Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Expectant Waiting...

**I wrote this post before Christmas...but I just got around to posting. Sorry. :-)

It is defined by Wikipedia as "a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas." The term comes from the Latin meaning "coming." "For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming." (Quoted from Wikipedia)

During the month of December, we take the month off from our "regular" school and opt for "Holiday School" instead. We have many traditions during this time, but one of my favorites is the advent calendar. Every year, we do a brief overview of the Old Testament, as we see Jesus in each story...waiting expectantly for his coming. We remember the simple and humble coming in Bethlehem. The manger.
And we look forward with great joy...because He is coming again. This year, reading Jotham's Journey alongside and lighting the candles...I found myself on Christmas morning with eyes full of tearful thankfulness. We had been reading and waiting. There was so much anticipation. And even though we knew the ending, we couldn't help but wonder anew at the God who draped Himself in human flesh. Two songs have been my favorite around this time of year. I have written before about "God With Us" by Casting Crowns. The other song is by Chris Rice, and it's called "Welcome to Our World." There are two phrases from that song that I have been meditating on:
"tiny heart whose blood will save us..."
Especially carrying a little one, thinking about this small and tiny heart....and with the complications of the pregnancy...well. This phrase is just so real to me this year. And the other:
"rob our sin and make us holy..."
When you think about that wording... It's almost violent. Rob our sin. That was what our Rescuer had to do. God knows us so well, He knows that our wicked hearts cling to our sin and wickedness as though we need it to live and breathe. It literally took a Savior, willing to drape Himself in flesh and steal the sin that we love so dearly, and then transfer righteousness to us in order for us to see and recognize the beauty of our Great God.
And so. During this season of "expectant waiting".... We wait for the Coming One, the Beginning and the End, and we wait with hope.
Merry Christmas!

Pages of History-Book Review

Having used Veritas History cards and resources for the last few years, I was overjoyed to receive a copy of their new book for review. My kids and I are really enjoying this book! It is a fun, fictional tale of two boys who end up discovering a notebook, which sends them traveling through time on an overview of God's story throughout history. Now, I will say that this book would not, in my opinion, be able to serve as a main resource or spine (such as say, Story of the World, or the Famous Men...series).
However, in our experience, this captivating and fun story book serves as a perfect in-between. As a whole family studying a certain time period, you may have older students who are ready for the meaty, hearty books that Veritas recommends (which is one of my favorite things about them!!). However, for your younger, or in-between students (I am thinking early elementary, all the way up to junior high), this book is a great "gap-filler". It can easily draw the children in to an overview of the major events covered by the history cards, while still capturing their attention and not overwhelming them with too many facts and dates (although those are in here too). And along the way, there are many useful and helpful charts, maps, and helpful tools to help make the information more easily understood.
All in all, this is a great resource, and a fun addition to any family's study of chronological history. You do not need to be using the Veritas history curriculum or cards for this book to make sense. It is appealing as a stand-alone addition to any chronological study of God's work throughout history.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quiet time.....

Everyone handles pain a little differently. Usually when I'm pregnant, I have this weird inclination to watch birth videos, or old episodes of "A Baby Story" on the Internet. Kind of a funny little thing I do, especially considering I have given birth five times myself. I will occasionally see a woman in so much pain, maybe screaming or writhing...and I scare myself thinking, "Is that how it is? Because I can't do that!"
It's so easy to compare ourselves with others. It's so easy to watch other people doing and living and think, "Oh, that's how it is supposed to go." And you know, it's not just that everyone handles pain differently, it's that we handle different types of pain differently.
We have experienced some different types of pain lately. Although, all at the same time. And as I think back on my labors with the kids, I tend to just go "radio silent." Quiet. Not that I never utter any whimpers of pain, or writhe around in it. But for the most part, I stay pretty quiet. And I think maybe, that's where I have been lately. I don't know if it is just my way of processing through it all. My brain has been frantic in its attempt to "figure things out." And I haven't felt as well, so I can't do the normal amount of reading or studying that I normally do. And that's how it is with my labors. Sometimes, I just have to be still, and wait for the next wave of pain to come. And it's painful! I don't understand the pain of the next contraction any more than I did the pain of the one before. But I have the big picture. These "light and momentary afflictions" are ACHIEVING something...something glorious that far outweighs the pain.

I have a large "bleed" in my uterus. If it remains, things become dangerous for this sweet little girl that I already love so much, and they become dangerous for me as well. I'm more than halfway through this pregnancy, and the kids have prayed faithfully everyday for this sweet baby girl.
There are other pains....physical, emotional, relational, financial....
And in the midst of each wave that comes, I don't understand and it certainly doesn't feel "light and momentary." BUT IT IS.
I wasn't promised a healthy baby girl. Oh, I do HOPE for one. But my hope is not IN that. I wasn't promised relational ease, or physical comfort, financial ease, or emotional stability (think hormones!!!).
But I am confident of this.... It is all ACHIEVING something. Something glorious.
I'm always afraid to talk about my own suffering...because there's always someone, somewhere suffering more than you are. Today, I just lay it before Jesus, who is a faithful High Priest, able to sympathize with my weakness. And in my spirit, I feel my weakness give way to His strength bit by bit. I feel my body tired, worn out....and I feel it's weakness give way to God's power. I feel the pain, and it gives way to what God is achieving in me. I will not be the same. A dear friend said to me the other day, how she was loving the gift of entering God's court with praise and thanksgiving. So maybe, in these "quiet times", I am learning that I don't have to hunker down and be strong and figure it all out. Maybe, in the quiet moments, I am learning to give thanks for a God whose power is made perfect in my weakness.

"[God's Word] reminds me that my life need not be imprisoned by my own rebellion, defeated by my own foolishness, or paralyzed by my own inability. God's grace is most powerful and effective at the moment of my greatest weakness."--Paul David Tripp

"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." (2 Corinthians 4:7-10, 14-18 NLT)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hair cuts again....

Man! These boys all have hair that grows sooooo fast!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh, how I love Your law!!!

"You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes."
Psalm 119:68

     In our last internship class, we were talking about the gospel...which, is a huge "buzz" word lately, and so we spent some much-needed time actually defining: what is the gospel?  We talked about the reasons God gave us the law... 
     Lately, however, there is just something that the Lord has pressed upon my much so that I couldn't even sleep the other night because it is literally "burning" in my heart (and no, I don't just mean heartburn!, although, that keeps me up too sometimes.  Six pregnancies, what do I expect?)
     Anyhow!!  Back to the point.  There are many reasons that God gave the law, and the most clearly seen is of course to show us our sin and need for a Rescuer... but the one that is burning in my heart, the one that causes me to shout along with the Psalmist: "Oh, how I love your law!!" is that God gave us the law to reveal Himself.  To show us who He is, His character, and His ways.  Through the law, I see what things God loves, what He prefers, what matters to Him.  And this, well this is important for SO many reasons!!!
    Obviously, it is important because we know God more by reading His declaration of His ways!  But for the Israelites, it was imperative that they knew God's character as revealed in the law, because it set the stage for them to recognize their Messiah!!!  God's Word says clearly that in Christ, all the fullness of God's character was made manifest!!  Jesus not only "fulfilled" the law by making provision for our inability to attain to it, but He fulfilled the law because He was the fullness of God's character and His ways, dwelling among us in flesh.  He is Emmanuel...God with us.  The beauty and fullness of God's faithfulness, His mercy, His lovingkindness....The full and complete, rightly-born image of God walking among us!!!
     And, although there is so much more to be said about this... there is a huge implication for "preaching the gospel" to ourselves daily.  In God's desire to call out a people for Himself, and conform them to His image (the image of His Son), He transforms us as we think deeply and meditate on both the WORK (the life, death, and resurrection of Christ on our behalf), and the CHARACTER of Christ. God's WAYS, as revealed in the law, are the same as what we see revealed in the life of Christ...only in their FULLNESS!!  
     This is all swimming around in the "theological" realm of my brain...but let me give you a practical so this will possibly make sense to someone other than me, awake in the middle of the night.
      For example....God's commandment to not covet another man's wife or house tells us something about God: He values and loves CONTENTMENT.  He loves to be a loving Father who provides what His children need, and He delights in His children trusting Him for what they need, rather than continually desiring more.  But we as a people, we are not content.  We want more power, more money, more pleasure, more toys, more "me-time", and more Holiday flavored coffees (sorry, that was the awake in the middle of the night me, dreaming of a Pumpkin Spice Latte).  But you get it.  Anyhow, Christ came, and was the ultimate fulfillment of CONTENTMENT.  He was CONTENT to release all glory, honor, and praise, and to receive what God gave to Him...the inheritance of the saints and the name above all names.  But the cost was great.  It meant His life, His righteousness for our sin.  But He was willing to receive the cup that the Father had given to Him.  And so, it is by His death, and the exchange for His righteousness that I am even able to know and worship this amazing God.  But as I meditate upon Christ's contentment, the beauty of His willingness to fully display what God prefers and loves in being content...well, it is then that Christ begins to transform my wicked and selfish heart, and slowly, one step at a time, "I am crucified with Christ, and it it no longer I who live, but CHRIST lives in me." (Gal. 2:20) And this is amazing, mind-blowing.... The fullness of God's character and His ways...revealed first in the law, and then FULLY in Christ...they begin to make their home in me.  Not fully....but "we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord."  (2 Cor. 3:18)
     AHHHH!!!  If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know what a nerd I am.  But man, I could geek out on this for days!!!  Here are some of the Scriptures that I am just eating up as they "burn" in my heart:
"You are my witnesses,' declares the LORD, 'and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.  Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.  I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.  I have REVEALED and saved and proclaimed--I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'that I am God.'"  Isaiah 43:9-12
"But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.  For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."  2 Cor. 4:3-6
There's so much.  All of Colossians.  But hey...don't take my word for it.  Search God's Word!  Look for the beauty of God declaring Himself and His ways through His law.  And then watch, through the God declares His love for fidelity and faithfulness (do not commit adultery, do not worship other gods)...and then, because we are faithless and He is STILL faithful, the fullness of that faithfulness is revealed in Christ...who made provision for us by exchanging His faithfulness in "always being about the Father's business" for our waywardness, and not only secures our place among God's children, but then miraculously begins to cultivate FAITHFULNESS in us, by being "Christ in us, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27).

"Oh, how I love Your law!!!!"

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Glorious Ruin....

"This life may feel like one long, painful death. All you can do is hang on, and sometimes you can't even do that. Fortunately, the good news of the gospel is not to hang on to God with all your strength and willpower and you'll be okay. The good news of the gospel is not some gnostic encouragement to view your suffering in the right way, or understand the theology of the cross more deeply. No, the good news is that God is hanging on to you. He's not waiting for you to save yourself, or mature into someone who no longer needs Him. Jesus will never, ever leave you or forsake you. Nothing you can do or not do can separate you from the love of Christ. In fact, the only thing God needs from you is the only thing you may ultimately have to offer Him: your death.
The good news of suffering is that it brings us to the end of brings us to the place of honesty, which is the place of desperation, which is the place of faith, which is the place of freedom. Suffering leaves our idols in pieces on the ground. It puts us in a position to see that God sent His Son not only to suffer in our place, but also to suffer with us. Our merciful friend has been through it all! He is with us right now! And while He may not deliver us from pain and loss, He'll walk with us through it."
--Tullian Tchividjian, Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free

Friday, October 26, 2012

Noah Benjamin, age 6

My dear sweet Noah,
You were so excited that your birthday had finally arrived that you woke us up at 5:30am to see if it was time to get doughnuts. You have been counting down the days. And, although I have heard a LOT of excitement from you about PRESENTS!!!!!, causing me to worry as a mother....your joy and delight in just being loved and honored has also been evident. Every few steps you stop to give a hug or smile. You're just so excited!!!
You are the dreamer of the family. Whereas many of us tend to be practical and dwell in a world of impossibilities that seem as nothing to overcome. (As evidenced by your declaration of wanting both Bobba Fett's Slave 1 and Jenga Fett's Slave 1 toys for your birthday.) I'm sorry to say that you did not get either, but you seem so overjoyed and content with the small Iron-Man Lego set that we were able to get for you. :-)
This, right here, is the heart that I pray you keep. The one that believes and asks for the greatest and biggest things...and then accepts with joy whatever The Giver sees fit to give. This is the heart I pray God forms and fashions in all of us. We have learned so much from you, Noah Benjamin.
It is my delight and my honor to be your mom. Happy birthday.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ezra on Eye of the Tiger...

"It's the eye of the tiger, he can pray every night!!!"

Wow! That's his version of the good ole' Eye of the Tiger song from the Just Dance game on the Wii.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Change of plans....

A man's heart plans his way,
but the Lord determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 HCSB)

Many plans are in a man's heart,
but the Lord's decree will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21 HCSB)

Today, we went out to the pumpkin patch with some friends. After about an hour of walking in the corn maze, we sat down to enjoy some snacks. I got up to use the restroom, and realized that I was bleeding. After having been on bed rest two weeks ago for the same problem, I sort of assumed that I was fine and could kind of get back to "normal". Well...change of plans.
We needed to go home so I could get off my feet and rest. This has been a common conversation with the kids is so hard sometimes, to accept when plans change. All the kids did a fantastic job at accepting the new direction the day went-especially Emma and Caleb. Noah did cry a bit, but he calmed down quickly after I apologized and sympathized with him. It's hard when things don't go like we planned!
But, we believe in a God who is so good, that even the changes in our plans that He allows and brings about are for our good.
And I am happy to report, that there is no more bleeding today and I am "resting." Now, I just need to remind myself that the plans have changed, and perhaps I cannot do things the way I had previously planned. :-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Baby Knight"

Oh Ezra. Today, you are four years old! I had no idea how much our lives would change the day you entered our home. You have literally surprised me every step of the way. God has used you to change me and stretch me and grow me. There is so much that I just wouldn't know without you. Our family has learned more of love (and long-suffering) because of you. No offense, but you do have a tendency to destroy much of what belongs to others.
But you, Ezra Lucas Knight Hester...well, you live up to your name in many ways already, and I pray that you live up to it in many more. You see, the Ezra of the Bible loved God's Word, and he taught it to the people. He was a leader, and I have a hunch that maybe you will be too. :-)
Ezra means "Jehovah helps." I say it lightly...but there is truth to the fact that I have needed Jehovah's help more than ever since knowing you. ;-) But I believe that just as He has been my help to be an instrument of grace for you, I believe He will continue to be your help as you seek Him.
Lucas means "bringer of light." You bring many things to our family, dear little boy...but your mischievous smile brings light and life to any room. Your belly laugh is one if my favorite sounds ever!
And Knight. Well, who names their kid Knight? But I must say, it is perhaps the most fitting of all. You have a fearless spirit that I have never seen before. You are bold and brave and courageous! And my goodness, these things, in the hands of the living God could be so useful for His kingdom.
And so, my sweet "Baby Knight", my Ezra Lucas.... I love you. I pray that somehow just by knowing you, I have become just a little bit more courageous and fearless. I pray that The Lord will show you His beauty and goodness in ways that you will truly know that His is the only cause worthy of fearless, bold faith. I pray that you would love His Word, and teach it to others. I pray that you would bring the light of the World into lives full of darkness, and that you would fearlessly serve the only Worthy King.
I love you. My "sweet boy." ;-)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Happy Birthday

Dear Ben,
I am so thankful that you were born. My life and my understanding of God is forever changed because I am married to you. And there are five...soon to be six, little people who are beyond blessed to call you their Daddy.
Today didn't go quite as was a rough day pregnancy wise. You ended up making your own breakfast feast....and you did it all with an amazing attitude. The kids showered you with love and candy...
I pray that today, in the midst of all the crazy, you will know just how much you are loved and cherished in this home...and it is just a small fraction of how you are loved and cherished in heaven by the Father because you are in Christ. I love you. You are my best friend.
Happy Birthday.

Friday, September 28, 2012


I don't know what I was thinking, but I forgot the diaper bag. Five loads of stuff to the car in order to go to the park with friends, and I left the diaper bag sitting by the door.
Well, after borrowing TWO diapers from a friend (thanks Glory!), this super duper pooper left me with very few options.
So, we used an old T-shirt, safety pinned like old school cloth, with a ziploc bag as the diaper cover. Yep. Cut holes for his legs and went for it. And it worked!!! :-)
Always an adventure....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

First day....

I know it sounds funny...but, Thursday was really the first day in a decade that I got ready in the morning to go somewhere, and dropped all my little people off somewhere for the whole day.
It was our first day of the Reality Ministry Internship. I wish I had the words to really convey all that today held for us....but all I can really say is that I remember someone thanking us for being there today and my mind immediately thought, "Are you kidding me? It was an honor, a privilege, a bless your socks off kind of day."
So, maybe after processing, I'll be able to share some more....but for today, I am just basking in God's goodness and thanking Him for the wonderful things He is stirring up in our hearts.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


This picture of Caleb is from when the kids got to go to Apple Camp. Which totally reminds me that I need to post about that, especially post the movies they made!
But for today, that is besides the point. Caleb doesn't have an iPhone or iPad- as far as I know, has never texted or anything. But on Fridays, we do math on the iPad. It's a fun way to practice math facts and take a break from the more intensive work they do during the week.
Anyway, we had just gotten home from a friend's house, and Caleb asked if he could have his turn on the iPad. He went in and pretty much zoned out in the cyber world of Marble Math. We ended up talking and chatting with the neighbors out front, and then went over to their house so the kids could play with toys while we were talking. It suddenly occurred to me that Caleb was alone at our house...but I was too *lazy* to go and get him. I had a thought....
I texted the iPad and said:
Caleb! We're next door at the neighbor's. STOP playing the iPad. Come over.
Imagine my shock, within seconds when I received the reply:
And then, there he was. I laughed for days and hugged him in repeated shock. I couldn't believe it! When I asked him about it....he so casually said, "Well, I just clicked on the text message, and then there was a place to type my reply, so I did. Then I hit "send".
Wow. The fact that they have been having to type a paragraph or two every week on the computer is definitely working in my favor! But it just reminds me of how quickly they are growing up. Technology can definitely be an advantage at times. ;-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homeschool Night

Ben and I were just laughing the other day at God's perfect timing. We chose to do anatomy and physiology for science this year, not yet knowing that even as we learn all about our bodies and how God has made them...he is forming and weaving together our little
one. :-)
Anyhow! Ben really enjoys last night he took over and read their science to the kids-(only the big 3 were required to listen, but it is just so compelling to be at the table when Daddy and the 3 big ones are there!!)
We were reading all about bones. Some of the favorite facts we learned-bones make blood, our bones are stronger pound-for-pound than steel, and yet still flexible enough to resist some injuries.
We did an experiment showing God's creative genius in giving us both a skull and a layer of fluid to protect our brains. And, we got to play with the microscope!
And to top it all off, we read "Leif the Lucky" before going to bed!
It is such a blessing that Ben enjoys hopping in and helping us finish up what we weren't able to accomplish during days where I am just not able. All in all, it was a super fun night!! :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some sounds never get old....

A baby's heartbeat is one of them. Today, we heard our baby's heartbeat! It was beautiful and brought so much joy to all of us. So comforting-the reminder that the Creator of the universe is knitting together a tiny person in my womb.
Ben noted that it is so "interesting" that we are studying anatomy and physiology right now. He said "I'm heir lab!!"
We just read about how after 3 weeks of life, the cells are already differentiating, and forming our baby's organs.
Oh Lord! You are amazing! Thank you for letting us hear your creative glory today!!

Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2 ESV)

Saturday, September 08, 2012


Noah finished Sing, Spell, Read, and Write this week (which, for those who don't know what this is, it is a phonics-based reading program.). They say that when you finish, you are reading at about a third grade reading level. I'm not sure if that is true or not , but Noah is my third child to have finished it and so far, I have three that love reading and do it well.
Anyhow...Noah finished this week, so he had a special frozen yogurt date with mommy and daddy (Thank you Grandma Nash for watching all four of the others!!!). Thankfully, Bliss (here in Ojai) has a non-dairy option. Noah enjoyed the special attention, the holding hands, the frozen yogurt with TONS of candy toppings...but he beamed with joy the entire time, looking into our eyes, as mommy and daddy took turns praying over him. We asked God to give him a love for His Word, and the ability to read and understand it. We spent a lot of time just thanking God for the many things that make Noah so unique in our family.
It was so sweet, such a special time for all three of us.
Congratulations Noah Benjamin! You have worked hard! :-)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A Signpost for God's Sovereignty....

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness (graciousness, forbearance) be known to all men.
The Lord is at hand."
Philippians 4:4-5

     We all have a way of making our plans, don't we?  Even those of us who don't consider ourselves "planners".  We have a general idea in our minds of how it will go.  You know, you'll get married and have 5 lovely years together before having 2 kids.  You will work up until the first baby comes, and then go back to work part-time when the children are ready to enter preschool.  Or, maybe the plans are even for the "great, big things" that God is, I will enter full-time, vocational ministry.  I will plant a church.  I will become a missionary.  Whatever the plans are...we have them.  And, it is a part of life to deal with the fact that our "plans" just don't always work out.  PRAISE THE LORD!!

"A man's heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:9

     So, Ben and I had made some plans.  With serious, heartfelt, intentional prayer, we were seeking the Lord's will regarding an internship program that our church is offering.  This is a gnarly, serious internship.  It requires 24 hours of time per week- 12 hours of "learning", and 12 hours of "service."  But the point is, we had committed to 5:30am prayer meetings on Monday mornings, just Ben and I, in order to intentionally seek the Lord on whether or not this was His plan for us.  Both of us.  We both felt God stirring, moving in our hearts.  Maybe this was the "next step" we had been waiting for.

     Imagine our surprise, then, in the midst of God seeming to move us in this direction of the internship, beginning to prepare our family and our schedule for this big adjustment, when God sent an adjustment of His own:  


     On the pregnancy test, that is.  Oh man.  This was not the plan....Our first thought was that this must obviously mean "no" for the internship.  But God has a really interesting way of doing things.  He is still moving things along in the direction of the internship, giving us favor with Ben's work...So, I don't know the answer to the internship question.  We are still in the "pray and wait" phase on that one.  We'd love it if you would join us in praying for God's will in that.

     But in the mean time.... Isn't it funny, how often when we are seeking the Lord's will, we humans want to ask God for "a sign"?  Well, for now...He has given us a sign.  It speaks loudly, and boldly of God's sovereignty.  His plan and His timing is perfect.  We were not planning for another baby right now.  But God was.  And His plans are ALWAYS BETTER.  Maybe, just maybe, I am learning to enjoy the ride a little more.  Because amidst all the unknowns of a pregnancy: how will I feel?  will my back go out?  can we fit another one in our car???  Amidst all these unknowns, I have the most amazing signpost that shouts out:

"You alone are the LORD;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You."
Nehemiah 9:6

     And of course...this signpost of God's sovereignty reminds me all over again:

"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered (wove) me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them."
Psalm 139:13-18

     All of the days of this child's life were written, before one of them has ever come to be.  God has a plan.  It is better than mine, and He is accomplishing His purposes in our life.  So today, instead of being frustrated that it doesn't look how I thought it would, or wallowing in all the unknowns...I'm choosing to rejoice in His Sovereignty.  To declare that He alone is good.  I'm going to join in with the host of heaven, and worship the amazing, sovereign Creator.  I'm going to rejoice that the Lord is near. I'm going to believe His Word when He says that He has chosen to BLESS us with another child.  And on the days where I am sick on the floor...oh, Lord, by Your Spirit, remind me of this signpost, the one that tells me that You are Sovereign, and we are exactly where You want us to be right now.  

"Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain...
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;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate."
From Psalm 127
(quickly becoming familiar in our family)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Exciting park day...

Judah busted open his lip at the park yesterday. He is 17 months old, so he did not break Caleb's record of stitches at a young age. As I washed it, I could see that it was pretty gnarly-jagged and pretty deep. But, seeing as how we have done stitches in this area before, and they just ended up getting pulled out during their sleep....I was pretty sure we wouldn't do stitches. Fortunately, my brother works for a hospital, and Ben had done EMT training quite a while, Ben got him all cleaned up and my brother brought the "super glue" they use in the ER. I'm so thankful for God's provision in this way, seeing as how
Judah didn't really realize he was hurt, so a couple of hours in the ER with me vs. the Fab Five didn't sound enticing. Ben did a great job and Judah seems to be pretty much back to normal. He will have a scar, but it won't be nearly as bad as it would have been. It's always an adventure having four boys. :-)

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Wash Me"

"Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness, 
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You..." 
Psalm 51:7-13

     It was one of those days-where my mom and I had packed up all the kids and we were headed for Costco and Trader Joe's.  We stopped to get gas in town, and they have recently added one of those fancy new "car washes."  My mom gently pointed out that our car was in *ahem* desperate need of a wash.  So, for $8, we got about 8 minutes of total entertainment.  Judah was a little scared, but comforted sweetly by big sister.
     But it got me thinking...sometimes, we are just driving around in our big white Suburban, unaware of how filthy we have become.  The dirt piles up slowly, and before we know it, we are covered in it.  I loved sitting inside the car, hearing the water beat down upon us, seeing that white foam soap cover the car, even feeling the power of the air beating against that big tank of a car as it dried it off....It all reminded me of our God, and His desire to wash us in His word, and the power of His Spirit to make all things new.  Sometimes, it is through His washing that although, He may not take away the things that are causing sadness or pain or momentary difficulty, He does infuse us with the power to have joy in the midst of the washing. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Ventura County Fair, 2012

Wow! What an amazing day! We ate all the food that we never eat, saw a few animals, played with the wooden toys, and rode rides!
We ate:
Funnel cake
Spiral fries
Chili dog (well, Ezra and Noah shared one)
Cinnamon roll
(mommy had a YUMMY veggie burrito!)

Emma rode the ferris wheel with grandma, the merry-go-round, and the super slide.
Caleb rode the dinosaur spinning things with grandma, and the super slide twice.
Noah rode the cars twice, and the super slide once.
Ezra rode the cars once, the train once, and decided not to do the super slide once he got to the top. :) Brother Caleb went up and rescued him.
It was an amazing, lovely day at the fair! :-)