Tuesday, March 25, 2008

For Hope

Jonah just loves his cousin so much! Hope is such a sweet girl. This is just a short but cute video from when Jonah was on his way to mail Hope a letter yesterday.
video

Monday, March 24, 2008

Deep Sadness


Scott's cousin was tragically killed on Friday night. He was 21 years old and per family request cannot offer any more detail. Nevertheless the experience has been sobering, saddening and numbing. Scott and his cousin were close as children so the loss has been pointed for him. If you would like to please pray for the family of Scott's cousin, they are understandably upset and grieving. Pray for us as we work day by day through our response. There will be a memorial service within the week, please pray that our believing family may even in the midst of such dark grief find the joy of Jesus Christ. For our unbelieving family may this tragedy even be redeemed through a powerful gospel witness and compassionate love.

The only pearl of wisdom we can offer is that if you have little ones hug them a few extra times tomorrow. We continue to confess with singular devotion that despite the bitter hand that has visited us the Lord our God is good,- perfect and without reproach in his ways and worthy even in this- to be praised and glorified.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Check-Ups

I took both boys in for their well-baby check-ups this week. A huge praise is that I finally found a pediatrician that I like!! He is willing to listen to my concerns and he was good with the boys, too. He found a vaccination that our previous pediatrician missed with Jonah, which meant an extra shot for him, but now he's all caught up.

At two years, Jonah is 36 1/2 inches tall and he weighs 31 1/2 pounds. He's a big boy but very healthy and right on track with everything.

At nine months, Noah is 28 1/2 inches tall and he weighs 19 pounds on the nose. His growth slowed down a bit since his last check-up, probably in part due to the trouble he's had in the feeding department. The Dr. referred him to a neurologist for a few concerns that he saw, primarily because Noah is not yet bearing any weight on his legs at all. He wanted to make sure to rule out any problems with him right away, because the earlier treatment is started in the event that something is wrong, the better the results will be. Hooray! I've addressed this concern with 3 other doctors over the last 3 months, all of whom treated me like I was one of those mothers who if their child is one day past reaching their milestones on time, they freak out and assume the worst.

After their appointments, we all went over to our friend Lynda's house, and went on a beautiful walk to pretty little park where Jonah played 'til he dropped! So fun!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Long, Long Way...

I didn't sleep much last night. Noah was up for much of the night...again. I'm tired. The first thought I had this morning was not "God, thank you for the sleep I got and for your sufficient grace to get me through today" but rather it was more like, "God, don't you know that I need--I deserve--more sleep than this?!? Especially since I have two energetic boys to tend to today...why didn't Noah sleep so that I could get the sleep I need?"
I am not predisposed to exercise much patience with my boys today. This was already clearly demonstrated in a very ironic way this morning. Knowing my weakness but also wanting to remain faithful in my quiet time, I opened up my study this morning to find that the passage would be Romans 2:1-6,17. I had a rich time in the Word, gleaning much from the Scriptures and finding myself thankful for God's gift of repentance to me. As I studied, Noah began fussing. My sin welled up inside and I sharply, impatiently, told him to Stop! In my heart, I was mad at him for first keeping me up all night and then distracting me from my Bible study. (After all, I'm trying to be godly here!) And then I looked down at one of my verse 4 in my passage for today, which says,

"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?"

Some thoughts:
*I found myself being thankful for God's lovingkindness to us as sinners while almost simultaneously demonstrating the opposite quality to my son. Shame on me.
*What am I trusting in for righteousness? Why am I tempted to think that I can only succeed if I receive an adequate amount of sleep the night before? This attitude smacks of trying to do things in my own strength rather than walking by the Spirit. Of course I'll fail if I try to obey without the help of the Spirit.
*At the end of the day, there are no excuses. It doesn't matter how much sleep I got or how fussy my children were or any other circumstances. These various happenings are what God ordained for me that day.
*It is my own sin that makes me short-tempered...not a lack of sleep! The lack of sleep is just the circumstance that brought about the sin that was already there in my heart.
*I am called to demonstrate God's love to my children. I oftentimes fail.
*I find that I'm even more vulnerable to sin when I'm trying so desperately to do good and fight sin.
*God never sleeps. And He's still longsuffering. That's really cool to me right now.
*I'll take the opportunity for a nap today, if the opportunity presents itself (i.e. if I can get both boys down for their naps at the same time). Taking care of the body's basic needs allow more room for self-control when I'm tempted to sin.
*I've got a long, long way to go in demonstrating Christ-likeness.

Quite sobering.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Kind of Prison

This is Scott here, been a while since I posted but I was just captivated by this video! As many of you know I am involved in rehab and prison ministry. One of the most distressing things is to see is the effect that the shift from punishment to rehabilitation has had on so many. The lock up used to be a deterant to crime but talk to many and prison time is now just an 'expected' part of life. Prison wasn't meant to be pleasant but the shift in emphasis from punishment to rehabilitation has only exacerbated the problem. Now petty homeboys are locked up with gang veterans who in essence disciple their younger homeboys. Add muscle building activities and our prison s #1 export is the hard bodied, street wise homeboy. This isn't to say the guys who get to prison don't deserve to be there. If you've ever been around one you know why they exist. I just don't think the rehabilitative model is producing the kind of guys Lady Justice would feel comfortable going on a date with!

In other countries people do thing differently. Instead of lounging around becoming more depraved prisoner, in the facility on this video achieved something visually stunning. Sure it may just be a stunt but think of all the time, dedication and effort put into learning how to pull this off and you soon will realize that all the time, dedication and effort put into this was not put into other more insidious enterprises. Look, if we can't bring back chain gangs and work crews then at least let us be entertained by them!

Friday, March 14, 2008

So Thankful...

When we were moving to our new home, Jonah stayed with my brother and his family for a few days. He had a great time playing with his cousins, and they must have treated him really well, because every single day since then (almost 2 months ago), Jonah asks, "Where's Hopie? Where's Unca Chunka?" (He's asking about his cousin Hope who is also 2 years old and his Uncle Chuck.) I've recently been asking Jonah who he is thankful for before he goes to bed at night so that we will pray for that person and thank God for them. Most kids might be thankful for their mommy or their daddy or sister or brother...but Jonah, without fail, is always thankful for Hope and Uncle Chuck.
And then a few nights ago, he was extra thankful. After I was done praying, thanking the Lord for Hope and Uncle Chuck, he closed his eyes and said a prayer of his own: "Thank you...for...


...Santa."

Santa? What is this kid thinking?!?

A Boy and his Dog

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Jonah really loves dogs! He does really well with them, too...always very gentle. He will take any and every opportunity he has to run and play with them. Several people have noted how he would do so great with a dog of his own. We are not ready for that yet, but in the meantime this wooden pull-toy dog is just perfect. Jonah and the Dog have become fast friends this past week. The Dog goes on our walks with us, and Jonah even gives the Dog an occasional opportunity to 'relieve' himself in the grass. This toy Dog gets lots of attention and love right now. He even gets a bowl of water after our walks because he is thirsty. Below is a picture of Jonah helping his Dog drink his water. Wherever Jonah goes, his little Dog is sure to follow close behind.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Testing...

This one's for you, Abby. Glad I got to talk to you on your birthday. Here's hoping you'll actually be able to see our little Birdies in action.


video video

Did they work?