Sunday, March 20, 2011

Abby's 5!

Happy birthday to you!
You're a blessing; it's true!
Happy birthday, dear Abby!
Happy birthday to you!

5 years old!

4 years old

3 years old

2 years old

First Birthday

Precious newborn Abby

Dear Sweet Abby,
It's hard to believe that today, we are celebrating your fifth birthday! It seems like yesterday we were welcoming you into this world. When Mommy and Daddy found out we were pregnant with you, we knew that God must have a special plan for your life. Daddy couldn't stop laughing at the thought of another addition to our family. He wasn't laughing because it was funny, he was laughing because his heart was full of pure joy! When we began to decide on a name for you, we wanted to find a name that had a special meaning and was a reflection of our joyful anticipation of your birth. Abigail was the perfect choice as it means "joy of the father".

You have brought nothing less than pure joy into our lives for the five fast years you've been here. You enjoy life and have taught us so much about living in the moment. You are spunky and sassy and sweet all rolled up into one! You are beautiful, inside and out. You enjoy playing with Ben and Emily, school, your teachers and your friends. You are easily entertained and love playing with Toy Story characters, princesses and coloring. You love music and books. You are very affectionate and do not hold back in doling out the hugs and kisses! Your presence is rarely missed by anyone as your voice has a natural projection like no one else I know. We tease that you must have "ants in your pants" as sitting still doesn't happen often; you are always on the move!

We are so thankful for you and the joy you bring to our lives! Emily and Ben have written some special things to you today...

I love you, Abby!
I love how you always sing when you're swinging on the swingset.
I love how you always share with me and Ben.
I love when I get to wake you up in the mornings and you snuggle with me.
I love it when you color with me.
You are so cute!

I love you!
I love playing with you!
I love bubleing with you!
I love drawing with you!
I love wawching TV with you!
I love you because you are sweet!
I Love You!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!
We all love you!

Make a wish! (Just not for a dog, please...)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review: "Gray Matter" by David Levy, MD with Joel Patrick

(Click on the image above to link to Amazon's website.)

I loved this book! As a believer, I would greatly appreciate knowing my life was in the hands of a believing doctor who was not afraid to pray with me. In the second chapter, Dr. Levy talks about his decision to begin praying with his patients (notice the word with, not for...). Interestingly, he was not nervous on the way to the OR because of the brain surgery that waited for him, but because he had made up his mind to pray with the patient prior to the surgery. The book continues with true stories and is well written, easy to read and a welcomed testament of one doctor's care that goes beyond the physical needs of his patients.

This book was provided to me by Tyndale Press for the purposes of review.

Book Review: "The Sacred Journey" by Charles Foster

(Click on the image to link to Amazon's website.)

This is the second work by Charles Foster that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Jesus Inquest", so was looking forward to reading "The Sacred Journey". I didn't realize when ordering this work that it is a part of a series, in actuality, the final book in a series of ancient practices. The premise of this book is that we are all wanderers at some point in our lives. Foster actually encourages the wandering, to set out on a pilgrimage to find the truth about God, himself, and the world. For it is in these times, faith is put to the test.

Foster's writing style is very easy to follow and read. I appreciate the idea of our spiritual journey as a pilgrimage. To this, I can relate. While some will have the chance to truly physically journey and make sacrifices to do so, others are not led in that direction as their journey has them in the midst of a city, in a neighborhood, in an apartment building, being Jesus to those in the immediate vicinity.

The Sacred Journey is an interesting read and is thought provoking. I didn't rate it any higher than three stars because I wasn't more impressed. I believe there's other literature that is more challenging when it comes to the search for Christ and literature that will speak to where you are in your journey today.

This book was provided to me by Book Sneeze for the purposes of review.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And He took the children in His arms...

...placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Mark 10:16

I have been reflecting the past few days on this time last year in our lives. One year ago today, we were just a few days shy of one of the most difficult times we've experienced as a family. If you read this blog, this picture might be a reminder...

What was to be an amazing road trip, planned from head to toe, took quite a detour about halfway through and landed us in the children's hospital in Memphis, Tennessee for 7 days. Abby had a severe case of pneumonia in her left lung (all lobes) complete with a pleural effusion. Little did we know, we were very close to things taking a terrible turn and yet, God had different plans for our Abby. Thank you, Lord! Not only did God heal Abby, He did so in a huge and miraculous way, without the need of any invasive treatments (outside of IV antibiotics).

I experienced first-hand what it was like to have a child who has a severe illness, to know what it's like to see your child suffering in pain and knowing your very touch, that usually comforts and soothes, actually increases the pain. It's a horrible, horrible feeling as a parent. And yet, the Great Physician healed our sweet Abby completely and did so within a handful of weeks.

I'm writing today to ask you to pray for the Great Physician to touch the lives of these two precious children. This handsome and charming red-head is in our weekly Community Bible Study group. He has been in the hospital since mid-February and his battle is not yet over. You can keep up with his progress and leave notes of encouragement for his family on this site.

This beautiful child is Kate McRae and her story is known by thousands. Kate has appeared on the Dr. Phil show and has touched hearts across the country. She has been battling brain cancer for a great portion of her short life. One glance into these eyes, and I was hooked and pray that God will heal her body completely. I cannot even imagine what her family is experiencing, the fears of what is to come, the devastation of seeing their child going through this horrible ordeal. Please add Kate to your prayer list. Kate's progress can be followed on this site.

The suffering of children is so difficult to understand. I trust in God's goodness and that He has a perfect plan. I know that He hears our prayers. Please join me in praying for complete healing for Jack and Kate!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Birds are singing...
Sun is shining...

Bulbs are emerging...

Grass is reappearing...

and yet...

Temps are cold...

Snow is forecasted...

Coats are required...

Children are stir crazy...

(or maybe just crazy...)