Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oceans come in all shapes and sizes


I used to listen to this song and sing it in church and think, "Good grief! Why would any of us sing this?!"

 "Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders! Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander!' 

That's asking God to do some mighty big stuff, isn't it? What if He asks me to move to Africa? Will He want me to sell all of my things, uproot our family, and go to a foreign nation?!

Why do our minds always go there? Why do we think God intends for all of us to be in a different culture, learning a different language, sharing the gospel to an unreached people group…(fill in the blank with your radical list of callings)

What if this is our ocean?? - right here in this great land of very lost people who are turning more and more to what is right in their own eyes, where religions and spiritual groups of people are all starting to blend together in a jumbled up mess of confusion.

Or what if our ocean is just stepping into the deep waters of having children and attempting to raise them? Maybe our faith will be made stronger by putting our house up for sale. I know I have trouble keeping my eyes above the waves in many different circumstances that occur throughout my day. 

Here's what I know: I truly want to walk upon the waters wherever He calls me. Sure, it's easier to wrap my head around a simple move across cities in Texas versus selling everything and literally crossing oceans. What if that's what He has for me, though - living here, navigating the waters He has me wading through day in and day out? I'll tell you - I put plenty of borders up. I would never choose to take my feet into certain depths, but I will choose to rest in His embrace. I will keep singing the words of this song as I watch my kids grow up and make mistakes in life…as I look to the leadership of my husband in our household…as I make decisions for schooling and disciplining these five kids. I want Him to break down my borders of trust in Him, so that I can know what it is to be in the mysterious waters of oceans deep

I am His, He is mine. I will rest in that…in big or small oceans, in deep or shallow waters, I will prayerfully and fearfully dive into the depths He calls me to, claiming that He indeed is good, He is faithful, He answers our prayers, and He holds us through it all.

"O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as You are, O Lord, with Your faithfulness all around You? You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them." (Psalm 89:9)

"Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!" (Psalm 93:4)


Monday, October 13, 2014

Our Haunted House


Looks so cute and not scary, doesn't it?
So did the kids before we started!
That all changed once the sugar took over...











We ended up having a mini science lesson on sugar and how it affects our immune systems :)





And then I prepared myself for a crazy afternoon :)
At least we had fun!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cherry on Top


Ha!! Ohhh Naomi. I could cry happy tears simply over the fact that I get to write a post about my daughter. My baby girl! Yes, many of these pictures are oh so similar to each other, but I had to post them all. The many faces of Naomi, now on display :)



One might think I could only write an update about Naomi's physical development or maybe new foods she is trying, based on the fact that she is 10 months old. However, this little girl has so much personality, I will not have enough words to express how hilarious and full of life she is. I mean, look at the faces she is making! She is a CLOWN. I pulled out the camera, and she went on ham-mode immediately.




Naomi is always on show-off alert mode. She will hold up her hands for "Touchdown" for random strangers (as if they are supposed to know what she's doing.) She has this little laugh that she pulls out of her pocket whenever the need-to-impress arises. She truly finds humor in the funniest things. She lives for attention, which is good considering how much of it she receives. She tries her hardest to speak her mind, but her squeals do wonders for keeping her brothers out of her bubble when she is sick of all the attention.



She LOVES baby dolls, dogs, balls, and anything that rolls. She uses boxes and ride-on toys to walk behind, and she even attempts push-ups next to the boys, although hers are more like donkey kicks. She  apparently thinks she needs to keep up with the boys in terms of eating habits, because she eats so much food that I have begun adding a fifth plate to the counter of food preparations. I do not know if our grocery budget was ready for such an increase so soon, but I am rolling with it and trying to keep up (and hold her over with the rest of the baby food as long as I can to fill in her hunger gaps.) 





Naomi is a precious addition to our family, and I am so, so grateful that Justus prayed for a fifth child (specifically, a girl.) God chose to say "Yes" to that prayer, and here she is, changing our lives completely. She makes us thankful to have so many kids. She was totally worth it :)


Naomi - "my delight, my pleasantness"
I am so glad this is your name. You fit that description incredibly well.
The Lord brings peace and joy to our home through you.
May you one day place your faith and trust in Him and Him alone.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baby Boy


They say that every person plays a very specific role in their own family…that everyone adds an ingredient to their individual home. Ask anyone around here, and we will surely all answer that Josiah is the laughter and smiles of our group. The other boys are funny in their own ways, too, but Josiah takes the cake. The way he responds to certain things, or the answers he has for some of our questions crack us up regularly. I can't even explain what it is about him that is always so funny. About a week or so ago, I passed by Josiah's room after he was in bed for the night, and he called me in with his arms outstretched. "Hug! Hug!" I gave him a hug, and of course he finished it off with his signature smack of a kiss on my cheek, and then said, "There, that's better," and rolled over to go to sleep.

That's when it hit me. An old grandma. That's what he reminds me of. The sweetness he displays, the funny things he has to say…they are so funny because they aren't things a four-year-old boy should be saying. They're things a grandma would say. His facial expressions when he tells a story, the way he explains things. It's too hard for me to put into words in a blog post, but it's the way he is…you'll just have to take my word for it.



Josiah is definitely seen by all of us as the baby boy of the family. We thought he was going to be THE baby of our family, and I think we've probably always treated him that way. The boys are each a year and a half apart, but for some reason, Josiah feels like he holds a special place in this family as the youngest boy. His big brothers think he is cute when he tries to do things like them. They laugh with him over his silly four-year-old humor, and are all (usually) willing to help him when he accepts it. 


He still loves to dress up, and he still changes clothes no less than five times a day. Entire outfits are planned based on a certain color scheme, outing that day, or sports game we are watching. He is my worst laundry nightmare, but I have to admit, he comes up with some pretty cute and creative clothing arrangements. 



Josiah, your love of people is unmistakable. The joyous life you live makes everyone want to be around you. May you be called by the Lord to use these awesome qualities to make much of His name. We are  so blessed to have such a happy, fun little boy in our family. We wouldn't be who we are without you!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The middle child


Give Eli a job, and he will do it with excellence until completion…maybe until you finally say, "OK, buddy! That's good!! Quit…go play!!" To say he is a hard worker would be an understatement. He is all business when it comes to schoolwork, football, baseball, housework. It cracks me up, but of course I love it about him. With the sweetest smile across his face, he will ask numerous times a day, "How can I help, Mom?"


Rewards and goals are the way to Eli's heart. Give him something to work for, and he'll earn it. He'll not only earn it, he'll go above and beyond. He will nail whatever it is he is supposed to be working towards, and then he'll act all sheepish when you reward him. "Me? I earned this?? What did I do?" (As if he had no idea there was a reward on the other end.) He does truly do things out of the goodness of his heart, though. He is an amazing little boy, and my days are full of feeling loved because of this child. 






If anyone is feeling bad or sad or got hurt somehow, Eli is the first to grab the ice pack, to rub their back, or to ask if they're okay. At the same time, he is rough, tough, and loves bugs. He loves working in the yard, playing any sports, and could tell me more about the NFL teams and players than I could ever care to learn on my own. 


Eli, God has taught me more in your almost 6 years of life than I ever imagined I would learn in a lifetime. He made you gentle and strong, loud yet observant, and both intentional and spontaneous. You are an amazing little boy, and I count it a privilege that the Lord chose to place you in our family. I am excited to see you grow and become a young man who continues to be focused and determined. Place yourself in the mighty hand of God, and submit to His authority, and I'm positive that He will use your hardworking, goal-oriented attributes to spread His name wherever He leads you.
We love you, Eli!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

#2

He is smart, witty, and has a memory that surpasses me so much so that it truly worries me. 
Titus James is the most literal thinker, but when it comes to going against the grain and thinking OUTSIDE of the box, he's first in line. He is adventurous, courageous, outgoing, and funny. He can pick up on a play on words in a heartbeat, and he comes up with his own jokes that are actually starting to be pretty funny.



Give him used paper towel rolls, an empty box, and tape, and he will create some kind of elaborate creature or vehicle. He makes sticks, rocks, and dirt some of the most fun and interesting things to play with, and I so love that about him. He leads his little brothers in all kinds of games and shenanigans, and they love playing with him because of it. 



Still a picky eater, Titus is the one child who will request certain meals and things from the grocery store. The boy knows what he likes, and he's not afraid to voice it. He has had mohawks, buzz cuts, and more simply because he asked for them. He is a wild child at heart, but he always comes back for hugs and snuggles and to say, "I love you." He will go shirtless and shoeless anywhere we let him, and he certainly doesn't let his small stature stop him from climbing trees. 



One day, son, you will climb mountains. I'm sure of it!
We pray that you will use the leadership skills, brains, and quick wit that come from above for the glory of God and the multiplying of His kingdom.

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