Category Archives: Inside the Rosty Home

How A Grateful Garland Rescued November

Every year the debate continues should Christmas celebrations start before or after Thanksgiving? Here in the audacious year of 2017, the pivotal day in question has been moved to Halloween.

I am definitely not a Christmas-before-Thanksgiving hater. However, I am the kind of person that worries about someone or something feeling left out. For crying out loud, I feel terrible if I do not give each of my clothes a turn to be worn in a given month.

November deserves a turn, in my opinion. When I think about all the things I will miss if I were to wish away November so we could move on to Christmas season, I get sad. Already, we have enjoyed our kids’ first time ice skating. We marveled as our brown world got a fresh dusting of white flakes. We enjoyed candy and pumpkin seeds, and still have yet to bake the cupcake mix left on our front door on Halloween (thanks to whomever “boo’ed” us!).

Of course, many of us feel December flies by too quickly, so we get a head start on holiday cheer. I have been there before, and I realized the remedy was not in hijacking November. Rather, we can make December sacred again with a holy hurry, and a rediscovering of wonder.

Others of us find the brown, hibernating world of November to be dull and boring. If that is you, as it was once me, I encourage you to do research on the importance of boredom in our everyday lives.

But how do we rescue the novelty of November? My suggestion: make a grateful garland.

This lovely swag hangs in our dining room, heralding contentment into our home with loud autumn hues. The top strand is one we saved from last year. It displays our kids’ two-year-old “grateful hands” with a daily thanks or “yay God!” The bottom strand is the start of the twins now 3-year-old grateful hands.

To make the hands, I traced their little hands 5 times on a piece of construction paper (one for T and one for E), then stacked 2 more pieces of fall-colored paper to cut out 15 hands per kid. There are 30 days in November, so it is perfect. The paper hands get kind of curly after being stored in a ziplock bag for a year, but they look almost more like leaves that way. I stripped some fake fall leaves from a cheap “bouquet” I found at Walmart and tied them to the garland as well.

Each day, we take turns stating what we are grateful for. I write it on a hand and tape it to the garland. It just keeps getting better. Giving me a big picture narrative for our home. I pine for the day we can buy the right couch, hip frames, and fun rugs for this room. But this November, I cannot stop dreaming about the day we have 10 years of these garlands circling our dining room, climbing our stair well, and swagging over every doorframe.

I love how this simple decoration activity is giving my family an awareness of our blessings. Moreso for me, though, the garland has expanded my perspective of home-making. I do a lot of online shopping, pining for the perfect couch, hip frames, and fun rugs for our new home. I get excited when I think about the day it will feel complete. But this November, I cannot stop dreaming about the day we have 10 years (!) of these garlands circling our dining room, climbing our stairwell, and hanging over every doorframe.

How about you? How do you plan to rescue November from the holiday hijack?  Feel free to leave a comment with your ideas!
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and tag me in your grateful garland pics this November!

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A Rosty Family Update: Looking back at 2016 (AKA The Christmas Card Letter That Never Got Mailed)

We have experienced heaps of Gods grace this past year. We are learning the art of intentionality: to stay present with one another, and more importantly, to connect deeply with God and the world He created and loves. Here are a few highlights of His goodness to us in 2016: 

Shine On…

Titus and Evi turned two this July. The first year of their life felt like it lasted forever, but this second year flew by! We celebrated with a galaxy of excitement and a verse that has become our family theme for the year: to shine like stars for Jesus (Philippians 2:14-16).

The Watchman…

At 2 years old, Titus is one strong and solid little boy. If being particular is a sign of intelligence, we have a genius on our hands. His playtime is important work, and please don’t interrupt, thank you very much. He is the first one awake and often last to go to sleep (sigh). For all his resolve, Titus can’t resist a hearty belly laugh when being tickled or playing chase. He looks up to his daddy and mimics Shane’s guitar playing with surprising accuracy. Both grandpas tie for second place in Titus’s heart, with our dog, Mr. Darcy, following in 3rd place. He enjoys camping, playing with the cousins, and wrestling. He has a tender side and helps Evi keep good care of her baby dolls. He is quick to thank Jesus and bless friends and family in prayer. He keeps his “guy” and “tickle” (guitar and blanky, respectively) close, which warms his mama’s heart, knowing he is still a little boy, for now. 

The Princess…

Evangeline is blooming as a cheerful, nurturing, beautiful girl. She sing-songs her way through the house cooking “Muppins” and caring for her baby dolls. She has her baby “Gigi” potty trained already, even though she prefers to take her time in that arena. We have decided to call it “potty experimenting” for a while. Evi is the articulate voice of compassion and is always on the quest to connect on a personal level. She keeps us on track, reminding us to “read Bible” and take our vitamins every morning. Our adorable girl is also quite clumsy: she will trip over thin air then blame it on Titus. Still, her squeaky giggle has charmed us all. We truly believe her obsession with all things “princess” will give her a vision for God’s kingdom now and for eternity.

Upward Adventures…

Shane is enthralled with dad-hood. Now that the kids are, well, kids and not babies, it’s a lot more fun! He teaches them kindness and quirky ways to eat chili and how to hum the Star Wars theme. Through it all, Shane keeps Becky swept off her feet. We survive winter together with lots of candlelight and hit the mountains and lakes early when the weather warms up. We topped off 6 years of marriage with a romantic adventure in Paris, Montana (seriously, check it out). 

Shane is now in his third year of full-time youth ministry (& 7th year of BCM!), mentoring and shepherding students from 6th grade through college age. His passion for music keeps us all dancing and singing together. This summer was packed with many favorites: Shane lead worship for Summit Camp, spoke as camp pastor at camp Bethel, served on the Wind River reservation with his First Baptist youth group, and relaxed with family and college students in Glorieta, New Mexico. We stay heaven-minded and always strive to SYMOTA (set your minds on things above).

Stay-Present…

Becky is turning over every blade of grass in this new season as a stay-present mama.

I am finding my passion for creativity is keeping me engaged and thriving as a mom. I enjoy teaching the kids to see the world in a unique way, to get excited about small things–like colors and songs, and big thing–like how Jesus loves everyone in the grocery store. We daily affirm what is true about how God made us: I am Kind, I am Brave, I am Joyful. The kids know this back and forth and are quick to say it to get out of time-outs.

God provides for my extrovert heart as I continue to mentor young women, coach figure skating, and study God’s Word with other mommas. In October, I was invited to speak at a local women’s conference, which again sealed the deal for my passion for communicating God’s truth and hope to others. 

Shane would like to add that my smile continues to light up the room. He quotes Proverbs 31 to me often as a reminder of how he sees me. Which floors me because most of the time I feel like an exhausted mess who cannot keep up with the toddler pace X2!

Through it all, I am discovering new depths of love and sacrifice as I learn to die to myself and serve, love, and train up Titus and Evi to have hearts after our Lord.

 

Look-Out!…

It is official! The twins have stolen our hearts, and our home. These growing two-year-olds both got their own room this fall. When we added college-student dinners, visits from our beloved family, and a desire to expand our family in the next few years, we started to feel a little boxed in. We have loved every moment of building and living in our home, but it is time for a good change. In November, we began working with a local builder to create a new house with room to grow. Also, God provided a beautiful family who fell in love with our little place on this hill. We closed the sale of our Osprey house in January, and are renting until the summer when our house on Look-Out Point Drive will be finished! 

And now we worship…

[Full Disclosure: I began this post in December, but it has taken me till the end of April to finish and post it. (#toddlermomproblems)]

As 2017 approaches, As we continue on into 2017, we hope to invest less in screen-time and a lot more in meaningful connections. Other than this annual update, I try to keep posts and pictures of our kids on social media to a minimum. They have an incredible amount of beauty to offer this world, and I believe it should be experienced first hand.

So please drop by or give a phone call (we like old-fashioned). This year is full of promise and LOTS of transition. After such a year covered by Gods grace, we are confident He will carry us on in hope and joy. So in worship of our Savior, we welcome each day. We appreciate your prayers for us always.

With Love,

Shane, Becky, Titus and Evangeline Rosty and our trusty pup, Mr. Darcy (who apparently is not photo priority anymore. Another thing to work on in 2017)

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A Very Messy Christmas Blessing: The Rosty 2015 Year Update

Christmas card 2015Our family photo is a pretty accurate description of our life this year: messy and very sweet.

This year wasn’t just full of messy moments, it was also full of blessed ones! In 2015, Shane and I celebrated 5 years of marriage, the twins’ 1st Birthday, and another grace-filled year of youth ministry. The twins learned to walk, and are now running in 2 different directions. We parents are enjoying the exercise and adventure of getting to know Titus and Evangeline more each day.

at least they try to clean up after themselves!
at least they try to clean up after themselves!

We continue to sing and make music together as a family. Evi joins in with her joyful chirps and Titus cannot be ten-seconds away from his ukulele, which he strums proudly.

kids 2015

A summer full of camping and road trips with the twins gave us a chance to explore our world with fresh eyes and renewed excitement. The twins come alive around their favorite people: both sets of grandparents and the entire youth group/college ministry students. God has truly blessed our family through such welcoming community.

This season, we are reminded that Perfection was born right in the mess of our humanity. He denied his rights to get on our level: our exhausting, sin-filled, fractured mess. His holiness did not deserve death, like the rest of us. However, Jesus took death in our place, providing perfection to us in exchange for our self-inflicted destruction. His power to rise from death—our deserved death—gives us confidence of victory.

IMG_7769By trusting in Christ, we have freedom from exhaustion of constant failure. We can find wholeness and restoration in our relationships. And we gain peace with God that will last forever! This salvation does not just affect our eternity, it affects our today. We have days in which the kids dump baking soda on the floor, or undo the freshly folded laundry, or spill one more supposedly-leak-proof sippy cup…but these are also days that are filled with sweet snuggles and joyful giggles. The hope from Christ fills each moment when we set our minds on Him.

 

Thanks for celebrating each messy wonderful moment with us!IMG_7554

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We survived the first 4 months!

And not just survived either, we are a THRIVING family with so much to be thankful for!

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Growth: after heaps of growth spurts and challenging new development, the twins are beginning to plateau. This means efficient nursing on a consistent schedule, slower weight gain, and lots of exercise!

Titus:

  • 15lbs. 5 oz. (51 percentile)
  • 24.5 inches tall (and always stretching to show it)

Evi:

  • 11 lbs. 13 oz. (10th percentile)
  • 24.0 Inches (2 feet baby!)
Babies' 4 month check up
Babies’ 4 month check up

Nursing: I am becoming more confident in nursing the twins every day. As we approach solid food soon, I hope to also tackle tandem nursing once again.

Quirks: Titus displays his charming smile for everyone he sees. He is also a man-child of impressive muscle mass, almost doing push ups when on his tummy, and fussing to sit up all the time.

Titus is the bubble-blowing-master! Entertaining himself at hours on end, that kid never gets tired of drool running down his chin.

Evi has fallen in love with “softies”. Particularly the puppy-blankets we received from the hospital at their birth. Mama enjoyed some self-discovery this month as she started naming all the stuffed animals. Apparently I have a fascination with British-sounding, old-timer names (Jasper, Wilfred, and Jeffery so far).

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Evangeline’s voice has blossomed and we have a giggle box on our hands. Actually, the giggle box is more like a squeaker toy; For example…

She continues to chat and coo at us, her brother, the dog, and even inanimate objects. We have learned to decipher her highly exasperated sounds to be ones of joy and feeling connected.

Goals: Operation: Sleep Like a Baby continues! Titus continues to assume the role of ring leader in the twin sleep circus. But over all, sleep and schedule is getting better.

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Other News:

  • Belly laughs
  • Thumb sucking
  • Grabbing toes
  • Talking to each other
  • Singing along when dad sings and plays….
    These are a few things that make up our days.

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Prayers: I am grateful for the increased energy lately. We have been able to realize the incredible community of support that surrounds us in the last few months. Shane and I have enjoyed a weekly “gospel date night” in which we share Gods love with teenagers at a local shut in while the babies hang out with a babysitter.1457670_10203322814979899_4527346399498765066_n

Thank you for praying for continued purpose and intentionality as we approach the holiday season!

In His Grace,

The Rosty Family

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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 :).

camping

 

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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Two Babies at 2 months!

baby 2 monthWe made it! Two months later and we are all still alive! Sleep deprivation aside, Shane and I are LOVING this business of being parents to Titus and Evangeline.

2 month shots done been conquered!
2 month shots done been conquered!

IMG_0004_2Titus Zachariah Rosty has a fettish for lights and ceiling fans. He has mastered the art of cooing, thus capturing the hearts of us all. If he has the option, Titus would rather be hat-less, but he rather likes his Van’s shoes.

Regarding clothes, he grows out of outfits before we get a chance to even try them on! By the charts, he is growing about a pound a week! He has muscled his way to the top of the “hold-your-head-up” games, though his sister still has him beat in the focus round.

titus 2 month

IMG_0005_2Speaking of the sister, Evangeline River Rosty does not like wearing socks or shoes, but she is all the fashion-rage with her flower hats and headbands. Evangeline’s specialty is being relaxed (which is why she never wins the tummy time challenges).

She coos and smiles, but unlike her brother, Evi will make direct eye-contact with you, boring a hole of adorable into your soul. She’s been known to particularly focus in on the young men in our ministry circles.

evi 2 month

Titus has taken it upon himself to personify all of the seven dwarves in one day, every day. It’s his personal mission to keep us guessing about his mood.

Evangeline is very perceptive and enjoys taking in her surroundings. She particularly enjoys listening to daddy playing guitar: she gives a great big sigh of contentment every time she hears it.

Both babies are average conversationalists, though this skill is on the rise.  Although we don’t always know what they’re trying to talk to us about, Shane and I respond anyway. We are rock-stars at baby talk!

Photoshoot shenanigans
Photoshoot shenanigans

At last, the twins have noticed each other! Titus furrows  his brows together when he sees his sister. We think he’s trying to say “what is that!?” We typically respond with, “this is called a sister, she is to be defended at all costs.”

Evi just smiles at Titus with absolute adoration. I can’t wait to hear them talk to each other. For now, they hold hands when side by side.

IMG_0015

I am so blessed to have incredible help throughout these past 2 months. I wouldn’t be nearly as confident in this mothering business without the help and encouragement of these three ladies: my mom Theresa, Shane’s mom Sandy, and our dear friend Missy.

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On the days we are on our own, Shane carries the standard for our family as our fearless leader and faithful shepherd. He is an incredible example of Christ to us, and I am beyond privilege to be his wife and mother of his kids (we call ’em “loin-fruit,” but that’s a different story). Shane is also thriving in his new role as Associate Pastor of Youth Ministries at our new church here in Sheridan.

IMG_0011_2It’s almost 10pm, and the babies have been sleeping peacefully for almost 2 hours. If I don’t join them in dream-land, I’ll miss my window. Sweet dreams friends, and thanks for all you do!IMG_0006_2

In His Grace,

Becky

 

PS: If you’d like to help us celebrate 2 months with the twins, here are some subtle suggestions:

  • Diapers, size 2 and up!
  • Lactation cookies (or anything 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! For strong babies with non-flat heads, sleep-ful nights, and parents who rely on the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to parent well.

 

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2013 Recap (and some Big news!)

Happy New Year!

Shane and I have a very special announcement:

The Rosty Family is adding two babies to their quiver.The Psalm referenced in this picture is a very accurate description of 2013 for the Rosty home:

Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

From the house we are still building, to our ministry and growing family, the Psalm 127 truly gets it!

I apologize for my absence from this blog for the last few weeks. I have been a bit exhausted, both physically and mentally, from processing all that God is doing. But don’t worry! I have documented each step and I plan to catch you up on the Rosty life in the coming weeks.

For now, allow me to give a more detailed recap some important moments from 2013:

Ministry:

We had a splendid Spring semester as college ministry directors. Every year we are amazed at how God works through our amazing students to grow us and build this ministry. Our ministry trips to Laramie, WY; Ohio; Casper Mountain for youth camp; and Glorieta, New Mexico held incredible memories and opportunities to expand our understanding of God, people, and the world around us.

BCM

1454974_10200997147879675_967620186_nHouse:

We continue to work on the house, bit by bit, this year. By the end of 2013, we had a roof, plumbing, electrical, and gas all done! We look forward to moving in the spring of 2014.

Jobs:

1014452_10200393978840826_724204849_nShane received a promotion at NSI, and spent much of the summer as a Team Leader. His role shifted from managing paperwork to being more involved with the students’ program day by day. With the job, God provided a new living situation, which we fell in love with! Our new home is surrounded by cows, lamas, turkeys for Mr. Darcy to chase, a flowing river, and lots of room to breathe. Through various circumstances, Shane’s job shifted back to case-management at the end of the summer. This re-shift came as a blessing, as Shane’s hours as a case-manager were much more conducive to our ministry (and marriage). Still, we are quite grateful the we get to continue living on the campus in our new home. I was able to convert the upstairs loft into my personal writing studio, where I have had plenty of creative space to write.

Summer:

rosty summer 2013Camping, kayaking, moving, a new job, and enjoying sunshine with family and friends made our summer quite eventful. With a spacious house and a steady job, Shane and I realized it was time to start a family. As we sensed our hearts and the Holy Spirit leading us in that direction, we began to look into adoption and pregnancy. I embarked on a journey to deal with some deep-rooted allergies, get fit, and build healthy-habits. During this time we also registered with an adoption agency in hopes to get into a program to adopt from South Africa. At the time, such a program was not available. As I was pouring all of my time and efforts into adoption research, God tapped on my heart.

Book:

God prompted me to be faithful with what God already gave me. I have been working on a book: a Bible study curriculum to guide young women through the coming of age process, according to God’s Word. In obedience, I set everything else aside and wrote/edited my heart out! I sent in a book proposal to a publisher on October 2, 2013.

Adoption:

20131022-221849.jpg

It just so happened that 6 days later, an adoption program to South Africa opened up (on October 8th). Our heavenly Father NEVER ceases to amaze me. He called me to obedience, not just to honor Him with the vision He gave me for the book, but also to work out His perfect timing for adoption. We applied, and were the 10th family (out of 10 available spots) to get into the program. Again, God reminded us of His sovereignty. I had no idea how he was going to work all this out.

Through the whole month of October, my mantra was Ecclesiastes 3:11: He will make everything beautiful in it’s time. So many moments confirmed that this was God’s plan for us. Got brought new and old friendships with people from all over South Africa, who are all praying for the day we finally get to pick up our “World Traveler.” Things were falling into place!

In the coming weeks we gleefully slaved over paperwork, surprised at how fast the process was going. We received training that proved difficult and emotional, but so good for us. Jesus was sifting us to become parents in His likeness. Then on November 18 and 19, we had our home inspection and adoption interviews. Again, Shane and I were shocked, but so blessed, at how quickly God was working out the process to adopt.

Baby!

All this time, we were unaware of what God was also doing inside me. Shane and I weren’t expecting any fertility issues, but we did expect it to take a while for my body to get on board with the idea. On Thursday, November 21, just 2 days after we completed our home study interviews, I took a pregnancy test. Never in my life have I been more surprised to see those double lines!

Twins!?

1558645_10151809577017283_1013917072_nAfter getting over the initial shock of it all, I wanted to get sonograms to use as Christmas presents for our parents. On Thursday, December 12 we received an ultrasound at Legacy Pregnancy Center in Sheridan. Turns out, we got more than we expected.

I jokingly asked the technician, “there’s just one baby right?” And she replied, “well this is suspicious,” as she circled the arrow around a spot next to the baby, “but I think it’s just your ovary.”

5 minutes later, she transitioned from an abdominal (on the belly) to a transvaginal ultrasound… and her suspicions were confirmed. “Oh, there’s another baby in there.”

“What!?” Shane and I couldn’t believe it. I will never forget laying on the exam table, throwing my hand on my forehead and staring at the screen while the tears started coming. Tears of joy, wonder, confusion and excitement. I also will never forget how Kathryn, another Legacy employee in the room, burst out laughing and clapping for us.

I went home and researched everything I could about twin pregnancies. It took me hours to catch my breath and eat again (which was hard enough as it is). We went to dinner with my dad that night, and played it completely cool. At this point, no one even knew we were pregnant. My dad said, “your little sister is gonna get married and have kids before you two do.”

Shane resisted the opportunity to say, “Oh really?”

I am glad we waited, because our families’ reactions when we told them was sincerely priceless (more on that event later).

Praising God:

The next day, we had the privilege of performing a song for the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center Christmas Concert. (Seriously, if you have a PRC in your community, please show your support. They mean so much to the men and women with unplanned [and sometimes planned but surprising-anyway] pregnancies.) That night, our song “Rejoice” by Dustin Krensrue, became our anthem for this wonderful season. The lyrics say:

For the one who holds the heavens and commands the stars above, is the God who bends to bless us with an unrelenting love.

God has bent to give us a double portion of His grace this year. We appreciate your prayers for wisdom and relentless pursuit of God’s will as we expect a beautiful family!

Blessings to your 2014. May it be as blessed as ever!

Becky

Stay tuned for weekly updates on my baby-bump, God’s faithfulness through our family-building process, and as always, more Bible Study and relationship tips for day-to-day thriving!

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Lessons on Loyalty, from the Pup.

I learn many lessons from our mini-golden-doodle, “Mr. Darcy.”  The golden-retriever side of him is a loyal and comforting presence. The poodle side is a quick learner and anti-shedder. The “mini” aspect makes him just the right size for an active yet travel-friendly lifestyle.

God couldn’t have blessed us with a better dog.

Recently, I have been training Darcy on the etiquette of “stay.”

When I walk out the front door, he tends to rush ahead of me. He slithers out the door like a reptile before I get a foot out. This, of course, leads to a little bit of frustration and disappointment.

pup waiting

But lately, the eager pup has been curbing his enthusiasm in favor of loyalty. He walks behind me when I approach the door. When I open it, he sits.

Even if I hold the door wide open, he waits patiently for my invitation to “come.”

I feel so respected by this loyal gesture. I used to think that “loyalty” meant a person or pup would follow me anywhere. Now I am grasping the follow detail of that definition.

Before, Darcy wanted to go anywhere I was. But his readiness resembled mannerless contempt.

Now, his willingness paired with patience is a true picture of loyalty.

My Impatience:

I wish I had part golden-retreaver and a hint of poodle in my gene mixture. Mr. Darcy’s patience is a lesson I have yet to learn.

I tend to rush ahead in my relationship with God. He “opens the door” (aren’t we all too familiar with that statement?) and I rush through it. I forget to wait patiently for the invitation. Just because God has given me a glimpse of the journey ahead, doesn’t mean He is asking me to take the lead.

A verse in Psalms describes this well:

Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to The Lord our God, until He is gracious to us.

My dog has re-phrased it for me slightly:

loyal puppy

I am so eager to be a part of Jesus’ work in the world. But my willingness prompts me to run ahead, take control, and “make it happen.” I don’t doubt Jesus wants me to be a part of His work. But He is asking for patience in my loyalty… to trust Him.

pup in bedUnfortunately, then I tend to swing to the extreme opposite: lazy and apathetic of God’s kingdom. Kicking back in my own little world, pursuing my own empire. Like the tired puppy I often find snuggled in our bed sheets when I get home.

Will I ever get a grasp on ready and waiting? How can I be faithful in the little things, yet always available to jump at the Holy Spirit’s invitation for something greater?

In a world of many distractions, I will fight hard to keep my eyes on The Lord, not just the exciting world through the “open door.”

Hopefully my pup will keep being a great example.

Are you struggling to wait for God’s invitation?

Join me in memorizing a verse or two on the subject. Which one is your favorite? Comment below or by clicking the “speech bubble” next to the title above.

Isaiah 40:31
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Psalm 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

James 5:7-8 
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Proverbs 3:5-6 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Psalm 33:20-22 
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Isaiah 30:18
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

James 5:11 
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Romans 5:3-4 
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Psalm 130:5-6 
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

Lamentations 3:25
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

 

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My Life, In Edit

My life is in edit. Allow me to explain.

1. The Book:

After  years of writing and investing in a young women’s Bible study curriculum, I am finally in the editing stage. It is emotional, annoying, and to be honest, sometimes feels entirely pointless.

I put a string of words together once. I thought they sounded decent once.

I read them now, and promptly plant my face in my palm. I am tempted to leave it be, to send it to a publisher, as-is. But I know it is not ready. This book is not what it needs to be, yet. (“Yet” is such a painful word.)

Here’s a little poem describing my editing process these past few nights:

Open doc, stare at clock…

Rub face, erase…

Highlight, rewrite…

Type fast, change past…

Failing sight, goodnight…

The end.

Hope you liked it … it’s exhausting.

2. The Home

After moving into our new home, we decided to make a few improvements. Our periwinkle wall called for a paint job. Before we rolled on the first coat of “Summer Heat,” we found that the blue-ish paint was peeling.

What’s under the blue paint? Ooh, pretty red.

“I like it, let’s just peel it and leave it,” I said.

peeling the paint

“Let’s see what’s under the paneling,” Shane said.

RIP paneling

And so, a little peeling of paint  turned into a demolition of a wall. Our “living” room is now a “renovation” room….

…..a pink renovation room (more on this in later posts).

Pink walls!

3. The Life

Lately, my day to day “living” also feels more like day to day “renovating.” (I think we Christians call this “sanctification.”)

Every time I open my Bible, I can sense God’s cursor highlighting some of my life-statements. Clearly there is a grammatical error in my heart. And my attitude has some sentence-structure that needs some repair. There is no sense of “flow,” from my words to my actions. My purpose is choppy, and each paragraph in my day includes too many “themes.”

So I stop opening God’s Word (yep, I avoid it too). I stop exposing myself to this “editing process.” I don’t like it. It involves too many “yets.” It creates too many “face-palms.”

I’d rather do a quick paint job to cover it up. Please God, don’t lay me bare to the dry-wall of my soul! It’s messy down there. It needs a lot more work than just a simple peeling. There are cracks and flaws. It’s going to take too long. It will be exhausting. I just want to move on!

Thank goodness He doesn’t leave me this way!

1 Thessalonians 5 v 23-24

So, I am in edit. I will be in edit for a long time.

I hope to get this book polished very soon. And, for the record, I think our living room has great potential now that the paneling is gone. And Shane promises to be the home-improvement rock-star. I look forward to the day we relax in the rusty hues of “Summer Heat” in our living room.

But the renovation, the sanctification, and the editing process of my life will not be done. I am work-in progress… I just thank Jesus for his faithfulness to shape me with grace.

How has He been shaping you? What is your favorite verse for this Life-in-Edit business?

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