happy 35th!

when it is someone’s birthday(and by someone i mean anyone other than me), i often think about how that person is a gift to me.  how their life has blessed my life, made my life better.

today is my husband’s birthday.  today he’s 35.

he’s long teased me for being just about two years older than him.  i’m 36 right now and turned it while he was still 34.  this was a delight to him.  he’s also loved that i hit the mid-thirties before him.  but today, he’s right smack dab in the middle of his mid-thirties.  35.

over the past few days, i’ve been been thinking about his life.  his life with me.  his life with our kids.  i’m amazed.

he is a good man.  he’s a hard worker.  he’s a loyal son and brother.  he’s a loyal friend.

12 years ago he asked me out on a date and he’s been here since then.

he said yes to this:

and 5 years later he said yes to this:

and this:

and this:

and he’s been saying yes ever since.

he’s a loving and kind and extremely forgiving husband.  he points me back to Christ when i’m laden with guilt and sidetracked.  he’s an actively involved dad and our kiddos just adore him.  he wrestles with our boys and helps them with sports.  he makes our girl giggle.  he shares stories from the Bible with our family, sharing his knowledge and helping us know more of who God is.  he’s my partner in parenting, the guy on my team.

he’s a blessing.  a spouse and companion who is more than i could have asked or imagined.

happy 35th josh!  thanks for sharing your life with me.  it is a gift.

 

i can do a hamstand

wilbur has been busy trying to perfect the handstand.  he’s pretty good at it too.

he and josh were just talking about the time josh was trying to do a handstand outside in the front yard.

wilbur~remember that one time out in the front yard when you were trying to do a handstand?

josh~i can’t do a handstand, but i can do a hamstand.

wilbur~no, a handstand.

josh~no, i can do a hamstand.  i can get a piece of ham and stand on it.  ta-da!  a hamstand.

wilbur doesn’t really get it, but i am cracking up.  this man, he’s still making me laugh, everyday.

and in the midst of my laughter, he continues.

josh~i had a hamstand when i was a kid.  people would pull up and ask me why i had a hamstand and i’d tell them it’s because i didn’t have any lemonade.

 

slow of speech

our middle guy has a hard time with words.  sometimes he inserts extra words into his sentences-actually, besides, guess what-words that don’t have anything to do with what he is trying to say.  here’s an example, “i would like to actually, well i’d like to get actually ice cream because guess what, i think it sounds actually like a good idea.” and it’s hard to hear.

and sometimes his words get stuck.  they flat out won’t come out.  and he stands there with his mouth open.  and sometimes he starts to hunch over.  and it’s hard to watch.

and before this phase of extra words and stuck words we were in speech therapy for two years to work on stuttering.  our guy would st, st, st, stutter through his words.  and his face would get distorted.  and it was hard to hear and hard to watch.

it broke my heart.  and it still does.

we were talking about it a few nights ago.  it’s a frequent topic of conversation between he and josh and i.  and our sweet boy asked if he was going to be like this forever.  he wanted to know if he’d have a hard time talking when he was an adult.  and i had to tell him i don’t know.

during our conversation, the Lord brought to mind two passages of scripture.

“to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me.  three times i pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  but He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  that is why, for Christ’s sake, i delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. for when i am weak, then i am strong.” ~ 2 corinthians 12:7-10

“i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  i can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
~ philippians 4:11-13

i shared these with my boy and struggled to find a way to bring it to his level of understanding.  i told him that the Lord allowed something into paul’s life to keep him focused on God. something to cause him to go to God when he was struggling so he’d learn to fully rely on God.  and i explained that paul shares wtih us that he learned he is actually stronger when he’s weak, because his strength comes from the Lord.

we weren’t really getting anywhere. i needed to give him an example, something personal.  my infertility.  i asked son by adoption, “remember how mommy can’t have a baby in her tummy? well, i don’t really want it to be that way.  i’d really like to have a baby in there.  i’d like to know what that’s like.  but, God didn’t make my body that way.  and when i think about that and i feel sad, it drives me back to the Lord.  when i’m feeling weak from it, weighed down, i realize my strength isn’t in my flesh, but in my faith in God.  He makes me feel strong again, like i can handle not having a baby in my tummy.  and it’s the same way with your trouble talking sometimes.  go to God when you’re having a hard time and He’ll help you through it.  He’ll make you stronger.  He may not take your difficulty away, but He’s there and He’ll help you.”  i cried.  he teared up.  he always does when i cry.

a few days later we were at church.  we started singing endless hallelujah, and when we got to this part~
no more tears or broken dreams, forgotten is the minor key, everything as it was meant to be~i lost it.  my sweet boy has a hard time talking, and at the age of 9, he’s already afraid he’ll be this way forever.  but no, not one day.  one day all will be made right.

we sat down at the end of the song and the Holy Spirit filtered in ‘slow of speech’.  i grabbed my phone and searched for that in my Bible.   “moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, i have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant. i am slow of speech and tongue.” ~ exodus 4:10

tears.  i showed it to josh, tears.  he showed it to his brother, whoa.

moses.  he was slow of speech.

i have read that passage many times, heard the story many times, but i never applied to my boy.  to our situation.

tonight, i read the story of moses to him.  not the whole thing, i started with chapter 3 of exodus.

Exodus 3

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.

16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Exodus 4

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.

“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

of all of the people God could have used to free the egyptians, He chose moses.  slow of speech moses.  and God told moses to go and He would help him.

this is huge.  mind boggling.  so God and so not man.  the Divine, showing up in a burning bush, telling a man who is slow of speech to go and rescue the enslaved.

in the front of my little guys Bible we have posted 2 corinthians 12:10 and philippians 4:13. tonight i am adding exodus 4:11-12.

“for when i am weak, then i am strong.” ~ 2 corinthians 12:10

“i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~ philippians 4:13

“moses said to the Lord, “pardon Your servant, Lord. i have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant. i am slow of speech and tongue.”the Lord said to him, “who gave human beings their mouths? who makes them deaf or mute? who gives them sight or makes them blind? is it not I, the Lord?  now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” ~ exodus 4:10-12

praise the Lord!