Saturday, May 29, 2010

Alina Renee

Introducing, my beautiful new niece, Alina Renee!
6 pounds, 8 ounces, born on May 26th, 2010 at 9:56pm.

Amber's Photo Shoot

It was a wonderful day, from start to finish. Little did we know when I was taking these pictures that only hours later, Alina would make her big entrance. Timing was perfect! And isn't my sister the picture of maternal beauty! I love you Seed!


This level of handsomeness should be illegal...I'm just sayin;).And my sister had her baby! I'll be posting some pictures soon, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Good Day and Growing Up!

I had a truly blessed Mother's Day yesterday! It started with a sweet "happy Mother's Day" greeting from Emma before my eyes even opened. Travis took good care of me too, homemade french toast, fresh flowers for a vase and to plant and wonderful servant hood throughout the day. Our pastor gave a great message at church too that really spoke to my heart. It was based on this verse:

2 Corinthians 4:7-
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

He pointed out the profound implications this verse has for mothers as we are often chasing our version of what a "super mom" looks like, forgetting that we are weak jars of clay on purpose, so that "this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." The world tells us that if we work a little harder, do a little more (or at least appear that we are), then we'll see success, then we'll be happy. Or maybe when our kids get to the next stage...or the next, or the next, then we'll be better mothers. But the truth is, we should rejoice in our weakness because it leaves room for God's strength to be revealed, to be worked out in our lives despite us, so that others will look at us and give God the glory for the work He is doing in and through us. In a world that glorifies independence and self-sufficiency, God wants something a little different.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says,
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

There are so many times when I'm tempted to look around me, at other moms and feel less than, weaker than, somehow not as good, but God wants me to "boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." This is good news! This makes me want to draw near to Him, to bath in His Word, to talk with Him all day long, to abide in Him so that His power can be made perfect in my weakness! This takes away the temptation to compare, when I am living inside this truth, because it enables me to see Christ's power in the strengths of others and praise Him for them instead of being jealous. It enables me to learn from their strengths (God's strength through them) instead of feeling like a failure that doesn't measure up. I was also reminded that a branch can only bear fruit when it is anchored, attached, ABIDING in the Vine. Oh how I was/am needing these reminders, and such freedom is found there! It was a good day, and I praise God for using me, a weak, earthen vessel, in the lives of my children for His glory. I am praying for more of Him and less of me and that "His power would be made perfect in my weakness". Amen.
And here's a cute picture of Sawyer to end on a lighter note. He's taken an intense interest in the potty seat lately and "acting" like he's doing something on it, even the wiping part, it's so cute. But I've had enough experience to know that we're probably not that close to potty trained status yet;).

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Truth of the Matter

The truth of the matter is... I'm struggling. Struggling with a three (almost four year old) who just doesn't seem to be learning self control or the submission of her will. I am on my knees, begging for wisdom from the Lord, counting on Him to give it as He promises. I am pouring over books on Biblical parenting, seeking mentors for advice, and all the while staring at my own sin in my response to her in the mirror with heartache. I get so angry, so angry I could lift a car it feels like. I get so sad, so at a loss for what she's needing to penetrate her heart. So weary and discouraged as we discipline and pray, discipline and pray, discipline and pray with her over and over again. What am I missing Father?, "if there is any offensive way in me..." show me. Oh how this is showing me our desperate need for Jesus. Our sin is so ugly and yet, when we receive the free gift of God's grace, the forgiveness of sin through Christ's death on the cross, we can live in the power, the freedom of His Resurrection!

Father, I lay this burden at your feet. Thank you for loving my children immeasurably more than I ever can. Thank you for entrusting me with these little lives, I long for nothing more than to point them to you, to show them that they are nothing without you and everything with you. Father, I am weak and I need your strength. I beg for wisdom! Refine my own heart as I attempt to Shepherd theirs, let me be a light to them by example. If you use me for nothing else Father, use me to bring each of my children to your saving grace, let each of my children walk in newness of life, knowing the joy and purpose that supersedes all their circumstances and shortcomings. And Father I confess my anger and frustration, my impatience and unkindness and ask you to renew my spirit and produce those fruits of your Spirit. Show me what it looks like to truly abide in You, show me how to walk by the Spirit and how to really let you carry my burdens. And I pray specifically for Chloe's heart Father, soften it and make her receptive to discipline, help her develop self control and first time obedience, kindness, gentleness and security when she's away from us. I love her with all that's in me and I want to be the mother she needs. Please send spiritual mentors into my life who can help me see things I may not be seeing, make your Word come alive to me as I seek you above all else. Amen.