Our Journey Home

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bella!

Dear Bella,
Happy 3rd birthday! We love you so very much! You are such a blessing, and we praise God for you. You make us all smile, and we always enjoy your sweet giggles, your passion for using scissors, your unquenchable desire for lollipops, your daily requests for riding on the swings, your enthusiasm for storybooks, and your endless kisses! We are praying for you each day, and we are so excited to see what God has planned for you!
All our love,
Daddy and Mommy
Wubs says Happy Birthday, too!
She loves being your big sister!

(Just in case you are wondering- Bella does not have a head injury in this photo. She just loves to wear band-aids as accessories. wink.)

"For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does."- Psalm 33:4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two very small coins

Do you ever read a passage of scripture and feel like God wrote it just for you? wink. I read the story of the widow's offering and God helped me to understand how He measures our efforts. The Lord isn't interested in how much we give, but instead, He is pleased by sincerity and a selfless heart for giving. I can almost imagine Jesus watching this little woman walking alone to the temple. And maybe the rich people walked right past the widow, unaware that one day this woman would be documented by God in His book of Truth! I am so very thankful for God's word. I am praying I will be more like this precious woman, who gave all she had to the Lord.

"As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." - Luke 21:1-4

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Special News!

We are so very blessed! The Lord has heard our prayers and He has filled our hearts with thanksgving! We are expecting again! We got to see our precious baby yesterday and watch that little heartbeat flicker. It was amazing! ( I was reminded that I have taken this moment forgranted in past pregnancies. Years ago, I was happy when we saw Wubs and Bella on that first ultrasound, but I saw that grainy imagine with different eyes yesterday. The sweet baby we lost this summer is still teaching me lessons about God's goodness.) The girls think 'their baby' looks like a gummy bear. I was hoping to scan our black and white ultrasound picture, but it was tightly clutched in the little palm of our favorite two year old so it's pretty crumpled up! wink!
"Now hope in what is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."- Romans8:24b-25

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Inside the belly of a whale

Do you know the story of Jonah and the whale? I thought I did... I mean, I knew the beautifully illustrated children's Bible version of it. I have read this Bible story to my girls many times and we even have a cd with a cute song about Jonah. I know that God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to teach the people about His grace, but Jonah disobeyed. In an attempt to run from God, Jonah boarded a ship to sail away from his troubles. Of course the Lord knew exactly where Jonah was hiding, and He sent a terrible storm that sent waves crashing onto the ship. Jonah was sleeping below the deck when the captian woke him up and asked him to pray to his god to protect them in the storm. Jonah confessed to the captain and crew that he was running away from God. Then Jonah told the men to throw him into the sea and the storm would stop.

This is where our children's Bible wraps up the story nice and neat. Jonah falls into the water, he is swallowed by a whale, he lives inside the whale's belly for three days and three nights, and then God tells the fish to spit Jonah out onto dry land. Then Jonah obeys God and goes to Ninevah. The end.

Last week, I was reading the story of Jonah in my Bible and I have to admit, I have never heard the whole story! There are some really amazing details of God's love, grace, and mercy that make this story even more incredible!

First of all, the men on the crew of the ship didn't know the Lord. In fact, they were asking Jonah "Who is responsible for this storm? Who is making all this trouble for us?". Jonah got to tell the men about God, and they feared the Lord and they believed. God can use all things, even Jonah's disobedience, to bring Him glory!

Then, when Jonah is swallowed up by the fish, he began to pray. Jonah wasn't trying to find a way to climb up to the whale's spout, or vomiting from the smell of (literally) fish guts... he was praying! He was choosing to praise God, despite his circumstances. "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord."- Jonah 2:8-10 Wow! I was really convicted of the sin of my selfishness while reading Jonah's prayer. How many times have I complained to God when my life has gotten a little stinky? How many times have I made the choice to allow my circumstances dictate my joy? Yikes!

The story continues as Jonah travels to Ninevah, and the people repent of their evil ways. Jonah becomes angry at the Lord for his compassion on these people and then God teaches Jonah another lesson, this time using a plant that provides shade. (You'll have to peek in your Bible to read the ending! wink! That's my challenge for you if you are like me, and you've never read the 'whole' story!)

Below are some pictures of our trip to Washington, DC. The girls didn't come with us, which was the first time we have ever left them over night! We missed them bunches, but we truly enjoyed our time together. We saw lots of the sights and monuments, did lots of walking, ate some yummy food, made some really funny memories, worshipped at a well-known church (Capitol Hill Baptist church), and enjoyed great conversations!

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy."- Proverbs 28:13