Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

We are praising God for another year of blessings and mercies far above what we deserve, except in Jesus Christ, our Savior, of whose birth we celebrate.  This is a year of babies, as Michael’s sister Betsy and husband Bryon had their second child, Abigail, on December 29, 2013!  Rachel’s brother Daniel and wife Katherine had their firstborn son, Landon, in February.  Michael’s brother Dave and wife Rachel are expecting their second child, and we are expecting our first child in July!

Michael has transitioned into two different jobs this year, first a contract that lasted about nine months and then a full-time position at Picatinny Arsenal as of November.

Rachel continues editing from home and just finished up a semester of weekly tutoring for the home-school group Classical Conversations.  She is now focusing on prepping for an addition to the family!  Please rejoice with us as we celebrate the goodness of our God this season.

Here are some great spring memories!

Paul is now 2 years old!
We got to meet Daniel's new son Landon!


We enjoyed Easter with Mom Adamus' family...
...and met baby Abigail!

And of course we enjoyed her brother Ricky :)


Here are some great fall memories!

The first time Michael and I went camping...Thanks to Mary & Caleb who brought the tent! :)

A week later, Mom & Dad came to visit, and we visited the Ringwood State Park botanical gardens.

...and picnicked at the Ringwood Lake.

Michael and I got to visit a historic site in Morristown, NJ, where General George Washington camped his army one winter of the Revolutionary War.

We had a blast at Angie's bouncy birthday party!

We loved the Thanksgiving reunion with the Wesner family!!

 Thank you, Lord, for another special year of love.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Joy Through Tears?

I was looking at the Facebook feed tonight, and since it is Mother’s Day, it was inevitably full of related comments.  Two comments, one right after the other, were polar opposites.  One was by a grieving mother who had had a second miscarriage after a recent previous one.  One was a rejoicing woman who had been barren and just brought home this week two siblings for adoption.  My first thought was, “Why does God give to some and take away from others?”  Both serve Him, both love Him, both wait on Him.  The two had a Mother’s Day like the contrasts of night and day.  And there are those like me caught in the middle, not exactly bereaved but having no one in her nest and telling herself that she is a mother to the world—though any barren woman knows that is a weak consolation.

So what do we say to all these different women today?  I did a word search in the Bible on rejoicing, joy, and delight and found that people found joy in the Lord in a great variety of circumstances—some found joy in people and some in God’s material blessings, including children, but these were least the focus of Scripture, and the material blessings were not separated from God Himself, such that joy in the blessings carried over into joy in God who gave them.  But beyond the material blessings, the unchanging, steady joy frequently described in Scripture was found in God Himself, in God’s unchanging law, in God’s love, in God’s attributes, in God’s justice, in God’s deliverance, etc. This joy was not only associated with prosperity, as we see in Job, for he said, “Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One” (Job 6:10).  Whether in weeping or feasting, may our joy always be found in the unshakeable desire to honor our all-wise and good God.  Who can know the mind of the LORD in individual circumstances?  But whatever else His purpose, I do know that God uses the joy of the new mother to praise His goodness, the longing of the barren woman to praise His sufficiency, and the grief of the bereaved mother to praise His comfort.  For when we don’t deny Him in pain, He proves to be our all in all, and when we don’t forget Him in prosperity, He proves Himself more glorious than the earthly blessings.  Happy-in-God Mother’s Day.