Thursday, December 17, 2009

Soli Deo Gloria!


Wes (we) have finished his (our) first semester at RTS!
I am trying to articulate my overall thoughts on the past 4 months.

Thankful really comes to mind.
Humbled.
Rejoicing!

We have had a really great first four months in seminary, in Charlotte and at Uptown Church.
The Lord (in His grace) has provided all that we need, including physical, medical needs as well as a wonderful community of believers.

And our extended community of friends and family would send us things, randomly. In really nice ways and in really nice timing. Stamps right around christmas. Food right when we were running out. Prayers when our dryer was running out. A dryer when our dryer ran out. Numerous encouraging visits. Many calls. Many, many prayers.

I have been humbled as Wes (and in return, I) learn more about the Lord, His Son Jesus and the Word. Wes' paper in one of his classes was was titled "Soli Deo Gloria" and me, being his wife and a little particular when it comes to writing, had the pleasure of editing his 14 page paper.

Soli Deo Gloria = God's glory alone.

It is His glory that has humbled me in the greatest and most significant way yet in my life. To learn more about His glory is to breathe!!
"All things are of Him through Him and to Him.
To Him be the glory forever and ever!"
Romans 11:36

The first question children (and adults) learn in Catechism:
What is the chief end of man?
and the answer:
To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Soli Deo Gloria. I think of these significant words so much. And recently as I was asked what my New Year's resolution might be for 2010 - immediately the words "Soli Deo Gloria" not only came to mind. But became the lens for which I view my life. When our dryer broke a few weeks ago, Wes was diligently working on this paper - Soli Deo Gloria - and both of our perspectives were changed radically about the inconvenience of our broken dryer.

"So whether you eat or drink,
or whatever you do.
Do it all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

And finally I am rejoicing!! Wes (we) have completed our first semester in seminary!!! We have learned SO MUCH about the Lord. And the more I learn, the more I WANT to learn. And the more I become strikingly aware of how much I don't know. I am rejoicing in this wonderful work of the Lord. He has begun a great work in us through this seminary journey. I am so thankful, so humbled and in a huge, loud voice, rejoicing!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tiger Rag

video

We still love our tigers.

Thankful




I am so thankful for my family. These are the ones that we spent Thanksgiving with this year and it was truly a wonderful time. I am so thankful for each of them. I am truly the most thankful for the salvation of each of the adults in this picture (Dad, Mom, Nanny, Kayne, Thomas and Wes (and my own)) The Lord used each of them in the process of calling me to Himself in significant ways. I am thankful for what conversation looks like with these adults. I am thankful for meals that we each had to opportunity to plan and make for the family. I am thankful for the tangible ways that each of these adults love my children.

My sweet Nanny has Alzheimer's and cannot carry on a conversation - but I am thankful for her joy. She smiles and laughs.

Lord thank you for these people. I am so thankful for them. You have richly blessed me in knowing them and placing me in their care. Thank you for your good and perfect plan.
Thank you for them!
Amen.

Sweet Prayer today


In Wyatt's new bible, it often times refers to Jesus as our Rescuer. He likes that name for Jesus and today I think something clicked in his little head/heart.

We also recently discussed the lyrics to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, specifically Wyatt had some questions about where it says "to save us all from Satan's power".

His learning time letter today was Z for zebra.

this was Wyatt's prayer today:

"Dear God.
Thank you that you are our Rescuer.
And that you have rescued us from Satan's power.
And thank you that Satan's power will be defeated.
Thank you for the zebra and the stripes that you gave it.
Amen."


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Who Was St. Nicholas?


Nicholas was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My 4 Year Old.

Wyatt turned 4 on November 20. It was such a special day. With this year being the year of transition, we decided to do a tailgate birthday for Wyatt...
this was his cake
our family at Clemson

his sweet friend Ethan now lives in Clemson! It was such a treat for Wyatt to have Ethan at his party. Among his very simple requests were Ethan, Anna Grace and cake.
Wes, me, my sister, Kayne and her hubby, Thomas
the kids got to see Aunt Katey, a Clemson cheerleader! She was such a sport to take a gazillion pics. The kids were, too.
Austin, Wyatt's cousin, Anna Grace, Wyatt's other cousin, Wyatt, Walker, Ethan.
the tailgate spot -
blowing out the candle.
all of us waiting on the parade, which was really awesome!
Melissa, Ethan's mom and Tyler were such a gift to the party!
loved my time with Melissa. Always good to see my sweet friend.
Austin, Wyatt and AG playing together
Kayne was a huge help to me in getting things together for the party, as was my mother. Could not have done it without them. They were huge sports to go along with this one.
sweet daddy moment at his party
his other request regarding his 4th birthday-
that Anna Grace be there. They loved their time together.

Wyatt, my now 4 year old.
pictured here, the morning of his birthday.
We made his favorite, blueberry muffins, which he'd rather haver over any thing else. He opened a small gift and loved his camouflage balloon.
He was so thankful for each little thing.
I love you, my darling.
You are such a gift to us.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Simple Advent

I am sure you've heard of it because it is a pretty trendy thing this year, (not Advent) and I love it. But I'm not quite ready for it - The Jesse Tree - so I'm pondering ideas for next year, when I can have some prep time and really think through what this could look like for my family. And the word around my church is that next year the ladies will have a Jesse Tree ornament party- which would really help me get into gear.

So this year, we are doing simple Advent. (definition - the coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important)
For us, this coming, arrival, something extremely important is the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

When I say simple Advent, I mean bear bones. simple.
After dinner (or breakfast depending on which meal allows more time) we:
1. pray
2. Wes reads the verses
3. we sing a carol
4. pray

as of recently, we've added:
*Our church had a "Birthday Party for Jesus" bash this past Saturday. They had these sweet stickers with all the manger characters. I took a piece of scrapbook paper and some ribbon and hung it on the wall by the dinner table at the boys' level. After each Advent devotion, one of the children places a sticker on the page. So far there is a manger, north star, sheep, donkey and three stars.

It's been slightly chaotic at times as Walker is learning the posture of prayer and makes great attempts to close his eyes, and bow his head, but sometimes he'll sneak a piece of bacon or make a funny face, etc. One night, the children were out of control with making one another laugh and we could not get them to focus on the scripture and Wes closed by praying: "Lord, teach us how to lead this well."

Through all the laughing, the bacon eating, the sweet attempts to have the posture of prayer and mimic the others, this has been a wonderful family devotion theme for us this Christmas. Isn't family devotion time wonderful? And isn't Jesus, our Savior - Emmanuel the greatest?

I just Love Christmas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweet Prayer

Wyatt praying today:
"Dear God, thank you for my friend Ethan. And thank you for the animal You created. Called a wolverine. That lives in the snow. And can take down a moose and caribou. Amen."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

funny understanding

(after Walker and I had completely finished lunch, Walker was down for nap, I was done cleaning up lunch.)


Me: Wyatt, if you don't finish your sandwhich there will be no treat after learning time.


Wyatt: no treat? really?


Me: yes. you are taking too long to finish your sandwhich or not finishing it every day and so this is your consequence.


Wyatt: slowly. finishes. his sandwhich


Wyatt: I finished! See? We were mad. And now we turned to joy!


Me: I wasn't mad, Wyatt.


Wyatt: Yes. And I was too. And now we turned to joy!


Me: No. I was giving you instructions. That's different from being mad.


Wyatt: Yes. And I learned that construction. And now we turned to joy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mock Lions

Wyatt was playing with some "Chronicles of Narnia" characters/figurines

he was playing with 4 small lions and 1 HUGE lion - Aslan

Wyatt: Mommy they (meaning Peter, Edmond, Lucy and Susan) are about to run into the "mock lions".
Me: Mock Lions? What is a mock lion?
Wyatt: These small lions.
Me: Why do you call them mock lions?
Wyatt: Because. They are NOT Aslan.

Probably many of you know that Aslan is the Christ figure in CS Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia." Wyatt is deeply drawn to Aslan. He is powerful. (which he adores) But he is safe. (which he loves even more) Wyatt is deeply engaged with the series and pretty much claps, rejoices and sighs a huge relief at the mention of Aslan's name.

In the very same ways I am drawn to Christ. But how often I have a "mock Christ" in my life. I am drawn to something that is not Christ, Himself. An idol - be it anything that takes the place of Christ, my husband, household responsibilities, a friend, a friend's approval, my children, "my time", money, etc., etc, etc.

I pray I have the discernment to see those "mock-Christs" as quickly and easily as my four-year-old.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ducks

Wyatt: There's the daddy duck, with his beautiful green neck.
(pause) The mommy ducks don't have beautiful necks.

Me: Do you know why God made them that way?
Wyatt: Because! (laughing). Girls don't have green necks!

later:
Me: Yes. But the mommies are brown so that they can blend in with their surroundings in order to protect their baby ducks.
Wyatt: from what?
Me: A bigger animal. like a wolf.
Wyatt: well. will the wolf get the daddy duck?
Me: It might with that big ole green head.

:)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving



George Washington signed the
"Thanksgiving Proclamation"
on October 3, 1789.
This was the nation's first presidential proclamation,
calling the nation to set aside a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to God.

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, andconstitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789."

NOTE:

Shortly after the Thanksgiving Proclamation was written, it was lost for 130 years. The original document was written in long hand by William Jackson, secretary to the President, and was then signed by George Washington. It was probably misplaced or mixed in with some private papers when the US capitol moved from New York to Washington, D.C. The original manuscript was not placed in the National Archives until 1921 when Dr. J. C. Fitzpatrick, assistant chief of the manuscripts division of the Library of Congress found the proclamation at an auction sale being held at an art gallery in New York. Dr Fitzpatrick purchased the document for $300.00 for the Library of Congress, in which it now resides. It was the first official presidential proclamation issued in the United States.


my sister, Kayne sent this info to me in an email and I'm so thankful she did. Oh how I love to learn about the reverence for the Father that our forefathers displayed in their hearts, their work and their lives.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Treasures


I am always desiring to have good resources for teaching my kids the bible.
And I need all the help I can get!
So I thought I'd share a few of favorites - truly treasures.
They have helped me so much in having really sou
nd conversations with Wyatt about the Lord, Jesus and the Bible.
He has grasped a sweet and truthful understanding of Jesus' supreme role in the Bible through the teaching in these books.

We began with the BIG PICTURE bible (which I highly recommend) We read through cover to cover many times. Wyatt learned a ton and it really helped develop a good base for biblical truths.

The Jesus Storybook Bible points to Jesus in every story. I really like that. It helps Wyatt have a more complete picture of Jesus in the bible - and me to explain and answer his many questions about that. It also comes with an audio cd - so your kids can listen while they play or you drive. Very very good.


Discovering Jesus in Genesis is just that. It goes into great detail on where the worlds' need for a Savior originated. Each story lays out very clearly how the Savior would be the worlds' answer to sin and disobedience.


Discovering Jesus in Exodus - same wonderful content - but in Exodus.

ABC Bible Verses is great for memorizing verses with Wyatt. We've been loosely working on them since the summer. He's memorized very well - the verses A-K.

Big Truths for Little Kids - an EXCELLENT resource for complicated questions Wyatt has asked and still asks.
What is God?
Where is God?
Can you see God?
Who wrote the Bible?
Why did God make you and all things?

The answers are biblically based truths and they are easy for Wyatt to remember and repeat.

I heart Learning Time.

For our learning time on Thursday we tried a new activity.
We Made Cookies!
Wyatt really enjoyed it. And ofcourse, I did, too - I absolutely LOVE icing!
rolling the dough
cookie cutter
licking the (blue) icing...
ice away...
sprinkle time!
they were so yummy!
When Wes came home, we gave him a plate with a big heart cookie that said
"We Heart You Daddy"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Conversations

I love it when I get to see Wyatt make connections in his head.
He really enjoys learning about animals.
We had this conversation recently.

(while playing with a cheetah and frog)
Wyatt: The cheetah found a dead Tree Frog.
Me: Oh no. Did he kill it?
Wyatt: No. It was already dead.
Me: Who killed it?
Wyatt: The leopard.

And another for fun:
Wyatt: Isn't it great that we get to have a cookie?
Me: Yes. You did a great job in learning time today.
Wyatt: You did a great job teaching me, Mommy.

:):):)

And another one on Halloween night:
(while trick or treating)
we passed several houses that had bones, graveyards, skeletons, zombies, etc.
Wyatt: "these people have 2 choices. They can decorate their houses - good or they can decorate their houses - bad.
If they choose to decorate them good that would be for God.
If they choose to decorate them bad that would be for Satan.
These people have chosen to decorate their houses for Satan."

we had a long talk later that night about the truth in what he said
and also the importance of timing.
:)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What I'm Thinking About...

"And they sang a new song:
'You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.'"

Revelation 5:9-10


Friday, November 6, 2009

A Tiger in the Grass!

Wyatt dresses up every day. He loves to pretend to be different animals- especially a tiger. When we watched Swiss Family Robinson, he wore his tiger costume for the whole movie (in honor of the tiger that eats the pirates). He loves to pretend. And on this day, I was able to capture some pictures of him doing what he loves to do. :)

creeping up...
telling me what he is about to do...
"leaping on rocks"...
showing me his paws...
discovering another animal...
ROAR...
taking a break...
"the tiger is resting"...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why I Love my Job:

my very own wild thing
Walker's camo boots and beanie
dress up
boys playing outside
fingerpainting
sweet little moments like this
and this
my very own soldier (protector)
their brotherly love
Carolyn Mahaney paints a beautiful and realistic picture in her book, "Feminine Appeal" on being a full time mommy.
I've often struggled to say with confidence at an adult gathering
"I'm a mom".
But I'm growing in that.
And its becoming more natural to say that with assurance and security.
For I am exactly where I need to be and where these boys need me. There is no better call on my life (other than wife to my husband) than to love and nurture these two boys.
And I am thankful for the call.