Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Different but the Same

Within the last month I've gotten the privilege of re-becoming an Aunt...twice.  I've got two beautiful new nieces. 

They really couldn't be more different.

One speaks broken English...


One doesn't speak yet at all....


One is beautifully brown....

Jerusalem and her mom in Ethiopia

One is that beautiful pinky newborn...

Chloe and her mom in Kansas City :)

One has the curls I wish I had...

Ahhhh....what beauty

One has wonderfully soft baby hair...

Nothing as precious as a sleeping newborn...

But one thing they both have in common...

A very proud Auntie. 

Seriously didn't know I was capable of so much love.

Monday, May 14, 2012

One for the Books

This Mother's Day was one for the books for me.  It was just a great day.  Brianna slept from 8:30 pm  to 7 am.....hallelujah, praise the Lord, Amen!  So I woke up rested and with a good attitude (which is key for Mother's Day.....because you never want high expectations for this day. Kids will still fight.  The house will still be a mess. And it's probable that the only acknowledgement you may get is a half-hearted "happy mother's day mom." So I've learned that if you don't have any expectations, everything else is a bonus!).

But I got much more than a half-hearted greeting yesterday.  I got 2 girls who bounded up the stairs and yelled Happy Mother's Day mom!  I got scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast from my husband.  And my hubs (the one who's love language is gift giving) helped the girls with some special gifts for me. 

Have a look...

Brianna's gift

Is it common for a dad to forget how to spell his kids' names?
 I think I need to take a poll on this...

She knows me so well!

Austyn's Gift

For some reason Austyn prays nearly every night that I will have enough food to eat.
(I think it has something to do with the way we pray for our sponsored children.)
I assure her that I have plenty...more than enough if we're being honest.
Maybe I should tell her to pray that mommy would excercise self-control...

She also knows me well...

Rylie's Gift 

Rylie loves to "look pretty" each and every day...she is ALL girl :).
So this gift is pretty fitting.  And, yay!  I get to go shopping!

All these gifts totally melted my heart...but my favorite gift of the day as a mother?

Their daddy showing them how to make a person feel loved and special.

Friday, May 4, 2012

How Do You Know?

A couple of years ago I was flipping channels to find something worth watching and landed upon a special by Bill Maher basically disproving Christianity.  I was intrigued so I watched for a while until I'd had enough barbs and cynical comments at what felt like my expense that I had to shut it off. But, apparently I watched it a little too long because it did something to me.  It planted a little seed of doubt.  I started to question if my faith was really a real thing.  It was so easily disproved by Bill Maher after all. :)

I never stopped believing, yet every once in a while I still feel the enemy whispering words of doubt into my ears about the authenticity of my faith.  Then I feel completely guilty if I entertain those thoughts at all.  Over the last few days I've been reading a novel that speaks often about worshipping other gods and calling upon them in times of need.  And, for some reason I've found my doubts being magnified. (Don't worry the book is not condoning these practices. I haven't gone completely off the deep end.) But, my thoughts have been racing with things like this....

These people calling on other gods are having ups and downs in their lives too. 

Some ups could be credited to crying out to their gods.

How is my faith any different?

Is Jesus really real?

Sheesh....even as I write this I feel horrible! Something about bringing your thoughts out in the open is very humbling.

The good news is that the Lord's voice is and always will be stronger than the little seeds of doubt the enemy is whispering into my ear.

Today I was reading John 7:16:

"My teaching is not my own.  It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.  He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."

Guess what God's will is?

"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40

"The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:29

So what sets my faith apart from worshipping other gods? Or putting my faith in a job, or money, or family?

If we choose to do God's will, which is believe in Him, we will find out that his teaching is the truth.  As my Bible commentary says,

"this enunciates a very important fact: recognizing the truth of Jesus' teaching is not dependent upon intellectual ability or formal learning, nor is it a reward for the noble search for truth. It depends, rather, upon the person's willingness to do the will of God...This means that only those who believe in Jesus will recognize the truth of his teaching. Believe, that you may know! This is not surprising, for why should God reveal truth to those who refuse to believe in his Son."

The thing is, I know my faith is real because if nothing else...I feel it. Even if I don't have all the answers and can't always express how I know.....I just know.  Because I believe in the "one he has sent" and the truth in his teaching has been revealed to me in too many ways to count.

That belief will constantly be challenged in one way or another by this world we live in.  Because Satan runs rampant in our everyday lives.  But, praise God for his Word that we may be reminded and encouraged and built up in in Him every day.
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