Friday, December 24, 2010

merry Christmas

here is a beautiful recording of my favorite Christmas hymn...for a more folksy version my brother and his wife did go here and play the third audio file.

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

may you know that Savior and your deepest longings be fulfilled in Him and nowhere else. blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

calling and talent

If calling were a function of talent, pure and simple, then your mother missed the boat because her piano, math, and business aptitudes were totally underutilized in her role as your potty trainer and short-order cook...what is this strange divine economics of His?...But what the Lord is teaching me these days is not to look for his Leading with a capital "L," but with a small "l." His will unfolds in our pinpoint obedience to his minutest redirections of course on an ordinary Wednesday, that sets us up for Thursday--"phone your Mom"; "don't tell that joke"; "Write to bubba." As Robert Frost said, "Way leads on to way." Andree Seu

for more of her writing, go here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas story

The Christmas Story from St Paul's on Vimeo.

i just love this (and the kids do too). thanks figgs for the link.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a little brotherly love

the kind that requires a LOT of supervision, but is oh so sweet

Friday, December 17, 2010

2 months

well i missed miles' month day on the 15th...trying to figure out how to read my Bible, shower, and exercise regularly so the blogging (and lots of other stuff too) must take a back-burner for a while. however, in this moment i want to note the little guy's stats:

ht-23 inches, 75th percentile
wt-10lbs 8oz, 25th percentile (yes, he is a string bean, long and lean)
head circumference in the 75th percentile, lagging behind marit and graham's 95-100th percentile noggins
miles smiles bunches and is our most laid back baby so far. that is God's grace. he sleeps at night from 10ish to somewhere between 4 and 7. he loves to snuggle and he has been such a sweet blessing to us!

here is marit at about the same age. when i see this picture i think round, bald, fair.

graham at 2 months and i think HUGE brown eyes...those chocolate eyes that still melt me.

i guess miles really has his own look.

Monday, December 13, 2010


some thoughts that have been challenging my heart even as i seek to make myself "poor" on behalf of my little ones.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
2Corinthians 8:9

For the Son of God to empty himself and become poor meant a laying aside of glory; a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill-treatment, malice, and misunderstanding; finally, a death that involved such agony--spiritual, even more than physical---that his mind nearly broke under the prospect of it. It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely men, who "through his poverty, might become rich." This Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity---hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory---because at the Father's will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear... we talk glibly of the "Christmas spirit"...the phrase should in fact carry a tremendous weight of meaning. It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all year round...The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor---spending and being spent---to enrich their fellow men, giving time, trouble, care, and concern, to do good to others---and not just their own friends--in whatever way there seems need. J.I. Packer

come to earth to taste our sadness, he whose glories knew no end; by his life he brings us gladness, our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend. Leaving riches without number, born within a cattle stall; this the everlasting wonder, Christ was born the Lord of all. charles wesley

when you consider the joy of the Father and the Son in their sacrifice, there is nothing to which he calls you that can be considered a real sacrifice. It is just a grateful response to his grace.(paraphrased as i was trying to write it down so fast) george robertson

Sunday, December 12, 2010

6 years in christmas pictures

we almost didn't send out Christmas cards/pictures this year in the name of simplicity, but we finally decided that since we so enjoy receiving them that we would send them out and let it double as a birth announcement. we haven't finished delivering/mailing them yet (had to order more), but i was looking back at all our old ones and it makes me smile to think of God's faithfulness to our family...we have changed so much each year. we are thankful for His grace.
we were married in 2004, but i don't think we sent one that year...can't remember..

2005 at Looking Glass Rock

2006 adam had just shaved his mountain man beard and i had cut 10 inches of hair. we were less hippie for a change.

2007 at a neighborhood fall festival as first-time parents...oh my how much we have learned because of marit!

2008 this doubled as a birth announcement for graham. we were oh so tired and this was also the year i foolishly decided to hand make the card part...never again!

2009 we were in hiawassee on a much needed vacation in the middle of adam's intern year

this year we are a bit of a happy mess...graham barefoot and squealing in delight, marit in her hand-me-down galoshes on a sunny day, i'm wearing my super great boots my parents and sibs gave for my birthday. thanks guys! we are in our front yard in our dear neighborhood...before the cold killed all the flowers.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

i think he is looking a little like marit now

showing some sweeeet personality

the bear suit has emerged!

i have a lot of thoughts lately as i spend most of my waking hours caring for my precious little charges. however, i can't seem to gather my thoughts enough to actually start and finish a post on here. the result is one somewhat rambling post. no apologies...that is just my life right now...a lot of chaos (in a good way if that's possible). so i've been thinking...what is the purpose of this space? as we are all naturally self-centered creatures, blogging has the tendency to become a little narcissistic. i know that, but at the same time it is me updating this thing (albeit only occasionally) so i can hardly keep from speaking in the first person. a lot of times i just blog about my kids because i want to notice things. i want to see God's faithfulness in each of their little skills, smiles, cutisms, struggles. otherwise, it all seems to fly by so rapidly. that is one purpose of this slow down and notice. i don't consider myself to be a great writer or anything and i don't feel like i have any super great advice to give my tiny readership, but i do have Jesus. i hope the Gospel and its effect on our lives is evident as we seek to faithfully walk through each day. so that is another share our lives in such a way that Jesus be glorified. i fail at this often, but it is the goal of our lives. part of Jesus being glorified in our lives is to live in community with others and to love others..."that the world may know" who belongs to Him. so my brother and sis-in-law are in india and other dear friends are in costa rica. another purpose of it is to keep our dear ones who are not geographically close a little nearer by sharing bits of our lives. so there you have it: a rehearsal to myself mostly on what i'm doing on here. i need those reminders about who in the world am i and what in the world am i doing.

we are celebrating the advent season with more structure this year and it has been such a joy to see marit and graham "get it" a little. they look forward to our readings, ornament coloring, and the candy in the advent calendar! and i have been reading this great book this year and it has really served to give me a quiet anticipation, a season of pondering.

that is what we pray the kids enjoy about this season too...we are in a very financially lean state at the moment as we just added another little person to the household so gifts are just a small part of how we are celebrating this year (i don't expect that will change even if we are more financially secure one day). i'm thankful for that. also, i have been able to go very few places without everyone completely falling apart. we went to get diapers and dogfood from target the other day and i was definitely that mom with the screaming child(ren) at the check-out...partly because the trip had just taken too long, partly because i accidentally bumped marit in the head with a sack of groceries, partly because there just wasn't enough room in the cart for marit and graham and random groceries, box of diapers etc, and partly because we (even my sweet pumpkin-heads) are just selfish and sinful. that experience made me grateful that i don't have a bunch of Christmas shopping to do this year. gift-giving is fun and can be beautiful, but even more beautiful is the heart that is softened and joyful because of its reflection on the incarnation as God put on skin and "felt our human woe... and dost our weakness know." its been a quiet season for us and we are thankful. we want Emmanuel to dwell with us though we are undeserving...

"'tis all I ask. your emptiness. your nothingness, your want of feeling, your want of goodness, your want of grace---all these will be but room for him. have you room for him?" -spurgeon

it has also been least for wimpy southerners like us. when we bundle, it is in lots of layers. we have been inside a lot lately because of the cold, miles' frequent nursing schedule, and the painful mastitis i have had twice in the last week and a half (let me tell you, it makes a committed breast-feeding mom want to quit...ouch!). we went on a walk today though and it was lovely.

graham loves this girly hat of mine because it has "balls" on it

winterized ballerina outfit for our drafty old house

Monday, December 6, 2010

one of each


needs a haircut

dancing to handel's hallelujah! it is her favorite song right now.

Christmas dog

just before our parish progressive dinner this weekend

Saturday, November 27, 2010

fewer and farther between

are these moments with each addition to our family

so thankful my sweet husband enabled this nap today!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a little thanks

i love to write thank you notes. it's a good thing too as i have quite a list i'm working through...acknowledging the dear people who have made sacrifices for our family. we have been overwhelmed with meals and kindnesses from neighbors and our church body since miles was incredible blessing. i've been cooking a little again lately and i'm so thankful for that too.
look who started smiling yesterday!

working hard to make him smile...

i turned 28 last week as well and felt so cared for by my sweet family and friends...undeserved thoughtfulness... from a latte on the doorstep to a spontaneous visit with encouraging conversation and bathroom cleaning. thank you kelly!

lap full of blessing

we dropped (and broke) our new camera, but we brought out our old flashless one so we can capture a few of the abundant graces we experience every day.
miles took his first run yesterday, we are so thankful to borrow that triple jogger...i think it will help my sanity. marit has been asking to go running since i had to quit at 20ish weeks pregnant. the weather has been incredible and our little circus had so much fun in it yesterday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

when she grows up

marit loves her bike (it was a hand-me-down birthday gift). thanks jen and mary rushton! as you can see, her little legs are not strong enough to propel herself without a little help from daddy and a rope. however, lately she has been saying such cute things about growing up:
"mommy, i think i'm old enough to get married now"
"oh yeah? who are you going to marry?"

on a recent daddy date:
"marit, what do you want to do when you grow up?"
"oh, i want to drink coffee and hold kittens!"

she definitely knows how to enjoy herself!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

another plug

my wonderful brother and his wife (above with my grandma right before they left) are in india for a bit, but before they left they recorded some beautiful music they arranged over the course of their time in church-music ministry. the album is finally ready for downloading/streaming/ordering. the album is mostly reworked hymns and will leave you encouraged for sure!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

new old hymns

as a sleep-deprived mommy of a newborn and two busy toddlers, my time in God's word has been somewhat unpredictable. marit sometimes naps, but it is a rarity and we have been rising early for some reason or another. i am always so thankful for uninterrupted devotional time and personal study of the Bible is irreplaceable, but when i am in the midst of an exhausting day and feeling so weak and spiritually frail, i have been reminded of the importance of singing my remember who i am in Christ, to speak truth to my heart, to allow Jesus to change me with the Gospel. we heard this sermon by kevin twit (10/31) on the reformative power of worship recently and it was so encouraging and convicting. i love, love to of my favorite things to do, but even if it isn't one of your favorite hobbies, we are all called to sing our faith.

all that to say that the hymns, old and new are an incredible wellspring of rich truth, theological principles, real redemptive suffering. i love indelible grace, red mountain, but it has been so long since i bought anything on itunes that i forgot how to do it. yesterday i downloaded sandra mccracken's new album in feast or fallow and let me tell you, it is GOOD. you can listen to all the songs and read a little about each one on the website. the album is a mixture of old hymns with new melodies and new hymns she wrote. it spans a broad range of experience, from simple thanksgiving, to grappling with suffering. here is an acoustic version of the title track.

footed sleeper love

hardly anything cuter, in my opinion, than little people in their pjs...

we've been trying to keep the munchkins a little warmer at night because they sometimes wake up cold. they are such active sleepers that they usually don't stay under the covers.

what color do you think his eyes will be?

here miles is contemplating the fact that he is about to sleep for 7 hours in a row! you may never have met a more thankful mama for that simple gift of grace that one night of sleep is! it is certainly not a pattern yet, but i am thankful nonetheless.