Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Wonderful's Birthday

We celebrated Aaron's birthday on Friday, and usually I would have posted a Happy Birthday on the day of, but we had a busy, joyous birthday day, and no time for the computer!

We brought some cookies to choir on Thursday evening to have a little b-day celbration with them. On his birthday morning, we enjoyed breakfast at Egg Plantation, where they serve you a free omelet for your birthday, so we just couldn't pass that up!Then we headed on up to the freeway about an hour to visit our dear friends who just had their first baby two weeks ago. She is adorable, and Aaron said, "Honey, can we have another one? I want another baby to cuddle with me and fall asleep on me, because Linnea won't cuddle with me anymore." Oh dear...I don't know if we should visit newborns anymore ;). It was wonderful to spend time with them, to encourage one another and pray for one another and to celebrate their new little gift from the Lord with them.

His birthday dinner ended up being postponed until the next evening, because we didn't get back into town in time. So we just had some leftovers and then our friends, the Shorts, and their little baby, Jewel, joined us for angel food cake...Aaron's request every year...oh, so difficult! :) I don't have an angel food cake pan, and I don't have 2 loaf pans, so this is what I came up with! Hey, everyone got their own personal angel food cake mini loaf! It actually worked out quite well!

We spent most of the day Saturday just relaxing together, which was such a special gift and if I may say so...much needed. I think life is just simply making us tired, because on Saturday morning, we both fell asleep in the living room while Linnea took her morning nap. Yes, we woke up at 6:30 and went back to sleep at 9:00. It was wonderful! :) We went to New Moon on Saturday evening, which is one of our favorite Asian restaurants. The last time we were there was when my mom took us there for MY birthday...I actually got a little teary eyed...I think I miss my mommy. Linnea sat in a restaurant highchair for the first time, and she had a blast being adored by our waitress and anyone else that passed by!
On another note, but still concerning my husband, is a little "p.s." to my last post in regard to my rings. If there was one thing I could be most thankful for through this whole little trial, it would be my husband's unconditional love for me. He has been the example of Christ to me more clear than ever...and I don't say that lightly. To be honest, I was scared to tell my husband I had searched the whole house and couldn't find my rings anywhere. Because if I put myself in his shoes, knowing how much he paid for them and how special they were to him, I would not have been too happy with my wife for being so irresponsible.

But he has said not a single unkind word through this whole experience...NOT ONE!!! Nothing to tear me down or make me feel worse, nothing to belittle me or remind me of my faults. Not even a "you should have been more careful." No......he gave me a hug and didn't say anything (well, because all those thoughts were running through his head and if he spoke they probably would have all come out, but the point is that he DIDN'T! :)). And the next day when they were still lost he let me cry on his shoulder. And the next day when he saw me in tears looking under the bed for them the 5th time, he gave me a hug and just let me be sad.

But even beyond that, he has helped me fix my eyes on Jesus through this...he has reminded me that they are just earthly possessions and he has unconditionally loved me beyond what I could do myself. He did not give into the temptation to pour out on me the frustration and anger he felt toward me. Why? Because CHRIST is working in my husband. Because my husband has been bought with the blood of Christ and shows evidence after evidence that he truly is a child of the King. He loves the Lord above all else, and wants me to do the same. He wants to love me like Chrsit has loved me and forgive me like Christ has forgiven me.

His gracious love toward me this past week has shown me more of who Christ is.....I have wronged HIM in far worse ways and many more times a day, and yet He loves me the same, has forgiven my trespasses and is growing me day by day. I am so thankful to be adopted into Jesus' family, and SO thankful to have a husband who gives me a daily glimpse of how preciuos Christ's love is. And I say "glimpse", because I don't know if I will ever fully comprehend the vastness of Christ's love for me.

Yes.....God IS good!!!!!!!!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, accoridng to the kind intention of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His gracewhich He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him." ~Ephesians 1:3-10~

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Heart Hurts

"And we know that God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son."
~Romans 8:28-29b~

I want it to be one big dream. I want them to re-appear. I want to put them back on my finger and never take them off again...even if it means getting lotion all over them. I want to be given a second chance to be responsible.

But God doesn't always give me what I want. He gives me what is BEST. That's what I keep preaching to myself every time I look at my naked hand. God has given me something to remind me many times a day that I need to rely upon His perfect peace, His glorious grace, His sovereign plan, His superior ways, and His sufficient love. He has given me a ringless finger. I have lost my wedding rings.

Tears fill my eyes just writing this, but I refuse to lie and tell you I'm ok because I know God is sovereign, or that I'm ok because they are just rings, which have no eternal value. I know God is sovereign, and I realize they have no eternal value, but my heart is sad. So sad. I DO feel silly being so grieved over something so material, but this material possession is so dearly precious to me. Nothing could replace the memory of Aaron popping out this brocken black box from his pocket with this beautiful ring in it as he asked me to marry him. It was broken because he opened it so many times to look at it as he anticipated giving it to me. I though it was the most beautiful ring in the whole world, and even though I wasn't happy knowing it must have cost him a fortune, deep down inside he made me feel like a queen. And all those memories came back every time I looked at it. Those rings never lost their brilliance in my eyes.

I have this habit of turning my rings with my thumb to make them straight, so my thumb still naturally does that, but there are no rings to turn. I try so hard to go a few hours without thinking about it, but that habit comes back, and when I feel no rings, I am reminded they are gone. And I am reminded that God is sovereign and that I need to trust in that. I am reminded that God IS GOOD, and I NEED to BELIEVE that. I am reminded that I still have EVERYTHING to be thankful for, because really...I just lost some metal and minerals (well....minerals that my husband worked really hard to pay for....), even if they are precious to me.

My sweet sister called me after receiving an email asking for prayer that we would find them, and she spoke some much needed truths to me about the goodness of God's sovereignty from the book "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges. My heart was so comforted by the things she quoted me, and I am so thankful for her desire to give me the truth. I can't quote anything that she said exactly, but basically....God is totally and completely sovereign over every little detail of my life. He orchestrated this situation to happen for my GREAT good, testing me and refining me into the image of His Son. He wants me to learn something through this trial and wants me to TRUST in His perfect plans for my life. He wants me to respond obediently to this situation that HE has laid before me! And He doesn't want me to beat myself up over my irresponsibility, because He KNEW I would make a mistake and wants me to lean on Him and trust in HIS control over the situation.

God is GOOD. God wants my GOOD. God is using this situation for my GOOD. It is GOOD that this has happened. There is a quote that was first given to me by my sister a few years ago, and I just "happened" to come across it again this week as it was quoted in one of the books I am reading. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

"There is nothing---no trouble, no circumstance, no testing---- that van ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret---for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is!---That is the rest of victory!" ~Alan Redpath~

I realize that this trial is so little in comparison to what could have happened in my life, or to what is happening in many other lives, and that alone is something to be thankful for! I am saved by the king and have a wonderful, healthy husband, and beautiful, healthy daughter....I AM BLESSED beyond most in this world, and I praise Jesus for that. But, please pray for me. Pray that I would rest in the joy of what my Lord is! The tears still come and the desire to find my rings is still there, but I want my Lord to be glorified in my response to this situation, so please pray for me to that end. And of course, please pray with me that the Lord would help us find my rings.

"The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs His steps." ~Proverbs 16:1,9~

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Once Was Lost Has Now Been Found

(Utter amazement at Mommy's discovery!)
Soooooooo....I was beginning to think nobody loved me anymore :( Actually, I don't think I could ever base my opinions of someone's care for me based on wether or not they comment on my blog. Now that would just be ridiculous! BUT, I really was beginning to think everyone dropped off the face of the earth! might laugh at some of the thoughts that have gone through my head.

"People who used to comment a lot must just be going through a super busy time of life right now!"

"I think my sister said something on the phone like "well you saw this in my email, but..." but I hadn't gotten an email from her or a comment....hmmm I wonder if she is commenting and for some reason I am not getting her comments. I should have said something on the phone, but I may have misheard her. But if I ask her and she isn't commenting then she will think that she has upset me in some way for not commenting, which is not the case, so I'll give it more time and see if she ever comments again :)."

"Why aren't people answering my questions in my comments on their blogs? Hmmm...same thing...must be busy."

I really am laughing out loud because doesn't that all sound SO....... pathetic?? Haha...I just want you to know I wasn't losing any sleep over this and to be honest, I really havn't been "bothered" by it, just a bit perplexed! Comments make me smile, but I get so much joy from everything else in my life, that I have been in no way shape or form grieved by my lack of comments. And I definitely have not thought that you all out there do not care about me! Haha...I laugh at all this....really, I do!!

SO........on to my remarkable REVELATION!! I HAVE been getting comments!!!!!!! I am still laughing. I used to get all my comments emailed to me, but for some reason they started going to my spam folder, which I did not realize, so I wasn't publishing them. I totally forgot their is a "comment moderation" page you can go to on your blog to publish comments, so it didn't even dawn on me to check there! BUT I went on a hunt for my lost comments today. Because deep down inside, I just knew that my sister who commented on almost every blog before is not that negligent (don't you feel special Kristin? :)) And after my little comment-hunt, I found all your comments totally lost in cyberspace!!! YEAH!!!!!!

Honestly. Yeah! Thank you SO much for your sweet comments that really DO make me smile. That encourage me. That give me new ideas and other ways of looking at things. I don't write so that I can get comments to uplift me, I write because I LOVE sharing with you all what the Lord is teaching me and our family, and giving you pictures to see, since most of you live far away. I write so that our family has something to look back on. And there are more reasons...but none of them is to fish for complements. All that to say, THANK YOU. Thank you for your precious and kind words. For your one sentence comments that sometimes make me cry because I dearly miss many of you. ALL of you are a blessing to me, both in big and little ways!

So! There you have it! If YOU were at the opposite end wondering why I hadn't posted any of your comments, now you know that it was NOT because your comments were not worthy of posting. What once was lost has now been found! Your comments are all posted for the world to see that people in fact....DO read my blog :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Linnea Joy...a GREAT Joy!!

Linnea Joy has found her feet!!!!
Well...I realize it has been a while since I have posted some recent pictures and videos of Linnea, so here they are for everyone who is wondering what Linnea even looks like anymore :).

She is growing up oh so fast! She just started eating cereal about two weeks ago, and is loving it! And since she started, I have seen much improvement in her napping. I am so thankful to say that she is doing great during her naps! (for the most part)...praise the Lord! I have a better video of her eating and Aaron feeding her, but I think it was too big to download :( But this gives you a little taste of the fun of trying to keep her FOCUSED! :)

She loves to play in her exersaucer, unless I leave the room that is...She pretty much throws a fit when I leave the room...even if it is the kitchen, where she can EASILY see me from the living room. I guess she needs a full body view of me to feel like I haven't completely abandoned her...silly girl! She is quite attached to me, also...not a big fan of people that are not mommy and daddy...hopefully she will grow out of that stage soon! Haha, and I used to think that babies who didn't want to be held by anyone but their parents were spoiled...another error in my judgement (Well...I think Daddy spoils her, but I don't think I am as kind ;)).

She has also just started sitting up all by herself!!! I can't believe it! She is becoming such a big girl! She definitely still needs my supervision, but she plunges forward and falls backward less and less with each passing day!

Honestly, it is such a joy to see her grow and do so many new things. Sometimes I wish I could go back to when she was tiny and cuddle with her, but she brings so much more joy with each new day, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

I must admit though that my little girl's sin is becoming more and more evident. Her high pitched scream that says "I'm not happy" is not going to make life go well with her...that's for sure. It frightens me a bit at how quickly time is going and how quickly the discipline stage is coming (if it isn't already here yet!). It's already causing me to be on my knees in prayer and to be in the Word studying so that I may be a Word-filled teacher to my daughter. One of the biggest blessings of having a child is the motivation it has given me to intimately know the Scriptures. The LAST thing I want to do is give her "Kimberly" wisdom...but the first thing I want to do is give her wisdom fro up above. For THAT is the only wisdom that could ever make a lasting change!

This next picture I just had to snap this morning! I just started teaching piano lessons, which I can already tell is going to be a blast! Linnea napped so well during the lesson this morning, and the camera (well really, me) couldn't resist snapping this one! Isn't she a doll?

"Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it....Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb [is] a reward. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them...." ~Psalm 127:1a,3,5a~

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Joyful Heart Makes a Cheerful Face

"A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken." ~Proverbs 15:13~

A joyful heart..........hmmm..........this, for me, has not been a consistent pattern for the past month or so. In fact, my lack there of has made life a little more difficult. It has put strain on our marriage, has made me angry towards my daughter, has made me feel busier than I am (I just don't get as much done when I am lacking in joy), and has kept me from blogging. Those things should be no surprise, though....sin does indeed have that downward spiral effect.

Why has my heart not always been so joyful? Because my days have been long........very long. Why have they been long? Because my daughter screams a lot. Why does she scream a lot? Because I am a bad mommy.

Ok, don't believe me. Well, hopefully I am NOT a bad mommy, but what I am going to share with you is why I havn't blogged in forever. It is because I have been afraid that whoever reads this will think I am a bad mommy, and to be honest, I didn't want anyone thinking that. Especially since for the past 30 days or so I have been wondering if I am myself! this is the scoop...

I have been teaching Linnea how to nap on a regular basis....and she has not been too happy with Momma. Some of you are probably thinking, "well, goodness, you should have done that a long time ago," while others are probably thinking, "it's impossible to get a child to nap at the same time every day, and not very loving to let them cry a lot." Or maybe you are thinking something else, but whatever you are thinking, I have thought. I have thought so many different things, wondering if I am doing the right thing, and wondering what is right for Linnea.
I kept asking the Lord why there wasn't any specifics about raising a baby in the Bible :).
Well, Aaron and I both decided that she just needed to learn how to fall asleep on her own, because she is most definitely tired when we put her down.

So that is what we have been teaching to fall asleep by herself and how to stay asleep. I have decided our duaghter is one of the most stubborn babies out there. Everyone used to say she was the perfect baby....buuut, we don't really hear that anymore :). I don't know why the poor thing fights sleep sometimes, but she sure does! This whole napping thing has gone up and down for the past month. Some days are great and some are aweful, and this is why my heart has not always been so cheerful. It is SO hard to hear your daughter scream for lengthy periods of time, and when you know it is "your fault" she is crying, it doesn't seem to help. And when you don't know if you are even doing the "right" thing, it makes it even harder.

But the Lord is SO good......I have learned something I so needed to learn through this. I am Peter. I have faith in the Lord and I know he is good, but when those winds and waves of screaming come, I start sinking. I forget on whom my faith is founded. I forget who sustains me through all things. I forget that I can't do anything good by myself. I forget that the winds and waves are from the test my test my DEPENDANCE. I thought I had to overcome my anger and hardship (over hearing my precious girl cry) all by myself...and that this is not something the Lord could help me with, since it was my decision to let her cry. But I have been so wrong.

"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." ~Philippians 4:11b-13~

I have also learned something else. I am NOT Paul. I have NOT learned to be content in whatever circumstances. I am most definitely still learning! I have been basing my joy on my circumstances, and not on the glory of the cross and the beauty and power of my great God and Savior. And look at me! I haven't even tasted what it is like to suffer need, to go hungry, or to live with humble means.

BUT...don't you love the "buts" in the Bible!! Praise be to God who brought me up out of my sinking waters. He has shown me that I need to be DEPENDANT on Him for ALL things in life. For my very being...for every decision I make...for my ability to be obedient...for my ability to be joyful. He has showm me where my source of contentment should ALWAYS be!! How thankful I am for this small trial in my life. If these are the things I need to show my my sin and make me more like Christ, than bring it on, Lord!!

I am SO thankful to the Lord to be able to tell you my daughter has started to improve! I don't know if the Lord has decided to bless me now that I have layed my burden at His feet, or if starting her on cereal has been the reason, but she is definitely improving.

So...if you think I am a bad mommy...I understand. Every mother is different, and every baby is different. Over a month ago, I probably would have said it is impossible and cruel to let your child cry herself to sleep and make her take regular naps. I think having a baby has greatly shown me how judgemental I was/am. Aaron and I laugh at the fact that we do so many things we used to judge others for doing. I am very thankful that the Lord has opened my eyes to yet another sin....and I am praying that the Lord continues to chip away at my judgemental heart. There are no rules in the Bible about when to feed your baby and when to put your baby down for a nap...parents have to make that decision for themselves! We have prayed diligently and daily for wisdom and are only doing what we feel is best for our baby girl. now you know! Now that I have confessed, I can come back to the blogging world! HELLO everybody! And boy, am I excited to share what God has been teaching Aaron and I, and where He has been directing our hearts................sometime. :)