...oh taste & see....

Get ready - super serious blog coming up.

It's the end of my birthday - it's been a great day, but it's been an even better year. In recap, this time last year I was just telling people I was pregnant with Glory... I was hesitant about having another baby, but completely in love with Elias so I knew it could only get better. Nick and I were at Mosaic, entrenched in student ministry - with him speaking once a month, leading meetings all the time, and stretching himself really thin. We had over-comitted ourselves and were beginning to feel the brunt of it. He was in seminary, I was working at Circa, the youth ministry was growing and we were barely seeing one another. God was really tugging at my heart, showing me how much I longed to be at home with Elias - how beautiful the calling of mother truly was, not just another life-phase, but an awesome responsibility and gift.

To drive his point home, shortly after the fall had started, we went through our whole Trisomy episode in October of 2007. I reread my blog posts from that month a few weeks ago, and to tell you the truth - I'm still utterly in awe that God gave us such peace and such a beautiful, wonderful miracle in Glory. We spent so much of October in prayer and in the midst of that struggle, hanging between not knowing whether we'd lose our sweet baby girl. We visited Puyallup & the Seattle area to try and make a decision about whether or not we'd move here. While we were out here, I told Nick that it all felt so crazy - to move to an area just to attend a church, but the first morning I went to Mars Hill Eastside on our little vacation last October - it made so much more sense. We went home still unsure of what would become of Gloriana & where we would be next.

Soon our Father made it perfectly clear through medical tests, prayer, and lots of guidance that Glory would be just fine and that we would in fact be moving to Puyallup to work at New Beginnings and to attend Mars Hill. All of November and most of December were spent quickly packing up, saying goodbye, and trying to answer questions that we didn't truly understand ourselves. So now here we are - seven and a half months in, Glory is five months old, and we have a little life built up.

I got a tattoo on vacation that says 'talitha koum', meaning "little girl, get up" in Aramaic. Jesus says it when he raises Jairus' daughter in Mark and I've always been crazy drawn to it. I decided it was time to get in permanently implanted on my body when I thought about the implication of the possible death sentence we received for Glory and for the work Jesus has done in my heart in this year. I've told Nick a few times that I feel like I'm just now understanding what it means to be a christian and that sounds absolutely nutty since we've been in ministry for several years now. But tonight I felt that familiar wave rush through me and I just knew that this place of waiting is so right and He has made me so alive by letting me know Him more each day. Nick is in school, we are in a ministry that we know is not permanent, I'm away from family and wondering if I'll ever live near them again, and all the while God is just opening my little girl eyes wider and wider to who He is.

I could just cry my eyes out thinking about how beautiful He is, how richly He has blessed me, how indebted I am to His grace, and how vast He has stretched my heart this year. I have so much to learn, so much more to say, so much farther to grow, but I could not be more excited. I feel like I have become more of myself this year because He has made me want to be more like Him and I have to say - I can tolerate myself far more when He's working in me.

So - I've gotten to celebrate my birthday in a few different ways this weekend and more blogs will tell about how loved the people in my life made me feel, but I'll tell you I'm ending it out baking a cake from scratch with Lauren. I've never made a cake from scratch that is successful and I'm hoping this one is scrumptious. Nick tried to get Lauren & I to buy a mix but he didn't understand my real desire was to celebrate what God has done in me this year. He has taught me about intentionality and doing things the right way for His sake & not mine. He's taught me that when I choose faith, love, and purpose - it is wonderfully delicious for my little soul. So even though it's taken about 3 hours and 2 Fred Meyer runs, I'm making this cake and I can't wait to taste it.