Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Snippets

{via}



Thinking fall... These boots. This tote.

Loved this post on being a misfit...

Why the church needs men and women to be friends...

What's wrong with marriage in movies?

Some great career advice for young professionals...

I'm now getting a clever overview of the daily news to my inbox...

Maps and charts that might surprise you...

Should Christian women go to college?

Why moms have no time to blog...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dear Zianne {one year}

Dear Zianne,

Last week we took you on a trip to California for a wedding. I was slightly reluctant to take you because it was my birthday weekend and I wanted it to be a restful and fun time with friends. You are the easiest, happiest baby, but you still need to eat and have your diaper changed and you like your schedule to revolve around frequent, quiet naps, so traveling with you can be a bit tricky. Since you were almost a year old, I thought this might be the perfect weekend to leave you at home for the first time…


But your dad had other ideas. He wanted you to go on this trip so badly. He envisioned dancing with you at the wedding and splashing with you in the ocean. So I agreed that you could come on one condition… that he took care of you the whole time. I told him I would feed you morning and night and other than that he would be totally in charge of your schedule. I was skeptical that he could pull it off, but you know what? He did! He gave you baths, fed you “brekkie,” and used the bed of his truck to change your diaper on the go. He read you books, took you swimming in the ocean, and boogied with you on the dance floor.

By the end of the weekend, the most interesting thing happened. You began reaching for him instead of me. For the whole past year, I've been your comforter. I've been your nurturer. If you were upset, you wanted me. If you were tired, I could get you to fall asleep. If you were hungry, I fed you. One the greatest joys and hardest trials of the first year of motherhood is being the ONE the baby needs at all times of day and night.

But now that year is over, and I don’t get to be your one and only anymore. Now dad can soothe you. Now you asked to be passed around the room into the arms of loving grandparents, aunts, and friends. You don’t need me like you used to.

It’s easy to think that you are mine. A year ago you came from my womb and you were laid on my chest. You already knew the sound of my voice. Although it was your first day out in the world, you and I had already known each other for nine sweet months. And since that day, I continued to pretend that you were mine. I fed you in the stillness of the night and played with you all day long. You gave me your first smiles and perched on my hip and held your arms out to me when you cried. You were my baby.

But the truth is that you were never mine. You never belonged to me. You have always been God’s child. As I watch you grow, in my heart, I will continue to give you away… to your dad, to your friends, to your college, to your husband. And each departure will be clothed in sweet humility as I remember, once again, that you were never mine. You belong to the Lord. Each time you embark on a new journey that takes you a bit further away from me, I will joyfully thank the Lord for lending you to me for a time. You are a gift, my child. My cup overflows.

Love always,
Mama


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...
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