How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Ps 36:7-9
Cheers, sweet Ruthie, and a very happy 14th birthday to you! Our friends gave you a beautiful teacup for your birthday yesterday, and said they couldn’t help but think of you as overflowing with delight and goodness, and that they prayed you would constantly fill up on the goodness of the Lord, and overflow with that. Amen! I had to share that, because I whole heartedly appreciated that word of encouragement on your behalf, and pray it too! This is not an act of putting on perfection in the public eye, but a deep nurture of seeking after the beauty of the Lord in the quiet places of your heart that will bring about the true overflow. We delight to see you acknowledging this and to watch him blossoming your heart in His beauty!
Ps 27:4 makes me think of you, and I pray this over you now, as you enter your 14th year. May this be true for you!
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
The past few birthdays have held a good deal of one kind of adventure or another as your special day has fallen amidst transition of one kind or another. This year it was a gift to be home, wasn’t it?
What goodness the Lord has granted us in memories together this last year of your life. We are so thankful to have shared all of them with you!
Joey, you are such a robust little guy, so full of curiosity and wonder and humor and affection and speed and intensity! And, wherever we go, you seem to catch the attention of people and you make them smile. Its nothing you try to do–you just have a way that draws people in. I often marvel at God’s preservation of your life, and at the gift you are to our family.
I love this Psalm as I think of you… the way you study and want to know about the beautiful world that God has made. I pray that you will not miss the One who has displayed such beauty and wonder, and that your heart will grow rich in wisdom and humility before his majesty!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart…
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful…
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever! (from Ps 111)
Dear Joy, you continue to explode each day with your shine and delightfulness! This is a gift… my-oh-my! Almost everything is exciting to you, and everywhere you go there is an entire marching band of music pouring out of your mouth, hands, and feet! You are starting to come into your own on some things, and I’m particularly enjoying watching you develop quite a love for drawing, as well as your new found love for baby-dolls! We sure do love you!
My prayer for you often revolves around your song and joy–that it will ever be rooted in the precious one of Christ, and that you will continue to overflow with these precious attributes of His own being!
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield. (from Ps 5)
Christmas in April! A unique year for our family calls for a unique Christmas gift! We finally enjoyed ours in April by immersing ourselves in some living history in the Williamsburg, VA area! We had to work hard to find a time for the trip when it seemed rain would hold off a bit, but at the last minute a few days cleared up for us, and GOR-GEOUS spring days they were! We all had plenty of reasons for loving these moments; here are just a few pictures to highlight the experience.
Last week I was meditating on Colossians 3:16-17, and these words, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” have stuck with me in a special way. The kids and I talked about how we move about here at home, interact with each other in this setting, and move outward to others through this base point that we call home. In other words, we dwell here–this is not a lifeless or limp word.
Once the snow melted in early March, these special friends decided it was warm enough to introduce us to the local “snowball” stand which boasted 100 different flavors. I stuck with the dye-free more traditional flavors–like lemonade, but some opted to get a little more adventurous and ordered flavors like Toothpaste or Tiger’s Blood. This crew makes me smile, especially as I recall how they enjoyed daily Capture the Flag duals together. They were such a great bunch of friends together!
The “Things I Love” posts have turned into a quick snapshot view of our time away. In no way could we tell the whole story, nor would this be the place for such a telling, but it is a joy to chronicle a few snippets of some of our special highlights! You see, we are home now, and we all feel a bit at a loss to know how to fully express our gratitude to God who loved us so lavishly through such a special season in life, to our dear school that provided the time away, to our host school who accommodated with such generosity and care, to our friends from home who loved us through prayer and such warmth upon our return, and to our new friends in the south who opened their hearts so fully to us, knowing the entire time that we would be leaving. I wish for these pictures to be one way of adding a bit of dimension to our gratitude!
This next few posts are a nod to some of our great memories with some of these dear new friends (we miss you!). Today’s pictures were from our last night on our friend’s farm. This was only one of so many special moments, but this was a picture perfect evening. Additionally, it proved to be a beautiful night for a cattle drive! I can stil hear the cows crunching on the new spring grass. Everyone and everything was so happy!