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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Choose Joy

Choosing Joy
Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently than the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.

What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.

Blessed again as I read this and had to share...It really hit me about how I have been responding to recent circumstances when in the midst of them there is such reason and cause for JOY. My name means "source of Joy" and it is such a centering question to ask, "Am I who God has created me to be...given this name to live into it for His glory?"

Hoping and praying that you choose JOY as you gaze upon the One who "for the JOY set before him, endured the cross..."

Photos and an update on our adorable 17 month old (can't believe it!!!) coming very soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A couple of pictures from the weekend...FASTBREAK 09

Thank you Courtney, so much, for taking these pictures...
Since Daddy was busy, I took JJ down to the waves because he was very excited about them! He kept saying "Da Da" (for "that") and making this motion with his hands like he wanted the waves to come to him, but when I put him down to touch the water, curled his little feeties up so as not to touch a drop:) Finally, after being tired of holding him, I put him on my shoulders and he thought that that was so cool as that's usually Daddy's thing. Here, he is leaning around and having fun looking at my face.
Courtney and her friends thought it would be so cute to get JJ's footprints...he wasn't so sure, what do you think?
We think he's getting some more chub back in his face, what do you think?

All in all, it was an amazing weekend...250 or so high school students were challenged to live for God with all of their lives and see their schools be reached through them! Testimony after testimony spoke to my heart and brought encouragement to my soul as I saw a generation wanting to stand up and be counted..."It's Time" I can still hear their hearts say and I pray that they will find great courage to be lights amidst the vast darkness that surrounds...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Still, Small Voice of Love

Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, "Prove that you are a good person." Another voice says, "You'd better be ashamed of yourself." There also is a voice that says, "Nobody really cares about you," and one that says, "Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful." But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, "You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you." That's the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen.That's what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us "my Beloved." http://www,

Are you hearing the still, small voice, friends? For me, everything else is a wash and flurry of life but not in the right direction if I don't hear the voice that calls me "beloved" affects everything, is my center and anchors me in my identity in Christ and allows me to live His beauty no matter what comes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trips Down Memory Lane...(goes with following post)

Here he is in the same outfit that little JJ is wearing in the post below. I told my friend, Anita, that our JJ had filled it out more than he is...chunka, chunka!!
Ok, so here he is in that same bouncy seat that he's in in the post below. Oh my goodness, remember those cheeks! Sooo cute!!!

Growing Up

Each of these scenes makes me think of how much our son has grown up! On the left, he wanted to get back in the bouncy seat, clearly too big for it, and I think he remembers going in there as a little chubby baby. The middle ones are of him with the football and toddling all around, there will be a video of him throwing it (hopefully soon!), and the ones on the right are with him and the little JJ wearing an outfit that JJ wore! (I am going to try to find "trips down memory lane" photos to go with this post)
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Peas Please!!!

Another great discovery post-Christmas, was that JJ LOVES PEAS! He things that they are the sweetest little balls fo pick up and eat...he'll even pass over puffs (can you believe it Mom??) to eat peas. I hope he keeps this up, because I was worried that he didn't really like veggies (not veggie tales, see next post!) except in baby food form...maybe this goes along with liking Veggie Tales?? liking peas/veggies??
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It's time for...

VEGGIE TALES!!!! Ok, so after ONLY wanting to watch Baby Einstein videos for a very long time, and BEING AFRAID of Veggie Tales the last time I tried to have him watch them, he's suddenly started to LOVE THEM! Mostly, he loves the theme song and would want me to replay that 100 times in a row! But, for my sanity I can only do 5 or so...While I am thankful he likes other than Baby Einstein dvd's, I just don't know how many times one can hear the theme song without going crazy!
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The trip home

This is a little out of order, but I thought you all would still like to see some of these. There is a picture of JJ with a beach hat of mine in the bottom center...The left side is our precious one wearing his froggy mask, and as you can see watching Baby Einstein...we were "slightly" tired of Baby Einsteins by the end of the trip...And top center and right side, as you can see, is the back of our van, aka JJ's play area on our trip and you already know, but he LOVES his Daddy! His nuzzling his head up to Jared's chin is his "snuggles" or kisses, it was started with PopPop A and we make a noise as we bob our chin up and is so sweet...
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Please pray for our niece, Marie

On her four-month birthday, she had to be admitted to the hospital because of developing pnuemonia. Please pray for the antibiotics to work quickly and effectively, that she can return home soon and fully recover!

Pray for Jared's brother, Jason, and his wife Maribel as they care for their tw0 year-old son James and Marie and as they weather this storm.

Pray for God's peace and a spirit of trust for everyone who loves little baby Marie.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trust the Catcher

Trust is the basis of life. Without trust, no human being can live. Trapeze artists offer a beautiful image of this. Flyers have to trust their catchers. They can do the most spectacular doubles, triples, or quadruples, but what finally makes their performance spectacular are the catchers who are there for them at the right time in the right place.Much of our lives is flying. It is wonderful to fly in the air free as a bird, but when God isn't there to catch us, all our flying comes to nothing. Let's trust in the Great Catcher.

I've said this so often: "there is no life without trust" and was so thankful to be reminded of that as I read this this evening...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Found something interesting...

All of the pics I have posted on the blog (just the first 500) are on my Picasa Web Albums here...thought it might be a fun glance through our, we are blessed!

These days...

It's been quite the week settling back into life here in Orlando. We loved our visit with family, BUT have been so happy to come "home" (it's strange how it already feels like this after 5?? months). It's probably because it's our home...the place where we've solidified ourselves as a family in many ways. The place we enjoy sharing with others with touches of who we are placed all about...the intangibles of warmth from the heart that will exist wherever God calls us.

It's been a rough week for us with me battling a bad head cold and Jared's work intensifying as he is organizing the Outreach element of our Fastbreak conference which will be held during MLK weekend. And our sweet son getting into all sorts of mischief with his increasing independence, curiousity, and spunk (from his mom, so they say;o), even while continuing to battle his breathing issues, and a DOUBLE EAR INFECTION (we discovered today, thankfully EARLY amidst a follow-up for his breathing). KIDS ARE SO RESILIENT! I wish I was half as much of a "trooper" as he is! I would be miserable with all of the things he has had to deal with recently, but not him! He is a JOY! Praise God...being a parent is such a marvel, a humbling marvelous, wouldn't-trade-for-anything journey.

Pictures coming soon dear faithful readers:)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Living the Moment to the Fullest

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Living the Moment to the Fullest

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.

This really hit me as I read it late this evening, feeling like I am so not there right now and one of my deepest struggles/weaknesses is a lack of patience. I miss so much because of it!

p.s. I haven't been able to blog due to extreme craziness while in PA and getting sick with a bad head cold! (at least it's NOT the stomach bug!)