Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Life in Pictures...

Here are the pictures of our time in Austin last week.
They are a bit out of order, but you'll get the general idea :)
Our little Dominic
Mia with her "Doggiemin"
She had a lot of fun with Caro...

The girls made pudding the day Nicole was induced; it helped to pass the time and get chocolate on Mia's dress. White was not the best idea...

Sophie was able to be present for the birth and the nurses were nice enough to dress her in a hat
Dominic with his Webb grandma's

The Burdels came to brighten up the hospital room :)

Dominic with all of his grandma's...and grandpa...

The day after we helped my Tita move into her new house.
Dad took the girls to mow the lawn...

Caro and Sophie got creative with the packing paper

And Mia...well, being Mia at the end of a long day :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Blessings of a New Baby

Dominic Ethan is a week old today :)
Here is the first picture we have of him uploaded. The first picture we have is not very pleasant and might bring back bad memories for him later, so here is one of him fully clothed and in the arms of Mia.
As he is the first boy, you can expect to see more pictures of him from various angles in this blog.

This morning I had the pleasure of holding Dominic while everyone ate. It was very quiet in the house as Mom had taken Sophia and Mia to Round Rock for some donuts (A very special treat).
As he looked at me with those deep blue eyes I thought of how happy he had made our entire family. How "long" we waited and could hardly believe he was here, and a week old.
Before Nicole was induced, we had a bit of a fright with him, different concerns arose; so when he arrived healthy and "perfect" we were just thankful that the Lord had seen fit to allow a new baby boy into the family.

Then I thought of the many young, new mothers who don't have what we have.
For them, children are not a blessing.
Once a month, my family and I volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in downtown Houston. And there I see many young women who are scared and anxious about the same thing that made me so utterly happy.
I can say that volunteering at the center has given me a new compassion for single, pregnant mothers.
Before I was a bit judgmental of the women with the mini skirts and flashy "blouses";
now I see that their exterior is only a symptom of the true problem in their hearts.
It's a unique time that they come in to the center: the deed is done, their desire has taken action and they come in with a possible result inside them.
When they come to the center, what they are looking for is a test, result, and sometimes information about how to rid themselves of their mistake.
But what they need is Christ.

So, as I thank the Lord His provision and sovereignty, I pray for the single, young mother.
That she would be apart of His kingdom;
that God would see fit to save her and show her what He thinks of her.
And that she would see how precious she is and her baby is in His sight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Verse of the Week

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."The Word of God Stands Forever voice says, "Cry!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. The Greatness of God get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot;he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.
Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name,by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard?The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
~Isaiah 40

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Lord" "Strong, Constancy"

That is what my new nephew's name means. Dominic means "Lord" and Ethan (My dad's middle name is also Ethan) means "Strong, Constancy". Dominic came on May 22, weighing 6lbs 12oz. He looks like his daddy, just a skinnier version. Right now he has blue eyes but Sophia started off with blue eyes also and now has green. I'm hoping he'll keep those blue eyes :-). He's on the bald side but we're hoping he'll get hair someday. He has a very squeaky cry and likes to have something in his mouth at all times.
Nicole is doing great, though we're not letting her do very much around the house. The labor went quickly and she was thankful for that. She's still very tired but has enjoyed a few games of Uno (I won).
Sophia was able to be present for the actual birth and even got to wear a nurse's cap. Mia is excited and always wants to hold him or pat his head.

Sadly, I won't be able to post pictures until later but I hope I have described him well enough. He's very cute and we're all so thankful he is finally here!

Or, as Mia would say, "Dis is my broder, Doggiemin."

In Christ,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Additions

I want to be a Mother
Though children are considered
To be a burden-some a tire,
God has placed within my heart
A feminine desire.
I want to be a mother,
Children hanging 'round my skirt,
With lots of clothes and runny nose,
Small faces lined with dirt.
Lots of laundry to be washed
And dishes not a few;
Do you think that I'm insane
Or that this could be true?
Small bodies to be washed
Tiny children to be dressing.
I think that children ought

To be thought again a blessing.

Well, yesterday Nicole called us after her doctor's appointment and to make a long story short, she is scheduled to be induced tomorrow morning.
We are very excited to be going early to spend precious time with the Webbs before we meet this new Nameless Webb!
So, we are off to Austin this afternoon for a week and a half. Dad will be able to spend the weekend with us and then will go back to Houston.
Needless to say we are breathing prayers for the Webb's as we pack and organize the house.
Mom, Caro, and I will be able to stay until the first of June, then Mica will be left on her own to keep the home fires burning.
This will be the first time for her to run a house on her own and she hopes to try and chronicle her experiences each day.
Much like I did when I watched the Apodaca family after Joshua was born.
Sophia and Mia can be quite entertaining so I hope you will check back periodically for some wonderful laughs and thoughts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God!
He, whose Word cannot be broken,
formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded,
thou may'st smile at all thy foes.

See! the streams of living waters,
springing from eternal love;
well supply thy sons and daughters,
and all fear of want remove:
Who can faint while such a river ever will their thirst assuage?
Grace which like the Lord,
the giver, never fails from age to age.

Blest inhabitants of Zion,
washed in our Redeemer's blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
makes them kings and priests to God.
'Tis His love his people raises,
over self to reign as kings, and as priests,
His solemn praises for a thankful offering brings.

Savior, if of Zion's city,
I though grace a member am,
let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy Name.
Fading is the worldling's pleasure,
all his boasted pomp and show;
solid joys and lasting treasure
but Zion's children know.

It's hard to sum up all John Newton did in his lifetime. Here's a brief sketch on him: Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken was written by John Henry Newton, author of the famous hymn Amazing Grace. He was born on July 24, 1725 in London and died on December 21, 1807. An Anglican clergyman, former slave-ship captain, and an encouraging friend, John Newton was known by many names. He began sailing on voyages with his father at age eleven and went on a total of six voyages with his father before his father retired. Though he continued to run his slave-ships after his conversion to Christianity, he later came to repentance on that issue. He stopped running slave-ships and participating in slave trading after a severe stroke in 1754. He was accepted and ordained into the Church of England in 1764, seven years after he had originally applied for Anglican priesthood. His words to William Wilberforce, in regards to whether or not William should enter into the ministry, were especially commendable, "Serve God where he was".

In Christ,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Verse of the Week

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

~2 Corinthians 12:7-10

"Don't Waste Your Cancer" or your mornings for that matter.

Recently I have been thinking about the scripture passage I posted a few days ago.
It has been interesting to see how the Lord has reminded me of it.
As I began reading more in Job and Lamentations I thought of the beautiful portions that we sing in hymns and place on our walls in frames,

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

What I hadn't thought about was the "Morning by morning" that the author experienced.
Usually when I think of the "Morning by morning" I typically think of hot buttermilk pancakes and orange juice, but the author was experiencing a time of suffering.
To sing His praises while enjoying fresh strawberries and while going through a dark affliction are two very different things.

So, I was thinking about this when I read John Piper's Desiring God blog and I would highly encourage you to read it; particularly the most recent post Don't Waste Your Cancer.
It deals mainly with a man who was recently diagnosed with cancer but it can apply to a varity of situations, whether you know someone who is seriously ill or perhaps you are or have been ill yourself. It was challenging and provided complete answers to some common statements and questions.

“My joy will be in you, and your joy will be made full. Your grief will be turned to joy. No one will take your joy away from you. Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy will be made full. These things I speak in the world, so that they may have my joy made full in themselves” (selection from John 15-17)

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Pajama School"

I recently won a giveaway on Jasmine's blog for the book "Pajama School" by Natalie Wickham. Thank you, Jasmine! I am enjoying it just like you said I would :-). As of today, I'm in the eighth chapter. Filled with funny stories, godly insight, and an encouraging journey through homeschooling, this book already has me laughing and is challenging me in different ways. She answers different homeschooling and other questions along the way and it is easy to identify with her and her life. I hope you too will read this book sometime.
In Christ,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"But this I call to mind,and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust there may yet be hope;
let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief,
he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men."

~Lamentations 3:21-33

Monday, May 11, 2009

Verse of the Week

And the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 'Go far from the LORD; to us this land is given for a possession.' Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.' Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.' And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD."
~Ezekiel 11: 14-21

Friday, May 8, 2009

Do not forget

"We are apt to forget that man is not only committed to Jesus Christ for salvation; he is committed to Jesus Christ's view of God, of the world, of sin, and of the devil, and this will mean that he must recognize the responsibility of being transformed by the renewing of his mind."
~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hope for Broken Spirits

Tonight as we studied Psalm 147, I noticed several very encouraging passages.
Recently I have had occasion to really ponder on what it means to present to God a broken and contrite heart as in Psalm 51:17:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

Through different instances in my life I have known more what it is and what it looks like to be utterly broken. I've seen in the lives of people very dear to me, what it is to come to that place where you feel so completely stripped of every sense of joy, peace, or delight. Enough to feel physically taxed to the point of exhaustion. It's painful to watch someone experiencing this time; and yet the beauty of it is:
that this, along with a contrite heart, is what God considers as a sacrifice.
Our sovereign, gracious, righteous God considers this place of pain and grief a sacrifice.
So I understand the "broken heart" bit, however it was the term "contrite" that I was unsure of the meaning. And after reading up on it, knowing the meaning changed my first understanding of this text. Here is a part of Mr. Webster's 1828 definition of the word contrite:

"Penitance; deep sorrow for sin; grief of heart for having offended an infinitely holy and benevolent God. The word is usually understood to mean a genuine penitance, accompanied with a deep sense of ingratitude in the sinner, and sincere resolution to live in obedience to the divine law. "
~John Newton

"Hence, broken hearted for sin; deeply affected with grief and sorrow for having offended God;
humble, penitant; as a contrite spirit."
~Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary
So I had this in mind when I read the following in Psalm 147:

Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground...
the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

So you see,God brings us to the painful, humbling place but because He is merciful and loving,
He doesn't leave us there.
"He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds."!
This is a source of great comfort to me when I see my loved ones at this place; because I hold fast to the latter part of the chapter:

"...the Lord takes pleasure in
those who fear him,
in those who
hope in his steadfast love."

It's during the difficult times when this is all I can cling to, anything else would be leaning on my own understanding and we all know how that turns out.
When you love someone so deeply, their joys become yours; their interests become apart of yours; when they are in pain, you are grieved. It's just what comes with that choice.

Something that I have to work on is not acting from the heightened pain emotion; mostly I find it best to let the Lord be the only person to whom I cry out, and then not speaking at all is best.
What is hope you ask? Well, according to Mr. Webster the exact definition of hope is:
"Hope: 1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of obtaining it.
Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish or desire may produce or be accompanied by pain and anxiety.
2. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God's gracious promises; a scriptural sense.

'A well founded scriptural hope, is in our religion, the source of ineffable happiness.'

Monday, May 4, 2009

Verse of the Week

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

~II Thessalonians 2:13-17

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tis So Sweet

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,but inwardly they curse.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us.

Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and that to you, O Lord,
belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man according to his work.

We read this chapter together this morning during family devotions, and I found the passages I put in bold print extremely encouraging.
And after a rather unpleasant day, I read this chapter again with...well, if my vocabulary were wider then I would use a word that means something to the extent that I read this chapter with a new frame of mind, have a greater understanding of the refuge and fortress that God is.
It puts to mind that hymn Tis so sweet. I like the first two verses of that hymn but mainly the chorus,

"'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."
Sometimes simply pouring my heart before Him is enough, being satisfied in knowing that He knows my thoughts and troubles, and that everything is for His own glory and for my sanctification.
It really is a sweet and comforting thought to surrender everything before the Lord.

1 Peter 4

"The end of all things is at hand;
therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies
in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
~1 Peter 4:7-11

I just wanted to share how much this chapter in First Peter (this passage inparticular) has really encouraged me and caused me to examine my actions and the way I live on a day to day basis.
This is another one of those passages where I read it as if for the first time. When I was eleven or twelve I had read through the entire Bible but I really don't remember reading this chapter :)
Each time I read it I find "something there that wasn't there before".
For instance, it is so sweet when Peter gives instruction on how we ought to live:
"Loving one another earnestly"
Websters 1828 defines Earnestly as: "Warmly, zealously, eagerly, with real desire";
Peter goes on to tell us why, "since love covers a multitude of sins".
Then again, I read on to,

"As each has a gift, use it to serve one another as stewarts of God's varied grace:
whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God;
whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies
in order that
in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
These words have been so sweet and welcome to my ears; because there are times where I feel weary and lonesome.
But things are difficult when you do them for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. That is when I must step back and examine my motives, putting them against scripture and ask,
Am I doing this for me?
Is is for my own glory that I love and serve others?
Do I go above and beyond people's expectations for myself?
Or am I doing these things for His glory and praise? Which really ought to be my ultimate goal.
Like I said, this chapter has been so sweet and encouraging for me, and I hope that you will take time to read it (as a matter of fact, read the whole book it'll do you good).


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