I really do have WONDERFUL children.
Simeon will be one in less than 3 weeks. He is my toothless wonder. :) He eats absolutely everything that Eliya does, just by gumming things. He is walking around things while holding on and standing unassisted, but only when he doesn't realize he is doing so. His sweet chubby cheeks and curly red hair are just fantastic. He is SUCH a blessing to me. He is my hugger and seems to know when I really need one.
Eliya is almost 2 1/2. She is so big... no really! She literally grew an inch and a half in the past two months. She wears mostly 3T pants already! She constantly surprises me with her comprehension. I love comparing her linguistic abilities to my students who are learning English as a second language. They have similar problems :) The other day she said "Mama, Oh my goodness!" I LOVE it when she uses these little sayings we have... and most of the time correctly. She also said "Yee-Haw" yesterday very loudly in the car. Apparently, one of her Backyardagin videos has a western theme! I hear a little southern drawl in her sometimes too... unbelievable! Eliya is obsessed with the alphabet song and has it down perfectly. She also loves to point out every stop sign she sees and can spell S T O P. She tries to spell her name, but most adults can't spell it either so that will come :)
They both love music and love to dance. They also both love videos, which I carefully moderate. I so don't want them to get sucked in... which literally, if it is on, Simeon stares with his mouth hanging open. He is really drawn to the remote too... are the male genes THAT strong?!?
Eliya is asking about Daddy a little less these days. She told me the other day that she missed Daddy, she followed with Daddy's in heaven with Jesus. Even though she can produce that, I know the thought is SO abstract for her. She then asked me if we could go see Jesus that day. It's really hard to have any idea what to do with that. I have been asking God to give her dreams so that she could have a level of understanding that maybe I don't even have. Daily I ask for His presence as a Father and His peace to fill their room especially when they are sleeping.
It is very comforting that God' s heart is for the fatherless.
Psalms 68:5 NIV A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
In fact, the term fatherless or orphan appears at least 41 times in the Bible! I know that my family is in the palm of His hand. I honestly never thought empathetically about the fatherless or the "single mom". I keep thinking how unimaginable the additional burden hurt from divorce would be to the pain and responsibility that are already in these circumstances. I still know, and often dwell on the verses in Psalm 145:14-... The Lord sustains all who fall and raises all who are bowed down, He is near to those who cry out to Him in truth!
I also can't help but think about pain far greater than mine that others have suffered and are suffering. In 2008, UNICEF estimated that there were over 132 million orphans in the world. Those are truly orphans with no mother, father or permanent family. My pain seems so minimal compared to those little girls in Thailand (AND ATLANTA) who are in the sex trade. UNICEF also estimates that 1 Million children are brought into the sex industry every year. My pain is small in comparison to those who lost their entire families in the Rwandan massacres in 1994. GOD BREAK MY HEART FOR THE THINGS THAT BREAK YOURS! The pain and sorrows are too great and numerous for me to count, let alone bear. Jesus Christ DID bear all of these pains for us on the cross. Please do not let the commonness of His name in our culture or the simplicity of the message keep you from knowing the reality and depth of what He has done.
Isaiah 53: 3-5
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried;Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Jesus knows the depths of pain. He understands anything that you could possibly have ever walked through. He loves you and has already completed what was necessary for you to walk without the burden of pain (His death on the cross).
He wants us to lay our burdens at His feet. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Malachi 4:2 says The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings for you people who fear my name. You will go out and leap like calves let out of a stall. Not too long ago, I saw a farmer enter his field with a hay bale... I could not believe how fast those cows could run and even leap! When I read this verse and God reminded me of that visual, I was overwhelmed with joy. No matter what your burden is, HE IS ENOUGH. He alone satisfies the desires of all men. He alone can heal the heart. A friend told me how she grows so much in the trials of life that she almost welcomes them!
1 Peter 1:6,7 "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ". The proof of your faith is more precious than gold which is perishable. OF COURSE, I wish that it hadn't cost so much for me to be laid bare before Him without any other props or hopes or helps in this world. I can with full conviction say that He really is enough. This world has nothing for me. I understand the futility of life. It is so short. My sufferings are so insignificant compared to the glory that will soon be revealed to us through either death or His returning.
My heart really is that if you know Jesus, that you would pursue Him harder, the Word is living and active. It is the greatest way He speaks to us. If you feel Him drawing you, drop everything and respond. We, who are His, are passing through this world. Our citizenship isn't here... let's not live like it is. Let's be a living example of who Jesus is! He wants a pure bride who is mature and complete. Our rewards from sitting at His feet are immeasurable on this earth much less in heaven. Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy!
If you do not know Him... and this is how the Bible defines KNOWING (By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 1 John 2:3-6) ...then please consider your own mortality. There is ONE guarantee for every man ever born. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. I am going to die. Most of us assume that will come late in life, and for the majority of people I know that is the case. Please seek Him out. Seek out His Word.
Acts 4:12 says there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
Romans 10:9-11 says that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
I HONESTLY had no intent to go this direction with the post. I really was going to make it "all about the babies". I am trusting that this is where the Holy Spirit led it for a reason. If you hear His voice today... please do not harden your heart against Him. If you are having trouble understanding or believing... ask Him to open your eyes and heart so that you can trust. If you have any questions, I would have no greater honor on this earth than to help you in your spiritual journey. Many of the things God is doing in my life is a direct result from drawing near to Him in my pain from my husband's death. Scott's life was a testimony of God and to God, it is my prayer that his death will in part lead many to the foot of the cross.
Back to the kids... if you made it this far :) Here are a few pictures.