Saturday, January 28, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I have realized HOW much I'm learning right along with my children. And I don't mean science, history, and things like that...but of course, it's exciting to learn and re-learn all that stuff too. No, I mean I'm learning heart-lessons AS I'm training and teaching my children. Who knew that it would take getting married and having children to learn some of the things I'm learning? Well, the Lord does. :)
Before I got married and had children of my own, I honestly remember thinking that I'm a really patient person. Ha...fast forward a decade...and here I am, learning that I'm not the perfect person I thought I was. The Lord has amazing ways of revealing my heart...and who would've known that the adorable, loveable packages I've received from the Lord (ie. my 4 children) were the very thing to reveal who I am NOT! [I really AM impatient, selfish, unkind....and on and on. Who I am to my children (how I speak to them, how I respond, who I am "under pressure" etc)...is so exposing!
So, perhaps that verse about children being a blessing has more than the surface meaning. Maybe the blessing of children also includes the sanctifying work of the cross as well. :) My children are mirrors reflecting back at me of who I am. The character and sin issues Justin and I see in them, are in us to! Sometimes I'm like, "Do I say that?" "Do I act that way?" Sometimes it's funny and sometimes it's really convicting! Wow...it's amazing how sinful we are! But what hope we have in Jesus to deliver us from continuing in it. As I teach the kids to be kind, to forgive, to say "Ok, Mommy! (with a smile) when they'd rather pout or complain, to obey right away, etc...I find it pricks my heart too. I realize how much I need the correction I'm giving to my children.
Change begins w/ asking the Lord for help. And also starting in tangible, intentional ways to do the simple things:
~Be thankful (express it to the kids and to Justin)
~Smile at them (how easy it is to just try to survive the chaos, instead of connecting w/ them in the midst of it all. For me, it's making eye contact and smiling... instead of just throwing my words down at their heads or yelling it from the other room)
~Train my heart with the scripture as I'm training theirs
~Learn to say "I'm sorry...will you forgive Mommy"
~And last, but not least, laugh! A merry heart is like medicine...and it'll spill over into the kids too! Lighten up the mood...turn up the music and dance :)
I need to remember that little list above...and now off to go and get to it! :)
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
1. Close Cluster FamilyLove pix: 2. Farm Fence Family Photo
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Ramona got up early to make us a big delicious breakfast yesterday morning. Joe and Justin were already discussing theological questions over coffee. ;) Before we left, Joe asked Nestor to pray for us. To our surprise, he started praying in Spanish or Guadanee...we were able to pick out a few words we knew: gracias and Senor :) Joe assured us it was a "good prayer" and quickly interpreted what he said. We are looking forward to seeing them before too long. We also talked about visiting them in Paraguay. Justin gets 10 weeks off in the winter...and spending some extended time in another country is on our todo list before our kids grow up. ;) It would be good for us to be out of the USA and see how the Lord is working around the world.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Here are some pictures of our visit with Daniel & Faith.
Singing... The kiddos outside the Children's Museum...
Dress up at the museum...
Andrew, "the surfer"...
Crafts at the museum.
The boys doing some woodworking...
Madeline trying out her carpentry skills. (She is starting to remind me of myself...that looks like my face when I was little)
Samuel made a bird feeder ;)
...us, having a blast!
We ate lunch downtown Raleigh, NC...fun burger place w/great fries (and lots of dips) and milkshakes that were delish. We got a picture w/ our waitress b/c she was so helpful and accommodating. After being treated rudely at the restaurant next door, we appreciated her graciousness and assistance. After all, we did have 7 children under 7...and left a tornado of a mess on the floor. (she was tipped well ;) It wasn't a McDonalds type restaurant...more of a gourmet burger joint...not exactly kid friendly.
Happy boy: Benjamin! He was so proud of himself to use a real cup...he used it like a pro.(and made a big mess!)
Sushi Night! Justin told Faith we were coming w/ our "sushi shoes on" A visit wouldn't be complete w/out devouring some sushi and going crazy over wasabi. The key to eating sushi is eating it w/ people who love it too...otherwise it's not as fun. Daniel makes it into quite the experience...he has it down to a science! Faith and Justin provided the entertainment that night. Goodness...I laughed so much! Wow...our friends can talk about serious subjects as well as laugh at really stupid stuff...definitely a good mix! I'm definitely the boring one of us 4...but someone has to laugh at all the jokes and scarcasm. :)
Justin and Faith definitely fueled the fire for eachother...I haven't laughed so hard in a long time! Major inside jokes, for sure! Ha...somethin' was funny!
Surprise party for Andrew! Happy 4th birthday buddy!
We enjoyed celebrating with you!
Sunday evening at the "castle park": playing and eating cake
(we met some military families...how ironic to meet one couple who attended UI at Champaign/Urbana and grew up near Chicago!)
Justin and I had the priviledge of staying w/ Daniel and Faith AND Joe and Ramona. We've spent the past week eating, laughing, and living life w/ them all. We even got to visit w/ Julia and Nestor and their kids. What great fellowship! Even if our trip ended after our visit to NC and SC...it would've been a great trip! (but we're taking an extra week and going to Sanibel Island, FL...more pictures to come) ;)
**For those of you who have no clue who I'm talking about, these are our "gas station" friends my parents met in 1992 in northern MN. My Dad noticed a bumper sticker on their van and randomly asked Joe if anyone was gettin' saved down in S.C. Well...three hours later we pulled out of the parking lot best friends...actually they're on family status to us. :) As it turned out, the Marquez family was on furlough. They are missionaries to Paraguay and were traveling to Alaska. We are now friends w/ Joe and Ramona's kids and grandkids. What a blessing to have such dear friends...it's nice to compare notes, since we're at the same stage in our marriages and parenting. :)**