Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Sweet Aroma

There are many places in the bible discussing our worship being a sweet aroma to the Lord.   We first see mention of it in the Bible when Noah came out of the ark, turning away from his own sorrow and need and built an altar to minister to the Lord's broken heart.  What an act of worship!   We see that the sweet aroma of a worshipping heart is so important to the Lord that he instructed that an altar of incense be built in the tabernacle in Exodus 30.  It was to be placed in front of the curtain, before the ark of Testimony, in the place where God promised to meet with His people. Every morning and every evening, the High Priest was to burn the fragrant incense, made of a special recipe consecrated only to the Lord. It was to be burnt regularly, day in and day out for the generations to come (v. 7-9, 34-38).

And in John 12:3 the Bible says, "Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume."  You know her selfless act of worship was a sweet aroma (literally) to the Lord!

I have been studying a lot about worship in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).  BSF is an awesome, in-depth Bible Study with a four-fold approach where you:

1. Answer daily lesson questions on your own.
2. Discuss your insights in a conversation with members of your discussion group.
3. Listen to a lecture that explains the passage, key principles from the lesson and the relevance of the Bible's truth to today's world.
4. Read lesson notes that further elaborate on the passage.
My Lord has really used each of the four pieces of BSF to speak to me specifically and grow me.  Lately, as I mentioned above, he has been educating me on worship---true worship which comes from the heart.   Worship that is a sweet aroma to Him.  (This year's BSF study is on the Life of Moses and I have gotten even more out of it than I ever expected to get from the Old Testament teachings.  And, it is amazing how every passage seems to point to Jesus.  If you want to find a BSF study near you, click here.)

At the same time that I am learning so much during the BSF Bible study, the kids are as well.  The preschool children's program is really amazing.  To see little 2-3 year olds have a quiet time with the Lord, share the gospel using the gospel finger play, and sing songs of worship to the Lord just makes my heart melt.  Abbey has been singing several songs lately that she learned in BSF:   "Holy, Holy, Holy", "Trust and Obey" and "Go Down Moses".  To hear our little 3-year old singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" as she lay in her bed falling asleep seriously makes my heart melt.  I had an a-ha moment the other day as I couldn't wipe the smile on my face and had tears of joy coming down my face hearing precious Abbey singing to God.  I thought, goodness, if I feel this way, just imagine how God must feel to hear her worship and even my worship.  I am just her parent---but He is her creator and the one to whom she is singing.   What a sweet aroma it must be to Him!

Yesterday, Abbey was singing as we were getting in the car after playing at a park.  So, I captured some of the "sweet aroma" on video.  She shortened the songs a bit here, but still so precious!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Abbey's 3rd Birthday

A few weeks ago we celebrated Abbey's 3rd birthday.  (Sorry for the delay in posting!)  Abbey is at such a fun, cute age right now.   Pretty much everything that she does is just so adorable--well, except for maybe the "three-nager-ish" stuff.  (In case you missed the article that was floating around a couple of weeks ago and don't know what a "three-nager" is, just click here.)

We had a wonderful time celebrating Abbey's 3rd year--it was an intimate celebration with just Drew, Luke, Abbey and me on her actual birthday.  

Here is a video of us singing Happy Birthday to Abbey (please ignore my singing voice--so embarrassing):

She loved her healthi-fied cupcakes that she and Luke helped me make.

She elaborated in this video:

She also is a big fan of her new art smock from Grandma and Grandpa---as is obvious by this photo:

Abbey also felt pretty special getting to celebrate in Sugar Land with Mimi, Papa, Erica, Andy, Mitchell, Audrey and Lauren (Drew's parents, sister, b-i-l, nephew, and nieces) when we visited them last month:

that tongue is always working when she is the center of attention
Hooray for cake and homemade ice cream!
So much fun!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Abbey is 3!

What?  What did I just type?  I can't believe that sentence is actually a correct sentence.  How did Abbey turn 3 years old so quickly?

Well, I can't change the fact that you're 3 years old.  But, I can cherish every moment with you.  And, that is what I really tried hard to do each day with you this past year.  Here are some of those special cherished moments that I caught on "film".  I think they tell a bit of a story on what you were like as a two year old.

You're such a fun girl with a contagious laugh!

You're so silly.  You are also very determined...when you set out to accomplish something, nothing gets in your way.  (Like your determination to bathe in this pretend baby doll bath.)
You look up to your big brother and are so proud of him.  You tell everyone you meet about "Luke, your Big Brother."
You have a way of getting all of us to join in your shenanigans.  Here, you had us all do the potty dance, on day 3 of our 3-day potty training, early in the year. 

So silly!  And your face is always needing to be wiped!

There's the laugh and smile you give when you have just done something silly!

Party with your "friends."

you're always giving sweet hugs

Every time you see a puddle--it must be splashed in.  :-)

Your favorite place is in daddy's arms.

You just exude so much joy!  Daddy and I often say that "Joy" may have suited you even better as a name.

You are always willing to try something new, but are very careful about it.  You were excited to try "Texas Sledding", but made sure you held Daddy's hand all the way down.
Those eyes!
You're always offering us sweet gifts--like a sniff of a fresh flower you picked.
You love playing in the sand and dirt, but make sure to do so in the most prissy ways possible. 

We all love your sweet kisses.

That brain of yours is always thinking! You amaze us with the things you say and do, which are many times well beyond your age!
Momma's girl!

You love dressing up and fashion.  You also really enjoy reading!  You can't read by yourself yet, but you can identify and know all the sounds each of the the letters make and enjoy hearing others read you stories.

And your dancing is the most adorable thing ever to watch!
You always have something to say--it's usually either something sweet or sassy. And there is the prissy sand digging again.

You love to paint!

You were the most adorable puppy ("toto") for Halloween.  You made sure to stay "in character" while trick or treating.
Cutest little sack-racer ever!
This is the excitement you show every day for daddy's arrival home from work.  Daddy is just as excited to get to come home to that every day!
Ornery look.  And wow, you have really grown up a lot this past year.  You are transitioning from my baby girl to my little girl.

Abbey--you are SO LOVED!  If I could only use one word to describe you, it would have to be "Joy".  Happy 3rd Birthday sweet girl.  Mommy and Daddy are so proud to be your parents and we know what a blessing God has gifted us with in you! 

Lastly, I wanted to make sure I posted a little video of you, so I could record your personality, voice, etc. at this moment in time.  It's nothing super-special, but here is a short little video clip of me interacting with you last night.  Abbey, I love your sweet voice, that "squeaks" with joy and happiness in every sentence!