"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Monday, November 23, 2015

{a mom's letter} happy birthday logy bear (and some party pictures).

Logan Anthony,

You’re one today. I am having a hard time even typing that as I am in shock that your first year of life flew by so quickly. My heart swells with overwhelming love and thankfulness for you baby boy. Daddy and I have continually been blown away by the joy that has come with being your parents. We call you our little joy giver.

A year ago today you came into this world with a rather mammoth entrance at a whopping 10lbs 4oz (though the doctors still think you were 10lbs 6 oz, actually). That, paired with the fact that you were 10 DAYS OVERDUE, should have clued me into your warrior spirit and your persistent personality. But oh baby boy, when they held you up for me to catch my first look at you, I was in love. Instantly I had a son. You were my boy and that whole mommy/little boy connection thing totally happened. You know, you just know how to melt me with your little flirty smile. That whole “you had me at hello”…yeah… I was taken by your sweetness and the little tender warrior heart I already saw that day you were born.

Logy bear, you’ve stolen lots of hearts along the way with that smile of yours and your infectious laugh. I think mine most of all, though. Daddy laughs at me because he knows that you have me tied around your finger.

We have a million nicknames for you, affectionately:  logy bear, little tiger, Logy Tony, butter ball, brother bear, Log’s, as grammie calls you- her hunky boy…rarely do you actually get called Logan… welcome to our family- where we don’t ever use your real name.

You’ve built our family to something that I would never have imagined it could be. Already you’ve blessed me with sweeter joy and you’ve challenged me in many ways—good ways, ways that I need to be pushed in growth- and if you’re anything like your namesake (your uncle Tony)- that whole pushing your momma to grow thing will only continue.

Speaking of your Uncle Tony. I just told Grammie the other day that you are beginning to remind me so much of that guy. I had thought for a while that you would be my laid back, easy going, obedient kid (right…) but lately you’ve been proving that thought wrong. Lately you’ve been getting a kick out of doing something- that you know is obviously wrong because not only have we told you several times but we’ve also tried as much discipline techniques as a one year old can receive on said issue- and even though you have tears streaming down your face from the consequences of your action that we are trying to get you to stop doing, you still look at us (in fact, you make sure we are looking at you by obnoxiously yelling) and laugh and do it again. When I told Grammie this and she laughed that knowing laugh because Uncle Tony was much the same….oh my momma heart.

I love watching you and learning who you keep developing and growing into. We named you Logan Anthony with the meaning Tender Warrior. And it amazes me how that is so reflective in who you are. You’re built like a warrior (remember the whole 10lbs 4oz birth weight…yeah I did not forget that) and thankfully so you’ve kept up with that because your sister loves to pull you around, sit on you and try to lift you when I am not watching (sorry.). But you’re such a tender heart, too. You love people and are happiest when you’re with people (especially your sister), making them laugh and smiling at them. You are so forgiving and I am so grateful for that. You LOVE to snuggle when you wake up…favorite thing ever. You love to watch your sister doing silly things and you just sit there and laugh- the way you eg each other on is too fun sometimes. You guys are the best of buddies- your faces light up with you get to see each other in the morning and already you’ve got that sibling connection going on.

You spread joy by being who you are, and it is truly the deepest delight to be your parents. We are so proud of you and so so thankful for you. We are celebrating the gift that God gave us in you and who He keeps making you to be. I pray that you will grow to be a man of integrity- that you always do the right thing for the right reason, no matter who is watching or what they think. I pray that you will do everything in love- seeing others with the true heart of Jesus and sharing His compassion and Truth. I pray you will be brave and courageous and unwavering in your faith. Especially in this world that you will be growing up in, we are going to need men who battle with courage and stand up for what is right.

But for now, for today, just be my one year old little baby. All too soon you’ll be grown up. And I am not ready to think about that yet because right now I can’t believe you’re already one year old. I love you deeper than words can say and I am so for you.
Happiest birthday to my Logy bear.
Your Momma

We had your birthday party this weekend. I decided that I wanted to do a lumberjack theme for you and had way too much fun looking for party ideas online. You are so much fun to celebrate buddy!

This was your invite :)

I asked daddy if he could build me a log cabin out of cardboard boxes and we put our minds together and came up with this log cabin. It has been a hit with you and your sister.

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Oh brother I couldn't help it. I found this lumberjack beard on amazon and without thinking twice I ordered it. I mean come on.

this is your happy place- with both of your grandpas. You are such a grandpa boy. 

My guys.

attempting to "open" gifts...you didn't really like that we kept making you open more gifts instead of letting you play with the ones you already opened. 

You lit up when you opened this. It didn't take you but a few seconds and you knew what to do. Such a boy.

Since we call you our logy bear I attempted to make you a bear cake...let's just say I don't work for hire on cake decorating.

we got you all ready to smash that cake.....

let's just say that you weren't a fan of being stripped down, every watching you and me trying to stick your hand in your cake. Hey it's your party- noone said you have to eat your cake.

Happy birthday buddy, we love you so much!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

He is there, even there.

I sat there at our Heaven to Earth worship and prayer night for Deeper Still last night.

I felt weak but also sustained. We started to sing one of my favorite worship songs- “It is Well” by Bethel music.

And something grabbed my heart.

The line says this: The waves and wind still know His name.

I just told a friend this week that the waves I’m facing and experiencing right now are so hard and so so confusing and I feel like they are going to overtake me at times. I told her I don’t know how to navigate these waters.

And in that moment last night I realized something. God isn’t absent in the waves. The waves and wind and storms- they know God. They aren’t meant to shipwreck us. They are meant to throw us on our knees and fall onto Jesus.

The waves and wind still know His name.

I think I often think of the waves in life or circumstances as the “I-can’t-do-this” kind of moments. Instead of the “God-is-right-here-and-never-leaves-me."

I imagine being in the middle of the sea, at night, dark and alone in a little fisherman boat. The waves are big, the wind is strong. My natural inclination? PANIC. I mean, hello- what ability do I possibly have to survive something with such tremendous strength?


If I hold onto the boat until my knuckles are white and beg the storm to stop, it’s not going to help. I usually think it will because I am trying to control the storm. But I can’t.

I never could and never will.

God isn’t absent in the storm. He promises to never leave and never forsake us, not for a moment.

I sing this song all the time to my 2 year old who, whenever she hears thunder says, “My don’t like that thunder”…. I sing... “God’s in charge of the weather”. I make her sing it with me while we do a silly dance to try to diffuse the rumbling in the background.

Okay. So if she is 2 and I want her to believe God is in charge, what do I do about my storms?

Then I am to trust God is in charge of these too.

And He is not only not absent in the storm but rather ever present and close and He is the one navigating me through it.
God didn't make it possible for me to navigate a storm by myself. He created the waves so I would learn dependence on Him.

Since this is true, I can find peace in the midst of the raging waters. I can find joy in the midst of pain and I can find rest in the middle of chaos.

And this can be true every time.

“Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You, through it all, through it all, it is well”.
(Song: "It is Well" by Bethel Music)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

exhaustion isn't always a bad thing.

I am exhausted. I go to bed exhausted and wake up exhausted.

We are in a sweet and awesome phase of life but also a super challenging and demanding and hard phase, too.

First of all, raising kids is no joke.

Secondly, I’m sure those who have older kids or more kids could look at us and say things like “just wait, if you think you’re busy now…” or “it’s just a season, wait until they are teenagers”…and both of those most likely hold a lot of truth.

But this is the season we are walking right now, so it’s the one God is giving us grace for. We aren’t at the other ones…yet.

Last night we put the kids to bed and planned to do a few things together. But like other nights, our “plans” were thwarted by our two year old. I sat on the living room floor, feeling defeated and frustrated- tears mixing with mascara and creating a black streak on my cheek. “Why won’t she just stop crying?” “I feel like we have tried everything.” “Why does it feel like she has so much control over us?”

I often tell Seth that I’m thankful we are a team in this parenting thing. Last night, he was the strong player. Going up and down the stairs, being consistent in his discipline with the focus on something greater than the change in her behavior.

Finally after she surrendered to sleep, we sat down to talk. He reminded me of a couple things. 1. Our purpose as her parents is not to change her behavior, it is to help shape her heart so that she learns to glorify God. 2. Maybe the reason I am struggling so much, is because I have some idol in my heart that is grinding with the idols in her heart.

Ouch. Who wants to admit that? Wouldn’t it be easier to blame my feelings and reactions on her whininess?

The Truth is, my issues are because of my passions at war within my own heart- ie. My idols. 
(James 4:1-2).

I woke up this morning, just feeling weary from my sins and her sins from last night. I brewed my coffee, tiptoed to the chair and held my breath that neither kid would wake up and I’d get some quiet time…and was met with this:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

1Ang, don’t lose heart. Yes, it’s HARD but it is also so purposeful and so awesome.
2. I feel old some days. I feel my outer self aging (I know you’re going to laugh at me, mom and dad!)- gray hairs, stretch marks, bags under my eyes- that’s my outer self. It is fading day by day. But then I have this inner self. And it is constantly being reNEWED- constantly made new. Refreshed. Recalibrated. God is the one who does this renewing of my inner heart- it’s not something of my own effort. I need to abide in Him and He does this renewing.
3. This truly truly truly is a light, momentary “affliction”. I know that. And God is using these sweet kiddos to refine and shape our hearts in this “affliction”
4.  Trust that God is using all of this for His glory and for an eternal purpose.

Recalibration. That is what I needed. To get my focus off of the waves and on His face.

To be reminded to not lose heart. To be reminded that this is my job right now- to shepherd these precious hearts. To sacrifice my comforts and my wants of a comfortable & easy life for the life that is completely dependent on God’s grace and strength, not mine.

I have been “reading”, as in a few pages every few weeks, in a book called Mom Enough: A Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope. I would recommend it. It’s been a good kick in the behind as a mom, but in a graceful way. I have underlines marked all through it, with things like “Ugh! Conviciting!” written in the margins.  And it helps to hear these things from other moms, who get that this is motherhood/parenting thing is a hard calling.

“Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fifteenth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like green beans. Laugh when a vomiting child thwarts your plans. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them. It is easy to think you have a heart for the orphans on the other side of the world, but to resent the demands of the children in your living room. You cannot have a heart for the gospel and fussiness about your life at the same time.”

And this one…

“When difficult moments appear, belief is not enough. You must apply what you believe…Rest in God, and your children will learn to rest in God. Extend God’s kindness to you, to them. Forgive them the way God forgave you. You have everything you need to spiritually nourish your children, because you have Christ…He wants to see us feeding our children with the grace that He has given to us.”

We are in a demanding season, no doubt. We are being called to pour everything we have into shepherding and raising these kids to be warriors for God. We need to be diligent to display Christ in our own actions, not just our words. 

 In all reality then, we should go to bed exhausted. Fighting the good fight- well, it’s a fight. A fight of my flesh and a fight of the enemy.

So here’s to another day of getting to be the mama of these kiddos. To recognize the incredible responsibility and privilege it is to raise them. And to remember His mercies are new each morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

It's "go" time. Come deeper...

Every time I try to blog lately I get a few sentences out and then my brain freezes up. It’s not due to a lack of things to say or a fear of writing them, it’s that there’s too much I want to say that I can’t focus on a single thing well enough to write coherently on it. That and I don’t have enough time to proof-read right now and so there may be some uncertainty about what I just wrote making any sense at all. Kind of like what I am doing right now.

I will pick one thing to write on tonight, though. It’s burning on my heart.

So I am sitting at a coffee shop right now. For the second time today. Somebody pinch me…this just DOESN’T happen in our season of life right now.

My gracious hubby pushed me out the door while he takes care of our sewer water issues, prepares our house for our appraisal and oh yeah, takes care of our kiddos.

Why would he do such a crazy thing?

Because it is “go” time.

We are less than two weeks out from our 3rd Deeper still retreat (you can read more about it in a previous post, a little bit more in depth). Deeper Still is a retreat for those who have been wounded by the pain of abortion. Those men and women who are aching for healing and freedom. It’s for any level of healing- from those who haven’t told anyone, ever, that they’ve had an abortion to those who have done extensive work in their healing journey. God will take you deeper, no matter where you’re at. He just does.

Along with abortion comes shame, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness, regret, guilt, remorse, and many other things.

If this is you- we WANT you there. You will be welcomed with joy, un-judged, loved, safe and will have the opportunity to meet face to face with your Savior and see how dearly and lavishly He loves you. Yes, YOU.

Our loving God wants to FREE men and women from these chains that they carry with them.You can trust Him.

I don’t personally know the pain of abortion but OH, do I know the pain of carrying chains everywhere I go. And, oh, do I know shame, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness, regret, guilt, remorse. And by His incredible grace and love, He is washing me daily on this journey to freedom in Him. Y’all, I’m on my own freedom journey, too.

The dates are April 10-12.

There’s no better time.

"Come away with Me [Jesus]. It's going to be to be wild, it's going to be great, it's going to be full of Me [Jesus]".