Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Weekend

"God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because he lives."

We spent an incredibly blessed Easter weekend with family. Saturday we were able to celebrate with my dad's family, most of whom live in Illinois and we don't see often. It was so nice to be able to catch up and spend the day talking with each other. Sunday we went to my parents' church and then over to my grandpa and grandma's house for another family lunch. Luke and Avery are the center of attention everywhere we go. They are so loved by our families and it gives Mike and I such joy to watch them be loved on!

I am finishing up a Beth Moore bible study on the tabernacle and have been in awe of how much our God loves us and wants to dwell with us; I was especially struck by this during the week before Easter. God has used this study to teach me a lot about the history of the tabernacle and to remind me of how perfectly he has planned EVERYTHING. God designed the Old Testament tabernacle to be built so that He would have a way to be with his people. His glory filled the tabernacle, but it didn't stay there because the people were disobedient. Later, Jesus walked among the people and His presence was literally with them, but He couldn't stay either. He became the final sacrifice to forgive our sins. Now, God has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We get to be the tabernacle. We are inhabited by God's presence and His glory. We are called to daily sacrifice of ourselves in order to allow God to reveal himself to others through us! God has chosen us to show his glory here on this earth. How incredible!
Did you know that if you divide the Old Testament tabernacle directly in half (according to the specific measurements God gave), there are two perfect squares? At the center of each square is the ark of the covenant (on one side) and the altar of sacrifice (on the other side). The ark represents God's presence. The altar represents the sacrifice that must be made in order to come into God's presence. A perfect plan, made so long ago. Praise God for providing the sacrifice so that we can be always in his presence!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stuff to Do

I realize I should have posted this a couple months ago, in the dead of winter, but better late than never! We've done some fun stuff while being stuck inside; I love hearing new ideas of things to do with Luke. (Share if you have any!) He is so creative and loves to try new 'projects'. I've gotten these ideas online, in magazines, and from the Bright Beginnings preschool we go to during the month.

* No-mess finger painting! Squeeze a good amount of finger paint, different colors if you like, into a large ziploc bag. Seal tightly, getting air out. Duct tape top and bottom of bag to a square piece of cardboard. You now have a flat surface to 'paint' with your fingers, moving the paint around through the bag.
* Bird Feeders We have had so much fun watching the birds come to our deck to eat the bird seed off the feeders Luke made. There are two beautiful cardinals that come each day, a male and a female. We didn't have pine cones, but spread peanut butter on sticks instead. Then we rolled the sticks in the bird seed. Luke even loved just running his hands through the big bowl of seed!
* Fruit Loop Necklaces For our snack one day, we strung a piece of yarn with fruit loops. Luke thought it was the best thing ever to bite the cereal right off the string:) I had bought some fun noodle shapes to use too, but I still can't decide if that is too girly of a craft!
* Sponge Stamps Cut fun shapes out of small kitchen sponges and use them, with washable paint, as stamps. We needed bigger paper for this one!
* Paper Chains These are a great way to count down to a special occasion. We did decorate and make some paper chains this winter, but never as a countdown. Maybe we'll do one for Luke's upcoming 3rd birthday??
* Cooking We have done lots of cooking/baking together. Luke is a great little sous chef! I let him get the measuring utensils and add the ingredients to my recipes, and he usually has his own bowl to measure in whatever he wants. He loves to mix flour and brown sugar and baking soda and cinnamon or WHATEVER! And he always wants to try his creation:)
* Homemade Playdough We have yet to try this because I'm waiting until our real stuff dries out. I have heard this is a good recipe since the kool-aid makes it smell good!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm so into good deals! Thought I would share this one. Walgreens has a new photo deal each day this week. Today's is a free 8x10. Check it out! Just click on the Photo tab when you get there.


There are days, the past few in particular, when I struggle with the significance of the things I do. It is a challenge for me to voice these thoughts, but I do so with the hope of being an encouragement. I am confident that I am not the only woman and mother who battles with her own thoughts of self-worth. My sweet Jesus, when I finally decide to surrender to Him, always reminds me that my worth is in Him.
This past week was filled with much at-home time. The kids and I were sick with colds, and by Tuesday morning we were on our last box of kleenex and my positive attitude was getting wiped away with each snotty tissue. I hate it (as I'm sure all moms do) when my kids are sick. I feel like the world should stop because I'm worried about them. I get sucked into our house and our life and our little sickness. I do not feel like, or look like, a good wife. I wonder what I should be doing to be more productive. I feel like I can't go anywhere or get anything done. I feel like my house is a wreck. I think about all the things I'm missing out on. I feel like I should be doing more to contribute to our income. I feel tired and wish I could get some alone time and some rest.
Did you notice how many times I said "I"? Yeah, I did too. As the week came to an end, I began to think rationally again; I finally prayed to ask God to forgive me for my selfishness and to give me a confidence in my role as a mom. I was in such a sorry fog that I forgot to pray FIRST. When I did, God reminded me of a few very significant things.
* I have such an encouraging husband.
* My kids sickness is temporary. They have healthy, self-healing bodies. Praise God!
* I can praise him during sleepless nights because my baby loves to see me:)
* I am blessed to be HOME with my kids.
* I have an intelligent mind to teach my kids, and to be creative in ways to contribute to our family's income. It doesn't have to be with a salary.
* Mike has a wonderful job.
* I will leave the house again:) (sounds silly now, I know)
* Spring is just around the corner.

Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving me and for reminding me.