Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Caleb's post....

I remember so well, when I picked you up from your class at church-I think you were about 16 months old or so.  The woman who had been with you commented saying, "He has amazing language skills!"
And I, being the inexperienced momma I was (and not wanting to forget about Emma), said, "Oh yes! His sister is speaking very well also!"
But that day....she was telling me something. I had NO clue....
I remember when you were 2 years old, and you were able to sound out words like "cat" and "dog" and "mom". You and Emma were learning right alongside each other, and quite frankly, I just didn't think much of it at the time.
When you were four, I remember you taking The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with you for "quiet time."  There were just a few pictures from the motion picture in that particular edition, so I remember thinking you must just be looking at the pictures. It occurred to me, that the pictures might be a little scary, so I went in to check on you. You declared, "Mom! I'm on chapter 4!"  I didn't really think that could be true, so I quizzed you and then had you read a page to me. I mean, I knew you could read-I sat with you everyday and listened to you read...

At five, you finished The Last Battle, and closed out Lewis' Narnia series.

Obviously, I knew by this time that there was something "different" about you. I always knew that God had a special plan for you-as He does for each of your brothers and sisters....

Probably by age 6, I finally told your pediatrician: "I'm sure every parent thinks their child is a genius....but I think mine really is."  After some assessment, he told me you are a "Gifted Learner." Which basically meant you were working at 2 grade levels or more above average across the board-rather than just one subject. You are gifted in math, language, science....you have amazing discipline.
So, at 10 years old, you are up at 6am every morning reading your Bible. You started in Genesis and you are almost all the way through the Bible. You are so very diligent with your schoolwork....and you were so close to finishing your math course, that today you determined to finish.
And you did.
So. Today, at 10 years old, you have completed Algebra. Overall, you maintained a 91% in the course. You have worked so hard, and we are SO proud of you.
(And trust me! This is not the most crazy and complicated of your problems in this course!!!)

But after acknowledging this amazing accomplishment....I want to affirm two things.
First, we have a saying in our family. Each one of you is exactly what he or she MUST be in order to fulfill what God has purposed for your part in His grand story. So, if you are this smart....it is because you must be...and so we want to steward that gifting well.
Secondly, I just want to remind you in case you ever forget: I do not love you because you're so smart. It has it's wonderful perks and even some challenges....but it is just how God made you.  But I love YOU. Your heart. Your insides. I love you because you are you.  There have been many times I have been tempted to think that because you are so smart, that I am depriving you of opportunities to be part of certain classes or groups, or.....yada, yada, yada.
But God has been faithful. He gave me a clear calling with all of you amazing Hester children:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

And the deep conviction that ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. 
...that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3 ESV)

God has been so kind to remind me that my job is to preach Christ and Him crucified.  It is my joy, my pleasure, and my privilege.

*as a side note-I could obviously do a post like this on each of my amazing children! I chose Caleb today, to honor his accomplishment in completing Algebra.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Time warp...

Me....circa 1981

And Ev:

Well.  Maybe these pics don't quite do it justice.  But let's just say there's a very strong resemblance there. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Looks...

Side note: I'm really sorry for the poor quality on all the "before" pics. Evidently I just couldn't figure out that I should turn on the light. ;-p
Miss Emma Faith (and no...she didn't shrink). I'm thinking I must have taken the picture at a different angle?
Caleb Paul
Noah Benjamin
Ezra Lucas Knight
Judah Sean
And well, I didn't get any fun pics of Ev today. But here's one from yesterday for your enjoyment:
Here's to a new year of learning, laughter, and loving!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Planted in Faith....

Never doubt in the DARK what God told you in the LIGHT.

V. Raymond Edman

    The last few days, I have been trying to quietly repeat this truth to myself.  Clearly, I need a bold, loud reminder, rather than a gentle, quiet one:

Don't dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.

Elisabeth Elliot

Towards the beginning of this year, Ben and I were wrestling with the question of our family size. We felt God drawing us into unity, asking us to trust Him with this area of our life yet again. We heard Him, in His glorious light, ask us to trust Him in seeing if He might have another precious, eternal soul to entrust to our family.  In beautiful faith, God planted in our hearts the vision of enlarging our family.

Well. Fast forward awhile, and I'm on the couch, more sick than I have ever been during pregnancy. I watch as the chaos seems to take over, my poor husband runs almost ragged doing what I know is my job!  I watch, heart breaking, as war and chaos and screaming have seemed to break out in every corner, and I begin to let doubt creep in. I wonder if any character could possibly be growing in this mess.  I wonder if we were just wrong and irresponsible like people seem to think we are.  I can't see how this could possibly be what is good and best for our family....

But then. The roots of faith pull me back to what is true, and I remember. I remember what God taught me so faithfully the last two years,
"There's always more going on than what you can see."

I remember that my stuggle is not against a 5 year old who won't obey or a 3 year old who screams and kicks. No. My struggle is NOT against flesh and blood. There is a heavenly war raging in the realm that I can't always see. And even though I can't stand up on two feet and I can't move sometimes, and even though I never, ever wanted to be mothering from the couch!!!!!
They need me to PRAY.
No eloquent words needed. 
"Lord, have mercy on us!" is sufficient.

I may not have a clear thought in the day because the sickness brings such a fog. But I can utter the desperate cries of a momma who just needs more grace, more mercy from heaven, more Jesus....
I can still hold out God's Word before them as a beacon of light and truth.  It is not just the "standard" that we live by....it is the bread that sustains us. It is the nourishment that keeps us living and breathing.

I may not FEEL like I have much to offer these precious ones in this season.  But, by God's grace, if I live with FAITH in what God planted, if I hold fast to what He told us in the LIGHT....then that gift is enough for today.
It may get more dark and difficult. It may get messy. It may even look like it's whithering in the heat. 
But by faith...we pray that what God brings up out of the soil, which He planted by faith, will surprise us all with its beauty.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Big accomplishment!

Look who read his first little Sing, Spell book!!!! Judah Sean, you are learning so much! :-)

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Birthday boy....

Happy birthday, Caleb Paul!!!  You are such a gift to our family. There are so many amazing and wonderful things I could say about you. But today, instead of thinking about all you do (which is a lot!), or even the truly remarkable character growing in you, I just want to say that I love you. I love being around you.  Our family just needed a Caleb Paul Hester. 
We were laughing tonight because I think you were my easiest pregnancy, and my easiest labor/delivery. 
I love how close you and Emma are. You two make a good team.  You are so wise beyond your years. Sometimes your prayers just floor me.  All your brothers look up to you so much. Which is also a gift!!!
I'm just sort of rambling, but it all means, "I love you." "I'm thankful for you."
Today, Emma was telling some friends of ours that you are the nicest person on the planet.  You frequently hear how amazing, smart, hard-working, etc, you are. 
So this year, my prayer for you is that you would know without a doubt, that God doesn't love you because you're intelligent, or because you don't show your frustration easily, or because you are so helpful and hard-working.  This year, my prayer is that you would know the love God has for you in Christ when you don't get it right.  When you do get frustrated.  I want you to know that you are loved because you belong to our family. Oh! Your hard work is a great gift and I believe it is all part of God's plans and purposes for you.  But it is not what makes you valuable.  You are priceless because you were bought at a great price.  Your love and value is made secure in Christ.  He loved you first...and that is why you can love at all.
So. My dear boy. I love you more than my words can express.  May your love for God's Word grow deeper and stronger, may His love and light become more satisfying than any other thing, and may you rest fully in the good news that you have been rescued.  May Jesus Christ forever be your King and Captain....
For the King! For the Kingdom!
P.S. I hope to post some pics of your special camping trip with dad soon. We are having technological difficulties. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Breakfast of champions...

The kids are sitting at the table playing a game where they analyze the nutritional content of their cereal. They get points for having the least amount of calories and sugar, and the most vitamins.
This is just plain awesome.
FYI. I did not teach them this game. But I have had to explain the occasional nutritional element or vitamin/mineral and what it does for the body. :)