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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You Know Me


There is an amazing ministry here in our town where moms come together once a week.  We go through a book with an older mom, eat delicious breakfast, enjoy some luxurious kid-free time, and encourage one another in parenting, marriage, potty-training, etc.  As if all of that weren't enough, my kids come back to me with evidence of the beautiful, Truth-filled teaching and love that they receive during the two hours, like the above artwork that Copeland was so proud of this afternoon.

It is hard to put into words the gratitude I have for the Scripture above.  Here is the Psalm in its entirety:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”
 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.  For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you. Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred;
    I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!

The fact that God knows my daughter is priceless to me.  The girl who climbs into our bed before dawn, who packs drawings into her brother's backpack (without his knowledge), who just cannot help but protest me if she wants her way.  She and her brother and the little pineapple kicking around inside me are the most blinding blessings, and yet the most daunting responsibilities in my life right now.

Maybe it is the home-stretch hormones, but this morning Landon was concerned about how cold he would be in his classroom today.  He had a long-sleeved shirt on with shorts, but wanted a jacket rather than the sweatshirt I put in his bag.  As absolutely minor as it is, I drove away burdened by the fact that he may be uncomfortable at school.  I prayed that he wouldn't be cold.  We have dozens of freshly washed blankets and hats and socks for Zoe, but it won't be too long before I won't be able to ensure that she is cozy.  And that is just the physical care for my children.

I so grateful that God knows the little walk down the hall that Landon takes to his cubby, He knows what chair he sits in, He knows and watches over things that I don't know and can't monitor.  He knows exactly how He designed Copeland; what makes her heart tick, what she desires most, and how to fulfill that.  He has been forming Zoe for 34 weeks now, and knows just what she will need for the next nine months outside the womb.

Perhaps even more amazing, is the fact that He knows me, as a mom, as a wife, as a parent.  The Lord is using Justin and I, despite our shortcomings to draw our children to a knowledge of Him.  That is my prayer anyway.  Because He knows my children forwards and backwards when some days I feel like I absolutely do not, I can rest and trust Him.

Anyway, I came home and as God tends to do, He put this song on my spotify station like a double-whammy.  Thank you Jesus.

And this is eternal life, that they would know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  John 17:3


You have been
And You will be
You have seen
And You will see

You know when I rise and when I fall
When I come or go, You see it all
You hung the stars and You move the sea,
And still You know me

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, You know me
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

You have been
And You will be
And You have seen
And You will see

You know when I rise and when I fall
When I come or go, You see it all
You hung the stars and You move the sea,
And still You know me

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, You know me
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

And nothing is hidden from Your sight
Wherever I go, You find me
And You know every detail of my life
And You are God and You don't miss a thing

And nothing is hidden from Your sight
Wherever I go, You find me
And You know every detail of my life
And You are God and You don't miss a thing

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, You know me
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, You know me
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, You know me
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

You memorize me



Monday, September 15, 2014

Full

I woke up this morning, and wondered, 'When Zoe is here, what am I going to remember about this time?'  In the last weeks before Copeland's arrival, I was incredibly sentimental about Landon becoming a big brother, and my heart was swirling with bittersweet feelings about the fact that he would never remember life as just the three of us.  These days I am enjoying these two, and have not a hint of apprehension about adding another one to the bunch.


Words can't describe how much I've been enjoying the cooler weather.  And the college football.  And the new school routines.  And...pumpkin spice M&MS, they are amazing.  It is so fun to watch Landon and Copeland learn new things and blossom in new situations.


This guy scored two goals at his soccer game on Saturday.  His 'game face' is epic.  He has so much fun playing, and is always so proud of himself.  We are too.  He loves telling time (don't know how he picked up on counting by 5s!) and being certain of the temperature.  I guess we have a little mathematician on our hands :)  He is also all about some Transformers.


Copeland is just so precious and nurturing.  She is a sensitive little thing, and needs lots of cuddle time before bed.  She loves taking care of her dolls, and will help me organize Zoe's (newly gifted) diapers, wipes, and clothes.  She started dance last month, and even though she is one of the youngest in the class, she pays close attention to the teacher and is always eager to tell about the new moves she learns each week.  She told me this morning, "Mommy, you're my sweetheart."  She is my sweetheart too.


And ofcourse, we are counting down the days til we have a newborn in the house.  Whenever I see the pumpkins and scarecrows pop up in the stores, it reminds me of waiting on Landon.  In the Lord's awesome timing (with maybe a slight sense of humor!), Zoe's birth is scheduled for the day after Landon's (which also happens to be their second cousin Hudson's birthday too)!  Major deja-vu for sure.  

As some of my close friends are expecting or have recently had their first babies, I went through a period where I realized how we were alone in many ways when we had Landon.  We were the first of our friends to have children, and had no real peer mentors to walk us through the huge transition.  I look at the picture above with tears in my eyes and realize how beautifully God has redeemed that.  Five years to the day almost, and He has surrounded us by our family once more, and by friends who have walked through this pregnancy, through parenting challenges, through day to day life, the good and the bad with us, and us with them.  We've cried in one another's living rooms and rocked each others babies.  We've danced at each other's weddings and prayed with each other on normal weeknights.

All of that to say, these days before a third baby are so so full.  We are grateful.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Zoe

We were singing a song at church a few weeks ago.  'It's your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise.'  And all I could think about, as Zoe rolled around in my tummy, was that it is her lungs themselves that  lead us to worship the Lord.

she wouldn't move her hand away from her face

Zoe's name means 'life' in Greek.  God taught me so much through the plea for her physical life, which I wrote about here.  It is something that I think about a lot now; the fact that it is God alone who determines the beginning of and length of every person's life.

I am well aware however, especially these days, that just because life exists does not mean it feels like a blessing.  Turn on the news or talk to a friend, and it is inevitable to hear.  Life can be difficult, sorrowful, and overwhelming sometimes.

In John's gospel, he says of Jesus, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.'  In other words, not only is Jesus a physical creator who conceives babies and sparks heartbeats and sustains breathing, but knowing Him is what gives life meaning, power, and fullness.

I've had the joy of celebrating handfuls of pregnancy announcements over the past few weeks (usually with shrieks that frighten the soon-to-be-'big'-siblings, or with abundant over-sharing about pregnancy and childbirth).  We took Landon and Copeland into the doctor's office to see their baby sister on the ultrasound screen.  These moments have been beautiful gifts.  But we have also done hard things over the past month or so, walking with friends through illness, depression, and abuse.  These moments have been gifts too, only because we know a Savior who delivers peace despite our circumstances.

A week or so before the big 20 week, gender-revealing ultrasound, Landon said, "We should name the baby Zoe."  Up until this point, the names that the kids suggested were nonsense words or types of sugary treats. I was taken aback that he came up with a unique meaningful name, but honestly thought that we would find out we were having a boy.  God knew otherwise :)

I've been listening to this song a ton recently, and it describes perfectly the lesson that the Lord has taught us
through Zoe's life so far.

  

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”  I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Not only does God have the power to bring a new soul into a family, physical life into a womb, but perhaps more miraculously, He has the power to bring heart-pounding joy to tough circumstances, love and forgiveness to someone who did wrong, and knowledge of His presence to the doubting.  Praise God for zoe, the life only He can bring.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A BIG Summer

I think that we have squeezed every last drop out of our summer!  We have spent tons of time with friends...






and celebrated a wedding!



We learned that we are having another girl...two daughters! (Still trying to imagine what life will be like in a home with two little ladies),


Zoe Ann Snow (more on her name later)
and had an epic beach vacation as usual.




someone even learned how to swim!


We have really enjoyed our summer.  The kids have grown so much in such a short time.  As much as I have loved all of our fun, I am ready for a new season.  Maybe it is the cooler temperatures we have enjoyed over the past few days, the back to school commercials, the harvest decorations I've seen popping up, or my growing tummy, but we are ready for football, new preschool classes and friends, and a new baby in our house!  In the meantime, we will enjoy the wait.  Looking forward to what August brings...


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer baby

Three years ago today, we knew we would be meeting our daughter soon.  The kids know, thanks to one of their favorite books that describes all kinds of babies, that Landon is a fall baby and Copeland is a summer baby.  Summer baby she will always be.  She is bright like the sun, and loud like the ocean.  Whether happy or sad, girlfriend lets you know undoubtedly.  She is headstrong and confident; her joy is contagious.



There are so many things that I admire about Copeland, things that I want more of in my life.  She fearlessly converses with anyone, she takes joy in both helping others and asking for help.  She doesn't think twice to ask for what she needs.  These are child-like faith things that adults often lose as we age.  God made her in a wonderful way.  We are so grateful to be her parents.



Happy Birthday Copeland!  You are the most fun three year old I know.  We love you so much.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lately






We have been doing a lot of walks lately.  To and from the pool, to exercise the dog, to get us out of the house.  I always think about my previous pregnant walks through this neighborhood.  When Landon was a bump in my tummy, there were dozens of empty lots, and controlling Stella was a lot easier without bikes and helmets and towels and strollers and lovies to contend with.  While I was expecting Copeland, I would walk Landon with a bittersweet anticipation, fully aware that life was about to change for us three, mostly for him, and he was oblivious.  

This time around, everyone knows a new baby girl is coming.  I have two little sidekicks to share the joy with, and they are always asking, 'what's she doing in there?'  In both my pregnancies with Landon and Copeland, I was nervous in one way or another.  The complete unknown, the labor, the sleeplessness.  And this time, I'm not.  Mainly because I look at the two who have come before this baby girl, and think about all of the life that they bring.  They bring excitement to the most mundane things (like washing your hands!)  They make it easy to appreciate small blessings like cuddling with a book or picking clover from the front yard or taking a bath.  In all fairness, and to keep it real, they also created a lot of drama over things as silly as a light switch, a banana peel, or a hair bow, but hey, we are focusing on the positive here ;)




We are so enjoying our boy and girl right now!  We can't wait to see all the fun that another girl will bring in a few months.

Sunday, June 15, 2014



The kids love their Daddy for all the reasons that kids should.  He wrestles with Landon and paints Copeland's nails (alternating colors even).  He flies them up the stairs like airplanes, reads them stories, plays ball and eats the 'food' they prepare.  He is handsome and funny and strong.  Landon even said he has 'better ideas than Mommy' once!

They have a lifetime ahead of them to find out that these reasons are just the beginning of what makes their Daddy a good father.  He is wise and generous.  He is honest and selfless.  Most of all, Justin is all of these things because he knows his heavenly Father, and is teaching his son and daughter to do the same.  Happy Father's Day Justin.