Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Samuel Hezekiah

After having my last two children without any induction assistance I was all ready to have a natural delivery again. I had high hopes throughout the pregnancy that it would be similar to my others. I started having irregular contractions around 38 weeks. No surprise there. Unfortunately they did very little at that point.

My due date, April 10th, came and went. Thankfully I was beginning to dilate from the contractions and was 2-3 cm at that point. I was hopeful that labor would kick in. I begged and pleaded with God for labor to begin and still nothing. On Monday, April 14th, they did an ultrasound to make sure all was well with the baby and it was. They also were guessing the weight to be 9 lbs and 12 oz! Having had a 9 lb baby before I knew it would be wise to go ahead and induce sooner rather than later. There was also extra fluid. The combination told me from my experience that unless labor kicked in that night, I would need help having the baby. Dr. Brown asked me if I would allow her to help me, and I said yes. She checked my cervix and I was now a stretchy 4 cm, meaning I would only need pitocin and not cervadil. They arranged for me to be induced the next morning if nothing happened during the night.

I went home and began having contractions that felt promising. Again I was hopeful and I contracted well for about 2 hours. But then they began to space out. Again I begged God to bring the contractions back. I was up late and had to wake at 5 am to call and find out what time I could go in for the induction. 6:30 was my time, so Jim and I got up and ready to go. Thankfully the car was packed and ready,so we just had to pick up a couple of things.

Check in went quickly. My IV was started that hurt horribly. (Still is the worse part of having a baby, seriously!) Finally around 9 am the pitocin was started. I was hoping to just need a whiff of pit, but no go. The contractions did not get harder. I tried changing position. The baby was still so high. I just had to wait. Jim and I listened to music I had put together for labor and played a couple games together on his Ipad. I was so tired I began to fall asleep. Around 11 or so I took a good nap. I have never napped during labor! But clearly I needed it.

Contractions continued with no real progress. I knew if they broke my water things would move quickly, but at that point the baby was still floating, which is an unwise time to break water, especially when your fluid is high. I sat up again, hoping it would encourage the baby down. The contractions got a little harder, but still no real discomfort.

Finally around 4 pm I was about 6 cm and the baby's head was low enough the doctor felt safe to break my water. That's when the part began. I stood up beside the bed for awhile as the contractions increased in intensity. It took about 45 minutes for me to get really uncomfortable and need to get back in bed. At that point, I felt like I was dying. I have never had overly painful contractions, but this time I did. It was intense and I was hurting. I was so close to asking for pain meds. My mind was my enemy. Thankfully I was making gradual progress and so I told myself I would resist. With each contraction I was regretting the decision, but I cried out to God all the more. I had to remind myself that God was my only strength and He would get me through.

Finally I was given permission to push with my body. It took no time at all as my body and I pushed. At 5:31 pm the baby was born. Jim looked at me and said "It's a boy!" To which I responded, "Are you sure?" (No, seriously. We all thought the baby was a girl.) But it is a precious little boy we had. Samuel Hezekiah weighed in at 9 lbs (thankfully the ultrasound was a little off) and is 21 inches tall. I was so thankful he was here and healthy. It is also special that his birthday is April 15th as that was my grandmother's birthday.

God is so faithful and I am blessed beyond belief.

 Big thank you to my friend Gidget for the pictures!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic

This book was a good short quick read. It was full of great little reminders to count your blessings and remembering that this phase is short, though it can feel as if it will last forever. It was an encouragement to me to read as I planned and prepared for having 5 children 5 and under, like the author, and helped to keep things in perspective. I definitely recommend this book.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Girl Talk by Carolyn Mahaney

I really enjoyed this basic book on passing Biblical womanhood onto the next generation. It is a topic that I have been studying a lot in the last 5 years or so, and this book explains it so simply. It is geared mostly towards daughters, but is meant to be read with mothers and daughters together. I enjoyed reading it to Lillian and hope we can read it again together as she grows up. It covers a variety of topics and is not just a how to guide, but gives you ways to think about what Biblical womanhood looks like for your house, your daughter and you. I very highly recommend this book.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance by Heidi St. John

This is a good reminder of marriage and the importance of giving preference to your marriage at all times, especially when you have kids at home. Though geared toward homeschooling families there is practical advice for everyone. It is an easy read and straight forward, 2 things I greatly appreciate. She takes a very personal approach and deals with heavy issues in a gentle way. Most of all I appreciate the focus on the sanctity of marriage and how to succeed in marriage from a Biblical standpoint. I highly recommend this book.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pieces of Light by Julie Cave

This was, by far, my least favorite of this series. The writing was good and the characters you could identify with, which I liked. I was also thankful to see a downfall of a "villain" who had been in the other books, but it was still unfinished. (This is supposedly only a trilogy.) However, it was so obvious to me who the guilty party was the moment they were introduced. I tried to look at others when they came in, but it was so obvious. This made it much less fun to read. I also felt a situation with Dinah was handled poorly in my personal opinion. If you have read the first two then go ahead and read this one, but be prepared for a let down, especially after the second. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Death in His Grave

Though the earth cried out for blood
Satisfied her hunger was
Her billows calmed on raging seas
for the souls of men she craved

Sun and moon from balcony 
Turned their heads in disbelief
Their precious Love would taste the sting
Disfigured and disdained

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with the keys
Of Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The man Jesus Christ laid death in His grave

So three days in darkness slept
The Morning Sun of righteousness
But rose to shame the throes of death 
And overturn his rule

Now daughters and the sons of man
Would pay not their dues again
The debt of blood they owed was rent
When the day rolled a new

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with the keys
Of Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The man Jesus Christ laid death in His grave

He has cheated 
Hell and seated 
us above the fall
In desperate places 
He paid our wages
One time once and for all

Jesus has overcome death for us! Thanks be to God!

Listen to the song here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

On The Day The Sky Went Black

On the day the sky went black 
The Light of the World obscured 
Sins of the Earth strapped on His back 
The shame of the cross to endure

Oh - Oh

On the day the sky went black 
Christ in the death machine 
A Roman spear spilling blood from his side 
That would wash all the stained ones clean

Oh – oh Itʼs over and done, Itʼs over and done 
Oh – oh Itʼs over and done, Itʼs over and done 

From that dark travail 
He will claim the conflict won
And over death prevail to lift high the holy ones
To lift high the chosen sons to God

On the day the sky went black 
The Breath of God drew his last 
Death into life and light into dark 
And praise in the lungs of the blessed 

Oh – oh. Itʼs just a bite to the heel, a bite to the heel 
Oh – oh. And a bite to the heel gets a boot to the head

From that dark travail 
He will claim the conflict won
And over death prevail to lift high the holy ones
To lift high the chosen sons to God

On the day the sky went black 
The Light of the World shown high 
The debts of the Earth are paid in full 
And the well of wrath drained dry. 

Oh - oh

From that dark travail 
He will claim the conflict won
And over death prevail to lift high the holy ones
To lift high the chosen sons to God

Listen to this song here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beautiful Scandalous Night

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down at the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed 
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful scandalous night

On the hillside you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior's side

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful scandalous night

The beauty and scandal of the cross is so evident in life. Thank You, Jesus, for washing us white!

Listen to the song here

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Taking It For Granted

As I have been reflecting on sin and the death of Christ, I have realized how much I take Jesus's sacrifice for granted. I easily excuse sin, I refuse to repent or just treat it as if it is no big deal. Jesus died so that we could live in freedom not bondage. When I take the cross for granted I am hurting so many. I think many of us are guilty of doing this.

Let's stop abusing the cross and taking it for granted. Let's call sin what it is and seek together through the power of the Trinity living inside of us to put sin to death.

Lord, help us to over come! Help us to no longer take our salvation for granted, but live a people saved by grace to a higher calling, Your calling, where we put sin to death and live the life You have created us to live.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jesus The Passover Lamb

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will You have for us prepare for You the Passover?" He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, 'The Teacher says My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.'"
~Matthew 26:17-18

It was the time of Passover when Jesus was to be crucified. Who but the Lord could time something like that? When the first Passover took place a few thousand years before Jesus walked the earth, it was pointing to the Christ, The Ultimate Passover Lamb. Before the foundations of the world, God intended it to be that way. 

A life for a life.

The difference is that because Jesus is God, His life could cover every life that has ever been. We do not each need our own individual Jesus, but every one of us can be covered by Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. Jesus died so that we might live.

Thank You, Jesus for being The Ultimate Passover Lamb!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The First Passover

In Exodus 12 we read the account of the first Passover. The people of Israel were slaves in Egypt and God put forth His plan to rescue them my killing the first born in all of Egypt. The Israelites were to take a year old male lamb without blemish, keep it in the house with the family 14 days, kill it and put its blood on the door post of the house. The blood would serve has a covering and protect their firstborn from death.  

God gave His people a covering, and that covering required blood, the blood of a perfect lamb. When the angel of death saw the blood on the door post he passed over their home, keeping death away. The death of the lamb spared the life of the first born. "A life for a life" as the saying goes.

This was the first Passover, and we remember it today.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jesus Has Ultimate Authority

Last Sunday we read about Jesus's trial before Pilate in John 18:33-19:3. We discussed 3 questions from the passage, but the first is the one that really hit home. Pilate asks Jesus, "Are You the King of the Jews?" asking Jesus about His authority.

The answer to this question is a resounding YES! Jesus is the King of the universe. Jesus responds, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews." Jesus is King over all.

Right now this is something I am really fighting to remember as I await the birth of my 5th child. I have tried to take control, telling God when the baby should be born and attempting to manipulate my body in my timing. God gently reminded me, He is the ultimate authority. I have not wanted to give Him the authority He is due, but I want to tell Him how it should be done.

When we relinquish control of authority, then we can truly live in freedom because we know God is in control and we do not have to worry. God is in control!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How Deep The Father's Love For Us by Stuart Townend

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Friday, April 11, 2014

How Deep My Sin

I have nothing today but the feeling of how deep my sin is. I am broken. I am weak. I have nothing to offer anyone, especially not God. Tears fill my eyes as I blow up one more time over nothing. Trying to take control I am angry at God and anyone around me that is not doing what I think they should. How can I know best the ways of the universe? How can I know what is really best for the baby and me? I know God is in control and His ways are best. I know that in my mind, but my flesh is fighting so hard against it. God is my only hope. God is my only rest. Without Him I would be completely lost and alone. This sin would overtake me and I would be drowning fast. By God's grace He is showing me that I can fight. He has given me Himself, through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, so that I can rise above my sin. The more I live, the deeper I realize my sin is. God's grace is far more than I deserve, yet He loves me anyway and is teaching me how to rise above it Christ. Thank You, Jesus, for taking my sin so that I can live and fight sin so that I can bring You glory.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Affected By Sinfulness

"I have had very affecting views of my own sinfulness and vileness; very frequently to such a degree as to hold me in a kind of loud weeping...so that I have often been forced to shut myself up."
~Jonathan Edwards (as quoted in Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God)

I recently read this quote and thought, how fitting for what I am seeking to learn, understand and grasp during this season of lent. This sentiment is what I want. I want to be so affected by my view of sin and vileness and how deeply it is a part of my that I weep loudly over my sin. I want to hate it and turn away from it in great sorrow. I want to be so moved that I need time alone with God to even begin to heal the brokenness of my heart. I want to see my need for the cross so desperately, that I am unsatisfied until I have mourned my sin as I ought. 

Do you weep over how sinful and vile you are?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It Is Finished

In the heat of the early morning
On a hill they called the skull
The roaring of the angry mob had settled to a lull
All eyes were cast upon the man whose hands and feet were bound
They saw Him cry in anguish when they heard the hammer pound
They saw the bloody woven thorns with which His head was crowned
They watched the bloody cross of wood be dropped into the ground
The soldiers gambled for His clothes, they watched them win and lose
They saw the sign above His head that said "King of the Jews"

It is finished, and the sky grew black as the night
It is finished, and the people scattered in fright
The work had been done, redemption had been won
The war was over without a fight
It is finished

They searched His face for anger, for vengeance in His stare
Instead of eyes that burned with hate a look of love was there
He prayed for their forgiveness and bowed His battered head
And no one knew the meaning of the final words He said

It is finished, and the sky grew black as the night
It is finished, and the people scattered in fright
The work had been done, redemption had been won
The war was over without a fight
It is finished

The provision had been made
The foundation has been laid
He paid the ransom due
And tore the temple veil in two
And opened up the way for me and you

It is finished, and the sky grew black as the night
It is finished, and the people scattered in fright
The work had been done, redemption had been won
The war was over without a fight
It is finished!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It Is Finished!

"When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, 'It is finished,' and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit." ~John 19:30

Once everything the prophets had spoken about Him had been done, Jesus cried "It is finished!" bowed His head and died. With this statement, Jesus was saying that everything that needed to be accomplished for our salvation had been done. There is nothing left to be done. There is nothing for us to do. Jesus did it all!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Come Ye Sinners

Come ye sinners poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready stands to save you
Fully of pity love and power

Come ye thirsty come and welcome
God's free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance 
Every grace that brings you nigh

So come ye weary, heavy laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry till you're better
You will never come at all
You will never come at all

On the bloody cross behold him
Sinner will this not suffice
Lo, the incarnate God ascended
Pleads His perfect sacrifice

So come ye weary, heavy laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry till your better
You will never come at all
You will never come at all

Let not conscious make you linger
Not of fitness fondly dream
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him

So come ye weary, heavy laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry till your better
You will never come at all
You will never come at all

Come to God now. Do not wait!

To hear Sojourn Music's version of this song listen here

Sunday, April 6, 2014

How Do We Handle Failure?

Last Sunday we looked at Jesus being questioned by Annas and Peter's denial of Jesus. What really stuck out to me from this sermon is considering how we handle failure. Peter was very passionate and seemed the least unlikely to reject Christ, and yet he did, not once but 3 times! We may be passionate for Christ, but we too are human and fail to love and stand up for Jesus as we should. Many times it is in the little ways, like forgetting to give God glory or not sharing openly what God is doing in our lives. We also fail to represent Christ by not living as we ought and doing what we want or what is easier.

So when we fail Christ, what do we do? in Luke's account the denial, it says that Peter went out and wept bitterly. Is this how we respond to our denials of Jesus? Do we weep that we have failed to stand up for Christ? I am learning to do this, but often I do not.

We are to weep that we have denied Jesus. But it does not end there. Because of Christ's death and resurrection, we can repent. We confess that we have denied Christ and ask for forgiveness and move forward knowing He has forgiven us and taken our sin and shame from us. In Christ we can overcome failure and live the way God intends for us to live.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Father, Forgive Them

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." ~Luke 23:34

While Jesus is on the cross, He asks God to forgive those who are crucifying Him! What kind of love is this? We know that it was always God's, plan to crucify His Son, and yet, Jesus still asks God to forgive those how did. He says they did not know what they were doing. The men who crucified Jesus really thought they were honoring God, yet it was not at all honoring to Him. It was a sin! 

God's plans are such a mystery! The way life is is a mystery. His sovereignty is a mystery. His love and grace so much of a mystery. Why God loves sinners is a mystery, but He does and His Son asked forgiveness for us. Lord, thank You for the mystery of Your love and grace.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jesus Opened The Way To God

"And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed His last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." ~Mark 15:37-38

The curtain in the temple separated the Holy of holies from the rest of the temple. The Holy of holies is where the Spirit of God resided among His people and only a priest who had be ceremoniously cleansed could enter into the presence of God. Before Jesus's death there was limited access to God.

But here, we see that Jesus's death opened up God to us. Jesus's blood covers us and gives us direct access to God. No longer must we go through a human priest, and he take our sin offerings before God. Jesus is the Great High Priest whose sacrifice covered sin once for all.

Thank You, Jesus for opening up the door to God so that we can have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. Thank You for dying in my place.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Isaiah 6:1-5

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!'
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: 'Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"

When Isaiah saw the majesty and glory of the Lord, he knew immediately how sinful he was. Often times I think we are not really taught nor do we think about how wonderful and glorious and perfect and holy the Lord, the God of the universe is. In this we fail to see how grievous our sin is. We need a correct perspective of God and a correct perspective of sin to really grasp what Jesus did for us on the cross. It is an amazing and wonderful gift, but do we really appreciate it. Ask God to show you how good and perfect and holy He is. Ask God to show you how deep and grievous your sin is. Thank God that in His mercy He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for your sin. 

Lord, help me to see how perfect and holy You are. Help me to see how terrible my sin is. Help me to never take the cross for granted. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Who Has Done Good?

Who has done good and who has sought God?
We hated and cursed and called for Your blood
We claimed to be wise as we gloried in shame
We told ourselves lies, despising Your reign
And love, Your love, was far from us
And love, Your love, was far from us

Our mouths were like graves, our words were like darts
Our bodies were slaves to the greed of our hearts
We thirsted for life as we wasted our breath
Entangled in strife, we rushed to our death
And love, Your love, was far from us
And love, Your love, was far from us

The foolish You loved, the faithless You saved
The lost You have found, the worthless You raised
The blood of Your cross and Your empty grave
Made rebels to heirs and sinners to saints
And love, Your love, has come to us
And love, Your love, has come to us

This song goes right along with the passage I shared yesterday. It is a wonderful song by Sovereign Grace. You can here the song here

March Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- This has sort of happened in a sporadic way
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Maybe most days. 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - Yes! 
  • Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 and Romans 1 (I hope to add more to it, but this is where I want to start)- I read over Proverbs 31:10-31 and have 10-14 down, still working on getting this in my daily routine
  • Go out for a date once a month- Yes
  • Go on a night away once this year- No, need to figure out when this might be possible
  • Read 3 books together this year- We have not started any yet
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon- Most
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do this. I know it happened here and there, but still need to plan this better
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- We have either gone to playgroup or had friends over on cold days
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month- Nope
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Wrote in one or two
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Worked on getting my scrap stuff organized so I can do this
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- I'm changing my definition of what this means, so I did this about half the month
  • Keep up with my calendar- Did fairly well with this overall, still room for improvement
  • Being fully present when with my family- I did not do this as well as I would have liked, but by God's grace I've seen some improvement
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month- Yes!
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year- I've had 1 this year and hope to get in 3 more after the baby is born
  • Start Childbirth Conversation blog- Yes! It is finally launched. You can check it out here
  • Read a book a month aside from Class material- Yes! I read "Loving the Little Years" and "Pieces of Light". Reviews to come after Easter
  • Journal 5 days a week- I think I did this about 2 weeks. This month has been a little rough 
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- Nope
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- The only editing came from writing group
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book- Did not work on this at all
  • Plan for next novel and write in November- No initial planning done this month
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2- Did  not work on this, hoping to jump back in in April
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes! 
  • Blog 3 days a week- I have posts for almost every day on both blogs
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- Yes!
  • Maintain weight until birth- Struggling with this, though not gaining as fast as I usually do
  • Lose weight after giving birth
March was not as difficult as February, but still a challenge. Most of this month has been spent teaching, getting ahead in school, cleaning and preparing for the baby. I'm less than 2 weeks from due date and really have been struggling with wanting to be done. It's a mental battle that must be fought with prayer and right now it's a moment by moment struggle.

How was your March?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Romans 3:9-20

"What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all! For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:

'None is righteous, no, not one;
No one understands;
No one seeks God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
No one does good,
Not even one.'
'There throat is an open grave;
they use their tongue to deceive.'
'The venom of asps is under their lips.'
'Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.'
'Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.'
'There is no fear of God before their eyes.'

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those that are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by the work of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin."

Thursday night in my SWI class we talked about this passage and the depth of sin. Here Paul is showing us just how horrific sin is! No one is righteous. All have turned aside. No one seeks God. No one does good. Our tongues deceive. Venom is under our lips. Our feet are swift to shed blood. No one does good. Our throats are open graves.

This is true of all humanity. Sin is gross and disgusting. It is so perverse and it fills every molecule of our being. We cannot save ourselves and the law shows us how deep our sin is. We deserve nothing but God's wrath and judgement. We do not deserved to be saved. 

God saves us because He is gracious, not because we deserve it. 

March Blessings

March has been a crazy month. Even in the midst of craziness there have been many blessings along the way.
  1. Gabriel beginning to hold hands when we pray at meals
  2. Jamey, Lillian and Reuben praying for at least one other sibling at bedtime
  3. Having good conversations without yelling and actually communicating
  4. Learning to face difficult things instead of just letting them go
  5. Growing as a family
  6. Jamey growing in his love of school work
  7. Jamey learning to become more independent
  8. Getting to know Jessica better
  9. Growing in my dependency on God and trusting in His sovereignty
  10. Jamey praying for Lillian to receive the Present (Jesus)
  11. Jamey telling me we need to hate sin