Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Christmas Festivities

Hannah's church preschool choir sang last week! During one song they were all snowmen. Aren't they cute! Between 2 of the songs Hannah and her friend Ethan provided everyone with some entertainment. She started hugging him and he'd pull away and shake his finger at her. Then she decided her friend, Naomi's, hair needed touching up and began to try to do that for her! I just love preschool performances!

This past Sunday we had such a sweet time with our friends the Shrums. We were able to capture a good picture of the girls while we were there.

Trip to the Beach

Well, we took the girls to the beach yesterday. Yes, the beach. Hannah's been wanting to "go to the ocean" for several weeks now, so when I realized the temps would be in the 70's our first couple of days in Houston we decided to head to Galveston. That's a good Houston Christmas for you!
The water was too cold for swimming, but we had fun wading in a little bit, letting the waves chase us and playing in the sand. Hannah and Daddy got a bit carried away though with their wading and a big wave knocked them off their feet! Hannah was traumatized for a few seconds and then wanted to go back in the water. As you can see in the pictures below a good time was had by all! This was Kaitlyn's first time at the beach and she loved it!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Festivities!

Yesterday we took the girls to see Santa. Although Hannah had been excited all morning, by the time she was face-to-face with St. Nick, she wouldn't let go of Daddy. So, we had to go with a family portrait if we were to get anything at all. Dale and I were not prepared for this. Next year we'll know better! Kaitlyn was very intrigued by Santa's beard, which was real. In fact, he was one of the best Santa's I've seen in awhile. He almost had me believing again! ;)

Things got a little crazy on the train ride!

We had lots of fun decorating for Christmas last week! We tried to get Hannah not to put all the ornaments on the same 3 branches while trying to keep Kaitlyn from eating them!

Hannah proudly put the nativity scene together, with a little help.

Kaitlyn proudly destroyed the nativity, with no help whatsoever.

When Hannah alerted us to the sunset, which she does often, we had to take a break to admire! Isn't it beautiful!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thoughts about leaving

I have to be honest. The place in which we find ourselves right now is difficult. It's heart-wrenching. I know now why many do not take on this task - the task of going to a far-away place to begin a ministry that currently does not exist. I'm not even talking about the uncertainties involved or the enormous resources needed, but they are definitely factors in the difficulty of this venture. The hardest thing for us right now is knowing our time here is fleeting. We absolutely love the people God has placed in our lives in Nashville. I've asked God many times recently, "Are you sure about this!" because I don't know if I can do it.

But, as we've checked and re-checked what we feel God has been saying to us and leading us to do, we cannot change our course. He must be the one to redirect us if that is ever necessary. Above all else, we want to obey Him. He has been too good to us. And isn't that why we're doing this? So, others who don't know Him can experience the awesome life they can have in Christ?

God knew we'd come to this point where we wouldn't want to leave and the emotions would run deep. So, many months ago He began leading me to various scripture passages that would encourage me along the way and especially now. We think our time here is fleeting, but our whole lives are fleeting in light of eternity....they are "but a vapor".

One book in particular I've been reading in is Hebrews. Hebrews 11: 8 and on "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents....for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."

Heb. 11:13-16 "They admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them."

Heb. 13:12-14, "So Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come."

Heb. 12:2-3, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

These verses, among many others, help me to have more of an eternal perspective. They highlight to me the temporary nature of this life and that this is not our home. Compared to eternity, the time we spend here is so brief anyway. So, why not say "good-bye" for a short time to go to a place where the gospel's light is dim and gain more family for eternity. If the God of the universe would leave the comforts of heaven to walk among humanity; if Christ would temporarily, but painfully, sever His relationship with the Father by taking on our sin and letting it kill him, is moving across the country such a big deal? Christ is our standard. He is the only one who can save, but we are called to nothing less than what He has modeled for us. Imagine the joy that is to come when we not only get to meet up in heaven again, but we are actually with God..... forever.