No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. ~ Luke 8:16
I pray that my light shines brightly today. That it is not hidden from my own home, or those outside of this home. I want my face, hands and feet to be FULL of Jesus' light so that I can share with others how GOOD He is! I pray that my husband and my three boys shine brightly too. Make us all a beam of light that can be nothing less than CONTAGIOUS!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
It is nearly 10 o'clock on the night of your fourteenth birthday. It has been a busy day, but I cannot lay my head down for the night until I write your birthday letter. I have done this since your very first one.
It is yet another milestone year. You are not only turning fourteen, you are entering high school in just a couple of short months. It seems impossible to me! Just a few minutes ago I reminded you that on this night fourteen years ago I held within my arms a very small baby boy whose entire body was smaller than the size of your head! Now, you tower over me. You have to hunch over to hug me and when we talk, you are looking down instead of up.
Today we shared some special moments. Our talk today is one that will not ever leave me. As I spoke to you, I purposefully looked into your eyes. I wanted to see that you were taking everything in. I wanted to feel that our bond today as mother and son changed just a bit and that there was a new level of understanding between us. God directed our conversation perfectly.
Last night we went to a very simple worship service. It was extra sweet. I sat there with my three boys and I was overcome with emotion over how blessed I am once again. When it came time for us to pray with our church family you all stepped in and participated. You called out the names of our Father and spoke about who He is to you. I was so proud. When I opened my eyes, they immediately fell to these words...
' Teach me O Lord to follow your decrees, then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight; Turn my heart toward your statues and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things, preserve my life according to your word. Fulfill your promise to your servant so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for Your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness. ~ Psalm 119:33-40
I knew right away that this would be my prayer for you this year as you enter into a new stage of life. As you start high school and you are faced with things you've never been faced with before, I will be on my knees praying that the Lord will continue to teach you... That He will give you understanding of His laws and that you will TRULY desire to follow it with ALL of your heart. I will pray that your eyes will be turned away from selfish gain, and that they will remain focused on being missional in every area of your life. You are our gift, but more than that, you are God's gift. You are HIS! As I've said so many times before, He has such awesome plans for you, my son!!
I love you with all of my heart, Luke. A mother's heart never stops expanding with love for her children. This I know to be absolute truth. It never ceases to amaze me! As you continue to grow, mature and become a man more and more each year, it's easy to become a little sad because I'm losing my little boy. However, I was just telling a young new father yesterday... "It never stops being fun! Being a parent brings so much joy, and just when you think it couldn't get any more exciting, it does... Even when you have one about to turn fourteen."
Happy birthday Lucas Alan.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
In our backyard stands the most beautiful, bountiful cherry tree you have ever laid eyes on! It is picture perfect. It has never had even an ounce of pesticides applied to it's being and unless the birds suddenly realize the treasure that it is on this very night, it remains untouched. When we moved in back in April it's blossoms were amazing! I watched the fruit appear before my very eyes and I immediately started watching over it like it was my fourth child. You see... I've heard about these cherry trees. I have had friends that have never tasted a single cherry from their trees because of birds or some form of pests. From the very beginning, I have tried not to get my hopes up too much.
This week we have been picking and tasting, picking and spitting the tiny little pits. Mmmmm... And the tree is STILL loaded!! We have a ladder out there now and I'm getting my jars down soon to start on some yummy fruit preserves. Our hands (and mouths) will be busy.
This tree is one of FIVE fruit trees in our backyard! We have two peach trees and two plum trees in addition to this gorgeous cherry tree. These trees are something I became extremely excited over when finding this home. They mean more to me than just the fruit that they bear. A little over ten years ago when we moved from the valley to the hills, I had to leave two fruit trees behind. One was a peach tree and the other was an orange tree. They were both planted as memorials to our two baby boys born too early... Konner Thomas and Kyle Joshua. Leaving those trees behind was very hard! Some told me that I could try uprooting them and transplanting them into the ground up the hill. In my heart though, I knew they were happy and full of life where they were. I didn't want to risk destroying their vitality. I left them where they belonged.
Can you imagine the joy inside when a little over ten years later God gifted me with these trees? We don't live in a neighborhood where you would expect to find a mini orchard growing in the backyard! God knew though... He knew way back then... On that day when I left those trees behind, that I would be blessed with fruit trees in my own backyard again someday.
Surprises come in all shapes and sizes... God surprised me BIG with this one!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Craziness around here! California is definitely NOT experiencing a typical spring/early summer as far as weather goes. I know the rest of the nation is experiencing their own weather weirdness too though, so it's hard to complain too much (well, not really, but at least I know I shouldn't). I was listening to K~Love on my way home from Target this morning and a lady from Anchorage, Alaska called in saying that they are getting unbelievably warm weather right now. She was saying how UNUSUAL it is for 80 degree weather there, but they feel blessed. Sounds to me like Alaska and California somehow got their months mixed up!! I am glad that they feel blessed though.
We are experiencing other blessings not related to weather around these parts. Luke graduated from 8th grade last week. For some I know this isn't an amazing accomplishment ( E.V.P), ;0) but the way I look at it is different. We all knew academically that Luke would graduate from the 8th grade as scheduled. However, I think every parent wonders what their child will be like when they are old enough to enter high school. We have spent the past 9 years putting Luke's armor on for this next season. He will no longer be schooled at home or in the intimate setting of a home school co-op. He is entering a mid-size public high school in just a few short months. I believe with all of my heart that he is ready. He has graduated from this stage and going on to the next. His character is outstanding and I believe he will shine brightly. We are all excited about experiencing the blessing of watching him to continue to grow in his high school years!
It's been awhile since I've attached pictures, so here are a few... ENJOY! I finally bought a new camera, so I'm learning all the bells and whistles. This is going to be FUN!
Freshly brushed Copper
Sweet Caleb's always smiling face
Watching Colby play ball like a pro
Lucas and Grandma on BBQ day
Hay bale gardening for the first time ~