Thursday, January 31, 2008

Proverbs 3:5-6

This past summer, I read the book "Into the Deep" by Robert Rogers. His whole family was swept away by a flash flood and he was the only one who survived the terrible tragedy. Very sad story. I cried through many parts of the book...but there were so many positive things I took away from his book. As a family, they truely made every moment count...making memories and having quality family times. His wife reminded me of myself...always grabbing the camera...making a memory. I love that! If you have heard Robert speak, you know that he can recite many verses from memory. Every night before bed, they would help their kids memorize scripture. Another one of our goal's for this coming year is to help our children do the same. Caedmon just finished his first two verses.

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Covenant

I’ve been reading and learning in my devotional time over the past several months about the history of the Covenant—what it means, where it all started, the practices that took place in the Bible, and what it means to us today. A lot of these thoughts come from a book by Kay Arthur “God, How Can I Live?” Our pastor just preached about this subject last Sunday. He reiterated how lucky we are to live on this side of the Covenant.

I am continuously amazed at the abundance of information packed in the pages of the Bible. How God used people & symbolism to give us a foretaste of what was to come. There is always something more that God has to teach me.

David & Jonathon made a covenant in 1 Samuel 18. In verse 4 the two men exchanged their robes symbolizing “I am so becoming one with you that I will take on your likeness.” This is what the New Covenant is all about – our taking on His (Christ’s) likeness. Romans 13:14 “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” He is our perfect role model.

Then the two men exchanged their weapons symbolizing the taking on of one another’s enemies…whenever one was under attack, it was the duty of the other to come to his aid! In the New Covenant, I do not have to worry about defending myself against my enemies. My Covenant Partner, Jesus, is my defense. I am to give love, He will deal in justice. Romans 12:19-21 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath…on the contrary if your enemy is hungry, feed him…do not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

They also exchanged belts representing a man’s strength symbolizing that now as covenant partners, they would compensate for each other’s weaknesses. If one ran out of strength, the other would become his strength. Psalms 46:1 “God is my refuge & strength an ever- present help in trouble.”

When David & Jonathon entered into covenant with one another, that agreement superseded all other relationships, even those of birth. Luke 14:26 “If anyone come to Me, and does not hate his own father & mother and wife & children and brothers & sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” Does Christ have the preeminence in my life above all other relationships? Ouch. That’s hard for me to grasp sometimes.

This is exactly what Jonathon did when his father, King Saul became jealous of David and wanted to kill him. Jonathon, by virtue of covenant had to protect David from his father. Jonathon’s love for David was to have preeminence over his love for his father. So Jonathon warned David and David fled as Saul continued to pursue him determined to destroy him. During this time, David had his ups and downs…days when he felt confident in Himself through the Lord (1 Samuel 24:12 when he had the opportunity to kill King Saul, he rested on God’s sovereignty and knew he had to wait on God) and other days when doubts & the clouds of circumstances obliterated the reality of the presence of God’s promises (1 Samuel 27:1 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul.”) This is so familiar with my life…the ups & downs…days when I feel confident with who I am in Him and other days when the circumstances of life blind & cause doubts even though I know what He has promised me over and over again. It’s comforting to know that others felt the same as me and God was so gracious to them as He is to me.

Word came to David that King Saul & Jonathon were both killed and he was grieved at this news. When Mepholbosheth’s(Jonathon’s son) nurse heard the news, she took him and fled thinking that David’s men would kill him as well. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, Mepholbosheth fell and became lame. (2 Samuel 4:4) If only he would have known the covenant that David made with his father, Jonathon—their covenant agreement extended beyond themselves to their families. Their descendants would be entitled to the benefits of their covenant…David would treat Mepholbosheth, Jonathon’s son the same as he treated Jonathon. This is the same type of covenant that God made with Abraham. God would not only become the God of Abraham, but also of Jsaac and of Jacob. Abraham’s descendants would know the benefits of God’s covenant with Abraham...we fall in there somewhere too. Hallelujah!

Years & years had passed and Mepholbosheth was overcome with fear and bitterness born of prejudice & rumors-which spreads like dandelion seeds, caught and carried by the winds of “have you heard,” taking root wherever they land, marring the beautiful meadow of truth. Oh how many times have I been caught up in things I thought to be true(became crippled)…making assumptions, when later I learned they were not as I thought.

And Mephilbosheth, the son of Jonathon…came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David (who was King at this time) said, ”Mephilbosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!” David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathon, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?” Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson…nevertheless Mephilbosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.”…So Mephilbosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons (2 Samuel 9:6-11).

Because of covenant, Mephilbosheth was set apart, sanctified.

And so are we.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Turning 33 in the Windy City

I celebrated my 33rd birthday this past Thursday and had an amazing week spending time with family, friends, my husband & myself. The week started off last Sunday with a birthday dinner at my Mom's. She made all the comfort food that I love. Growing up, our traditional meal on Sundays after church was a beef roast, mashed potatoes & corn. That was exactly what I wanted and she even threw in a green bean casserole & sauteed mushrooms...two more of my favorites. An extra little treat for me on that day was having my son fall asleep in my arms. Now that hasn't happened for a long time. Caedmon has never been one to like a whole lot of snuggling so sometimes I have to hold him down and attack him with kisses against his will. I cherish any chance I can get so I kept smelling his skin and kissing his head. I loved it!
On Wednesday, we dropped the kids off at my Mom's at 7:30 in the morning and headed north. Kevin had an appointment in Sturgis and dropped me off in Shipshewana for a few hours. I had fun browsing around the little crafty Amish town. My most exciting purchases were a bag of popcorn from Yoder's & some homemade granola from the Blue Gate Restaurant.
From there we headed to Chicago for Kevin's annual business meetings and would spend the next three nights here in downtown Chicago. But first, we drove past Chicago and had my birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Shaumburg, Illinois. Why drive past Chicago to eat at the cheesecake factory when there is one in Chicago? Well, some of you already know the answer to that, but the rest can keep reading.
We just don't do this enough. It has been a long time since we've gone out...just us. As we were traveling that day, we decided to discuss our family's goals for the next year and one of those was HAVE MORE DATES.
We shared a salad & pizza. Kevin chose both items and I gave him a hard time since it was MY BIRTHDAY, right? But I was so glad he convinced me to try the chopped salad...it was delicious!
Right across the street there just so happened to be this big blue building that caught my attention.
IKEA is one of my favorite stores and we usually come at least once a year. It's the ultimate chic household item shopping center and their prices are good. They have great ideas for organizing in small spaces which is perfect for us right now since our space is small. It's hard to explain the feeling I get when that building comes into view. My heart starts pounding faster and I turn into a little kid. We had a blast cruising around the three levels and posing for silly pictures.
Kevin was having fun too as you can see. Some men have given him the advice to take two aspirin before entering this store, but I have to say that he enjoys it about as much as I do and is usually pretty patient. It helps to have a cafeteria on site.

Our favorite section in the whole store is the AS IS section where you can find the dirt cheap items. I found two medium size glass storage containers for forty cents each, and two curtain panels for my bedroom for three dollars each. They will replace the white sheet that has been hanging there. Kevin also found enough wood to build me a bench for our garage for $3.50.

Kevin was in meetings most of the day on Thursday. I spent most of my time that day scrapbooking. What a dream! I accomplished so much and loved the uninterrupted quiet time. I also caught up on all the news & daytime talk shows that I don't watch at home. That evening was "The Mixer", an event for the Northwestern advisers & their families. Big beautiful buffet style tables are set up all around the room and everyone makes their way around meeting new people and seeing old friends from the company. I absolutely love spending time with the group from Fort Wayne. They're truly like family. Great role models and people you just want to be around. We've gotten to know one of Kevin's business partners well. Rob & Jenny have two children the same age as ours and are expecting their third in March. Jenny and I usually spend time together while our husbands are in meetings. This is the first meeting that neither of us have brought the kids along to. Jenny & Rob, Kevin, Me & Kara G.

On Friday, Jenny and I decided to brave the cold and walk down Michigan Avenue. It was very cold, but fun to get out of the hotel for a bit. We had lunch here.

That night was the Dinner & Dance.

We were served a fabulous dinner. Here is the menu:

APPETIZER
Chili Roasted Apple with
a Bouquet of Field Greens, Duck Confit,
Candied Walnuts, Wedge of Gorgonzola Cheese,
Plum Vinaigrette
MAIN COURSE
Grilled Fillet Topped with
Crusted Vegetables, Blackberry Demi,
paired with
Crab Stuffed Jumbo Prawns, Coconut Beurre Blanc,
Pear Potato Croquette with Sun Dried Tomato
Bundled Snap Peas
DESSERT
Dark Chocolate and Bitter Orange Mousse
Citrus Pots du Cream
Rosewater Feullentine Truffle
Chocolate Pearls and Fresh Raspberries
Dessert is always the highlight for me.

THE DRESS

My sweet niece, Maci, let me borrow her Christmas dress for the banquet. I felt so privileged to wear it and had several compliments on it that evening. Thanks Maci. Sorry no pictures of the dancing...I did get Kevin out on the dance floor for several songs which is a HUGE accomplishment in and of itself.

I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my birthday this year. I feel so refreshed and ready to be a mommy again. Thanks so much to both sets of Grandparents for keeping the kids and for letting us spend a few days together.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Summer in January

It's a typical cold and wintry January day here in Indiana. The high temperature for the day is a whopping 15 degrees, but with the windchill it feels more like 20 below zero. Therefore our family is staying inside today. The warm sunny days of last summer seem so long ago, so I decided to post some of my favorite yummy summery fun days of this past summer to remind myself that yes, summer is coming again.Tonight for supper, we decided to have an indoor summer picnic in January with all the fixing's including hamburgers & hot dogs on the grill, lemonade, & baked beans. I love the smell of the grill and it smelled exceptionally good tonight. Yes, that's Kaiya's bathing suit hanging from the light. We really wanted to put ourselves in the summer mood. Kevin asked why I didn't put my suit on--uh, that's OK...let's not get carried away now. I guess we could have brought the pool in and set it up in our living room...maybe not. What's a summer picnic without roasted marshmallows?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Clean Sink

We all have little quirks and obsessions if we're living and breathing individuals. Usually people around us notice these little things we do and there can be some friendly ridicule involved. My husband stands at the front of the line poking fun at all my little obsessive habits and I'm the first to point out his. It's all in good humor though unless there is bodily odor involved.

The appearance of a clean sink without a single object sitting in it waiting to be washed gives me a great sense of delight.


Isn't it pretty? Nice & shiny and empty...just the way I like it!

A couple years ago after listening to a M.O.P.S group speaker give tips on keeping your house in order & clean, I was inspired to put some of those tips to action in my own home. Now honestly, I am like everyone else...I always have a goal in my mind of how I would like to have a perfectly clean house...one that is spotless at all times so that whenever someone just happens to drop in I can breath a sigh of relief. With two small children, it just isn't the case most of the time. I was recently reminded by a friend that the little messes & marks our children leave for us are really blessings. I would much rather have the evidence of children living in our home than to not.

OK, back to the M.O.P.S speaker...she recommended the flylady website for additional tips on cleaning. After checking it out, I learned a tip that has really helped me keep my sink empty most of the time.



I placed a container under the sink to hold hand washables which keeps them out of sight until "handwashing day" comes. The other dishes go directly into the dishwasher after use...so that keeps my sink empty & my mood lifted.


I'm sure my Mother & Grandmothers had their own little quirks and obsessions about things...and I wish I had more insight into some of those things. These little things paint a picture of our personality in a way that we could never describe ourselves. So I'm going to make an effort to record some of these situations to share with others a few more details of who I am...even if it sounds a little crazy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Big Girl Bed

Uncle Curt & Aunt Sarah delivered Easton's toddler bed on Saturday for Kaiya to borrow. She was so excited on Sunday when we made the switch from her crib. It was three o'clock in the afternoon and she was ready to put on her pajamas and kept getting in and out of the bed the rest of the afternoon. The first two nights after tucking her in, she came out several times saying she had to go potty...well, three out of the five times were false alarms. Once settled down though, she stayed in her bed the whole night so it's been an easy transition. No more babies in this house.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tailgate Party

On Saturday evening we celebrated Caedmon's 4th birthday. With twenty-four guests in attendance, we had a full house. Caedmon was anxiously awaiting the party all week...month long and kept asking "Is today my party?" He was in "football heaven" and was so excited to be surrounded by all the people he loves.

Here is the invitation:I stayed up late on Friday night decorating and had his cake finished before he woke up on Saturday. I loved the look on his face when he woke up and realized that today was finally the day. This age has been a lot of fun. The innocent magical wonder and excitement expressed during Christmas & birthdays is so neat to watch...and Mom & Dad are still the coolest people on earth...for now anyway.

The cake was exciting to make...even daddy got into it and helped me with all the appropriate football field details.
Our family calendar for the month of September had a picture of a football cookie that Caedmon spotted. He showed it to his Grandma Clara to see if she could make some for his birthday party.
Little quarterback Karis
Are you really four already? Time is sure flying by my son!Happy Birthday!


Today it was so fun to watch the sheer joy on your face as you ran & played outside in the 65 degree weather we were experiencing in January. Wow, what a gift--thanks God! It felt like the first day of Spring! You were covered with mud, but it was worth the belly laughs that echoed across the yard. I love you!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Brrrrrrrr! It's Cold!

With highs today only reaching 15 - 20 degrees, we're feeling a little cooped in. Caedmon has been begging to play outside...and as I was telling Kevin that on the phone yesterday, he commented "Why don't you bring some snow inside?". That's a great idea! So today we brought six buckets full of snow and dumped them into the bathtub. Caedmon quickly grabbed his mini tractors and trucks & scooped, pushed & plowed the snow all around the bathtub.

We even made a snowman.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy 2008!

Our friends from church, Sean & Jayne Miller, invited us--along with several other couples to their home for a New Year's Eve party. They were so kind to let us bring all the kids along as well. The kids had a blast and we did also. Lots of yummy food and great fellowship. The girlfriends had a little friendly ping pong competition and I was doing so well beating all of them until little Miss Jayne came along and creamed me. The hit of the night was the Playstation 2 game called Buzz Mega Trivia that Ryan & Jaime brought along. The game is a lighthearted trivia group game presented like a TV game show and geared toward adults that was hilariously fun.
They even had a junior buzz game that the kids had fun playing.

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Thanks again for a fun night!