Saturday, January 23, 2010

Laughter

Sadie learned to laugh recently and we're loving it!

video

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Held

The past few weeks have been difficult ones for me. It's funny how grief works and I know it's different for everyone but for some reason the past couple of weeks have been especially difficult for me. It seems that while one moment I am overwhelmed by feelings of peace the next moment I find that feelings of grief are sneaking up again. Yet, it's amazing to me how during these times when I am feeling such a tremendous amount of pain, I can still feel such a strong sense of God's presence watching over me and holding me. I don't think I've ever understood in this way how pain and God's presence can go hand in hand.

This said I've been listening to a song by Natalie Grant called "Held." I've listened to it over and over again and I just love what it has to say about these times. It talks about how hard it is to understand why tragedy happens, how hard it is to understand why things sacred to us would be taken, and yet it reminds us that we were not promised any of these things that we grieve. The promise was rather that when everything fell apart in "our world" we'd be held by our Savior who loves us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2m1HZekCcc (Here's a link if you'd like to listen to her song)

Anyway so as I've listened to this song and allowed myself to grieve I've also tried to be conscious of the moments when God is holding me and for me writing things out helps me to process in a different way what God is doing and there's something about putting it out there that makes me take hold of God's promises in a very tangible way. So today I thought I'd share some of the ways that I've felt God holding me during these past weeks and to encourage you to look for the ways that God is holding you as well. More and more I think that God is always holding us and we just don't realize it most of the time.

1. Last week on an especially tough day God provided me with a friend who called me up to have lunch and gave me a chance to talk about my dad.

2. At Bible Study we are doing a Beth Moore study on Esther and we're on the part where she says "if i perish I perish," which has lead us to some discussion about fears and death seems to be one of peoples greatest. Anyway, during the video one of the things that Beth said was "If God calls us to a death that takes great courage, then it must be part of our destiny. It must be a great part of our story because death isn't our destiny." (Praise God that death isn't the end!) Then she said, "Courage isn't the absence of fear but the knowledge that there is something greater. So why don't we live now and in the blink of an eye live like we'll never die." I was so encouraged by these thoughts and know that in this moment God was holding me and encouraging my spirit.

3. We also talked about Ephesians 2:6 which says, "Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. It is by grace you have been saved and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus." For us as believers this reminds us that we are alive NOW and that for us death is simply a trading of bodies and the beginning of our life in the presence of our Lord.

4. I've been held by my husband as I've missed my dad. I feel God's arms around me as he does his best to comfort me.

5. I've been held by the prayers of our couples group.

6. A group of my college friends brought us meals to let us know that they were still thinking and praying for us without having any idea that it had been a hard week.

7. Sadie learned to laugh last week. After an especially long day we were sitting at the dinner table and she laughed and laughed at Brandon. What a precious gift.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas 2009!

Where did December go? It's crazy how the holidays always seem to fly by despite my best efforts to slow down and enjoy them. Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed your Christmas and New Years as much as we did.
We began our festivities on Christmas Eve this year. We went to the family service at our church where we watched the kids tell the Christmas story and then we headed home to begin our own Christmas traditions and to open presents as a family.
I don't think Sadie knew what to make of her gift because she just stared at it like this until she finally got tired and fell asleep :)
Then Christmas morning it was off to Oceanside, CA to spend the day with Brandon's family.
Grandma Troyer
Great-Aunt Licia
Then we ended the day flying to Oregon to be with my family. As you can imagine this made for a very hectic day but it was great getting to see everyone and Sadie was a real trooper. By the time we finally got to Portland she was over being in her car seat but all in all she was wonderful and we were so grateful.
This past Thanksgiving we bought 2 turkeys because Ryan LOVES, LOVES, LOVES, turkey and wanted to make sure that there would be plenty of leftovers. However, because so many people were bringing us meals during this time there was no room for it in the freezer. So we decided to store it out in the barn freezer until we had room. Unfortunately, to Ryan's dismay the turkey mysteriously disappeared a few days later. He was so bummed that I teased him that for Christmas I was going to buy him a turkey. Funny thing was he got really excited about that idea and every time I talked to him after that he reminded me that I had promised to get him a turkey. Anyway, so we went to open presents and our family always takes turns choosing one from the tree to open and when it was Ryan's turn he proudly found the biggest one and said, "I hope this is my turkey." It was and he made us all laugh as he always does. :)
Uncle Robert
Grandma Moss
Another highlight of our trip was Brandon's big kill! Every time we go to Oregon Brandon goes out looking for Neutrea. Basically they are a mix between a rat and a beaver and they live in the blackberry bushes along our lagoon. Anyway, these creatures are quite illusive and thus far we've only seen pictures of Ryan's kills. However, this time Brandon was very excited to get one of his own. Way to go Honey!