Pray for Tricia!

Read details here; basically there is a pair of lungs the Duke transplant team have gone to evaluate. They are prepping Tricia for surgery just in case it's a go. Pray for the Lawrensons and also for the precious donor family, who are grieving the loss of a loved one right now.
We serve an amazing and awesome God!

What happened to Spiderman?

Yes, he has been beheaded. By Griffin. Where is his head you ask? Well, to put it bluntly, it is somewhere in Griff's intestinal tract. Get it?

Have I mentioned Griffin is 4? He is very good at it.

Easter traditions...

We dyed eggs last Saturday; here's a few pictures of the kids. They had a GREAT time, and all donned dyed fingers for Sunday morning.

Happy Easter!

Dressing up is an integral part of any Easter day celebration. Girls get new Easter dresses and shoes; boys get new shirts. We dye eggs and fill baskets with candy and toys. The kids get more sugared up on this holiday than on Christmas (at least mine do! By 7:30 am Griffin had already had a lollipop, 1/2 a Three Musketeers, and countless Tootsie rolls...not to mention his morning cup of coffee, but that's another post altogether!)
But what is really important about Easter is the meaning, of course. The resurrection of Jesus. Without it, there is no "Christianity". Without it, Jesus would have been just another man.
But another man he was not....he who healed the sick, loved the unlovable, and taught the masses was not merely a man. He was Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
As predicted by prophets of long ago, this humble "man" of only 33 years died a shameful death, naked on a wooden cross, in the company of 2 thieves. He took on the sins of you and of me; all of our past, present, and future wrongs. He intimitely felt the guilt, the shame, the despair, and the penalty that we deserve. When He cried out asking His Father why he had been forsaken, it was because in that moment God turned away. You see, our God is a holy God and cannot look on sin. And when Jesus bore my sin, His father looked away.
I am in tears as I write this because this innocent, sinless, loving man took all that on -- for me. If I had been the only human in the universe, He'd have done it.....for me.
He did it for you, too.
The good news is that despite being buried in a borrowed tomb on that somber day, you will not find his remains there today. For on the third day as the women went to tend to Jesus' body, they found the heavy stone rolled away from the mouth of the cave. An angel greeted them and said those history changing words, "He is not here, for He has risen, like He said."
Or as the boys would say, when asked why we celebrate Easter, "Jesus is alive!!"
He *is* alive. He is ever present in this tumultuous world. What a relief to know that we don't wander this planet aimlessly, just living to do our own thing. We were each created with a purpose and a mission. Sometimes our missions change. Sometimes they remain the same.
Whatever your mission in life is today, embrace the fact that Jesus Christ lived for you and died for you...and lives again for you. He loves you!
Happy Easter!

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A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

One of our family's favorite movies is "Toy Story". At the beginning of the film, Woody instructs all of the toys in Andy's room to pick a "moving buddy" so that no one gets left behind when the family moves. We often hear of using the "buddy system" for safety.
Friend. Amiga. Vriend. Ami. Freund. Amico. In any language, one is lucky to be blessed to have one good friend in this world. I'm not talking about the 100 acquaintances you have - superficial relationships that don't mean a whole lot when bad times come and you need someone to pray with. We all have those, don't we? I'm talking about the friend who knows you -- warts and all. Knows the hidden secrets of your heart, knows your struggles and your victories, knows how to pray for you and does without having to be asked.
So often in our busy lives we have begun to neglect the simple art of making -and keeping- friendships. Friendships require work, just like any relationship. You cannot ignore it; it must be nurtured and tended. We get so bogged down with the day to day stuff of life -- you know, homeschoooling and homemaking and working....that we just flat out are too tired at the end of the day to make time for our families, let alone work on a friendship.
But we were created for companionship, for community. Study after study shows that people who have deep, personal relationships are healthier and live longer than those who don't. Our souls literally crave company. The simple act of a human touch can make the difference between a premature infant thriving and growing or not.
Today, instead of thinking about picking up the phone and calling someone, actually do it. Instead of emailing that person, send a handwritten note. Invite someone over for coffee. Slow down and take the time to actually converse with someone. The laundry will still be there tomorrow, trust me!
And if you are one of the many that don't have a good friend, pray that God would send you that friend that "sticks closer than a brother."
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

for tricia...

Tonight as I was catching up on some blogs, a comment on Rick's blog led me to this, and the next thing I knew I was in tears, thinking of all the wonderful mama moments that I take for granted and oftentimes complain about.
That is the way life is, though, isn't it? The things we take for granted are the things that we cherish the most.
So this is for you, Tricia. (If you don't know Tricia, start here.)

I can't wait until you can:
  • have your daughter chew up a cheerio and then take it out of her mouth and place it in your mouth, with a gracious smile on her face. (yes, it happened to me just tonight. I mean, what was I gonna do?!)
  • walk hand in hand while your daughter takes her first wobbly steps
  • hear her say "mama" with nothing but pure love on her face
  • listen to the uncontrollable giggles that erupt whenever you tickle her
  • see the look of absolute first love on her face when she looks at her daddy
  • make the world a better place just by kissing a boo-boo
  • brush her hair and inhale that irresistible fresh baby smell
  • see her instinctively place any bag over her arm and pretend it's a purse. (ah, now that's a girl after my heart!)
  • watch her touch your painted toenails with absolute awe, and wonder when it's an okay time to paint her toenails (you know, without the world thinking you've gone slightly over the proverbial edge)
If you are a mama, please take a few moments to list for Tricia all the things that you look forward to her sharing with her little Gwyneth. And more than anything, remember to pray for Tricia, for Gwyneth, for Nathan, and for the rest of their family.

a lesson from my girls...

My GA's continue to amaze me week after week. No matter how harried and disorganized the evening seems to be, when we gather in a circle and join hands to pray, these girls do some prayin'! They can act silly and goofy for an hour, but when they go to the throne, they are all business. From the youngest, who always prays that "everybody will have a good time" to the oldest, who prays for the salvation of family members and prays for missionaries by name and location, not one of them ever skips praying.
Last summer we used a lot of our GA time for prayerwalking the battered neighborhood around our church. When we came across people that were outside (usually working on their homes & yards), we would introduce ourselves and offer to pray with them right there. Never did anyone turn us down -- and by the end of our short visit, most had tears in their eyes.
Tears over the heartfelt prayers of a group of young elementary aged girls, who know the power of prayer.
So often as adults we forget the value of a touch on the arm, a whispered prayer for a stranger, and a sincere smile. Children haven't forgotten that. They haven't become critical of the world around them. They see the value and the good in everyone they meet. Perhaps that's why Jesus said we are to become like them (little children) if we want to enter the kingdom of God. We need to see those around us as people created in the image of God.
Someone recently recommended that we videotape Tucker telling the story of how he came to know Christ, so that in later years, if he ever questions his salvation, he can look back on that and see the enthusiasm and sincerity in his spirit. What a great idea. My aunt gave me a note that I had written her when I was 8, telling her all about my salvation and feverishly telling her and everyone in her house that they too must get saved. She sent it to me when I was in my 20's and having some doubts about whether I really was sincere when I prayed that simple prayer as an 8 year old girl. When I read that note, written in my childish handwriting, I could almost feel the excitement and honesty of it.
Sincerity. Honesty. Humility. Earnest, powerful, purposeful prayer. These are the tools that my GA's show me each and every week.
When I grow up I want to be just like them.
One reason I love homeschooling ~ I am witness to so many precious moments like these (Griffin reading to Anne Claire):

Tucker is now an official "Tiger Cub" and we are so proud of him!

Griffin can't wait to be a Cub Scout just like his brother!
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