Update with pictures

I have left my poor blog abandoned once again for far too long.

Here is a a little update on some of what has happened in our lives this past month. (not in order necessarily.)

Aurora got her hair cut. She has been asking to for a while and we finally got around to it. This was he first hair cut at a stylist. She was pretty excited. We do miss her curls but it is still a curly  just not as tight. and brushing is easier on her. It took a while to get used to how much older she looks.

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This one is from earlier in December so it is old but cute so I wanted to include it. I signed Leo up to get a Heart Hero cape while he was still in the hospital. I didn’t even know they existed until I was looking doing research after the painting I did for him. I thought it was cool so i signed him up and it arrived one day when we happened to be babysitting him. He looks really cute in it. I didn’t get a picture of the back because he was moving too much and the cell phone pictures were blurring. The back is cool though.20131211_192946 We went to Chicago for the big yearly Christmas party we have there. The kids had a great time with their second cousins. They only get to see each other once or twice a year but they sure have a good time together when they are together. 20131220_145914 20131221_093109 Gideon is talking so much more. in the last month he has changed a lot. he used full sentences and is as cute as ever. He is growing up WAY too fast.

IMG_20140101_104439We have been working on more renovations and continuing the ones we started in the summer. Our furnace died right before the major freeze here. We have been staying warm with heaters but  are switching over to gas from oil so it is causing some renovating to happen in the basement.

That is my tiny update for now since I feel another migrain coming on… more to come.

 

friendship, loneliness and the facade of perfection

I’ve been thinking yesterday and today about how we, as women, often misrepresent ourselves and and the women around us. We look at the women around us and assume that they have it all put together that they never feel lonely or desperate or discouraged, and put on a face (sometimes on purpose sometimes not) that makes us look that way to other women.

So many of us women spend a lot of our lives lonely and longing for deep friendship with other women. Women were made to need each other, we need other women to push us to godliness, encourage us when we are down, laugh with us and cry with us and sometimes hold up a mirror to show us that we are behaving like selfish spoiled children.

It is easy to look at the women around us and assume that they don’t feel this way even when we do. It is scary to put ourselves out there and ask for friendship, to admit loneliness and show our hearts and risk rejection. It can also be scary to approach someone you think may be lonely and offer your friendship.

I was talking with a friend yesterday and it reminded me of the days when i was in the place, I had just moved up from Chicago and 3-4 years of intense loneliness and pain . In my naivety I assumed that simply moving  to where there were a lot of women my age and attending a church full of young couples would change that but I was wrong. For months I spent time watching other friendships and wishing to be part of one and not quite sure how. (I am not a quiet person so don’t assume that just because someone isn’t shy, quiet, introverted or because they always have a smile on their face that they are not desperately lonely.) It wasn’t until I reached the bottom and was *forced* by my mom to call of ladies that things started to change. I started to experienced real friendship again for the first time in a really long time.

It is scary to open ourselves up, friendship is hard, it takes a LOT of work to maintain and our lives are often so busy. Maybe we already have one or two deep friendships and don’t think we need more. But what about those lonely souls around us. The ones who smile at us and make small talk on Sundays. The ones who look like they have it all together. What if you could see past that shell into their desperate hearts? What if they are crying for someone to spend time with them and pray with them and listen to their hopes and fears.

I pray that God would open our eyes and our hearts to those around us who are secretly lonely. That we would either be that friend they so desperately need or that we would pray with them for bravery to seek that friendship.

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*To those dear women who have become those friends to me, I cannot thank the Lord enough for you. I am so blessed through you.

*I in no way want to belittle the friendships I had in Chicago with the sweet ladies I worked with, if you girls are reading this know that I love you dearly. And Allison, you were a beautiful light in such a dark time and you will forever be one of the dearest friends I have -despite distance and seeing each other only once a year. And my mom and sister, you have always been there for me and I love you so much.

 

#PrayforIran

Today is the big day. The day we all need to use our voices in every way we can to remind those in power that we will not forget about Saeed Abedini like they want us to.

That we won’t forget about his family who is waiting and praying for his return

That we won’t forget about the 1 million Muslim people that Saeed and his wife have been praying for for so long. We will join them and pray for at least 1 million muslims to learn to truth of Christ and to be freed from the prison that they are in. If Saeed hadn’t been imprisoned most of us probably wouldn’t think to pray for Iran and the salvation of as many of it’s people as possible. Without Saeed and Naghmeh’s sacrifice many Iranian’s wouldn’t have already heard the gospel of Jesus and learned the truth about Him that Islam has tried to hide for so long.

Once again persecutors have tried to silence the Word and have instead given it a voice and helped it spread.

So Today let’s praise God for the work he is doing through our dear brother and sister. Let’s pray desperately for them: For Saeed’s health, and for strength and grace for them both and their children; For the people they all come in to contact with who are lost and For Saeed’s release.

#SaveSaeed

#FreeSaeed

#prayforIran

#FreeSaeed

What a neat testimony. Wow.

I know it is 19 minutes long but it is really worth your time to watch.

Don’t forget to use social media tomorrow to remind Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani that we will not forget Saeed Abedini.  They both have twitter accounts so you can tweet right to them using the hashtags #SaveSaeed and #freesaeed

Pray for continued strength for his family and for Saeed himself.

Pray for the millions of muslims that Saeed and Naghmeh have been praying for to hear the truth of Christ since before they even met.

 

Pray for the Persecuted Church

I’ve been a bit silent lately as I try to stay afloat during this busy time of year, but that is going to change this week. 

I hope most of you already know about Pastor Saeed Abedini. If you haven’t here is a quick sum up: He is an American citizen who was in Iran in 2012 setting up and orphanage in the city of Rasht when he was arrested and put first on house arrest then into Evin Prison (for political prisoners) then just recently was moved to a much more overcrowded and horrible prison for rapists and murderers (the kind of place they send people they want the world to forget about and to disappear.)

Despite the fact that he is an American citizen and that the US and Iran have been meeting and making deals and freeing prisoners president Obama has failed to even bring up Saeed. Let alone demand his freedom. Instead Obama has freed Iranian prisoners -bad ones.

Obama thinks we will forget, Iran thinks we will forget.

There are so many Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith and we are called to pray for them. In all honesty, sometimes we forget. We don’t know their names. (That doesn’t make it ok). But in Saeed’s case, we know his name, we can see his picture. We can follow his wife on Facebook and hear her thoughts, we can see pictures of his children. How could we possibly forget him? No excuses.

So always, but especially this week and on the 4th most importantly. Blow up social media with prayers for him, with demands for his freedom. Change your profile picture. Write a blog post. Show Obama that we will not forget and we won’t stand by while he tries to ignore. Tell the Iranian president that we will not forget, he can’t hide Saeed away. And most importantly PRAY. Pray without ceasing.

Today we sang the song “Mighty to Save” in church and I couldn’t help but think of Saeed during the chorus. Our God is all powerful and he is mighty to save Saeed. Let’s pray that he does soon and that in the meantime Saeed will have a mighty impact where he is and that his family will have peace and strength.

“Saviour, He can move the mountains, Our God is mighty to save. He is mighty to save….”

#SaveSaeed #FreeSaeed

Happy 1st Birthday, Leo!

Wanted to pass this on for all of you who pray for my nephew. He turned 1 today! Hard to believe how much has been packed into his 1 year! So glad he is part of our family and that he is healthy and healing.

So thankful for all of the prayers you each have prayed for him. Amazing how many people he has never met have prayed for him.