Monday, April 27, 2015

For our Hannah, the 7 year old.

Oy, yes, it's a few days late.

Please don't hold that against me.

You were lucky enough to have family stay the weekend with us over your birthday and that led to no Internet time which led to no birthday post.

It has nothing to do with you being the middle child, although I am sure later in life you will think that it does.

Hannah, you longed for the day you turned 7.  Just like all those birthdays before.

3+3+1=7.  Hey, we didn't have any other candles...

And now here you are.  The lucky number 7.  For some reason, when I was your age, I wanted to stay 7 forever.  I would even cry sometimes at the thought of growing up. 

I'm no longer 7 (obviously) but now you are. 

It's clear by the high-water jeans that used to once pool around your shoes that you are growing.

It's obvious in your reading and math skills that you are learning.

And it shows in your actions that you are maturing.

As has become the norm, you are our artist.  You love to create.  And you are at your best when you do.

Writing books using scraps of paper and string, making toy boats out of cardboard, turning pillows into forts.  It's in the business of generating something new out of old that you thrive.

I pray that as you grow that it will become clear to you how that gift can be crafted for God.  How your ability to see the possibilities where no one else does can bring glory to His name.

I pray that your heart for the lonely and hurting continues to focus on bringing His light to those who have yet to find it.

I pray that you find your hope and security in the only One who can truly give it.

Happy 7th year, Hannah. 

We love you.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April's Lifesong Mission Moment

15-4 MM email

"Slowly [the boys] are beginning to realize they're getting the best...and to also give the best out of their lives."
--John & Mwila, houseparents at Zambia's Student Life Homes

Since January, three Student Life Homes in Zambia are providing a safe environment for 39 students in the freshman class. This move gives them a place where they can thrive in a healthy, family environment away from the temptations and negative influences found in the compound where they were raised. 

As expected, it's been a bit of an adjustment for the 11 boys in John & Mwila's home. Learning to function as a family with roles, rules, and certain expectations has taken some time to get used to for a group of boys who are accustomed to living on their own, answering only to themselves. 

As you heard in their testimony, John & Mwila have not only met hardships along the way, but have experienced great joy of slowly transformed lives of boys like Bernard. Rejoice in God's goodness and work in this home as Zambia's future leaders are being raised today...

Will you join us in praying for John, Mwila, and the 11 boys in their home? Pray for God's Spirit to be among them. Thank God for the growth they have seen in the past few months. Ask God to give John & Mwila wisdom and discernment to parent each of the boys for His glory.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015


Friday was about forgiveness.

Sunday is about the defeat of Death.

The grave could not hold Christ.

And now, because of His resurrection, the grave no longer has a hold on us as well.

Lord I'm crooked from head to toe
Got dirty hands and a dirty soul
I was lost but now I'm found
Ain't no grave gonna hold me down
Ain't no grave gonna hold me down

Friday, April 3, 2015

What is so Good about Friday?

As we are coming to the close of the Friday before Easter, we reflect on what happened those many, many years ago.

High noon came and it went.


A ripped temple veil.


What's so Good about Friday?

The war was over.  But Satan thought he had won.

But, praise the Lord, Sunday is coming!

Songs minister to me, as they do to so many others.  This is the one that has been running through my head today.

So long, you wages of sin go on,
Don't you come back again
I've been raised and redeemed;
You've lost all your sting
To the victor of the battle at
High noon in the valley
In the valley of the shadow

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Lookback

 "Mom and Dad Snowboarding"  by Hannah

That bridge between Winter and Spring.  We don't expect warm weather right at the start, but we sure hope it has something for us by the end.

Thankfully, March delivered here this year.  The final day of March gave us temps in the 50's!  Although, I had my doubts when it decided to send snow just days after it was officially Spring.

With the weather still frigid, we spent most of it indoors.  Dance parties, hide and seek, Lego creations, and drawing were our weapons of choice to whittle away the remaining cold days.

March Madness showed up, much to Paul's delight, and gave us a reprieve with endless games of basketball.

Balancing an egg on the Spring Equinox

 Paul went to a Dad's Night at Maddie's preschool.  This was the front cover of the book she made.

 I love this chalkboard wall.  And I love changing it up every month.

 Snow on March 23rd.  Not unheard of.  But certainly not welcome.  But what my mom always says "Snow in March doesn't stick around" And it didn't.

 With the time change, the sun now comes in at a different time in the morning.  Sometimes we are home to catch it!

 Dance Party!

And sometimes Owen joins in with the guitar

We rounded out the month with a much anticipated trip to Pokagon State Park.  Swimming, hiking, swimming, and let's see....swimming, were most of what went down at the Lodge.

 Hiking up the Toboggan Hill at Pokagon.

So very thankful for this time, this age, of our kids.  They still want to be with us, and still see the world with wide-eyed wonder.

I don't always do it right, but I try to remember and hold onto those moments, and try not to ruin them with wanting things in my time and my way.  (kinda what I am trying to teach out kids! yeesh!)

Thankful to have made it through this Winter.  Thankful to see the tulips start to push through the earth.  As thankful for the sunshine as I am.