Tuesday, April 22, 2014

16/52


This was probably the best week of 2014 yet. It was full and busy and yet relaxing also. It required hard physical work and some quiet meditating on life; where we are and where we are going. 


The weather was optimal for outdoor living. We poured our patio, cleaned up our yard, shot bb guns, took walks and bike rides, met neighbor kids, went to the park and read books outside. 

It was full and fun! 



We also rested. The new bedtime routine puts the kids to bed at 8:30. They weren't so happy at first but we did this so Micheal and I could have time together, just us two. It has been a great change of schedule. No matter how awesome of parents we want to be, we must make time to be a great husband and wife first. Fact. 


This week has been a fun filled week of projects and has also been filled with conversation about how we are doing as a family, what our dreams are, how to make those dreams happen and how to continue learning. 

I see growth in each of my children this week. Maybe it was the sunshine. Maybe it's because we needed them to step up and help in some way. And maybe it was because I was living fully aware of how fast this life goes and trying to appreciate every second with them that I get. 


Yep! This was the best week so far! But maybe next week will top it! ;)


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter


This is the only picture I took on Easter. We got ready for church and hustled out the door, all the while this boy wasn't feeling too well. We arrived at church and he promptly threw up into a coffee cup and he and I went home. We watched a movie and I read as baby took a nap. 

It felt a bit weird to miss church on Easter but I enjoyed our laid back day together. August felt better almost immediately after he threw up. Side note: Someone almost always gets sick if we eat canned tomatoes. 

Toward the end of the afternoon, August sat down at the piano and started playing a beautiful song. He went on for a long time. He would pause and say, "This is my God song." And then he went through a lot of the scenes of the Easter story: the garden of Gethsemene, Peter cutting off the ear of the soldier, Jesus healing his ear, Jesus dying on the cross and rising again. 

I sat with a few tears running down my cheeks, soaked it all in and prayed. 

He said that he wanted to do church since he had to miss it so he led us in worship and quiet contemplation of what Christ has done for us.  

Christ is alive! He continues to fill up His people with His Holy Spirit and will do so until He comes again. I for one want to be filled to overflowing, never deviating from His plan for my life until that glorious day comes, when we will forever be in His presence. 

My heart is happy today. I have a wonderFULL life and I am thankful. 

I hope your Easter was full of love and time with family and I hope you took some time to praise the One to whom it is due and to work out your own salvation. 

To God be the glory forever and ever!  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The cross


Naturally we have been reading the story of Easter. The story of Jesus dying on a cross for us. The best story ever told. 

Without this story I feel like no other story matters. Without the relationship I have with God because of the sacrifice of His Son, I feel like no other relationship would be what it is. 



I was reading about Peter's denial of Christ and I couldn't help but sob. The kids' ears perked right up! Mom's crying, this must be good! Oh the beauty of Christ's words and works. His life is so inspiring. If ever you need an example of how to live, look to Christ. Not other people proclaiming to walk with the LORD, although there are definitely people who do live a holy life, but Christ ultimately is our BEST example. 

The fact that Jesus looks back at Peter after the rooster crows. Oh my Good Gracious Lord! You are so amazing! Jesus was going through quite a bit at the time and yet He is fully aware of what Peter, His close friend, is going through at the same time. He takes the time and energy to look at Peter and I imagine that look was not of shame or anger. He knew what was going to happen already. He experiences that moment with Peter. He shows Peter grace. The glorious grace that never ends and is available for every soul that has ever walked this broken world. God you are just too much for me sometimes! In a good way of course! 




I have been saved since I was 8 and the story of the cross never gets old for me. In fact, it gets me more and more the older I get. I mean, who am I, that the God of this world would count it a worthy cause to send His only Son to come walk on earth, perfectly, and then take my sin upon Him and conquer it once and for all! Seriously?! Nothing else has made sense to me like the story and life of Jesus. I fully believe this with all of my heart and while I don't understand all of what the Bible says, like I said, I can't put the pieces together to make sense in any other way people say to get to heaven. It's not only believing in heaven and hell though. Yes, that's big, but it is so much more and it is what heaven and hell represent. 


If God is light and there is no darkness in Him, and if sin is darkness, then that means I can't have a close relationship with God, who again is light and LOVE. I am a sinner. I fully recognize that I do things wrong. I go against Him is some ways and that is sin. So, in order to fix my huge problem of not being able to have a relationship with Him because of my sin He says, "Hey, I got ya covered!" He sends His Son and makes a way for me to have a relationship with Him. And God is not just an acquaintance. He is my Father. My Friend. My Savior! 

I know that I cannot be "good enough" to get to heaven without Him. I know I must do things His way, because He created all of this anyhow. It takes being humble. And it takes submitting to Him. Everyday and in all ways. 

But I wouldn't trade this life for anything else. We have talked about how Peter felt so terrible about denying Christ and also how Pastor Saeed might even be freed if he would just deny Christ as his Savior. But in light of eternity, what is a little time in prison? What is a terrible time on earth compared to eternity with the most loving and kind God? 

I choose Christ and I'm so thankful and overwhelmingly glad that He chose us too. 

We can love Him because He first has loved us. And oh, what a love it is! 


Happy Easter! May we live everyday with the attitude of love and forgiveness. A life full of victory over sin and death. A life of abundance through what Christ has done for us all on the cross some 2000 years ago. 

Go in peace for He has given you peace. We have been redeemed from the depths of Hell.  He has given us everything! We lack nothing if indeed we walk in the Spirit of God. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our patio!


Last Fall we ripped out our wooden deck and dreamt of replacing it with concrete. All Winter we have waited and today we finally poured a patio! 

It must be said that this is a huge undertaking for us NON DIYers. We bought this house last Summer and it was lovely to not have to do anything at all to it. A contractor had bought it 2 years before and redone the whole thing. I have enjoyed this new home of ours immensely! 






The only thing for us to do is work on our backyard which we are both really excited about.  We have made some garden beds and now have the patio finished. We planted blackberries, raspberries, grapes and a trumpet vine last Summer and the berry plants are just starting to sprout! Our back fence is a hideous chain link with barbed wire on the top because of having the city water tower right behind us so we are hoping all the vines will cover the fence all across the back. 









The concrete truck driver asked if the kids were out of school for the day and I told him this was our school for the day! 







Grace couldn't help but get in there! She and the boys poured a little extra pad since we had a bit extra. She worked so diligently on this for most of the afternoon. They helped clean up too. Family work project! 

It is not perfect but we had a great time working together and learned a lot. We should have poured it more wet and we should have finished the stairs before moving on to the rest of the patio so there would have been less "rough spots". Micheal was pretty disappointed at first but I was just thrilled that WE DID IT! The plan was to stamp and stain it but by the time we got to finishing it, the concrete was too dry. We ended up with a broom finish.  Oh, well! You live and learn right?! 



You can see the two small garden beds in the back left of the picture and then behind that is the kids' fort. :) 

Progress! I am so excited to pull the forms off tomorrow, make strawberry lemonade and relax all Summer! 

Cheers to fun home projects! 

Spring senses




I hear: the humming of our neighbor's lawn mower.

I see: small sprouts coming out of the earth. Bloom, my friends! Bloom!

I smell: the dirt as I crouch down and pull weeds.

I feel: the rocks on my tender feet. Go get shoes on I say to myself. But it feels so nice to have the sun's warmth on my body I don't want to go inside. 

I taste: A fresh salad with strawberries and pecans.

It's Spring! The sun shines down and beckons us all to come outside! To enjoy her company. To set the seedlings out and pray they don't die. To pull another weed and pray they do die! To put the sprinkler under the trampoline. To watch as one child is hesitant to get soaked while the other jumps right in, not a thought otherwise. To make forts of tarps and random objects found. 

Get outside! Enjoy this new season upon us!