Wednesday, March 30, 2011


So I've been neglectful as of late and really for no reason. We've been in a whirlwind but for the life of me, I don't really know what we've been doing. Just life, I guess. Esther Grace is in that phase where you can't let her out of your sight for a second and when it gets quiet you should be scared. Very scared. Which probably explains why I haven't been able to sit down at the computer and post. I usually do it during naptime, before they get up, or after they go to bed but that's when I've been doing all my motherly duties. Let's face it- we need clean underwear.

Anyways- Jonah's birthday was great! :) He's so big now....four, you know....and he doesn't let me forget it for one second. His party is this Saturday and I plan on taking pictures and posting about it before he turns five. I also had my very first parent-teacher conference this week as a parent. They're much more stress free on that side of things!

I heard this new song on the radio yesterday and LOVED it. I'm pretty sure it was the introduction by the boys' choir that did me in. Yep. Definitely. I can't find it on the free playlist website where I get my songs so I just embedded the cheesiest video I've probably ever seen. Ignore the visual and focus on the audio please. I think I loved it so much because I studied Isaiah 55 this week and it was rambling in my brain while driving.  Don't forget to pause my player at the bottom of the page!

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. " Isaiah 55:1-2 

What have you been listening to lately? Any favorites? I think we can all agree that while "Our God is Greater" is an incredible song, I'm getting a bit tired of overplaying it. Let's take a break and share in your favorites too. I'll search and try to add them to my list. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What Does 3 Look Like?

Take a good looooong look......

....'cause this is the last time Jonah will ever be three in his whole life. Tomorrow, this cat turns four!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It's that time again! This time, I really wanted a short verse so I chose Hebrews 10:35.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded."

Simple. Sweet. To the point. But it's not without reason. The entire passage preceeding this verse talks about the endurance and commitment we have when we first embrace Christ and His commands. Knowing that we are being called to live counter-cultural lives in light of my Isaiah study this year and Bear's India trip, I thought this would be a good verse to cling to when facing opposition from those who may not understand. I wanted to also remember the reference of Hebrews 10 so I'll know where to turn during those times and focus on God's Truth rather than my surrounding circumstances. Perfect, right? I thought so too.

I logged on to the Siesta blog and went to post my verse. Then, I read this and God completely changed my heart. So now, instead of a simple one-liner to jumpstart my mind on a larger reference, I'm memorizing not one but two verses.

"My goal is that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be encouraged, and that they may have all the riches of understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

Colossians 2:2-3 (The NET Bible)

While I was reading Beth's post, He just whispered to me that this is the perfect prayer for any future opposition. Not that I will firmly stand up underneath it but that He will knit our hearts together in love and that we will be encouraged to continue following Him so that we may know have full understanding of the mysteries He has for us. Our treasures lie in Christ alone and He is the only source of all wisdom and knowledge. It may not be a simple, sweet, straight to the point journey.

After all, Bear and I are completely clueless as to what He's even calling us to do! But we know that He's preparing our hearts for something and it won't be what we expect. It may be complicated and not fit into our current structure of life (like memorizing two verses when I'm really only supposed to pick one each time), but He is faithful and will reveal all the riches of complete obedience when we get there.

Until then, I guess I'm memorizing two verses.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh No, She Didn't!

Imagine the above being said with my head shaking from side to side, hand on hip, snapping across my body. I'm channeling Ghana right now. Apparently, our prayers are working because Stephanie has fully immersed herself into the culture. Please read Exhibit A.....

Now that you've collected yourself, you can also read about her visit to the orphanage and preaching at Faith Gospel Church.

The scary part.....this makes me want to go next year SO badly!

[Monday, March 14]

What they will be doing:

Visiting the Cape Coast Slave Castle

How you can pray:

Pray that they will reflect on the fact that they too were once slaves to sin, but because of the glorious work of God we are now slaves to righteousness. Pray for opportunities for us to share stories of our freedom with others. (Romans 6:6-23)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Okay- Bear's back from India safe and sound but now we've got Round 2: Ghana. (I seriously had to restrain myself from titling this post "Ghan to Ghana". It's that bad over here.) Stephanie's headed there tonight for 12 days and she needs our prayer cover! Her husband, David, went to India with Bear. I swear, I'm the only one not getting a stamp on my passport this year.

I'll be posting updates on my Facebook profile from their itinerary as well as here on occasion. Here's Thursday's schedule:

[Thursday, March 10th]

What they will be doing today:

Traveling. They will leave for the Atlanta airport at 6:55 p.m. and their flight is scheduled to depart at 9:50 p.m. They'll arrive in Accra, Ghana tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 p.m.

How you can pray:

Pray that they will do as Christ commanded and boldly "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." (Mark 16:15)

Pray that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [their] hearts and [their] minds in Christ Jesus" as they travel. (Philippians 4:7).

Pray that "when [they] lie down, [they] will not be afraid; when [they] lie down, [their] sleep will be sweet." (Proverbs 3:24)

Let's pray that God does a mighty work, not only in the hearts of the men and women in Ghana but also in Stephanie's heart as she seeks His direction. Thank you, Prayer Warriors!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Advances in Parenting

I feel like I haven't had the freedom to post about random things because of Bear being in India and the importance of being his prayer cover. My friend, and unofficial family photographer, Stephanie is going to Ghana on Thursday and I'll be on duty once again so I'm taking advantage of this window to catch you up on the latest advances in parenting.

Occasionally we'll get magazines in the mail that we apparently unofficially subscribed to once I birthed children. One Step Ahead is one of these publications. It's a catalog of all things new to the parenting arena...especially those that are supposed to make our job "easier". I always get a kick out of what I see, especially in the safety category. Like first-time parents aren't freaked out enough without actual products to validate them?

For instance, what is your first reaction when you see this?

Kid at the morgue, anyone? Did you know that if children don't sleep in the appropriate position that it can lead to all sorts of health problems and even....death??!! Whose toddler sleeps like that?! Jonah flops around like a fish out of water whenever he sleeps with us so I know he's not sleeping in the "appropriate position". Someone call DFACS. And this?

This is a tube to test if items would choke a child. It's the same size as a child's airway so you can see if the item will lodge itself as a choking hazard. Really? You can't look at a pair of dice and think, "Hmmmm, maybe my infant shouldn't eat these?" Of course, I've had "Pregnancy/Nursing Brain" and wouldn't underestimate anything that a new, sleep-deprived mother would forget. But still, let's give us a little credit.

One of my personal favorites is this little gem-

Is that kid not just set up for embarrassment come high school or what? He's got on a helmet and knee pads. Because crawling can be such a contact sport. I can see this in the football program senior ad right next to the five-point racing harness with full roll bar in his first car. What I don't get is the same publication that markets the above to fear-driven parents is the same publication that sees fit to also sell....

Shouldn't these items come with a helmet? Do you see how much air that kid on the trampoline is getting? He's about to flip over that little handlebar thingy! Right now I know that those who know us best are thinking, don't Bear & Kristen have those things? No, we don't. Who needs them when your Daddy is the ultimate jungle gym?

(I know we have better pictures than this one but it's the only one I could find on the computer. That's Bear holding Jonah up over his head. I wish it was full length but you get the idea.)

I'm not saying that this magazine isn't a total loss. I'd love to equip every bathroom with one of these babies.

I can't count the times that we've had an indoor snowfall since Esther Grace has gone mobile. Notice how these parents have deterred their toddler from unraveling the toilet paper but not from scribbling on the walls. Or is that wallpaper? This entire post has been leading up to the one thing that disgusts baffles me the most. It is labled as a BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator (yes, all one word like that). It replaces those little blue bulbs you get in the hospital.

Ewwwwww. As first time parents, our nurse at the hospital emphasized in an extremely forceful manner that we were to NEVER under any circumstances blow air into Jonah's nose while clearing his nasal cavaties (i.e. getting his boogers out). You are ONLY to suck air out with that little blue bulb. So what, I ask you, is this woman doing? Ewwwwww. Here's the description with my own commentary added:

Looks Weird [Ya think?], Works Wonderfully!
Would we carry this if it wasn't totally amazing? [Well, I've seen the rest of your magazine, so yeah.]  This parent-powered aspirator clears stuffy noses more effectively (and less invasively) than any bulb or gadget we've tested. And YES it's hygienic: it's physically impossible to draw goop up the tube. [Suuuure. Ever heard of a straw?] Unlike other versions, [There are other versions?!] it uses tissues, not replacement filters. Choose Blue or Crystal. Dishwasher safe. For health reasons, we can't accept returns on opened packages. [I thought you said this thing was hygienic?]

There's even a customer review...

"It really works. It's just amazing! I'm going to tell everyone I know about this product and buy them as baby shower gifts."
-Pauls Valley, OK

If we ever have another kid, remind me to never invite anyone from Pauls Valley, OK.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

God's Protection 4 Years Ago Today

I just got the neatest little reminder on my phone. It buzzed/jingled and a reminder popped up. I never set those things so I was wondering what in the world it could be.

"God protected you 4 years ago today..." was all it read. Hmmmm, March 3. Ah, yes. March 3, 2007.

I was 9 months pregnant with Jonah. Our cheerleading friends gave me a sweet shower to celebrate becoming parents. Bear went mountain biking with some friends. At the end of the day, we were all in the emergency room at Eastside Hospital in Snellville and not because of the baby...

Bear broke his neck.

It was the best thing that has ever happened. Isn't that crazy?! But it's so true. God carried, sustained, and rescued us through it all.

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
   all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
   and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
   I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
   I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
   To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?"
Isaiah 46:3-5, emphasis mine

I'm so thankful that He hasn't stopped. Even in Imbeeyah.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Can you believe it's been two whole months?! I'm really loving how applicable these verses have become to me through this year. His Word never fails to be relevant to me and I love Him so much for that. Here's my verse for this time around....

"But my servant Caleb thinks differently and follows me completely. So I will bring him into the land he has already seen, and his children will own that land."
Numbers 14:24, NCV

Kindof an odd selection, isn't it? I got a reminder on my phone for an important date this week, which I'll blog about on March 3, and it got me thinking about all God has done for me and Bear in the past. He is SO faithful! I've seen what He can do. I've already seen His Presence in our lives and He's already made Himself so real to us countless times. That's exactly what I want for my children: to inherit the legacy of God's Presence. Can you think of anything sweeter or more satisfying? Hence, my SSMT verse this time. But....

There's always a "but", isn't there? Caleb got to inherit the Promised Land because he thought differently. Some other versions say...

"But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly..." (NIV)
"But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me..." (NLT)
"But my servant Caleb—this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately." (The Message)

Hmmmm- see the theme?

Bear and I talked last night on the phone for 45 minutes about what God was teaching him in India. It's still not specific but I'm pretty sure that it's going to involve a lot of different spirit, different attitude, and it's gonna be a whole different story than what we have been doing! We want to follow God wholeheartedly, passionately, and remain loyal to Him alone. Then, and only then, will my children own. that. land.

If you're praying for us, pray for clarity of what the Lord has in store for our family and lays out the specifics of what He is calling us to do in order to "think differently and follow Him completely". I know He'll let us in on the plan eventually! :)

“...From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you."
"This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go."
Isaiah 48:6b, 17

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