Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sister, Sister

These two girls were meant to be sisters, and only God could orchestrate their stories to bring them together in one family.

I'm so thankful that they have each other.  They love each other fiercely, and look out for one another. Anytime Karsten gets something (like a toy or a snack) she always asks for another, because "I need one for Kate."  Kate is her favorite person in the whole world, and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

We had THE HARDEST TIME keeping Kate out of Karsten's face when Karsten was a baby. She would love to touch Karsten's nose and lips and cheeks.  Even now, Kate can't seem to stay away. When I ask to take their picture, it's not enough for Kate to stand beside her little sister. She has to bend down and put her face right up against Karsten's, because she loves her that much. 

Since I have had the privilege of growing up with a sister, I know just how special it is. I pray these two grow up to be best friends, to share their secrets, and to support one another.  I pray that they realize what a blessing that it is that they have each other.

I recently saw a quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning that perfectly sums up my opinion of these two little girls.

"God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame."

Saturday, April 29, 2017


This time of year is always a little overwhelming.

Work is crazy. Tax CPA's have a traditional busy season that typically ends with the April 15th tax return due date, but it seems like that doesn't really mean anything anymore.  It never slows down and there's always at least some level of craziness! Such is life. 

It's the end of the school year, and even though Kate's only in Kindergarten and probably doesn't even really know that summer break is near, we are all reaching that point where the extended break is needed. We're completely over homework and behavior charts and reading logs and permission slips and sandals that have to have backs on them and... I could go on but I think you get the point. So yeah, school is crazy. 

Home life is crazy too.  The girls started swim lessons, which takes up yet another week night. Pretty soon they'll all be full with something.  It's finally starting to warm up, which means grass is growing (and needing to be mowed) and all of the outdoor projects on our "to do" list are getting into full swing. So far we've planted flowers, put down new stone borders around our entire house, and painted the storage building, which just puts a small dent in all of our projects. There's always something. 

The other day I saw someone share this picture and I really need to find where it's from because I need it hanging somewhere in our house: 

I mean really, how true is this? It's all about perspective and knowing that sometimes you WILL be buried in work, in responsibilities, in chores, in project, in WHATEVER.  But God can help you through it and use those situations to make you ready for something even bigger. 

Friday evening the girls and I ran over to Papa John's to pick up a pizza for dinner while Kevin was mowing the grass.  It was 70 degrees outside, the sun was down, and we rode home with the windows down and the music turned up.  From the back seat I hear Kate and Karsten singing along at the top of their lungs to the song "Joy" by Johnny Diaz. 

I've got JOY down in my soul,
I'm gonna take it everywhere I go,
not gonna worry 'bout what I don't know.
I'll be alright as long as I've got
JOY here in my heart,
wavin' like a torch fightin' off the dark,
in the jet black night I'm gonna see the stars,
I'll be alright as long as I've got JOY!

As I listened to them singing, I couldn't help but be filled with thankfulness for the JOY that comes in the peace of knowing Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  Yes, life is crazy. But thankfully my peace doesn't come from this life and from this world.  Instead it comes from the One who created it all. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter 2017

Easter!  My girls were so excited for Easter (Kate especially).  We started the day off with our church family, and I was thankful that my parents joined us for the service.  After church, we came back to our house and my sister and brother-in-law joined us after their church service.  They actually beat us to our house and hid eggs around the yard for the kids to go find. 

Also while we were at church, the Easter bunny visited our house.  I know those of you with small kids understand the struggle of getting a family ready to go somewhere in the mornings.  Sunday mornings are always a rush for us to get everyone ready and out of the door on time.  Add in the fact that Kevin needs extra time to study (so the kids need to be somewhat quiet for a bit), and the fact that we get to church 30-45 minutes before it starts, and.... things get REAL hard.  

So, the last few years, we've tried to ease some of the rush and our Easter bunny has visited our house while we are at church. (i.e. - we load up into the car, and mama runs back inside to get something I "forgot", and put the baskets on our fireplace hearth.)  Not sure we can pull this off much longer but it's been nice while it's lasted.  The other plus, is that we all get to see the excitement of the kids actually seeing their baskets for the first time. 

And of course, we had to get a few Easter pictures...  

As thankful as I am to spend time with family, I'm even more thankful for the significance of this day - Resurrection Sunday.  No matter how good we are, no matter how hard we try, and no matter how bad we want it, we cannot be perfect enough on our own to earn salvation and be "made right" with God.  It is only through the perfect, sinless sacrifice that Jesus willingly offered to us through his death and resurrection can we be made clean. It is only through Jesus that our sins, failures, and shortcomings can be forgiven. 

And for that, I am most thankful. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Perfect Timing

I have a habit of reading my Bible app when I'm drying my hair in the morning. One thing about being a mama is that you take multitasking to a whole new level. :)  The scripture I came across was something I'd read many times before, but because of circumstances and events that had happened over the past week, it hit me in a way that it never had before and it got me thinking about God's perfect timing. 

It's easy for people to say "God's timing is perfect", when what they're really trying to tell you is to just be patient.  We try so hard to rush things and force things to happen, when in reality, God's answer to our prayer is simply "not yet".  

When the answer to our prayers is simply "wait" and the waiting gets hard, we can take comfort in knowing that His timing is perfect in EVERYTHING.  

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. - Galatians 4:4

From the moment that Jesus came into the world as a newborn baby, to the moment He was crucified on the cross, to the moment He was raised from the grave, God's timing was perfect.  The biggest events in the history of the world were planned and known from the beginning of time. The timing was perfect.

And even though the things in my life are definitely not as monumental as the Savior's birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection, I'm so thankful that God's perfect timing is apparent in a deeply personal way. There are countless personal examples of that divine timing in my life, but of course one of the biggest examples are these two girls right here:

I am so thankful for HIS timing, through bringing these two into our family.  Anytime I need a reminder to just trust and be patient, I really should just open my eyes a little wider and remember the ways that God has already worked in my life.  How about you? 


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