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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Our Life in pics! 5/7/17

Spring Dance!

Dreamy coffee and discussing dreams with a friend @ The Village Grind

Eden's Journal entry about why ants deserve to live. This girl is empathetic.

Some places I love in our home: The retro room divider in our living and dining area, air plant, herbs, and the side lot.

Fried up some sopapillas and remembered my sweet Mema.

Our Saturday looked like overflowing dishes, furniture piled up in the front room to let our shiny floors finish drying, and water bottles filled up for a morning with H.O.G. working in the Butterfly Garden at the Kids' school.

Date Night. Panang Curry. YUM!

Sunday was the sweetest day. Our kids were baptized at our church. Jason got to Baptize them. Had family and friends there. God is so good.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When I Invited God Into My Pain

I was a Psych major in college, but I hate talking about feelings, and over the years I have tended towards stuffing them way down deep. I struggle with ebbs and flows of mild depression. Not the "I can't get out of bed" kind, but more of the mind-numbing, soul-sucking kind. I came to follow Christ about 5 years ago. I know Jesus, and I love Him.
Growing with God has transformed my life, my marriage, and our family.

At 38 years old, I began counseling at my church a few weeks ago. I was excited to see what God would do, but frankly I didn't really see any big breakthroughs coming for me. Well, once again, God shows me that I know nothing and He sees so much more than me. And for that I am very thankful. One of the first things my counselor asked me after I shared my story with her was if I had ever invited God into my pain. Had I ever talked to Him about it, asked questions to Him, cried out to Him? And the answer is NO. I never had. And I had no good reason not to. So I did. I took all my ugly feelings and sad things, pain and tragedies and set them before God. I sat and wrote them down, and asked God "Lord were you there when...?" "Did you love me when...?" "What do you think about...?" "Why?" And I sat with God with my past, and my pain, and my anger and confusion, my doubts about His goodness. And this is what He gave me:

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name,
you are mine.
When you pass through the water, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

He loves me. I am chosen. I am his beautiful daughter. He wept with me when I hurt. But He could see where I would be going. He does not promise that our lives will be without pain, but He does promise to carry us through it. When we are faithless He remains faithful. His goodness doesn't always look like goodness to my eyes, but He sees the rest of the story, and His story is GOOD. In attempting to hide my pain from Him, I was holding myself captive to the past, I was willfully choosing not to let Jesus into the ugly places, places where only He can bring light.

I may still have sad days, soul-sucking days, but now I know I have a good father who wants to sit with me in my pain. And I have found Him to be the One who gives me comfort.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Letting Go

So last night we spilled the beans to Isaac about Santa not being real. It had come up several times this summer, different friends telling him Santa was fake, and Isaac arguing that NO WAY, Santa is TOTALLY REAL!! And then he had asked us a few times, "He is real, right?" So on the eve of the First day of Third grade I tell Jay, "We need to tell him, and I can't because I will start crying." So this is Jay's story, but I'm sharing it because he wouldn't and it just reminds me why I love him so.

After getting Isaac into bed, Jay lays down next to him and says
"Buddy you are getting older, and there are some things other kids are going to say to you, and you will wonder about the things they say, and I want you to know you can always come to me and Mom and we will tell you the truth. So, there's something you need to know. There is a really cool special secret that many moms and dads have for their kids. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, they are not real. They are moms and dads. Moms and dads pretend and give their kids everything from them. I know some of your friends have told you that Santa isn't real, and when you asked us we wanted to tell you the truth so you would hear it from us."
So Isaac's eyes get HUGE and he says "So, all that stuff I got from Santa all those years, it was from YOU GUYS?? You bought all that stuff?"
Jay: "Yep"
Isaac, "And the 10 bucks I got from the Tooth Fairy for my first tooth, you guys gave me that? Why would you do that for me?"
Jay, "Because it's fun, and we love you, and our mom's and dad's did it for us when we were little. It's a tradition and one day you will do it for your kids"
Isaac: "YOU got me that LEGO Batcave?? WOW!! And, wait a minute, we could have touched that Elf all along."

It was so cute. He knows Saint Nicholas was real and the backstory, so we told him about how the Santa part was just a fun pretend thing that many parents did generations ago in rememberance of him and it had carried on. That it was important to let his sister enjoy believing in Santa for a few years, and not to ever spoil it for anyone because he had really loved believing.

It was sweet. It was sad. Another piece of childhood gone, and sooner than we would have liked, but we really knew it was time to tell him.

This parenthood, this holding close and letting go of little ones, it is the sweetest, happiest, saddest dance I've ever danced. It is everyday knitting me together and breaking me apart.

This summer Eden learned to swim without floaties, and in the deep-end. These pink floaties sitting here in the toybox by the door, another phase over, another baby thing forgotten. Isaac learned to ride without training wheels (finally), and how to dive, and how to flip and backflip into the pool. But he wants me to walk him into school tomorrow. Eden still has a baby face and her sweet little baby voice, but she is getting tall and leaner. I am thankful for every day, every phase, and every moment with them. Thankful that God has shown me what is is to love my children and how He can love us even more than I love my own. Thankful that He will give me wisdom and grace to let them go when it is time, and hold them close when they need me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Is Love?

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things"
1 Cor 13:4-7

These are beautiful words, probably my favorite set of verses. But in my daily life, these words often bring me to despair. Living in community is hard. Doing life with other broken people is not easy. Bitterness creeps in. Friendships ebb and flow. Sometimes, people just get on your nerves, or disappoint you. Sometimes you ache for them. I see myself on both sides of all of these examples. I love the verses above because they root me back to the truth. I read them and think "I can't do this, no one can!" And I can't. The truth is, I need Jesus. If He is not where I am centering my identity, then I will surely put my identity in people or things that will always fail me, and I them. If I do not put Jesus first, what use will I be to my community? How can my heart be soft? How can I love others?

Discipleship isn't just the drawing of people to Jesus, it is the sticking around afterwards and growing together, even when it is hard. Even when we are unlovable, never giving up on each other, remembering the Perfect One who died for all of us, and the Great Love that He loved us with.

Today I pray that we remember The Perfect One, and the debt He paid. That we love each other with even a fraction of the love that he poured over us who would crush Him.