Thoughts on the Three T's

Training: No, not for a marathon. Not for the Olympics. Not even for riding a bike. Training as in toilet training. What in the world? Why is this such an ordeal? First of all, our toilets are too tall for our toddler - even with a stool. What's up with that? And why did no one ever tell me I'd have to clean up pounds of poop found all over my house because he doesn't want to be in a dirty diaper? (Pounds may be an exaggeration....or maybe not). And why is it so easy to poop everywhere BUT the toilet?

Teething: Who decided it was okay for both twins to teethe at the same time? And when I'm toilet training my two year-old? (Say that five times fast! I must be on a T spree!) Orajel and Tylenol (ooh! another T!) have become my best friends yet again. And the up-down, up-down of these teeth! Just come through already!

Tears and Tantrums: These two are lumped into one category because they undoubtedly go together in our home. It always seems that Cole is throwing a tantrum while the girls are screaming bloody murder. Or is it that the girls are screaming bloody murder while Cole is throwing a tantrum? Either way, you can't have one without the other. They all really egg each other on. Especially Cole and Maurah. If Cole is crying, Maurah starts crying and vice versa. What is the deal with that? By the end of it all, I want to be in tears or throwing a tantrum of my own!

I'm Tired! (Ha! This T thing is fun!)

The Gift from Grandma 'Laine

While on vacation, Jake's grandma passed away. Really, it was a blessing, as she had been suffering for the last 15 months or so. It was last May that we were told she was going to die, but she hung on until just last week. Something Jake and I were concerned about was where she stood before God. For the longest time, she really had nothing to do with Him and didn't concern herself with the thought of meeting Him face to face. Then, she met her Hospice chaplain and all of that changed.

Christmas 2007 was the first time Grandma 'Laine had ever mentioned anything to me about God. I will never forget sitting in Jake's parents' house where his grandma brought up meeting this Baptist chaplain whom she surprisingly felt very connected to (she herself being raised Catholic, they obviously had very differing views). I walked away from our discussion encouraged that this man may be one of great influence on Grandma.

Never again were spiritual matters spoken of. So when we attended Grandma's funeral this last Saturday, my heart was heavy laden with fear that she really wasn't in peace. Then, Lee, her chaplain, got up to speak. What I appreciated so much is how well he knew Grandma 'Laine. Stories that he shared made it seem as if he had been a part of the family for years, rather than just a visitor in her home now and then. He took that one step further and asked where the grandson was who just had the twins. Jake raised his hand. Lee then looked at me and said, "I want you to know, Mom, that we prayed for you and those twins every time we were together. We practically willed those babies out of you and for you all to be safe. Whenever I asked Elaine how I could pray for her, she said, 'We have to pray for those twins.'" Jake and I were both moved to tears, feeling so loved and touched.

Lee continued to let us all know that Grandma is definitely in Heaven because she told him that often she wondered why she didn't die last year. He said that in the last couple of weeks before her death she said, "I now know why I didn't die a year ago. I wasn't ready then. But I am now." This brings tears to my eyes even now as I write. What a beautiful gift. Sometimes we have no idea why things happen the way they do. For the last year, I had such a hope that Grandma was surviving because God wanted her with Him and she needed the time to come to that. What an awesome, beautiful picture I have, thinking of her meeting her Maker for the first time.

People have said to me, "Some vacation!" when they have heard of all of the events that took place. No, it wasn't the vacation we had dreamed about. But it was one of the most beautiful gifts we've ever been given.

Grandma Janet

We paid a visit to my Grandma Van Geison during our stay in Michigan. My grandma and grandpa have always been a huge part of my life, and unfortunately, my grandpa passed away two weeks before Cole was born. So I am so thankful we get to have my Grandma Janet in our kids' lives. Cole got to eat her yummy brownies and watch the big tractors dig for a new building right outside her window. Then, we were paraded through the dining room where all of her neighbors and friends could meet the girls and say hi to Cole, who they watched grow from when he was just a tiny baby. It brought back memories of when I would go to the farmer's market with my grandpa and grandma in the summers and they would tell every vendor there what my name was and how happy they were that I was staying with them for a while. In the same fashion, my family was "shown off" and it was so nice to hear about all of the prayers given on our behalf through the beginning of this year. It's always so neat to meet people who have been praying for our girls - people we don't even know all that well. We are going to see my grandma again in a couple of weeks when we have our family get-together. I will definitely post more pictures from then!


Hayden and Maurah are just starting to really recognize each other. While on vacation, they would look at each other and coo and laugh. At one point, it was almost like they were having a conversation, taking turns to "talk". It's so fun watching them grow and become more and more like "real" babies - not the preemies we've had for a while!

At John Ball

What was I thinking?

Markers? Really? I'm a glutton for punishment.

A True Christian in the Making

Once again, we've been away from home for a while so it's been some time since I've blogged.  We spent some vacation time in Michigan and there's a lot to share, but I will save that for another day.

I heard a great message from my former pastor and the verses he used really spurred me to study some of Paul's letters again.  Something that's on my mind today is what I read during my devotion time yesterday.  I'll just write it here so it's easy to see where I'm pulling things from.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all.  Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!  As we have already said, so now I say again:  If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!  Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:6-10

Paul is writing because some Jude0-Christians were telling the Gentile Christians that they still needed to follow OT laws, especially the practice of circumcision, along with believing in Christ to be justified.  Basically, it's the issue of justification through faith or works.  I think this text applies very heavily in the church today though as well.  Here is an excerpt from my journal reflection:

I wonder how often we, as believers, try to change the gospel in order for it to fit what we want.  And not just the gospel, but all of God's Word!  Why do we believe that gossip is okay and bitterness and malice toward others is deserved if they've offended us?  Why do we make ourselves righteous in our hatred for our brother?  Lord, why do I try to please men?  Why do I allow people to "throw me into confusion" when I know what it is You require of me?  Why are the people throwing me into confusion other believers?  And am I guilty of doing the same?  If I continue to please men, I am NOT  a servant of Christ.  Please work in me, Lord, and rid my heart of all of men's standards.  Fill it instead with Your Word and Your truth.  May I be Your servant and Yours alone.

I've just been wrestling with this key issue a lot lately, feeling like I'm not the person I know I need to be and even want to be for Christ because I put other people's expectations and beliefs above His.  The second I start defending my sin, albeit a sin as "small" as gossip, the second I start to pervert what God's standard is for me as a follower of Christ.  After all, isn't that what "Christian" means?  To be Christ-like; little Christs.  How many of us live like that?  

I am making every effort from this day forth to truly be set apart.  And if that means that I stand alone, so be it.  Because I know I'm not alone.  And He is far greater than any man who could stand beside me.  Is He to you?

A New Spark

June also brought with it a somewhat new adventure for Maurah.  She joined MainStage Academy of Dance in the winter and showcased her work t...