Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Old Friend...

Have you heard the saying "books are friends"? Well, in the past few days of feeling yucky, I revisited two of my most dear friends. These two books have, aside from God's Word, had the deepest and most far-reaching impact of any other books. And I love to read.
The first is (I apologize, I don't know how to underline on here??) "Hinds' Feet on High Places", and the second is its sequel, "Mountains of Spices", both by Hannah Hurnard.
These beautiful allegorical books detail the journey of Much-Afraid, as she follows her Shepherd on a journey to the High Places, and is transformed. The second is her journey back into the Valley of Humiliation, from where she came. I don't know what it is... Yes, I have read Pilgrim's Progress, and even the children's version with the kids. But, the thing that struck me the most, even this time around all over again, is the beauty of the relationship between the Shepherd and His followers. The reminder that it is not even His promises, as wonderful as they are, that I really want at the very core of me... it is Him.

So, many tears over the past couple of days, but I will leave you with just one of my favorite quotes which are so dear to my heart:
"My Lord--if you can deceive me, you may. It can make no difference. I must love you as long as I continue to exist. I cannot live without loving you."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Announcement Post

We are expecting Baby Hester #5!!!

Okay, so remember when I had trigeminal neuralgia? I had to stop nursing Ezra and it was made clear that I should not be pregnant while on the medication. So, we were so very careful, and made sure to prevent as best as we could (without permanent decisions or the use of any hormonal forms of birth control, which is also, a whole different post.)
So anyhow, when I got off the medication, we needed to address the issue of irregular bleeding that I was having. It was making our planning a little more difficult. Ben kept reminding me to go to the doctor, but it was hard to remember!! I know, I know. Anyhow, finally got the appointment, had to wait like, two more months to be seen. Then, the appointment came and they rescheduled me! By the time I finally got in, they asked, of course, when was the last time you were bleeding? My answer? Oh, about two weeks ago. They were going to run a full blood panel, including a pregnancy test which I thought was just plain silly. Ha! But, it peaked my curiosity. So, at home I took a home pregnancy test, and lo and behold!! It was positive. So, I checked the calendar and oops! It had been a month since I was bleeding. (This is kind of a side note, but isn't it super cool that the Lord totally took care of the bleeding issue?)

Emma is fervently praying for a sister and has recruited Caleb and Noah to pray with her. When I first found out, with all my hormones going nuts, I said to Ben, "Oh no! We are going to be that crazy family with ALL those kids! We will be like the Ojai Duggars!!" My dear husband chuckled and said, "Uh, we kind of already are..."
Oh, yes. That's right. Well, then... I'm okay with that. I like our people.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them..." Psalm 127:3-5a

Growing Pains...

I remember having growing pains as a kid. They would keep me up at night. My brother, who is now 6'5", had them really, really bad. I try to remember that, so I can be sympathetic to the kids when they have growing pains. The rice packs seem to help, and occasionally a glass of "special milk" (warm milk with a little sugar and some vanilla!). Sometimes I rub their little legs. Sometimes we pray...
But there are other "growing pains", and these are the kind we are dealing with now. With most growth, there is some pain. And when you grow rapidly, there is sometimes more pain. So, our little Hester family has been having some growing pains. *Deep breath*

We are expecting another little Hester. Around the end of March. (This is a whole different post).
But, since Momma hasn't been feeling so hot, this requires something of everyone. We are learning ways to adapt. And, this new season has revealed attitudes and gunk and muck that is in need of some work. We have had some unwelcome visitors including:
quick to irritation, quick to anger, quick to argue, and slow to be gentle and understanding. We have heard the, "Why do I have to...?" and the "I always have to..."
We have good days and bad days. But, I try to remind myself that it is all part of growing. Not only is our family growing, but we have all been given the opportunity to be stretched. To cultivate long-suffering. And unfortunately, every display of selfishness and irritation is before me like a mirror, reminding me to check my own heart to see if long-suffering can be found. We are growing... and with that comes some pain. But the Lord is faithful; His mercies are new every morning, and they cover and heal more than rice packs and "special milk" anyway. =)

And isn't it the neatest thing when you actually get to see growth? The kids love looking at the door and seeing the marks get higher and higher as they grow taller. Well, in His mercy, God has allowed us to see glimpses of growth. The most amazing one... has been my dear husband. He has lovingly served us, he has patiently and tenderly cared for me. He has grown, and the growth is amazing.

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful who also will do it." 1 Thess. 5:23-24

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Fair...

As we were walking through the fair, I heard a Grandma say to her grandchild, "Oh, you can have whatever you long as it's not healthy!" I chuckled.

What did we do at the fair?
Funnel Cake...

Corn on the Cob...

Yummy pretzel!!

Cotton Candy...

Shaved ice...


Spinning cups (with Grandma!)


The Ferris Wheel (with Grandma!!)

The Bumpy Slide...

And oh yes, can't forget the ice cream on the way home.
Now that was a fun day. Nothing healthy going on here. =)

Monday, August 16, 2010


It's amazing, actually, how long it has been since I posted a blog entry. There are lots of reasons why-my MAC is dead, awaiting a new powercord, I haven't uploaded any pictures from my camera or my phone, and I can't post onto the blog from the phone. Well, and the four kids. But really, this last month and a half has left me with very little words in the blogging world. Life in general, with four little people under 7 is kind of crazy already. I had all the intentions of continuing our schooling throughout the summer. We go year round, since we plan for four days of school per week, and are lucky if we get two good days out of that. =) True confessions. But anyhow, there has been no school. But, there has been learning, and there has been life, and that's more important anyway.
Grief has been a really strong component to the last few weeks. My sister-in-law's sister (hopefully I haven't lost you already) was tragically killed in a car accident. Then, two weeks later, I got a call from a friend at the hospital--her 18 year old son died in a skateboarding/car accident. And this past week, a really close friend of mine miscarried. And during all this, Daisy Love (our pastor's daughter) has had to return to all the chemo, this time even stronger and more aggressive since her cancer came back so quickly.
It is so painful to watch the people you love hurting. You want so badly to help, but there is One Comforter, One Helper...all you can do is point back to Him and His Word. It is in many ways, a great privilege, to walk alongside those that you love, and encourage them to press deeper into Jesus. And yet still painful.
But there is that tiny, nagging feeling in my heart that reminds me that I really haven't suffered a day in my life. I mean, sure, I have gotten sick, or had rough times, and felt pain so deep you don't think you can breathe. But really, when I think about it, I have been hidden so safely in the cleft of the rock. I have four healthy, beautiful, amazing little people whom I have the privilege of being home with everyday. We have a house to live in. With a backyard and two bathrooms, because you know everyone has to go at the same time. We have two cars. And no car payments. I have an oven that works. And was free (My oven broke. We didn't know what to do, didn't really have the money. A church friend was remodeling and ***happened*** to be getting rid of her wall oven that fit my opening. And this was no small task.).
I am kind of just rambling tonight, probably feeling guilty for not blogging, and partly not having a clear direction anyway. Just knowing that this month, I have been more thankful. And my heart's prayer has just been that God would make me faithful, and give me the grace to walk in whatever He has for me. One day at a time.