Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love, your Daddy.

Dear my little Faith Makiera,

You are two years old Today. I am a little skeptical though. Because you came out a few to maybe even ten days from your due date early, I kind of feel like you're not really two yet. Anyway, this is the birthday God gave you, and I am so happy you are here.

You are precious and sweet. Some of your favorite phrases are "Hold me" "Hug kiss" and "Miss you". You like to say the words "pink" "tractor" "animal" "bookuh" and "cakeyou" (thank you). You have many of your own meanings for words.

You ask for prayer and songs every night. Our favorite songs are "Jesus loves me" "Amazing Grace" "I surrender all" and the ABC's.

Mommy does a wonderful job with your little outfits and hair. You don't at all mind wearing second-hand clothes at this age and I hope that never stops.

Though you are the middle girl, and one of the middle children, you do quite well with it. Your presence is almost always known and you don't have much trouble making sure your needs are known. We like to call you fiery.

Our deepest hope for you is that you will be passionate and fiery for God's Word. We named you after His Word (Makiera) and its most important effect on a human heart. We wanted to glorify Jesus in naming you and raising you and have great hope that this will be done in your life as well.

I hope you know that you are always free to be who God made you to be with us. And we will love whoever God made you to be. If His love is in us, that won't change.

I hope the conversation that began when you said your first word--"dada" never ends.

Happy Birthday Faith and I love you and your mommy loves you so much,


Happy Birthday, Faith!

My dearest Faith Makiera,

Today you turned two! You are precious, adorably cute, cantankerous, extremely willful, playful, rather stubborn, beautiful, artistic, very perceptive, and super girly all wrapped up in one little two year old body. This afternoon your daddy and I, and your older brother Keano, your older sister Gloria, and your younger sister Felicity celebrated you. As you opened your presents (most from your grandma and grandpa TX who also love you dearly) you exclaimed with great passion "WOW!" and then asked for another.

Your vocabulary in the past week has abounded to words and phrases we didn't even know you knew. You continue to walk around the house, pointing at different things, and exclaiming "God made it!" You love to sing and I love it when you mix your songs up all into one. Lately, your favorite lines seems to be "I surrender all.... The bible tells me so....God is so big." It makes my heart melt every time.

Unlike your older sister Gloria, who likes mostly toy animals, you love your babies. You rock them, feed them, put them to bed, and even put them in time out when they are naughty. As of yesterday, you were taking one to the potty (something you and I are working on soon ;)

One day Faith, you will be all grown up. I'll blink, and you'll be writing down these memories of your own babies. (Lord willing, of course). Though you are learning much every day, I hope and pray that one day you will go back and read these words I am writing to you now. Your Daddy and I love you very much, Faith Makiera. It isn't a love that is based on how well you do or don't do. Our love for you is an endless fountain because it doesn't come from us, but straight from the Father's heart to you. It will never run dry.

My prayer for you my sweet and darling, Faith, is that one day soon God would give to you the Faith you are named after (if He hasn't already). Not a Faith that you muster up, coming from yourself, but a Faith that is given to you and sustained by Christ alone, and for Christ alone. A Faith that is grounded from and in God, Himself. For He is beautiful.

I love you, Faith and I am so glad the Lord has allowed you to be my daughter.

With endless love,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

He gives and takes away.

2 years ago, tomorrow, God gave us our second little girl, who we named, Faith Makiera. We love her dearly, but this post is not about her. That will be tomorrows. :)

Gloria and Faith were both born in Namibia. We were able to get ultrasounds at every check up. It was nice. The doctors have the machines and it is rather routine to do them at pretty much every visit.

I'll never forget the day. It was a routine check up. I had been feeling so very tired lately and just thought that it was that 'early 1st trimester weariness.' I hadn't remembered being this tired with Gloria, but then again I wasn't looking after a 1 year old as well.

Dr. Burmiester. We really like him. At first, not so much... but he kinda grows on ya. Quiet. Dry (and very funny) humor. Afrikaaner.

I was seven weeks along. He was doing the ultrasound and was very quite. I remember getting a bit concerned. Then he said, 'Well, it looks like twins.'

WHAT?!?! Complete shock. Twins run NO WHERE in either side of our families. ..and I mean, nowhere.

They were in the same sac. It means they were the same gender and identical. We listened to both heart beats. We have the picture. We told everyone we knew. I don't regret it.

3 weeks later, we went back. One was gone.

It was so early that many, though sad for us, didn't see it as 'that big of a deal.' These things happen all the time. In fact, though at first, it was hard to swallow, I think we convinced ourselves that it wasn't as big of a deal. 

My dear friend Lise, in Namibia, called me up and insisted that she was coming to visit. I was irritated. I was fine. I didn't need to process, and to be honest, if I remember right, I had a lot going on that day.

I'm so glad she came.

Lise and her husband have had much suffering and learned much of God's grace in the midst of it. I needed to hear these things. I needed to hear about life. I needed to hear about loss. I needed to hear and see the testimony of the Christian who has been through and in suffering. I needed to hear about how the Christian embraces hard things as coming from the Lord. We don't run from it. We don't pretend it isn't happening. We experience God's grace in it.

So, on this day, I also remember.

I remember that God gives and that He takes away. I remember that He is good, and my heart rests with full and unwavering peace right there. Blessed be His name....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An Outlet

You might want to skip this one.

All my little ones (and not so little ;) are in bed, and I am needing an outlet to process. I generally process well when I write, so that is what this is. I don't yet know the conclusion. Truth be told, I'm not even quite sure of what my problem is.

I'm not afraid to end on a down note. I know God often takes us 'down' to teach us many beautiful things. He is indeed, beautiful. I'm not afraid to end on a high note, either. Where can we run from His presence? As if we wanted too.

Feelings are funny things. If I had to say how I felt, I would describe it by saying I kinda, sorta, feel like I'm stuck in the airport and not sure if I'm coming, or going.

Square Peg. Round Hole. Unsettled. Yes, but No. Missing. Wondering. Remembering. Hoping. Questions.

I'm a bit in that place.

Actively flinging myself to Christ. Gospelizing myself. Learning. Learning. Learning some more.

I'm landing there.

There was never a time in my life that I didn't want to be a missionary. That I didn't have a knowing that it was what I wanted and desired to do. Always, I knew.

We were.

Those who are meeting us now, for the first time, it's an interesting detail. A story to be told. For us, it was our life.

Desire is still there. We want full time ministry. Not because we are not called to be 'in the world,' but because it is the pounding, beating, passionate, cry of our hearts to reach and teach those who need the Gospel. Those who want the Gospel.


What now? Here is my struggle. Right here.

Here is where I'm busy trusting and hoping and praying and knowing that Jesus upholds the universe. The entire universe by simply the word of his power. Surely, He upholds our hearts. Surely He is upholding our hearts.

There are moments, more than I would care to admit, that I fear. I fear that we will never be on the mission field again. I fear that Todd will never pastor a church. I fear that how life is now is how it will always be.

Fear is paralyzing. Crippling. Agonizing.

But Oh for the perfect love of Christ that drives out paralyzing, crippling and agonizing fear! The Perfect Love that created desire. The Perfect Love that gives desire. The Perfect Love that satisfies desire.

The. Perfect. Love.

God-given desires are not treasure maps. God doesn't put them in our hearts and then wait to see if we can figure out which road to go down, which path to follow, so that we might satisfy them.  So that we might arrive. This is not the Christian's God.

Our God gives desires. He gives desires that are His desires. He gives desires that He might satisfy them. He gives desires according to His plan. And He is faithful to His plan. Faithfully, Faithful.

"What then shall we say to these things. If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31)

Better. Much Better.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Complete Work of Christ.

How redemptive is the redemptive work of Christ? How do you measure it? Is it complete? Is it in part? What are its implications? Is it part God, part us? Which part, exactly? How does it play out when we sin? Dose it change it? When we sin, is it because we didn't do our part? (Whatever part that is.)


Today I went to an event where there was a Christian who had made a big mistake. The guilt and the shame were evident. People had mixed feelings. Most people didn't know how to feel.

All I could think was, 'That it could have been me.' It could have been any of us in that room. And my heart was full of compassion.

Guilt and Shame.

Just the words themselves have a certain weight to them, don't they? Like iron in the pit of your stomach. Like a heavy, wet, suffocating, blanket that you can't get out from under.

I remember. I remember when....

My sin was who I thought I was.
I didn't know how I got to that point and, I thought I'd never be whole again.
I wept. I screamed. I wanted to 'wake up' and RUN.

And then. 

And then, the Gospel came.

In this moment. In this moment RIGHT now, I want to stand on the highest mountain and in the lowest valley, with every part of  my being, and with the loudest voice I have, proclaim for all to hear....


Nothing can be added to it. Nothing can be taken away. 

Your sin is NOT who. you. are. 
Every one of us. Every single Christian has done thing they wish they never would have done. never. 
But, they do not define us

If God looked at us through our sin, even on our BEST day, who of us could stand? Tell me. Who?

If you do not understand the work of redemption, then when you sin, the guilt and the shame can make you feel like you are living in a vegetative state and you just want someone to pull the plug.

But when you grasp, when you REALLY grasp, the complete and  finished work of Christ, you RUN. Not inward.... Not outward.... But TO. ...And life is abundant.

"Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.... Jesus."

You don't wear a scarlet letter. You are clothed in the very righteousness of Christ.

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor 5:21)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ready (not so sure), Set (wait just a moment!), Go (Hey now!)

Oh where, oh where, did my newborn go? Miss Felicity is on the move, and this Mommy doesn't quite know how she feels about that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This and That.

Seriously, I'm beginning to think I should have titled this blog something along the lines of Random Ramblings, because that's all I can seem to post.

If you haven't seen us in a while, rest assured all is well. Well, I guess 'well' is rather subjective. :)

Honestly, I feel like we just can't get ahead. Everyone has been sick with some sort of yuckiness at various times and it's kept us house bound for just about as long as this Mommy can handle.

So, I completely rearranged our living room furniture.

I don't know if it's because I've been cooped up for so many days in a row with four (precious) children, and just needed to feel like I was somewhere new, or the room really needed a revamp. Either way, I love it.

It's amazing how good some rearranging of the furniture works for the soul. New views, new angles, new places to curl up with a good book and coffee.

I think the kids feel the same way. New hide-and-seek places, new ways to build tents and castles, new spaces to dance.

It works for us. :)

I relaxed Keano's hair the other day and he is learning to style it on his own. Some days it looks really sharp and makes me look twice. Other days? ...Well, we've all been there.

Gloria and Faith now both have these adooooooorable little 1920's  flapper hair cuts and I'm convinced they look like they need to be speaking in British accents.

I started Keano's Battle Training. It's awesome. He loves it. I'm grateful. I want to brag.... but wont ;)