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.

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

We still love our tigers.


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!

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.

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!