Thursday, April 30, 2009

a breath of fresh air

We rarely let a trip home escape without a hike to Eagle Creek from Uncle Ray's property...and this time was no exception. Infact, we've taken our nephews and niece since they were itty bitty, so even if we tried to skip a year, they wouldn't have it!
(Belle's holding up the hawk feather she found in this photo)This hike was full of hidden treasures and surprises. We hadn't even descended over the first hill and Duke cornered a very saucy snapping turtle.
look how ferocious that thing is! And we had to hold the growing chicks before we left!

Down the creek bed.
Where Luke found an old hatchet.
And Belle found a hawk feather.
A steep climb up to the ridge. Grace brought her critter catcher...just in case we got lucky.
We came upon some wildflowers just before the creek...Aunt Pamie with fragrant phlox!Aron immediately started his search for crawdads. And Eli hit the creek. I used to get in until I realized just how many water moccasins there are...ewww!

Kyla and her GIANT walking stick.
On the way home, Aron and the kids were quite a ways ahead of us. We came upon them, and this is what we saw: Belle sound asleep as she and daddy lay above the creek bed.The hike back is pretty intense, so Grandma Jackie gave Aron a break...And Eli took a turn. Belle slept the entire way...2nd year in a row! Maybe next year she'll make it through an entire hike awake!
Aron was planning on keeping Tommy up on the wall as a forever keepsake, but bless his heart, he just couldn't resist!
We finished the afternoon with some fishing (Belle sat on Aron's tackle Box and watched Gracie so faithfully) and a delicious lunch.
Pretty much a perfect day in Southern Ohio. And a much needed day outdoors.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She's 2 - exhibit C

Just when you think the curiousity driven mischief is under control, a certain 2 year old gets very bored while sitting on the potty waiting to finish her business.

This is exactly why Grandparents buy these sorts of 'activities' and not mom & dad! The good news...Grandma Jean had enough foresight to buy the paint that is actually soap.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Be Bold

"The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13 (NLT)

I saw Francis Chan speak on this verse at a conference last week and it really challenged me. The disciples were bold, were persecuted, and then went off and prayed for God to give them more boldness. God answered that prayer as they walked by faith.

Francis went on to say that most Christians in America are over-educated and frankly lack the boldness to obey scripture and walk by faith. I'm guilty as charged. I'm praying for God to give me boldness.

Proverbs 28:1 says, "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion." If you're walking with God, be bold and walk by faith. Don't worry about what you don't know. You're probably just an ordinary person lacking formal training in the Scriptures. But then again, so were the founders of our faith, Peter and John. So be bold, and let people take note that you have been with Jesus.
Not To Us,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

After a week away, we are home!! We'll be jumping back in the saddle this week, so be looking for some more regular blogging again! ejk

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wow...where did the week go?

The week has nearly elapsed...and so quickly!

Aron left Sunday to travel to Orlando, Florida, to attend Exponential, a church planting conference. His momma and Grandma Howard came up to Michi to stay with me for a few days while he was gone...which was so nice! I HATE being the only adult in dark house through the night!

I worked 12 hours Monday and Tuesday, and Belle had some awesome Grandma time. Wednesday we traveled six hours south to Green southern Ohio. The space and quietness restores me. I got to see the stars last night!!! You have no idea how much that means.

Aron took the camera with him to the conference, so this is a boring words only post! But he'll be back tomorrow, and there is a gorgeous hike in our future...I can feel it! The trees are green and the redbuds are still in full bloom...and mr. weatherman says saturday will reach 81 degrees.

I'm off to the GAP outlet this morning to find some maternity bargains and maybe some adorable baby boy clothes if I'm lucky. Papaw Paul is watching Belle and Chloe, so I am going to have some me time in the quietness of this sunny Thursday morning.
I love you all, and hope you're enjoying your day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

MetroBeach Bummin'

Today was we hit the Michi-beaches for a picnic lunch...with Grandma Jackie and Grandma Howard visiting from down home.
The day was a perfect 74 degrees with a cloudless blue sky.
Daddy and Belle built sand castles
With a little help from Grandma Jackie.

Daddy flew Belle's Barbie that is one secure man!
What a peaceful, wonderful day.


He goes on ahead

"He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." John 10:3-4

So this "following God" thing really is following. He goes on ahead of us. We spend way too much time maintaining our present situations and then we wonder why our lives become stagnant or why what used to give us fullfillment just isn't working anymore. It's because God is leading us on a journey. He doesn't want us to be "set" in life or to have "arrived". He has places for us to go, people for us to serve, and good works for us to do. For we are "God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he prepared in advance" for us to do.

Are you feeling stagnant? Are you feeling unfullfilled in a present situation? Are you feeling like you can't sense God's prescence in your life? Maybe it's because he has gone on ahead of you, and he's waiting for you to actually follow him into areas where you are uncomfortable and where you don't know if you can handle the pressure. That's where we truly walk by faith, relying on him to come through.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the best 2 minutes of your day, guaranteed.

In the next few days you'll probably hear a lot about Aron & his buddy, Joel. They'll be traveling to Florida for a church planting conference in Orlando (I am only slightly bitter that my husband will be in Florida for a whole week without me!!).

Joel recently planted Horizon Christian Church in Northern KY, and on his blog, he posted this video. It was created by the creative team at Elevation, a church in Charleston, North Carolina, for their Easter services.

Yeah, Aron & I both agreed with Joel's thoughts on the video: It rocked us. It shook us. It reminded us.

This is why I exist. This man, this cause.

Check it out...I promise you, this will be the best 2 minutes and 18 seconds of your entire day.

Elevation Church Easter Opener from Elevation Church on Vimeo.
This is why I exist.

God's good plan

"But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and cause him grief" Isaiah 53:10 (NLT)

This verse rocked my Easter world this past weekend. It was God's "good plan" to crush Jesus and to cause him grief. Not, "it was God's good plan to have Jesus show us how to live and then we'll all worship Jesus because Jesus is so great." No, God's good plan for his only son was NOT for him to have the whole world, but rather to "crush him and cause him grief" so he could save the whole world. This gives a whole new meaning to the Christian cliche "God is good!"

Jesus said that "unless a kernal of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds" (John 12:24). I think he was really serious when he said that if we want to follow him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross (remember, a form of death) and follow him. Are you carrying your cross? Are you sacrificing for others?

God doesn't want to crush us and cause us grief for no reason, though. Here's what Isaiah 53 goes on to say in verse 11: "When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins."

God wants us to die to ourselves SO THAT we can bring life to others. If you're suffering for stupidity, that's a whole other discussion. But, if you are sacrificing yourself or your time or your money for others, take heart and wait for the Lord. When you see what is accomplished by your anguish, you will be satisfied.

Let us accept suffering and hardship as a means to bless other people, for this is God's good plan.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

my heart awakens...

My heart comes alive when it comes to creating atmosphere. In fact...I LOVE it...from color to smells to lighting. I can't describe it, but that it makes parts of my spirit deep within me light up, and I feel so alive when I'm in this creation mode. This may sound weird, but its almost a worshipful, transcendent place for me.

Its been a bit of a challenge suffocating these desires since we don't yet have a home of our own which I can mold and transform to the ideas in my head, but God has been teaching me patience in waiting on His timing to provide this home for which I so long. We have been diligent in paying off our debt and preparing ourselves so that when we do purchase a home, it will be a blessing.

Now, as I've been dreaming of what our baby boy's room might look like...I've been so disappointed with all the bedding and accessories that I've seen. I am just not a cartoon/animal person, and that seems to be all that's out there for little boys. I haven't been able to find anything that awakens anything inside of me to excitement. Well, today, I stumbled across this picture on a friend's business website...and my heart went "pitter-patter". Inspiration at last: Simple. Vintage. Soft enough for baby, yet man enough for boy. This is so me:
from the wall decal (see above for a close up) that is oh so sweet and perfectly kissed with a precious little bird, and the dreamy color that reminds me of a rainy day at the ocean...

To the homemade quilt below. I ADORE the color combo in the quilt. Its so not what you would expect, but the combo of sage and olive greens with this dreamy muted blue/green then the splash of amber is beautiful! So maybe I will begin shopping for some vintage fabrics in which to make an heirloom quilt for this baby boy. Now to find someone who has the time & energy to actually sew this quilt for this busy, tired mommy...any volunteers? (he he)!

It's Tuesday...and we're still recooping...

This is our 2nd Easter weekend in the ministry...and wow, its still a whirlwind! An awesome whirlwind, but a crazy swirl of activity and celebration that requires an extra few days to fully recover. Plus, yesterday was no normal Monday at the office for me.

I couldn't unwind Sunday night as quickly as I needed to, and went to work on 4 hours sleep. I said I went to work...I should have said I went to the slave drivers hospital because I have never worked so hard in a shift in soooo long. We were understaffed...and midway through my shift just as I was beginning to get my head above water with the patients I had, staffing decided another floor was in worse shape than the one I was on. I could be better abused, I mean used, there!

At 3:00 I picked up 7...yes 7... brand new patients on an oncology floor, 2 of which were awaiting blood transfusions stat, one awaiting chemo, one standing at the nurses station wanting his discharge papers...oh you get the point, I won't bore you with the details. But I had 4 hours to do at least 8 hours worth of work in. And the worst part is that these are the patients I long to sit and talk with, to pour into, to share hope with. But under these circumstances, you literally run up and down the halls just to BARELY meet their physical needs. You zoom in and out of rooms like a robot. I HATE THAT soooo much! I have seriously considered packing my rollerblades in my nurse bag...I could really up my efficiency. So I am still recovering from a busy weekend and an exhausting day at work.

We had such fun Saturday at the Easter Carnival...a train ride on the GoodNews Express...or something like that.
An Easter Egg hunt through Jerusalem on Palm Sunday...
Mini-Golf in the Garden of Gethsemane...hey, its only a little least we weren't sleeping!
And much more...but this is all I have time for today.
Our little boy is 21 weeks strong today. I say 'strong' instead of 'old' because his daddy keeps grabbing my stomach and growling, "STRONG..that's my BOY!". He weighs 3/4 of a pound and is about the length of a carrot (not including limbs). Isabelle got to feel brother kick today...she thought that was pretty awesome.

Back to housework, friends! I'm enjoying spring cleaning!
much love,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good Friday

In honor of Good Friday, here's a youtube video we posted last year: Phil Wickham's "True Love". Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"I'm not rotton, I'm just Belle!"

A quick minute of dinnertime conversation here at KirkHaven. We sure got a kick out of gets better toward the end as she "cheeses" more and more. She ends with, "I'm not a cheeseball, I'm just Belle...". We think our little entertainer is both!

Oh..and to preface the scene. Belle made eyes at mommy, and so mommy couldn't resist and handed her daddy's diet coke so she could have a sip. Belle then looked at daddy with the most triumphant, ornery grin. To which daddy replied, "Belle, you're rotten!!"...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Below is a video of Belle's joy dying Easter eggs...intended for the few family members who wouldn't want to miss this sorta thing. Everyone else can ignore & enjoy your blog surfing:)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

an afternoon out

60 degrees isn't exactly warm, but in a Michigan spring, we'll take it. So we headed out to the playground this afternoon. Time to fill our lungs with fresh air!
It has been waaaay too long since we've done this!

Growing brave...
and climbing to new heights.
"I'll catch you daddy," Belle told Aron.

Aron was kind enough to hold my purse while I played...and I quote:"Its a European handbag, hun; I hear they're all the rage."
The view from your shoulders is fantastic, daddy.

for our baby boy - a proud father of me you have already made

On the car ride home from our ultrasound, Aron started singing this Jon McLaughlin song - from a father to his son. Its a moment I won't soon forget. I wanted to share it with you, because the lyrics are so touching and profound. I don't know how to post an mp3, so I found the best video I could...the sound quality isn't stellar, so I've written the lyrics below. Hope you enjoy!

There will be crying,
being the man that you should.
But, always be trying,
to see all the bad and the good.
And yours is a promising future,
but, know if it all were to fade.
But a proud father of me
you have already made.

And I'll try to be,
all of the answers that you'd ever need.
And I'll try to show,
All of the love that you need to know.

May the sparks in your eyes,
Outlive the lines on your face.
Hold on to the moments in time,
when you and I share the same space.
And thoughts of you hurt me,
but I know the feeling of wrong.
'Cause there are lessons to learn,
in all of the places I've gone.

And I'll try to be,
all of the answers you'd ever need.
And I'll try to show,
All of the love that you need to know.

So hold on to someone,
who'll love you through the hot,
and the cold.
And hold on to someone,
who'll love you,
no matter what they know.
Just hold on to someone,
who'll love you when your hot,
and when your cold.
And hold on to someone,
who'll love you,
no matter who they know.

Open your mind,
So colors of skin you embrace.
And open your eyes,
to harmony coming of age.
It won't always be easy to love,
when you give and you never get back.
But, no one's intended to die,
with their heart still intact.

And I'll try to be,
all of the answers that you'd ever need.
And I'll try to show,
All of the love that you need to know.

So take time to be still and to know,
that all of the world that you'll face.
That a proud father of me,
you have already made