Wednesday, October 31, 2012

blessings in disguise {guest post by Bethany}

My baby sister was dying. I was seated in the rocking chair, finishing a crocheted blanket I would give to my mother once blessing #9 was born. Now, it was inevitable that she was dead. My older sister and I promised not to worry the younger siblings as mom climbed the car for a "normal" visit to the doctor. I nearly rocked the chair backward from anxious worries, dreading the gravel crunch of the driveway announcing the return of my parents. 

This could not be happening. Other mothers have miscarriages - but not my mother. Other families lose a baby - but not our family. I refused to eat. My hands were trembling as I tried to concentrate on the monotonous task of my handiwork. My brother walked in, and innocently commented about my strange behavior. I don't remember what he said. But I must've managed to make up some excuse before I dropped the yarn and hook and fled to the safety of the "attic" where I collapsed on a window seat and begged God for my unborn baby sister's life. I had prayed before - but never as sincere, never so desperate, and never so broken. 

The car pulled up. She was dead. I knew she was dead. The tears were ready to spill. Yet just as quickly as Daddy pulled up, he backed out driving back to work. Mom walked up the porch steps nonchalantly, sipping soda from what looked like a Hardees lunch stop. My mom hardly ever eats fast food. I opened the door, practically ran her over and asked - "Is she okay?"

Mom smiled. I think I could have died from relief. Caroline had her third birthday last month. She's very much alive. 

From that scary day a few years back, God opened my heart. Despite growing up in a Christian family for most of my life, God's love was something foreign to me. God's compassion was something I couldn't grasp. As I began to grow older and became more interested in things other than Littlest Pets and the newest American Girl magazine, I began to run to God. The world was big. The world was bad. Sin was overwhelming - especially in my "good Christian girl" life! I have so many "God stories," so many heartaches that were a bitter blessing in disguise. 

God blesses me so much - His love is bluntly - - awesome. It is so very easy to see the physical blessings, but I often forget that the very things I fear are the very blessings from God. Each new "blessing in disguise" pushes me forward to glimpse yet again the majesty and the mystery of God. 

So thank God for those trials too - because all things work together for good. 


Bethany in a nutshell:
Although I occasionally grace the internet with my spontaneous presence, my real life is lived in the fields of Wisconsin. I'm a used to be military-kid, proud-Marine-family-member and Hillsdale-college-sister. I love Jesus - and I primarily blog about my life as a Christian young lady. However, you may find me stuck in a book, pounding the piano, or doing some sort of graphic design on the computer. {Grace of My Redeemer . blogspot . com}

Monday, October 29, 2012

i've always wondered why we won't need feathers to fly

today it's finally cold. today i cuddled up with blankets and fuzzy socks and drank hot chocolate. today i read all my favorite books. today i sipped soup from a spoon and watched leaves flutter to the ground.   today i ate the last piece of chocolate cake. today i ran around outside until my chest hurt. today i listened to all the best music. today i surfed pinterest for nano inspiration. today it was cold outside.

i'm Hannah and i'm guest posting for Kendra. :) check out my personal blog here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

the Gaithers

The Gaithers have three boys who are energetic, hilarious, curious - but still adorably sweet at the same time. My parents have been good friends with their family for the longest time, even before we moved into the same town. Now we don't only live in the same town, but go to the same church. We live four minutes from their house and I get the privilege to babysit the boys.

They had never had their pictures down before, so this was something new and exciting for them. We climbed tractors, peeked in old cabins, found pretty leaves, and bear-hugged each other. It was fun, and the scenery was the most gorgeous I've had yet for a family shoot.

Enjoy the pics. ;)

(I really like her freckles. just sayin')

ps. not posting this week. some friends might for me though, so look out for those.

Friday, October 19, 2012

my sisters had their birthdays.


This is a late post. Especially for Petra's birthday, she turned seven in August. But with the move and school I haven't had time. I want to have these pictures of my sisters here on my blog to look back on so I couldn't leave them out.

Petra asked my mom when when we could have her birthday and not move the same week. I thought about it, and I realized we have moved every August for as long as she can probably remember. Maybe next year she can have her birthday with no move.

Here are my sisters. Heidi who turned nine. Petra who turned seven. I can't believe how grown up they've become and I remember when they both came into this world. Though I might get frustrated with them at times, I love them both and am so blessed to have them in my life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ways I can prepare

Going back overseas has always been one of my dreams. Not just going back with my family, but by myself. And sometimes when you dream about something so much it's hard to imagine it as a reality.

Yet going back is becoming more and more of a reality. Especially as I get older. As the hard-earned money adds up, as I read about different missionaries and become even more enthusiastic. I'm not sure if I should skip college and take some photography classes instead, not sure if I should go ahead and get a degree in something so I can have a way to get into a different country. Goodness, I'm not even sure which county I'm going to yet! (Sudan, Chad, and India have been on my heart though).

But God is faithful. His mercy is new, each and every day. And I may have a chance to go to Chad next year!

So here are a few things I've found I can do to prepare myself for the mission field, whether I leave next year or in five years.

  • study. like a maniac. and not to study things that are going to be worthless (example: algebra. but I gotta do it anyways. life stinks sometimes). I want to study things that are going to help me later on and study things that I enjoy doing. Cheers for being home schooled! 
  • exercise. I run a lot, but I think I could do it more. For some reason I haven't been running quite as much as I used to. I need to mix in other stuff too, like swimming and biking. You gotta be fit for all the emotional and physical changes of being a missionary. Trust me, I am not getting sick like I was in Egypt again. 
  • eat healthy. eehhh. I don't exactly want to do this. I'm praying switching chocolate for veggies is going to pay off. But really, I don't want to make this a huge deal. I just have to make wiser choices sometimes. 
  • keep babysitting + shooting people. Missionaries always seem short on money. Because most don't work full time jobs. (and by shooting people, I mean with my canon. not the canon-ball canon. the camera canon. ha. ha. my jokes are too corny.) 
  • read about missionaries. Thanks to my awesome friend Jason I now have at least ten books to read about them. really gets you pumped. 
  • get in the Word. you can never seriously get to much of Jesus and the Bible. just sayin'. 

Those are my six ways to prepare. If you think of anymore let me know in a comment. 

- Kendra

ps: photoshoot of a great family coming soon to the blog. 
pps: fall really is here and I still like taking pictures of my feet for some reason.

Friday, October 12, 2012

we went hiking

The trees are bursting with color. Crisp leaves crunch beneath our feet. The air is fresh and the wind cool. Very few clouds float in the sea-blue sky.

Autumn is here. I used to dread this season, because after it came dreary winter. I'm learning to appreciate everything though. And honestly, it's nice to have a break from the heat and be able to throw on a big sweatshirt.

We've taken a few hikes at local parks as a family. It's a relief from the busyness and school, plus I've gotten to spend time with my sisters and brothers more. Getting out and exploring is something I don't want to forget.

These are the pictures from when we went on two hikes for two Sundays in a row. And we had a good time.

- kendra