how a 3 year old changes people

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Photo Credit: Allie Saville

We had so much fun taking Family pictures for Christmas and Holt’s one year pictures. Of course, Drake joined in the Holt lovin’ fun and we love how much they play! ALL THE TIME! He was a character during family pictures and is truly a sweet little boy who puts the awe in our hearts of parenting.

Some things to know about Drake’s second year!

He LOVES Disney shows…we went from him not being able to sit still for a show to begging to watch “Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First, Mickey Mouse, Daniel Tiger, Word Girl, Super Why, Curious George, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Cat in the Hat” I mean it’s crazy! And I’m now part of the parenting world where we sing all the songs ALL day and find ourselves still watching Disney when they’re napping and in bed!

He has asked “why?” since he was exactly 2. He started the week before his birthday last year asking “why?” I was absolutely appalled.

He adores playing outside

He loves his grandparents! I mean, BEGS to see them and visit them and have them over. I LOVE IT. I love that he gets to see them on a regular basis.

He is a pretending machine! He tells us what is pretend and loves playing!

Drake loves breakfast.

He loves chocolate milk, sprite, sweet tea, water, and fruit!

He loves his dadda more than anyone or anything on this planet ūüôā He tries to dress like him, wrestle like him, look like him, talk like him, eat like him….anything! And I wouldn’t want him to seek to be like anyone else on this earth besides his dadda!

He still calls us momma and dadda and I hope he does for a LONG time.

Drake is a very smart 3 year old. I’m aware that all parents think their children are brilliant. So whether it’s normal preference or an actual observation of his abilities and learning capability, I’m not sure. But he has been saying his abc’s since 18 months and can now spell his name and Holt’s name and other sight words, he has known his shapes since 18 months (even octagon which he pronounced octologon for a while!), He can sing and loves to play on instruments. He has had songs and books and stories memorized since before he turned 2. He has 3 bible verses memorized. I’m so proud of him, not because of what he can do, but because of his desire and eagerness to learn and grow. We love him and are so thankful for the journey of parenting our first born.

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a year measures more than time

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One of our college students (who is graduating and I can’t even believe we’ve watched her and her sister graduate college since starting at FBCWF) took one year pictures of Holt and our Christmas family pictures. Photo Credit: Allie Saville

The last year has been a blur AND memorable. I don’t know how both can occur, but it’s true. You can read about Holt’s birth story here. (From my previous blog). It was the fourth most incredible moment of my life! Salvation, Marrying Brady, Drake’s birth, and really, all of them make my every day the more incredible.

A few beautiful memories and characteristics of Holt::

He loves to dance *bop up and down.

He loves to crawl….FAST!

He is starting to walk! Taking about 10 steps at a time.

He climbs. So much! I looked at him today and turned away. When I looked back, he was on the train table, sitting on his knees! He also climbs in our window seat. He is pretty agile and can get down by himself.

Like all babies, he grabs for everything and I sometimes think he has go go gadget arms!

He loves to eat fruit! Just like his brother. We go through A LOT of fruit around here (and sometimes, internally, I’m proud of myself and wonder where the ability to prepare toddler food comes from? I would have never imagined myself doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for littles had you asked me 5 years ago).

He loves his Drake. He calls us out “day day” and it’s hard to distinguish between that and dadda!

He HATES his carseat carrier. He has from day one. In the hospital…screams every time! THANKFULLY he goes into a big carseat now!

He HATES laying down to get a diaper change. Sometimes I give him a bottle so he’ll be occupied for the 5 seconds it takes to whip out diapers!

He enjoys putting things into containers.

He can use a fork pretty impressively!

He loves books! Not sitting down to read (or anything else) but he’ll flip through one on his own and then move on.

He crawls around with toys in his mouth making noises.

He likes to sleep with a blanket over his head (and I’ve give up freaking out over it). I’ve watched him in the middle of the night take his blanket from the side of the crib and wrap himself up. Pretty coordinated!

Did I mention he despises naps? Not a long napper. At all.

He loves water! (again, pretty impressed with our parenting skills to get children to like water!)

His birthday was a whale theme and we had more fun than I expected with friends and family! He did NOT like the smash cake but really LOVED the ice cream.

 

You can imagine with all the intricacies of a little person’s preferences and dislikes, the sanctification that comes with that for the one seeking to shepherd his heart. It has been a joy to watch his brother desire to help him (so much so that he gets into trouble for trying to stop us from disciplining his little brother sometimes). They wrestle. I had no idea what was coming with boys. Watching them wrestle is incredible and always teaches me. Boys were meant for something so much greater than what this world is speaking into their tiny minds and hearts. God put it in the male to be bold and fierce. My husband has taught me how to manifest that, encourage it, and train our boys in the way.

I never knew or spent much time contemplating what parenting would be like and I’m fairly confident that was exactly how the Lord intended my decision to go about having children. I probably wouldn’t have had any….and if you’re a parent I think you’ll understand what I mean by that comment. There are hard times. Staying with my boys all day is for the most part INCREDIBLE. But there are times I question my patience, abilities, decisions, sanity, etc. When they’re both screaming, when they won’t nap and I selfishly need 10 minutes alone, when they don’t like what I’ve made to eat (which, thankfully, is rare), when they ask hard questions, when they reveal sin in my heart….I could go on. But it pales in comparison to the joy they bring me! This is my one glimpse into how Christ sees me and loves me. My sin paled in comparison to His love so much that He died a gruesome death in order that His perfect blood be shed to pay the price for my eternity. Oh what grace. That’s what floods my parenting thoughts and momma heart. Oh what grace.

Now, onto my post about my precious Drake turning 3!

Above Reproach

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This week will be the final bible study of the semester for me with our college women. This semester marks a huge marker in my life spiritually, as well as my life as a wife, mother, friend, and homemaker. This is the first semester I have committed to teaching a long-term bible study since having children and staying home.

Why I Have Been Changed::

*closer relationships with our college women¬† *using our home to show hospitality¬† *accountability to read & study¬† *a few extra minutes with one of my best friends before we start¬† ***TEACHING IS MY JOY¬† *discipline in keeping our home clean (we’re home all day, it gets a little ridiculous)¬† *yearning fervently for myself & our college women to be changed¬† *edified & challenge by what God speaks¬† *realizing how POWERFUL it is for our children to watch ministry take place IN OUR HOME–Drake asks “is it Thursday?” “Do you have bible study?” “are those ladies coming over tonight?” (he DOES love him some college girl attention, but he very much understands what is taking place)

How I Have Been Challenged::

*closer (and sometimes difficult conversations) with our college women *accountability to read & study¬† *the third night in our week we are “reserved”¬† *discipline in keeping our home clean (along with the conviction that WE LIVE HERE & these girls know I’m human)¬† *allowing myself some grace when I “FEEL” like a failure in whatever I’ve taught¬† *allowing myself some grace when I “FEEL” like I haven’t kept up with every single one our college women¬† *it’s okay to need other people in order to see BIG things happen

Last week at Bible Study (Busy Minds, Deceptive Hearts), we discussed what we’re called to be (I hate ending a sentence with a preposition, but there it is).

Our great discussion looked like this…..

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Overview of 2 Timothy 2:15-21

-approved

Ephesians 1:13 & 4:30 sealed by the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 1:22

-workman not ashamed

above reproach

1 Corinthians 6:19 Body is a Holy Temple

-correctly handles Truth

How? Read & Study

2 Timothy 3:16    1 Timothy 4:15-16    1 Thess 5:19-22 2

-no godless chatter

What is the healthy opposite? Phil. 4:8

2 Cor 12:20 (gossip comes with other things)

Prov. 11:25 be a refreshing water

-teaching will spread
Titus 1:9
Means::Exhort sometimes
Deitrich Bonhoeffer “Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”
2 Tim 4:2  Prov. 15:31  Prov. 27:6

*go back to the “correctly handles Truth” to exhort

Bonheoffer: “No man has any right to offer advice who has not first heard God speak. No man has any right to counsel others who is not ready to hear and follow the counsel of the Lord. True moral wisdom must always be an echo of God’s voice. The only safe light for our path is the light for our path is the light which is reflected from Christ, the Light of the World.”

-God’s foundation will stand no matter

-must cleanse/repent (Rev. 3:19)

when He makes a revelation it’s for reform not just to inform

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For the remainder of the week, my conversations revolved around what it means to be “above reproach”. I can’t define that for you in literal terms. I can speak to how the Lord has led and invested Truth into my heart to walk a life that is defined by grace & submission.

1 Corinthians 10 states:

23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his [i]neighbor.

You need to read the context of this to understand and comprehend the terms by which Paul is referencing. However, this has always been a leading light for me where convictions cause me to question my motivations. I think it’s poignant and specific that he ends the statement with the admonition to seek the good of his neighbor. It doesn’t matter if what I’m participating isn’t SINFUL or causing me TEMPTATION. What does it do TO and FOR my neighbor? That peer in your class, that sibling watching you, that parent who doesn’t know the Lord, that co-worker who has asked you questions about Christianity, that professor who challenges you on your faith? When we settle once and for all who we are setting ourselves to be and seek to be steadfast, it becomes less about our flesh and wants and more about glorification and gospel sharing. It becomes less about our rights and our pride and more about love. Above reproach means seeking the best for others. Our will and way diminishes in the light of His glory and grace.

This passage in chapter 10 of 1 Corinthians also states:

13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

I have heard this over and over “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. The Lord loudly and specifically spoke “LIE” to me when someone shared that with me 2 years ago. I sought Him hard and He quickly answered me why my Spirit was convicted that it’s not Truth.

IF HE DIDN’T GIVE US MORE THAN WE CAN HANDLE THEN WE WOULDN’T NEED HIM. I won’t go into my life’s circumstances as to why this has been a CONSTANT in my thought process lately, but will relate this lesson in being above reproach.

When we want to do something and be a part of something, but have just started a journey towards being above approach, sometimes the “no” feels painful and sacrificial. We want to go out dancing with friends. There is no harm there. However, we have to go to a bar to do that. A bar where the opposite sex is waiting in hopes of “taking someone home” …. a bar where there is alcohol (that in and of itself may not be wrong the over consumption of it is and will cause your body that is a Holy Temple to be compromised). Where others will see us. Their definition of our faith is not the same as ours so we shouldn’t be held to their expectation, RIGHT? In my conviction referencing the previous verse…..it has nothing to do with our definitions/terms or their expectations. It has everything to do with Truth. If I go to that bar what does that speak about my gospel? I can’t answer that for you-only for myself. I may see that peer in my class, that sibling watching me, that parent who doesn’t know the Lord, that co-worker who has asked me questions about Christianity, that professor who challenges me on my faith.

Our temptation and desire to do things is not beyond the ability of Him to meet our needs-in all ways and at all times. Being above reproach is more glorification and gospel sharing. It becomes less about our rights and our pride and more about love. Above reproach means seeking the best for others. Our will and way diminishes in the light of His glory and grace.

I know, because I’ve had this conversation over the last 10 years A LOT and over the last week A LOT. It’s not fair. I shouldn’t have to choose my activities and hobbies and times of fun based on the fact it MIGHT cause others to stumble. I shouldn’t have to choose my words carefully as others should be mature enough to filter them for me.

None of that reflects anything in Scripture. It’s hard to hold our tongue. Scripture commands us to. It’s hard to share the gospel. Scripture commands us to. It’s hard to love our neighbor as yourself. Scripture commands us to. It’s hard to love a wife like Christ loves the church and it’s hard for wives to submit….Scripture commands us to. It’s hard to give up everything to follow and be like Christ (even the fun things don’t hurt us but might hurt others in their understanding of the gospel), but Scripture commands us to.

He will fill us up with far more precious and valuable experiences than the ones we give up to be above reproach. He will give us more valuable and eternal conversations to replace the gossip. He will provide life-giving relationships to replace the negativity and judgement we pass over of others.

Micah 6:

8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Pushing back

When I became a believer of Jesus Christ, the instructions were to read the Holy Bible & pray. Sometimes my flesh does well with one of those or both. But, in reality, they were directions because they most certainly needed to become disciplines. Since the fall of man, those of us who seek the likeness of Christ, have had to push back the voices of the enemy & the lavish attempts he makes at our souls. Deep groaning & waling can be felt and heard in the aches of our hearts as we walk through moments that feel like eternity that are far more daunting than the pictures of life we imagined for ourself. Then we look back, with sanctified perspective, and see the beauty. We see the stretching that took place to create a far more tender and sensitive spirit in us. We see the wisdom gained and applied as we were pushed beyond our limits to serve and care for another. We experience the intimacy with a Father who drew nearer, as promised, in the midst of our anguish and disappointment. We feel the disgust for the enemy’s attempts on our heart as we pushed back his drawing towards depression, anger, & frustration. The looking back is the opportunity for reflection that produces the inner strength to face the pivots & pulls ordained for the future. A broken heart & a contrite spirit….

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