Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumn

I've said it before, and this year has been no different:




I love Autumn.

Especially October Autumn.

The perfect blue of the sky.


The crisp smell and feel of the air.



The sound of rustling leaves.




Sweet taste of apple cider and everything pumpkin.


It gets me in all 5 senses and I LOVE IT.

Since I don't follow the Halloween crowd, there is no holiday to get all up in a frenzy about.  Kinda the last month before that all begins. 

Just beautiful, pure, fall.

One of my most anticipated, and favorite projects in our new house was this chalkboard wall.  This month I've decked it out in all the words that describe our favorite parts of fall.


Can you guess who's is who's?

Print from Lindsey's Letters



And our maple tree has been putting on quite a show, so I had to bring a bit of it inside.




Seriously, if there was a part of the world that had this year round?  May need to consider moving there.

Sigh.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Persecution: on which I am not an expert

I have been hesitant on what to write for this month's Romans 12 study.


You see, Romans 12:14 was up.

Bless those who persecute you.  Pray for them, do not curse them.

It's not because it isn't a great verse, because it really is.

No, I just don't feel like I am an expert on the subject.

Middle class American.  Hardly been off U.S. soil.

Certainly have not felt the pain of persecution.

Who am I to tell you about praying for those that persecute you like it's no big deal?

No, I just am afraid anything I will say will belittle the true pain, suffering, perseverance that is going on right now.

My fellow brothers and sisters, beat, jailed, ridiculed, killed.  All because they love Jesus. 

It's hard for me to wrap my mind around since I have had no experience in it.  I can have conversations in open public, can freely go to church, drive with a fish emblem on my back bumper.

Without a second thought of any repercussion from it.

But truly, if we are One Body, shouldn't our brother's and sister's enemies, be OUR enemies?

When we pray for our family that is in the trenches of a persecuted church, do you pray for their enemies as well as them?

It can be a hard pill to swallow.

But despite the headlines, the poverty, the war, the executions of children, God is still moving.

He said He would never leave us.  And He always keeps his promises.

So when we pray for those who are facing persecution because of their faith in Jesus, pray also for those that hate them, who kill them.  You never know how the Spirit will move.

Apostle Paul was there once.  And look how he turned out.

Let's not let up, give up in our praying.  Because the fervent prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:17).

Because we may be sitting pretty now, but there is no guarantee that will stay.  

And if and when that happens I will be encouraged to know that someone across the world will be praying for me, and for the changing of the hearts of my persecutors.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sunday is Race Day!

We're getting packed up, eating up some carbs, heading out in the morning for Columbus!

There is still time to donate to our pages, all proceeds go to help the little ones (and their families) still fighting their battles at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Here's the links again:




This year we are both feeling fatigue like we haven't felt in years before.  Not sure why that is, but the one thing that keeps us going is knowing we aren't running this one for ourselves.  This race has turned into something more than that.

We are running in memory of Bryer, and his short, powerful life.

We are running in support of his parents, Justin and Carey, a testament of faith and courage in difficult times.

We are running for all those little legs that want to run and can't.

And we are running for all those little ones who have beat us to the finish line, who are already receiving their racing medal, hung around their neck by the King.

And that is the most important race of all.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I feel it needs said

There is a lot of fear floating out there today.  One just needs to scroll through a Facebook feed to find the fear that the Ebola outbreak is bringing to many.

 I don't want to downplay the seriousness of the situation, because it is a big, deadly deal.

But I also feel it is very easy to get caught up in it and let the fear reign in our hearts.

At least I know it can do it to me.

So, if not for anyone else, but for my own assurance, I turn to the Promise.

The Promise is not that we will never have pain, or even that we would be safe from deadly diseases.

The Promise is that if we call on the Name of One Who Saves, our souls will be delivered.  It may be a painful, awful journey, but if we claim Jesus as our Saviour, we have no need to fear what will happen in the end.

Psalm 91 sums it all up, so I will leave it at that:
 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

on Owen being 8


 Tonight I sit in this chair and cry.

I have this funny ache that I've had before, it comes and goes.

And tonight it is coming back again.

You see, I just downloaded this picture off my camera.

A picture that I took yesterday and didn't have a chance to look at until just now as it popped up on my computer screen:



This boy.

It happened so fast.

It wasn't too long ago that I was cuddling this:


And now here we are 8 years later.

For some reason 8 just seems like the cusp of something different.

Feels like we are taking a step away from little boy into big boy into young man.

I may be jumping the gun.  I know I (hopefully) still have a decade left of him being here at home.

But if the first 8 year went this fast, what will the remaining 10 be like?

Owen.  As your dad and I looked back over your newborn pictures tonight, we commented that we just want you to LOVE JESUS.

You're going to mess up.  That's not to get you down.  That's just reality.

But love Jesus.  Through the ups and downs, seek Him, and what He wants.

You are a son of the King.  You live in His Kingdom.  Seek to serve the King.

If we can't teach you anything else in the remaining 10 years that we have with you here under our roof, then I pray that the one thing you can walk away with confidence knowing is that Truth.

You are loved.  By us.  By God.  By your Savior.

You have been claimed.  Paid for.  Redeemed.

Now go walk in that Way and do not depart from it.

Happy 8th Birthday, Owen!  We love you and are so glad we have been given the privilege of raising you up as a son of the King.

Monday, October 6, 2014

September Lookback

Ah, September, you begin to whisper of the Autumn that is coming and I love it.  You toss in a few hot, humid days to throw me off, but I know that fall is right around the corner.

I love your routine, September.  School has started and we start to find our groove.

You give us a nice mix of sunrises and sunsets that are stop-and-stare worthy.

We are thankful for the ups and downs you brought us this month.  Every day can't be stellar, we know that.

Because if we didn't have those dreary days, we sure wouldn't appreciate those sunshiny days quite as much.

I stand a bit shell-shocked at how fast you went.  Here we are beginning our first full week of October! 

Perhaps because we filled you with lesson plans, a new teaching job, grading tests, baseball, races, campouts, and family-filled evenings.

And no doubt your friend October is going to come and go just as quick (well, he at least gives us one more day than you...)

At any rate, September, you were a good one.

Thanks.

Maddie's first day of preschool.  She was so ready.  Didn't even look back.


Steffen Campout.  Had to have been the hottest, most humid day of the whole year.  Thankful for air-conditioning and plenty of floor space to spread out the sleeping bags!



Owen and Hannah trying their hand out at some Little League Baseball 


Training for the race in October.  This one is for you, Largents!

Several chances to practice hospitality.

Having the cousins in for the weekend.  Love.


Thankful for the extra upstairs room for all the kids to crash in.

Seriously.  These boys and their dodgeball skills.

Rounding out the month with some running, dodgeballing, art-show going, bonfire making, birthday celebrating weekend!
Photo courtesy of Action Sports Images, LLC

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stache Dache, Dodgeball, and Campfires

This past weekend had been in the works for awhile.  Last year Paul and his two brothers and I ran the Fort 4 Fitness 10K race.  It turned into a great family weekend so we planned on doing it again this year.  Well, many things began to come together and pretty soon the weekend was filled with Little League, The 10K Stache Dache (or Fort 4 Fitness for everyone else), a Northern Indiana Dodgeball Tournament, a local Art Festival, campfire, and birthday celebrations.

All the Suvars converged on our domain Friday night, hanging out and relaxing, and shooting a few defenseless LEGO men as well.






Saturday morning before sun came up we headed downtown for our personally name Stache Dache.  The 3 Suvar boys grew mustaches and I threw on a wax one for a picture(thanks, Kat!) before the race.  Unfortunately, Ben is fighting some injuries so he had to sit this one out.  But the 'stache made its appearance anyway!


After the race we headed over to cheer on Sam, Paul, and his buddies as they competed in a dodgeball tournament.  Despite losing their very first game, they went on to win the rest and won the tournament!




 Iceman, Mr. T, Dr. Dray, The Boss, PS1, and The Other Suvar






 In the afternoon us girls escaped to enjoy a local art festival.  We wrapped up the evening with a campfire dinner and celebrations of Alayna turning 6 and Owen turning 8 (yikes!).







It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but fun none the less.

Can we do it again next year, please?