Friday Foto

Rockin’ with Grammy and Pops.

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10 Months

Happy 10 months to the sweetest baby I know.

Wow! My little baby boy is almost a year old- not so baby anymore! Only two more months until the 1-2, I can’t believe it! I know I have not been consistent with these updates, but I found time this month so I figured why not. I have the other months typed out, I just need to get them together and publish them. Anyway, here are the highlights to Jairus 10th month of life:

He has two more teeth!

He started this little guttural sound that he makes when he sees something new or gets excited about something. It is pretty funny.

Along with the guttural sound he started making farting sounds. As if the farting sounds weren’t gross enough, he produces an incredible amount of spit while making them- so much in fact that it drips in large quantities from his chin. And one sound is not enough. These noises will go on for 5 minutes.

Just the other day at Juniper Spring State Park, Jairus went in a canoe for the first time. This also marks the month that he saw a natural spring for the first time.

As many already know from my exclamatory statement on facebook, Jairus started crawling this month! At first he was not too sure, but finally he got more comfortable and now he is moving right along.

Jairus has incredible balancing skills. He balances for minutes at a time, and even has fun playing a little game where he balances and then throws himself forward. He thinks falling is fun as long as someone catches him.

His extreme balancing skills lead him to TAKE HIS FIRST STEP!! That is right, folks! One little itty bitty step, but he did it- 3 different times. That little booger will be walking in no time.

Even though Jairus can crawl he still enjoys walking around while holding onto anything that will support him. He started moving chairs around the house and opening and closing cabinets. His FAVORITE thing is the dishwasher. He loves to come and help mama do the dishes. The only problem is that he would rather take the dishes OUT than put them in; fine when I am taking out clean dishes, not so helpful when I am putting in dirty dishes. He takes the silverware out of the little container and drops it to the ground. So cute and such a little helper. He also likes the fridge but for the same reason that a moth likes a lightbulb- the light.

Jairus also attended his first Pat Parelli clinic. Most of you probably don’t know or care what that is, but for those who do, you know what a monumental, life changing, character shaping moment that was.

His words are becoming more clear and he seems to be mimicking. My mom says that his first word was Pat Parelli…it might be true.

His is still so smiley.

The kid loves the bath, I mean LOVES the bath. He loves the water coming from the faucet and loves splashing around water everywhere. It is so cute. He even loves when I pour water on his head- I can’t wait to take him to a waterfall and see how he likes that.

We are moving again! Back to Pensacola this time- so another road trip is in his future.

Called To Be Mothers

Called to be Mothers

By Elisabeth Elliot

“You mean that’s all you do?”

That’s all? As a mother, your life is given to taking care of people–small ones, to begin with, whose wants never seem to cease. Sometimes when your days seem to be wholly taken up with wiping things–dishes and sinks, little runny noses and big slow tears–you wonder about what “fulfillment” is supposed to mean for you. You wonder about being (besides the perfect wife and mother) the hostess-with-the-mostest, creative, intellectually productive, beautiful… and slowly your dreams seem to evaporate.

You’ve been listening to what they’re telling us nowadays about how important it is to find yourself, express yourself and assert yourself. Maybe you’re thinking that you’re nothing more than somebody’s wife and somebody else’s mother. And what kind of life is that?

There is a tribe in the Southern Sudan called “Nuers” where a woman’s name is changed not when she becomes a wife, but when she becomes a mother. She is “ManPuk”–“Mother of Puka.” Among the Nuers, being someone’s mother is what makes a woman’s life meaningful. Two thousand years ago there was another young woman, of the Jewish tribe of Judah, who understood that truth. The world has never forgotten her–Mary, the mother of Jesus–because she was willing to be known as, simply, Someone’s mother.

Motherhood is a calling. It is a womanly calling… and let’s not be cowed by those who extinguish the light and joy of sexuality by trying to persuade us to forget words like manly and womanly. At the beginning of time when God made the first man and the first woman in His image He put both under the divine command to be fruitful. The woman’s obedience to that command meant self-giving. First she gave herself to her husband–he initiated, she responded–then she gave herself for the life of her child.

A woman knows, in the deepest regions of her being, that it is this very self-giving for which she was made. Single or married, her level of maturity is measured by how much she gives to others. If she’s married, she gives herself to her husband and she receives. If she’s a mother, she loses her life in her child and–mysteriously–she finds it.

A woman knows that no one can really say where the giving ends and the receiving starts. It is no wonder we are confused when urged to look for some “better” or “higher” vocation in which to “prove our personhood.” No wonder we are distressed to be subjected to male standards, or told that the notions of femininity and masculinity are obsolete.

Old fashioned notions they are indeed, but they weren’t our own to begin with. They were God’s. He planned the whole system, and it’s God Himself who calls. He calls some to be single, some married people to be childless, but He calls most women to be mothers. There are, the Bible tells us, “differences of gifts,” and they’re all given to us according to God’s grace. None of the gifts of my own life–not my “career” or my work or any other gift–is higher or more precious to me than that of being someone’s mother.

If our calling is to be mothers, let’s be mothers with all our hearts–gladly, simply, and humbly–like that little peasant girl Mary who spoke for all women for all time when she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word” (Luke 1:38).

Swing Swing Swing

A few weeks ago we took Jairus to the park for his first swinging experience. At first he didn’t really know what to think, but after a few pushes, he was all laughs. I managed to snap a few picture of the monumental moment.

Raising An Olive Tree

I know it has been a while since a real post, but I wanted to share this. It has been in draft for a while now so I finally took the time to finish it. So thankful for the re-teaching of this lesson today.

I recently completed a study in Psalms that focused on the Psalms of Ascent, Psalms 120-134. These pilgriming Psalms are latent with allusions to family life in Israel and the joys and hardships that accompany a nomadic people. Psalm 128 caught my attention as it talked about the benefits of the man who “fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.” This Psalm speaks of how the righteous man’s walk with the Lord will directly effect his family.

The Psalm reads:
How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
Your wife shall be a fruitful vine, within your house,
Your children like olive plants around your table.
Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion, and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Indeed, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel.

In keeping with our study on this Psalm I decided to research the significance of the olive tree. I figured it must be a good thing for your children to be olive trees, but the simile was lost to me. Why an olive tree? I’ve heard about the mighty oak, but never the mighty olive tree. In fact, these trees are pretty puny looking if you ask me, never growing quite as tall as the others and not nearly as ravishing.

I found this simile in other passages as well; Psalm 52:8 records the voice of a man who praises, “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving-kindness of God forever and ever.” Hosea 14:6 speaks of the promise of God to make Israel’s beauty like that of the olive tree. Romans 11:17 speaks of the olive tree as rich in root and Jeremiah says that it’s beautiful in form and fruit.

In a state where orange trees are far more prevalent than olive trees I found it difficult to be excited about the quest to become an olive tree. Frankly, I didn’t find it in the least bit desirable, as the Psalmist did, neither would I have count it a blessing as Israel did. Thankfully, my handy dandy book of manners and customs in Bible times helped me to understand the true beauty of the olive tree.

Olive trees were considered a vital element of the food supply in the middle east. One olive tree takes nearly 15 years to grow to maturity and grows roots that go deep deep down into the soil. Despite its slow growth, once a tree reaches maturity is grows olives in abundance and for centuries; old roots give way to new stems, maintaining the legacy of the strong olive tree for generations over.

One of my favorite characteristics of the olive tree is that its beauty comes from the sun. Supposedly, the olive tree is not really a beautiful tree on its own, but as it reflects the sun it takes on its shine and becomes beautiful! Isn’t that great? An olive tree’s extravagance is not from itself, but from an outside source, one that shines so bright as to change the appearance of this otherwise ugly tree and make it beautiful.

Isn’t that the life of a Christian? That we mature with roots deep to bear fruit that we might see our “children’s children” reap the harvest and bear more? It can be discouraging thinking about the time it takes to grow to maturity, and I am reminded often that I am drinking more milk than I thought. But as the olive tree teaches me, it is a process to grow to maturity and even if it takes my whole life, it’s worth it because the fruit will reap an abundance.

Maturity does not come without hardship and reaping the harvest does not come without work. The greatest gift from the olive tree is the oil that the olives produce, but such a gift comes with great effort and often, sacrifice. The tree’s branches are beat until the olives fall to the ground. The harvest is taken and crushed over and over until its dry, leaving the most coveted and prized product of the olive tree: its oil. This is the beautiful picture of Christ, the one who was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our sins, chastised and punished to bring about the greatest harvest of all: weak and wicked sinners turned righteous and given a great inheritance all to bring glory to God.

Just think of the comfort this idea would bring to a pilgriming Israelite along a long, unknown journey: “Fear the Lord, my child, and your children will be like olive trees, firmly planted with roots deep, bearing fruit until their branches break, leaving a legacy for centuries to come, all the while reflecting the majesty of the Son and lighting the world in His marvelous glory.”  And to us pilgriming home to the Father we have the same comfort in Christ. Bought with His blood we have these promises for our children. If we fear the Lord we too can raise olive trees- little guys and gals firmly rooted in the love of Christ, bearing fruit and mirroring their Savior. There is little else that I would love more than to see my children walking in the ways of the Lord and delighting in Him alone.

Who is your Rock?

I was on The Resurgence and came across this article entitled “ A Wife’s Testing Ground,” by Jen Smidt. Talk about a good word. This specific paragraph was particularly convicting:

“Who is your Rock?

There is no more heart revealing place for a wife than when her husband is vulnerable. Immediately and with gut-wrenching force, a stumble or struggle from our husbands exposes us to the core. Fear and anxiety leap to the surface as we desperately try to find our footing. We ask ourselves who we can trust to lead us through the uncertainty of this trial when the supposed “leader” is on the side-lines.  Cynicism abounds as we wonder how God could leave us unprotected. If our value is tied to his purity, we will be devastated. If our security is grounded in his job title, we will be shaken. If our faith rides the coattails of his, we will find ourselves drowning in unbelief.

If our husband is our rock, we may be crushed by him.”

Take out “husband,” and insert anyone in your life whom you rely on as a leader and role model. What a great reminder to build only on the ROCK of Christ.

“God is our Rock and where our hope must lie.  The condition of a wife’s heart exposed under the pressure of her husband’s weakness is a glorious opportunity for her to draw near to her Rock and Redeemer. May we take those uncertain moments to pour out confidence in the grace and certainty of Christ to our men. We get to show our husbands that the love of Christ can sustain us both as we hope and pray for them.”

Amen!

Go and check out the rest of the article, it was such a great help.