My Victory

For those of you who haven’t picked up on it yet, music is a love of mine. As a former dancer, I was moved by music, physically and emotionally. As a so-so singer, I am drawn to music, especially the lyrics. It’s no surprise that Hannah loves music with how much I listen to music. She was stuck with it the entire time she was in the womb. Music leads me into worship and a time of prayer. Music prepares my heart to hear from God. Music is my introduction to God’s sermon.

My Victory by David Crowder has a line that moves me, but it also grabbed Kyle’s attention (as a non-music person, it’s a big deal when he notices a song). “A cross meant to kill is my victory.” Think about that line.

cross at sunset

Today the cross is everywhere. We wear it as beautiful jewelry. We polish it in the church sanctuary. We wrap purple fabric around it at Easter. But when Jesus was crucified the cross was a sign of certain death. It was the form of capital punishment for its day. It was a rough cut timber meant to kill whomever was nailed to it. The cross was meant to kill.
I know as a young girl my parents bought me a beautiful necklace with a cross on it. My Grandma Betty gave me a golden cross to hang in my bedroom. My view of the cross was skewed. I knew Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I had accepted him as Lord and Savior of my life at the age of nine, but my view of the cross was beautiful. The first time I think I realized how gruesome it actually was is when The Passion came out. I was 13 and saw it in theaters. I cried and cried. They treated my Savior like a criminal, and he had done nothing to deserve it. Before that moment I had Book knowledge about it, but it didn’t really register until I saw the Hollywood version. And how much worse the actual moment must have been.

The cross was meant to kill. It isn’t polished jewelry. It isn’t beautiful home decor. It is a sign of certain death. But that certain death that Jesus bore is my victory. Jesus died on the cross so that I didn’t have to. The cost of my sins, my wrongs, my disobedience to God is death, eternal separation from Him. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all of the sins ever committed, or that will ever be committed. Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life I have overcome sin and death.

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:1-5‬)

So this song is just beautiful. As it celebrates the cross, but also recognizes that the cross meant to kill is my victory.

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Pecan Pie and Big Secrets

I love Thanksgiving! It’s a time to visit with family, eat a ton of great food, and look at Black Friday ads. Six years ago I was getting ready to graduate college and marry the man of my dreams. I, being the great fiancée that I was, wanted to make a dish that Kyle would love for the holiday. He told me pecan pie. I don’t eat pecan pie (it’s too sweet!) and neither does my family, so I looked up a recipe online. I used Paula Dean’s recipe (you can’t go wrong with Paula) and my Nanny’s pie crust recipe. Between the two I had a hit! His family loved it and demands that I bring pecan pie, or pies, for all family gatherings. So yesterday I did my usual pre-holiday prep and made my pecan pie.
I also spent the day remembering last year. Last year at Thanksgiving Kyle and I had a BIG secret. We took a pregnancy test the day before Thanksgiving and it was positive! For the first time ever we saw two pink lines! We kept it to ourselves until we had blood work done and celebrated the holidays so thankful for our BIG secret. 

This year Hannah is here. We are a happy, healthy family of three. We have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Forgiven

Have you ever heard a song that moves you? Not your hips or feet, but your soul? This song makes my salvation from sin seem so much more unbelievable. Why would Jesus, who lived a perfect life, die for me, a sinner? 

David Crowder sings this beautiful song and it brings me to tears almost every time I hear it. The part that grips my heart is when it says, “God, I fall down to my knees, with a hammer in my hand, You look at me, arms open, Forgiven!”

So many times we think of Jesus’ sacrifice as one done by the Roman soldiers. After all they are the ones who actually nailed him to the cross. Or maybe we blame the Jewish leaders. Because they are the ones who yelled “Crucify him!” But really, my sin put him there. He died for me. He wouldn’t have to if we hadn’t been sinners. We nailed him to the cross and he laid there willingly. He could have saved himself and not have gone through the suffering. But he chose to die for me, for you, for all mankind. I am so thankful he has forgiven me.

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What does Jesus say?

Hannah is 3 months old!!! Where has the time gone?


She loves to swing, kick, laugh and smile. But more than anything she loves to have a nice warm bottle of milk. Since I have gone back to work I have been pumping non-stop to keep up with her. Each day as I sit alone in my room at school to get Hannah’s food I pray. I pray a selfish prayer. God, please release me from pumping. Lord, give me peace about not breast feeding anymore. Jesus, can I quit? The pressure to produce enough, the loneliness at work, the time restraints of having to get back to my pump in time…I pray to no longer have to do this. Then I feel guilty because so many moms want to breastfeed and can’t for whatever reason. I am blessed to have a way to feed my baby without the expense of formula. I have a baby whose tummy loves what I can give her. 

Every time I bring this up to Kyle he simply asks me, “What does Jesus say?” He knows I pray about it and he knows Jesus hasn’t released me from this motherly task yet. So until he does I will continue to provide for my sweet girl. Until I am freed I will thank Him for giving me this ability that so many mommies want. While I continue to provide for my baby I will pray and try to be less selfish. 

Realization

This past Wednesday night our church had a Fall Family Fun Night. There were games, a cake walk, and wagon rides. We had walking tacos (Fritos with chili in a bag topped with cheese–so good!) and Kona Ice came too! Tons of people from the church and surrounding community came out. Hannah wore her Halloween costume and rolled around in her stroller for the event, and about half way through I realized something. I was surrounded by teenagers. There were people my age at the event. We said hello and all but the people I spent the evening with were the youth. To be honest I have deeper relationships with most of the teenagers than the people my own age. This may seem odd, but it’s true! And to be honest (again), I like it that way! 

Kyle’s job at the church may seem to be HIS job, but I consider it OUR ministry. His call to be a pastor doesn’t just effect him. It effects our entire family. We minister as a couple, and now that Hannah is here, we will minister as a family. So it seems fitting that I spent Wednesday night with teenage girls. It’s a realization that I love!