When Marveling at the Days Behind (Back to School Pictures 2014-2015)

Sometimes you don’t know where you’ve been until you turn around and marvel at the moments turned days and years behind you.

At how half a dozen kids in just as many years would grow in a blink.

At how the reading about history while nursing a babe and the tears and furrowed brow over mixed up numbers and the painting dripped into puddles of masterpieces and even the bright smiles when sounding out three-letter-words was no longer painful – how these, these would be all fuzzy and lovely muddled.

And my heart hurts just a bit at the ugly and the beautiful all wrapped together.

Oh, if I could just rub out all the hard and the mess and the yuck, and revel in the good and the holy…

Yet we step forward, trusting the One who holds time and universes spinning and these six awesome kids that I love like crazy –

Knowing I’ll look back again marveling at all He did in moments and days strung together for His glory. (You’re not going to want to miss the pictures at the end of this post!)

“Back to School” Pictures 2014-2015

back to school 2014(Alyssa, Annabella, Isaiah, Elliana, Ariya, Kayla)

Alyssa Marie
Alyssa- 4th grade

Alyssa 4th grade
Alyssa is 9 and in Fourth Grade. She has such a beautiful, loving heart. And she wants to be a mommy and a writer some day – so that she can tell her kids and others about Jesus. I’m humbled and honored that she would have such affection for loving little hearts and etching out words – the same intricate joys that fill my days.

Elliana Grace
Elliana - 4th grade

Elliana 4th grade
Elliana is 9 and in Fourth Grade (just like her twin sister… is it getting easier to tell them apart, or is it just me!?). Oh, how I love this girl. There’s such beauty in the ways she loves on others and cares for little ones. She is bright and fun and humbles me with her love of Bible reading.

Kayla Ann
Kayla - 3rd grade

Kayla 3rd grade
Kayla is 8 and in Third Grade. She is breathtaking. Her blue eyes glisten as her smile and compassion light up the room. And she’s already practicing for when someday she can use her talents to be an artist/illustrator… and a mommy… and a farmer. Oh, how she loves animals. But it’s her sweet love for Jesus that is most dazzling.

Isaiah Gabriel
Isaiah - 1st grade

Isaiah first grade
Isaiah is 6 and in First Grade. He continues to be my handsome hero that loves to save the day, yet always has time to stop and give his mom a hug. Such passion and life and energy are brought to my days through this sweet boy. I don’t know what I’d do without him, but I’m so thankful for the mighty work God has done in both our hearts through him.

Annabella Love
Annabella - PreK

Annabella PreK
Annabella is 5 and in Pre-Kindergarten. She’s such a precious girl that melts my heart every time with her big beautiful eyes and her gentle strength. She captures the beauty around her and is always ready for some fun – especially if it involves bikes or kitties or ponies or baby dolls wrapped just so. And her sweet voice singing to Jesus? It’s the most precious sound I hear everyday.

And last, but not least… Ariya Faith
Ariya - Preschool

Ariya Preschool
Ariya is 3 and in Preschool. She loves to be a part of the action. :) Just thinking about this precious girl makes me smile. There is so much life and joy wrapped up in this little one. I find myself stopping more often to treasure these days of three-year-old-ness, or to stand in awe at how God made this three-year-old so spunky and beautiful and brave and kind.

I am so blessed by these precious children that God has placed in our family. None of us are perfect. We have days that are tiring and long and hard – days where I feel like giving up as a Mommy and teacher to these wandering hearts. No, we’re not perfect. We’re truly a handful of sinners, striving to live and love and learn together for the glory of God. But, I will hold onto each and every one of these moments, before they too – are gone.

school pictures 2014

Just for fun… :)

Back to School(2010)

our class of 2011-2012(2011)

Our Kids 2012(2012)

School picture 2013(2013)

back to school picture 2014(2014)

Oh, I love these kids!

(I’ll be taking a little break from writing soon, as maybe you’ve noticed things have already grown a bit quiet – but first I’m hoping to share about our curriculum choices this year… there are a few new things that we’ve been loving. :) Have a wonderful weekend!)

Sometimes There are No Words

It’s been two days and I’ve still got this giant lump in my throat and joyful tears in my eyes every single time I think of it.

Who would’ve known that it would be like this? –
That this man I’ve loved and made babies with would get the honor of holding our daughters now grown in his arms as they professed their love for Christ!? –
That watching him baptize these precious girls would be just as glorious as seeing their tiny bodies in his arms for the first time!?

No words.

Daddy baptizing Alyssa

Alyssa's baptism

Alyssa baptized

And these girls?

Each made the decision on their own – wanting to show the work God has done (and is doing) in their lives. Dead to sin – alive in Him! And I’d be lying to tell you that their knees weren’t all knocking to get up in front of ALL THOSE PEOPLE. But they did not let their nerves or fears or anything else stop them from declaring their faith.

Oh, I am in awe that God would let me be the one they call mama. To be the one snapping the pictures on the sidelines while trying to cheer the loudest through happy tears. To be the one they looked for first amongst the crowd.

I love them something fierce and beautiful.

There are no words.

Elliana's baptism

Elliana baptized

Daddy baptizing Elliana

And crazy as it may sound it’s even more than all that. It’s realizing all the millions of thousands of drops of love and truth and prayers and time that have been poured into their lives – into our lives.

It’s love wrapped up in the baking of blueberry scones and in directing their little choir. It’s love in the stitches sewn together and in the countless notes and packages and prayers sent over the miles. It’s love in listening to their hundreds of verses memorized or to their hopes and dreams in a cup of tea. It’s love in a smile, in a hug, in a towel held open for them to drip into. It’s a million little things that so many of you have been a part of.

And thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough, for God knows I can’t raise these girls to love and serve and follow Him on my own.

There really are no words.

Just this beautiful glistening of tears and love and glory.

It’s a Beautiful Birthday Day!

the birthday girl

Did you realize the way I held you just a little bit longer last night? How I smiled instead of sighed when your excitement kept bubbling up and over and out of your room again and again as the clock ticked into the late night hours? And how all day I’ve tried to go slow, […]

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1 Peter – Bible Studies and Family {Bible} Times

1-Peter-Bible-Study-Our-Family-for-His-Glory.jpg

A summer’s worth of days spent soaking up the imperishable hope and the divine grace of our great God, and I know my heart won’t ever be the same. It’s been this sweet treasure found in moments carved out and tucked in between picnics and pillow forts and that mountain of laundry. And though the […]

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When Your Love Looks Boring to the World

What love looks like

How do you know what love looks like? The black and white screen rolls love as a crazy romantic race through traffic. Cars and semi-trucks screech to a halt as a mad dash is made for a final chance at love. And a kiss that tilts worlds is seen at the top of a high […]

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True Grace of God – Final Greetings (1 Peter-Week 12)

1 Peter Week 12 - Our Family for His Glory

Here we are, friends – the final week of our 1 Peter study. And I can’t help but feel the tears trickling down my cheeks and the sweet smile on my lips. For we have sought to grow closer to our God, and have spent many battled for moments and hours and days growing in […]

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When Even Kids Deal With Depression and Anxiety

When Even Kids Deal With Depression and Anxiety

So there are storms that blow fierce, And depression that creeps through cracks. There are bullies and frizzy hair and sisters that make your little eight year old heart bust right open. And there are parents that leave and best friends that betray. And who would have thought that the pain would go so much […]

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God’s Mighty Hand (1 Peter-Week11)

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It’s just about the end of this letter, and I can’t tell you what a joy it has been to soak in Truth of all He is and does. And my heart has been stirred, creating in me a desire to emulate Him, and to live for Him each day. And this week – it […]

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When There is No Time for Family Devotions

we are that family

It’s been said that we make time for the things that are most important to us. The people. The hobbies. The values. The faith. It just might look a little (or a lot) differently than we envisioned. This week it looked a whole lot like reading some verses to kids piled in between blankets and […]

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Sharing in the Messiah’s Suffering (1 Peter-Week 10)

1 Peter Week 10 - Our Family for His Glory

What a glorious week of recognizing my need for more of God. His love in my life. His guidance in every. single. moment. His Spirit filling every crack until it flows up and over in a love that is fervent and forgiving – this love that is practical and always giving – this love that […]

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