Friday, May 28, 2010

happy 2nd birthday brennan!

Our firstborn son, John Brennan Finch turned two years old on May 10th!!! We celebrated for 3 days because we kept trying to work around everyones schedules...I recognize i am WAY WAY WAY tardy on posting these pictures. It has been a matter of carving our time to let my camera download and then scrolling and selecting all of these.. However, they are in reverse order so you may want to start at the bottom and work up.
And i snapped this before the last one got gone, i made Elmo cupcakes for Brennan's birthday cake..they were a hit!
Here is Brennan on his new bike..he can't quite reach teh ground with his toes..but soon enough!
Here Brennan is showing Judy and Phil his saw..
Aunt Amy got him a shirt with a guitar on it!!
He was SO SO excited about getting this saw. Its what he plays with everytime he goes to Hunter and Chase's house..
Cousin Chase helping open gifts..
Cousin Hunter and the marvelous Aunt Amy!!
And "Dede" and Knoxie..yes, he wore that hat all night!!
Here Brennan is talking to Meme while she gets a slice of pizza...
And our sweet neighbor Mrs. Judy enjoying her Elmo cupcake too..she was sweet enough to hobble up on her hurt foot to the party..she has helped care for Brennan (and me too!) since he was born..
Here is Baby Knox and i sporting the birthday hats..
Here is Brennan Tuesday eating his Elmo cupcake..When asked what he wanted for his birthday all he said was "CAKE"!!
I took frozen yogurt to his Mother's Day Out class that morning. Here are his PRECIOUS teachers, Mrs. Deanna and Mrs. Natasha.

I know its blurry, but can you see the excitement on his face???!!!
Here Ben is helping him open the Tiny Elmo..they made card with Elmo on them to. Lillian was an art major and is working on leading her two kiddos in her talent.

Meet Ella Reese, i failed to get pictures of the rest of her family, The Princes, and Dean, Brennan's BFF for now:) Dean is two also and Brennan's sole motivation to leave Mommy and Daddy on Sundays to go to "Zippy Zebras". The Prince family celebrated with us MOnday night. The kids know what a big Elmo fan Brennan is so they brought him a teeny stuffed Elmo!


Papa gave Brennan a dump truck!! We loved that it said "Lifetime Guarantee"!!! Tonka tough!
For a speacial treat we had doughnuts for breakfast..complete with a candle and song..that way Nana and Papa could have a part in the celebration before they headed back to Bama..
Papa and Brennan..my mom found a great deal on a birthday banner when preparing some things for VBS. This banner may be a part of birthday decor for Brennan for several birthdays..although by 12 i think he will be over Elmo the Great...haha
“God’s grace means that I can rest assured that I’ll have everything I need to be what he wants me to be and to do what he wants me to do in the situation in which he’s placed me.

I’m no longer restricted to the limits of my own strength and wisdom. By his grace, I’ve a new identity and a new potential. I’m a child of God; the risen Christ now lives inside of me. I need no longer fear people or circumstances; I don’t have to feel weak in the face of suffering or temptation, because I no longer rest in the resources of my own ability. I’m in Christ and he’s in me.

This new identity gives me new potential as I face the realities of life in this bent and broken world. God’s grace gives me reason to ‘take heart.’”

—Paul David Tripp, “Psalm 27: Take Heart”
taken from here

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

do you guys just not need the encouragement?? no comments on the motherhood series??
hmm. maybe God just had me read that for me...:) 
Here is more encouragement. Its from Isaiah 43
 1 But now, this is what the LORD says— 
       he who created you, O Jacob, 
       he who formed you, O Israel: 
       "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 
       I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

 2 When you pass through the waters, 
       I will be with you; 
       and when you pass through the rivers, 
       they will not sweep over you. 
       When you walk through the fire, 
       you will not be burned; 
       the flames will not set you ablaze...

10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, 

       "and my servant whom I have chosen, 
       so that you may know and believe me 
       and understand that I am he. 
       Before me no god was formed, 
       nor will there be one after me.

 11 I, even I, am the LORD, 
       and apart from me there is no savior.

 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— 
       I, and not some foreign god among you. 
       You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.

 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he. 
       No one can deliver out of my hand. 
       When I act, who can reverse it?

"See, I am doing a new thing! 

       Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
       I am making a way in the desert 
       and streams in the wasteland.The wild animals honor me, 

       the jackals and the owls, 
       because I provide water in the desert 
       and streams in the wasteland, 
       to give drink to my people, my chosen,

 21 the people I formed for myself 
       that they may proclaim my praise...

"I, even I, am he who blots out 

       your transgressions, for my own sake, 
       and remembers your sins no more.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

more on Moses and Motherhood...

Look at her work! It is the greatest in the world; in its far reaching importance it is transcendently above everything in the universe - her task in molding hearts and lives and shaping character. If you want to find greatness, don't go toward the throne; go to the cradle, and the nearer you get to the cradle, the nearer to greatness.

Now, when Jesus wanted to give His disciples an impressive object lesson, He called in a college professor, did he? Not much. He brought in a little child and said: "Except ye become as one of these, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of God."

The work is so important that God will not trust anybody with it but a mother. The launching of a boy or girl to live for Christ is greater work than to launch a battleship.

Moses was a chosen vessel of the Lord and God wanted him to get the right kind of a start, so He gave him a good mother. There wasn't a college professor in all Egypt that God would trust with that baby, so He put the child back in its mother's arms. He knew the best one on earth to trust with that baby was its own mother.

When God sends us great men He wants to have them get the right kind of a start. So He sees to it that they have a good mother. God is particular about the mothers.

A young man one time joined a church and the preacher asked him: "What was it I said that induced you to be a Christian?" Said the young man: "Nothing that I have ever heard you say, but it is the way my mother lived." I tell you an ounce of example outweighs forty million tons of theory and speculation.

If the mothers would live as they should, we preachers would have little to do. The biggest place in the world is that which is being filled by the people who are closely in touch with youth. Being a king, an emperor or a president is mighty small potatoes compared to being a mother...

Commanding an army is little more than sweeping a street or pounding an anvil compared with the training of a boy or girl. The mother of Moses did more for the world than all the kings that Egypt ever had. To teach a child to love truth and hate a lie, to love purity and hate vice, is greater than inventing a flying machine that will take you to the moon before breakfast. Unconsciously you set in motion influences that will damn or bless the old universe and bring new worlds out of chaos and transform them to God.

~same sermon as quoted previoulsy..

Motherhood
by Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

psalm 56

In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?


I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

hymn of hope

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

poem

When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out–
God knows what He’s about.

~untitled and unattributed poem in a little volume by V. Raymond Edman titled The Disciplines of Life:

First, He brought me here, it is by His will that I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.

Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.

Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.

Last, in His good time He can bring me out again–how and when He knows.

Let me say I am here,

(1) By God’s appointment,
(2) In His keeping,
(3) Under His training,
(4) For His time.

And all evidence to the contrary, there’s no better place to be.

~Andrew Murray

Thursday, May 13, 2010

7 prayers a day

I found these on this blog and wanted to share..I had mentioned it earlier, but was encouraged by re-redaing it myself.

1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)

2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put onlove, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)

4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (name of child) clean handsand a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

more...

Hey friends! So today is not much easier...but we will survive! I am not the only Mother that ever lived through this! I love our babies dearly..i am not one of those mommies that weeps over their child learning to crawl or walk though. I am thankful for each progressing stage...it just means a little less of one kind of work and a little more of another..So here is a portrait of Moses' mother's oldest daughter:

...Pharaoh's daughter came down to the water to bathe, and the ark was discovered, just as God wanted it to be, and one of her maids was sent to fetch it. You often wonder what the angels are doing. I think some of the angels herded the crocodiles on the other side of the Nile to keep them from finding Moses and eating him up.

The ark was brought, and with feminine curiosity the daughter of Pharaoh had to look into it to see what was there, and when they removed the cover there was lying a strong, healthy baby boy, kicking up its heels and sucking its thumbs, as probably most of us did.

The baby looks up and weeps, and those tears blotted out all that was against it and gave it a chance for its life... Just as God plans, God always does things at the right time. Give God a chance - he may seem a little slow at times, but He will always get around in time.

The tears of that baby were the stepping stones that led to Israel being ransomed from Egyptian bondage. The princess had a woman's heart, and "when a woman's heart and a baby's tears meet, something happens that gives the devil cold feet" Perhaps the princess had a baby that had died, and the sight of Moses may have torn the wound open and made it bleed afresh. But she had a woman's heart, and that made her forget she was the daughter of Pharaoh and she was determined to give protection to that baby.

Faithful Miriam (the Lord be praised for Miriam) saw the heart of the princess reflected in her face. Maybe Miriam had studied faces so much that she could read the princess' heart as plainly as if written in an open book, and so said to her: "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" and the princess said, "Go."

I see her little feet and legs fly as she runs down the hot, dusty road, and her mother must have seen her coming a mile away, and she ran to meet her only to find God had put her own baby put back into her arms and she was being paid Egyptian gold to take care of her own baby.

See how the Lord does things. "Now, you take this child and nurse it for me and I will pay you your wages." What a joke on Pharaoh- paying Moses' mother for doing what she wanted to do more than anything else - nurse her own baby.

How quickly the mother was consoled for the long hours of anxiety and alarm and grief, Moses and Miriam back at home under the protection of the daughter of Pharaoh. I imagine she dropped on her knees and poured out her heart to God, who had helped her so gloriously. She must have said: "Well, Lord, I knew you would help me. I knew you would take care of my baby when I made the ark and put him in it and put it in the water, but I never dreamed that You would put him back into my arms to take care of, so I would not have to work and slave in the field and make back and be tortured almost to death by fear that the soldiers of Pharaoh would find my baby and kill him...but I never thought you would soften the stony heart of Pharaoh and make him pay me for what I would rather do than anything else in this world."

I expect to meet Moses' mother in Heaven, and I am going to ask her how much old Pharaoh had to pay her for the job. I think that's one of the best jokes, that old mean-o having to pay the mother to take care of her own baby. But, I tell you, if you give God a chance, He will fill your heart to overflowing. Just give him a chance.

encouragement for mamas

Okay folks so my posts have been scarce and short...life here has been at its limit! Brennan went to stay at my parents last week. I was at that point on the rope where there's not much left before it snaps, and moments after my parents departure, later in the evening i got there again...BEING A MOMMY IS THE HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD!!
I have felt as though i had zero support as of late in the mommy world. I know that i am not alone in the struggles i face, i know that Ben believes we are doing the right thing. I know that he has been overwhelmed as we have had a seemingly nonstop home project going for over a month (transforming our screened in porch to a closed in office space for him, creating a playroom, putting up a big boy bed for Brennan..) And his work has been really busy. I also feel like a lot of my friends listen in judgement as i pour out current struggles. I've wanted to say what about the verse 'weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice'?!!! Or maybe "encourage one another as long as it is today.." So dear, fellow, mommies i want to do that for you. May this blog be good for that if nothing else. I want to post parts of a sermon that i recently read by Billy Sunday about MOtherhood. Over the next 3 weeks i will continue to post words of life and hope that will hopefully give you courage for this extremely difficult task!!! Here is Part One:

THE STORY OF MOSES is one of the most beautiful and fascinating in all the world. It takes a hold on us and never for an instant does it lose its interest, for it is so graphically told that once heard it is never forgotten...I have often imagined the anxiety with which that child was born, for he came into the world with the sentence of death lagging over him, for Pharaoh had decreed that the male children should die, and the mother defied even the command of the king, and determined that the child should live, and right from the beginning the battle of right against might was fought at the cradle.

Moses' mother was a slave. She had to work in the brick yards or labor in the field, but God was on her side and she won, as the mother always wins with God on her side. Before going to work she had to choose some hiding place for her child, and she put his little sister, Miriam, on guard while she kept herself from being seen by the soldiers of Pharaoh, who were seeking everywhere to murder the Jewish male children.

For three months she kept him hidden, possibly finding a new hiding place every few days. It is hard to imagine anything more difficult than to hide a healthy, growing baby, and he was hidden for three months.Now he was grown larger and more full of life and a more secure hiding place had to be found, and I can imagine this mother giving up her rest and sleep to prepare an ark for the saving of her child.

I believe the plan must have been formulated in Heaven, for you can't make me believe that an event so important as that and so far-reaching in its results ever happened by luck or by chance.

Possibly God whispered the plan to the mother when she went to Him in prayer and in her grief because she was afraid the sword of Pharaoh would murder her child. And with what thanksgiving she must have poured out her heart when at last the work was done and the ark was ready to carry its precious cargo, more precious than if it was to hold the crown jewels of Egypt. And I can imagine the last night that baby was in the home.At dawn the mother must have kissed him goodbye, placed him in the ark and hid him among the reeds and rushes, and with an itching heart and tear dimmed eyes she turned back again to the field and back to the brick yards to labor, and wait to see what God will do.

She had done her prayerful best, and when you have done that you can bank on it that God will not fail you. How easy it is for God to give the needed help, no matter how hopeless it might seem, if we only believe that with God all things are possible, no matter how improbable.

What unexpected answers the Lord would give to our prayers! She knew God would help her some way, but I don't think she ever dreamed of what would happen next...

Stay tuned friends!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

happy Mothers day

to all of you who feel like these crazy, non stop overwhelming days of motherhood are endless and ordinary...please watch this video. YOu'll be glad you did!
Click here

Friday, May 7, 2010

I wanted to share the words of this song with you.Its by Mark Altrogge. You can google the song and find a great worship video to accompany it on youtube.

May it bless you.

Shall I take from your hand your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank you in times of plenty
Then leave you in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap the harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

(chorus)
Oh let your will be done in me
In your live I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As you are glorified

Are you good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are you King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night



Sunday, May 2, 2010

A MATCH




410dsva6tkl.jpg

Last week Brennan and i went to the Library and checked out this Eric Carle book. We have been working on shapes now for about 3 months. we draw them on the chalkboard, we point them out when walking, driving, or coloring. We have been doing colors since as far back as i can remember...i have looked almost everywhere for some memory game cards that have children match shapes with real life items, and at last! Eric Carle comes through for us!

I knew that this book was a good pick at first, but had no idea its effect on Brennan until this week. They are putting up sidewalks in our ancient little neighborhood (a much needed addition i might add). This means that they have had to put up caution signs and we even have one in our very own yard. Brennan was VERY excited that they put a bog orange rectangle in our yard... It says "End Road Work". Right across the street is one that says "Road Work Ahead" on an orange diamond...Yesterday we took a walk to the school playground at the end of our road. As background you should know that upon passing each stop sign i always inform him "Look Brennan, a stop sign, its a red octagon.." He knows the drill (and tells anyone else that he is a passenger in their vehicle the same..)Recently he began pointing to the yellow crosswalk signs and i have been telling him their shape, color etc..So now he knows those too (we take a walk almost daily).

As we were walking past the school we saw this sign:000-3d-model-PedestrianCrossing1.gif

He said "Yellow diamond".. I was about to say my enthusiastic "Yeah buddy good job", when he continued..."Brennan home ORANGE diamond..Match" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Uh, wow...that's about all i could say. I was stunned, pleased, glowing, thrilled! "Yes Buddy!!" i say "Excellent, good job. That is a match son!! I'm proud of you!" He was speaking of this sign:

Sign road work ahead.gif

And a match indeed big guy! Hmm. Maybe one day i will see the fruit of the hours i spend disciplining him and praying for his little soul to know Jesus and love Him!! For that is way more important and a much bigger need in his life than knowing shapes, but nonetheless, i was thrilled!