Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Macro Fun!

As a photographer, I adore macro (close-up) work.  I mean LOVE it!  It requires a special lens, though, and $700 for a specialty lens is a little absurd for me.  Enter the "kenko extension tubes!"  They are about a third of the cost and are change-your-life awesome.  Since flowers and strawberries refuse to pay me to take their pics, I hope to mostly use the extension tubes in my newborn work.  Let's face it, those babies grow way too fast and we need every reminder of the precious details that we can get!

{shout out to Lily Rain for being my model!}

Monday, February 27, 2012

Michelle and Lily's shower!

The day we have all been waiting for.  The day we could celebrate baby Lily and the road it took to get her here.  My stars.  I have never seen so many adorable girly things.  Baby silver glitter Toms.  Shut up.  Just shut up!

Erica made the cake.  I am telling you, if she ever quits with the thrust manipulation stuff, then a bakery will be in her future, for sure!  Not only does she create things with her own vision, but her creations taste mighty amazing as well!  Her cake matches baby Lily's bedding but also has a cloud with raindrops cascading down the side because Lily's middle name is Rain.  Just awesome.

Now, Crafty Julie enters the picture.  She is just like my sister Amelia in this fashion.  She can see anything on Pinterest and go create!  She made the amazing banner and came up with the idea of hanging baby clothes on jute with mini clothespins.  A-DOR-ABLE.

Check out this humongo canvas.  My goodness, that takes cuteness to a whole new level!

 Oh My.  A lily on the L.  so sweet.

What a fun time to celebrate God's goodness!  We love you, Lily Rain!

{I am post happy--if you missed Cade's baptism, it is below!}

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cade: Baptized!

There is just nothing like it...listening to your husband's voice crack with emotion as he baptizes our first born son.  God has been good to us.  We have no greater delight than knowing Cade walks in Truth.

{thank you Tiffny for snapping these shots for us!}

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My favorite sport

I won't lie.  If I have a kid out there playing, I don't really care what sport it is.  But, I certainly am partial to basketball!  LOVE IT!  This first set of color pics is Cade on a fast break, so pretend it is a movie!  I have to admit, sports/action photography is not my strong suit!  Now I am going to go bawl a bit because the season is almost over. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Making the Request Known

I've been thinking a lot about anxiety and fear lately and how Satan uses it to disarm and cripple us until we wallow around in a sea of self pity and uselessness.  I think some are affected by fear more than others.  I don't know if it is passed down through the genealogical line or what ...well, personally I believe it is.  It is time to take back some ground! 

I remember my Nana telling me things like, "Now when Eric is out of town, you should disarm your garage door because people can still get in that way if they want to."  That is just what a new bride needed to hear.  I wrestled with fear forever while Eric traveled.  I could hardly even wash my face at night because that meant I had to close my eyes and I knew Anthony Hopkins from Silence of the Lambs was ready to pounce on me and eat me whole.  I finally got freedom by pasting scripture around and memorizing something to say while washing my face.  The word became my only sword of defense.

I also remember other things said from her that did nothing to make me run towards faith but instead sprint towards the finish line of fear.  That is why I think fear is passed down...when we hear it as impressionable children, then we assume it is the correct way to think and live.  We become consumed with it, but we do have ta choice to let it go and live a life of faith.

{I know it sounds like I am bashing my Nana.  She is a very Godly woman and loves Jesus and pointed us to God's word...maybe she'll forgive me...ha!}

Apparently, gaining freedom from fear in one area of life doesn't mean it is going to bleed over into all areas.  I have been thinking a lot about what leads me into a pit of anxiety and I think some of it is that I am afraid to voice my true desires; fearful they may not line up with God's plan. 

Let's be clear on this:  We are to make our requests known to God.

He hammers it into us in Philippians 4:6-7.  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Maybe the key to NO anxiety is to simply make the requests known.  Write them down and then leave them at  the throne.  If He is good, and He tells us we can count on it, then what better place are our desires than at the foot of the One who bled and died for us?

The King James Version says to be careful for nothing.  "Nothing" in Greek is "medeis" which means "not even one."  I am commanded to not be anxious over even one thing.  I know that is stating the obvious, but I can't even remember the last time I was only anxious about one thing, much less nothing.

Try a little experiment.  Write the requests down.  Leave them with Jesus.  Sit back and see if peace, a peace that defies any explanation, fills you up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where did he go?

Stop the truck!  Did I miss something?  Because all of a sudden, like in the time it takes to inhale, my baby boy has lost all remaining vestiges of anything that remotely looks baby.  He is all boy with a capital B.  His face has filled out a ton...even since Christmas!  Can you tell a difference?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cherish the Fetus

While studying God's glory (kabod: weight) I came across Exodus 33.  Don't you love it when God will reveal something fresh and deep with a passage that you just think you understand?

It is the all-famous passage where Moses dares ask God to show him His glory.  Spurgeon says it is the 'greatest request that man could ever make to God':  show me your glory! I love how God doesn't reveal His glory at first, but prepares Moses for what His glory is going to look like.  It is as if God is saying "Number one, it will be seen in my goodness (towb:  goodness, beauty, bounty.)"  "Number two, it will be seen in my name. (the LORD:  Yahweh)"  And Number three, it will be in the fact that I am merciful and gracious to whom I want."  (We see that God's glory is evident not just in his mercy and grace but in His sovereignty over whom and how He wants to exercise that.)

So, God prepares Moses for this weighty thing that is about to occur.  But, who of us can ever really be prepared for His Glory?  God knows that is will knock us dead, so he tells Moses that He is going to allow him to stand on a rock...He will hide Him in the cleft of a rock while His glory passes by.  {Another occurrence of JESUS...can I get an amen?} 
Rock of Ages
Cleft for Me
Let Me Hide Myself in Thee

Do you see?  Our weight must be on the rock that is Jesus for us to behold the weight of God's glory!  We stand on Christ alone. Is your house built on the rock?  He is the chief cornerstone.  1 Corinthians 10:4 says "and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ."  Jesus is our rock. He is our only hope of beholding God's glory and living to tell about it!

Remember how I said the Hebrew word for Glory was Kabod?  Well, I googled it and wouldn't you know it, Satan decided to take the word that pointed to God's character and weight and turn it into something entirely different.  He is the counterfeit and He has tried to steal the very word for glory and turn it into something that might glorify his own evil ways.  I don't recommend looking it up, but Kabod is an online game featuring sexual and adult content.  Satan tries to twist everything, doesn't he?!!

So, back to Exodus 33.  God tells Moses what His glory is going to look like.  One of those things is regarding his mercy and grace.  "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."  (Ex. 33:19b)  What I discovered is that the Hebrew word for mercy there is "racham"  which means compassion or the womb or to cherish the fetus in the womb.

If you have carried a baby for any amount of time, then I know this makes your heart pound.  It stirs something deep inside of me to know that God's mercy towards me is similar to how I have felt towards my unborn babies. 

Each time was no different.  From the moment I saw the line turn on the tests, something changed inside.  I became fierce.  I became consumed with a whole new level of love.  I was willing to freely give up coke, coffee, and fried food while also being willing to swallow horse pills doctors call vitamins.  My dreams and ambitions became different.  I would do whatever was in my power to protect and care for the child inside.  If I had anything to do with it, the child would live and be guarded from anything evil.

I cherished each fetus, looking forward to not only what they were, but what they would become.

I think of a fetus inside of a mother and I think of how utterly vulnerable it is.  It is helpless, totally dependent on the mother for sustenance and life.

God is telling us that His great mercy towards us is that of a mother towards her unborn baby.  He sheds His mercy on us because He dreams of what we can be with His grace. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012



Can I just share a little secret with you?  My heart hasn't been this happy in a very long time.  Seeing Lily Rain for the first time just made the world right.  My dear friends, Todd and Michelle, welcomed her to their arms last Thursday.  She is beautiful and perfect and I can hardly keep the tears contained.  

Sometimes, when we see prayers answered, it is just too much!  His Glory on display is just too much to take in at times.  Thank you, Lord, for this sweet gift!!!