Sunday, January 26, 2014

dedication

It is hard to picture this chubby baby brother as anything other than a pudgy blob of cuteness that breaks into a grin whenever I look at him. The extreme example of innocence.


But one day he will be an energetic little boy, and then he will be a man.


We stood in front of our church body this morning, as a family, and committed to raise our little son up to know and love Jesus, to the best of our ability. We dedicated this precious little soul to the Lord, annointing him with oil. (You can see the girls loved being on stage)


Annointing and dedication are ways of separating something, or setting something apart for a special purpose. We want to make it publically known that we have set this baby boy apart to be holy, so that God's special purpose for his life can be fulfilled. We know he will one day have the choice to exercise his freewill, but in the meantime we will do our best to lead him down the path of Truth.


As a parent raising two daughters I feel the great call to protect them and to instill the values of purity and gentleness. I have been surprised how different it is to think about raising up a boy to know and follow Christ. To raise a boy, we need to teach him to BE the protector... a man who is a leader that makes wise decisions for both himself and others... and a man who has humility. Leadership and humility do not naturally go hand in hand. Only with the influence and example of Jesus Christ does it become possible to be a humble leader.


I have known so many godly women throughout my life, in all walks of life and all ages. But I have known so few godly men. So few men that I would want my daughters to consider marrying. I would venture to say that it seems much harder to raise up a godly man than it is to raise up a godly woman.


Without question it is something we cannot do alone. We are so grateful to be surrounded by special friends and family who love our children as their own, and who love the Lord God with all their hearts. It takes a village.



Karsten's outfit did not have the history of the dress that Sommer and Annike wore, but this day will be remembered all the same. Visit this link for those pictures.

Dedication Prayer for Karsten
May his mind have Your wisdom
May his eyes see Your glory
May his ears hear Your voice,
May his mouth tell Your truth,
May his heart be Your home,
May his hands do Your work,
May his feet follow wherever You lead,
May his knees bow only before You, his loving Lord and God.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

new year

New Year's Eve is sure different with 3 kids. We didn't even consider staying up until midnight this year. But thanks to the closest neighbors who keep the industry of importing illegal fireworks in business, every year at midnight we awaken, roll over in bed for our new year kiss, then promptly go back to sleep. It's becoming tradition!

We did make the evening special with family movie night, pizza and popcorn, sparklers, and glow sticks in the bathtub. All ending promptly at 7:30pm. It was midnight somewhere, right?

Happy New Year!  NEW. I like the sound of that.

Just under one year ago I discovered I was pregnant with little Karsten. They say that pregnancy is only 9 months long, but as a woman who has had three kids, I can safely say that it is really a full year commitment to carry this child. Between the morning sickness stage (so dreadful... don't even make me think about it), the I-am-too-big-to-walk stage, the exhaustion stage (wait - that was the whole thing), and then the 24 hour care through the newborn stage, it is fair to say that my body was devoted to growing Karsten for the whole of 2013. A woman gives up her body for a full year to bring a baby into the world (and that number does not account for the weight she will be trying to lose for the rest of her life because of that baby).

I love my baby, and he was entirely worth it. But I am ready to move on, to move forward, to emerge from the pregnancy stage into a stage of life where I have the energy to actually enjoy my children. And a stage when sleep is a little more abundant. Well... here's to hoping anyway!

God has given me a word for the year 2014: PURGE. Okay, I may not have heard Him audibly, but it was close enough for me. This year is going to be about purging, starting with the inexcusable amount of junk that has somehow collected in my house. We are getting rid of the excess so that we can make room for the things that matter.

We added a new person to the family this year, and he is one of those things that matters a lot. We need to make room for him.

There is a mentality that comes with hanging on to a lot of "stuff" that we don't need, and it carries over into who we are. I don't want to be bogged down by the things I won't let go of.

Literally, I am bogged down by the extra junk we have accumulated. Mentally, I am also bogged down by things I can't seem to let go of.

This year will be a year of purging the undesirable to create space for something better. You will be hearing more from me on this theme in the months to come.

With great joy and hope, I wish you a happy 2014!
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