Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jason Upton - be.with.us.

We had the pleasure of having Jason Upton come to our church to speak, and it was one of the first sermons I was able to listen to after we started back to church weekly.  It struck a really specific chord with me that day, so I had been wanting to listen again and let the words sit on my heart one more time.

I would challenge you to do the same: listen for the first or second time, and let the words sit.  Find the sermon here.  Click Jason Upton 4/3/16.


God wants us- He hears our cry- He doesn't disapprove of us- He doesn't approve of us- (we haven't earned it or un-earned it.  We don't deserve it- we aren't undeserving).

God doesn't shout from the sky, "HEY!  I'M GOD!!  SHAPE IT UP DOWN THERE!!"
Instead?  To transform us He wants to be.with.us.

One of my favorite images in the last few years has been an 'open hand'.  For whatever reason, the Lord has kept repeating the image in my life, through songs and sermons and books.  The open hand to receive what He gives- not a clenched fist which rejects.

I've never paired that image with the story of man with the withered hand in Matthew 12.  The Pharisees wanted to tell Jesus what 'right' and 'wrong' to do, like healing the man on the Sabbath.  But Jesus...

"Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.
Matthew 12:13

Will I stretch out my hand?  Or do I keep it clenched?  Do I accept that God loves me?  Do I feel that I belong?  That he hears me cry?

I am amazed that an act as simple as stretch out my hand can require so much faith.  Opening my hand and receiving what God gives: what feels good & what feels bad.  That God is good and I am loved and I can trust him.  I can live my life with my hands open, stretched out to him.  I can nod my head, yes.  Yes, Lord.

Hear today that God.loves.you.  Stretch our your hand and receive it.


We spent the rest of February holding David and enjoying him as a sweet, little buddy.  Our baby grew so quickly, his newborn phase was over before we even realized it.  All our boys have enjoyed loving David and holding him.  Singing him songs original songs, like "I love you, I love you, I love you David" by Hayden all day long.  He has been smothered in kisses and loved up.  It is a sweet thing to watch as mother to these little fellas.

Hayden on iPhone piano and James singing with backups by Calvin.

I love Hayden holding his little hand.

This was David at his 2 day check up, 5 days old.  He was 8 lbs 3.5 oz.  about the same as when he was discharged from the hospital.  Our only baby to lose any of his birth weight.

Papa got to come meet David after just a day or two.  We missed our favorite paparazzi at the hospital, but we were so glad he could come shortly after.

My sweet baby.

The big boys loved wrestling with Papa.

After Papa left, our family of 6 went for a playground hike near by.  We loved the fresh air & chance for the boys to explore.

Daddy took us to grab dinner on the way home.  We are wild and crazy.

This face.

David's first holiday: Valentine's Day.  Thanks Mimi&Grandpa for a special onsie. :-)

My first day with all four by myself.  A walk around the block & lots of snuggles.  I love the picture of David with his lion- it is one of my favorites.

I'm always fascinated by how little our boys' feet were as babies.  David's are long and skinny- and about the size of my thumb.

I found a lovely necklace to celebrate our new addition: four arrows.  David has Matt's Pop Pop's middle name, Scott.  His favorite Bible verse was Psalm 127:4,
"Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one's youth."
I love reciting this verse to myself when I wear this necklace, so that I can memorize it.  I believe these boys a gift to me, and I cannot wait to look back when I am old to see how my arrows flew from my hands.

David's 2 week appointment.  He was 9lbs 2 oz and 21 inches long.  Already surpassed his birth weight & added about half a pound.  Hip Hip Hooray!!

These two are home with me in the mornings 3 days a week.  I love having the time with Calvin while David is sleeping and seeing him interact with David all by himself.  I am so thankful that my older boys have set a good example for Calvin.  His favorite thing to say was, "awww!  He's so cute!"

As an infant, these two look the most alike in coloring.  But honestly, David reminds me of each of the boys in different pictures.

Daddy took the oldest two to see the Monster Trucks this year, but everybody got to go to DQ for an ice cream and a close up view of the trucks.  Our boys talk about this all year long; who would have known??

Matt's family took a ski trip vacation while David was still too young for us to be able to go.  But, we were glad that on their way home they stopped through to see us, and David got to meet his Aunt&Uncle and cousins for a quick visit.

Hayden&Calvin are buddies these days.  Calvin likes to do everything Hayden does.

James lost another tooth!  I cannot believe how fast these teeth are falling out.  So long baby tooth #3!  Craziest part: HE PULLED IT HIMSELF.  My son, who had a crazy freak out when he got the flu mist (the mist y'all).  He took a napkin and pulled it out of his mouth.  I'm hoping this a good sign of ability to deal with temporary pain and that the fear & panic is based on lack of control.  It's good to know what you battle.

I love trying to capture his little face.  It changes so quickly.

Well, it was Calvin's first leap year!  So we spent February 29th leaping!!  I loved seeing how silly the boys were trying to jump.  Happy leap year!

Thank you Lord for David's first month.  For lots of snuggles and love from big brothers. For so much food from friends which made the month so much easier.  For the ability to rest and move slowly.  And for leap year; having one extra day still felt like the month was over way too fast.  Amen.

photos de famille

Our lovely photographer took photos for us at the hospital and at home when David was born.  Here are just a couple of my favorites.

 I just love these of our.four.sons.

Our beautiful baby, David Scott.

Thank you Lord for our beautiful family.  For my wonderful husband, whom is the best gift the Lord has given me.  For my four, beautiful sons, who refine me and who bring me so much joy on a daily basis.  Thank you Lord for giving us each one- we are so grateful to have them in our family.  Amen.