Monday, March 19, 2012

Irresistible Love

I woke up Saturday morning with a simple idea, and it should have only taken a half hour. I was going to move the linens out of the hall closet, and use the space to store all of our board games and puzzles instead. I was then going to combine all the sheets and towels into the linen closet of our master bedroom. (I've mentioned it before, but a massive number of closets is one reason that I fell in love with this house.) Once I got started, though, I couldn't stop. Ten hours and several closets, drawers, and cabinets later, I'd purged our home of three bags of trash, three bags of donation items, and numerous kitchen appliances that no longer needed to take up useful space. It felt great, and I learned a couple things about myself. One: I really need a way to organize my kids' drawings and school papers. Two: I'm a greeting card hoarder. If you sent us a "congrats on the new baby" card, chances are I still have it. I found lots of treasures along the way though- old love notes, notes between Amy and I in school, old pamphlets about childbirth and breastfeeding, and then most importantly- a prayer of salvation I'd written out four years ago for my children. I adapted it from a book my mom bought me called Praying the Scriptures for Your Children by Jodie Berndt. It's a prayer that I've spoken in some form or another even as a child and teen myself, before I was ever ready to start a family of my own. It's a prayer that's already been fulfilled in my older two children, and yet to be filled in Isaac and Lydia. It's the most important prayer I could ever pray in my lifetime, and so I wanted to share it here. I wrote it out for each one of my three children four years ago, and plan to write it out for Lydia now as well. While I have been praying for Isaac and Lydia's salvation since my pregnancies with them, I think it helps to have the words spelled out using Scripture interwoven throughout the prayer, and to pray His promises word for word.

Here it goes:

Thank you for loving Isaac so much that You gave Your one and only Son, that when Isaac believes in Him, he will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) We pray that Isaac will trust in You and never be shaken. (Psalm 125:1) We pray that he will repent of his sin and confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord. We pray that he will believe in his heart that You have raised Christ from the dead. Guide Isaac to call on Your name Lord, and save him. (Romans 10: 9,13.) We pray that Isaac, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how long and how wide and how high and how deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses all understanding, that Isaac may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3: 18-19)

I believe two things that may seem incompatible. I know that each one of us comes to God of our own free will and choice, and we cannot pray another person into Heaven ourselves. I also believe what God has promised in 1 John- that whatever we ask according to His will, we will have what we have asked. My children's salvation is well within the will of God. I pray that God's love will be so overwhelming to my children that He will be found irresistible. I have no idea what it would feel like to have an adult child living outside the will of God, but in Jodie Berndt's book, she states, "God wants our children to be saved. When you pray for your children's salvation, you can be confident that you are praying in accordance with God's will." She references 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

I John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of Him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

She's Seven!

My little girl is seven! Unbelievable. It feels like we just brought her home from the hospital, and yet she's growing up into a beautiful young lady. She likes to goof off and tell jokes, is into crafts and painting, and loves ballet and tennis. She is kind, generous, and all around a cool kid. For her birthday this year, she asked to go to the pottery place in my hometown. I was glad to be responsible only for a cake, and not have to decorate the house. 

The original cake she picked out was a character cake with nearly a dozen 3 dimensional mice and cats in ballerina outfits. (I'll pause for laughter...) I was actually up to the challenge- until the week of her party when I completely chickened out. I had a talk with Brooke, and we looked online together for more cake ideas. I was so excited when she picked out this cake. Easy peasy. I chose a white base icing color, and violet roses.

I placed the cake on a cooling rack to make it easier to apply the roses on the sides of the cake.

Finished! This was one of the easiest cakes I've ever done, and one of my favorites. I really got the hang of it by the end, and contemplated scraping the roses off and making it more "perfect", but Brooke loved it so much I didn't bother. It was her opinion that counted the most to me anyway.

Painting at the party. There were some adorable group shots with her friends, but I don't know how their mommies feel about me posting their pictures online. I need to remember to ask them...
My two other pretty ladies painting with mommy.

Playing hide and seek while waiting for everyone to finish painting.

One of her friends bought her a caboodle!!! Blast from the past. I was super excited.

She has precious friends. Several made her homemade cards and books. I love her girls.

Is she really seven??

Adorable, aren't they?

Happy birthday Brooke! Mommy and Daddy love you so much, and we are so proud of you!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

All 4 Music

When I asked Isaac what kind of birthday party he wanted, he told me a guitar party, and then that later evolved to drums. I decided to make it easier on myself and broaden it to a music theme. He used to be obsessed with Disney Junior's Imagination Movers (whatever happened to that show??) and plays air guitar constantly. Anything resembling a stick becomes a drumstick, if he hasn't turned it into a gun already. Most of my ideas came from Pinterest, but I can take credit for a couple on my own. 

Most of the food items, including the drum cake stand idea, came from Pinterest. The cake ball microphones and chocolate covered banana piano keys were last minute add-ons I came up with the night before. The music notes were chocolate covered rice krispie treats.

More ideas taken from Pinterest. The guests picked out their own guitar to decorate and take home.

Goodwill was a perfect spot to find the records. I knew someone in town would be trying to get rid of some.

Madeline picking out her guitar.

The kids also painted "drums". This was the quietest part of the party- and not messy at all!

Isaac was nervous at the attention, so I blew out the candles for him. I didn't mind.

Isaac, you pretend to not need me anymore, but any room I go into, you are quick to follow. You turn anything into a gun or a drum. You love on your puppy Jack, sometimes a little too much. You have that same laugh that I have loved ever since you were a baby.You are daddy's boy and jump up and down when he walks in the door. Even though I don't sleep well and it usually hurts my neck when you hog the bed, I think it's precious when you come into our room in the middle of night and say, "mommy- I sleep with you. Hold me. Scratch my back." You have made huge strides in your speech. Your therapist was so proud of you for saying "yellow" correctly yesterday- she said you were shocked yourself when you said it. You knew what a big deal that was. You are still very shy, but talk nonstop at home, and have said a few sentences in preschool and Sunday School, which is a huge step for you. Daddy started doing reading lessons with you, and you are excited to learn how to read like your big sisters. You love to protect and take care of Lydia, who you sweetly call "Baby". It's so precious when you take her by the hand and lead her places. She looks up to you so much.

Isaac, I love you so much it brings a lump in my throat just to think about how deeply so. I wish that I could keep you small forever and always protect you. I've done really well at giving you roots, but it's the wings part I need to work on down the road. Happy fourth birthday!!