Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Our 2 Year Old Nehemiah

These past 2 years have flown by! Our 6th baby joined us in a whirlwind on June 28, 2015. It was such a wonderful birth and a beautiful time for our family.

Today Nehemiah is a spunky little boy, and every bit a 2-year-old! He loves exploring and thinks he is a big boy. He heads outside to the yard when he wants and say, "Bye. Love you!" in a way that melts my heart. He says siblings names and tries his best to communicate, but does not want to be corrected. Once you understand him and repeat what he says, he responds, "OH!" instead of trying to say it right. Nehemiah loves to be outside and loves anything that moves. Airplanes and trucks are his current favorites.

Nehemiah is getting opinionated with his eating and only eats what he thinks is good. He hates to have his food taken though and screams whenever Malachi tries to take it. He will tell you what you think and will tell you continuously until he is sure you understand.

Being the 6th of 7, Nehemiah is tough, but still sensitive. He really enjoying being with his siblings outside. He likes to dance and will often break it down with no prompting at all. His smile and laugh are contagious, and he often looks like he is up to something. It's fun to watch his wheels turn and see him figure out things.

I am so thankful that God has given Nehemiah to our family. Even when he is driving me crazy, he is God's reminder to me that He is the One that comforts my soul and always hears the prayers of His people, even when His answers may not be what we were wanting.

Father, thank You for Nehemiah! Save his precious soul by your grace and let him be Your comfort and help to those around him. Let him be Your hands and feet to those who are hurting. Use Nehemiah in mighty ways for Your Kingdom and Your Glory!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bible Journaling with Kids

I confess, I am not super artistic when it comes to coloring and drawing, but my kids are. I have always thought of trying to find ways to help my kids grow in their creativity as well as help them in learning Bible. Our family is also in a time of huge transition and much of our creative supplies and Bibles are packed.

I learned about The Holy Mess Trust in the Lord Bible Journaling Kit and a light bulb went on. This is a great way to introduce my kids to Bible Journaling with little supplies! There are Bible verses that you can use for your margins that are great for coloring and teaching Scripture at the same time.

For my writers they can also start learning calligraphy! What a fun way to practice handwriting in a way that doesn't feel like it! I'm also excited to introduce my olders to the journaling pages. I have tried to teach them about journaling what they are reading, but it always seems to go over their heads. With 4 short concise boxes they can write down the passage they read, what they're thankful for, prayer requests for the day and do artwork to emphasize what they read. I hope this will help them learn and take to heart what they are reading in their Bibles!

I'm so thankful for the diversity of this kit and look forward into delving into it more with my kids!

For more ideas check out The Holy Mess Bible Journaling Facebook group!

How would you use this kit with your kids?

*Post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bible Journaling Novice

Bible Journaling has become quite popular recently. It has intrigued me, but, to be honest, I struggle with the idea of drawing in my Bible! I do not even highlight in my Bible anymore! I write it all down in my journal or on cards.

I recently connected with Sara Borgstede at The Holy Mess, through a blog party, and saw her Trust in the Lord Bible Journaling Kit. What I loved about this kit is that it is designed for you to use either in a Bible or other journal, which helped me to realize it's not just about writing in your Bible, it's about expressing what you read in a creative way so that it sticks with you.

This is what I need!

I also love the calligraphy practice pages! This is something I have wanted to learn, and I now have an easy way to do this.

I'm still at the beginning of learning about it, but wanted to share her Trust in the Lord Bible Journaling Kit with you as it is on sale this week! June 21st-26th it is on sale for $18 (normally $21) to help others with their Bible Journaling journey as well.

You can also join her Facebook Group and get ideas from her and other experienced Bible Journalers as well as ask questions and share your creations!

Where are you in Bible Journaling? Novice? Expert? Share your experience below.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An Angel in Dairy Queen

Recently life has been trying. Our family is in a season of waiting. God made it clear that after Jim graduated from seminary He wanted us to move back to GA and fully rejoin our church in Smyrna.

And we are still here.

Our house has been on the market close to 2 months with many showings but nothing coming from them, though we live in a desirable area and have a lot of space for our area of town. We have cleared out and done a lot of work to make it "show ready" even with 7 kids running around. We have done all we can. What is God doing?

Friday I lost it. I have struggled for awhile with fully trusting God and believing that He will really take care of us and do what is best, and it finally came to a head. I cried out, "God what are you doing? What am I missing? What else do I need to do? Where are you?"

With all of this I have also struggled with being told, in not so many words, that our kids are too much, a burden, or my problem in various ways. I know from God's Word this is not true and I feel like I have to fight all the time for my family. "God, why do people think we are a burden? Why are we left alone?"

That afternoon we had a showing at dinner time and went to Dairy Queen for a fun treat for the kids. Weary from my cries Jim and I sat surrounded by our kids feeding them when I man comes to fill his drink next to our table. I noticed right away he had a Bible in his hands. He asked, as many do, "Are all these kids yours?" What comment were we going to get this time?

"Yes, they are," Jim and I affirmed.

"Wow, That's amazing!" He replies with a smile on his face. "Well, I just want you to know that Jesus loves you!"

I looked at my food and said, "I know." But the truth was, I didn't know. I should know, but I didn't. But at that moment God affirmed to me, "I hear your cries. You are not forgotten. I love you and I will take care of you."

The man said something else positive about our family size, blessed us and walked away.

We will likely never see him again. God just sent him to tell me He loved me. Why would He do that?

Because He hears the cries of His people. Our hearts matter to Him. He wants us to trust Him and follow Him even when He appears silent or immobile. He is not. He is moving, working, speaking. And He is doing that for me, while still working His will.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Year 13

Today, Jim and I have been married 13 years. 

I don't even know where to begin. We were young and had no idea the adventure God would lead us on. Nursing school, working as nurses, having 2 kids before moving to Louisville, Seminary and full time work, 5 more kids, buying a house, struggles, learning what it is that God really wants for us.

We are clearly still in the last of these things. We are still in the great adventure of marriage and family with God.

This year has been a year of great growth but also struggle as we sought what God was leading us to after graduation. Right now God is teaching us how to work together, seek Him together, talk through what we are thinking, feeling, experiencing and sharing who we really are. We are still learning this. In fact, after 13 years, we are still in the early phases of learning.

But that is life isn't it? Especially the Christian life. At 34 and 33 and 13 years into marriage we are still in the early stages of, learning how to navigate this life with God as our head. Most of what we have learned this year is how to truly love each other the way God has designed so that we will be a reflection of Jesus and the church to a lost and dying world, the whole purpose and design of marriage.

Today, by God's grace, we are closer to this than we have ever been before, but we still have a long way to go.

Father, thank You for 13 years of marriage, 13 years of growing in knowledge of You and how You love us. Please continue to grow us in You. Grow us in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control using our marriage to do this. Help us to teach our kids and others. Use us and our marriage for Your Kingdom and Your Glory! In Jesus Name, Amen!