Monday, January 30, 2012

Video's Make The Heart Grow Fonder :)


It's happening again.  Deployment.  Ugh, that word is hard for me.  I am oozing with pride for my country and for the men and women who daily sacrifice to protect it, but one of those brave souls happens to be mine.  I LOVE that Josh will be representing Christ to the Marines in Afghanistan.  So, I have to remind myself that, while I will miss my sweet husband.... he is serving the souls of thousand's of men and women.  It makes me happy for their loved ones at home.  I have heard, so many times how thankful a wife was that Josh was the Chaplain to their husband.  Nothing blesses me more:)

Last deployment Josh made videos for Bella of himself singing to her and reading books.  He even played hide and seek on the video (to which she would always run and hide, then scream with excitement when he came back on screen). Whenever anyone was in the room to witness this, there was not a dry eye:(  It was precious.  I know Josh is dreading being away from Bella this year.  Last deployment he feared she would forget him, and I know he's feeling the same way this time around.

Josh, the fact is... you are Bella's daddy.  She loves your face, your smell, your voice.  She will not forget you, I promise.  We will play videos, talk about you, look at your clothes, and pray for you every day.

So, hang in there daddy.  We will see you when you get back from training... then send you off again... for a time.  We will be ok because we have Someone else watching out for us:)

I plan on doing tons of these for you to see... here's me trying to figure out the iMovie feature.  I'll get it nailed down so that you can see TONS of Bella antics;)  This amateur attempt is for you....when you miss your girls.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Most inspiring...

I know I've shared this before but, it has totally changed the way I act around our Bella.  To think that Bella comprehends at intelligent levels, and hears everything we say has truly inspired me to be a better mom.  This girl is so inspiring to me.  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stop Taking Away God's Glory! Calling all preachers....

A call to preachers, from a feeble minded sinner.  I'm a mom, a wife, a woman who sins daily and who's heart needs cleansing constantly.  I am thankful for preachers (my father is one *he's pretty awesome, oh and my husband is too).... so, this not meant to offend.  After all, I'm surrounded by preachers;)  I merely desire to fully understand the tough parts of scripture in order to see God's supremacy in my daughter's disability.  So, here's where preachers come in...

First, I beg you...stop taking the glory away from God and putting it on yourself.  We are dying, literally dying to hear about God in the fullness of his glory.  Please don't strip him down to a quintessential "homie" you casually speak of during your sermon.  Stop replacing His righteous anger with witty videos about loving humanity.  Sure, He loves humanity and cares deeply about your friendship but, he is LORD... he loved us so much, he gave us breath... but he is also disgusted by us.

If you don't teach people about the God of wrath AND the God of love (with equal measure) what happens when life gets tough, who can we cling to when we are drowning in the hardships of life?

Wait, I thought God loved me?  How could a loving God bring death upon a young child, or cause my mother's early death? How could he make my child disabled, even though I prayed every day during my pregnancy for a healthy baby? The "how could He's" could go on and on... but the truth... the one the Bible teaches... talks about a loving God who despises our sin but loves us in spite of ourselves.  He is to be feared as he wipes entire nations out at will... he is to be revered as he causes the wind to blow a seed that is set delicately in the soil to be nurtured, and grow, and become the fruit from which we feed or families.  He masterfully designs our children in our wombs... in his timing, with his plans in mind.  How can we question such a lovingly powerful God.  He captures every tear we shed in a bottle and ponders at our deepest emotions.  He never fails, never gives up, and always forgives.  He sent his son to be crucified by the hands of "man"... by us... and we teach people that he's our "homie"??

Instead of using the cross, we use props and bells and whistles to try to explain Christ. He doesn't need them, I assure you:)

Open your door, walk outside and be awed by the majesty of the earth we inhabit.  Oh by the way, that mountain over there... he can move it!  Having a child with autism causes me daily to be drawn to the foot of the cross in utter heart break.  If I couldn't crawl on hands and knees to be filled up by His glory, and His patience, and His joy... I'm pretty sure life would overwhelm me unto death.

Yes, Jesus... the ultimate pastor, used parables to help the weak minded people understand heavenly concepts.  If getting a point across means using stories or painting a vivid picture for the audience (using, heaven forbid... a prop), then so be it... but bring it back around to God.  Give him the glory.  Stop counting the people that you inspire to "come forth" and start discipling the souls that God has saved for Himself.

Before moving on, consider my Bella.  Her mind functions at the level of an 18 month old.  But friends, she breathes... she lives... she experiences joy and frustration.  She teaches me to lean on Christ.  She is God's creation... therefore, she is perfect.

Is this a rant?  Good.  When I look into my Bella's eyes and I think of her future, it is so unclear to me. Will we raise her only to achieve a developmental age of18 months?  Will she continue to pound her head on the floors and walls in frustration, or leave bite marks on her hands? Will she be able to use the bathroom by herself or get dressed without my assistance?  Will we ever have a conversation where I can tell her how much I love her? Will she ever experience love the way I have?  Will she ever truly KNOW Christ?

Only God knows the answers to these questions, and I'm ok with that.  I am thankful for the truth of the Bible where it tells us life is hard, and it only gets harder. “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” — James 1:2-3  I am thankful that God knows our hearts deepest aches and binds us up with His strength for each new day with endurance.  Today I woke up and asked God to give me joy when Bella tantrums.  I may need to pray this prayer for her entire life.  I lack so much patience and joy but...that's when God steps in.  The God of mercy.  He brings me low so that I can see him clearly.

Every breath you take is a gift.  Your children are gifts, even those "less perfect".   If you can't conceive children, God knows. If you've lost a child, so has He.  If your parent died before their time, God knew in advance how many days they would be on this earth.  If you are "too much of a sinner" to be a "Christian" then open the Bible and read about how God used the worst of the worst for his purposes.  If you know my past, you know I am underserving;)

No one is too lost, nothing is too hard for God.   Just saying.  Christ died for you.

Speaking of the Word.  Here it is... hard to argue with:)
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[a] as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”[b]
God's Wrath on Unrighteousness 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[c] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Holiday House Hunters :)

Earls family updates.

We moved to CA a while back do you remember? I do.  We are still nestled (tightly) in our beautiful town home.   I want to give my brother John props for finding the place for us, it is gorgeous.... but, we want our own place so bad I can smell it taste it lick it... whatever.  Bella could use her own pad, that's what I'm saying:)

We have been on a major house hunt since we arrived.  It's been hard because we love the colonial style of homes (Virginia rubbed off on us big time).  Where we live now, the oldest home is a couple decades old so we are really looking for a "diamond in the rough"... a SoCal house with with character (that doesn't cost a small fortune).  We have an offer on the table (after pulling out of our first long short sale offer.   The home we want has some character and meets all of our requirements.  If this offer does not pan out, we are back to square one (deep, sigh).  I firmly believe there is a house out there that is perfect for our needs (as well as the needs of our unique little lady, Bella).   The truth is, when you have a child with autism, your home is your sanctuary.  It's the place that is safe, familiar, and autism proof ;)  Our biggest need for our future home is a good back yard for Bella to live play in and a therapy room down stairs.   Time will tell with the house hunt:)  God knows what we need so I will leave it up to him!  :)

School and therapy are both going well for our little girl.  She's trying to use more words and still working on her frustration levels.  I pray daily for her to grow in patience and wisdom.  She's such a joy and so smart... I love her so much I could just squeezer her little face off... that's weird? Yes, it is.

Christmas came and went so fast I can barely remember it!  What I do remember is that being around family is wonderful.  Here are some highlights:

***Update: we got the house!  The Earls are in escrow:)