Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

As I look over the past year it has honestly been one of the roughest, richest years of my life. It is marked by strained relationships, the loss of two babies to miscarriage, a tumultuous job situation, the loss of loved ones, and damage from our own hurts, habits and hang ups. And yet, somehow, in the midst of it all, God has met us and ministered so deeply to our hearts. He has grown us and steadied us like never before. He has better equipped us for the remaining journey and has allowed us to better fix our eyes on Jesus Christ and things above. He has healed past wounds and allowed some new. Through our trials, He has changed us. And though the job is far from complete, I feel stronger and more prepared to focus on things that really matter in this world.

This Christmas season we have tried to do that. One thing that never seems to lose its luster is the opportunity to tell others about Jesus!! He so radically changed my life that January night in 2000 the first time I encountered Him. He filled me with the love, joy, hope and peace I so desperately searched for all my life. And it all happened that night when the walls were closing in on me and I saw no other alternative, but to end my life. I cried out to God for the first time and said, "If You are really there, take my life or it is over." He very much took me up on that offer.

Shortly thereafter, I admitted to God I was a sinner, believed that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sin and chose to accept the gift of eternal life with God. In that instant I entered into a forever relationship with the living God of the Universe. It isn't something I could have ever earned on my own. It was given. Though it was given at great cost to Jesus Christ, it was freely given to me in love and it is available to you too. I can handle the trials of life because I have Him by my side and in my life. I want others to know that freedom and joy. If you ever need somebody to pray for you, or if you aren't sure you've ever entered into this relationship with God that I describe, I'd love to help. Shoot me an email ( and we can get in contact with each other.

You, God, are good. You alone satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. No matter what my circumstances are in life, I praise You, for you alone are worthy. "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13.

Here are few glimpses into our life this past week! I love the anticipation of Christmas!!

Aaron, Elijah and I trying to get a decent shot
for our first attempt ever at Christmas cards!

Aaron helped to coordinate a Christmas Party
for families in our community and Santa himself made
an appearance! Here he is with my favorite 3 year old!

There were between 50 and 75 kids there. I was excited to see
many new faces. There were several children we met through
Angel Tree Ministry. Angel Tree is a Prison Fellowship program that
connects parents in prison with their children through the delivery of
Christmas gifts. Our church purchased gifts and we will deliver them and the Gospel to children in the name of their prisoner-parent.

We did a little skit to present the gospel. Aaron let me coordinate the group and write the skit they were performing, but I didn't plan to be in it until the last minute when one of our performers was sick. It was a lot of fun despite my lack of preparation and several kids responded in faith. I love these youth girls!

This just makes me happy to see Elijah's joy!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Random and Sometimes Bizarre Glimpses!

As usual, life is traveling far faster than I can keep up. Here are a few cute shots of my little ball of energy!

Hello there!

Just some cute, random friend Elijah made at an open gym.

Teeter-Totter buckin' bronco style! She held her own!

That's one big bear!

Christmas morning!

SO busted! Notice the smashed gingerbread train
on the ground and the kid chowing down? Yeah.
Guilty! In all honesty, Aaron fell backwards into
the shelf that housed the train and he destroyed it.
Elijah just came to scavenge what he could before
Mommy ruined the fun.

Bevo! Thanks to Aunt Karrin and Uncle Chris,
I may have a chance against Aunt Kristin's attempt
to brainwash my son with the silly notion that A&M
is the way to go! After Aunt Kristin stayed with
him for four days straight, I came home and tried
to dress him in his longhorn pajamas. I was
told that those were the "yucky pajamas."

No idea!

Run for your life! On guard! Touche! This is Aidan,
Elijah's little friend I watch one afternoon a week.
Sword fights are a frequent method used to pass time.

Aaron getting schooled in arm wrestling. Notice
the band aid head. One of those band aids stayed
on for several weeks despite the fact there was no
wound. Granted, he did run into a door frame during
a growing spurt which inspired the band aid, but he is
just generally obsessed with them and it's not a battle we
are willing to fight. He sure gets lots of sympathy
points from people this way though.

Relatively prepared for the elements minus the pants!

Strike a pose Mr. Male Model!

Flash! Flash! Flash!

Elijah is talking a LOT these days. He has his feisty moments for sure. He lets his will be known, but is quite polite when reminded. He growls and grunts at people who try to say hi to him or who approach him too quickly for his taste. He is a bit of an antogonizer if he has friends he knows he can get a big reaction from. We've been talking a LOT about that. He makes me think of his Uncle Bubba in that regard often. :)

He loves narratives and oh my, he LOVES his daddy. They crack up together, run through the house playing swords and tag often and unfortunately gang up on me. Elijah is so like me when he sings songs...can't remember the words to save his life so he makes them up as goes or just jumps from song to song. I see the Spirit of God working in his heart to change him. This is a comical example, but the other day, on the way to church, we were praying together as a family. Elijah thanked God for his friends, Ryan and Puah, before he earnestly asked God to help his friends not to push him and to help him not push his friends.

He's in a big boy bed now...well, his crib that was converted to a day bed anyway. As soon as he hears the garage door open, he runs to hide so he can jump out and scare whoever is coming home and he constantly runs up to people and shouts, "BOO!" He can be a bit of a handful, but mostly he is simply a delight!