Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Never published this from 2013: Books of 2013

So I honestly was not as organized this year with writing down all the books I read in 2013, but here are some I do and thoroughly enjoyed.

I think it's obvious as you read the book titles, but God was stirring in my heart specific areas to grow in.

The Church Planter's Wife by Christine Hoover. Love love love.  Serious cannot say enough about this book.  It's a book which is unique to churching planting. At the time, it met me right where I was and spoke truth to my heart.  The most important take away from this book was to be in tune with where my heart is and to be vulnerable to share where I am, what God is teaching me, and my dependence is on the Lord.

Growing Strong Daughters by Lisa Graham McMimm. Loved this book as well.  It s a short, simple read, but full of great wisdom. It was a strong reminder of teaching our daughters they are made in the image of Christ. As a mom, I need to think through the process of character and the importance of sports because it teaches our daughters that their body is more than looks, God created it for function.  For example, sports.

So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.  I actually didn't write notes when I read this but I totally recommend it!

It's been awhile....

Wow, so much has happened in my life since I last blogged:
- We have moved across the country again to Phoenix, AZ
- The church we moved to Phoenix with no longer exist and we have planted Phoenix Bible Church
- We are expecting our third child!

Sounds so easy to recap these major life events, but there are so many details that will be shared at a  later time.

I wish I could say it's been an easy, smooth transition, but that would not be accurate in describing my heart these past few month. There have been joys, laughs, tears, and sorrow along the way and the Lord has been faithful and so gracious every step of this journey.  I am thankful the Lord has given me such a strong, steady man.  The Lord has given him strength and wisdom beyond me and I am so grateful.  Our kids have been champs.  Their love for life and just being together will be stored away in my heart.  They keep us light hearted and laughing daily.

At Phoenix Bible Church, our ladies just completed our study Restless by Jennie Allen. I read the book a few months ago and doing the study was just icing on the cake.  If you have not read the book or have completed the study I highly recommend it.  We studied the life of Joesph and how the Lord uses every thread in our lives, good or bad, to sanctify us and to use our experiences and gifts for His glory.  Hebrews 12 tells us to "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith..." which the Lord brings to my heart and mind often. We so often look to our left and right and compare our race to someone elses and are held back with fear knowing our race is not where someone elses is and therefore we don't walk in the gifts and freedom the Lord desires for us.  I am thankful for the passions and the gifts the Lord has given me and he is teaching me how to utilize them in this season of life with 2 little ones and a baby on the way.  I want my life to ultimately glorify Jesus. Being a wife, a mama, and a church planter's wife brings me to my knees daily recognizing my complete dependence utter on the Lord.

Through this season another truth the Lord continues to remind me of is Hebrews 6:10, "For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do." I am grateful to participate in God's big story.  I am grateful my everyday life has purpose and it's ultimately to be a light for God in this dark world. I am grateful to know as I obey the Lord's calling on my life, he gives me new mercies everyday and He is my strength when I am weak.

I am working on being more consist with blogging and living out a joy and passion the Lord has given me.  I am not the greatest writer or that even that great at grammar (;)) but I will live out a passion the Lord has laid on my heart in this season.

I'm a working progress and if anyone has met me or knows me at all, can clearly see that.  But I also hope the Lord is being most glorified through it all and ultimately others will know our Lord as a good, steadfast, loving God.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Portland Birthday


My birthday this year was sweet and fun.  It's funny the older you get, the more my birthdays are a reminder that I am getting older.  Not that I am old, but my birthday this year reminded me that I am not getting any younger. 

The day started with my husband taking my daughter to school and leaving me to myself the entire morning.  What!?! I don't remember the last time I layed in bed watching tv in the morning. Seriously, I don't remember.  

When he got home, he brought a beautiful chocolate cake from a local bakery, the sweetest card and a birthday gift.  After they sang me Happy Birthday and I opened my gift, Tim and I chatted literally for a minute and look over at my one year old son and he had scraped the icing on top and had eaten it/all over his mouth.  Seriously, it was the cutest. We ate lunch and then went hiking at Bridal Veil Falls. Such a beautiful, easy hike for the kids and a breath taking waterfall at the end.  Loved it.  Being in Portland has reminded me how much I love hiking.  I love to be outdoors enjoying God's creation.  

After the hike, we came home and got ready for a hot date with my man.  Nothing better than to end with a date.  We ate at The Parish.  It's a fun Lousiana food restaurant with  a fun saloon feel.  

My birthday was the first birthday celebrated in Portland and we celebrated well. 

Here are a few pictures from the day. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kindergarten... What!?!

Last week we attended a kindergarten informational meeting. What!?! My firstborn is going to kindergarten in the fall!?! I can’t even explain all the emotions that are running through me these days.  I’ve had the privilege of being a full stay at home mom the last year and half and I can’t even to explain the feeling of gratitude I have.  Especially now that my daughter will be at school all day, five days a week, my heart has such mixed emotions. 

When I have the stay at home mom/working mom conversation with moms, I have been on both sides of the equation.  I know the longing a working mom has to stay at home but know the need to work. And I know the longing of a stay at home mom of adult conversation or just a set way of exercising our mind with adult problem solving, etc.  But I have to say, I LOVE being at home with my kids.  I love staying at home for so many reason, but  my favorite part to share with other moms is the value of being at home with your little ones when they have life questions or really any questions. My daughter is a thinker and on a daily basis ask random questions about why her toys are the way they are, a story of her friends at school, a question about our culture, and questions about God.  I get to be the person who is shaping her worldview and my desire is for her worldview to be grounded in God. 

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
Psalm 127:3

Don’t get me wrong, I have hard days of how to entertain the little ones ALL day, the constant run around of doing an activity and cleaning up…. Doing an activity and cleaning up… and repeat. But I prefer it is me leading my kids in these times and making memories and building a strong foundation for our relationship for years to come. 

God uses these times to refine my heart.  I am easily distracted with selfish thoughts of wanting more down time, wanting my kids to understand mommy wants to just do her own thing and say, “oh, yeah of course mommy” J, or just wanting to do things for my self.  Wow, look at those awful selfish thoughts. 

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10

But I am thankful the Lord is faithful and is changing my desires from focused on me to serving him by serving the family he has given me. I don’t deserve the blessing children are. The eyes of my heart get distracted. May my heart aim to please my Maker and Savior.  Jesus paid the ultimate price by dying on the cross and resurrecting.  I now have life because of him and walk in a newness of life. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-18

So these last few months of having my daughter at home with me will be treasured time.  I pray the Lord will strengthen my heart as the days grow near for her to enter school and my trust in knowing the Lord has gone before me and knows these days ahead.  As much as I love this girl, the Lord created her and loves her so much more that he gave his life up for her.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Starting 2014 with a Bang!

2014 started with a bang for the Birdwell gang.

The first Saturday of the year we went sledding with friends at Mt. Hood.  Yes, I wish I could end here, but there is so much more. We had a fabulous time sledding down a steep hill with our kiddos and friends.  As we were walking back to our cars for lunch, we passed a awesome hill with a jump. How cool would that be to get some serious air as we sled down the hill.

So all the adults took turns and completed the jump with success. I saw all the air everyone caught... it was awesome.  I chose to be the last adult so I could gather the courage to do the jump.  I used to be a super dare devil, but motherhood has made me walk more cautiously and I should have stayed in the "motherhood" mind set to prevent what happens next.

So as I do the jump, it was awesome! I slid off the side of the jump, catching the most air out of everyone, landed with speed, and here is where things went sour...I lost control of the sled and was spinning around like crazy.  As I got closer to the bottom of the hill, I plowed over a tree stump, shredded the sled, and to make a long story short, I broke my vertebra L3 and L4 transverse processes.

Saying it's been a long 3 1/2 weeks is a major understatement.

This has put a bit of a damper on my New Year.  My heart is quick to feel sorry for me and being put in this situation, but the Lord quick to tend to my heart.  The Lord has a steadfast love for me. He wont let me just sit in this "pity party" but points my heart to replace lies of a "pitiful life" to truth found in scripture, specifically James 1.

"2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I have a choice. Where am I going to let my heart and thoughts dwell. I need to consider the truth of the Lord.

"Face Trials"
In the greek this is translated to "fall" into trials.  We don't get to choose our trials, we fall into it.  Like it just hits us on the head unexpectedly.  As we go through trials, the verse follows with...

"Faith Produces Perseverance"
Wow... is breaking my back a trial I have to face for my faith to produce perseverance... yes.  If the Lord willed it, which he did because it happened to me, the Lord is using it.

Perseverance to press into the Lord when I am frustrated I can't take care of my family.

Perseverance to press into the Lord when I want a rhythm back into our lives

Perseverance to press into the Lord because I am lacking control at this time.

May my heart grow in steadfastness for the Lord.  Would I choose this way, but God is using this to draw me to himself.  Whether I want to or not, he is moving.

I praise him for not breaking my spine and having to have surgery.  I praise him for being present as I suffered through pain and discouragement.

He is worthy for my affection regardless of my circumstance.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thankful Day 20- Thanksgiving Program

My daughter had her pre-k Thanksgiving program today.  So sweet.  Really, all the kiddos were so cute.  Neela was great.  The night before she sang all the songs to me and showed me the motions.  She asked that I sit where she could see me.  :)

Neela's teacher told me as they were leaving for the program she told her teacher she was hoping I found where the program was going to be and was worried about me.  My 4 year old was worried about me! so cute.  I asked her on the way to school where the program was just for conversation and this is where she took it in her mind.  oh girl.

I am thankful for this Thanksgiving Program which reminds me of what a great school Neela attends. I am thankful she has made friends and is thriving in her new school.