Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guess who got a hair cut???

Guess who got her hair cut tonight?
We decided it was time to even up the back, though it was a little hard to cut those curls off :( The ends still curl, so we are happy :) SK asked after I was done, if she could do mine....

This was the face I got after asking her to make a "pretty" face. We need to work on our pretty face a little I think.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Snow Day #765

Maybe I exagerated, but it feels like it has been that many. We headed out this morning to swim lessons and it was bitter cold. It felt strange putting on swimsuits, then bundling up to head out. As we headed home from lessons it was beginning to snow and it is still coming down. We thought it was going to be maybe 2 inches, but instead we have been dumped a good 6 inches. I am so over the snow. Yeah, I guess it is pretty, but it is almost April! It is Spring. Not supposed to happen. At least the roads aren't bad, they seem to be pretty safe. Oh well. Here is a quick glimpse into how we decided to spend our afternoon:

I wish I could say with confidence that this is probably the last of the snow for the season, but unfortunately there is more snow forecasted...hopefully just a mix of snow/sleet/slush, but still. I am ready for real Spring weather to come back around. It was a nice night of warm tomato soup and sandwiches. I can try to be positive right?? And SK had a blast getting to play in it. But, man is it cold.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crafty Chore Chart and Ted Drewe's

I am quite excited to finally put together a chore chart for SK. She has been doing chores for some time now, but I think it will help her to have the chart and see what all she has accomplished. We are thinking we will start her on an "allowance" or whatever you want to call it for her completing her chore chart each week. We are doing this for multiple reasons. We think this is a good time to start teaching her how to be a good steward of her money, learn counting, ect. For each button (completely chore) for the week, she will get a nickle. It will looks like lots to her, but in reality it will probably be between $1 and $2 a week. I think this will be fun for her and help her with counting. We are planning to show her how we are called to give back a portion of her $ to the Lord and how saving some is important too. We are wanting it to be her desire to do this, not our enforcing of it. We shall see how it goes, we are still figuring it out and deciding how best to teach her these things. So far she is very excited about it! We shall see how it goes! I had fun making the chart with material I had already and ribbon from my stash, and the buttons were from Grandma that I have had for some time now. Perfect use for them and even better that it didn't costs anything except for the magnet board which came from Hobby Lobby. The buttons have magnets on the back, so we will be able to clear the board each week to start the new week.
On another note, we checked out Ted Drewe's for the first time earlier this week while it was still warm outside, not so much the case now since we have snow on the ground today :(

Sk loved Ted Drewe's so much that she was stealing Daddy's after finishing the one she shared with Mommy :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More reflection

Just wanted to share a few more thoughts ....this time on the idea of dealing with the hurts and pains of life. I will first share a quote from a book I read earlier this semester called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, by Peter Scazzero. Scazzero actually credits the second half of this quote to another author named Gerald Sittser.

"Turning toward our pain is counterintuitive. But in fact, the heart of Christianity is that the way to life is through death, the pathway to resurrection is through crucifixion...

...the quickest way to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west chasing after it, but to head east into the darkness until you finally reach the sunrise."

In another book I read by Dan Allender called The Healing Path, Dr. Allender uses the story of Hosea's wife Gomer who was a whore to depict the "the healing path" that we must take. God takes us into the desert in our suffering and hardship to strip us of our "other lovers" who will not follow us there. These "other lovers" are the idols of our hearts and God shows us that they will not rescue us from the desert. But God will. He resorts us there and returns His adulterous bride back to Himself.

When we are honest to ourselves and to God about our hurts and pains, it is there that God often reveals Himself to us. God invites us to wrestle with Him. He can handle it. There are countless examples of this in scripture. Job and the Psalmists are great examples. Take a look at Psalm 13:

In the first stanza David is expressing his sorrow and questioning God about it:

1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Where then should we go after we have begun to wrestle with sorrow? It is usually one of two places. One might be to abandon faith and hope and a turn away from God. The other might be what the spirit of God leads David to do in the next stanza:

3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

David cries out to God in desperation. When we find ourselves is the desert, will we look to the only one who will follow after us there, or will we turn from Him and wonder of into the horizon of hopeless despair? When we turn to the Lord He reminds us of who He is and what He has done as David recounts in the last stanza. He closes in praise to his Savior.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.

I hope this is encouraging...It has been for me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring break - time for reflection

Hello all! Its Michael...it's been a while since you have seen me on here. I have been out swimming in the sea of seminary just trying to keep my head above the water line. It has been great so far, I only wish that I had more time to soak in some of the stuff I am reading and learning. Now that I am on spring break, I am playing catch-up, but I am also taking it easy and attempting to reflect on what the Lord has shown me thus far. I thought I would make a post to record some of that...so here is a humble attempt to share.

Approaching culture and the unbelieving world....My thoughts below on a book I read called Learning Evangelism From Jesus, written by one of my professors, Jerram Barrs.

I must say, there is a great deal that I can take from this book to apply to my own life, but I will attempt to be concise and to discuss the things that most impacted my thoughts on evangelism. There is something so simple and yet so very extraordinary about the idea of learning evangelism from Jesus. In my mind, I affirm the fact the Jesus is the greatest evangelist, but it is not until I read this book, and contemplated the nature in which Jesus seeks the unbeliever, that I gained a greater understanding of what evangelism truly is.
As I fight with the little pharisee that is in me, I have received weapons for that battle in this book. One theme that runs through this book is that every human being has been created by God to bear His image. This is something that I have always known, but have often failed to truly see. In my own sin, I often times look at another person and only see the ugliness of their sin rather than their beauty as an image bearer. How then, can I see God's image in others? How is that supposed to flesh out in my life? I get an answer to my question when I look at how Jesus interacts with the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus looks beyond the social barriers of His day to reach out to a woman who is a social outcast in every way. Jesus dignifies her by asking her for some water. He shows her (and the rest of us for that matter) that she has something to offer. She bears God's image in something as simple as being able to provide a drink of water to someone who is thirsty. By looking for the good things that a non-believer has to offer (the common grace of God) I am able to truly see God's image in that particular person. In so doing, I am then able to build a bridge on this foundation. The Syrophoenician woman's love for her daughter, and the centrurion's care for his servant and reputation among the people were bridges that Jesus used to bring the gospel to them. Each of them were bearing God's image in a particular way.
When do I give the law to someone and when do I give the gospel to another? This is another question that is addressed in this book. I have always thought of evangelism as sharing the good news of the gospel with the unbelievers of the world. After looking at how Jesus gives the law to some and the gospel to others I am beginning to see that it is necessary to understand the needs of the person. The religious upright people who are attempting to obtain their own righteousness are the ones who need to understand their own depravity and need for a savior before they will be receptive to the good news of the gospel. Those are the individuals who will need to hear more law in hopes that they will understand that they cannot fulfill the law. On the other hand, there are many who are completely aware of their brokenness and sin. These individuals will only be further condemned by the law, and are in desperate need of hearing the gospel of grace. When Jesus extended forgiveness to the sinful women who washed His feet with her tears, He was meeting her deepest need. On this very same occasion, when Jesus challenges the righteous man by asking him why he did not greet Jesus with a kiss or wash his feet, Jesus was meeting his deepest need as well.
When it comes to evangelism, I am often troubled by knowing what to say or when to say it. The great encouragement that I have received from this book is that Jesus is truly the greatest evangelist and the only one who is able to convert the hearts of men. The great hope that I have is that it is, therefore not up to me to change the hearts' of the unbelievers. I am to simply humble myself in obedience to God as a co-laborer with Jesus.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend activities

Just thought I would do a quick post about our fun weekend we have had. Yesterday morning we headed to our 2nd swim lesson. After trying to get a nap in unsuccessfully, Daddy got home from work and we got ready to head out for dinner. SK fell asleep on the way to dinner, so we ended up eating dinner with SK asleep laying across the booth in Mommy's lap :) The weather has been warming up a bit, so today (Sunday) we got home from church and decided to head out for a walk. We first ventured over to the same park SK and I went to last week, then headed a bit further to another nearby park that also has some nifty places to eat and more importantly a fun candy shop. Sk and I got to pick out some candy that Daddy treated his girls to, then we walked back home, making a pit stop by the store for icecream and fruit :) Good combination right? We decided to eat our icecream on our front balcony then headed to our front yard to rake some leaves and tidy up the yard a little bit. Now that we are all dirty from playing outside so much today, we are in and about to heat up leftovers and rest for the evening around here. Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A change of heart...

I know I have shared on here of our hearts being drawn to adoption. I wanted to share how the Lord has changed my heart with all of this. Don't misread that. I have not changed my heart in wanting it, but my heart has changed in how I look at it. When adoption first came up between Michael and I, I was excited. I felt like the Lord was beginning a great work and we truly came to feel like the Lord was going to bless us with more children and create such a beautiful family. Honestly though, in the beginning, I was excited to look more into adoption, but wanted see badly to get pregnant. I wanted adoption to be put on the backburner due to pregnancy. For months I thought this way. I would say in my head, "if we are pregnant this month, then we will wait to do the adoption thing till after this baby is a little older..." I wanted adoption to be a part of our future, but not to replace getting pregnant and having another biological child. I don't think, at least at this stage, I would have been happy and content to not have any more biological children and just have more via adoption. I'm being honest right? Well, my heart I feel has changed. Thanks be to the Lord, not me for that. Do I still want to get pregnant? YES, of course I do. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. But, I feel like my heart has changed in that if the Lord's plans for our lives is to bless us with more children via adoption and no more biological, then that is ok. I couldn't have said that a couple of months ago. It really is ok. I can now excitedly (is that a word?) say that if we were to have SK have brothers and/or sisters from across the world playing together and growing up together, I think that would be a beautiful thing. I still would love to get pregnant, but am content with however the Lord decides to grow our family. This whole getting pregnant thing is hard still though. I try not to think about it and let the Lord be in charge (not like there is any other way, right?), but man that is hard. It's hard not to wish each month that this will be the month it will happen. And, of course, I hear people get pregnant when they decide to "stop trying" and relax, but how do you do that? ugh.
Does that counter what I said earlier? Maybe. I go back and forth in my head I think. I am just ready to see how the Lord will work. I am not a very patient person I guess. It makes sense in my head though. I will be happy if the Lord blesses us with more children either way. Truly I am. And that is how my heart has changed. That wasn't the case a couple of months ago.
I heard someone say yesterday, "we want lots of kids..." And the Lord might bless them in that way. But, I remember having conversations with Michael years ago before having SK that I wanted 4 or maybe even more. I loved the idea of having lots of children running around and having them close together too. I'm not in charge though. I wanted to say, "good luck with that" or "We did too.." or "too bad you can't make that decision.." but I think I might have scared her a bit. Not necessarily something to say the first time you are meeting someone. At least I am honest on here right? I guess the worst that will happen on here is you may stop reading or think to yourself that girl has lost her mind or is crazy. Think that. It's true.
Well, SK is still singing away in her room, not napping. You would think after a rough night due to stuffy noses and swim lesson today, she would be ready to get a good nap in. Oh well. Maybe it will be a movie kind of afternoon till daddy gets home and takes us out for a date night with his girls :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun Day other than feeling a little under the weather...

SK and I woke up this morning both a little cruddy. I am thinking the season change is getting us both. Just the sinus kind of stuff. Worst part for me is the sinus headache. It makes me dizzy and feeling all out of sorts. We are all laid up feeling horrible, just feeling a little off. So I tried to make it a fun day in spite of our feeling stuffy and such. We headed out this morning to a consignment sale that I saw online and found SK a cute outfit, some princess jammies and a pair of shoes. She was a great shopper and she was the one who found the jammies for $1!! Woohoo, we love us some cheap pajamas :) And she was so excited to get some princess ones. We aren't too big on Disney themed clothing, but seeing her face light up is way too cute to say no to. We ran a few errands then met Daddy over at the school to eat sandwiches together, then headed home for nap. After nap, we headed to Chick-fil-A since Daddy is working tonight and got dinner. Then, decided to be crazy and go check out The Magic House which is free the third Friday night of each month. We had heard it was definitely something we needed to see and SK would love it. Well. She did. She had so much fun. But, so did 75,000 other kids. That place was packed. I figured it might be packed, but my goodness. There were so many kids there. At least it was free and she had so much fun. But, with the sinus headache causing me to be dizzy with a million little kids running all around me, we scooted out and headed home. Hopefully we will get to go back over there on another day when it isn't so crouded and play some more. Now I sit drinking some hot tea hoping I will be able to sleep tonight. My sinuses are not feeling so good. Probably did too much today, but I wanted to enjoy a free day with my girl. I even got 3 dresses done for her during nap. I was down to needing to put buttonholes on and I still have to sew the buttons on, but that will hopefully happen tomorrow during nap. Well, off to enjoy this tea and kick back on the couch for a bit before heading to bed :) Here's a quick picture recap of our fun night at the Magic House:

Night, Night y'all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Picture recap of last couple of days.. .

We have had a couple of fun days lately. Yesterday we went with some friends to the library for story time and got a library card. SK picked out a book and movie to take home. She loved story time :) When we got home later that afternoon, SK had a card from Grandma in the mail that she had fun getting to open then getting to play with some fun stickers!
(Thanks Grandma!)Then, that evening we headed over to the Brown's house to celebrate their daughter's birthday, who is just a few months older than Sarah Kate. The girls had a blast playing together and eating spaghetti and of course some yummy chocolate cake with icecream! Then, today we headed out to the zoo since the weather is getting over 70 degrees today! I am glad we went early, since it was packed when we were leaving. There was a parade getting ready to begin as we were leaving, but it would have been quite the walk and Daddy wasn't there to help with carrying the monkey :) We had heard about the carousel and the children's petting zoo being free for the first hour, so today was our first time to check all of that out. We got there right at opening and headed to the carousel first. SK got to ride it 2 whole times (for FREE!!) then we scooted over to the children's zoo. She was so excited to see all of the animals. She even brushed the goats! Normally she isn't too fond of getting to close to animals, so this was big for her. Then we headed over to the elephants of course.

It was fun to hang out and enjoy some nice weather! Now we are down for nap (hopefully sleeping and not playing...) Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

What's with the weather...

Saturday SK and I headed out to check out a park that is very close to us. It was a warmer day, so we thought it would be a great day for a walk. She hopped into the stroller and we walked literally 5 minutes away from our house and discovered Oak Knoll park. We had seen it from the road, but had yet to actually go to it. There was a great pond stocked with coy. Sk had a blast with her bubbles she brought and singing to the ducks and fish. We decided it would be a great spot for a picnic soon...just not today since it is snowing...yeah. And notice SK is wearing flip flops on Sat. and today wore snow boots. Wow. And, on top of that it is forcasted to be 76 on Thursday. Crazy weather around here for sure.

Blowing bubbles to the fishies!

Mommy and SK snapshop!

Checking out the pond :)


Lunch with Daddy today!

Snow...in the middle of March!
SK wanted to get in the picture :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

God must have read my blog yesterday....

God must have read my blog yesterday and knew I needed a lesson...
So I guess after yesterday's blog post, the Lord decided to use the sermon and small group time today to teach me a lesson. Isn't it funny how that happens? If you didn't catch yesterdays post I spoke of being offended by some certain people the last couple of days. I could go on and on about instances where I am just not used to the culture here. I will start with the fact that I know Southern culture is all kinds of messed up and is def. not the correct way, but neither is it in the midwest. They are all wrong and have their flaws. Moving on. The sermon today was about how we feel entitled to God's mercy and that we deserve it instead of it being what we desire knowing we are so undeserving. The scripture was Matthew 15:21-28 on the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus asking for healing for her daughter who was possessed. She knew she didn't deserve it, but had such faith. What could have been taken as offensive by being called a "dog" she accepted it knowing that is exactly what she was, but she believed that Christ was her only source of help and the only one who could really heal her daughter.
In our small group, we dealt with the questionf of "What offends us" and "What is the root cause of our being offended". I am offended by culture here and when it boils down to it, the root cause truly is my pride. People shouldn't talk of about me or my child. And, my self-righteousness. Do I put my righteousness in what others think of me and my family? So, I have the choice to live in offense or live in humility. What a blessing it could be to others around me to not have such an attitude of entitlement.
I am so thankful that the Lord is teaching me and showing me my sin. It's ugly. But, the more I see it the more I see how Great our God is and how big the cross in my life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SK's first swim lesson (and a better day :))

Well, SK must have known that I posted about her yesterday. She figured she should be a little more obedient today and give momma a day off today, kindof. It helped that she had swim lessons for the first time today. She was so pumped about going. She got up this morning around 6:30 (a.m.--i know, such is the life around here!) crawled in bed with us and asked if it was time to go to her lesson. We had 4hours. So we made some cinnamon rolls and cleaned house, then got ready to go. She could barely contain her excitement as she got her swimsuit out and put it on. It was pretty stinkin cute. Then I had to convince her that we had to put clothes on over the swimsuit to drive to the pool. She didn't want to get them wet in the pool she kept telling me. Once we figured that part out, we were off to swim lessons. There is a rec. center close to us that had fairly cheap swim lessons, which meet on Sat. mornings for 8 weeks. The house that I nanny at has a swimming pool (completely gated of course), but I figured if we were going to be enjoying that this summer, maybe some lessons would be handy. Plus, Sk is almost too confident when it comes to water. She tells me all the time that she can do it by herself, including jumping in...yeah. Hello swim lessons for mommy's sanity, more than for her :)

It was a mommy and me class, so I got to (I guess I would say "had to", more than "got to") get in my swimsuit and do the class with her. We started with getting used to the water playing with toys then headed to the lazy river to practice swimming, by throwing a toy in front of us and swimming to get it (with mommy's help of course), then jumping off the side to mommy, floating on our back and singing some fun songs, and playing some games. SK had so much fun. It was one of the cutest times we have had together ever. I had fun too, esp. since she was smiling ear to ear the whole time. AND, the instructor commented a couple of times that she was a really good swimmer :) Yeah, she's my smart girl (let me brag like a good mama, ok?).

Poor daddy had to work (he works every Sat, I know, boo right?), so we headed to Walmart to get some groceries and have a little lunch date at the Subway inside, since it was already lunch time and I was starving after the class.

On a side note, People amaze me. I have had 2 instances in the last day of people being rude to me. Maybe I am still not used to not being in the south or something. So last night, we were at the mall piddling around looking for Daddy, when a lady passed by us (SK in her stroller) and gave Sk a look like "what on earth is she wearing?" , then proceeded to say something to her daughter about my child's choice of shoes. Now heres the deal. We let SK pick out her shoes, seeing this a not a battle worth fighting. Sometimes we can convince her to wear ones that match, and sometimes not. This particular time was one where we weren't matching so much and had some white socks on with some not so cute shoes that are more like plaid house shoes than going out shoes. Ok, so she might have been a bit tacky, but she is cute enough to pull it off, right? Maybe you shouldn't answer that :)

THEN!, today we were in line at Subway waiting our turn to order food and SK kept telling me that she wanted chips, to which I replied she was going to have Apple slices first. Well, I guess the lady in front of me felt the need to jump into our conversation and looks back at me and says "She said she wanted chips. I can translate for you". Are you kidding me? Did she really think I couldn't understand what my child was telling me.

Whew. Ok, I feel better.

On another note, we hit the jackpot for Michael last night. We were looking for a sports coat for him. He has been wanting one for a while, but we just haven't had time or needed to spend lots of money on that right now. Well, I had gottten $10 giftcard to the mall for my birthday (You can sign up HERE and go the week of your birthday to the Galleria and get a free giftcard!!), and I somehow got another $10 for some deal they were doing for people that were signed up for Valentine's Day. SO, I had $20 to the mall and really wanted to take Michael to look for a Coat. Well, at Dillards, there was some great clearance deals, where things were marked really far down, then an additional 50% off. We found a Perry Ellis brown coat for $25 and a Murano and another coat for the same. So we ended up getting 2 jackets and a button down shirt that matched for less than $50. And, regular price for these items were over $400! That is crazy if anyone would ever buy that at regular price, but I was so excited! We don't shop very often for daddy, so it made for a really fun night :)

Ok, so enough randomness for the day. I am off to get dinner preps underway. We are having another seminary family over for dinner tonight. It is actually the first time we have had anyone over yet. And I really do enjoy having people in our home and cooking for others.

On the menu: Pork Chops, salad, purple hull peas, mashed potatoes, and bread (Ginger Donahoo's recipe...makes me miss her :)). Yumm.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pitching Fits kindof day...

Go figure. I was just bragging about SK not pitching so many fits lately (which was a different story last month), and guess what happens today...
2 fits.
First goes like this: SK gets to Molly's house (Michael brings her to me in the morning on the way to his class--on a side note, inst he a pretty awesome husband to get her ready every morning and to me while he has so much on his plate :)). She runs to the tv and wants to watch the "dinasour movie" also known as the "Dinasour Train" show that comes on PBS. I tell her that we will watch just a few minutes since I had planned a fun morning of heading over to Chick-fil-A for some play time and breakfast. After said amount of time, I go tell SK it is time to go and turn the tv off. Not what SK wanted at all. You would think enticing her with somewhere fun to go would make it ok that I am turning the tv off. Not so much. A 30 minute fit followed. She was placed in another bedroom to have her fit. Finally, deciding she was done and ready to tell me she was sorry.
Fit 2: We get all packed up after the fit then head to Chick-fil-A. She had a blast playing with some other girls there and we shared a biscuit and hashbrowns. She was really sweet, for that moment at least. Then, she said she was ready to go. So we packed up and got ready to head out. Then...she said she wanted icecream. I told her we weren't getting icecream this time (for one it was still 10:00 in the morning, a little early to feed icecream to a 2 year old right? and we don't get icecream everytime we go...that is the rule). She wasn't happy. So, I then have to drag this screaming 2 year old out of Chick-fil-A while carrying a diaper bag and baby in her carseat. We were quite the scene I am sure.
Oh my. Parenting is hard. On so many levels. It is hard at this age to really tell how much she understands when I have to talk to her about how she is acting. I know she probably understands more than she acts like she does. Sometimes she just looks at me like she doesn't get it. Then there is the times that she pitches a fit and screams then settles down and thinks that since she decided to stop screaming that she can then get what she wants. For instance, she wants gummies yesterday and I tell her not before dinner. She goes into her room pitches her fit for a good 5 minutes then comes out and says "Can my have my gummies now, mama?" Then is shocked when I say no again. We go through this cycle a good 5 times before she finally gives up and moves on.
I want her to know that I love her and am trying to do what is best for her. I am not just a bad guy. But, so many days I feel like I am just the bad guy in her eyes.
Now don't get me wrong, she isn't constantly testing me (some days are more than others like today). She can be so sweet many days and obedient. Today just wasn't one of those days.
On top of that, I was a bit down anyways, so that didn't help. I missed being able to call my girlfriends up and see if they wanted to meet us to play at Chick-fil-A. I am just dumpy today. Don't we all have those days? please say yes and I am not crazy. I am so happy here and know this is where God put us and where we are supposed to be, but it doesn't mean it is going to be an easy road.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Nana!!!

Today is a very special person's birthday! We love you Nana and miss not getting to spend your birthday with you taking you to our usual Birthday celebration spot getting some wedding cake :)

We love you Nana and hope you have an awesome birthday!! Sarah Kate said eat some cake for me ;) She loves you so much and will always hold a special place in her heart for her Nana!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Operational Righteousness

So it seems a lot of discussion lately I have been involved in (at church and in small group) has been around where we find our righteousness. One of the questions we discussed tonight was "What would your closest friends and family list as your personal rules for Acquiring and Accumulating Righteousness?" There are so many rules that we place on ourselves and on our children and others around us that are so not what this life is about, or should be about. This morning's sermon was on Matthew 15:1-20. There are so many times that I find myself exactly where the Pharisees (Did I spell that really wrong...oh well) are in this passage. Following the "traditions of elders", or in today's terms doing it the way our parents did. Not to say our parents did it wrong or those before us had it all wrong. Pastor Mark challenged that maybe it would be good to challenge the existing system. Why do we have certain rules for our kids. Are they backed by Scripture? Looking at the passage in Matthew, the point isn't that washing your hands before eating isn't important, it was looking deeper. Looking into the heart. Is our heart desiring to please God? Am I doing these seamingly good things in order to gain my righteousness or out of my love for the Lord. That is where I struggle so many days. While what I do on the outside might look fine and like honorable things, what is in my heart? Am I trusting the Lord with every aspect of my life? Am I doing these things to everyone around me will say wow look at her, or am I doing it as a flowing out of my love of God.
In Sunday School, we looked at Psalm 13. That is good stuff. God wants us to be real. With him and with each other. Look at David. Did he really believe that God had left him? No, but he was being honest with how he felt like he was alone. He was digging into the heart and trusting God with his feelings. So many times we find ourselves not going deep in relationships and not really sharing each other's burdens as we should. I know I am guilty of it. That is what we are called to do and that is what we find in Scripture over and over again. We have to be real with God if we want more than just a surface relationship. That goes with any relationship really.
I know for me, it is encouraging when I know I am not alone with hardships. When I can open up with others, like I have about our miscarriage and difficulty with infertility and have had other women share with me they have been there too. Does it make my pain easier? Some days yes and some days no. But, something about not being alone is encouraging. Feeling like I have other women who can stand beside me and say, I have walked that path and I know the pain and the emotions really does help.
So I guess that is my rambled thoughts for the night. I do want to thank those of you who have read this blog and shared with me how it might have encouraged you or shared with me that you have dealt with similar pains. If you haven't figured it out yet, my desire it to be real. I can't handle this alone. BUT, the good news is that I don't. I have Christ. That is enough. And I have the body of Christ here to encourage and point me to Christ, which the only way they know how to encourage me and pray for me is to know the truth of my heart. So, this is what you get, the messed up, crazy, emotional, jacked up, struggling to really trust and believe me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sarah Kate Post

Sarah Kate has been quite the mess lately. She has plenty of moments of pitching fits when not getting her way, but other moments of being so much fun! So here is a quick list of what she is up to lately:

*On days we are home, this is what we were. Our new ballet outfit. She asks everyday if I have found her a ballet class. See, that was our bribe for potty training (which that is another story of how that is going). We made a deal with her that when she stops having accidents, she can start taking ballet class. Good parenting right? o well. We are still having accidents...so no ballet class yet, but hopefully she will start this fall :)

*Other things that she says: "bums"=vitamins--for some reason she calls vitamins, "bums"--interesting translation right? The last few days she has been calling daddy a "princess" which requires daddy wearing the crown :) Hopefully he won't mind me sharing such a cute pic!

* She is all about being my helper in the kitchen these days. She likes to stir stuff, pour, ect. and even likes cleaning. She gets on her little stool and goes to town cleaning dishes for me :) I might have to go back behind and clean water that has splattered everywhere and rewash what she washed, but at least she wants to help right?

*Yesterday, we met some friends at a mall and played then shopped around a bit. There was a fun carousel that SK really wanted to ride, but since we had Molly with us, it wasn't going to happen. It was really cool though--double decker. So, Sk got all sad of course as we were leaving the mall and not getting to ride. She said, "Momma, the carousel is so sad. It has tears since I didn't ride it..." Goofy kid.

*We signed up SK for some swim lessons to start in a couple of weeks. I needed this more than here. The house we nanny at has a pool (completely fenced and all), but I thought it would be good for her to take a few lessons so when we do go swimming this summer, she will have some skills at least to help me rest easy (a little at least maybe?). She is all excited about the fun pool that we have lessons at and has already told me that "I don't need mommy to help!" Oh my. Start praying now for both of us.