Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hello, Brave New Season

This week, I filled the final page of a journal I started in January 2014. As I cracked open the crisp white front page of a new journal, my heart beckoned me to begin again. An unwritten journal is like a fresh start. A new season full of blank-page potential. I shiver with anticipation thinking, “how will God move in my life to fill these pages?”

My last journal documented my pregnancy, my fears and prayers regarding motherhood, and cries for help during the twin’s birth and first few months. Song lyrics, Bible verses and amateur doodles reflect each moment of that special season of change.

Before I put my pen to the fresh page, I asked God about the kind of season God has planned for me this time. The word INTENTIONALITY, was unmistakably the label He gave for this season.

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about being brave (thanks to Hello Darling Magazine). I am challenged by the concept, and I hope I am living each day with more bravery to be who God created me to be.

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As I prayed, I realized that courage is 2 parts faith and 1 part intentionality. I must have faith that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in me, to keep refining the woman of His design. However, I also must have intentionality; to pursue the hard things, scary things, and things that require extra energy. With faith and intentional-living, I will become more like the “me” I am destined to be. And in doing so, I will look less like “me” and more like Christ. All the selfish, prideful, lazy, and boring parts that frustrate me about myself will fade as God keeps transforming me to be holy, as He is holy.

So here’s to a brave new season!

It’s a season of intentionality…

  • to welcome the Holy Spirit into each day with praise
  • to eat fresh foods
  • to do less Facebook and more phone calls
  • to make eye contact
  • to invite order into my home, schedule, and budget
  • to try difficult things like tandem nursing the twins
  • to greet each morning with joy instead of dread
  • to be teachable
  • to cherish the oft overlooked, like reading the book of Leviticus, brushing my hair, or making time to snuggle my golden-doodle.
  • to brave the cold weather and seek out community
  • to hold my tongue
  • to say “no” with confidence and keep my calendar open for rest
  • to pursue more publishing options for my book (oh, so much courage needed here.)
  • to preserve family memories through monthly picture-sorting/book making
  • to pray with purpose and for things that matter, like Salvation for the lost, adoption, relational redemption, freedom from slavery to sin and slavery of mankind, and for holiness to saturate my own life and the church body
  • to live confidently in the body I have, enjoy it, and challenge it

Ink bleeds onto blank page, and so the season begins.

Dear friend, how does intentionality weave it’s way through your life? I’d love to sit down over a cup of actual coffee and hear about it. Since that might not be an option, feel free to share with me by commenting below.

And so, through pixellated words and the ambiance of screen light, would you make a toast with me? Raise your cup of coffee (or tea, or Jamba juice smoothie, or post-workout water bottle), and with a sign of anticipation, proclaim:

Here’s to a Brave New Season.

 

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27 Ways my Twin Pregnancy Surprised Me

surprised by twin pregnancyAround this time last year, I took a pregnancy test that changed my life. We didn’t find out we were having twins until a few weeks after that. However, this is the year mark that we have been aware of the new lives we now know as Titus and Evi. In reflection, I came up with the following list of things that surprised me about being pregnant with twins:

  1. There are 2 in there?!?!
  2. I didn’t have strange cravings, however, I had some intense food-aversions, including chocolate-chip cookies all the way up until D-day.
  3. I threw up a total of 0 times during the entire pregnancy (but several times during the delivery!).
  4. That I lost 10 lbs during the first 3 months.
  5. The next 4 months, I had gained 10 lbs at each appointment. I knew I felt heavier every day, but 10 more pounds each month was a shocking number on the scale.
  6. I experienced hormonal shifts and acne reminiscent of my 13 year-old PMS days.
  7. How invaluable the Psalms of the Bible to keep me mentally and emotionally healthy during the season of unknowns.
  8. That I wasn’t bothered by people touching my belly.
  9. How I became really irritated when people tried to talk to or kiss my belly (except my husband).
  10. How much I cherished the candid humor and practical honesty of the book, What to Do When You’re Having Two.
  11. That I learned to smile and nod at people who said, “a boy and a girl? Now you’re done.” (even though we were already in the process of adoption before we conceived twins, and look forward to the day we bring our “world-traveler” home to make us a family of 5).
  12. I didn’t become a whale. Or a planet… In fact, the majority of commentators kept exclaiming how small I looked for twins (which wasn’t always comforting, by the way).
  13. The dreaded swelling wasn’t that bad.
  14. The sweating in summer heat WAS that bad.
  15. Twiniversity became my go-to website very quickly.
  16. How fun our gender-reveal party was.
  17. How heavy my belly really was.
  18. I actually stopped caring that I wore the same 4 maternity pants/shorts combo for the last 3 hot months of pregnancy.
  19. That all our baby-supply needs (and lots of our “wants”) were met by friends and family.
  20. That I would go stir-crazy for two months after everything was ready at the recommended week 30, “just in case.”
  21. That I never went into pre-term labor.
  22. I never felt braxton-hicks or contractions (until pitocin).
  23. Apparently my uterus is a fortress to write hymns about: “A mighty fortress is my womb, a cervix never failing.”
  24. I’d have more trouble getting babies out in time than keeping them in before it was time.
  25. My intense love for the humans growing inside me.
  26. How hard it was to keep our babies’ names to ourselves until their birth.
  27. The depth of truth found in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Did you/are you expecting twins? What surprises you about your pregnancy?

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How We Decided What To Name Our Son

How We Decided What To Name Our Sonhow we decided what to name our son

Choosing a name for a human being is an overwhelming task. The amount of power involved in this decision seems too much for two people to hold. The recipient of said name must bear it for life. The name will define them. Before ever meeting an individual, people tend to make assumptions and definitions of that person based on their name. It is often the first word a child learns to write. It’s how they will label every exam in school, every letter or email, every official document.

Because my husband and I felt such gravity in this naming business, we decided to take it very seriously.

We started talking about what we would name our children when we began the adoption process. I’ve had names in my head since I was little girl, but none of those seem to fit the new child that was growing in our hearts. When I found out I was pregnant, we had already picked out a couple names. However, we both agreed to reserve those names for our adopted child when he or she would enter into our family, even if that would be years down the road now that we were pregnant. So we started dreaming up new names.

We prayed for a long time about the kind of people God had in mind as he was designing our son (and twin sister) in my womb. The word “intercessor” kept coming to mind with our son. An intercessor is “one who stands in the gap.”

This sermon, by Eric Ludy, was highly influential in our understanding of the role of an intercessor.

In our prayers and daily interaction with the world around us, we began to understand the great need of someone who could be a bridge between God and humanity. We understand that all people are, by nature, not perfect. We choose to do things our way, not God’s way. This imperfection, also called sin, leads to a brokenness. This brokenness means we cannot have relationship with God, not now and not after death. There is no heaven for individuals who are unholy… the only thing we deserve is death and separation from God. Only by becoming perfect can we relate to God as our Father and Lord. Since we can’t be perfect, even if we try, we need an intercessor.

Isaiah 59:16 says about Jesus: “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.”

Jesus, God’s Son, was the only perfect human being. He became our intercessor when he offered an exchange for us: our sin-nature for his perfect one. For all who receive this gift, their sin nature is put on Jesus on the cross. In his death, the punishment we deserve for our rebellion against God, was served. In it’s place, we receive a new nature: holiness, perfection, and therefore relationship with God!

When humanity could not help itself, Jesus stepped in, sacrificed himself, and bridged the gap. In his great power as God’s son, Jesus raised himself from death (our deserved punishment, not his). He claimed holiness yet again and now stands before God, constantly pleading, or interceding, on our behalf.

This is a monumental truth. Its implications for a broken humanity are beyond liberating. The fact that we have an intercessor should change the way we think, love, act, feel, and speak.

It is so epic in fact, it even affects the names we choose for our children.

 

May I introduce Titus Zachariah Rosty.

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The name Titus means defender, a meaning similar to intercessor. Titus was also a Greek missionary and disciple of the apostle Paul.

We chose the middle name Zachariah to honor a dear friend who passed away last year. This man left behind a genuine Christ-centered legacy. His zeal for God and compassion for others deeply impacted his community and family. The name Zachariah means “remembered by the Lord.”

We see in Scripture that God did remember to send an intercessor. He did not forget his creation, but made a way for all of humanity to choose restoration through Jesus.

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” 1 John 4:9

Our son’s name is our reminder of that. We pray daily that our son’s heart and mind recognize the gravity of Jesus’ gift of salvation. We hope he will share this truth in his daily life. And because we also want to prioritize this truth in our own lives, we chose an applicable name to constantly remind our own souls.

God has already designed the steps Titus will take as a boy, young fella, and eventually (hopefully) a strong man-of-God. What glimpse the Holy Spirit allowed us of that destiny was that Titus might:

  • Share his faith with friends on the playground…
  • Boldly stand up for truth in his college classes…
  • Forge awareness for the orphaned and abandoned…
  • Champion the cause of the hurting and the lost…
  • Be a defender of the weak (all of us), and a reminder that God did remember to send an intercessor.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Psalm 82:3

Whether he is a banker, or a street-sweeper, or a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, (after all, his name does mean “defender”), we pray his life will be a giant arrow pointing to Christ, our Savior.

Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

Check in soon for a post on how we chose our daughter’s name!

What did you name your kids? I’d love to hear any special meaning or reason behind your decision to name them!

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When a Pandemic Hits Home (and how to sleep at night anyway)

West Nile Virus…

Swine Flu…

H1N1…

and now introducing…. Ebola.

pandemicThroughout the years, disease threatens our societies, our families, and our sleep at night. To anyone who has lost sleep because of Ebola in the last 6 months, whether because you have nightmares or spend the dark hours under the glare of your iPhone as you watch the news, this Fear Factor Friday is for you!

I am excited to have a guest posting today. I greatly admire Kayla’s perspective on this issue, because she and her beautiful family actually live in Uganda. Please open your heart with me to the truth of our faithful God as you read…

What do I Worship? – The True Themometer of the Heart,

By Kayla Horne, Homemade Imperfection

What are you (as they say in Uganda) fearing today?Ebola or terrorists (I hear these were some of the biggest Halloween costume ideas this year)
Sicknesses that your kids have
Finances
An issue in your marriage
What is next for your family
That you are ruining your children

It is so easy for my first response to be an emotional response of fear, worry, or anger instead of pausing to remember what God’s word says.

My kids have had some virus or something on top of a stomach bug. The thermometer read over 101 many times this week as I pulled it out of a squirming child’s mouth, and I lost count of how many times they have thrown up.

We get emotional about things we care about like our children, husbands, homes, and future. I have had one of those weeks where my emotions could have easily gotten the best of me, but in the middle of my week I was trying to read the Bible while sitting on the bed playing with Micah and Julia. I was reading  when Julia stepped on my Bible and I grabbed her hand to help her off without ripping any pages, and purely as a reaction, started singing, “Standing standing standing on the promises of God.”
“again,” she cheered
“again”
“again”

When I don’t know and believe the promises of God, my emotions lead me far astray. It is only when I put my emotions in their place that I can see clearly, know the truth, and let my emotions be a true blessing. Emotions are a blessing from God but our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.

“Our emotions reflect what we worship. They reveal what has captured our hearts. God gave us emotions as he made us in his image; they are intended to help us live in communion with him. They are a key indicator of whether we are living in joyful covenantal communion with him or in the service of something else.” 
– Paul David Tripp

If we allow our heart to lead our emotions we will often “feel” wrongly because we are worshiping the wrong thing. If we allow God’s truth to lead our emotions it may take more work and it may not come easily right away but it will always be better.

To read the rest of Kayla’s post, visit her blog: Homemade Imperfection
I am very grateful for these words of encouragement and challenge. When I begin to lose sleep at night, tempted to find one more article about Ebola in the US, I’ll try instead to search for one more verse about God’s faithfulness. Then I’ll put my phone down and truly R-E-S-T (besides, sleeping hours are few and far between these days with 3 month old twins. I’ve got to take what I can get!)
What helps you get back to sleep at night when worries threaten to keep you up at night?
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She rises while it is still night: confessions of one exhausted mama.

After a long night of very exhausting attention to Operation: sleep like a baby, this morning was a little rough. Our evening included attempt #1 at ditching the swaddle, day 5 of recovery from the daylight savings time change, and therefore a whole lot of NOT sleeping. At the 10 o’clock hour I was growing misty eyed at how much the babies have grown since they were in my belly such a short time ago. It was quite dramatic as I mused over the last year. However, by the 2am hour I was spouting grouchy exclamations about how Titus’s cry sounds like a ferrel cat when he can’t get out of his swaddle (we failed at ditching the swaddle half-way through the night.) Shane, in his mid REM cycle, was not amused.

Now that the sun has risen and it is technically “daytime,” I am not amused. With fussy babies and a groggy mama, our day’s potential is less than productive-worthy.

I abandoned my goal of rising an hour earlier in the morning to blog a bit before feeding babies. After all, Titus finally started sleeping only an hour before I was to wake up.

The 2 mile jog I planned will be postponed for another day.

Laundry is gaining wrinkles in the dryer.

I will probably ignore the book I borrowed from the library, choosing an episode of Gilmore Girls to pass the afternoon nap time away (which, in all honesty, I believe is improving my wit and bantering skills).

And I resigned myself to wearing jammies and snuggling the babies all day to survive the sleep depravation.

But there is one thing I will not compromise: my breakfast with Jesus.

Though it be short, simple, and less challenging than usual, I know the value of this daily dose of truth. However few brain cells I have available to the dedication of our relationship, I cherish my time to get to know Jesus better.

So after nursing and a round of tummy time, I stream a YouTube video of Mr. Roger’s Neighnorhood (which Evi coos at through the whole episode), pop a pre-made egg-muffin in the microwave, and sit down with my journal and Bible and open heart.

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Proverbs 31, familiar and relevant, beckons my attention. And there I find affirmation in this tiring, mood-swing inducing, anti-chores-getting-done, marvelous season of life:

She rises also while it is still night and gives food for her household. Proverbs 31:15

If the woman of great excellence got up in the wee dark hours, I am honored to have similar demands on my sleep schedule as well.

God knows how to encourage us, and bring purpose and calling back to mind, for His glory! If I had skipped this time with God, justifiably blaming exhaustion and poor thinking capacity for my absence, I would have missed out on the reminder.

It gives me a handful of Symota to approach the rest of the day with. And I make a choice, as the woman of P31 does, to sense that my gain is good (P 31:18).

I won’t let my lamp go out at night. My light will shine for my kids, through the darkness of sleep depravation and sleepy-eyed mechanics of the day after. What I do matters, and my God meets me in the middle of it every moment. I just pray he gains all glory and that my kids, husband and neighbors who drop by unannounced will see His light shining through my eyes, dark-circled though they may be.

By the way, I think I found a shirt to accurately describe this season, from ezraandeli.com.

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Anyone else in love with this company?

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The Rosty Twins are 3 Months!

baby 3 month

Our beautiful daughter and good-looking’ son are 3 months old! Here are the highlights:

Growth: We don’t have a check up this month, so no concrete numbers to share. But you can tell the difference in the pics! Evi’s face is filling out better, and Titus maintains his Buddha belly like a champ. Both are smiling, cooing, blowing bubbles, and splashing it up in the tub at bath time.titus 3 month evi 3 month

Nursing: At last, nursing twins has become a doable part of our routine. Evi has been stuffy lately, so treats me like a corn on the cob or typewriter while she eats, but we make it fun.

Titus gulps his meals down like a ferocious bear, which explains the 1lb gained each week.

Quirks: Titus holds his hands ALL THE TIME. We wish we could say he appears to be praying; however, in reality he appears to be plotting… it’s very “pinky and the brain.”

Evi is a paci addict. Twitch twitch, scratch, *paci*>eyes roll in the back of her head as she sucks away. Thankfully, she is still a pretty decent nurser (save the corn on the cob thing). However, she is quite camera shy. You have no idea how many pics it takes to catch a smile.

evi camera

Goals: Operation: Sleep Like a Baby is underway! We spent 15 days whittling down our 2 nightly feedings into one dream feed before we, the parents, turn in, and one short feeding in the middle of the night. Babies are learning to sleep longer periods (however, thanks to Daylight Savings CRAP, we are a bit thrown off.) Evangeline is a complete angel about sleeping, but Titus transforms into a panther at bedtime. His will to fight sleeping is astounding. We pray now for the strength to parent him through adolescence with grace.

Prayers: God has helped me tremendously this last month. I am learning to ask for his help, for small things like helping my milk to let down in the evening, and big things like discerning how to balance time, ministry, goals, and nurturing my relationship with Shane and the babies.

 

Firsts: Both babies have rolled over, though they aren’t consistent. Also, we took our first family camping trip! It was cabin-camping, but a much needed hiatus in the mountains of Story, WY nonetheless. The short vacation included hiking, nature naps, and daddy reading “A Horse and His Boy” aloud to the kids. Titus was wide eyed and eager to take it all in. Evi slept through a lot of it :).

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We also had our first “date” as a family, and our first Halloween in the new house. We loved getting to know the neighborhood through our s’more’s station. Add in a couple of first play dates, listening to daddy share the love of Jesus at Youth Group, and a lot of deliciously wonderful times with the grandparents, and you are caught up on all the latest news!october 2014

IMG_0019Thanks for checking in!

In His Grace,

Becky (and Shane too!)

 

PS: Thank You!!!!!! To everyone who donated, shipped, upcycled, or otherwise gave us hand-me-downs: you make us feel so wealthy with our friendships! We are FULL. The kids’ clothes have taken over the house. The kid’s closet, the guest bedroom closet, a big dresser, and a huge box chilling’ in the laundry room hold all the clothes we should need until babies’ 1st Birthday. Wow, we feel honored and so blessed. That being said, I’ve edited our “celebrate with us” list:

  • Diapers, size 2 and up! (I never thought it could happen, but the supply from the baby-showers is starting to dwindle)
  • Lactation cookies (or any snacks to help me keep my milk supply up)
  • Crock-pot meals
  • Boy/girl clothing size 3-6 month (hand-me downs are great!)
  • Baby carriers (we are eyeballing the Ergo or Beco, since Titus hates the Moby)
  • PRAYERS!

I have to say another huge thank you for praying for our precious kids. Titus’s head is rounding out, and Evi is gaining more strength to hold her head up longer. More importantly, the Holy Spirit is helping me cast my cares on the Lord, instead of dwelling in anxiety about the babies all night long.

 

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