Sin lives in a costume...

"Sin lives in a costume; that's why it's so hard to recognize. The fact that sin looks so good is one of the things that make it so bad. In order for it to do its evil work, it must present itself as something that is anything but evil. Life in a fallen world is like attending the ultimate masquerade party. Impatient yelling wears the costume of zeal for truth. Lust can masquerade as love for beauty. Gossip does it's evil work by living in the costume of concern and prayer. Craving for power and control wears the mask of biblical leadership. Fear of man gets dressed up as a servant heart. The pride of always being right masquerades as a love for biblical wisdom. Evil simply doesn't present itself as evil, which is part of it's draw."

 - Paul Tripp, Whiter Than Snow Meditations on Sin and Mercy (Loc 296, Kindle Edition)


Funny Preschoolers & Fathers Day

This year we made a Cook Book for all the dad's in the class. We asked the kids "What does your Dad cook & how does he cook it?" We typed up their answers, made a booklet and gave it to each of the families. Here were some of my favorites:

"My Pa does whatever my grandma tells him. He cooks everything that's good. He uses toms. Then it cooks and he puts on salt."

"He wears a chef hat and a chef outfit. He uses the thing that are like scissors but you use them for salads. And he puts it on the BBQ. And then we eat it."

"He barbecue's steak. I think he burns it a little bit and that is all. He buys it at Vons. He puts on salt. I think he uses a big air pump thing to cook it. He makes it good. He fires it and a tiny bit burns."
Haha, don't the gas tanks have a close resemblance to helium tanks?

They are out for the summer now and most of them will be in Kindergarten next year. I will miss their funniness but look forward to the next group of kids.


What preschoolers call the egg yolk...

Since Easter I started noticing some of the preschoolers referring to the egg yolk (that they of course don't like) to a few different things. Here are some of their responses to "What do you call this part of the boiled egg?" The first response is my favorite:

"The animal"
"The seed"
"The apricot"
"The baby"
"The chicken"
"The ball"
"The hatch"


All things family: Mothers

Various projects have taken my blogging time recently...but I'm still here. This would have been a great post for last week. But here ya go anyways. Stop by soon for some fun conversations I had with my preschoolers.

*= Favorite posts- Both happen to be by Rachel Jankovic

*Motherhood as a Mission Field "Look at your children in faith, and see how many people will be ministered to by your ministering to them. How many people will your children know in their lives? How many grandchildren are represented in the faces around your table now?"

*Motherhood is Victory "These mouths we are feeding — these are the mouths that God has ordained to use to silence the enemy....The victory is ours, because the Savior is ours."

Mothers for whom Jesus Died- I never thought about Mothers that are not physically mothers due to past abortions...but John Piper reminds us of not only their motherhood but that Jesus came to die for "abortion-committing-mothers." So good.


Helpful posts on Hot Topic: Homosexuality

Some Seminars on Homosexuality, Change & The Gospel:  You can watch the videos by Matt Chandler or download them and listen while you cook/clean/whatever it is you do. I listened to the first one last year and his explanations were super helpful.

What is Better? Jared Wilson asks & answers the question "Is it orientation? Or is it choice?"

Mohler & Dever on Gay Marriage and The Church- Albert Mohler is one of my favorite to read and listen to. You will find him helpful.

The Case of the Lesbian Den Mother: Moral Reasoning Exposed- Albert Mohler uses the current story to discuss moral reasoning.

And then amidst all the discussion it's good to remember that The State Does Not Have the Authority or Power to Cure All Ills.


All things family...

Here is the round up of All things family....
* = My favorite

*Prayer Journaling for your Husband and Children*- This was my favorite this week. Grab a pen, journal & bible. Leave a legacy of prayers and prayers fulfilled that your family can eventually look through and praise God! Love this!

Desperate, Breathless, Dependent Parenting- "Some people tell me it is brave to raise my kids in Africa. They could get malaria or be bitten by a poisonous snake. They don’t have a Sunday School class. They can’t eat gluten-free foods. Their friends are Muslims. They live far away from cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents….My initial reaction is to be tempted to say, 'Well, I think it is brave to raise kids in America.' "

The Everyday Questions of Motherhood- "The constant battle of motherhood is more subtle, more everyday, more hideable. At the center is one question: Will I sacrifice?"

Forgiveness for Moms who Fail- Distorted guilt of moms, what true guilt is and Christ as the answer for guilt mom's feel

Lecrae's 'Man Up' Mission to Address Father Absence- What 116 is up to and the trailer for their short film on Manhood.

10 Ways For Moms To Respect Their Daughters -"She deeply desires to be loved and the deep admiration of respect is most profoundly felt for her in words and acts of love. She is comforted and secured by the knowledge that God and her parents love her."


Etiquette for Ladies

I've been reading like crazy lately (trying to keep my mind off the 3rd book of The Hunger Games). I've started reading classics that I've always wanted to read but not enough to actually pay for. So it's been great b/c the kindle store offers many classics for free. Jane Eyre by Charlotte by Bronte is so good and and I'm reading A Hand-book of Etiquette for Ladies which is fun to read. So if you notice my vocabulary improving, that's why :) Here are some tips for you ladies to keep in mind:

Always bow when meeting acquaintances in the street. To curtsy is not gracefully consistent with locomotion (Loc 84, Kindle Edition)

Ladies of good taste seldom wear jewelry in the morning, and when they do, confine themselves to trinkets of gold, or those in which opaque stones only are introduced. Ornaments with brilliant stones are unsuited for a morning costume. (Loc 108-110, Kindle Edition)

Cautiously avoid relating in one house any follies or faults you may hear or see in another (Loc 131, Kindle Edition)

It is not contrary to good-breeding to laugh in company, and even to laugh heartily when there is anything amusing going on; this is nothing more than being sociable. To remain prim and precise on such occasions, is sheer affectation. Avoid, however, what is called the "horse-laugh." (Loc 162, Kindle Edition)

So watch your morning jewelry, the horse laugh, and remember to bow in the street-not curtsy :)


All things family...

Here's my round up of posts that are All things family hope you find one or two interesting/helpful. Happy Friday!

Five Problems I have with Slutwalk Marches "Over the past year, more than 50 SlutWalks have taken place in the US, Canada, and around the world, including Australia and Britain. The events are similar to “Take Back the Night” rallies. But they differ, because addressing sexual violence is only one of their aims. SlutWalk also wants to aggressively redefine notions about woman’s sexuality."

The Littleness of Motherhood "Even the temptations to sin are little. Getting huffy about water on the bathroom floor. Falling into full fledged worry over a diaper rash, a cold sore virus, or a teething baby. Stumbling into pride over potty training, homemade bread, or well dressed children. Getting selfish over a moment with your coffee. Feeling that somehow the smallness of it all justifies the sinfulness in your attitude."

Ten Ways for Moms to Respect their Sons- Some practical help for moms with sons.

5 Things You Should Know About Child Sex Offenders- Super helpful-especially if you have any part in children's ministry. For more on Protecting Your Church from Predators go here-with Deepak Reju.

Women aren't fish and men aren't bicycles-“Even in Christian circles, we cultivate an attitude of independence in our girls. The underlying message is that women need to be independent because men are untrustworthy, and will almost certainly let them down….But can a woman truly "win" in a world without men? Is she better off without ties to a godly father, uncle, cousin, husband, or brother?”

How eternity shapes our mundane- On "Parental Amnesia"


The Hunger Games

Since I got my kindle I haven't done a ton of blogging. Partly because I was out of town visiting family during Easter week and partly because since I've been home all Rosie's naptimes have been filled with reading The Hunger Games Trilogy. James says I have to wait to borrow the 3rd book from the Kindle Library. But since I've already reached my limit for this month I have to wait till NEXT month! It's killing me! I've really enjoyed the books so far...

When James and I went to go see the movie I was really excited.( I hadn't read the books yet) He asked me why I was so excited and I told him I think it's because it has to do with kids....then I watched the movie and even though there are some pretty rough scenes of kids killing kids...I really liked the movie. All I could think about was how Albert Mohler sometimes refers to our culture as a "Culture of Death" (when it comes to the abortion industry)...and somehow I saw a faint reflection of that in the movie...of the capitols blindness to the Hunger Games and the deaths it required....gotta think about it more though.

Well my sister-in-law said I should do some kind of post on The Hunger Games. For now this will have to do but maybe I will do one on why I'm enjoying them so much in a little bit. For now here are some posts I've enjoyed that talk about the movie....


What I do when Rosie sleeps...

This past week I had a little fun while Rosie was napping....

I've been hinting for so long to my husband that I want a kindle (It's so much easier to read while nursing). My most recent hint was my "kindle fund" jar. To my surprise, I found some twenty dollar bills in it the other day from my sweet husband! (And I just had to put a picture of Rosie napping in there.)

Thanks to Pinterest I've discovered new ways of crocheting. I hand-crocheted this from an old shower curtain we never used.     Thought it'd be a good accent on our wooden chair in the living room. Gotta love that bulky look!

All I did was 

1. Cut it into one long continuous strip. 
2. Roll it up like you would a ball of yarn.
3. Made my first hoop.
4. Went around in circles till I finished it.

I actually thought it would be bigger. I can't imagine how much fabric it'd take to make a bulky rug! But maybe with an old fleece blanket or something....another time, another time.

I did the same thing here with an old summer dress. But since it wasn't nearly as much fabric I went for something smaller-cup holders!

All things family...

The ones that I found this week seem to go mostly for the ladies. But I'm pretty sure thats who read this blog the most-at least whom comment the most. My FAVORITE this week was "Motherhood is Application". I really enjoy the way she writes and how she applies the gospel so clearly. I hope you will too. I noticed that she (Rachel Jankovic) has also written for the Desiring God Blog on occasion and through them I discovered another gem she writes for called Femina. Anyways, hope my finds this week are encouraging in some way...Woot! It's Friday!

Keeping Home Priorities in View- "...with great gratitude to God, I testify that my parents were not hypocrites. That is the worst possible heritage to leave with children: high spiritual pretensions and low performance. My parents were the opposite: few pretensions, and disciplined performance."

On Misreading Daughters- A post on the tender hearts of little daughters.

Ladies, Don't Compartmentalize God- Having a worshipful attitude amidst the messy, busy life.

Motherhood is Application- “The days of a busy mother are made up of millions of transformations.
 Dirty children become clean, the hungry child fed, the tired child 
sleeping. Almost every task a mother performs in the course of a normal 
day could be considered a transformation. Disorder to order, dirty 
clothes to clean, unhappy children to peaceful, empty fridge to full…”


Sharing Biblical Concepts with Children

I mentioned in my last post that I'm reading Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd & Margie Tripp. I just finished reading Chapter 4 "Three Principles for Communicating Formative Instruction" and thought I'd post a couple of helpful quotes and then some bullet points:

"We give our children big truths they will grow into rather than light explanations they will grow out of."

"Children grow in their perception of the gospel as they move from a naive, tactile, and sensory grasp of the world to a more abstract ability to interact with concepts. This is a process...We need to teach these spiritual concepts in gentle, compelling ways."

Don't Mix Imaginary Stories with True Bible Stories
- Illustrate spiritual concepts for children by other means than popular entertainment characters.
Sidenote: This reminds me of the Santa Clause in his red and white outfit bowing to baby Jesus in a manger at Christmastime-just a little confusing for little ones ;)

Don't Trivialize the Gospel to be "Relevant"
- When we "bring the Bible down to their level," children quickly outgrow their love and wonder at biblical narratives. Children will grow into their understanding as they realize that God's Word is different from all other literature. It is truth. It is life.

Help Young Children Relate to Bible Stories in Tactile and Physical Ways
-Giving real examples of sizes, lengths and heights from stories (i.e. Spear from David and Goliath, weight of Goliath's armor-so they could imagine themselves in David's sandals)
-Putting yourself in similar situations as people from the OT (i.e. Setting out on a trek like Abraham and Sarah saying that "We will never return. I don't know where we are going or what will happen but God will give guidance and provision.")

*examples taken from book


The Bible As Our Family Album?

Have you ever thought about Abraham of the bible being related to you or Ruth? I mean ever REALLY thought about it. I kind of knew it but it didn't mean as much to me as say being related to my Grandma Mary that I have real memories with. But reading books like Adopted for Life by Russell Moore and now thinking about Scripture as Our Personal History-a section in Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd & Margie Tripp...I'm starting to see it, love it and cherish it...

Russell Moore originally got me thinking when he was talking about how he was counseled NOT to change the name of the boys he was going to adopt because it'd give them identity issues and how he was counseled to be sure to give them their Russian History. He had a different idea (I think more biblical) he was going to change their names and give them the Moore family history-because that's what they were becoming-and he went on to say that not only were they going to hear the Moore family history but also the stories of the Bible-that of course he hoped he'd claim as their own. I love that.

Personally, I know the stories of my auntie Mags pulling out my uncle Henry's hair and how my great grandpa served chorizo and eggs to movie stars in L.A. I love knowing how my Grandpa Joe sold huaraches with his mom on Olvera St in L.A. but since Jesus saved and adopted me into HIS family I have another family history. A history that tells of a Creator and the sinful people he used to point to their need for a Savior, and how the long awaited Savior actually came to save the sinful people and make a way for them to be with the Father-my Father :) I love that. Isn't it sweet?!

Well let me leave you with some quotes from the book I'm currently reading on the same topic:

"God has revealed himself to us in the Scriptures, telling us who we are and why we were created. Scripture is our history. Creation, Fall, and Redemption are the context for understanding life. Our children cannot understand why they are in this world, how sin has affected them, and how redemption restores what sin has destroyed, apart from their spiritual history."

"Scripture is history that tells us about ourselves."

"Scripture is not only about God's people of old-it's about us and our children. The Bible is our family album."


The Infinite & The Finite

This weekend was filled with snotty tissue, coughing (or should I say hacking?), the sound of a humidifier, and lots of naps on the couch. No, I didn't catch the flu (Praise God! Because it's going around my work) but it was still no fun when my coughs woke Rosie up or I couldn't take a full nap b/c of uncontrollable coughing and wheezing....but me being sick is a good reminder of my humanness. Valley of Vision- The Infinite & The Finite brought it to my attention:

 May I rejoice that while men die, the Lord lives, 
that, while all creatures are broken reeds, 
empty cisterns, 
fading flowers,
withering grass, 
HE is the Rock of Ages, the Fountain 
of living waters.

God is so good to remind me and thus renew my spirit when I am not feeling good at all. It reminds me of that scene from The Passion of the Christ when he says to his mother "I make all things new." Thank you God that I am just me and YOU are YOU.

Here is the except from the movie.


All things family...

Here is my round up of posts concerning families. There were some good ones this week. Hope you find some helpful or at least interesting.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made “And indeed we found that she had an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Thankfully, the tube had not ruptured so she did not bleed to death. We had to excise the tube where the baby was growing (leaving the other tube for future pregnancies). What we found inside that tube is pictured below. A dead baby at about 10 weeks of age.”

The Lorax: Branching Out - The political side to The Lorax.

Understanding Complementarianism- Don't know what that is? Well Justin Taylor put a really helpful list of websites, audio and articles on this topic to help us learn more if you don't already know.  Be sure to also check out his follow up post on decision making for complementarian couples

The Fear of Baptizing Children. Ever wonder about the right age for a child's baptism to take place. Well you will find this article helpful. He did a follow up post here .

How an Affair Begins a quick post on how listening to another person's spouse can be dangerous.

Motherhood is a calling “Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn't have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won't be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.”

Brothers, love your wife more than seminary "Deeply dwell on the Gospel. Your affection for your wife can only go as deep as your affection for the person and work of Christ. Because marriage is a picture of how Christ has loved His church, if your heart has grown cold toward the cross, you can be sure it has grown cold toward your marriage. Thus, do everything possible to keep your heart soft toward Jesus."

Fearfully and Wonderfully Drawn “Diversity within my family and diversity within faith-filled communities is necessary for the displaying and the building up of the Body. And, it is inside the safe and comfortable boundaries of family that my children are free to explore and discover God’s hand on them.”


New Look

About every year I get tired of my blog looking the same- so I change it up a bit. So you may notice changes here and there...if the font is too small or hard to read let me know.


Talking to your kids about sex

If you have never visited CCEF.org I highly recommend it! They have wonderful counseling resources and blogs/articles on a variety of topics from mental disorders to family relations. Here are a couple of videos by Julie Lowe on Talking to your children about sex.


All things family...

Should I Divorce if I Am Miserable?-Dr. Moore answers the moral dilemma of a reader.

16 y/o Augustine and the Enjoyment of Wanton Sin- Augustine recollects an event and thinks about the secrecy of sin.

8 Ways to protect your child from sexual abuse- I love the first one and think it's key. "Every part of your body is good and some parts are private"

Be a Real Husband and Dad- "Real husbanding and fathering never gets put on hold for any season, or for any degree program — no matter how hyped we are about our little pastoral callings. Way too much is at stake with our families right now to just go through the motions while we prepare ourselves for some future ministry. In Jesus we become the real husbands and dads we're called to be now, in seminary, for the good of his church tomorrow."


Talk: It gives LIFE or DEATH

I just picked up The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. (I believe it's a book that came out of a Desiring God Conference). The first chapter I'm reading is by one of my favorite authors Paul David Tripp. I could probably quote his whole chapter but I'll just leave you with a few:

"The book of Proverbs is, in ways, a treatise on talk. I would summarize it this way: words give life; words bring death-you choose. What does this mean? It means you have never spoken a neutral word in your life. Yours words have direction to them. If your words are moving in the life direction, they will be words of encouragement, hope, love, peace, unity, instruction, wisdom, and correction. But if your words are moving in a death direction, they will be words of anger, malice, slander, jealousy, gossip, division, contempt, racism, violence, judgement, and condemnation. Your words have direction to them. When you hear the word talk you ought to hear something that is high and holy and significant and important. May God help us to never look at talk as something that doesn't matter." (p24)

"...it is only when I love God above all else that I will love my neighbor as myself. It's only when God is the rightful place in my life that I will treat you with the love that I have received from him. Brothers and sisters, hear this: you don't fix the language problems, communication problems, and word problems horizontally; you fix them vertically." (p37)

"Word problems are heart problems." (p30)

(embolden & underline are my emphasis)


Post Pregnancy Pants

I don’t exactly fit my pre-pregnancy pants…and the ones that I do fit-they aren’t without that cute little muffin top-which means my tops are limited b/c that’s just not something that I want to accentuate.  Honestly, getting ready for church is one of the most frustrating times with that muffin top…it’s so hot in our house at that time of the day and most of the time I started getting ready too late. So it’s typical for me to feel hot, rushed and of course LARGE!

I have to say it’s been a grace of God that I have a friend who gave birth 6 weeks after me-so we feel gross together and I think it gives us a sense of normalcy-but what is it about not fitting into your pants that just really makes something go off inside of you?! It’s H-A-R-D! Post pregnancy body is not fun.

As I’ve talked with her it’s been so revealing. And I can see through my tears and frustration before church that I value so much of the way I look above more things than I’d like to admit. And as my friend asked…Is this something new? Or has it always been there? This vanity of mine- I can’t get away from it. Lord, help me! I think it’s always been there, but it’s post-pregnancy times like this that show me how deep it goes. And it goes deep my friend. Very deep.

So as I was reading from 1 Peter 1: 24, 25 last week I found myself relating to a verse that I thought I’d cling to more when I was maybe 60 years-old or so. Here is the verse:

All flesh is like grass, all it’s glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
But the word of the Lord remains forever.
And the word is the good news that was preached to you.

(60 years is not when your body really starts to wither…Haha apparently it’s 25.)

 So, Peter, what you are telling me is that my flesh is withering? Okay. For real I get it because when I grasp at it, it slips through my fingers. Note to self: Heather, it’s only down hill from here. Don’t grasp at it like it will last forever and bring you all your happiness, there’s only One that will do that.

Only the Word of the Lord remains forever. And what is the Word? The Good News that was preached to you! Oh man, Lord, help me to remember it and love it! 


Little Dublin girl tells the story of St. Patrick

 If you are looking for something to show your children about St. Patrick this year here are a couple of videos we showed the preschoolers today. The first one is super cute but may be hard for kids to understand b/c of the heavy accent. I love it b/c the story is being retold by a little girl from Dublin in the 1960's. I wish I had the transcripts of everything she's saying. Here is the back ground on it from YouTube:

"This series, including the original Oscar-nominated short, from Brown Bag Films is based upon the 1960s recordings of young children telling Bible stories in a classroom to their schoolteacher. When a film crew arrives at an inner city Dublin National School to record the children, the result is a warm, funny and spontaneous animated documentary, featuring young children telling the story of John the Baptist, The birth of Jesus, the Crucifixion, Saint Patrick and others...."


All things family...

Tell your children what Hitler did- From Desiring God Blog John Piper briefly tells why it's important to your children the atrocities Hitler committed.

How we should think about "Self-Worth" From Desiring God Blog John Piper answers some questions surrounding "Self-Esteem"

Out of the rubble: Courageous Motherhood A story about how one mom lost two legs protecting her children from tornados and how her story reminds us of Christ's love.

What every man wishes his father told him- It's a new book. Read the review here by Tim Challies

Our Children are spring-loaded for worship From Desiring God Blog- John Piper talks about an experience with grandchildren.

The Gospel or Karma: Do your kids know the difference? From the Shepherd Press Blog

Lessons from a Newly-Wed: Husband Worship Guest Post from a Newly Wed on Husband worship. See her very own blog The Nava Nest.

Is motherhood all it's cracked up to be? Guest Post from a new mom on her new experiences and how she is seeing the gospel.


Lessons from a Newly Wed: Husband Worship

Suzie Nava is a newly-wed. As a newly wed she's been going through a lot of change. She's in an entirely different culture! Though she is far, she and her husband are part of our church family, and thought I'd ask her to write about what she is learning out there in La Paz. Here is her encouraging post!

I am a beyond blessed newly-wed to the man of my dreams.     I enjoy every moment of it, even its challenging times, but have much to learn on this new journey of ours. My husband and I have temporarily moved to La Paz, Mexico, where I desperately needed to learn/practice my Spanish speaking skills, as it my major in college. However, along with this move and being married I underwent a lot of change in environment and culture simultaneously. As a result, I encountered some difficulties such as learning how and what it means to be  a wife (which it’s a process), learning to cook, adjusting to the Mexican culture and language barrier, making friendships and finding community, as well as being productive with my time. 

During this time I have been up and down in emotions, yet my husband has been so patient and tender in meeting my needs and helping me to adjust, which just radiates Jesus to me, constantly directing me to Jesus and His sanctifying grace. What an incredible role God has blessed us with in being a husband or wife to be an example to world of God’s perfect love and faithfulness to  His people and  honoring us to mirror this sweet relationship (Ephesians 5:22-33).  But at the same time I have to be careful to not make my husband my savior or idol and be sure to keep my eyes fixed  on the true Savior, Jesus, knowing that He is the only one who will never disappoint me.

And so this brings me to worship and had to ask myself, where is my worship rooted? In What Did You Expect Paul David Tripp discusses worship as “ you attach your identity, your meaning and purpose, and your inner sense of well-being to something” and further explains that we either get these things horizontally (from creation) or vertically (from our Creator and Father in Heaven).  And so this challenged me in checking whom and where I was placing my worship—on the temporary circumstances, my husband, appearance, etc—instead of focusing on the truth and sweet joy of Jesus.  Our sin, well my sin, causes me to focus on myself and make me concerned most for myself, yet we are to “no longer live for [ourselves], but for him who died for [us] and [rose] again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Thankfully  God’s grace brings myself to an end in living for the flesh, my  selfishness, and into an identity in Christ, making my meaning and purpose to rest in Him. And through this truth, daily I am able to rest in Christ’s love and learn to love my husband, adjust to change, and make every opportunity a chance to reflect His love to others.

Through the past months I have learned many things like how to be a better wife (and taking joy in every part—even cleaning) and creating a strong deep foundation for our marriage with Jesus being the center. I have come to be so grateful for what I have, taking the littlest things for granted like hot water and embracing a much more simple life as do the citizens here in La Paz do. Or being vulnerable in making friendships and even speaking Spanish when I am out and about, instead of always relying on my husband : ) But thankful to say that I am close to being fluent—it’s just a matter of stepping outside my comfort zone. And of course learning to trust in the Lord always (2 Corinthians 3:14). Yet, like I mentioned above it is still indeed a process, and I am learning to pick up my cross daily. Many blessings!


Need of Grace

Loving me some puritans prayers right now :) This one in particular was especially sweet. Do you ever feel so sinful, so cold, and unable to muster up any affections to the One who saved you from death? This prayer is so real and I love it. Sometimes we feel may that way-maybe for just a day- or maybe for months. May God warm our hearts to his love. May we have the faith to believe in His goodness to us wicked sinners....pray along with me...

O Lord,
Thou knowest my great unfitness for service
my present deadness,
my inability to do anything for thy glory,
my distressing coldness of heart.
I am weak, ignorant, unprofitable,
and loathe and abhor myself.
I am at a loss to know what thou wouldest have me do,
for I feel amazingly deserted by thee,
and sense thy presence so little;
Thou makest me possess the sins of my youth,
and the dreadful sin of my nature,
so that I feel all sin,
I cannot think or act but every motion is sin.
Return again with showers of converting grace
to a poor gospel-abusing sinner.
Help my soul to breathe after holiness,
after a constant devotedness to thee,
after growth in grace more abundantly every day.
O Lord, I am lost in the pursuit of this blessedness,
And am ready to sink because I fall short of my desire;
Help me to hold out a little longer,
until the happy hour of deliverance comes,
for  I cannot lift my soul to thee
if thou of thy goodness bring me not nigh.
Help me to be diffident, watchful, tender,
lest I offend my blessed Friend
in thought and behavior;
I confide in thee and lean upon thee,
and need thee at all times to assist and lead me.
O that all my distresses and apprehensions
might prove Christ's school
to make me fit for greater service
by teaching me the great lesson of humility

-Valley of Vision, Need of Grace ( A collection of puritan prayers & devotions)


Guest Post: Is motherhood all it's cracked up to be?

Doesn't it seem like there are a lot of new babies when you look at your FB friends? Well, I thought I'd ask one or two momma's I know to share their experience as a new mom and how it has pointed them back to Jesus. This is Ysabel. Besides being a good friend, she's also a stay at home mom, and wife to seminary student :) Their son, Adiah, was given to them December 28th 2011 looking just like his daddy. May you be encouraged by her post...
Ysabel & Adiah

Motherhood. It’s what I’ve always dreamed about. Well, to be a wife AND a mother is what I’ve always dreamed about. Now I’m just that, a wife to the most amazing man and a mother to a beautiful baby boy. 

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Yes and no. 

I love being a wife! I’m married to a man who loves me endlessly, who reminds me that my righteousness is not in my ability to keep a clean house but in Jesus. Who encourages me to have dreams and to pursue them. Who is such an example to me by how he loves our Savior! So yes, marriage was exactly what I thought: pure bliss!! So why wouldn’t being a mother be the same?? That’s where I was dead wrong! From the time he implanted in my uterus, it has been the start of a VERY sanctifying journey.  

Being a mom is very hard work. It’s a round the clock kind of work. There are moments when I think, “I really wanted this??” or “if he cries another minute, I’m gonna cry,” “sleep. That’s all I want, sleep.” Then there are moments where I look at him and my heart feels like it will burst because I just love him so much that I can barley handle it. Or when he’s snuggled on me and sleeping so sweetly I think “Please, please don’t ever grow up.” I’m such a bag of mixed emotions these days.

But one thing is for certain, idols are being exposed! Like One. Right.  After.  Another. One of the many is my need for comfort. Pregnancy was the most uncomfortable 39 weeks. Recovery after having him wasn’t fun either and being sleep deprived hasn’t been a walk through the park. But what I’m learning and having to be reminded of is that I’m not promised a comfortable life nor am I entitled to one. There is one thing in this life that I am entitled to and that is hell (Rom. 3:23). When I think of that I’m reminded of my NEED-my need for someone bigger than myself and my lack of sleep. I’m reminded that I need something that has more strength to get me through the day than my tall iced coffee. One who will make my idols “fall to the ground on their faces” (1 Sam. 5:3-5).That One is Jesus. His life didn’t revolve around what made him most comfortable and if anyone was entitled to a comfortable life it would have been Him. He suffered a horrific death on the cross so that a selfish sinful girl (me) could be forgiven (1Cor. 15:3-5).  So motherhood may not be all that I dreamed it would be, no, but it is refining me and making me cling to the Gospel more than I ever have before, so I’ll take it! :)

God is in Control of Rosie's Life

When you have a newborn it's almost expected that you keep her home from the filthy germs of the outside world for about month before bringing her into public places. (Actually the birthing class instructor recommended more than that). However, the more I read about it, it seems more like on old wives tale more than anything. My pediatrician and the classes I took from Kaiser never said anything about this. And the pregnancy bible (What to Expect when you are expecting) said that unless it's under 20 degrees , over 90 degrees, or during the flu season, there's really no need to keep a newborn indoors. BUT, for some reason I felt that it was the right thing to do, and seasoned mothers even praised us for it.

Our thinking was challenged by someone who loved our souls enough to challenge it. He asked us to search our hearts and make sure we weren't keeping Rosie home to give us a false sense of being in control of her life. Does that make sense? When our intentions were questioned it was hard but good. I just started crying to James and said "But what if she catches something and dies?" As I thought about it more, I realized she was home with me when James was at church b/c we didn't want people touching her yet, or holding her. I was home with Rosie b/c I thought thats what good moms do (I was also in quite a bit of pain). But the truth was that, she could have got sick at home, or hurt at home.

An encounter with a spider made this even more clear to me. I left her on the bed to nap for a bit.  When I came in to check on her, there was a nasty looking spider chillin by her head. I smacked it with my hand immediately and texted James about how Rosie didn't get a bite.  His text back to me was "I guess God really is control, huh?" Yea, I guess so!

We kept her home, as means to be in control of her health...but the truth is anything could happen to her at any moment. Whether it happens at home or out of the home, God is control of her life, not me. Whether you keep your baby home for a bit after she's born or not, remember God is control of her life, not you. May that sweet truth release you from the expectations of others, and worries of your mind.

Side Note: I don't look down on anybody who keeps their babies home! I know each situation is different and after you give birth to a baby just walking around is not an easy task-so home sometimes is just better. But it's so good for us to check our hearts or have our hearts checked by someone that loves us so that we don't think we are in control of the lives of our precious little babies. 


All things Family...

I don't have time to read every single post of the blogs I follow but before clearing my blog roll I always skim for topics about family life-especially parenting and children. Here are the ones that I found and liked this past week or so. Hope you find some helpful.

Some Thoughts on Guns and YouTube Scoldings as Parenting Tools Remember that video of a Father putting his daughter on blast b/c she wrote badly about her parents on FB? Here are some thoughts on that as a response.

How Shame and Guilt can Enter Into Parenting "You're not going to eat after I worked so hard on it?" "There are starving children in Africa" "Do you know how I hard I work to put food on your plate?" Sound familiar? Here's a great video on why those things can be destructive and devoid of the gospel.

How to help your husband when he's crticized C.J. Mahaney and his wife, Carolyn, talk about how to be a helper to your husband when he is being criticized by the church/family/friends. Good things to keep in mind!

Kids Feel What Parents Expressively Feel A video by John Piper on an experience he had with his grandchildren.

Teach Children the Bible is Not About Them (Thanks Chrisha) A great post by Author Sally Lloyd Jones of The Jesus Story Book Bible

Praying with my baby

Today was my first time praying with Rosie. I think I never did it out loud with her before b/c my thinking is that she doesn't get it anyways. The truth is, she probably doesn't right now. But it won't be long before she does, and I want it to already be in place.

She's only 3 months- so I have to admit it was a little strange getting that "Dear God" out. But as I started talking, it was a really sweet time with Jesus and Rosie before putting her down for bed. I want that to become so much of an evening routine so that it's weird when we don't talk to Jesus before bed.

What did I pray for?

That God would keep her healthy, help her to sleep sweetly, and that He would bring Rosie to treasure Him above all. I prayed that James and I would always point her to Jesus. May God be gracious in our parenting with her, and save our itty-bitty sinner :)


When I grow up I wanna be....

This week was my first week back to work. I went from 30 hours to 20 hours so it's a nice break to be out of the house and not miss Rosie too much and at the same time do what I love-teach preschoolers. It was a very warm welcome. The kids made a sign and colored it for me and there were a couple of girls and one teacher :) that were extra excited to see me.

Today at work I gathered some quotes from the kiddos. The topic? Career Plans. I asked them "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Here are some of their responses.

"When I grow up I wanna be ..... a cooker and a babysitter."

"When I grow up I wanna be ...... a BEAR! No, actually I want to be a hunter. I want to go to the African savanna and shoot a cheetah."

"When I grow up I wanna be .....a hunter like he."

"When I grow up I wanna be .....a wifeguard."

"When I grow up I wanna be .....a police."

"When I grow up I wanna be .....a mommy."

"When I grow up I wanna be .....a fairy."

"When I grow up I wanna be .....still little so I don't miss my mommy."

I loved the African Savanna one! What was your favorite? Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were little? I wanted to be a teacher. In fact, I'd make my little brother play school with me. He played until he got sick of doing the homework I gave him :)


Pro-Life Images

I missed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (January 22nd, 2012)
 But here are some Pro-Life images that I love.


All things family...

Preparing Eight-Year-Olds for Marriage- Looking for a good blog on marriage, parenting & children? This is a good one to follow called Shepherd Press. This particular post takes a look at Tim Keller's book The Meaning of Marriage and talks about why it's important to teach children about biblical friendship so as to prepare them for future marriage. Very good post.

10 Ways to Love Your Children- From The Resurgence blog here are some biblical ways to love your children. Enjoy.

Healing After an Abortion- In this video David Powilson talks about how to heal from the guilt and shame of an abortion. I am Pro-Life. But doesn't that mean I don't have a heart for those who have had an abortion. I can only imagine the weight of carrying that around. I pray this video blesses someone.

C.S. Lewis on Young Parents- some fun quotes from C.S. Lewis.

Daddy Dates- Oh how I love this idea. James does something similar on Saturday and Sunday mornings. He takes care of Rosie in the mornings while I sleep in. 


Training Parents How To Discipline With The End In View

I love Russell Moore. I want James to go Southern Baptist Theological Seminary just so I can sit in on Russell Moore's lectures (Don't worry Church fam, I don't want that more than I love Kaleo). He's a big  Adoption advocate. In fact, Russell Moore wrote Adopted for Life, a book about our adoption as believers and the call to adopt orphans. Last March, I was blessed by my church to attend the Children Desiring God conference in Minnesota and doubly blessed when I got to meet and listen to Russell Moore speak on parenting. He's not a boring speaker by any means and he's very easy to listen to. This is one of the messages I got to hear. If you have some time, I hope it blesses you.

Training Parents How to Discipline with the End in View from Children Desiring God on Vimeo.

Liked that? Well read more of what he has to say on other topics as well here at his blog.


Postpartum Sin

Have you ever seen those cutsie moms with their cutsie newborns in the hip slings with their very trendy outfits on? Well, I don’t know about you, but when I was pregnant with Rosie I always noticed them! I knew having a newborn is hard work but how did they look so “put together”? I looked at them, and took a mental picture of how I wanted to be…as would soon be revealed…at the cost of idolatry.
When you have an amazing church family and a newborn, you get lots of meals and visitors. And that’s what I have. When visitors would come over, I always wanted the house to be tidy and even if I was still wearing my maternity clothes, I wanted to look nice. You know, like having a newborn “ain’t no thang.” Even though I was in pain and could hardly sit in any normal position, I didn’t want it to show.  Vanity, my precious idol, was starting to surface.

How did I know that wanting the house to look nice and me wanting to look nice were idolatry? Well, I’d get super stressed out if I knew people were coming over and the living room was messy. I’d get mad at James if he didn’t help me clean up right away. A clean house came before wanting to spend time with God. And when it came to my appearance, I LOVED hearing “you don’t even look like you had a baby” comments-more than I LOVED hearing what God has to say in HIS word.

I really noticed my vanity when one day I started thinking about what I would wear to church my first night back. At first it seems harmless. I mean, seriously, it would be one of my first nights out of the house in a few weeks! But when you weigh what church is really about and what I was excited about, one side was heavier than the other. I wasn’t as excited to hear about Jesus and praise God with His people as I was about what I’d wear. Pretty sad.

I think I still struggle with this. I have to fight my vanity with the truth that I have nothing to boast in, unless it’s in the cross. Because someone far more beautiful and lovely than me looked his worst FOR me. On the cross he was beaten and killed to take away my sins and make a way for me to be near God.

Moms with newborns, take the time to look nice and clean your house (and praise God if you have the time to do those things), but not at the cost of finding more joy in it, than your Savior.

I suppose I will get some comment saying that wanting the house clean and wanting to look nice are not bad things. To that I would agree. But my heart was looking for joy and satisfaction in those things instead of Jesus-and that’s NOT right. Anything good can be replaced with Jesus. It’s not the good things that are bad…its our wicked hearts.


Baby Comparisons

Before Rosie was born I wondered how it would be to have a baby with fair skin, blue eyes, and light hair. I suppose I just figured my features would be dominant and that we'd have a baby with dark and dark eyes.  So now that Rosie has blue eyes, fair skin, and light brown hair I'm always so happy when people say that she looks like me. Recently my mom brought my baby pictures and I thought I'd post a couple of Rosie and a couple of me-just for fun. ( I promise, I'm working on more serious posts)

I think we have similar smiley faces. 

Ooo the blank stare... Same shape of eyes just diff color is the general consensus.

I'll try and get some baby pictuers of James too!


Rosie Noella Burdette is here!

Well, if you don't already know from FB, Rosie is here! Rosie was born November 15th, 2011 at 2:30 in the morning. She weighted 7 pounds and 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. She was/is healthy.

Birth Story 
(for those of you who were asking me to share it)
When she didn't come on her due date (surprise, surprise) we went in for an ultra sound to make sure there was enough amniotic fluid for her. Turned out that there wasn't and the doctors strongly suggested I go to the hospital to be induced. Their worry was that there could be cord trauma. Maybe oxygen would be cut off to Rosie and end up in a stillbirth. I really didn't want to be induced and was willing to wait to be at least two weeks over due before I'd consider it. But when the doctor said "still birth" that changed things a little. We went home and looked up that stats for the possibility of a stillbirth in my situation and it was less than 1%. However, I didn't want Rosie to be that less than 1% so we prayed about it at home and decided to head to the hospital.

Once I was there they checked to see if I was dilated. I wasn't, but the doctor "accidentally" popped my water bag. (I wanted that to happen naturally too) It was a blessing though b/c it got contractions going for awhile to delay the pitocin. After 6 hours of contractions w/o pitocin, they decided I wasn't progressing fast enough and gave me some pitocin. Thats when active labor kicked in and I could really feel those contractions. At 4cm dilated I wanted an epidural but my husband and friend knew thats not what I originally wanted so encouraged me to stick it out a little longer. About an hour later I was fully dilated and ready to push. Rosie was out 45 minutes later. O, yes, tons of fun. With pitocin and no epidural giving birth was by far the hardest most painful thing I've physically done. (The aftermath on my body wasn't so easy either) But as all Moms say "It was worth it." And it really was. We love our Rosie.

I've been so busy I haven't been able to write or post pictures or anything! So now 2 1/2 months later I'm back! Here are some pictures of our Rosie girl.


1 month old

2 months old

Most recent 2 1/2 months old

Though it didn't initially feel like it, God is teaching me a lot. Taking care of a baby has definitely revealed a lot of sin in my heart but God has been gracious in also showing me His abundant grace.  I hope to share some of those things with you guys. So stay tuned if anybody is still out there :)