Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Happy 1st Birthday, Cara!


Dear Cara,
We named you Cara because we thought it was such a beautiful name, and we knew you would be so beautiful. But we also named you Cara because it means “beloved,” and you are oh so loved. <3 What a year this has been! At the beginning it seemed like you would overcome one challenge only to be faced with another (learning how to drink out of your bottle without any suction, only to have to relearn after we started using the NAM, and then relearn again after surgery! Struggling with silent reflux, pain from your dairy allergy, etc.), but God really helped you to overcome each challenge! He gave us all strength, and wow! Here we are: you are a happy, adorably cute, funny, active, almost-walker who is turning 1 year old!
I will never forget the moment you were born. I heard the sweetest little cry I’d ever heard in my life and the midwife handed your tiny, warm little body to me. I laid you on my chest and you stopped crying right away and started looking for something to eat. ;) Jonathan and I are so proud of how you kept trying, right from the very start, even when it was hard or seemed impossible for both of us! You are such a strong baby girl. J  God made you so perfectly, from your fuzzy round head to your beautiful smile to your chubby thighs to your little toesies. Never forget that, Cara. God knit you together purposefully and perfectly and lovingly.  And we are so thankful that He gave you to us. It has been so much fun watching you grow and learn! I love hearing you say “mama” and sometimes “hi,” to watch you wave and sign “milky (very enthusiastically I might add ;))” or “all done.” We love to watch you light up when Daddy gets home and crawl across the floor toward him so fast that you face plant in the carpet! I love to watch Daddy read Bible stories to you as you stare at the pages (short-lived though it often is). I love to rock you and kiss your soft head while you drink your bottle, and then to put you in your crib and watch you reach for your tedsters, tuck them under your tummy, and snuggle in.
It has been such a gift from God to be your Mommy this past year. You have taught me more about who God is and His strength in my weakness, you have helped Daddy and me to grow in our love and intentional communication with each other, and you have taught me all about a new kind of love I never knew before – my love for my baby girl. <3 I love you, Cara!

Love,
Mommy




Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday Reads - 5/7/18



Rosaria Butterfield: Christian Hospitality is Radically Different Than "Southern Hospitality"



Four Lessons I've Learned From the Puritans by Brian G. Najapfour



Learning To See the Glory In The Frustration In Parenting by Dustin Coleman
By the grace of God, we can not only survive these years, we can thrive in them. We just need to have the right perspective.



Violence Against Women Begins in the Womb by Elaine Storkey
It starts with recognizing the failure of two fundamental human rights: women being denied safety and girls being denied the basic right to be born.



A Dream Deferred by Jasmine Holmes
A reflection on trusting God through the heartache of miscarriage and childlessness: And my hope remains in eternity where my dreams will no longer be deferred, where my heart will explode with the reality of God's good providence where He will dry my every tear and remind me that even broken mamas are woman enough in Him.



Look Up From Your Lists: Letter To My 30-Year-Old-Self by Rick Segal
If I could do it all over, people would become the unrivaled objects of my fascination and service in my work.



The Christian's Job Description by John MacArthur
That's what I do - I tell people how to be reconciled to God. It's my job; it's my life. And it's yours, too, if you've been reconciled to God through Christ. That's what Christians do - it's our primary function. We preach the forgiveness of sins and redemption by God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.



The Dad I Want To Be by Daniel Darling
God calls us to something better and empowers us. We can't change where we've already failed, but we shouldn't let past failures paralyze us. Right now, in this exact moment, I can be faithful. I can put down my phone. I can seek peace in this conversation. I can turn away from selfishness and toward service.




Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday Reads - 4/26/18




Restore the Sweetness In Your Marriage by Stacy Reaoch
The busyness of life and our own selfish desires can often blind us from seeing the gift of our spouse...


Why Legalism Destroys Churches and Kills Christians by Jeff Robinson
Rightly understood, the law of God is good, unmasking our self-righteousness and exposing our depravity. It sends us running for cover in the righteousness of Christ won at Calvary through His selfless love. It liberates us to rest from our labors at keeping the law, and leads us to green pastures of deep and overflowing joy in Christ alone.


Pastoral Lessons From Galatians by John Divito
One of the central blessings of pastoral ministry is saturating your mind with the Word of God. Pastors have the privilege of devoting ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.


What Actually Happened At Mount. St. Helens? by Thomas Purifoy, Jr.
Is Genesis history?


The FAQs: What You Should Know About the Alfie Evans Controversy by Joe Carter
As with the Charlie Gard case, the main ethical issue is about the scope of parental rights, and who should be allowed to decide what is in the "best interests" of the child in regards to additional treatment.



Simple Evangelism in the Church by Jason Helopoulos
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)



10 Things You Should Know About Athanasius by Machael A.G. Haykin



4 Ways Doctrine Impacts Every Day Of My Life (And Why the Church Needs It) by Scott Slayton
Sounds doctrine is good for followers of Jesus. We need to know the truth, which means we must study the truth.


The Everyday Question of Motherhood by Christine Hoover
Motherhood is not so much the big, dramatic acts of sacrifice, but the little, everyday, unseen ones.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday Reads - 4/24/18




How Could We Be Silent? by David Robertson
For any who know and experience the beauty and glory of Christ, the question is not whether we should speak up, but rather how on earth can we keep silent?



A Word to Parents At Their Breaking Point by Andrew Wilson (video)
When you're in the trenches of parenthood, it can be easy to become discouraged as you stare down the struggles and difficulties of the long road ahead. In this brief video, Andrew Wilson gives some advice to parents of children with special needs offering a simple yet helpful insight.



His Suffering Sparked A Movement by John Piper
Oh, that God would grant us a persevering grace to spread a passion for His supremacy in all things, like David Brainerd, for the joy of all peoples!


Will Profanity Make Us More Relevant In Reaching Our Culture? by John Piper
It's not risque language that will waken the dead, but radical love.