Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Snippets

breast pump image via shutterstock
BREAST PUMP IMAGE VIA SHUTTERSTOCK



As someone battling crazy postpartum skin, I enjoyed this post on skincare essentials...

Although I typically love Arizona weather, I do get a little crabby when I start to see fall fashion on social media and I can't participate because it's still roughly 109 degrees out...

Some secret social media tools...

And all breastfeeding moms said "Amen..."

Signs you might be a suburban mom...

I made these Brussels sprouts and they are amazing...

This pretty much summarizes how I feel about being a semi-working, full-time student, fake "stay-at-home" mama...


And some heavy hitters for your Saturday...

Six things every college freshman should know...

Giving grace to children addicted to porn...

Why the prosperity gospel isn't really good news... {and another great post on the same subject}

Why Christians cannot be pro-choice...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flowers Fade Friday: Dry Bones

There are people in my life who I pray for daily. I want them to change. Either they aren't believers and I’m desperate for them to know God or they are believers but they are struggling with deep, crippling ongoing sin and I want them to repent and break free by the power of Jesus. Of course, I want this for everybody, including myself, but there are a few close friends and family who have been on my heart in this way for years.


So I pray and I pray and I pray for repentance… and nothing happens.

Or at least nothing seems to happen from my limited human perspective. From my point of view, I don’t think these loved ones will ever change. Their hearts are hard.

But on other days there are glimmers of hope. Is that change I see? Is that the tiniest piece of fruit waiting to grow large and ripen?

When I think about spiritual transformation, I want the story of Paul. I want God to show up to those who are struggling, strike them blind, speak audibly to them, and change their hearts and their whole lives. I even used to want that for myself when I was struggling in my faith and didn't know how to repent.

But that’s not how God always works. Instead he gives us examples like the Valley of the Dry Bones. God gives Ezekiel a vision of a valley where thousands of bones lie after a battle. This is a graveyard, but the brittle skeletons are sitting on top of the sand instead of buried underneath the dirt. The piles of slaughtered bodies indicate there was a battle and these people lost miserably. But then God says something remarkable. He asks Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel isn't sure. It seems very unlikely that this pile of sun-bleached bones could come back to life, so he submits to God, “Lord, you know" {Ezekiel 37:3}.

These bones represent Israel. Israel was rebellious and hardened. They disobeyed God so many times they finally got displaced to foreign countries. They were conquered. They were dead spiritually and lost physically. They were dry bones with no hope of life. But then God steps in and says “I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live” {v.5}.

So Ezekiel prophesies over the bones, but they don’t come back to life instantly, the way I always want transformation to happen. Ezekiel speaks over the bones to come back to life and they begin rattling around. Eventually, the bones connect, and sinews and flesh grow over them. But there is still no breath. Now the valley of dry bones is full of lifeless corpses instead of skeletons. God tells Ezekiel to prophesy again, to ask the four winds to breathe upon the slain. Ezekiel calls upon the breath, and it enters the corpses and brings them to life. They stand in unity. They are an exceedingly great army {v. 10}.

I want instant transformation. I want my friends and family to believe and repent and live full lives for God’s glory. But that doesn't always happen instantly and sometimes I can’t perceive that it’s happening at all. But that doesn't mean God is not at work. He might be joining bones together slowly. He might be turning hard hearts to hearts of flesh by the invisible power of His Word. And when the time is right He might breathe new life into what was once dead. It doesn’t matter if I can see it. It doesn’t matter if it happens quickly or slowly. What matters is there is always hope because Christ can make all things new, and I have to trust that He is doing so always. So I pray, and I hope, and I wait, and I trust that someday I will see the dead brought back to life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Feelin' 32!

When I started playing basketball in 5th grade, I had a few numbers I hoped to get on my jersey. Obviously my top pick was #23 for Michael Jordan, like any kid growing up in the 90s. But knowing Jordan's highly coveted number would go quickly, I had some good back-up choices as well.. #40 for Shawn Kemp or #20 for Gary Payton. I was a Seattle girl and I loved the SuperSonics {RIP!}. But when the day came to get our uniforms none of the numbers I wanted were available. I got stuck with lousy #32 and I was pretty bummed about it.


I went home feeling disappointed until my dad taught me about "Downtown" Freddy Brown. He was #32 on the Sonics and played throughout the 1970s and 80s. At the time I chose my jersey, he was one of only three players to ever have their number retired on the team. He was known for his outside shooting and excellent free throw percentage and as a girl with a decent mid-range jump shot, I liked his style of play. Thanks to my dad, I went from feeling disappointed about getting #32 to loving the number. I picked it as my jersey number throughout high school and I still call 32 my favorite number to this day.

 

So you better believe I'm pumped to be turning 32 later this week. Some people mourn being in their 30s, but I think life is so fun right now. I love that I am more mature and wise than I was in my 20s, but I still feel young and healthy and full of life. I love being married, having a baby and a home, and I'm so grateful for this season of life. So bring it 32. I'm anticipating a fantastic year. I already celebrated a bit last weekend by going to a concert with Micah and having an amazing brunch with some girlfriends. This weekend I'm headed to San Diego where I will meet up with some of my favorite ladies from Seattle for a fun wedding!


And in case you were wondering what a 32 year old puts on her birthday list...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dear Zianne {eleven months}

Dear Zianne,

I think around this time I'm supposed to start talking about how I can't believe you are almost a year old... But you know what? I can believe it. You are almost a year old. You are a crawling, babbling little baby turning into a toddler, and in a couple of weeks we will celebrate your first year on this earth, in our home, and in our arms.


I think I'm also supposed to say I want time to stop or slow down because your baby days are flying by and before I know it you will be off to college... or something like that? But you know what? I can't slow time and I don't have any desire to try. These are good days. I love watching you learn new words, turn the pages of your books, play your xylophone, and point at birds out the window. There were other good days this year. There were the days you slept on my chest. There were middle of the night feedings. There were the nights you slept in a swaddle, and the days you sat up on your own and played quietly in one place. But those good days are gone and I don't wish them back. They were precious. I am thankful for each and every milestone of the past year. I'm even thankful for the hard times that stretched me as a person and taught me to sacrifice more fully. But I don't need newborn Zianne frozen in time. I like the way you are right now and I joyfully anticipate your future. 


The Bible tells us "The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair" {Proverbs 20:29}. Our youth is a precious time full of vigor and expectation, but Scripture also tells us that old age is a blessing. I can't stop time, and I don't want to. Each season of life is sacred and each year lived on this earth is one step closer to seeing God face to face. I hope you enjoy each second of your youth. I hope that you grow and develop in a way pleasing to Lord. I hope you love others well, live a life of joy, and have a childlike faith that outlasts your days as a child. And as I grow older and my hair turns gray, I promise not to spend my life wishing I could turn back the hands of time. I will recount my memories with joy, accept my present circumstances with gratitude, and ponder the future with great hope. This past year has been my most joyful yet, and I eagerly await watching you grow and change in the next year to come.

Love,
Your not-yet-gray-haired mama

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday Snippets


Some nerdy teacher posts on banishing student emails and what our syllabus really means...

Love this post my friend wrote on being pregnant with her second child...

A post on living slow and grateful...

Moving away from c-sections in my home state...

An interesting study on how different age groups use the Internet...

5 truths about the fast fashion industry that might prevent me from shopping at certain stores...

Thoughts of a white dad with a black son...

Gold heart sweatshirt...

Looking for stylish, casual shoes can be a pain, but I like these ones...

Polka dot flannel...

Thinking an iPhone printer would be rad...

This needs to happen...

The cutest American honeymoon {because I'm obsessed with Australians obviously}...

Three factors to consider before starting a family...
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