September 30, 2013

cowboys & indians celebration

sammy turned 3 a few weeks ago & we got to have a party the week after with some sweet friends & dear family. thank You Lord for this precious boy!

September 21, 2013

caring for ourselves is caring for our family

photo copy 17
as a wife, mommy & homemaker i'm quite exhausted, my needs are neglected & i often don't feel like doing much at the end of the day (as i'm sure most of you can attest)! i've NEVER been a morning person! i grew up with my mom & younger brother & sister having to come in a force me out of bed each morning. i enjoy sleep. & i enjoy being up later at night. especially now with mike in school. he's gone all day & our 3 little ones take all of my attention during the day. so at night i usually want to stay up late to watch a tv show (so i don't have to use my brain) & spend time with mike. for years we've been in the bad habit of staying up way too late to catch up on our favorite show. then 6:30/7am rolls around & our boys are rested & ready to be up... but mommy & daddy ARE NOT & that makes for some rough days. the Lord has really convicted me of this sin lately. i am being selfish with my time & not honoring Him when i waste my nights. sure, there should be some time for watching a favorite show or movie, but not every night! ugh. embarrassing. with mike's crazy school schedule we decided to change our routine. i HAVE to be in bed, falling asleep, no later than 10pm. so once the boys are in bed at 8 i have from 8-10 to clean up the house, spend some time with mike & READ! this is really the only time i have during my day to read. then i HAVE to be up by 6 to get time in the Word, work out, shower, breakfast prep & be ready to face the day with my kiddos. it's been good to have this new discipline, hard, but good. this week had been an adjustment for all 5 of us. we got so used to being home with each other every day & the boys have been quite cranky & i have been quite impatient because of all of the change. but i'm so grateful for the grace & forgiveness & patience of my Father. please please watch this video by desiring God!

September 16, 2013

caroline eloise. 6 years.

(acadia national park, me. july 2013)

yesterday it was 6 years since our caroline eloise went home to be with our Savior. here's our story... mike & i were married in november of 2006 & in december we discovered we were going to be parents! we were excited & terrified & i was quite sick! i didn't feel like i was ready to be a mom & i was being selfish about the whole thing. (i'm so thankful the Lord gives us 9 months before the baby comes.) my pregnancy was great & we had no reason for concern. our caroline came 10 days past her due date & we were so ready to hold our girl! we were ready to be parents & see her grow. on september 15th i woke up with contractions & i labored for 10 hours. our midwife said it was a "textbook labor & delivery". our sweet girl's heart rate was perfect & strong through the whole 10 hours. i pushed for 2 hours & she was born. they picked her up & quickly realized she was not ok. her heart rate was down to 50 & then she was gone. they tried to resuscitate her, but she never took a breath. all she knew was the warmth & comfort of my womb. & in a second she went from being pushed out of that safety into her Creator's arms! He knows her better than we ever will! He made every part of her little body so well & i felt it growing in me. for 9 months i knew her. she kicked & flipped & we adored every move! daddy read to her every night. he would hold a little speaker to my belly & read her a story, talk to her & then pray for her. what a grace from God! that night was the hardest night of our lives. we felt the deepest sorrow & sadness we've ever known, our arms were empty & we ached to hold our caroline. we would wake up in the middle of the night & remember our reality & cry together till our eyes & voices hurt. we held each other tight & it was good to cling to the Lord together. He brought us together in a way we hadn't known & probably wouldn't have known were it not for this trial. we understood the fellowship of the body of Christ in a way that amazed us. what a rich blessing to have friends gather around us & stand with us in our grief. He is good to us! we are not meant to be alone in our loss & hurt & fear & mourning. we are not alone. we miss our girl & we will miss her until we see her in heaven where she will be worshipping the One who formed her & perfectly called her home. His plan is without fault. & though we've questioned & we are sad, we know He is good & He has good for us! we love talking about our girl & the hope we have in Christ... please don't hesitate to ask questions or send people our way who have also experienced loss. all for His glory alone. goodness, how would we make it through this apart from Him? read more about caroline here.

September 13, 2013

happily for us

(bar harbor, me. july 2013)

"Happily for us our happiness does not depend upon our understanding the providence of God: we are able to believe where we are not able to explain, and we are content to leave a thousand mysteries unsolved rather than tolerate a single doubt as to the wisdom and goodness of our heavenly Father. 
Is it not good for us to be nonplussed, and puzzled, and so forced to exercise faith? Would it be well for us to have all things so ordered that we ourselves could see the reason for every dispensation? 
Could the scheme of divine love be indeed supremely, infinitely, wise if we could measure it with our short line of reason? 
Ah, it is well to be cast out of our depth, and made to swim in the sweet waters of mighty love! We know that it is supremely blessed to be compelled to cease from self, to surrender both wish and judgment, and to lie passive in the hands of God." Charles Spurgeon 


September 12, 2013

3 years old

(roanoke, va. july 2013)

our sammy boy turned 3 two days ago. what a bittersweet thing... to raise our little ones & to see them growing & changing & learning, but how sad!!! i want him to be little forever! this little boy is a joy to our family! he's the cuddliest kid i've ever known! the way he talks is irresistible! & goodness he's feisty & stubborn. ;) oh may the Father draw sammy liam to Himself & be honored in & through his life always. may sammy be changed by our Lord's good gospel! this little one is a sinner & utterly depraved. there is nothing good in him. he desperately needs a Savior who paid the penalty for his sins! make it real to him, Lord & use his life to make it real to so many others!

September 6, 2013


(roanoke, va . july 2013)

someone recently pointed out to us that our boys were getting a long better. they weren't fighting as much & they were playing together really well. it's really good to have outside perspective on your life & you're current situation. whatever season we're in it can feel like it's "THE WORST THING EVER". it can feel like it's the craziest you're life has ever been & it will obviously always be like that. ;) but we thought about it... thought about where our boys were a few months ago & where they are now... & we rejoice in our Father's good good work! our boys are growing & maturing & we are seeing the fruit of our labor. praise the Lord for His grace. even in our own lives it is good to look at what He's brought us out of, the sin He's removed from our hearts & the continued work of His sanctification in us. i'm so thankful He doesn't leave us the way we are! 

*Sarah, you're the winner of the mon voir giveaway! leave me your email address below so i can get you the details! thanks to everyone who entered!*

September 3, 2013

His work

(roanoke, va. july 2013)

this task (these 3 sweet faces) is daunting! i feel the weight of the role i play in their lives daily & hour by hour. i'm often failing & when i fail i feel like i've failed them, like i'm going to "ruin" them because of my sin against them & against the Lord. but i was reminded again by a dear friend... 
"God is the One discipling our kids and we are just His tool." 
amen! He's using us! wow! what an amazing honor & calling. what a relief too. He is using us, but we are not in control! He is! He is teaching their souls through our sins & failings & through our strengths & love for them. He will make all things work together for their good, even their mommy's silliness & selfishness. He will teach them about the gospel through my sin & repentance. He is so good & it's good to see HIS work in them, not our work. His is so much better!
thank You for Your great grace, Lord!
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