So many lessons

We are love abusers. We use the word love for everything. I love your outfit! I love grilled cheese sandwiches. I love my husband. Don’t you just love my daughter? Love is one word in the English language, but it has so many meanings. 

About a month ago when I was studying “love” in the Bible I came across a verse that only said the word love once, but it was assigned two different Greek words to represent that love. “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,” ‭Titus‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬ 

This verse led to several impactful lessons for me. 

1. Philandros and philoteknos were both used in this verse. Philandros means fond or man, affectionate (as to a wife), while philoteknos means fond of one’s children. Where we used one word, there were actually two words! Before children I don’t know that I would have thought this was important or even interesting, but now…I get it! Completely! I love Kyle and Hannah in completely different ways. And I’m not quite sure how to put it into words. I love my husband and cannot image life without him. I love him more today than I did yesterday and I hope our love continues to grow as we get older. My love for Hannah was deep from the moment I held her. It didn’t take time to grow. It was a fierce love from minute one. My love has grown, but it was always there for her. It’s just different, and completely fitting that two different words represent this in the Greek.

That’s pretty cool, but I couldn’t stop there. I needed to see what was happening around this verse because it uses a pronoun (they) which I do not know who it refers to. 

“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus‬ ‭2:1-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

2. This passage is directing the believers in Christ on how to live their lives. The older women should be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, or slaves to wine (vs. 3) so that they can teach the younger women how to love their husbands and children (vs. 4). This is to be done in action as well as in spoken teaching. I think about the older women who have given me advice and smile. Many of these women have spoken advice and lived it out. My mom and mother in law of course have done this for me, but so have Sarah (one of my friends who has walked me through becoming a pastor’s wife) and Carla (a sweet friend from church who sets an amazing example for my marriage). These ladies and so many more have told me how to love, but more than that they have showed me. 
3. One thing I always try to be aware of is how the teenagers watch my marriage. Because Kyle and I do ministry together the students see our marriage weekly. They observe how we respond to stress, disagreements, love, humor, and so much more. I want to be a “older woman” (you may never see me type that out again) who sets a good example for the next generation. I want to be someone that a young girl looks to for advice, but I also want to be someone who they watch working with my daughter and husband and say when I’m in that position I want to do it that way too. 
Looking into the love in this verse has taught me so much more than just the Greek word behind our English word. It has taught me about who to seek advice from and to be aware that others may be seeking advice/watching for an example from me. 


I used to have a spotless house

I enjoy cleaning. It is a way for me to relieve stress and get a clean house all in one. I know most people are rolling their eyes or thinking I’m crazy right now.  Maybe I am. Before baby girl was around, I cleaned my house top to bottom each week. I was a proud home owner who wanted to maintain my house through cleaning. I was also a stressed wife who wanted to contribute financially but couldn’t, so I cleaned. 

Now…now it’s different. Now I would rather hold my daughter while she sleeps, play on the floor during tummy time, and giggle at all of her funny faces. There will always be another day for cleaning. But today, I will adore my daughter. 

My Heart May Explode

Baby girl is two months old… where did the last two months go? 

As I am enjoying my fall break (yes I went back to work two weeks ago 😔) I can only express my feelings by saying my heart feels like it will explode with love for my sweet pea. She has brought so much love and joy into our lives! We feel so blessed!

My Last Week

This is my last week of maternity leave and the thought of next Monday morning breaks my heart. I love my daughter so much and the thought of not being with her all day is devastating. I would be a stay at home mom in a heartbeat but that is not in God’s plan for me right now. I know that God called me to be a teacher, so I must put my teacher hat back on. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching. I love seeing students’ eyes light up as they learn new things! I love inspiring students and figuring out how to make learning come to life for them! I love what I do! I just love Hannah more. 

So my last week will be full of staring at my beautiful daughter, holding her as much as she will let me, praying over her and praising God for her, bouncing her, dancing with her, and cherishing these last days while looking forward to the next full day with her. This week will be for us. 

So Many Prayers Answered

These last five weeks have been full of emotions, but the best feeling is the joy my heart is full of. So many prayers have been answered through our new family member. Not only my prayers or my husband’s prayers, but our family’s, small group, and friends’ prayers. As I see each person hold her, I am overwhelmed by how that person’s prayers have affected our lives. 

To each of you who prayed for me and Kyle as we walked through infertility, thank you. To those of you who prayed over our lives, hopes, and future family, thank you. To the people who prayed for Hannah before we knew her, thank you. To the ones who cried out prayers for our blessing to come to us, thank you. I can’t say it enough…thank you for praying for us. 

Now is they time we need to praise God for all of the answered prayers. Will you praise the Lord for his blessings today?

Lord, You are good and faithful. You knew the plan and timing for our daughter to join our family. Today, and each day moving forward, I want to praise you for your gift of Hannah. Thank you for the journey that brought her to us. Thank you for trusting me and Kyle to raise her. Thank you for surrounding us with likeminded friends and family to pray for us and praise with us. Guide us as we raise Hannah. Teach us how to be parents. We love you and praise you for the shower of blessings you pour out on us! Amen. 

Getting Out

I have been a hermit crab for the past week and only left home with Kyle and Hannah for doctors appointments. I rode in the back seat with Hannah and stared at her the entire time. The thought of leaving the house by myself brought me to tears this weekend. I can’t protect her out in the world the way I can at home. I can’t control what other maniacs do, but I can control who I let in my home and near my daughter. As I was crying to Kyle about this on Sunday afternoon I realized I have to leave the house. I have to trust God to protect her. I have to let go of so much control and know that Hannah is better off in the center of God’s hand than wrapped in my arms sitting at home. 

Geez that is hard to write. 

As I sit hear and listen to her hiccup, I can say that we did get out yesterday for evening service at church and today for a quick trip to Target. I drove her last night (with daddy riding along to help) and today by myself for a little bit. I am making baby steps toward re-entering the world and taking Hannah along.

 It’s not easy. I never thought it would be, but …I just want to keep her safe, control her every encounter, shelter her from harm…