Stephen and Courtney

Stephen and Courtney

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ron update and an open apology to my dog

I will start with the story and then move on to an apology.  Drew wanted me to move his fish tank.  So I huffed and heaved that tank across the room and then heard Drew yell, "Is that Ron, Is that Ron, Is that Ron?!".  If you haven't heard we had a rope fish named Ron.  He jumped out of the tank and was eaten.  Or so we thought.  I looked on the ground and saw a mummified Ron.  He was perfectly perserved.  I guess he had jumped out and was hidden.  We had checked all behind the aquarium and drawers but he was hiding somewhere because he suddenly appeared on the floor.

I hate snakes.  Ron looked like a snake.  So I cried.  I begged my children to dispose of Ron.  Drew suddenly thought he would be helpful and go to the garage for the screwdriver that I had asked him for 10 minutes ago.  That left Charis and I alone with Ron's corpse.  Charis said, "I'm not scared of the grossness but I'm scared he is alive".  He looked like the same 'ol Ron and so I got her fear but after months he was certainly dead.  I begged and so my little girl went and like a valiant warrior scooped up Ron and threw him away.  She's my favorite.  JUST KIDDING.

Now for the apology... I want to formally and publicly apologize to my dog, Ellie.  I was wrong to assume because you had wet ears that you ate Ron.  I see now that all my evidence was circumstantial.  I judged you falsely based on the moisture level of your ears and that was wrong.  I even wrote a blog about it and I am sorry.  Please let it be known that Ellie was not complicit in the disappearance of Ron.

I feel like we have closure in Ron's death and I'm glad he wasn't eaten.  He suffocated.  Once again... respect the boundaries God has set for our protection.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Our African Names

When Stephen and I were trying to get pregnant or adopt we were blessed with many prayer warriors coming alongside us.  Some of these people we knew well and some we only heard about.  One woman, an amazing woman of prayer from my grandparents' church, fervently prayed for us to have a child and then she said "God, why not two?".

Her name is Maria.  Maria is from Africa and can pray prayer that shakes the building.  When she has finished praying you know you have been prayed for.  At a baby shower she gave us a children's book with two names written in it.  She told me that was the twins African names.  I was appreciative and thought it was how you say their names in her native language.  

God saved a special moment of understanding for me this month. Maria told me the whole story a few weeks ago.  The kids and I saw Maria while visiting my Mimi in the hospital. She was telling the kids about their African names and told us that the morning I found out I was pregnant she was driving and praying for us.  At that time she pulled over and wrote down two names that the Lord gave her.  She wrote down Joyful and Grace in her language.  I love how God works!  Maria did not know that we were pregnant, that it was twins, or that my prayer had been in God's charis to give us Charis.  Charis means grace, a gift of grace.  The names He gave her fit our children perfectly.
From birth Drew has been a child the exudes JOY and Charis is the gift of grace that we prayed for.  

Over eight years later I am still getting glimpses of how God was at work through the prayers of His people.  That was a hard and sometimes dark time for us but I can always see His hand working.  I am so thankful that shortly after He knit my babies together He chose names that fit them so well.  He is a Creator and His love is forever.

A Costly Gift


Every Gift Has a Cost

The other night as I watched my kids sleep it struck me… The thing that I have most poured myself into in life is teaching them about the Lord, with the prayer that they will accept Him as their Lord and Savior.  I have worked hard at jobs, desires, and goals before but never have I so completely poured my life into something.  The salvation of my kids has been a prayer since before I met them, directed EVERY decision I make for them, and occupied so many of our conversations.  As I thought about this I reflected on these verses:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Eph 2:8

The wages of sin is death but, the gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23

These verses are referring to how I received my salvation.  It was no work of my own.  However, it struck me what Jesus gave for me to have salvation.  He gave His own life, he took my sin, and He was separated from His Father.  My salvation was only free to me.  Not to Jesus and not to the people that sowed His name into my life.  Let’s thank the people that spent time in prayer for us and taught us who He is so that we could experience and know Him.  Let’s live a life of gratitude to Jesus for His costly gift. 


Raising children is hard.  Being a parent, in general, is difficult.  But being a parent that seeks to raise their children to go against the grain of culture and societal norms, to seek the face of the Lord, and follow His voice over the roar of culture is down right TOUGH!  It takes His Spirit renewing us each day and prayer that feels repetitive.  However, now as I look at them sleeping and wonder if what I am teaching is sinking in I can stand encouraged.  I am sowing into them.  A farmer’s life is full of hard work and prayer.  He can tell you that never once did he win an award for how well he sowed seed.  However, his work provided food for many.  As we sow into the hearts of our little ones we are helping to produce a food that will one day feed someone.  The work can be hard but don’t lose heart. Keep plowing parents!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Ron

My kids made Christmas lists.  Charis' list included an American Girl doll, markers, binder clips, and a book.  Drew's list resembled the list of a Saudi Prince.  I quote... "things that are rare, diamonds, $500 cash, and an eel named Ron".  Did you catch that last one?  An eel.  Named Ron.  And remarkably that was the most doable gift on his list.  So we bought the sheik an aquarium for Christmas.  My husband researched eels and found out that they bury themselves and you never see them but that there is a fish called a Rope Fish that looks like an eel and is "social".  So we ordered a Rope Fish.  The employee at the aquarium store informed us that this Rope Fish was being caught in a river in Africa and that people risked their lives in hippo-infested waters to get us (dumb) Americans these fish.  We were like "Great, we will take one!".

A few weeks later Ron came home to us.  Drew loved Ron and we all enjoyed watching him.  Ron had tricks.  He would hide IN the filter and shoot out at me when I looked for him.  I told the boys that I was nervous he would get out from the hole by the filter.  Stephen assured me Ron would never do that.  I worried though because I could sense that Ron had a gypsy heart.

Last night Stephen and Drew were feeding the fish and noticed Ron was gone.  We looked in his usual spots... the filter, the rocks, and in the gravel. Ron was gone.  Then we noticed a wet puddle on the table by the aquarium.  Right then Ellie, our  dog, came up and her ears were wet.  After we CSIed the crime scene we deduced that Ron had in fact freed himself of the aquarium and Ellie had found him in distress.  Then she ate him.  Ellie ate Ron!

We are still mourning the loss of our Ron.  He was a good Rope Fish.  He just didn't respect the boundaries that were there for his protection.  And he got eaten.  I think we can all learn from Ron's legacy.