Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Gospel.



The Gospel:
Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

John 1:12 "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,"

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

John 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."

1 Peter 2:24 " He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

Romans 5:8 " but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 10:9 "... if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

2 Corinthians 5:21 "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

John 11:25 " Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,"

1 John 1:9 " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Hebrews 12:2 "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

Mark 16:6 "And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him."

Ephesians 2:8 " For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,"

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

God has always, from the beginning of time, required a sacrifice to be right with Him because of the sinfulness of man. In the old days (B.C.) the sacrifices that God gave specific orders to carry out, were of animals. Lams, sheep, goats, birds, cows, rams, etc. This began in the garden of eden where the first sacrifice for sin was the animal that had to give it's life so that Adam and Eve could have clothes on. This was the first recorded death in the entire world, and it was a result of man's sin. God gave detailed instructions about how to sacrifice appropriately according to sins, however, as in the story of Cain and Abel, Cain was giving God sacrifices not according to God's instructions and that led to more trouble. What an applicable story for today. How often do we give God sacrifices that "seem" right to us, without abiding by what God has spelled out for us clearly in the Bible.

God sent Jesus to be our sacrifice, once and for all. No more animals, no more lengthy decrees to be cleansed of our sin. Just one man, slaughtered for the multitude to follow. Faith in Jesus that produces a radically changed life will be granted pardon of sin and an eternal life after death with the Almighty God of the Universe. We believe that Jesus Christ was God in flesh, who came to teach about God, show his power as God, die on the cross for the penalty for our sins, then rise again having power over death, to ascend into heaven and prepare a place for us. This is the gospel. This is what Justin and I live every day for. This is why we have hope. This is why we eat, sleep and breath. This is why we weap for a world who hasn't heard of Jesus. This is why we need to tell others. This is what transforms lives. We can not rest on this earth because so many have not heard. We are the vessels God has chosen to take this gospel to the world and we can not fail. We must urge others to see the Truth. We must beg God for the mercy of imparting faith to others. We will be strong and courageous and declare this Truth to everyone. I love that our kids are picking up on our passion for Christ. Kalena's teacher told me she did this artwork on her own, totally unprompted. I pray my kids will be more passionate about the gospel than we are, and that they will do a better job telling others than we do. To God be the glory.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spelling

Kalena is in full swing of school, complete with a spelling list. I remember these as a kid. Lists and lists of words to memorize the correct spelling for... even though the English language follows only loosely the rules it claims. As we enter this season of spelling, I can only hope she inherits Justin's ability to spell and not mine.

For the record.. Salad should, indeed be spelled- Salid.

Sara and her Aunt Myia and Uncle Casey

Cuddle Bugs!

Twins?

The time has finally come. Since Katelyn is catching up so quickly to Sara in height, I was wondering when people would start asking me if they are twins. Well it happened all at once... two people asked me in the same day.. then several since then. They were laying on the couch today and I was just struck by how they do sometimes look to be the same size. They even share shoes and shirts now! I love how convenient sharing clothes is!

The Cubs!








Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

4 months old!

Andrew: 4 months old, 17 lbs strong
AKA: Buddy, Bubbles

Andrew is already 4 months old! He is growing so fast!
We love our little guy and are so thankful God blessed us with a little boy. He has an amazingly quiet and sweet disposition, and is always ready to smile. I can't change his clothes without making him giggle. He is also starting to reach out and grab things which is fun to watch and such an amazing developmental process. My favorite part of the day is when he reaches up and grabs my face. He is such a sweet boy! He has an amazing ability to vocalize as well. When he cries he says "Mammammmammaa" already.. not sure if it is on purpose or not. He also tries to talk to me and uses all kinds of sounds and noises. It is adorable. His sisters love him a lot and are constantly giving him hugs and kisses and playing with him. Kalena loves to pick him up and walk around with him, even though he is a little heavy for her. Katelyn loves to give him big bear hugs which I must regulate to make sure Andrew is still breathing. Sara is always talking to him and giving him sweet kisses on his head. He lights up when he hears their voices.

I pray that as Andrew grows he will be safe, healthy, and strong. I pray he will come to know Jesus Christ at an early age and worship Him alone. I love this little boy with all my heart!!





Katelyn is Two Years Old!!




Our sweet Katie-baby is 2!!!
We can't believe how fast she is growing up. She is a busy little one, with so much curiosity and energy. I am kept on my toes all day long keeping up with her. Katie has amazing hand coordination and is even able to put on shoes quickly and can get almost any container or package open with little effort. She is very strong and can even get our sliding door open or shut past the tough spot where the door sticks (occasionally Sara will ask her for help :) Her vocabulary is really coming along and she is consistently using 3-4 word sentences. She surprises me with phrases like "Im fine" and "Don't worry". Her favorite phrases are "Watch me mommy!" "Sara, are you awake? Im awake" "Oh Andrew is so cute!", "I miss you" "I love you" "May I have cheese please" "I would like a warm bottle of milk" and her favorite things to do are play with blocks, baby dolls, and cook in her new kitchen she just got for her birthday.

This morning when she woke up and we all said happy birthday to Katelyn, she went around saying happy birthday right back to each of us. It was so cute and Kalena and Sara thought it was quite funny!

I thank the Lord Jesus for two sweet years with precious Katelyn. She is a gift of joy, laughter, and love. We are so blessed to be her mommy and daddy and pray she will come to know Jesus's love for her!




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Kalena's First Day of School

Kalena started school this year at NorthCreek Academy. Her first day of school was so much fun and was loaded with emotion for Justin and I as we said goodbye to our little girl for the first time. Gone are my carefree days where every minuet is spent having fun with no thought of school bells and uniforms. Fortunately she only goes to school from 9-12:30, so we have the rest of the day together. I will cherish these days with her, knowing that next year she will be gone all day. The thought of it makes my heart so sad!!

I started thinking through all the ways I want to spiritually prepare my kids for school. Here are the areas I want to teach through with them every year before starting school, and throughout the year: obedience right away all the way with a happy heart, how to be a peacemaker, why we strive for knowledge (Proverbs), gossip, understanding appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior... I am sure I will update this posting through the year when things come up.

I pray, as my little girl begins her school days, that she will be trained up in godliness, and that schooling will be refining, sanctifying and that we will all grow closer to the Lord though it. I pray she will gain the wisdom that leads to godliness.






Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Ladybug Birthday!



Our sweet Kalena has turned 5!! We had a wonderful Ladybug birthday party on September 17th... complete with 1500 live ladybugs, complements of Kalena's uncle Mark. The party started with Scruffy the "puppet with a heart" and Justin doing a little biblical counseling lesson for the kiddoes (...check out www.amazehealingwings.com, Scruffy has a heart/pocket on a string that you can pull out of him and put things in. It is a great way to tangibly teach kids about their own hearts) Certain yummy tasting delights, along with scripture, were flowing out of Scruffy and the kids loved it! Then we did some games, crafts, ladybug cupcakes and an aphid piñata. We did not have a ladybug piñata because that would have been horrible to hit a ladybug with a stick.. but ladybugs eat aphids, so it was a very appropriate to have a little green monster (we called an aphid) as the piñata. We are so thankful to all our family who helped out (and contributed the live bugs :) Grammy had yummy sandwiches for all the adults, mark got drinks, Emily helped decorate, Hannah and Jessie helped babysit... it was a fantastic day!

Kalena was so excited to turn five. She is so full of energy and curiosity. I love every minuet with our sweet five year old! I wish every day would just slow down so that I can just sit and cuddle and talk for hours with her!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Often I try to be a super mom... when really it is just no use. I am a frail, forgetful sinner who is in need of a savior. I take comfort in knowing that God has redeemed me and while I will never be a "Super Mom", I will and can be a mom who abides in a loving, kind, powerful savior who loves me and gave himself up for me. Praise God!! (a small shout out to Pastor Daggs and his wonderful sermon!)

This was taken from www.abidingmom.blogspot.com

Super Mom vs Abiding Mom

The Super Mom:

Does

Tries to impress others

Is controlled by an agenda (curriculum, schedule, etc)

Her self worth is found in her accomplishments (clean house, perfect kids, the perfect bulletin boards, etc.)

Her peace is found in the “perfect” environment

She is discouraged by failure

She expects perfection from herself and others

She teaches her kids to be good

She is frustrated with her lack of spiritual fruit

She does things with her children

Her perspective is based on what is seen

She chooses quantity of activities


The Abiding Mom
Is (Psalm 46:10)

Pleases the Lord (Eph. 5:10, Proverbs 29:25)

Is controlled by the Holy Spirit: (Gal. 5:22-26)
(Uses curriculum & schedules as tools for orderliness so she's
more free to follow the spirit)

Her self worth is found in an accurate view of who she is in
Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10)

Her peace is found in Jesus in the midst of any storm (Is 26:3)

Failure reminds her that God's strength is made perfect in
weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

She practices grace with herself and others.
(Eph 4:32)

She teaches her kids to be Godly (Proverbs 22:6)

She abides in Christ and bears much fruit (John 15:5)

She builds a relationship with her children (Deut 6:6-7)

Her perspective is based on what is unseen (Col 3:2)

She chooses the most excellent Way (I Cor 13)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Accusing

This is from my favorite blog "Passionate Homemaking" and was written by Natalie Didlake. It was so helpful to me...I love it and I love how the Word of God speaks. I love learning from how God teaches others!

She is writing about training her children in their speech.

"I decided to just pray and ask the Lord to show me how to teach them about their speech patterns. I began seeing more specific issues that I needed to tackle one at a time. Things like interrupting (being rude, I Cor. 13); arguing (Phil. 2:14); and using harsh tones (Pr. 15:1).

These were the easy ones. Some we are working through, and others I haven’t identified yet. But one stands out in my mind as a moment the Lord spoke crystal clear, through a scripture.

My children suddenly had begun coming to me about every 2 minutes, saying things like, “Mommy, R. hit me.” “Mommy, S. won’t share.” “Mommy, L. ate my snack.” I believed they were telling the truth. And I knew it was my job to serve justice. But really? Complaining about each other all day long? I knew it wasn’t the tone I wanted in our home, but could think of no concrete way to explain it to my toddlers.

Then I remembered what I read that morning, what Jesus told his disciples:

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. John 5:45

Accusing…that was it! My children were accusing each other. It’s so clear that Jesus is about helping, defending, and rescuing, not accusing. No wonder it bothered me so much! I researched and found out that Satan is called the “accuser of our brothers…who accuses them day and night before our God.” (Rev. 12:10)

I was so thrilled to see a solution emerge right from God’s mouth, his very word. I sat down my kids and explained to them the contrast between Jesus and Satan, and how they speak about people. Their eyes went wide when I told them Satan is an accuser who spends all day accusing us before God!

How incredible, for God to speak so directly to me and my children, as I struggle to train them!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Smiles!







Our Sweet little Andrew is growing fast! He is starting to smile, and we are starting to hear his sweet little voice make some really cute sounds! We adore this baby boy. We are absolutely in love with him!! We kiss his sweet cheeks all day long! :)

Mommy's Rules: Repent Quickly

Mommy's Rule # 3: Repent Quickly

I am so thankful that my sweet little girls are sensitive to when I am angry or annoyed. They call me out almost every time I sin towards them in my tone of voice. Kalena will say "Mommy, you are being kinda harsh." and then Sara might chime in "Mommy, God doesn't like harshness," or "Mommy, the Bible tells us never to be harsh." Although this is hard to hear in the moment, I have made a commitment to myself and God, never ever to let these moments go without quickly repenting for my sin. Although they may have disobeyed, and I want to point out their sin to them in the moment... I need to be an example of what I want them to do when they are called out on their sin. I pull the plank out of my own eye first. I repent with an apology, and then I ask the girls to pray that God would change my heart. Then I pray for myself and ask that God would remove the anger in my heart and help me to always be kind and gentle to my children.

Occationally I see the fruit of my quick repentance. The other day I told Kalena she was being harsh to Sara. Without another word from me, Kalena asked for forgiveness from Sara. It was so sweet and so encouraging. They do learn from my behavior. I am so thankful they are not just immune to my sin, but they know it is wrong and are not afraid to tell me. To God be the glory!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mommy's Rules: No Rushing.

Mommy's Rule #2: No Rushing.

Every mom knows the difference between a calm, collected but purposeful readying of the children, vs the chaotic mad rush to get out the door. I am a rush-a-holic... and I am coming clean and it is time I quit!! I am making a commitment to my children and my husband, (as I head quickly into the "soccer mom" role of getting different children to different places) to do it all without rushing. I want to remember: if I can't get there calmly, it is worth being late.

Things rushing does to me:

Makes me angry with my children. Why can't they get their shoes on faster and who just pooped in their diaper on the way out?

Makes me neglect discipline. Someone just disobeyed blatantly but if I take time to discipline the correct way we will be late!!

Makes me forgetful! Important things I have forgotten while running out the door: diapers, sippys, school supplies, paperwork, my phone, my purse, jackets, umbrellas, the stroller...etc.

Speed. I have delt with my lead foot tendencies in the past and thought I had this sin taken care of.
*(yes, it is a sin to speed..Romans 13:1-2 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.)
But in the busyness of carting around all the little ones, I have seen this horrible sin rear it's ugly head in my life again!! It seems I may have to post "Romans 13" on my dash board next to my speedometer once again :)

What rushing does to my children:

Makes them anxious.
Makes them whiney towards me and each other.
Makes them unhappy and frustrated.
Makes them disobey
Makes them wet their pants :) (forgetting to go potty before we leave!)

Lord, help me to slow down in the busyness of the day. Help me to plan ahead, and remember to set timers and give myself reminders so I am not rushing around to get all the children in the car, out of the car or back into the house. Thank you for the wonderful attitudes, the peace and joyful countenance you give to my children and I when we get ready to leave the house orderly and calmly. Help me to trust you fully and not rely on my own strength to do this!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mommy's Rules: Tone of Voice

We must enforce so many rules to our children... I thought I would start to keep track of the rules I have created for myself as a mommy.

Mommy's Rule #1: Always Keep a Gentle Tone of Voice. No exceptions!



Collossians 3:8
Put aside anger... put on compassion and kindness.

Talk softly and use the Rod. How easy is it for us to "talk harshly and spare the rod"? Far too easy for me, because the later is much easier, and convenient. Far too often I think to my self "f I am harsh enough they will obey me" or "If I am harsh enough, they won't ever do that again." These are lies from the pit of my sinful selfish heart!!

This is my first rule because of all the parenting rules one could possibly think of, this is the hardest rule for me to follow. I find myself failing in my tone of voice everyday. It is so easy to get angry (AKA: frustrated, impatient, needing to "get through to her") Wether it is "Get your shoes on, I've already told you twice", "Don't push her", "Don't spill that", "You spilled that!!", "Don't touch your poop", "Be nice", "get off her head" etc, I need to always remember to speak how Christ would want me to speak, with patients and loving gentleness. In times when a child needs to be quickly admonished, it is better not to speak at all, and to remove the child (gently) into a room or bathroom to discipline, than to speak with harshness. Our children are going to naturally want to become harsh when they become angry because of the depraved state we are in. Helpless and hopeless without the Lord. When we are harsh we are making it that much easier for our children to do what comes natural with their anger. It will take a gentle example and a lot of hard discipline and training to guide their little hearts to the biblical response to anger. Giving into our own anger in our tone of voice will teach them how to do the same. Even if we are just saying one word ("No") there are a hundred different tones you can use to say it. Staying always gentle and loving with our tone as a mommy will teach and train your children to be gentle and humble with their anger.

I love parenting Biblically. I love the Bible. I love my kiddoes. I love Jesus and the Word of our Lord, who gives us everything we
need for life and godliness. Thank the Lord!! Praise Him!!

A Few of my Favorite Things!!

These are a few of my new favorite things this summer. Here is a wonderful glass sippy cup from Lifefactory. I love using this on a daily basis for Katelyn, and then taking our plastic ones when we are on the road. Glass holds up so much better and... who knows the benefit of daily glass vs daily plastic. I feel it is safe to leave water overnight in this sippy vs a plastic one because of all the talk of plastic leaching into the water.


This is my new favorite kitchen organizing method... glass jars. I love them. I bought widemouth glass jars and plastic caps to fit them from Amazon. I feel so much more organized in my cupboards, especially because some of our shelves are much higher than normal. I can use these for leftovers and in the freezer too!



On our patio we have a wonderful turtle sandbox. When it is hot enough, we fill it with water. However, it has been cool some weeks this summer, so I decided to fill it with beans. I didn't want the mess and hassle of sand. The first beans we have tried are El Dorado beans, bought cheap at a local Mexican supermarket. They have held up nicely in the summer heat, but they do break if an adult steps on them. I will be experimenting with different types of beans to find one that is more sturdy. My next try will be Pinto beans. When they are done playing, I simply sweep them into a dust pan and dump them back into the turtle. This has provided SO many hours of good "clean" fun for the girls!!