tongue confess that Jesus Christ is eLord, to the glory of God the Father".

****

 ------And on a sidenote ------
{Surprise Grandparents!! }
(these photos are for you because you are so awesome and so LOVED by us :) 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Johnny Cash And A Tuesday Adventure



We've been gone a while. I know. BUT I think we are back.
Really. Truly. Back.

And tonight. Ahh tonight! 

Reminded me of all the things we are about as a family. Tonight, I was brought back to our youthful days of parenting where simplicity and togetherness reigned supreme.  

It was so good AND so needed. 

And the best part.... These little reminders have been slowly yet consistently finding us - each moment knitting itself into the soul of our family. 

So, onto this evenings events. 

This is Mr. Tom. He drove all the way up to the Panhandle to help us move. Somehow, that little journey bonded us and we call him dear. 

                          

This is part of Mr. Tom's land.

Tonight, we explored Tom's amazing land - which has been in his family since 1904.

Georgia was on a rock mission which led her to absolute giddiness! 

And the weeds were absolutely lovely. I love these flowering plants. They are wild and free yet delicate and so beautiful!

And Jonas.... We finally found a context in which he could roam wild without consequence... For the most part.... 

Kate just wanted to run and search for shells.

Jeff and I.... we like simple - it does our family good!
The End.



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