Thursday, May 31, 2012

A "see you later" to the Lees

The Lord was so gracious to give us these friends when we first moved to Minneapolis. They were some of the first ways we knew God has answered our prayers for community upon moving to a new city. It was incredibly sweet to see God provide for us during first transitional (and often lonely) months after moving from North Carolina.

It all began here, two sides of the country meeting in Minneapolis. Those two and us two, plus our curly-headed 8 month old. We were ready to experience our first real winter together, and then in the summer try to make the most out of what Minnesotans call "beaches."

East coasters and West coasters
I'll never forget getting back from Christmas vacation that first year to hear that the Lees were expecting their first child. And a couple of weeks later we found out that we were expecting our second. Born six weeks apart, Noelle made her entrance in September and Hannah followed in October of 2009.

Steve holding Hannah; Jon holding Noelle

Our second Christmas picture
Play date with Noelle

I was expecting baby number three and we were in NC when we received a Google chat video from Steve and Stephanie. Number two was on the way for them. And later we found out they were both boys! 

Almost 4 months apart. 
Dads teaching the boys how to bump fists.
Fourth Christmas and our growing tribes
Crazy times.
The girls

It's been over a week since Jonathan graduated, but this morning I felt the finality of graduation as we said goodbye to the Lees. They are the first of our friends to set out on the next journey after seminary.

I think of how the Lord answered our prayers for them about this next step in their lives. California? Pennsylvania? Thailand? Church plant with us in the Twin Cities? And I think of how kindly the Lord answered our prayers for them in only sending them seven hours away to College Church in Wheaton, IL. :)


I am so thankful for you! The Lord did exceedingly more than I could of thought or imagined in giving me a friend like you. Motherhood has been sweeter doing it along with you and I've loved watching our children grow together. Your servant heart and organized spirit will be greatly missed here in the Twin Cities! I'm looking forward to the road trips and slumber parties that are ahead, and to how God will use y'all to advance his gospel! 

Love you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

To my graduate

This evening you will walk across a stage and receive your degree. Four years of rigorous training completed. Four years of being in a new territory. Four years of Jesus honing your calling, growing your passion, and stretching you. You will walk across a stage with brothers who have encouraged, sharpened, and supported you. And in front of teachers who have invested, shared their lives, and pointed you to the beauty of the gospel.

And this evening we, your wife and three little children, will sit in a pew and watch you. Watch you close a chapter in your life that has been incredibly sweet and incredibly hard. Watch you bring all your hard work to fruition. Watch you with our hearts full of pride thinking of how you've grown, not only as a student, but as a husband and dad. We'll look on knowing we will be the main ones impacted by all the knowledge and shaping that piece of paper represents.

I'm so tremendously proud of you. Proud of your work. Your study. Of how you've balanced school, teaching TBI classes, leading small group, being a DG employee, and husband and dad.

Jesus has been so kind to us in these four years. Growing our family. Stretching our faith. Deepening our love. By grace, you've led us, loved us, and served us. And we look forward to the next season of our lives, remembering how faithful God has been to us during these seminary years.

You have been a tangible expression of the gospel. I know Jesus better because of your sacrificial love for me. And my heart is inclined to gratitude to God for giving me such an amazing gift in a husband.

We love you, forever, babe!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Micah: One Year

Minutes old. 
Hours old.
One week old.
One and half week old.
Two weeks old.
Three weeks. And going home.
June 2011.
July 2011.
August 2011.
September 2011.
October 2011.
November 2011.
December 2011.
January 2012.
February 2012.
March 2012.

April 2012.

May 2012.

At 12 months, you crawl. Not just any crawl, but you scoot with your knees and forearms. We call it your army crawl. You started pulling yourself up on the couch, chair, pant legs, and the other day you used the rocks on the chimney to pull yourself up.

Hannah is your twin. You like to chase her when she is on the floor sliding backwards from you. You giggle when she calls you "the Micah-beast." And you like it when she kisses you on top of your head.

Elizabeth is your safe zone. You like it when she reads to you, but you really don't care for her to hold you in her lap like she desires for you to. She makes you laugh with her funny, made-up words. And your cheek collapses in the palm of her hand when she strokes your soft face.  

You have a speed crawl that happens when daddy walks in the door. You aren't sure if you should laugh or cry with excitement at the sight of him. You always have an open mouth smile on your face when he talks to you. You think he is crazy for trying to teach you to swing a bat and throw a ball. And you love to offer him your forehead for him to plant kisses on.

You are my only baby at 12 months who still loves to snuggle. You nuzzle the back of your head into the crook of my neck. Then you pick your sweet head up to look at me and flash your bashful, flirty smile at me. You hold my hand while I feed you your bottle. And you are always eyeing me to make sure I'm not far from you.

I feel my heart swelling just thinking about you as I write.

Who is like the LORD, Michaiah? Who pardons our sins. Passes over our transgressions. Who does not retain his anger forever. Delights in his steadfast love. Who is like a lion. And a lamb. Who gives. And who takes away.

This year we have feared. We have cried. We have laughed. And we have marveled. Who is like our LORD?

May you taste the steadfast love of the Lord that never ceases. Feel his mercies that are new every morning. Trust wholly in the redeeming work of Jesus. And may your heart say along with your name, Who is like the LORD?