Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A New Creation

     So, yesterday I made the decision to get baptized...Again. When I was about 10 years old I got baptized, the first time. I remember the day, it was a sunny, summer afternoon at a church picnic and the closest body of water was a gravel pit that had been filled with water at a nearby housing development. I remember being too shy to give a testimony like the adults who were getting baptized and simply nodding my head when the preacher asked me if I believed that Jesus was LORD. And that was that.
    But as I've grown and begun to learn more about baptism and what an important step it is in one's choice to follow Jesus, I began to wonder if I should do it again, this time from a place of deeper understanding of what it was I was doing. And let me tell you I turned it into a inner struggle and I let fear dictate. But finally, yesterday morning, I made the decision and so friends and family gathered at the church to share this moment with me.
     I know that baptism has become a rather polarizing topic in the church today. I know that I have personally struggled with it and it's importance. But I've come to the conclusion, that honestly, it's a silly argument. Jesus asks His followers to do it, so of course it's important.
     This year, I had decided that my theme was going to be "Growing in Grace." I wanted to learn more deeply about living each and every day in that beautiful grace that, The One who calls us by name, offers. I think this decision I've made is part of that learning. So there you have it...

Colossians 2:12
"Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."

Acts 22:16
"And now, what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash your sins away, calling on His name."

1 Peter 3:21
"And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also, not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The 3 Musketeers

    Today we got to meet someone pretty special. The Lovely Keren Ruth and Benjamin welcomed Little Mr. Mathias last week and today we got to go for a visit. He is so very tiny and sweet.

Buirlen meeting his newest cousin, Mathias

One year ago, when Ephraim met Buirlen...Time just keeps a moving.

Ephraim, Buirlen, and Mathias...The 3 Musketeers. Ages: 2 years, 1 year, and brand spanking new. Adventures and, no doubt mischief, are coming our way!

Speaking of babies...During Retreat, my dear friend Polly and her family stayed with us. It was lovely to spend some time with a good friend who I don't get to see as much as I once did. Last year during retreat, Polly and I were both pregnant. This year our babies were buddies.

Stripy baby bumps...February 2017

Buirlen and Ruthie, bumps turned buddies....February 2018

And, it occurred to me, that Spring officially starts in just a couple weeks and the weather is starting to prepare for it...Bird songs, bullfrogs, tulips, and mud are coming soon. Yay!

"Cousins are the perfect friends." ~Unknown

"There is nothing on earth more to be prized than true friendship." ~Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Happy Birthday Buirlen Elder!

This past Saturday, my sweet baby became a 1 year old. How did a year happen already? It certainly has been a good year, I'd say one of the best. This sweet boy has 5 going on 6 teeth, is learning the art of making faces, loves to clap and climb, and still thinks walking is of little value. He can stack blocks and is starting to take more of an interest in books, he particularly likes his touch and feel books. 
Over this past year, I have learned that there is no such thing as a clean shirt lasting more than 5 minutes, that there are many tasks that can be done one handed if necessary, and that being a mamma is the best! All in all, this guy makes a great adventure buddy. Here's to year #2!

Oh my sweet baby, how you've grown. 

Getting down to the business of birthday cake. 


Wouldn't want to leave anything on that wrapper... Waste not, want not. 

My work here is done. 

"Today you are you, that is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you." 
~Dr. Seuss. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Today's the Day

 It has been very wintery this week. It started snowing Saturday night and just came down thick and fluffy. By Wednesday, I heard that we had gotten somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 inches. Then last night we got more. I guess the weather heard that this weekend is our annual Winter Retreat and decided to decorate accordingly.

Speaking of Winter retreat...Today's the day and we are pretty excited around here. The "to do" list is more or less done and now we are just awaiting the arrival of friends to start the party. It's going to be good!

"Kindness is like snow--It beautifies everything it covers."
~Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from this little charmer. 
May your day be filled with the love of The One who set your heart to beating and delights that you are His. 

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Hand of Grace

     So, in the past we have had a mouse problem, which never makes me real happy. But for a good long stretch we seemed to be in the clear. Well that streak is over because for the past couple of weeks we've had a little visitor, and he seems to be immune to traps and the intense ill will I keep thinking towards him. In previous mouse problems, I have been more likely to see the signs of the invader rather than actually seeing the mouse itself. Not so in this case. I haven't seen a single sign, but the awful little thing likes to run by me, in close proximity in BROAD DAYLIGHT.
    Well last night, Luke and I were watching a movie, Buirlen was sleeping in my arms, all in all we were simply minding our own business in our own living room when the invader decided to show himself. Luke then went into hunter mode and waited for the invader to show himself again and then hurled a boot at it from the recliner. In the meantime, I had managed to stand up on the couch with Buirlen because there is no way my toes are going to be on the floor during this epic battle between man and mouse. The boot missed but Luke was ready for action now and told me to watch one corner of the couch while he got ready for the next shot. This went on for awhile throughout a couple rooms in the house. I therefore stood on multiple pieces of furniture as the lookout. Unfortunately the little critter evaded us at every turn and we gave up the battle for the night, but this is not over. I will win.

Don't worry, the ax is not intended for use on rodent invaders. A friend of Luke's has this old rusty ax head that he asked Luke to clean up for him. Luke discovered a pretty cool old tool under the rust and refinished a handle for it as well. 

     Anyway...Buirlen is becoming quite the little boy. The other day he was sitting on Luke's lap at the dinner table, and Luke had his hand around Buirlen to support him. Buirlen was not keen on being restrained and kept pushing Luke's hand away. Pretty soon Luke just had a grip on the waistband of Buirlen's pants to stable him, because the little goofball was so intent on being independent.
     This got me thinking, how often in this life do we push our Heavenly Father's hand away. It's there to stable us and guide us, but we want to be independent and do it ourselves. So like my goofy baby, we push at the hand that is keeping us from toppling over. Perhaps we just want to do it our own way or maybe we think we know what's truth but in reality we are believing a lie, but regardless of the reason we are pushing at the hand of safety, we are still pushing. But thankfully, just like Luke didn't let go of Buirlen, God doesn't let go of us. He holds on to the waistband of our pants. That is grace and The One who extends it to us is awe inspiring!

My intrepid adventurer. 

And sweet snuggler. 

And chocolate lover.

And blooming artist. 

He's fun. 

Hebrews 13:5
"Keep yourself from the love of money, and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you and never will I forsake you."

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Awesomeness of Grandpas

 Grandpas are pretty great. Both sets of my grandparents live in the same small town and were a regular part of my life growing up. 

Grandpa Shearer(Baby Grandpa) and myself(1993)

Grandpa Kinney(Up the Hill Grandpa), my sister Lydia, and myself(1990)

Grandpa Kinney and Buirlen (May 2017)

Grandpa Shearer and Buirlen(June 2017)

Buirlen is a lucky duck to have so many awesome grandpas in his life!

My dad, Poppy, and itty bitty Buirlen. 

Checking on the farm with Grandpa Williams

Looking at pictures with Poppy. 

3 generations of flannel enthusiasts. 

Proverbs 17:6
"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers."

Psalm 103:17
"But from everlasting to everlasting, the LORD's love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children's children."

"A grandfather is someone you can look up to no matter how tall you grow." ~Unknown

Saturday, February 3, 2018

11 Months

      My sweet baby is becoming quite the little boy. At just a month shy of a year, he is able to stand independently, though it is still a little nerve wracking for him when he's thinking about it. He climbs like a little monkey and that makes life interesting. This month he finally figured out how to pick up food to feed himself and decided that was so much fun that he has been experimenting with using a spoon as well. He recently learned how to clap and thinks "peek-a-boo" is an awesome game. He's got 4 teeth, 2 on top and 2 on the bottom and his hair continues to be wild and free.

Of course, the cutest picture I got happened before I realized that I put the wrong number on the sign. 

 "Keep smiling because it is a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about." ~Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Sweet Perfume

    It's Tuesday once again and January is just about done for another year. Today the snow has been swirling and the wind whipping. This morning I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee, snuggled into my chair to do my devotions, when what should I see scurry across the floor but a little rodent. Needless to say my heart rate went up a bit. I spied the little intruder about 4 times and even set out a trap, but he eluded it. Can't say I'm thrilled, but oh well.
     This past weekend, my parents came up for a visit. We had a nice time and I'm so glad that Buirlen has not one but two sets of loving grandparents who are involved in his life.
    The baby goats are starting to arrive out at the farm. It was fun to take Buirlen out to see them. He found them to be rather interesting.

It was gorgeous out!

 Checking out the goats with Uncle Jordan

This little boy is quite the climber. He as literally been getting into things lately. 

He's not walking yet, but getting pretty steady on his feet. 

The other day I was thinking about 2 Corinthians 2:14-15a

"But thank God! He has made us His captives and continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God."

    Smells can be powerful and potent things and they can leave a hefty impression. (I will never forget the time the skunk sprayed the side of our house permeating everywhere. It was awful and we were fragrant for awhile!)They can be awful and distract you until you find and get rid of it...(That rotten potato in the bottom of the potato pail) Or, they can be wonderfully pleasant, and comforting, reminding us of loved ones, and moments in time. 
People can have their own smells too. I remember when I was a kid some of our good friends had a very distinct smell to their home and we always knew if something came from them. It wasn't a bad smell, but it was uniquely theirs. Jordan mentioned the other day that one of his shirts smelled like my house, (I like that he's around enough these days for that to be a thing).
Anyway, Jesus makes us whole and fragrant in the most lovely way possible. When we are His we spread His fragrance to the world. I like this and I surely hope it's true in my life. That I am known as a child of the King and that my life carries His fragrance. 
To spread the love of Jesus like a sweet perfume. to be a pleasant fragrance to The One who knows us to the core, This is awesome!