Saturday, October 30, 2010

As far as the East is from the West...

   I'm wondering lately why its so hard for us to take God at His word.  God speaks, "You're beautiful" and we speak back, "Thanks God, but I'd be more beautiful with...(fill in the blank)."  He says, "I love you. You are mine" and we immediately think, "But I wish that someone would tell me I am chosen and special."  He speaks, "You are forgiven and you are free" and we keep bringing the same sin struggles to Him asking for forgiveness.  It's like our human minds are incapable of deleting the sins from our lives.  Thats not to say that there aren't consequences for our sin...because there are.  But when we come and confess and repent of our sin to the Father He literally deletes the account of it from our record.  "As far as the East is from the West"....thats how far He removes our sins from us!  When I want to feel ashamed of my sin, or dig up old graves of past sins that are dead and buried I have to do it without Him by my side.  Because it would contradict His nature and character to go with me and revel in old sin patterns.
  In the cross we have freedom from sin.  So any significant sin struggle that we have in our lives is so easily defeat-able....because its already been taken care of by the cross!  Its our job, then, to elevate ourselves into Heaven's perspective.  Its our job to take God at His word.  Believe what He says about us as the supreme and only opinion that truly matters!  When we get into Heaven's perspective, we realize that all sin is easily overcome-able because we know who God is and how small the enemy is in comparison to God.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Eli turned 3!!!

This year for Eli's birthday party he wanted a rodeo/cowboy party.  I loved this theme and we had such a good time I thought I would share it!  We started the planning with a little photo shoot of Eli in his cowboy outfit to use for the invitations. Here are some of the cute pics that came from that...

  I took my favorite from his little session in our backyard and photoshopped the invitations.  Then we burned the edges and rolled them up and tied them with some twine.  Attached was a little tag with the kids names on them.

  When the kids arrived we had a friend dressed up in western to help the kids get all "gussied up".  Each child received a cowboy hat, bandana, sheriff's badge and fake mustache.  For food we had hot dogs, chili and chips, and an assortment of desserts.  Cupcakes, haystacks, "snake eggs" which were oreo balls, and Smore Pops (marshmallows dipped in chocolate with graham cracker crumbs sprinkled on them).  We made wanted posters with each child's picture and a nickname, then laminated them.  These were the place mats for the cake time.

For games we had pony rides and roping a cow (the cow was borrowed from our church's nativity set from last year). We also played a "pin the mustache on Cowboy Eli" game but we didn't get any pictures of that.

Lastly, for party favors we made "hobo bags" with a bandana tied at both ends and goodies inside.  We made little money bags out of burlap with bubble gum coins in them, some suckers and a fuzzy poster of a cowboy to color. Also we made some bags of trail mix and the kids took home their wanted signs and cowboy gear.

We had an incredible time celebrating our little man and all the effort was truly worth it.  He had so much fun and I think he will remember it for a long time!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Yea" phase

   We have officially entered the "Yea" phase with Eli, and I couldn't love it more!  You know the one, where you ask a question and in their sweet little voice respond with a gentle "yea".  We'll be talking about what he did at school (his mom's day out program) and he will say that he played on the playground. I'll ask him, did you do the slide? "Yea" he'll say as he uses his hands to make the going down the slide motion.  And it seems that with every "yea" he feels so satisfied that he's actually communicated what he was trying to say.
   Truly, my heart literally melts inside every time I hear it.  Its like I, too, have this completely satisfied feeling that we are finally communicating on a conversational level.  At times when I feel extremely emotional just hearing his little "yea" brings tears to my eyes and I just want to run to him, sweep him into my arms, shower him with kisses and hold him so tight hoping that somehow I can cherish these days enough that I'll be able to remember them forever.
   And isn't that the Father's heart for us!  Every little stage that we grow into truly brings Him more joy!  I have heard it said that "God will never be able to love us more than he already does and nothing we can do can or will earn his love toward us.  But we can grow in favor in His eyes."  As we journey with Jesus and consistently make choices to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit, obey His commands, put God first and pursue a life of Holiness we can grow in favor before Him.  I find this to be true with my relationship with my kids as well.  I cannot love them anymore than I did the moment I found out I was going to have them.  On the day they were born I began to discover how to show them all the love that I feel but nothing over the last couple of years has made me love them more.  When Eli does a favor for me and helps get me something for Callie, or obeys quickly with a joyful heart it does not change the way I love him...although I am super blessed by his actions.
    So often we spend our time, money, and energy trying to earn the approval of our Father.  Our Heaven Daddy cannot love you anymore then He already does and its the delight of His heart to lavish that upon us.  If I am overcome with emotion and affection for my 3 year old (in 2 weeks) just because he says "yea" so sweetly, then how much MORE is our Heaven Daddy overcome with emotion towards us!
    For those of you needing the Lord to run over to you, sweep you in His arms and lavish you with affection for the first time or for a fresh touch just ask Him.  The sweetness of your voice, as His child, is enough to melt His heart.