Friday, January 27, 2012

He wept

The heavens are weeping today.

Some friends just buried their second son in 2 years. 
His name was Cole.

Christian and I were reflecting on Jesus and his response to those in grief in the story of Lazarus.  He knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead yet he still wept.   The scripture says that when he saw Mary weeping he was "deeply moved" and he wept.  No words, no meaningless platitudes.  He wept because he loved Mary and Martha and their pain was his pain.   He truly bears our grief and carries our sorrows.

And so we, like Jesus weep.  Words are inadequate at times like this.  The grief is too deep and our words seem so shallow.   We can only be thankful for the Spirit that helps us in our infirmities when we don't know how to pray "as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

It is also through times like these that we are reminded that each life is sacred, unique and precious.  Each life is given by God and not to be taken for granted.  We are reminded not to complain when our sleep is disturbed, when our children need to be corrected for the thousandth time, when we are constantly cleaning up little messes.  

Each day is a gift.  Hold those babies, love those children, cherish each day as a gift.  

Cole was precious and his life made a difference even though it was short.   Please pray for Ian and Ashley and honor Cole's little life by thinking of him as you treasure each day with your children.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

March for Life 2012

It was a foggy misty day this year at the annual March for Life in Washington D.C.  The kids and I were not able to attend this year  due to Claire being still so young and having a slight cold but Christian headed down with our church again yesterday and was able to meet up with a friend from college who had traveled all the way from Chicago.  Looking at the pictures I was really disappointed that I wasn't able to be there.  It was such a great experience last year and I hated to miss it.  It has been occurring annually since 1974 and is consistently one of the largest protests at the capital.

One of the most encouraging things is seeing all of the different types of people there all united in taking a stand against abortion; Jewish, Catholic, protestant, hippies, businesses people, young, old, college students, monks and tree climbers.  :)  I personally would like to see more protestants down there and not let the Catholics show us up on this one.

Mother Theresa says it well....

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. "
Seeing this poster of Hitler reminds me of something.  Have you seen the "180" movie?  It's powerful and changing hearts.

Please consider going next year.  We must not forget.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Children, chips, sleds and the glorious outdoors

{view from the top of the chip pile of the ski runs at a local mountain}

One bonus of having a business that does tree work is the huge piles of chips and vast amount of wood in the back field.  The kids can spend hours upon hours out there climbing around and making forts and hide outs.  Today they decided to use the chip pile for a sledding hill.  It wasn't ideal as a bit of the snow had melted already but they had fun.  All except Naomi who forgot to wear socks and then got snow in her boot and ended up with cold toes pretty quickly.  She decided to come inside instead and make everyone hot chocolate and a snack.  How sweet.  

The kids are never bored outside.  As long as there isn't a hurricane going on outside I can send them outside and they can keep themselves busy for hours.  After recently reading the book Last Child in the Woods  I am thankful that they can.  I love the subtitle,
"saving our children from a nature deficit disorder".   Between hours doing school work, homework, TV and video games a lot of kids do not get nearly the amount of unstructured outside time that they should.  I already knew it was important but after reading this book I determined that they should get a lot more and make sure it happens every day.  

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."  ~Ann Frank

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you...
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  ~John Muir

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.There is no speech nor languageWhere their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world. 
Psalm 19:1-4

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ordinary Days

Compared to what our life was like a short year and a half ago our days seem just so ordinary.  Maybe my blogging seems boring since then but that's fine with me and I count my blessings everyday that they can be so.  I was just reflecting today again how gracious God was to us to miraculously rescue us in our desperate situation.

Peaceful days with family are not to be taken for granted.

Monopoly with Daddy in the evenings.
Reading and laughing together at night near a warm wood stove.
Good thing we have hard workers to help carry in all that wood!

Since Claire is such a gem of a baby I have been able to complete a couple of projects that I found on Pinterest.   The first was a faux canvas of our last name using letters from here.  We had a lot of fun picking out the letters and I really like the way it turned out.  Thanks for the idea Sarah!

The next two were again the "Thrifty Canvas" idea that I found on Pinterest.  I love the clean simple look that really draws attention to the photographs.  Of course I am seeing where I could have done a better job but all in all I really like the way they look.  I did not take the above stunning pictures of Christian in the giant tulip poplar, those were done by the very talented Kevin High for the business.

Since Amy requested baby pictures here are a couple.  Claire continues to be a delight and a joy.  I am also having lots of opportunity to play with the camera since I have such an adorable subject!

I hesitate to post the following but since people ask and since I referenced it at the beginning of this post I will.  Ann recently updated her website with an update on Patrick (now Greyson).  If you read it you can see that he still deals with some intense challenges.  Her last letter  sounded to me
a little more positive but I can see now that he most likely is going to continue his ups and downs like he did when he was here.  It's just that as he grows and gets bigger his "downs" are becoming more intense and harder to deal with.  I am so thankful though that he is in the best and safest place he can be right now and is getting the attention that he needs.  The adoption is not complete but legal custody was completed in September so all the decisions are hers at this point.  If you think of it, keep her in your prayers.  As amazing as Ann is it is still a challenge and she still needs wisdom and discernment to best parent those boys.  

I would have more to say on that but I will leave it there.  I am getting better but the issue is still sensitive to me as you can imagine and I am not sure how vulnerable I would like to be in this space.  So if my posts continue to be boring, so be it.  Boring is cool with me right now.   
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