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A dear friend told me I should share, so here it goes.
Corbin and I read about the crucifixion the other day as part of our reading lesson and reminded of how good and gracious God is to die as he did…to take our sins. He could have saved himself, but he wanted to save US. Reading aloud how judgmental, crude, stubborn and so vicious the high priests, guards and crowds were made me choke up as I read aloud. I can see why at Mount Olives Jesus prayed so hard and cried like blood. He needed the support of God and the strength given by the angels to help him finish what was started. It reminds me of when I was in labor with Benjamin (in a way) and how I was envisioning in my head how wonderful it would be to hold him in my arms very soon. All the pain and agony of birth would all be worth it. In my own way I had a glance at the future knowing it was all for good. With Corbin, my first born, I was inexperienced, scared and clumsy. I didn’t know what to look forward to and that made me anxious and scared which made labor harder to endure. Jesus knew that all the events to his death were all for a greater purpose and was able to continue his good works so that we could live.
God is good! I’m so thankful for his renewed grace each day because I am a selfish sinner in need of a savior.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a]and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him.12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.[d] 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God,[e] who is at the Father’s side,[f] he has made him known.
Corbin turned 6 on Dec, 2nd. He wasn’t thrilled about having school on his birthday, so I decorated the house a little to make his birthday a little more exciting. I made him a crown and placed birthday signs around the house. I also made him his favorite waffle breakfast. He was all smiles. After school was over I gave him his gift so he could enjoy it all afternoon. Oh yes, he was a happy kid!
Corbin was even letting his brother help out…a rare thing to see:)
For dinner I made homemade pizza with a pepperoni smiley face and a funfetti cake for dessert per Corbin’s request. Such a fun way to celebrate!
Moving to the bay area allowed us to open our home to family that live in northern California. Luke’s dad, sister, 2 aunts and uncle joined us for Thanksgiving. It was a Shiras reunion. And even though I was a crazy maniac in the kitchen I was so blessed to hear the conversations and laughter in our home.
Having Luke’s dad and sister in town for a few extra days allowed us to explore a little of San Francisco. We took them to Golden Gate park and had a mini adventure. I had no idea how big the park was! We only saw a small portion and I was in love.
Just finished “When Sinners Say “I Do”" by Dave Harvey and I’m so glad I did. I highly recommend it to All, not just married couples. There is much to be done in my heart and that is why I am so thankful for the spirit that humbles, convicts and restores. God’s pursuit of his children is relentless and his sanctifying grace is always at work.
When I first started reading the book or even before I ordered it my heart was becoming hardened toward my spouse and I was starving myself of what was most important, the gospel. I was frustrated, felt alone and my marriage was suffering due to lack of communication. A dear friend of mine recommended reading this book and at that point I was broken and asking God for help. This book was a good starting place. I have taken a few months to read this book and I think that was for the best. If I read it in a week I would not have savored as much as I have. As my journey with God is a process, so is my marriage. It’s interesting to look back and see that I was ready to give up at one point and now I am praising God for my trials because I know they are for my benefit. God gives us relationships, a spouse and maybe even kids to bring our sin to light so that we can be sanctified and made holy. We see how imperfect and selfish we are.
“Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence , and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:9-12
I found a great article on The Gospel Coalition website called How to Move from Forgiveness to Reconciliation as well as one on Grumbling and asked my husband to read it. I used to see forgiveness and reconciliation as one in the same, but after reading this article I saw how they can be separate and need to be dealt with differently. Luke and I had forgiven some sins committed against one another, but we were far from reconciling with one another because the trust was broken and additional efforts needed to happen to rebuild trust. Reconciliation between us needed God, trust, effort, time, prayer and communication or we would not be strong enough to weather the storm(s).
Matthew 7:24-25 says “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
The Spirit who dwells with us continues to sanctify us and God has heard the desires of our hearts. Love can mend all wounds. I am so thankful to have friends who pray for us and give us truth. Truth and conviction hurts, but is so necessary for our growth and maturity as Christians.
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:9-12
I took the boys to the Japanese Garden in Hayward today. It’s tucked away from the main street and something you’d normally pass without noticing which is why I am so glad I happened to hear about it and took the time to look on Google maps to find it. I dressed them up a bit just in case we used the on the Christmas card this year. The boys and I had fun exploring the garden and they loved climbing the rocks and discovering where the paths would lead. I think we found ourselves a magical little spot. Here are some photos from our adventure.
Angie Ochoa Photography from San Ramon took this sweet photo for me. I asked if she would test out my new newsboy hat, bow tie and suspenders. I will do a little tweaking after this test run, but still super cute.
Last week I told Corbin that it was supposed to rain Sunday thru Tuesday and his last class might be cancelled. He was so bummed, but I told him to pray about it and see what happens. Weather is sometimes unpredictable and changes last minute. Yesterday I told him that the rain we were expected to have is not going to happen and that soccer is on. He was so happy to hear it and had such a great time out on the field today with the other boys. Here are some pictures with his coach and the other kids.