Wednesday, April 24, 2013


My precious baby girl turns 5 in 12 days … And I am so not ready for it. She is thrilled, and my heart is heavy. She is my first to turn 5. She’s not really a baby anymore. She’s a big girl. She’ll be starting kindergarten in the fall. She loves dresses. She hates shoes. She loves to climb trees. She likes to imagine things. She loves her little brothers. And they all look up to her. She has crazy curly hair that matches her personality. She has blessed our family richly. There was a time when we didn’t think she would join us. Two times, actually. And God so graciously allowed her to be born. Her name means “resurrection.” When we found out she was a girl, we knew the name Anastasia fit her perfectly. And it does. She is a wonderful reminder to me of the True Resurrection. What an amazing God we serve.
 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” John 11:25-26 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Beauty of the Church

In the past 3 years, my husband has left 3 times ... Once for 6 weeks, once for 3 months, and once for 4 months. Every time he left was for military service, whether that be training or a deployment. At the end of each of those times, I’ve taken a step back and “looked” at the time we spent apart. Every time I’ve looked back, I’ve asked myself the same questions. “What did the Lord teach me?”, “How could I have done things differently?”, “How can I change things for the next time we’re apart?” Every single time my husband has been gone, I’ve learned something new. I can’t say that it’s been easy. Honestly, it’s been anything but easy. The first time my husband left, we had 2 kids and I was pregnant with our 3rd. The 2nd time he left, we had 3 kids, and I was pregnant with our 4th. The last time he left, we had 4 kids, all under the age of 5. I was struck this last time by how incredibly good our God is. I have always been taught that the Lord will provide for all our needs, which is absolutely true, but I’ve never seen it the way I did this last period of training. I also saw how truly prideful I am. The first two times my husband was gone, I had a very hard time accepting help from people. I didn’t ever want to be a burden on anyone, until I realized that the way God was taking care of us was through His people - the church. All the people that offered meals and childcare, which don’t seem like much, were absolutely huge to a single mom with 4 kids. Not only were the meals and childcare huge, but the gentle reminders that my husband was doing a wonderful thing were huge too, plus the acknowledgement that my kids hurt, and needed comfort just as much as their Mommy. I realized how truly important the church is. The church - a community of people held together by the bond of Christ, who love and support one another in good times and in bad. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. And so wonderful. A place where people can come and be a blessing to others, and be blessed as well. Whether that is just a simple note with Scripture in it, or whether it is something else … Like taking care of children. Neither is better than the other. Each is important, and each is a blessing. So to those of you who have taken care of us these past several years, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for showing Christ to me. Thank you for showing Christ to my kids. Thank you for showing Christ to my husband, and for caring for us in his absence. “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11