Thursday, August 30, 2012

Look Who's Talking

Caleb is 15 months old and it's amazing how much he is communicating! Here are the words that he knows how to say and other ways he gets his point across:

BaBa (brother)
Hard K sound (drink)
Cookie (cookies or crackers)
Cook (any other kind of food)
Pees (please)
Tah-too (Thank you)
Dues (shoes)
Uh-huh (along with a head bob for Yes)
Ah-men (Amen)
Ite-der, usually accompanied with a pointing finger (Right there)

He also knows and uses correctly the signs for "More" and "All Done", and he knows some animal sounds. (Snake says Sssss, Cat says Meow in a high voice, every other animal says Eh-eh in a grovely voice) 

The most amazing thing to me is that when you ask him a question, if his answer is "yes", he tells you. He leaves no doubt. So I can ask him things throughout the day and he understands and responds to me! It's incredible how much they learn in just a few short months of life, isn't it?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of Second Grade!

 I cannot believe my son is in 2nd grade! Here he is on the first day of school, sporting all his cool Western Illinois University wear from his Uncle JD! It's going to be a great year! 

Nathan's verse for this year: "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love, and of self-control!" ~2 Timothy 1:7

Friday, July 20, 2012

Be still, and know that I am God. 
~Psalm 46:10~

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Put It Down

One of Caleb's current favorite activities is to walk around the house with a small saucepan in one hand and a plastic spoon in the other. For some reason, he believes that he needs these items as he has adventures throughout the day. He'll hit a ball with the spoon, put something in the pot, and store them in strategic locations that only he knows the significance of. 

This pot, this spoon... they are his stuff.

Today he had crawled inside his big brother's ball toss game. He played there happily for awhile, but when he was ready to leave, he found he could not figure out how to crawl back out. He had his pot, he had his spoon, he was ready to move on... but he couldn't. He was stuck.

So, being the good mommy that I am, I went to help. I gently took the pot and the spoon out of his hands and laid them right outside ball toss game. With his hands free, he was then able to crawl out. As he reclaimed his pot and spoon, I said in my gentlest Mommy-teaching-a-lesson-to-a-one-year-old voice, "See Caleb. Sometimes you have to put down your stuff in order to be free!"

He nodded in his One-year-old-who-wants-to-get-back-to-playing-so-I'll-agree-with-you way and toddled off.

But I stood still.

Because as I said those words to Caleb, I realized that they were really for me.

I could almost see God nodding His head and smiling. Repeating my advice back to me. Relieved that I had finally heard.

"Grace... sometimes you have to put down your stuff in order to be free!"

Put down your fear. Put down your burdens. Put down your sin. Put down your plans. 

Put it down and crawl out this place where you're stuck.

Put it down and be free!

There are so many things in this life that try to enslave us. It could be pride, it could be insecurity. It could be busyness, it could be laziness. It could be fear, it could be pain. It could be our own wants and desires and dreams and plans.

Your stuff might look different than mine.

But the invitation is the same.

Put it down. 

Put down your stuff and be FREE! 

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  ~Galatians 5:1 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Bird Family Drama

Today I opened the garage door to head to the van, and I was surprised to see two baby birds sitting on the driveway between my van and the garage. I assume they had fallen out of their nest and couldn't fly back up. They didn't look scared of me, more resigned to their fate. But in the moment it took for me to recognize what I was seeing, a huge screeching adult Blue Jay swooped past the open garage door, looking ready to peck my eyes out!

I wanted to help the babies, but I had my own baby in my arms, and I had to protect him from Mama Bird, so I quickly shut the garage door and went into the house. We could see the babies from the front door, so we stood and watched them a little. They would stretch their wings out, ruffle them, but nothing would happen. All the while, Mama and Daddy Bird were swooping back and forth, screeching at any real or imagined threat to their babies. I even saw one chase off a squirrel!

After 30 minutes or so, the babies hopped out of my line of sight, but I could still see the parents flying by so I assumed they were close. I felt bad for the Mama and Daddy birds. They couldn't do anything to help their babies except keep watch and chase away predators. They lack the strength and ability to simply pick up their babies and carry them back to the nest. If these babies can't figure out how to fly soon, they are going to die... and the parents will have to just sit there and watch. 

It kinda broke my heart a little.

I know they are "just birds". And to be honest, I don't like that this whole bird family drama is playing out on my driveway, because I have been unable to get to the van to run my errands. But I also know that fierce protectiveness that wells up in me whenever one of my babies faces a threat - whether real or imagined. And I've felt that urge to swoop down on someone and peck at their eyes for daring to hurt my child. I cannot imagine having to sit by and watch your child suffer... maybe even die... and know in your heart that you cannot do anything about it. 

I cannot fathom it.

But God can.

He experienced that first-hand when He watched His own Son die on the cross. He had to turn His back, because of the sin that Jesus willingly took upon Himself. My sin... and yours. Yes, God could have stopped the whole thing, but He didn't because He longed to provide a way for our forgiveness, for our salvation, for our restoration. He gave His one and only Son... because of His love. 

The Bible says that He is mindful of and provides for even the birds of the air, and then He reminds me that I am even more valuable to Him then these birds. He loves me! And He proves His own love for me, in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. I may be as helpless as a baby bird who's fallen out of her nest, but my Father is not only my fierce protector, He's able to lift me up again and carry me to safety. I can trust Him, no matter what!

(Photo credit:

Sunday, May 13, 2012