Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saying "See you later"....

Oh.  Daisy Love.  It is so hard to say good-bye.  We know that it is God's kindness for you to no longer suffer and be in pain...for you to know the fullness of joy that is only truly complete and face to face in the presence of Christ.

But it is still hard.








In many ways, you were our family's first true and deep interaction with grief.  Emma and Caleb (and the little ones) had not known grief, or tasted death up close before you.  I will never, ever be able to express what a beautiful introduction it was.  I know that sounds twisted, or weird.  But truly, I don't think I have ever seen death approached with the same grace, courage, and bravery as you did.  And that is what will mark my children.  They will see that for the one who is in Christ...it is not the same terrifying, dark thing that the world knows.  It is a different thing altogether.  It is passing from the arms of one papa Daddy (and Momma) who loved you so deeply, so rightly, so well...into the arms of one who loves you even more.

How kind... that in the face of Emma's tears, and her saying, "I wish I could have played with Daisy one more time," that I could respond with such confidence and truth, "OH, but you will!!  And when you do, it will be ever so much more fun and free than it ever was!"

Your courage, and your perseverance through pain and suffering marked so many families, including mine.  But your ability to to pass from this life into the next, the way that the Holy Spirit enabled your whole family to give witness and testimony to the Goodness of our God in the face of the greatest pain they have known, the way you have opened all of our eyes to remember that this world truly is not our home.... for these things, and so many more, I am forever grateful.  It is a privilege and an honor to grieve, not as the world grieves, but to grieve nonetheless, for one who is now a part of that great cloud of witnesses...reminding us all to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and to run with perseverance the race marked out for us....fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

We love you Daisy.  Thank you for reminding us that for those who are in Christ, it is not good-bye, but "see you later."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Never Thought I'd See the Day....

video
My dear, sweet Ezra.  It's not that I don't think you are absolutely brilliant.  Sometimes you are just too smart for your own good. ;-)
But really, I just wasn't sure you would ever sit down and sit still for long enough to learn to read.  There are so many other things to do, you know. ;-)
Just as you have surprised me, since the very moment you entered our home...you still continue to do so.  And so here you are, my "sweet boy", at age 4, reading the last page of your "short a" book.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thirteen....

A lot can happen in 13 years....
I've learned:
I need the love of the Father, the true Word and Wisdom of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit in me more than I ever realize at any given moment.
I can do nothing on my own, but all things God asks of me through Jesus Christ who gives me strength.
What I thought I knew, I don't really understand. But admitting that is a good starting place to learning.
Marriage is harder than I thought. Part of that is because I am married to a sinner. And I am even more shocked at how much harder I make marriage because I am a sinner.
These little people that have changed me and shaped me so profoundly....well, they keep growing up. And I can't stop it. Now, I know that I wouldn't really want to stop it, per say, but I am still learning to live fully in each moment and savor it and be thankful for it before it is gone. This is a beautiful art....a supernatural work which I pray the Holy Spirit continues to work in me.
Being a wife and a mom requires truck loads of character that I just didn't have. But studying and submitting to God's Word, obeying one step at a time, and being surrounded on every side by little people who are able to bring out the exact weaknesses in me...well....all that really does build some of that character. ;-)

I have been confronted more clearly with my humanity-my weaknesses, my faults, my limitations-in this pregnancy than perhaps ever before. The beauty of it is that I have found God's grace to be more far-reaching, more sustaining, and more powerful than I ever imagined. So perhaps that is what I have learned more than anything in these 13 years....it is God in His kindness that has sustained us, and each year we have ahead will be the same. We need Christ desperately, He is our hope, and we look to Him for all the years ahead.

"Therefore...let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up." Hebrews 12:1-3




Monday, February 04, 2013

Playing catch up....

I am blogging from my iPad, so I don't have the same abilities I would have on the "real" computer. But at this point, it's kind of now or never. I clearly haven't been keeping up on blogging, which might be okay, except that I won't have the mental capacity to remember much of anything if I don't write it down.
So.... Here's a quick recap of life through pictures:
The first is Emma and Caleb's mosaics as we studied Justinian the Great.
Next- a picture of our breakfast bowls, which everyone around here likes pretty well. Packed with fiber, and yummy fruit...and Mommy's also has some of my new obsession (Trader Joe's Coconut Chips) sprinkled on top. This is a good representation of what our mornings look like, at least a couple of times a week. Except that Judah is usually screaming at the top of his lungs, since he has pretty much given up sleeping after 2am. Big bummer for mom and dad-he clearly didn't consult us on that one. It is one of those seasons. Not sure if its night terrors....or what. But, all of our boys have gone through some sort of sleep issue. So, we have all been a little extra worn out, but we keep plugging away nonetheless.
The next 3 pics are of Emma's sweet little Keepers of the Faith group. Kind of like Girl Scouts, but we do homemaking projects, scripture memory, Bible reading, service projects, etc. This group has been such a blessing to my sweet girl, and to my momma heart. These pictures are from our Cake Decorating night. I recently hosted and taught on nutrition; we had so much fun and made individual gluten-free pizzas. Be. Still. My. Heart. :-)
The next picture is from last weekend, where our goddaughter from China, Isabel, was baptized here in Ojai. We got all the kiddos dressed up and visited Ojai Presbyterian Church, where our dear friends the Pflegings attend. It was so sweet...I don't have a picture of Isabel, but she looked absolutely adorable in her off-white gown. :-) Emma and Anna also wore matching pink skirts, and although I intended to get a picture of them together....well, that didn't happen either. Take my word for it, they were so adorable. Hehe.
The next four pics are of the boys; after church this Sunday we went to Thille Park with the cousins. It was such a beautiful day!!!
And finally, this is me, 30 weeks pregnant. When my midwife told Caleb that the baby should be here within the next 10 Saturdays, I almost fell off my chair. Something just changes when you hear it put that way.
We have been learning, growing....being stretched in many ways. Our current read-aloud is The Hobbit. And I must confess, I am having the hardest time getting into it. The kids all enjoy it, however, and there is not much cuter than a crazy almost 2 year old saying, "Hobbit?" as he looks forward to reading time. (He falls asleep, so no, he's not really listening to the Hobbit. But he does know that it is what we read after Bible reading.)
Emma and Caleb finished up their English curriculum....so I'm trying to decide where we will head next. Emma is almost finished with her math, as well as Noah....so, we'll see what's next for them. Ezra is doing well with Sing, Spell, and is ready to start math, I think.
One day at a time. That's the road we are one right now. :-)
"Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord . Trust him, and he will help you. Be still in the presence of The Lord, and wait patiently for him to act...(Psalms 37:4, 5, 7 NLT)