June 30, 2010

Really?

Hi, blog friends! Seriously, I've got to figure out how to arrange for blogging time in my new life here. As I type there are mountains of papers I should go through, books I should read, phone calls I should make, etc. I'm sure you're familiar with the normal adult experiences, so I need not go on. But it's rest time, both kids are busy, and I want to "talk" with you!

Naturally in the rhythm of caring for kids, changing addresses with organizations and insurance companies, spending time with my husband, getting to know a new area, and shuttling E to and from Vacation Bible School, my mind has been racing with several future blog post. Currently, I can't post pictures because our webservice isn't that good. Some of those photo-based ones will come in the future. But here's one of the things that I've been thinking about.

The Good Lord has been ministering to my soul in this time of transition, despite Brian's early wake-ups and having trouble getting time to myself during the day. (Yes, God can grow you even if you don't have hours a day to set aside to study and pray. Particularly for you moms of tots out there: read a few verses, write and encouraging or challenging one down and hang it above your sink, meditate on it, memorize it. You'll see God begin to use Scripture to change your heart. I don't know about you, but I'm keenly aware of many ways my heart needs to be changed these days!)

A couple of months ago I came across this verse about Jesus at the beginning of Hebews:
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
And sometime last week I was reading the story, recorded in John 13, about Jesus washing the disciples feet the night before he was crucified. It says this in verses 3-5:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus, the radiance of Gods glory and exact representation of his being, knowing that God had put all things under his power, KNELT DOWN AND WASHED HIS STUDENTS' FEET!

I don't know about you, but this runs contrary to what I would do naturally, if I knew someone had put all things under my power. But Jesus came, as Hebrews points out, to show us what God is like. Jesus even washed the feet of the one who, moments later, would leave to betray him for some money. What kind of a god is this?

John 13:1 says that in this action, Jesus was showing his disciples the full extent of His love - the very love of God the Father, to whom He was returning.

I don't have any profound exposition for you. But I wanted to invite you to marvel with me.

If you follow Christ, this is the kind of love that is yours.

Every moment of every day.

June 24, 2010

Mom's Out There, This Is For You!

Sally Clarkson is doing a series on her blog for moms about avoiding burnout starting with this post from June 15. Her posts are long, but worth the read (or listen - today's is a video!)

We mommies have a high calling to service and discipleship in our families and it can feel overwhelming, but we have a God who will faithfully sustain us through and transform us in the task. Sally has been ENORMOUSLY encouraging to me over this last year as I've been reading through her books. I hope the same will be true for you.

Are there other authors, speakers, bloggers who really encourage you to love God with all your heart, soul, & mind and to "be all you can be" as a mom?

June 21, 2010

Fast Forward With Me - Part I

Here's what's been happening since June 7, 2010.

June 7
Brian turned two and had a party.

Elizabeth bought an American Girl Doll (Molly)

I turned 29 (again) and went out with friends.


June 8
We were living in this general environment.

June 9
Elizabeth gave good-bye cards to her Westgate pals.

We kept packing.

Colin's dad arrived to help us by driving the truck to PA.


June 10
We packed the truck with the help of many good friends and neighbors.

We said good-bye to the best librarians.

We ate or last dinner in Cambridge with at our pastor's house.


June 11
Final packing and cleaning was completed throughout the morning. Friends came to see us off and we pulled out sometime before noon.

The apartment finally looked like this.

We drove half way and spent the night in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Brian had a fever of 104 that broke in the middle of the night and he slept great!

June 12
We drove and stopped a couple of times.

And we arrived in Pittsburgh!

Elizabeth noticed this hill.

Family came over to help us unpack the truck and take other things to storage.
My mother-in-law put together a great dinner buffet for all of us.


June 13
Our nephew was baptized in the morning.

The afternoon was spent with family celebrating three birthdays and a graduation, as well as the fact that we are now living here. (Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the whole group.)

Stay tuned for Part II!!!

June 19, 2010

Blessed Assurance

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
He anointed us,
set His seal of ownership on us,
and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit,
guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22


I've been meditating on these verses over the last couple of days. I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to remember and accept that God loves me. So over the last several months, I have (sporadically) asked God to show me His love for me and let me enjoy being his beloved. He's heard my prayers and been faithfully teaching my heart to believe.

You see, God's love is a no-strings-attached kind of love. I can't earn it.

Neither can you.

We just have to take God at His Word and ask Him to give us the faith to believe that it is true. God gives faith as generously as He gives love. And for we fickle folk, it's a daily (if not hourly) exercise to remember how much God loves us - to live has beloved sons and daughters, rather than orphans, seeking love of any old kind from any old source. God is love - the source and the real deal.

Meditating on the verses I mentioned from 2 Corinthians can help to keep our feet grounded in the truth. Paul reminds us that it is GOD who makes us stand firm in Christ. And just to drive it home he continues:
  1. GOD anointed us.
  2. GOD set His seal of ownership on us.
  3. GOD put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit.
Perhaps it freaks you out a little to think about being "owned." Well, the truth of the matter is that if you don't belong to God, you belong to something else. There is a battle being waged for our souls and the "dark side" wants you to believe that God's love isn't real and that He is not trustworthy.

Remember this: the God who makes us stand firm in Christ, anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts is the one who demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Yep, that's right, God didn't wait for mankind to clean up his act. He entered into our messed up, sin-tainted world and died so we could belong to Him again.

That is love.

Today, dear Christian, cling to the Word, hold on to Truth, cry out to God Almighty. You are His, beloved and precious. Rest in His love.

If you do not know this love and would like to, let me know. There's nothing more I'd like to share with you!

June 15, 2010

We're Here!

On Saturday, June 12 we arrived in Pittsburgh, our new home. I shot some pictures on my way through town that I'll post once our computer stuff is set up.

Our families met us when we arrived. We're living at Colin's parent's house, so that was easy. And my family drove down to help us unload. As they say many hands make light work, so things went quickly. (Thanks, all!) Gladys had a great dinner spread for us to eat after unloading. Then the men took what needed to go to storage over to our unit while we women stayed behind and tried to get our stuff into manageable order. For the record, there's still a lot to do!

So, we are here. God protected us on our journey with a truck that had weak breaks and loose steering - thanks for driving, Malcolm! - and our 10-year-old van that we sometimes fear will quit on us unexpectedly. He's heard our prayers for smooth transitions for the kids, as well. They are handling all of the unpacking and change beautifully and were real troopers in the car. And Colin and I still like each other - phew! I am thankful.

I'm WAY behind on posts. I'm looking forward to settling into our new normal and getting back into sharing with you!

June 8, 2010

Taking a Break

I wish that the break could be from packing and saying our goodbyes in order to blog, but it's the other way around! But yinz guys can look for new posts once I'm in Picksburgh.

Best,
Heather

June 7, 2010

This Was My Husband's Idea


Isn't he cool?!

The dirt is crushed chocolate chip cookies. The dump truck is not edible.

June 6, 2010

A Blessed Sunday

As mentioned in the previous post, this morning we attended church for the last time at CTK Cambridge. We got a photo of Elizabeth with her Sunday School class.

We ate lunch with the McFaddens at Wendy's. We lunched with them at this fine Central Square establishment on their first visit to CTK - seven years ago. (And I tear up.)

In the afternoon, Elizabeth's dear, sweet Sunday School teacher, Laken, came to spend time with her while we packed and Brian slept. E had an amazing time! They made it back right before an impressive thunderstorm. Thank you, Laken!! Sadly I have no pictures of the two of them. We may have to find her on campus for a photo before we leave.

We ended the day at the Mamedov's for dinner. These dear friends lived in Westgate for two years, have stayed in the area, and just joined CTK last week. We left their place well after Brian's bedtime. It just didn't seem right to leave!


It was a good way to spend our final Sunday here. Now I look ahead to the things that need to be done before we go and some final celebrations with friends. These next 4.5 days will indeed fly by.

Christ the King - Cambridge

For the last seven years we have attended Christ the King - Cambridge. If you are ever in the Boston area looking for a church, please visit. The gospel is proclaimed, the Bible is taught, and growth is inevitable.

This morning, we'll attend for the last time as residents of Cambridge. Sometimes I wonder if God's whole purpose in brining us here was to get us to this church and exposed to reformed theology. Of course, God can have many purposes in the journeys on which He takes us, and it's unlikely this was His only reason for bringing us here. I just sure am grateful that we had the privilege of Rick's preaching and dedicated leadership for so many years. Thanks, God!

What's a post without pictures?

Elizabeth's baptism, 2004

Brian's baptism, 2008

June 4, 2010

Hooding!

Yesterday Colin received his doctoral hood from MIT. It was a lovely ceremony. The Chancellor and President had very nice opening words of welcome and greeting. They bestowed hoods on 428 new doctors. Then they had a reception out on the lawn. It was long, don't get me wrong, but it was delightful to see my husband get his hood.

To me, it doesn't really matter what school it is or even that it's a doctorate. I am just very proud of my husband: he bravely endured, when he wanted to quit; he humbled himself to get help, when it required admitting his weaknesses; he didn't abandon us, when he could have ignored us until the work was done. Pres. Hockfield commented that the fibers needed to complete a doctorate are courage, stamina, and passionate enthusiasm. I see and admire all of these in my husband. He is a good man. Primarily, I'm amazed at all God has accomplished during our time here! You can read more about God's work in us and on our behalf here.

I would be remiss if I didn't send a shout-out to Kate and Laken for caring for Brian while we were away. It made the event much more enjoyable. THANK YOU! And thanks to Kit, who was going to be with Brian, but got a flat tire on her way and was so sweetly apologetic. Thanks, Kit!

And now, the photos and video you've all been waiting for!

Waiting and waiting for things to commence.
(Get it, commence @ commencement?! ha ha ha!)


President Hockfield


Getting the hood!
video
(above is a video)


Dr. Cogswell and Dr. Ashe
These guys helped each other through grad school
by talking lots of baseball!


Family Fotos


The Scholar

Congratulations, Colin!
We're so proud of you!!