Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thoughts one Sunday morning...

I've been meditating lately on the goodness of God....

Not long ago I was looking around the sanctuary on a Sunday morning, really noticing the people...(I know, I know, I should probably have been listening to the preacher, or worshiping, or whatever everyone else was doing at the moment.)  But, anyway, at this moment, I was noticing the people.  The dear people at my church whom I am happy to call my church family.  And as my eyes scanned the pews, I saw with new eyes some families that were experiencing marital troubles.  One going through a divorce because of some difficult circumstances.  The kids in that family sitting there too.  I saw a lovely mom of a teen-age son who has seen some very rough times in her life, including being a single parent for many years, and recently having lost her dad to cancer.  I noticed teens who come to church without their parents, and I'm not sure why the parents don't come too.  I saw a dad who is struggling with very very hard family issues.  People who have lost loved ones--some having lost children.  People who have sons serving in the military.  People who are struggling with daily pain.  People who have been through so much...I was amazed when I really let it sink in as my eyes traveled around the room.  But what struck me the most as I was thinking about all of this, was that these people sitting together on that Sunday morning, thankful to be there, worshiping together.....  They were smiling.  Even laughing.  They were enjoying the day.  Genuinely happy.  

And God spoke to my heart again about how good He is.  That regardless of what circumstances we are going through, it does not mean that God is not there, or that He is not good.  He is with us through the pain.  I still remember clearly when we were going through our trial with Sarah the very real experience of peace He provided us--right in the middle of the storm.   And oh, how bright the sun shines when the storm is over and we realize He truly never did leave us alone.

And even if the "storm" we are going through may never fully be over until we finally reach Home, even then...just knowing and trusting Him brings such peace that passes understanding.

It's interesting that when I sat down to write this post, it was going to be about the beautiful snow we've finally been enjoying! So, I will leave you with some pictures that really do illustrate the awesome love of God. The perfect winter's just doesn't get much more beautiful. Such a wonderful gift!  He is so good to us.

 Our backyard

View from our front yard

...Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;  though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.--Isa. 1:18

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sarah's birthday--Part 2....GUM!

I don't know exactly what it is, but our children love gum.  Maybe all children are the same, I don't know, but our kids....From the time they know what gum is, they want it, and they want it badly. 

It was the same with Sarah.  Sweet little thing, almost two years old when she came home--as soon as she started noticing her big brothers chomping away, she knew that that substance had to be good, and she definitely wanted some. 

And so it began. 

"Mommy, can I have gum?"

"You can when you are four!"

And pretty much every time the boys had some, she would always ask....  "Can I have some?"  Smart cookie...she knows that parents have been known to crack from time to time.  But in this case the answer was always without fail....."When you are FOUR, sweet, darling girl." 

And that's our little tradition in our home.  The kids just have to wait for the sticky goodness of gum until they are four.  And it makes it so much fun as the happy day is approaching.  They just can't wait to be four!  And Sarah, who gets excited over things like getting to help stir the scrambled eggs...well, you can just imagine the excitement she was feeling over this monumental occasion rapidly coming upon her.

So, on her birthday, at her party, she had her first taste, and you can see her reaction from the pictures in the last post.  But, the really fun part of the tradition, is that we take the kids to the store, and let them pick out their own pack of gum.  ANY one they want.  I know, the excitement is almost too much to take, but that is exactly what we do.  I remember only too well the kind that Josh picked when he was four.  Skittles gum.  I don't remember ever seeing it again since then, so I'm not sure that little gem of a product made the final cut in the gum brand battles, but I certainly do remember it clearly.  Gum that looks and tastes like Skittles.  Tiny, little pieces.  I'm not sure how he didn't get the concept of disposing of it in the trash can, but he kept spitting it out in the basement.  Behind the TV especially.  Good times.

So, it was Sarah's big day, (Well, the day after her birthday, because in classic Holly fashion, I just couldn't get everything together on the exact day it was supposed to happen) and off we went to R*te Aid. 

 Looking for the gum section with Josh, one of the best big brothers in the world...

 So many choices!

 Do you want the orange one?

 No, the yellow one!!!

GUM!!  (She takes after her grandma, by the way, with that pick.) 

Even got her own little bag. : ) 

And there you have it!  Sarah's trip to get her birthday gum!   Aren't you glad you stopped by my little blog today? 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy birthday, Sarah!

Oh, yes she is!! Our little girl is FOUR YEARS OLD!!!

Sarah Ting (aka Spider, Clinic, or Red Light, depending on the day) is.... spunky... joyful....make that--EXUBERANT...  And just plain FUN!  Not to mention cute as a button, funny, smart, and becoming more polite, thoughtful and encouraging by the day.  Some of her favorite phrases are, "Don't worry, you can do it!" when someone is frustrated;  and, "It's okay, Mom,"  when something is upsetting me.  And if you do something silly like accidentally spill your milk, she will definitely let you know that it is okay!

I can barely type this post without my heart bursting with happiness and gratefulness that she is our daughter, and she is here with us still.  Thank You, Jesus, for healing our Sarah and allowing us the amazing privilege of parenting this special girl who lights up the room with her smile wherever she is.  Tonight I said jokingly to my hubby, "If there were more Sarahs out there, could we have another one?"  And he said, "No, because that would just be too selfish of us!"

So, for your enjoyment, here are some pictures of our little party the other day.  She had a lot of fun. Well, of course she did!  : )

 Hello Kitty!

 Cake created by my own talented hubby.  Our own cake boss!

 Excited birthday girl!

 Enjoying listening to her most adoring fans singing to her : )

 Make a wish, sweet treasure! : )

Great job!

 She got lots of presents, but I think her favorite thing was her Hello Kitty band-aids!

 Double happiness!!!

 The whole crew sitting at her awesome new table and chairs!

 Beautiful sisters

 The moment Sarah has been waiting for for a long time...Her first piece of gum!  This special treat is reserved in our house for when you turn FOUR!

 Thinking about it...

 It's hard gum...

 She likes it!

 Having fun with the birthday gifts!

Everybody have some!  It is a birthday party after all!  : )

Happy birthday, Sarah.  You help make our lives so much fun!!