Thursday, December 12, 2013


Emma: I wonder what Jesus is calling us to do today...
Jackson: He's calling us to obey our moms.

Jackson: There was a snow monster in "snow epic" (Frozen).  
Me: yeah, and he was big and mean, huh? 
Jackson: yeah, but he was technically protecting the one girl...

Jackson: Did you know reindeers can spit out nose carrots?!? That was my favorite part. It was SO FUNNY!!!!

talking to the babysitter after our date...

Sitter: Yeah, I told jackson he was being so cute. And he responded, "You are TERRIBLY cute..."
John: Jackson, are you pretty cute?
Jackson: Yeah, I try.

Twelve days of Christmas, too Emma a while to figure out day 1...

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
...a partrician in a pear tree.
...a partrician on a pineapple tree.

Jackson stopped singing "o, happy day" in the mirror and asked me... Is my sin washed away yet? Because I have lots of sinning times.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

11 on 11

Because I never remember to do 10 on 10 until I see posts by others the following day. Here's my 11 on 11 

Early morning prayer... Been needing to be very intentional this week with a right perspective... Holidays are easy times for grief to sneak in...

Breakfast with the kiddos...

She painted her own nails...

I added the snowmen...

A little school...

Starting our advent readings from The Jesus Storybook bible. We purchased the deluxe edition a while back when it was crazy cheap for some reason. It includes audio CDs as well as all of the stories read verbatim and put to animation on a DVD. Amazing stuff. Constant reminders that "every story whispers His name."

Playing knex... Jackson made a gun...

"I'm hungry..." A resounding chorus from this one today...pb/Nutella sandwiches.

Finishing final orders of the year...

Anxiety every time I look at this... Pray I get it clean tmr... We moved both desks up to our bedroom and things have exploded in the move... 

Daddy's home... Quick game of "two n a pile"

Not pictured: dinner, AWANA, Christmas lights, bedtime...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Seven kid moments

Jackson popped around the corner as John opened e door and shouted, "Loki!"
John: why are you calling me Loki?
Jackson: Because we are Playing Thor and I'm Thor
John: Would Thor wear a girly heart ring that you have on?
Jackson:'s in the new movie.

Emma and Jackson were pretending to be a penguin and a sea turtle respectively. 
Jackson: (holding his superhero pillow on his back as his shell) blub, blub, blub, blub....
Mama: Is that the noise a turtle makes?
Emma: Well, he's a sea turtle so that's the noise of being underwater. Sea turtles don't come on land because, well, they're SEA turtles. Yeah. And fish don't come out on land unless....they're going to be cooked.

emma just asked me... on the top or bottom?
jackson: bottom... bottom... bottom...

Jackson got a superhero squad birthday card in the mail from Georgia grandparents...

Mama: Ah, Jackson, what's in your card? 
Jackson: (stifled excitement) money!
Mama: And what can you do with money?
Jackson: Pay the bills!

His card also came with a superhero badge/ribbon with the word "awesome" on it...
Jackson: And I can wear this?!?! It says "you are a birthday superhero Jackson that is AMAZING."

Emma was struggling with get putting these pieces to fit correctly into a puzzle book she was working on and it would go to pieces whenever she put the last outside piece in it would fall apart... In frustration she shouts, "You should make it big enough, folks!
..." Then she followed that with, "yeah, you can write that down."

Jackson: Mama, can you help me with my gross beef? [roast beef]
      He now refers to most meats as "gross beef"

Kids went up to play for the last little bit before bedtime which is 8:00...

At 7:47, Mama: Kiddos, pretty soon I'm going to tell you it's still time.
Jackson: Okay! We will play for thirteen minutes! 

Ha! Pretty sure that was coincidental.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kid quotes

Jackson: I'm on the rocket ship potty!

Jackson about the fur trader at Conner Prairie: He has angry eyes

Em and Jack were in a hollowed out tree canoe.
Emma: He rows and the lady sits in the back...

Jackson: my poopy looks like a rocket IS a rocket ship! Don't flush it so we can show daddy!

Working on months of the year...
Emma: January, February, March, Leviticus...

Jackson: do your homework now...and do a great job

Emma: why do I have to do school like all the time? 
(We work for like an hour a day)
Mama: Emma, if you were in school, you'd already be there and have to be there for six or seven more hours!  So how about we send you to school and I can just stay home and play with Jackson all day.
Jackson: you can't play all day, you're not a kid.

Mama: hey guys, do you want a snack?
Jackson: yeah! A baked pa-Tay-ta!

Jackson: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... We're proud to present...Emma!

Jackson: (confused) is today a stay-home-daddy day?
Mama: nope, sorry buddy. He had to go to work.
Jackson: work on the patio? (Still confused)
Mama: No, at his office.
Jackson: Oh.... And he not need his belt?

Jackson had been in bed for over an hour and we hear crying coming from his room.
John: What's wrong, buddy? (Noticing he was still very coherent and wide awake)
Jackson: I had a bad dream.
John:  Really? It looks like you maybe haven't even fallen asleep yet.
Jackson: I know. That was my bad dream.

Jackson to himself:
Knock, knock.  Who's there? Banana tree. Banana tree who? Banana tree Captain Hook! 
Haha...I so funny.

Jackson was pretending his apple slice was his eye (and just being weird in general)
He started making random noises because he didn't know English. Emma an I started playing along...
Mama: on no, Emma! He doesn't know English? How are we going to talk to him?? 
Emma: I don't know. I just don't know.
Jackson: me no no me de do me no...
Mama: Oh no, maybe he doesn't even know his name anymore!
Jackson: (in robot voice) hello. My. Name. Is. Crazy.

Jackson really wanted my purse strap off of him while he was sitting in the car seat. He declared...
This needs to be like the Son of man... It must be lifted up!

(He's been overhearing Emma practice john 3:14 for awana: "and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up.")

Friday, October 25, 2013


So another big milestone is approaching.  October 27th.  We "should" be celebrating the fourth birthday of a beautiful, healthy, happy rambunctious little boy.  

Well, that dream quickly changed when John and I were brought face to face with diagnosis after diagnosis after diagnosis the first few days of his life.  The dream changed to us looking ahead and wondering what obstacles our four-year-old CHARGEr little man of steel would overcome.  Would he be able to eat on his own? breath on his own? see us? hear us? would he walk yet?  We would reflect on the setbacks and rejoice in his victories--just thankful for the four years we've had with him.

As you well know, there won't be a party to throw for Malachi this year.  He actually never made it to his first one.  It's interesting, I'm not usually all sentimental about parties for the children who are still under my care.  I don't go crazy.  I don't think about all the little details.  I'm just happy to make a cake and call it good.  I haven't even been present for two of Emma's last three actual birthdays due to church responsibilities. (The day, not the party... at least I tell myself there's a difference)

So where do I find myself this October? I find myself the entire month wishing I was planning out all the intricate details of Malachi's party.  The cake, the invites, the food, the guests, the games, etc. etc.  I find myself grieving.  I find myself questioning all over again.  I find myself wanting things the way I had pictured them.  I find myself telling God that it woud be better if... that maybe He got it wrong.

Since Malachi's death we've "celebrated" three birthdays in his honor and three anniversaries of his death.  We've celebrated the birth of Malachi's little brother, Jackson and watched him grow into an amazing little boy.  We can't help but wonder what amazing friends Emma, Malachi, and Jackson would have been growing up together.  What would he be teaching us? What would his interests be?  We put our plans for China on hold.  We've fixed up another house.  We've been called to full-time ministry.  Not in China, but in the States to international students.  We've been juggling family and work obligations.  We've been adding more ministry responsibility.  We've been pursuing an internship with our local church in preparation for missions.  We started homeschooling.  We've been busy.

All that to say, I'm in a weird place.  For better or for worse, this is where I am.  In the days approaching the 27th I'm torn.  I'm conflicted.  My stomach is generally in knots.  My natural desire is to be angry and bitter toward God, to demand my own way.  Grief has a way of shaking you to your very core.  Your emotions are up and down and pulling you all over the place.  It amazes me how quickly grief can become all-consuming.  The other night I went to check on Jackson in his bedroom.  As I opened his door, the bed was empty.  My illogical-October-brain jumped to the conclusion that he had died and I was a terrible mother for it (at least that's the Reader's Digest version)... Isn't it amazing how fast and how far your train of thought can take you?

At the same time, God is working in me and His truth, His word is battling.  There is literally a war within me and it's exhausting.  Sometimes it keeps me up at night; sometimes it allows me to sleep for three or four hours in the afternoon after a full night's rest. Sometimes I feel "put together"; sometimes I just sob.  Sometimes I'm just downright defeated; other times life feels "normal" again.  Sometimes I want to be surrounded by people; sometimes I just want to be left alone.   When I'm apathetic, I just want to feel something/anything; when the emotions run rampant, I long for apathy. Most of the time, I really just don't even know what I want.

In reflecting over the last few years, I'm thankful that I'm in a better place than I was during the silence of years one and two following Malachi's death.  I have most definitely been tested, but I think my knowledge of God is deeper and my faith is stronger.  I'm learning I've been given a platform for the gospel.  I'm also learning that I've been neglecting it.  I've been able to connect with other moms who are hurting due to miscarriage and child deaths--which has its ups and downs.  I'm honored to be allowed into the lives of these women who carry deep, deep hurt (many times alone), but it cuts deep.  Their pain becomes my pain.  Frankly, I think that's biblical. We are called to carry one another's burdens.  With the story God has trusted me, many times that invitation comes from them and I don't have to ask to be let in.  There is also great joy in learning what it means to walk by faith, trusting in what's real even if it may not be obvious. 

I am thankful for friends who have allowed me to be real and transparent with them in this ongoing struggle.  Not many truly know the day-in and day-out battles I can fight with grief.  But those who do point me to the truth of God for which I cannot fully express my gratitude and appreciation.  And, seriously, if you aren't annoyed with my conflictedness from everything I've said up until this point, try living with me.  God has blessed me with the most amazingly patient man who consistently points me to truth (sometimes when I don't feel like hearing it).  He is wise when it comes to listening, to acknowledging the pain, and generally his ministry to me goes largely unnoticed.  God knew what was in our future when He brought the two of us together.  John knew the baggage I carried with me as a fairly new believer and as the product of a divorced family.  I'm so thankful his patience with me has only grown.  

If you've made it this far, kudos to you.  I apologize if it doesn't even make sense.  Feel free to leave a comment below either here on the blog or on facebook.  It's encouraging to know I'm not alone in this.  It's encouraging to know that people remember my baby.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Focusing on the good...

True to form, October has been a very rough month for me so far.  I've been battling anxiety, doubt, unbelief, etc. etc.  God is gracious to provide a way of escape through His people and His word, for which I am thankful.  Instead of going into all that, I wanted to share some of the good that we've seen this month... Mom stayed with us for a night on her way through town one night last week and one night this week.  It was a beautiful day and instead of our usual fall trip to the orchard, we decided to check out a new venue.  We toured some of the gardens and outdoor exhibits within the 100 Acres portion of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  Here are a few snapshots from the day!

Can these kids even get any cuter?

"Strike a pose!"

My gorgeous baby...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First taste of death--Jordan Hope

Growing up I don't remember being personally affected by death.  I vaguely remember funerals of great-grandparents and my grandma.  But only vaguely.  Death was something I rarely gave any thought to. Death is something that was rarely discussed in our home. And, when it was discussed, everyone who died was on their way to heaven (which later as I became more familiar with scripture I learned is completely inaccurate).

All of that changed five years ago. Five years ago as a young 22-year-old with only two years of marriage and eight months of motherhood under my belt I met death face to face. 

We had been surprised to find out we were going to have our first two kiddos only fourteen months apart. Surprised, but excited. It's amazing how quickly you daydream for your littles, envisioning them growing up and playing together. Who they will be. How they will shape your family, your home.  After only thirteen weeks into the pregnancy, I started bleeding. You can read the whole story here...

In the world I grew up in, things like this didn't happen. Babies weren't supposed to die. I saw families split firsthand, but babies and children lived.  I am so thankful that God saved me, that He changed me from the inside out, that He gave me His Holy Spirit.  I'm thankful that He used the broken home I grew up in to bring me to Himself.  In that brokenness, Jesus showed up.  He showed me firsthand that all things work together for good for those who love Him--even divorce...even the death of my baby.

As a young 22-year-old, I was brought to a place of brokenness. I was reminded of my dependence on the One who sustains me. I was experiencing the physical consequences of sin--death.  So many questions, so much confusion, so much pain...and empty arms. 

But unlike the aloneness I felt before, during, and after the divorce as one who just had church in her life, this time I had a loving husband, a beautiful daughter, and most importantly a glorious Savior.  

Because Jordan Hope was so young there would be no elaborate funeral or memorial service. There would be no graveside ceremony. There would only be our memory. There would be bedtime prayers from her siblings thanking God and asking Him to take care of their sister.  There would be a stocking hanging with her name on it every December. And there would be a birthday cupcake every September. Because she is loved. Because she matters. Because she is our child.

The following link is a list of things I wrote shortly after the whole miscarriage took place, a list of thankfulness...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

i {heart} photo editing

So I REALLY enjoy photo editing.  Maybe one day recklessly inspired will branch out into photography, but for now, I'll just play around on photoshop editing my amateur work  What do you think?  

From this...


to this....

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Sounder (speaker)
Drinky (thirsty)
Funny frog sound: ribbit ribbit
Peter butter (peanut butter)
Proba'ly and actually are common words

Jackson was taking a while to eat his food so I zapped it quick again in the microwave... 
Jackson started crying: I don't want my breadstick hot. I just wanted it warm, but it's proba'ly hot"
Emma: What did he say? (I repeated it to her/she laughed)
Jackson: (through tears) it's proba'ly not funny.

Walking across campus at the conference Emma and I were recently at...
Mama: Emma, do you think you will want to be a missionary when your ow up?
Emma: I don't have to be grown up to be a missionary. I can tell people about Jesus when I'm little too!
Mama: I know but what about when you grow up? Do you want to go to another country or will you want to keep helping mommy and daddy tell people a lot Jesus at Iowa state?
Emma: Well, I think I will have to stay and help you two, until you guys can handle it by yourselves.

Jackson: 'Dog' starts with a B!
Mama: D-D-Dog. What letter says 'duh'.
Jackson: Oh! Dog starts with puppy! (Funny grin) puppy is not a letter. I just teasing! Dog starts with a D.

John was putting Jackson to bed.  As he was putting on his pajamas, Jackson announced, "I'm like a reindeer!"  Silence confusion ensued. John bravely inquired, "Um, what?"  "Yeah! Reindeers don't wear diapies either!"

Mama:  Sorry buddy, mama doesn't feel very well.
Jackson: (noticing an opportunity) oh, I'm sick too. Maybe I feel better with medicine...and superhero squad.

Jackson's look at church this morning...he wanted glasses so he could be Clark Kent.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kid quotes galore

Wow, I went a whole month with no posts. It's been busy around here for sure. Hopefully these kid quotes will suffice....

In trouble...son walks away. 
Mama: Jackson Nehemiah, I am not done talking to you. 
Jackson: (snidely) but I am done talking to YOU.  (With this shaking fist thing he does)

Kids were taking their time at the store...taking forever to use the bathroom or not keeping up or touching things they weren't supposed to.  My patience was wearing thin.  I snapped at Emma.  Holy Spirit convicted me and I apologized...
Mama: Emma, I'm sorry for being impatient with you.
Emma: Yeah, I was just about to tell you are being way too impatient with your kiddos.

Fast forward to bedtime prayers...
Emma: ...and help mamma with the kiddos.  Help us to be patient with her and help her to be patient with us. 

Emma: Who likes bacon on their pizza? 
  Emma, Jackson, and Mommy raise their hands.
Emma: Who like cheese on their pizza?
  Emma raises hand.
Mama: I like cheese on my pizza, but not JUST cheese.
Emma: oh I like just'cheese.
Jackson: Yeah I like justice league too!

Emma: Pretend I'm like a soccer player.
Jackson: oh, and pretend I'm a baseball or a soccer ball or a raccoon.

Putting Jackson down for a nap, I held up two of his plush superhero guys--Superman and Captain America.
Mama: Which one is your favorite buddy?
Jackson: You're my favorite, mama.

(Jackson) After putting his sunglasses on... "I look good."

Jackson was being super cute and giving me hugs while I was pushing him in a grocery cart.
Marissa: Oh, thanks, Love.
Jackson: I am not your love.  Daddy is your love.

John: Jackson, if you finish your burger you can have the last cheese curd.
(Jackson proceeds to SHOVE the rest of his burger into his mouth)
John: what are you a wild animal?
Jackson: Aaaaaa-Woooooooo.....

Emma: I can't wait to see Mickey and Minnie!
Me: Where?
Emma: Uh, when we go to disneyworld!  I can see my favorite princesses.
Me: Who are your favorites?
Emma: Ariel and Tangled...
Me: who do you think are daddy's favorite?
Emma: Belle... And me.

The kids were playing...
Emma: Jackson, are we like the slaves?
Jackson: Yeah, we are the bad guys!
Emma: No, pharaoh is the bad guy.
Jackson: Oooohhhhh....
Emma: Can you say Israelites?

Emma was using this state chart thing where you spin it and it tells you the state capital, bird, flower, and tree...

Jackson took it from her hands and said, "OK, where's Narnia?"

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kid quotes

Emma was suspiciously looking out of an opening in an outdoor playset. It was written on her face that she was debating jumping out to the ground...
John: Emma, what are you doing?
Emma: I want down. 
John: Use the ladder. 
Emma: That's just for getting up. 

Jackson was walking with his hands out in front of him doing the sign for "fish" and making it swim back and forth...
Mama: Jackson are you a fishy?
Jackson: I am not a fishy. I am being LIKE a fishy. 

Em and I are on the back patio...Jackson is still eating being super slow...the door is cracked. I hear from the kitchen, "I got my eye on you, mama!"

Emma had gotten a spoon for her cereal...
Jackson: I want a 'poon.
Mama: I'm getting you one.
Jackson: A 'poon? For me? My 'poon? My 'piderman 'poon? Tee hee hee.

Emma: I think it's hard for the justice league to eat...because there's always emergencies.

So the other day Emma was telling Jackson about something she was reading. In her prank book it showed a boy putting soap on his daddy's toothbrush.  Jackson chimed in, "if I do that I would get a correction!"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Doing some flash card things with Jackson.

His answers from left to right...
No, that one, that one, no, I not like broccoli!

Kiddo quotes...

Guess what time it is? Lets try to go potty. (As part of bedtime routine)

While Jackson was on the potty... 

John: Are you getting sleepy, Buddy? Kinda tired?

Jackson: (pensive) Tomorrow when I wake up I can eat?

John: Oh, I didn't feed you did I?


Jackson: I so hung'y (hungry)
Mama: There are some crackers.
Jackson: oh, I not so hung'y.


First thing out of Jackson's mouth every morning...

I wan' some DIN-uh. (Dinner)


Emma: Jackson, follow me to see something amazing...I've got the my room.


Emma: Jackson always makes weird noises.


Jackson can make the 's' sound at the beginning of plain s-words, but he won't say 's' blends...
'nack (snack)
'ticker (sticker)
'piderman 'poon 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Aprils of the past...

Trip to Florida: At the beach, in the pool, at the ball park!

Malachi was briefly home, curly ponytails, CHEESEy grins, caught with the thin mints.

dolphins in Florida, butler shirts, sibling snuggles, easter family pic

new jewelry biz, goofy toddler, celebratory cheers, first awana program

2013: Georgia trip... climbing Papa B's (Great Grandpa) tractors


Emma has her arms inside her shirt, Jackson has his behind his back....

Jackson: I'm Bob.
Emma: And I'm Larry!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Embracing the gift

I was asked if I'd answer some questions for a moms group on Facebook. Figured I'd just as well post them here too...

Marissa Sharbaugh, wife to John, and mother to Emerson (5), Jordan (heaven), Malachi (heaven), Jackson (2)

1. What were your thoughts when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you share it with your husband? (feel free to share for each kid if you have more than one)

Emerson--I went to the doctor for a regular check up the Monday of finals week as we had just put in our two-weeks notice with our current employer to move to Indiana after graduation. I called John from the doctors office, almost in shock!

Jordan--I was taking care if a six month old... Horribly sick the entire shortened pregnancy... Miserable. Don't remember how I told John.

Malachi--After miscarrying Jordan (13 weeks) I was desiring greatly to have another baby. Took a test on my 23rd birthday--5 months after miscarriage--and ran downstairs to show John two positive results! (I wanted to be certain)

Jackson--Found out I was pregnant the morning Malachi was supposed to be discharged to home from the ICU. He was five months old and took a bad turn keeping him at the hospital. It was then that I knew our time with Malachi would probably be limited.

2. Were you nervous about being a mommy? What scared you the most?
At first I was pretty confident that I would easily transition to motherhood. Then I was in charge of an infant 24/7. An infant who didn't nurse well and cried when not being held by her daddy. I found myself second guessing most parenting decisions and my ability to trust God-given instincts to learning my baby and feeding her. I was very fearful of failing, yet in a very general unspecific way.

I was also scared that they would die. I met this head on with our second pregnancy... God took away Jordan in the womb and Malachi died at seven months (CHARGE & DiGeorge syndrome)

3. Were you afraid of physical changes that might occur during the process of carrying a gift from God?
Hadn't really thought about the logistics physically.

4. Did you get stretch marks?
If yes, What were your feelings and thoughts toward that?
Frustration. I was an athlete and had been used to a decently toned tummy. I did not enjoy my newfound squishyness ! (I was lucky and they faded to a pale skin color)
If no, what other changes occurred and how did you deal with them?
Chronic hip and low back pain... I also learned to be mindful if I needed to sneeze!

I did find myself very unattractive and it was hard to let my husband see me in the shower. I was just very VERY uncomfortable in my own skin.

5. During labour, what were your thoughts while your body was going through a lot of pain?
I was induced and received epidurals with the three pregnancies I carried to term. I was extremely surprised with the labor pains that come with miscarrying a baby. Not being familiar with the nearby hospital after hours entrances, I ended up delivering Jordan in the parking lot--which was taxing mentally/emotionally as well.

6. When you first saw your child, what were your thoughts?
Honestly, I was kind of grossed out by the blood and "cheesy" substance. Once she was wiped down, I was smitten. Instant admiration. I knew I would do anything required for this Baby entrusted to John and I's care.

7. When your child was hungry and you fed him/her, what went through your mind?
Nursing never felt natural for me. It was not a bond or delight. It was a motherly duty. Emma did not nurse well, I'm sure my anxieties were partly to blame. I pumped for Malachi and he received breast milk through his feeding tube for the first 3 months. Jackson was a champ and nursed well from the beginning--but even then it weirded me out!

Nursing is not always easy, what helped you get through the first few weeks of pain?
It was cheap and I knew it was the best nutrition for my baby. I only lasted 6 weeks with Emma, same for Malachi (though I pumped a greater supply than he was given in NICU so it lasted a while), and 8 months I think with Jackson.

8. As you watch your kids learn and grow and as they bring joy into your lives, what do you think about those stretch marks, nursing pains or sleepless nights?
I'm thankful that part of it is behind me! But the memory of the physical pain fades quickly. I'm also realizing that the sleep depravation is a gift from God so that we would forget the "undesirable" parts of bringing new life into the world.

9. If you could say something to your child/children, what would it be?
Everyday I say this to my kids at least once--
Me: Hey, guess what?
E/J: You love me.
Me: Yep! And why do I love you?
E/J: Because I'm your daughter/son.
Me: And?
E/J: And you're my mama.

I want them to know I love them because God gave them to me and there is nothing they can do to earn my love or diminish my love for them. It's also a good reminder for me to know the same applies for me and my Heavenly Father.

10. What is the biggest desire you have for your kids?
That they would know Jesus, love Him, desire to obey and serve Him with their lives.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quotes from the last month or so...

Emma: Oh. You took all the blankets off my bed.
Mama: Yep. I washed your sheets.
Emma: Hmm... That's weird. Well, not weird. Just random.

I started hanging up her clothes and heard this in the background.
Emma: And this book has a girl. Tied up. In the library. It was very dangerous. Don't try it at home.

I heard Jackson stirring in his bed this morning, so I peeked in his door. When he saw me, he sat up. So I turned on the light.
"I not awake"
"Okay, do you want me to turn the light back off and leave you alone"
"Leave light on. You go away."

While playing with her innotab toy, it shut off abruptly. "It's okay, mama. I just knocked out the cord. It wasn't like an emergency or anything.

Jackson likes to joke around with one of our deacons at Wednesday Jackson was being a punk to him. Bruce faking anger got right in his face and said, "You have a heart problem, mister." Without skipping a beat Jackson looked him square in the eye and said, "I don't have a heart."

John: Jackson, did you toot?
Jackson: I didn't not!

Jackson to mama: wassup girl!?

Jackson when excited about something: Yay-ho!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrection Sunday

We had a great worship service this morning. Obviously the overlying emphasis was that of Christ conquering death. I was crazy overcome with how significant this is in regard to our two kiddos we no longer have in our arms--Jordan Hope we miscarried at 3 weeks when Emma was 9 months old and then Malachi Stephen was born with severe medical conditions yet we were blessed with him for seven months. Christ's resurrection proves all that He said about Himself during His time on earth--He was and is God. Because of Christ's life, death, and resurrection we have hope, we have LIFE. Our babies LIVE!

So even though this is the visible reminder we have of our sons life on earth, we know that this is temporary. We know there is an eternity that goes far beyond this dark and depressing shadow that we call life. I'm thankful that Malachi will not have to experience the grief and heartache that I am left with until I die. (Side note: I'm learning a lot right now. If I can formulate my thoughts into coherent text, I'll share at some point)

Rejoicing in the resurrection led us here after morning service... Ashamedly, this is the first time we've been since his birthday. The cemetery is cold and depressing in the winter. Spring is my favorite. It's a reminder of God making all things new.

Exchanged the old flowers for new,
but kept the pink daisy Emma picked out from the last time...
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Emma was pretty emotional after John and I prayed at the gravesite. So we decided to take a picture of our sad faces...

But then we talked about how the tomb was EMPTY.... Jesus conquered the grave and saved her little brother. So this is us being SO EXCITED that Baby Chi isn't sick anymore!

It amazes me that death and grief and visits to the cemetery will be a normal part of our kids' lives. It definitely leads to many conversations I'm sure most parents try to avoid. I'm learning to be thankful. I'm reminded over and over again that death isn't natural. It wasn't supposed to be this way. It's a consequence of our sin--my sin and yours. But God made a way. He gave His Son. His Son lived a sinless life. Gave Himself up to a condemned death. Was raised three days later. Then raised in glory. Glory to be shared with sinners like me who believe in Him by faith. Faith that is life changing. Faith that desires to trust God and obey Him. Even if I can't see the eternal. Even in the grief. Because its not about me. It's not about Malachi. It's all about Jesus. And that's all I need.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

a "good game" gone wrong

 jackson just started crying... i asked what happened...
emma replied: I was giving him a high-five on the booty.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

E100 8-Isaac's Birth and Sacrifice

Genesis 21:1-22:19 God tests the faith of His people.

Wow. So this is what we read starting in chapter 21... The Lord visited Sarah as he had said and The Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son...Isaac.

God stayed true to His Word.

Chapter 22... God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!...Take your son, your only son Isaac...and offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."

Okay, God... You gave me this son which you promised would come a great nation. You are true to Your word. Now You want me to kill him???

Abraham obeys.

At the last minute, when Isaac is laying on top of the altar, bound to it, seeing his father standing above him with dagger raised, they hear and angel, "Abraham, Abraham! Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him..." And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns.

They named that mountain Moriah: "The Lord will provide"

My faith was tested in a big way with our son, Malachi. We trusted God for physical healing that never came. Our faith is still tested when it comes to the decision we made to stop his medical treatment (he was currently requiring artificial support to eat and to breathe, as well as over 60 doses of medication daily, with no working immune system). God sustained our son for seven months. Did we hold on for too long, pushing his treatment too far? Did we give up too early, not pushing hard enough?

How is your faith being tested?

E100 7-God's Covenant with Abram

Genesis 15--God's Covenant with Abram

15:5 and following: And he brought him (a childless Abram) outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed The Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

At first glance, I look at this and I'm awed at Abram's faith. Abram here knew full-well that it would require him in his old age (85-ish) to have a child with his wife (75-ish). A baby!

On the days where I'm transfixed on my Savior, this is the faith I'm granted. (I've already got Christ's righteousness)

But it's interesting, as I read further in the Bible. It seems like Abrams faith isn't quite as steadfast as it appears first glance. He lets his wife convince him that he should have sex with her servant.

God doesn't dismiss Abram, instead God stays faithful and God stays true to His Word.

Genesis 17... When Abram was NINETY-NINE YEARS OLD...

This was fourteen years after he had a child with his wife's servant. Fourteen years of waiting for Sarah to get pregnant. Fourteen years of more wondering and doubting. Fourteen years before God said...
"Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations..."

God is a covenant God. What He says, He means. What He says He'll do, He does.

No matter the circumstances. No matter my failures. No matter my doubts. My God clings to me when I have no strength to continue to cling to Him.

John and I stayed faithful to each other and to our God while Malachi was in the hospital not because we are strong and righteous, but rather because our God is strong and righteous and faithful and true to His Word. Because He has made a covenant with His people.

Do you serve the God of the Bible? The faithful, covenant-keeping God of Scripture.

E100 6-The Call of Abram

Genesis 12
The Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing...and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
So Abram went, as The Lord had told him.

Seems simple. God says go, man goes.

So many times I think, "If only I knew what I was supposed to do. If only I had a 'word from the Lord'..." But I do. Everything I am supposed to know about God is revealed to me in His Word--the Bible. I have all the "word from the Lord" that I need.

John and I know that God is calling us to full time ministry. We thought that meant moving to China. We believe God is making a way for us to share the gospel with international students who are studying here in the States. That is what we are pursuing, currently missionary interns with our local church and keeping current with a ministry connected with Iowa State University. Exciting times ahead!

To what is God calling you?