Micah, our 2 yr old, might have inherited this cuteness trait from his dear ole dad too. Tierzah and Micah are starting to share a room to make way for the newest sibling, and needless to say, they are having an adventure exploring new boundaries. I was putting Micah Machine back in his bed (again) and told him to lay down. He looked up at me with his big blue eyes, folded his hands, and said in two-year-old-language, "Dear Jesus, *and then continued with something I couldn't understand but had lots of expression and finished with a smile and a hearty*, Aaaa-men!" :) Getting to hear him talk to Jesus totally made my night. He went on to do his best at quoting Romans 10:9 complete with hand motions, "Believe in your heart (boom boom boom boom) that God raised Jesus from the dead (woo Hoo!!).
Isn't this what it's all about? No, I'm not "super awesome Christian mom" who as it all together. You can probably hear me down the street yelling out my kitchen window up to my explorers, "no hitting!" "Don't push your brother down the hill!" "Share the toys!" "1,2,3...4,5...." "Please put your clothes back on!" "The potty is inside the house." But God has given me a great desire to teach the gospel of grace to my kids and see them grow to love God with all of their hearts. It's so awesome to see God using our imperfect/lame efforts, and watching His Spirit plant seeds within them.
Some mama friends and I were reading (i'm now reading it for the 2nd time because it's so good) a free ebook called, Mom Enough: http://cdn.desiringgod.org/website_uploads/documents/books/mom-enough.mobi?1416423966. You can download it or open it in the Kindle app. I love all the different perspectives you get from uniting so many authors into one book. This morning I had my kids in child watch at the YMCA while I waddled on the treadmill and highlighted this excerpt:
"Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work. Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone."
This cut me to the core because I'm totally guilty of self preservation and wanting to feel sorry for myself. What a depressing way to live, right?! The One who I say I love and believe in came "not to be served but to SERVE and to GIVE his life as a ransom for many." Paul urges us to have the attitude of Christ and what better opportunity :) to serve and give than in Motherhood? It's a humbling experience and I am still just beginning to taste the vast ways I will get to lay down my life as a living sacrifice. Believe it or not, I didn't want to have kids after we got married. I thought "my life would be over" "we'd be tied down" "I would be the one taking care of them 80% of the time" and "I want to travel and explore." Then God began to soften me to what he had put in my heart to do years earlier before control crept in...to be a mama with lots of kids running around. It didn't happen right away as my previous blogs state. We had 2 miscarriages in the span of 3 years of trying before God granted us with Tierzah. You better believe my attitude was far different from the self centered Julie who "didn't want kids" when we lost and buried two little angels. God has been renewing my heart over the years by using His Word and so many people to shine Truth into my life when I need it. I have days when I'm discouraged, embarrassed at what just came out of my mouth, and hanging on to the words that more seasoned mamas are encouraging me with. But the above excerpt is my prayer today, that God would help me to RELINQUISH (my word for this year) the desire to control and to hold on to my life. I want to rest in the freedom that comes from being full of faith/trust in God's sovereignty and perfection that covers me. I didn't plan to write any of this but it's just what came out as I sat down and started typing. I know that I needed to hear it and hopefully one day my kids will read it and see how faithful and gracious God is to those who seek to rely on Him.
In the past few months, Tierzah has turned 4yrs old, Micah has turned 2 yrs, and I have turned even older. ;)
One the highlights from my birthday, besides spending time with my "cute little family" as Tierzah refers to us, was getting surprised with love from the Chapel ladies group. I truly don't deserve a life so richly blessed! God is very gracious and kind. This is where God has planted us for at least 16 more months and though we get weary, we wouldn't have it any other way!
Here's some Chapel/Life pics:
Chapel Fun Times (CFT) :)
Adorable families dedicating their babies to God and sweet elderly chapel members praying over them.
I love watching them learn to play together. The happy giggle sounds are my favorite.
Getting to see my bro-and-sis-in-law in our neck of the woods was a sweet shot in the arm. Thanks for driving down to see us! We miss all our siblings on the east coast so this was a special treat.
I'll end this post with pics of our trip to Yosemite. It's become on of our favorite family getaways. There's no distractions except for God's creation captivating you at every turn. Stephen went on a 19 mile hike to the top of Half Dome and loved the thrill of almost dying. (Ahhh!) He plans to go back soon with a group of motivated fellas because he enjoyed it so much. We didn't see any bears this time (thank God) but we are looking forward to our next visit. Hopefully, by then we will be a family of 5! ❤️
Until next time!