Random Schmattering

  • Seminary: My husband has been taking some seminary classes this semester. Oh man, all his required reading and papers and book reviews remind me that I do not miss school at all. Most interesting thing he’s shared with me from his newly learned knowledge? Paul (author of most of the New Testament) probably had a uni-brow.

“A man small in size, balk-headed, crooked thighs [note: bow-legged], well-built, with eyebrows meeting, rather long-nosed, full of grace.” (The Acts of Paul and Thecla)

  • Fruit snacks: My kids ADORE them and we don’t have them in Turkey, so while we’ve been in the US, I maybe sorta kinda have let them eat fruit snacks to their hearts’ content even though they contain absolutely no nutritional value. Go ahead, slap my wrists. We have been eating boxed macaroni and cheese too– gasp!
  • Jillian Michaels: I have a love-hate relationship with my trainer, Jillian. I love how I feel when I am done with one of her workouts, but in the middle of the traumatizing pretty intense circuits of exercise she creates, I just want to curl into a ball and find my happy place. Currently I’m alternating between “No More Trouble Zones” and “Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism”. Let’s hope they deliver those exact results to this flabby mommy body!
  • Valentine’s Day: Do you celebrate with your love? I kinda find the day overrated, since I want to be wooed all the time, not just 1 or 2 days out of the year. BUT the hopeless romantic trapped inside of me loves the excuse to go out to dinner sans kids, hold hands on the way to the restaurant like giddy teenagers, and I secretly hope my valentine remembers that I love chocolate, flowers and sparkly jewelry…

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Momfessions Favorites {Valentine Edition}

vday collage

secret love message necklace :: the vintage pearl

choose joy print :: echoesofmercy

red african paper beads necklace :: amazima ministries

jewels of the african seashore bracelet :: the sparrow fund

wooden BE sign  :: OldNewAgain

Can you tell I am (just a little bit) obsessed with jewelry and words and Etsy as of late?

Thankful

There is a pile of dirty dishes beside the sink.

I’m thankful we have bellies that are full every day.

The smell of a stinky diaper fills my nostrils (again).

I’m thankful for the cute, funny, amazing, snuggly little boy who makes big stinkies.

The gray clouds swell dropping their loads of rain.

I’m thankful for rain watering the thirsty earth, and rain jackets and umbrellas to keep out some of the wet.

My head pounds, aching from a seeming fifty pounds of extra snot this week.

I’m thankful for the medicine and nose spray readily available to treat my cold and help me sleep.

Little sticky hands (times three!) stretch out for me to wipe at least ten times each day.

I’m thankful for all the snacks and activities, and the accompanying smiles and memories, that cause the stickiness.

Toys and clothes and books are strewn about the floor signaling the end of another day.

I’m thankful for a house full of things– a blessing many are without.

The laundry forms a mountain taller than I’d care to admit.

I’m thankful our bodies are covered with clothes each day– protecting us, sheltering us, keeping us warm.

The forgotten-homework is quickly finished ten minutes before school and causing oodles of stress for mom and dad.

I’m thankful my children have the opportunity to learn and socialize each morning at a sweet little neighborhood school.

My neglected Bible gently beckons me from the corner of my room.

I’m thankful His mercies are new every morning, and His grace is not dependent on me.

The table is covered with crayons and pencils and half-colored creations of paper.

I’m thankful for creativity in little minds and hearts.

The sound of unkind words between siblings reaches my ears.

I’m thankful for quick reconciliations and the special bond between brothers and sisters.

My inbox registers a plethora of emails that need responses.

I’m thankful for communication with loved ones near and far away.

Spilled milk seeps across the just-mopped kitchen floor.

I’m thankful for little hands that want to help.

…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you…

1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Ransom is Paid!

I’ve had so many thoughts stirring in my head as Easter has approached this year. In light of our earthly adoption process, I’ve been thinking about my adoption by God.

Let’s be honest for a minute– international adoption is expensive. Like really, really expensive. No agency can tell you up front exactly how much you will pay during an international adoption. If adopting, you sign (many!) forms agreeing to the amount you will pay for each part of the adoption process, and saying you understand that there will be “extra expenses” and they are solely your responsibility. At my bare minimum projections we will spend over $20,000 when it’s all said and done and Lovebug is at home with our family.

That’s a crazy lot of money. It’s a great debt we will gladly pay to ransom our daughter from a life void of hope. Without paying this money, Lovebug would remain in her current state– family-less– indefinitely. We have to pay the debt required in order to be able to bring her home and call her ours.

At Easter, we remember a similar ransom that was paid a long time ago. You see, I was lost in sin and utter darkness. I was an enemy of God. I was an orphan in the world- without hope, without love. But Someone came and gave even more than $20,000 as a ransom for me. He gave His life.


As His blood– His pure, precious blood spilled down over rough wood and pooled at the foot of a Roman cross, my adoption fee was paid in full.

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Without payment, there is no adoption into God’s family. Without great cost, there is no salvation for the lost. Without the debt being erased, there is no redemption from the old life. Without Jesus, there is no hope for the future.

The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me 

Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You


By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end
(Jesus, Thank You by Pat Sczebel) 

He paid the price to redeem my soul and then He conquered death! He died to bring us life! That is the sobering, awesome, gruesome, blessed hope of Easter. Praise the Lord.

The very good very bad Day

It’s Good Friday. But it all started with Bad Friday.


Jesus knew it would be a bad day.


“Father, if you are willing, remove <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BK)”>this cup from me. <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BL)”>Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”  And there appeared to him <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BM)”>an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BN)”>being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.


He was mistreated and slandered.


The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(O)”>treated him with contempt and <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(P)”>mocked him.


He was completely innocent, but He was numbered among transgressors– hanging between two who deserved their punishment.


…he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors…Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(AP)”>And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(AQ)”>one on his right and one on his left. 


He struggled for breath for more than three hours as darkness covered the face of the earth. Creation watched, breathless, as Jesus breathed his last and surrendered His soul.


 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. Then Jesus, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BP)”>calling out with a loud voice, said,“Father, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BQ)”>into your hands I <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BR)”>commit my spirit!” And having said this <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BS)”>he breathed his last. 


But this was no ordinary death.


And behold, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BU)”>the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BV)”>the earth shook, and the rocks were split. When the centurion and those who were with him, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(CA)”>keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(CB)”>“Truly this was the Son of God!”


And He was buried in a cave-like tomb as some of His loved ones watched.


And Joseph bought <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BQ)”>a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BR)”>laid him in a tomb <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BS)”>that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(BT)”>a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus saw where he was laid.


But the story doesn’t end there…




{Quotations taken from the ESV version of the Bible from Luke 22, 23, Isaiah 53, Matthew 27, Mark 15}

Christmas Guy

Stinkbug says, “I’m the Christmas guy!”
I think he means Joseph or maybe a shepherd. Either way this kid is hilarious.
Every time he sees a nativity scene set up he calls it an “Away in a Manger”– Mommy, look they have an Away in a Manger! And then he gently starts moving the pieces around until they are all surrounding baby Jesus while singing Away in a Manger out loud to himself. 
And I’m treasuring all these things up and pondering them in my heart.