Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blessing Box

This week we had our first snow of the season.
I'm always blessed by Adalyn's joy and awe in the simple things.
This is such a busy time of year and I love taking the time to just stop and watch her. 
A great reminder to be still,
be present
and be thankful. 

How have you been blessed this week? 
Grab the code, link up and be a blessing to others by sharing a way that you've been blessed!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why We Don't Celebrate Halloween.

I've been praying, researching and thinking about what I want this post to say.
 About how I want this post to be received. 
 It's a post that I knew I wanted to write. 
It's an issue that I'm passionate about. 
 It's a day that challenges me. 

 My parents became Christians when I was in elementary school and from that point on we no longer participated in Halloween activities.
 Overtime, especially now as a mom, my feelings towards this holiday have only been confirmed.

I know I'm in the minority.
I know this is not a popular stance.
I know I might offend.
But I want to share what's on my heart
and explain why we've made this decision. 

 I had originally planned and hoped that I could just find another blog post about this issue that would perfectly execute, better than I could, why we, as a Christian family, don't participate Halloween.

 I did find one article that I felt shared what's on my heart and what I believe and I will quote a few lines at the end. 
 But much to my surprise {I'm still in shock} there wasn't much out there. 
 How could this be?? 
How is this holiday accepted by so many Christians?

 I won't go on and on about the origin of this holiday
 {but if you don't know it, I'd encourage you to read it}.
 Instead I just want to state the facts. 
The facts that feed my strong conviction to not participate. 

 Halloween was created to not only celebrate the coming of winter, but celebrate and commune with the dead - it is a holiday filled with spirits, superstitions and fear. 

 Jack-o-laterns were intended to scare off evil spirits. 

 Costumes were worn to divert ghosts.

Treats were left out to calm unwelcome spirits.

I realize that due to the commercialization of the holiday, the origin and traditions tend to be forgotten and pushed to the side. 

 I get it. 

But as much as I've heard it said that it's just about cute costumes and candy, I can't ignore the fact that many still celebrate as the holiday was intended.

 Halloween is an opportunity, and one of the main days, for some to embrace the dark side of the spiritual world. 
As much as we may not like it to be, even with one search on google, this darkness is seen.

A drive down our street, darkness is seen.
A trip to the party store, darkness is seen. 

A family day at the pumpkin patch, darkness is seen. 
Last week on our weekend away, we went to a pumpkin patch.
Adalyn was walking behind me and I turned to hold her hand and I saw her look up in the tree and then look at me with a look of fear in her eyes. 
I looked in the tree and what do I see? 
I just don't see why, as a Christian, I want anything to do with a holiday that celebrates that. 
It broke my heart when I saw Adalyn's face after seeing that. 
And I know it was only a glimpse into our future of all the other things of this evil world that I wish I could hide her from that I can't. 

When I look at this.
When I look at the reality of Halloween.
When I look at how Halloween is typically celebrated- even with its origin and the rituals of witchcraft aside- I ask myself, is this a holiday that brings honor to God?
Is it glorifying God?

Here are some other facts. 

Halloween celebrates darkness, evil and death. 
I celebrate the God who gives life.
*Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” (Luke 20:38)
*The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

What the holiday represents is detestable to the Lord.
 And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. (Deut. 18:10-12)

I am called to abstain from the appearance of evil.
Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thess. 5:22) 

I am called to be set apart. 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.(Rom 12:2)

*But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet. 2:9)

*Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17)

*If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)

I am a child of light.
* You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness (1 Thes. 5:5)

*8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord.11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Eph. 5:8-11)

To me it's clear. 
God is of light.
Halloween is of darkness. 
Therefore, as a child of light, I want no part in this darkness.

There are some Christians who take a missional approach to participating in Halloween.
My personal belief is that there are other ways to reach the lost on this day without funding or participating in these events. 

It all boils down to personal conviction.
Do I think little kids in costumes are cute?
But for our family Halloween is the perfect opportunity to teach Adalyn that we are called to be different.
We are called to not be of the world. (1 Jn 2:15)
We are called to be as a city on a hill. (Matthew 5:14-16)
This is a biblical principle that, through this holiday, can easily be instilled at a young age and an opportunity that comes around every year. 
I find more value in that than any other Halloween festivity.
She can dress up any day.
She can have candy any day.
But on this day she will learn ways to be bold in her faith.
She will have an opportunity to explain why she doesn't go trick or treating.
Why she's not dressing up as her favorite character.
A day that she will be set apart.
Because she is called to be.
Because she is a child of light. 

I know we can't avoid the darkness in this world, but that doesn't mean I am going to
celebrate in this holiday of darkness. 

I'm all for alternatives that put the focus on Jesus.
I'm all for celebrating Reformation Day.
I'm all for a special family night.
I'm all for "treating" neighbors or families in need.

For us, we look forward to a fun family night on October 31st. 
We go out for dinner and play at a local play place.
Making memories, having fun and praising the Lord that He has overcome evil.
He has conquered death! 

I'll finish this post with a quote from one of the articles I read that I feel is spot on.

"Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of God. Our Lord Jesus would not go to a party to honor the feast of the Samhain. Moses did not come down from Mount Sinai and combine the Israelites Passover holiday with the idol worship that was going on. Allowing children to dress as witches and sorcerers or hanging evil decorations in our windows is imitating that which is evil.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
The verse says, “come out from among them, says the Lord.” Does that mean come out from among them–but don’t deprive your children from all that fun and candy — celebrate the same pagan ritual in your church building? The Bible is very clear about Christians being involved in such celebrations. "

At the end of the day I think it's important to ask 
"Does this holiday honor the Lord?"
I think the answer is pretty clear....absolutely not!
I think it's important to look beyond the cute costumes and candy, look beyond the feelings of being "left out" and focus on something of greater importance- something the Lord has entrusted us with as parents- to raise up a generation that is not of this world, that is not ashamed, that chooses to be different and that stands firm in their faith.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year. New House!!

I have so much to catch up on.

I feel like I am too far behind that it will never happen, but I'm determined to do the best that I can in the next few weeks! 

Although I am so thankful for my phone and the fact that I can take a kazillion {not really because I seem to run out of storage all.the.time} pictures on a whim, I am always bummed that I don't take more pictures with my real camera. 

So these are pretty much all instagram catch ups, but it will do!

We celebrated Adalyn's birthday in Texas!
We had so much fun visiting with Mr. B's family! 
I love Texas! 

I loved our Christmas card this year and meant to post it:

Christmas was fun this year and makes us extra excited for the years to come!

We had a big snow storm and played in the snow.

A few days after Christmas we BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE!!!!

We've been working hard on getting the house ready. Thankfully we didn't buy a fixer-upper like Mr. B wanted, but it was outdated so we've been working our hineys off with the help of our awesome families!
  It's come a long way in a short amount of time and we are exhausted!! 
It feels like an unending process, but I know it will be worth it!
 It already is! 
And of course, I really should've taken better before and after pictures. 
So bummed about that. 
Like, really bummed. 

That old saying "Don't blink"....
it's true.

Two of my maternity sessions from Captured. had their babies and I experienced my first newborn sessions.
Handsome Nathan...

And beautiful Emilie...
I fell in love.
It was so much fun and I can not wait for my other newborn sessions!!

Today the weather warmed up and we were able to enjoy some fresh air in our new backyard.
It was a nice break from all the house stuff and I can't wait until the warm weather is here to stay!

I'm going to try reallllly hard to stay up to date on here!
Looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2013 and we are thankful for the new exciting steps that have already been taken so far.
This year will be about making our first house a home and I'm looking forward to documenting it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekend Rewind

I long weekends with beautiful weather and time with family.
It doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday we went up to the lake to spend the day on the boat with Mr. B's dad.
His mom will be here for the summer in just a couple weeks! 
She was sad she wasn't able to make it, but we certainly missed her and look forward to her arrival!
The weather was perfect! 
Adalyn got adjusted to her life jacket- although it wasn't the most comfy thing! 
 We had lunch, visited, napped, cruised and enjoyed the beautiful weather on the boat!  
We are looking forward to doing this a lot more this summer!

Sunday we went to church and I finally faced the fact that I have a big girl and her time has come to move on to the nursery. She used to sleep on me through the sermon, then she become too loud and squirmy so we've been in the Mother's Room where she usually falls asleep on me on the rocking chair for a little. But the past two weeks she's done nothing, but smile, squawk and play. Which is fine, but not worth me missing there sermon for when I know she would love watching and playing with all the other kids. It's just another step...{wahhh}
 After church we went out for lunch with the family, then to the farm to play in the pool and enjoy some more beautiful weather.
We finished up the night with a memorial game of wiffle ball!

Excited for our bonus day with the family, we enjoyed delicious food and more beautiful weather on Memorial Day!
 Complete with more outside time, climbing, swimming, sleeping and smiling.

Oh yeah and we can't forget this cuteness that was spotted today....

And a special thanks to everyone who has or is currently serving for our freedom! 
And to the families who love, support and also sacrifice so much.
We truly are proud to be Americans.
And so thankful for the freedom we have.

Friday, May 11, 2012

You Never Know Until You Are

You know the saying "You never know until you try"?
Well, it's true.
Although, sometimes I'd rather not know, never know or just think I am right and therefore there is no need to try. 
Especially when it comes to certain foods!

I feel like being a mom, understanding other moms and valuing and appreciating your mom is something you don't fully understand until you "try"...until you are one. 

This is technically my first Mother's Day. We celebrated a little last year when I was pregnant, but this year being a mom is different. My love for Adalyn now far exceeds the love I had for her in my womb. 
Which was a lot, by the way. 
Through these short, and extremely fast, 5 months that I have been a mom, my own love and appreciation for my mom, my mother in law and my grandmothers has increased. You see them in a different light- a new perspective.
 I am so thankful I am able to experience that. 

All in addition to a new spiritual perspective. A greater understanding of the love that God has for his children. I greater appreciation for the obedience and faith that Abraham had when he was going to sacrifice his son.
 Could I do that?!?! 

A couple days I was going through my baby calendar that my mom had for me. I am so so thankful that she took the time to write each milestone down my first year- at just the young age of 17. I am so thankful that she cared, that she valued those milestones- even the silly ones. 
I am forever grateful that she chose life. 
My life. 
I am thankful for the sacrifices that she made, and I am so thankful for that fact that she also chose joy. She didn't wallow in her new life, she embraced it. 
She noticed the details. 

This time of year I am always reminded and thankful for my Mother-in-law. For her and her husband who did a fantastic job of raising Mr. B. A man who is a hard worker, who values his family, who values the importance of letting me stay home with our child, who is a man after God's heart, who treated me with respect from day one. A man who loves his daughter and prays for her and her heart daily, who always strives to be the best.
 A lot of who he is is because of her. 
Taking the time to love, pray and demonstrate how a godly man should live. 

I am also thankful for the 4 great grandma's that Adalyn has. 
Some near, some far. She is surrounded by so much love. 
{She will be meeting Mr. B's Grandma this summer!}

The sacrifice.
The responsibility.
The balance.
The frustration.
The joy.
The overwhelming unconditional love.
The dependence on the Lord- knowing you can only do so much. 

I am thankful for their validation that I am doing a good job, the encouraging words that I am making them proud, the unexpected gifts "just because", the support, prayers and advice that come when needed. 

I now get the frustration of staying home all day, cleaning, cooking, laundry and child-rearing... only to have it messy again. I understand the need for feedback- for appreciation. To be told "thank you". To be told "You're beautiful", even when you haven't showered and are still wearing your PJs. 

I understand the deep love and the desire for only the best.
 The protection.
 I get it. 

I know as Adalyn grows I will learn more, my love will continue to grow and my understanding and my appreciation will continue to increase with each passing year.

 I am thankful for the opportunity to be a mom and to learn so many things in so many different areas of my life through this one very special "job".

And I am so blessed and so thankful that I never stop learning from the amazing moms in my life. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Egg-cellant Week

Cheesiest title in the world, I am well aware.

So my new goal is to post her 3 month update before she turns 5 months next week! Reaching for the stars, people.

For now I am going to post the most recent!

I love the holidays and having all of our family in town!

My cousin and her daughter were visiting from Alabama last weekend,  my brother was home for his Spring Break and Mr. B's parents were visiting for Easter weekend.

We celebrated Ali and Ryan's birthdays

Daddy prepping Adalyn for the pictures

 We tried really hard to get a picture of the girls

And they are blessed with wonderful great-grandparents

I love when my whole family is together :)

Me and my big girl

I got my haircut again and went back to my old 'do for real this time.
I was a little more hesitant the last time.

It's always fun having Uncle Ryan home and we were sad to see him leave.
 {Uncle CJ doesn't really look like that...majority won in this picture so I had to use this one}

We went to our church service on Saturday afternoon so that my mom would have time to prepare lunch on Sunday. 
Adalyn looked so pretty in her teal dress from Mimi.

Sunday morning she "opened" her Easter basket.

Happy First Easter, baby girl!

She loved having Nana and Papa visit

We tried to get a family picture...

Trying out her new shades

We are ready and waiting for some warmth and sunshine!

We had lunch at the Mimi and Papa G's house.

We had a delicious lunch {that was way over our calorie limit, I am sure!}

Adalyn had her first Mum-mum 

And tried to use her sippy cup
She's got the right idea!

She took a nice long nap on the couch while we visited with everyone

Auntie Ali and their matching flowers

She loves to be "walked"

We have had such a busy and wonderful week and we are so thankful for our family and, on this weekend especially, our Savior who died and rose again!

They sang this song at our church service on Saturday and I just loved the words:
"Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won! Alive! Alive! Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before! I am His because He is alive."