Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

September 29, 2017

His decision

When the boys were babies we had a choice to make regarding whether or not we would have them baptized or dedicated; I had been raised that you had a believers baptism and when you were old enough to decide if you wanted to follow Jesus then you made that choice on your own; Tim was baptized as a baby and saw both sides as equally relevant so he didn't have a strong opinion either way, or at least he went with me on my preferred choice and together we stood before God and dedicated our boys to him, promised to raise them to know the Love of God and to understand his call to his followers. We took a lot of flack over our choice as it's not the typical 'anglican' way; we heard all the arguments and were even told that Josh wouldn't be so sick if we had gotten him baptized. However, I was sure of my convictions and we smiled at the nay sayers and did what we felt was right.

This past summer year and I have been reading the Bible together, as we worked our way through the New Testament this summer Josh was presented with baptism multiple times and he had a lot of questions about it; we had a lot of talks about the gift of Jesus and what it means to follow him. In early September the conversation again came up as we finished the Bible (and started it again as per Josh's request). As we chatted I asked him if he would like to think about getting baptized and again we had more talks about what that looks like, what it means. His biggest concern was that he didn't have enough faith yet. (Big smile here because if I had waited for enough faith I never would have been baptized). He said he wanted to think about it and I did the hardest thing a parent ever has to do, I sat back and let God work in him. I resisted the temptation MULTIPLE times to ask him about it, or talk to him; instead, I waited.

On Tuesday night Josh called me to his room to listen to a story he had on the audiobook. It was about a little girl who was running away from God, but he was pursuing her and using people to show his love to her. In the end of the story, she decided that she wanted to be a Christian. At the point of her decision, Josh jumped up and stopped the CD player with a big smile. I have to admit I was confused. I asked him what it was about this story he wanted to share with me and he replied 'I like that God loved her and she was running away but he kept showing her he loved her and then she chose to be a Christian" I smiled and agreed that it was a nice story and then I asked him. "Do you want to be a Christian Josh?" and he smiled so big it lit the room. "YES"! I want to be baptized and I want Daddy to it!".

I share this because I am so humbled as I am once again reminded that the Holy Spirit is working in my kids, he and Josh have been working together to come to this choice and I am so happy for him, and so thankful I didn't keep pestering him about it. When we started out by making a choice to dedicate over baptize it was so that this moment could come, where he made that choice on his own, not for Tim and I but for him and had I done what I really wanted to do (bug him about it consistently) he would have been doing it for me, or possibly not do it all just rebel against my harassment.

I am feeling really blessed as we head into this special celebration with Joshua. God is faithful.

September 8, 2017

Happy New Year!

Most people see January as the first month of a new year; rightly so I suppose since it is the new year after all. However, for me the new year traditions always come in September; maybe it's the years of starting school in september and always being told about fresh starts with a new teacher or new school etc. Whatever the reason I have never shaken the habit of seeing September as a place to rewind the things that need rewinding and starting fresh again, with new plans, new hopes, new goals. I always get my new agenda in September and when I see those crisp clean pages I feel a fresh beginning stretching out before me.

During the summer months I had time to think, time to refresh and what I found was a sense of lacking, a feeling of loss or complacency or maybe both. I couldn't figure it out, I was both sad and frustrated and I yearned for more but I couldn't tell you what that was.

The other day I watched a movie on Netflix and while I was watching it I was hit with a realization; it was a spiritual thing. My longing was for more joy, more closeness with God. My feelings of loss came from that lack of time spent with him; and my sadness was the missing of that closeness we had.

One of the things that became apparent quite quickly was that for me, writing is a way of sorting out feelings and thoughts, it helps unscatter my brain and figure out what is actually going on up there. So, here I sit. On the abyss of something absolutely wonderful that is to come. Starting to once again spend time each day, proper time, not just throwing prayers into the wind as I move from A to B. Time where I pray for my husband, for my kids, for my friends, for my church and for the world. Time where I share my thoughts and worries, fears and disapointments, hopes and dreams with the God of the Universe who made me for relationship with him. Already I am seeing him, like scales falling off my eyes I have begun to once again purposely look for the ways in which God is working in my life and the life of my kids and it's fun.

The other night Josh was praying for rain and cooler weather and I was quick to correct and tell him that God isn't Santa, you don't hand him a wish list and walk away... (which is true yes) but I quickly learned so much more about God and relationship when God gave Josh exactly what he had been praying for. It poured yesterday, I mean buckets, in between were sunny periods and then more rain, and it was cooler. When the kids got off the bus after school Josh was screaming "God answered my prayers!" and Kaleb was screaming "It's Josh's fault mama, God answered his prayers!' (When I say screaming I really mean it, the whole of the distillery district probably heard their proclamations of answered prayer. I laughed and we chatted about it, because here is what I learned.

1) God wants to hear from them, whatever they have to say, whatever their worries are, whatever their desires and while I need to help them learn I shouldn't try to control that budding relationship they have with Him.
2) God uses the littest prayers (like rain and cooler weather) to build a foundation of faith in the lives of his children.

I was so happy to see that rain yesterday, despite hating that it actually did rain, I was happy that God loves my kids so much that it matters to him that they believe in the power of prayer, and that they learn that their voices, their thoughts, matter to the God who made it all.

What a beautiful rain...
What a beautiful September...

Happy New Year.