Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Final Lamb

I am winding up my time in BSF for the year. We have been reading the book of Matthew and as we have approached the time of the crucifixion my prayer has been that I will see the Lord more clearly and love Him more as a result. God is already answering that prayer! He is so faithful. Things have been clarified for me that I have never seen before. I have been brought to tears many times as I have reflected on my sin and the cup of wrath that Jesus would obediently drink on my behalf and the behalf of so many others. What a mighty God we serve. He is the suffering servant, He is the lamb who was to be slain for our sins. He is my sacrifice! He is my savior. It is by His blood that I am healed.

We read in Matthew 26 where the Lord had the last meal with His disciples and He introduced them to the Lords Supper. We also had a chance to go back and look at the Passover. At this time the Disciples and all Jews would have been preparing to partake in the passover meal which represented the deliverance from the rule of Egypt for them. They would be sacrificing a lamb whose blood represented their covering from death that had occurred at the first passover event. The symbolism has amazed me. The Lord in His sovereignty would determine that the right time for His son to die would be during passover. He would be the ultimate Lamb whose blood would represent freedom from death due to our sin. We are washed and made clean because of His blood!

One thing that I have always missed in the past is that after the Israelites sacrificed the Lamb they would be commanded to eat of the lamb. How did I never get the fact that the Lord was asking us to eat this bread (His broken body) and drink this cup (his blood poured out for our sins) to remember the sacrifice He had made just like He commanded the Israelites to eat the Lamb. Slavery to the Egyptians and the passover existed so that we may be able to understand the great sacrifice that the Lord was going to make. It is no coincidence that the Lord would be crucified at Passover. It was no coincidence that His people had always understood that freedom came from sacrifice. It is no coincidence that the Lord set this historical time in place and used it to point to Him and His final fulfillment. The yearly sacrifice is no longer needed! He paid it all! He drank the cup of all the wrath of the Father. Oh, Lord Jesus, you paid a debt I could never pay! May I never forget, even for a moment, the cost of my sin and the sacrifice that you made becoming my Lamb.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mexico Monday

Aidan and I went to the Dollar Store this weekend and loaded up on some prizes to take with us to Mexico to give to the kids when we do a carnival for them (if you want to read more about the carnival, Shannon posted about it on her version of Mexico Monday). It was so much fun and the Lord is preparing our hearts and the excitement level is greatly increasing the closer we get to June...only more 6 weeks to go!!! He also gave us a special little gift in the form of a Chick-fil-A kids meal prize. It is a CD designed to teach some beginning Spanish. I don't know that the kids or myself are retaining any of it but it sure is fun to drive around town and repeat back the Spanish words together with the kids. It is also helping us to eagerly anticipate the trip and I know we will see God at work during the trip.

This week will you please pray once again for the hearts of the kids at the orphanage. Please pray that God uses the message to speak directly to their hearts, to touch them exactly how they need to be touched so that they experience the love of Jesus Christ. Also, please pray for the medical group this week. They have the greatest opportunity for evangelism (from what I have been told). Pray that the Lord will bring just the right people to them for help, that they will be enabled by the Holy Spirit so that they will not only help meet the immediate medical needs but also the spiritual needs. Pray that all of us who make the trip will be radiant with the love of Jesus Christ and that we can share His love with those He brings in contact with us.

Happy Saturday

The weather was beautiful this Saturday so we spent the afternoon outside. It was so much fun. We drew on the sidewalk with chalk, played with bubbles, and the kids spontaneously and fully clothed splashed in the sprinkler. It was such a wonderful afternoon I thought I would post some pictures.

After all the outdoor fun we ate dinner and then had a family movie night. We rented the Bee Movie (which was not great, but OK) made some popcorn and cuddled together on the couch. Those days are my absolute favorites! I hope you had some wonderful family time this weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well, I mentioned that Trace and I were at a conference this past weekend on our much needed night away from the kids. The conference was to train people to coordinate a Perspectives on World Missions class. Ever heard of it? Well, I had not until the last year or two and if it had not been for my husband taking it I would have never thought twice about it. However, my husband has described it as one of the most life changing classes he has ever had and can ever imagine having. I know that God spoke to him and changed his heart during this class, however at the training seminar I found that this experience had been true for many, many people! People were blown away by this class. I still have not taken it, they only offer it once a year here and to my knowledge that will be this fall. I am signing up to take it although I am a little afraid of the class. The reason that I am afraid is that I have gotten to hear many stories of how the Lord has used this class and its teaching to stretch, grow, and change the students in it. It is always a beautiful thing when the Lord is active in my heart, but from time to time it can feel a bit uncomfortable as I get pushed a little deeper in my relationship with Him. It always produces greater joy on the other side, but the process of getting there, the process of not knowing where I will end up, where we are heading can make me nervous.

I really wanted to give you this clip that explains the class better than I can.

It is a college level course and there is a decent amount of reading. I have heard over and over that you will miss sooo much if you do not do your readings, but I have also heard everyone say it is so worth it because the time you invest in this class will truly change you forever. The class looks at the heart of God. His heart for the nations since the beginning of time until now. I was able to attend 2 of the classes with Trace and I promise you that the information I heard presented was not stuff I have heard anywhere else. It is not taught in Sunday School or from the pulpits, but it will deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ. Now, I must be honest...this post has a bit of a selfish motive. I would love to have some of my friends join me on this adventure to see how God decides to move in our hearts together. Will you consider taking this class with me? And for those of you who think they are off the hook because you don't live here, well it is offered all over the country and even in some locations around the world. Go to to see if you can take it in your own city. Please prayerfully consider it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Elevated Emotions

I ran into some new friends today. Well, maybe that isn't quite true...they aren't really friends, more accurately you would describe them as strangers. And I guess I should also clarify that ran into is not really a figure of speech this time. I literally ran into them, like with my car. I don't think I made such a great first impression. What do you think?

I really would not be making light of this except for the fact that everyone is OK, however emotions did get pretty elevated. Trace and I have this thing about people when they have accidents. You see people waving their arms and talking intensely and we have always commented that they look, well, ridiculous is the right word I think. That is exactly what happened today, but the funny part is that the people who were waving their arms and yelling were not the ones involved in the accident. One was a friend of the man I hit whom was leading the way to the destination they were headed to. He took the side of his friend and was pretty sure it was my fault. The other person was a young man who witnessed the whole thing and believed the man to be at fault and not me. These two men got pretty heated and despite my attempts to encourage them to let the police decide what happened they exchanged choice words and there was even a physical threat. I think the first thing the policeman said upon his arrival was I hope that I do not have to break up a fight between two witnesses. Needless to say, it was an interesting experience.

The policeman got an earful from the man I hit, then talked to the witness (who was taking my side), and then was forced to listen to every word the other man had to say. Finally he made his way over to me, gathered some info and told me I was free to go since my car was drivable (the other man was not so fortunate). He gave me a case number for the police report and I asked if there was anything I should be concerned about that would be on the case report? He responded with No, but this man is not going to like what I am about to tell him and again told me I was free to go. I thanked the witness who had stayed and was the only one who stood up for me. I apologized for the inconvenience and drove away, all three kids in tote and many questions to answer for my curious five year old. It made for quite an eventful day.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Life has been busy...much busier than I am accustomed too. 5 nights in the last 8 I have been up past midnight. I used to love staying up past midnight, but I just don't do it very often anymore. The craziness began with the week leading up to Rebecca's party. Then last week included finishing projects, working at a consignment sale, struggling to fit in a late night trip to the grocery store because there was no other time to do it, and then ended with many childcare arrangements being made so Trace and I could make an overnight trip to Dallas on Friday night and return Saturday evening. We went straight to a planning dinner for our Mexico trip upon our return and Sunday we had church and Care group that night. Today has truly been a gift. The kids and I have just been at home. We organized Aidan's room and took a walk and I plan to do some laundry in a little while. Getting life back to normal has been nice today. I feel like I can sit and breath (and catch you up on our busyness).

Our trip to Dallas was nice. Trace had been invited to attend a coordinator training conference for a class that he took in the fall (I will write more about that in the near future). The man who has put it together in the past is really needing more help and he asked Trace and another lady to partner with him. Our anniversary was last week so Trace asked me to join him for the training and we got a hotel room and went out for a fancy dinner (and I mean fancy...they even loaded my baked potato to my specifications at the table, that was a little awkward for me since I am more accustomed to fancy places like Chili's or On the Border). It is always a true gift to get to spend focused time with one another. It just does not happen often enough but it is a treat and it really helps us prioritize one another. Here is a picture of the hotel we stayed at in the heart of downtown Dallas. The restaurant we ate at was on the 38th floor with a wonderful view of the city.

It was a wonderful evening. Thanks Honey for planning it all for us! We did spend much of our time at the conference, but between the drive there and back we had more opportunity than normal to talk and that is the way I connect with my husband the best.

I did realize that I am not a city girl and the realities of the city are hard for me to handle. We drove the 10 minute drive from the conference site to the hotel and every inch of it was filled with a homeless person on the streets. My heart was truly grieved. It blows me away how such wealth and such poverty can exists side by side. I know that the Lord loves those people just as much as He loves me, why do I dismiss them as being below myself? My heart hurt as we drove by and I think that it should hurt. I think that if I really love Jesus Christ then it should hurt me to see His children living in poverty. I just kept saying, I could not do it. I could not live here. Why do I want run from the discomfort when I see it? Why do I so want to avoid even seeing it? If I am not directly confronted by it, then it becomes easier to ignore the reality and much easier to do nothing. My heart was so hard at one time, that although I may have been uncomfortable during this drive (largely based out of my own fear), I don't know that I would have been grieved by it. I am thankful that the Lord is making my heart tender and in the process He is changing me to seek Him more closely. I am beginning to view all of life differently and I pray that the Lord will protect my mind so that as I begin to view things differently I will respond biblically and obediently.

Here are a few more pictures from our trip. These were taken on the rooftop of the building where the conference was held. It was beautiful up there. I made Trace take a picture with me just like dorky tourists. We had a great time. Thanks so much to my mom and friends who made this possible! I owe you big time and I appreciate you hugely!

Mexico Monday

Please pray for the man who is finalizing his thoughts on the curriculum and discussion questions in the next few weeks. Pray for the small groups (my age is 3-6 or 7). Pray for our creativity as we look for activities that add to the discussion and that our young children will be able to complete.

On a more personal note, please pray for Trace and I. Pray that as we encounter some stress that comes on any vacation, but especially one that involves being in another country without any private family space, that we will still engage with each other with love. That we will be able to guard our tongues and that we will not take any of the stress or pressure out on each other but that rather we will be servant minded in all we do. That we will support and encourage one another in whatever struggles we may encounter. That we will be united by this experience and our marriage will be blessed. Thanks for praying!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Princess!!!

Sweet Rebecca, I CANNOT believe that you,little one, are three years old! I remember a time when I wasn't even sure I wanted a little girl. Thankfully the Lord knew better than me. It blows me away that you are 3, that you are turning more and more into a little girl. It also seems unreal that it has only been 3 years. I can barely remember life without you in it. It feels like it was an eternity ago. You have brightened my life in more ways than you know. You are a precious jewel in this family. I smile more because you are around. I laugh more because of you and my joy has greatly increased with you in my life. You truly are a gift from God. The Lord has used you to make me stop and take a look at myself. God has used you to teach me how to pray differently and more frequently. God has used you to change me, but mostly God's gift of you has made my life more abundant.

You have multiplied the joy, laughter, and fun in this home. I love that you laugh all too often, at things that aren't even very funny. Your smile makes me smile and your moments of innocence just melt my heart (key word in that sentence is moments). There is just something so special about a girl who exclaims "that is beautiful" when she sees a new dress and squeals at the sight of a new beaded necklace. I love that you want to wear a dress everyday, that you can't wait to put it on just to spin in it. You now talk nonstop and will repeat it over and over again until you know you are heard. I love the sound of your voice and your laugh. I love that you sing all the time and that you always want me to "turn it up" when the music gets turned down low in the car. It is fun just to be with you, to just be around you and enjoy you. You are a precious little girl! I treasure having you in my life. Happy 3rd Birthday!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mexico Monday

This week will you please continue to pray for the preparations for the Mexico Trip. We have a meeting this Saturday night for the VBS team. Pray that it will help us to communicate well with each other what needs to be completed and how we can best move forward with the details. Pray for a productive time together and for further relationship building. Pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us in every stage of the planning. Pray that we will all depend on Him through prayer during this time. Thanks for your prayers.


Today is our seven year anniversary. It is absolutely crazy to me that it has been seven years. I would have never guessed that this would be my life seven years ago. God has blessed me abundantly and my relationship with my husband today is so much better than it was on our wedding day. I know Trace so much better and I love him so much more deeply. He was my best friend when we got married and that is still true today. He knows me better than any other person knows me. He has seen me cry because I was sad, watched and heard me yell, and been there when I laughed until I cried. He knows what excites me and what grieves me. He understands and forgives me when I am irrational or emotional. He was there when we had our babies and we were overwhelmed with joy and he was there when we lost our first baby and were overcome with grief. We have walked some highs and lows together. The best part of that is that we have done it all together! I love sharing my life with you, Trace. You are a wonderful Godly man.
I want to record a few memories that I treasure.
I treasure our Sunday night TV nights with a home cooked meal and fresh baked cookies from the first year we were together.
I treasure our cluelessness as first time parents and all the books we read trying to figure it out together.
I treasure our trip to the kooky bed and breakfast for our 5th anniversary. I love that we talked so much, played a lot, laughed plenty, and prayed together.
I treasure our long trips in the car to Clovis, where we have time to plan and prioritize for our family and share our hearts. Those long drives are precious to me.
I treasure the endless number of games played together as a family.
I treasure our Sunday morning prayers and our family nights on Wednesday.
I treasure the way that God has connected our hearts and that He continues to guide and grow us.
Thank you for who you are, for making me laugh, and for sharing your life with me. I love you more every year!

Princess Party

Rebecca's party was a success and so much fun to plan. My little girl is obsessed with Cinderella. She asks to watch the movie everyday, so what else could we do but a princess party. We invited a few fellow princesses (and their big brothers for Aidan) and we played dress up, made edible jewelry, decorated tiaras, and danced. I am including a few pictures I took (but I am terribly disappointed that I did not take very many so please share them if you took any). Enjoy!

Princess Rebecca

The Royal Ball

Cinderella and her castle cake

Cousin Lauren playing in the cardboard castle.

I made this castle for the kids to play in at the party.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Date with Dad

We are having a small princess style birthday bash for Rebecca tomorrow and I had plenty of things to do to get ready around the house so Trace decided to take Aidan and Rebecca out for dinner and a movie. It was so cute to see them eagerly run out the door with their daddy, they almost forgot to tell me goodbye. I was a bit envious of all the fun, while I was at home cleaning but I know that Trace treasures these special times with the kids and they need the time with daddy. I can't wait to hear all about what Horton Hears when they get home.
As for now I am off to attempt to decorate Becca's birthday castle cake. I will post a picture later, just so you can get a good laugh. I am expecting nothing short of a disaster. This is my first attempt at being the crafty mom who makes the cake for the party. I have always either overpaid for a bakery cake or convinced my dear friend Mary Lynne to do a joint party so she can do the cake and I can handle something that makes less party favors. Ya, I can handle stuffing a bag full of cheap goodies. I think this time I may be in over my head. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Oops, Mexico Monday a day late

This week will you please pray for the team that will be traveling to Mexico to work together. Please pray for team unity and the formation of close Christ centered relationships. Pray that all of our kids play well together and that they enjoy their time with each other and with the boys and girls in the orphanage. Pray for the hearts of Aidan and Rebecca to be impacted for Christ and for His love to shine brightly the entire time we are there.

Also, please continue to pray for the preparation for the trip. Pray specifically for Kelly. This year he is going to write the curriculum for the VBS. Pray for creativity and leading from the Holy Spirit as he works on this. I love knowing that people are praying with me. Thank you for your willingness to approach His thrown on our behalf. I can't wait to see how the Lord is going to answer these prayers.