Oh I love my sweet little Dylan boy... He is such a cutie pie, and he keeps me running around after him. With three teeth, and a fourth on its way, this little rascal is done with baby food, almost altogether. He sees mac n' cheese, he wants it. If his brothers are eating something, so must he! He is also chasing after them all day, joining in the wrestling and tickling, he is a speedster when it comes to getting places. I often loose track of where he is, because he is gone so quickly. And yes, the boy loves to climb the stairs. I have no idea what kind of man he will become, but it is certain God has gifted him in unique ways, and it will be a joy to watch those gifts develop and grow as he gets older. But for now, I am a busy mommy to a rascal of a boy. I love every minute of it.
I have been asked many times, what are you reading these days? Over the past 8 months or so, I have been reading and re-reading and devouring this book. Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie was a gift to me from a dear friend, and what a gift it has been to me. I cannot, simply cannot recommend it enough. It is a collection from 25 different authors on the topic of suffering and pain, with the preface by Guthrie (who lost two children in their infancy).
The writers within the covers of this book have become dear friends to me, many of whom I had never read of and a few I had never heard of, but now feel I can go to at any time and come away refreshed, re-focused, full of faith, and more in love with my God. This book has been a tremendous means of grace to me, and I am so grateful to have been "introduced to the friends" contained within its pages.
I have posted some quotes on facebook that have meant a lot to me as I have been reading it, and as I now am reading through it for the third or fourth time, find that every page has a morsel of truth that can re-direct my wayward thoughts to truth so effectively. Here a few quotes that are a small example of the riches found in this book.
"We are all, in our turns, disposed to think our own trials peculiarly heavy, and our own cases singular. But to them who ask this question we may answer, Yes- there has been sorrow greater than yours. If we conceive of him hanging upon the cross, speaking in this language to us, "Was ever any sorrow like my sorrow?" must not we reply with admiration and gratitude, "No Lord, never was love, never was grief like thine." The highest wonder ever exhibited to the world, to angels, and men, is the Son of God suffering and dying for sinners."
-- John Newton
"You may not understand what is happening to you; it may seem, to you all wrong. Trust yourself to Him. Believe when you cannot prove. Hold on to his constancy, his justice, his eternal purposes for you in Christ. Regard these as absolutes, which can never be shaken, remain steadfast and unshaken, confident that ultimately all will be made plain and all will be well." - Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"The test of suffering reveals whether our "knowing why" is an irreducible bedrock conviction grounded in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, or whether our faith is resting to any degree on what is not bedrock, but sand."-- Os Guiness
"When the winds of suffering blow in our lives, what we need most is something secure to tether ourselves to, something strong and unmovable that will keep us from being swept away in a storm of questions, fear, discouragement, and disillusionment. We have a true "anchor of the soul". "- -Nancy Guthrie
"Trials are like a ire; they burn up nothing but the dross and they make the gold all the purer. Put down the testing process as clear gain, and instead of being sorry about it, count it all joy when ye fall into divers trials, for this bestows upon you a proof of your faith."
-- Charles H. Spurgeon
I cannot recommend this book enough. Even to those who are not experiencing trial or suffering, it is a wonderful reminder of the gospel that we all need reminding of daily. I found myself weary again this morning, after many nights of little to no sleep and the demands of my three crazy boys, and after spending some much needed time with my God, and my "friends" found in this book, I find myself in a place of humble and grateful faith for what the Lord has for me today.
Ahhh, I miss the beach! Have we really already been home only a week and a half? The sound of the crashing waves seems such a distant memory already! Although this vacation was quite different for us and more difficult than the many years past for many reasons, the beach days could not have been more amazing and memorable. Couple perfect weather, kids who love playing all day, a group of people just happy to be together, and joy from the Lord for the gift each day was... it was a wonderful vacation.
I wanted to take tons of pictures, but when you have a baby who knows no fear, and is crawling headlong into the ocean, stuffing handful after handful of sand in his mouth... and two big boys that want to play hard all day... there was very little sitting down time, and less time to hold a camera and a baby... but oh so worth every moment with my boys. Here are a few shots of those precious memories and sweet beach days...