05 May 2015

Asher-Boy


Asher-Boy,

You, son, are a delight.  An absolute blessing to my life.  Every day, you bring light and laughter to my heart.  Today, on your birthday, I want to take a written "snapshot" of all my favorite things about you (there are a lot!) so that I can look back in the years to come and remember you exactly as you were.  So, here we go...

I love your way with words.  The conversations we share are like no other.  You are so chatty!  I love how you say "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir."  I love how you communicate, how you repeat everything that anyone says, particularly your siblings.  I love how you already know exactly how to bug them, just by saying one little word... "butt." (We're working on that one.) I love how you're starting to repeat songs, especially when you're singing along with The Imperial March.  

I love your energy, how you run after your brother and sister, never tiring of trying to keep up with their various activities.  I love your courage and your daring spirit, how you climb ladders at the playground and slide down the tallest slides, how you can hold your own (physically and verbally) in a fight with your siblings.  I love your fearless love of swimming (although it seriously freaks me out that you love going under).  I love how you tell people you're "four-and-a-half," because I know you believe you're just as big and as capable as your brother.

I love your obsession with Pixar's Cars, how you carry those character Wheelies around every day, no matter where we go.  I love how you know all their names, how you line every single one up in a straight line when you play.  The other day, you held up Lightning McQueen and told me, "Mah-ween says 'a-CHOW!'" and it's since become one of your favorite things to say.  I love how you love Star Wars and Ninja Turtles, and how you know the names of all those characters, too.  (I also love that you're learning the names of the princesses... you will be very well-rounded, son.)

I love how you love to listen to books, especially "Night Moon," which you almost know by heart.  I love how you let me rock and snuggle you before bed, how you ask for the Sh'ma and "Jesus Me" every night.  I love how you need blankie, pacifier, Brinley the Bear, and Geoffrey the Giraffe to sleep (and sometimes a car or two).  I love that you love your crib and rarely cry to get out, even if you've been awake for an hour.

But most of all, I love the happiness that shines from your eyes.  I love that contagious smile and those perfect little teeth.  Strangers can't help but smile back.  I love your magnetic personality and that you are so quick to apologize, even when you weren't in the wrong.  I love that you're a hugger.  I love that you notice people, that you remember names.

My prayer for you is that you will always be a blessing to everyone around you, that you will make people feel valued and important with authenticity.  I see so much of who you will be already present in your big personality and I pray that you will partner with God to achieve all that He has for you.

I love you, Bugga Boo.  Happiest of birthdays to my happiest of boys.

Love,
Your Mama

Some of my favorite pictures of your second year.
You've always been a water baby! 
Beach babe.
This truck is one of your favorite things.
Future Baylor Bear!

I've never seen you as happy as when you were atop this pony.


17 April 2015

Passover Reflections

I have so many thoughts in my head right now, having just finished celebrating Passover and the 8-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.  I'm going to try to make sense of it all for you, but bear with me if parts seem choppy. ;)


Getting Rid of Leaven
This year was our first time really celebrating Passover.  Last year, we (mostly) abstained from leaven, eating matzah instead, but I never threw anything out.  This year, I actually went through my fridge and pantry and got rid of all the leaven and leavened products (Exodus 12:15, 19-20).  Whew!

I'm feeling overwhelmed as I gather up the granola bars and Cheez-Its and most of my kids' snacks, trying to imagine what they could snack on for the next week.  (Good thing they really like matzah pizza, because I'm pretty sure they ate it five out of eight nights!)

But as I'm reading labels on everything, I'm meditating on how leaven represents sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). I'm explaining to Gabriel, as I'm tossing frozen pancakes and waffles (his favorite breakfast), how we need to examine our hearts just as we're examining our pantry (1 Corinthians 11:28). How we need to get rid of everything that doesn't please the Lord.

The people of Israel were set free from bondage by the blood on their doors.  All they had to do was walk through!  But their hearts were not necessarily repentant.  Seven days without leaven signified a purification of their hearts in preparation to receive the Law that would come fifty days later.

I'm the same way!  I've been set free, delivered, and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb -- once and for all.  But I need a daily reminder to live a life free from sin.  It's my choice to walk in the freedom that He purchased for me.  Passover is a yearly reminder to clean out my "house" of anything with the power to spread and transform.  Only God should have that power in my life.



God's Abundant Faithfulness
In the days leading up to Passover, we watched Prince of Egypt with the kids.  We read them the story of the plagues and the Red Sea.  As I was teaching my children, I was struck anew by the Lord's incredible faithfulness to His people, Israel.  These people He chose, rescued, and delivered.  These people He used to show His awesome power to every generation throughout the whole earth (2 Samuel 7:22-24).

The miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egypt is proof of the Lord's faithfulness; evidence that He can and does work miracles in impossible situations; confirmation that He will keep His promises, even if they're not on our timetable.

What impossibility are you facing today?  Friend, my God can handle it!  If He can part the sea, allowing the whole of Israel to pass through on dry ground, He can handle your situation!  My God is a master in performing impossible tasks.  And look at His track record!  You won't find a better one, I promise.

Whatever it is -- family, work, health, financial, relational, etc. -- give it to the Lord of heaven and earth, who always speaks true and always keeps His promises.


Exodus 14:13-14, 25


The Blood of the Lamb
It really hit me this year, as I was meditating on the first Passover, just how far God plans in advance. 

I read how He required blood from a perfect lamb on the door frames of Israel's houses as a sign that they belonged to Him (Exodus 12:7, 13, 21-23).  It brought a picture to my mind of my own heart, which is covered with blood that is not my own, blood that signifies belonging to the Lord, blood that protects me both from the wrath of God and from the enemy.  

For Jesus is the Passover Lamb -- spotless, sinless, and sacrificed (Matthew 26:2, 28; Luke 22:7; Romans 3:23-25; 1 Corinthians 5:7).  He covered over my sin with His blood when I invited Him into my life.  Through the Perfect Lamb's willing sacrifice, the wrath of God was fully satisfied, because every sin was laid on Him.

And just as the Destroyer (can I just say that I love that the ESV uses this word?!) was not allowed access to the homes covered in blood, he is not allowed access into my life, or the life of anyone who has been covered with the blood of Jesus.

But best of all?  Now, when the Holy God (who can have no fellowship with sin and darkness) looks at me, all He sees is the blood of that Lamb.  Hallelujah!




I hope something here resonated with you and/or provoked you to thought or action.  I'd love to read any response, so feel free to leave a comment here or on Facebook. :) Thanks for reading my heart!


13 April 2015

new look & a shameless plug

A little blog refresh this weekend.  It just feels like spring is the best time for that kind of stuff!

Gonna be honest and just go ahead and say that this is my most favoritest design I've ever done for any blog.  I guess it's good that it was for me! ;)

(But seriously, if anyone's in the market for a new blog design or any kind of graphic design whatsoever, head on over to tailormade designs and check out my portfolio!)


I've got some stuff in the works to go along with my new look, so keep checking back!  Or you could sign up to receive my posts straight to your inbox.  Handy, eh?  Just type your email into the little box  under "SUBSCRIBE" in my sidebar and click submit!  Now you never have to miss a post!