Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My two beauties

I still can't believe that when I look into my rearview mirror and see this sweetness...


and this serious cuteness...


..that I'm their Mama. It's a joy and I feel incredibly humbled that God has entrusted me with these two (and the one on the way!) to live out the Gospel in front of. I constantly fail as a mother who is to display this. But, it's my desperate prayer that the Gospel will take root in my own heart and that through this jar of clay, Jesus would radiate as the beautiful, all satisfying treasure that he is. Lord, please give grace to do this whole mothering thing!

These precious gifts have given this mama a good dose of her own neediness of God. I'll never be able to 'shepherd their hearts' unless his grace penetrates to the depths of their hearts. No matter how good or bad of a mother I am. And I'm learning it's a very good thing to be needy. My girls are teaching me this and I'm thankful for that blessing.

Now, to figure out how to get the glasses off this little diva without her throwing a fit...


...well, I'll figure it out another day. I want to enjoy these sweet-ain't-a-hill-to-die-on moments with my girls.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

To my husband on our 4th anniversary

Jonathan,

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

I never knew when we read this verse at our wedding it could be added, “where winter feels eternal and summer too short lived.” :) But as C. S. Lewis says in The Four Loves, “Better this than parting. Better to be miserable with [you] than happy without [you]. Let our hearts break provided they break together.” I can’t believe we live in Minneapolis and have 3 babies. What sweet grace it’s been to me to be your wife these four years!

I’m incredibly thankful for you. Thankful that of all the people to be paired together, that God orchestrated our hearts be put together. God did exceedingly and abundantly more than I could have ever imagined when he gave me you as my husband. You’ve been such a beautiful and imperfect picture of Christ’s love for his bride. I’m thankful for how diligently you seek to serve me. And I’m thankful how you pursue me even when I’m most unlovable. Thankful for you with deep gratitude to Jesus is how I feel on this 4th anniversary as your bride. I still can’t believe you asked me!

I love you forever,

Melissa

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

There's no denying these kids of ours...

I can't deny her...



expect for maybe her hair. mine has never been that straight unless I use a straightener.

and the only thing this kid got from me (besides her awesome dance moves) is her hair and occasionally our side profiles resemble.




But really, he can't deny her...





Nope.

And it's not that we ever want to deny them (well, maybe on the occasions when they are going nuts)...it's just fun to see how different they look and wonder what in the world baby Parnell #3 will look like.

us with the sweet fruit of our love (i can't really say it with a straight face) on the eve of our 4th anniversary...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Letter to My Mom on my Birthday (posted a few days late)


Mom,

I never knew how differently I would view my birthday after I gave birth to our firstborn. 21 years of celebrating and never once did I understand who the real star was. That’s how it is to be a mom—your baby in the spotlight while you are beaming in the shadows.

I understand your sacrifice for me. Nine months of discomfort. Morning sickness, tiredness. Indigestion, heartburn, aching back. Stretch marks, weight gain. Oh, and then labor. You should of hated me by the time I came on that early February 26th morning. But no, it was love at first sight, and all that you experienced you’d experience a hundred times more for me—your little girl. It makes my eyes water to think of the intensity in which you loved me the moment you knew about me. I know. I’ve felt it three times now.

Not only did you sacrifice your body for me but you sacrificed your life. Not that you ever had to jump in front of a bullet to save me. But wow, did you sacrifice on a daily basis. You sacrificed your privacy, your time, your patience, your brainpower. I know it was no small feat to raise me, especially when you were mainly doing it yourself.

I never felt your sacrifice (then) and I never felt the need to pay you back. You so selflessly gave all for me. And I’m incredibly thankful. Thankful for your unconditional love, for your time, for your energy. Thankful for your courage and strength. Thankful for the sacrifice you went through physically and emotionally the day you delivered me. Thankful that you, of all the mamas in the world, are my mama. And I’m thankful for the depth which I understand your love for me when I look at these beautiful girls dancing in my living room and this little one wrecking havoc on my bladder. You thought I was your gift that day—but you were mine. I’m so thankful to Jesus for the gift you are to me today. I love you more than these words can express!