and all it took was a bucketful of jellyfish :)
Speaking of being thankful for babies and marriage...
Last week I road tripped myself up to Nashville for the night to meet up with my college girls. I got to hold Miss Maisy for myself instead of drooling over her pictures for 2 weeks, and we threw in a bridal shower for Jess while we were all together. Our time together was brief, but oh so worth every last second on the road. The only thing that makes reuniting with your girlfriends better is being on a beautiful vineyard celebrating new babies and shiny diamond rings!
|And this girls, is called "WINE TASTING".|
|Maisy me Katie|
|me Jess Katie Evie Caitlyn Laura|
|Jess & Laura|
|Cait & Evie|
|We all got champagne bottles when we graduated |
to open on different occasions in the future-
Katie's was for her first baby! The next bottle will be opened on Laura's 40th bday :)
|Surprise shower for Jess|
Posted by Laura Rowe [twirl] at Friday, April 19, 2013
|She gives me ten million reasons to smile!|
In bible study, we were studying the story of Joseph, and my eyes were opened to an understanding of his story in completely new ways. Nancy Guthrie writes in her study The Promised One that "Joseph was the first of many deliverers God sent who would picture and point to the great deliverer God would send in his own Son. Joseph's story pictured for all the generations of the people of God how this Savior-Son would accomplish his saving work- suffering before glory, rejection before acceptance, humiliation leading to exaltation, descending into the lowest pit before being raised to the highest pinnacle."
Nancy goes on to share how God's control of Joseph's suffering relates to her personal story of losing a child to a genetic disease, and then getting pregnant a second time with a baby who had the same disease. She says "This pregnancy was no accident that happened outside of God's sovereign plan for our lives. If fact, the confidence that God was in it paved the way for us to accept it, even welcome it, even when we learned that this child, our son Gabriel, also had the fatal syndrome. Recognizing God's sovereignty over our circumstances and embracing a confidence that God would use even this for good made all the difference as we faced loving and losing another child. Instead of wanting to avoid the suffering, I begged God to make me fruitful in the suffering. Instead of accusing God of abandoning me, I wanted to experience him like never before in the darkness of the days to come. Knowing that we were not the victims of incredible odds but the beloved children of God, held in the sovereign hands of God, meant that this was not something that had slipped through the cracks apart from God's notice, but something that was written in the book of our lives and Gabriel's life even before our lives began. 'You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed' (Psalm 139:16)".
And she tied Joseph's story and hers together for me by pointing me to the cross. "When I've found the truth- that God is sovereign over the suffering in my life and intends to use it for good- not only hard to understand but difficult to believe, and difficult to swallow, what has helped me most is to look at the one Joseph was always meant to point us to- our Savior Jesus Christ. Only when I turn my gaze to the cross of Christ can I begin to believe that God really can use something desperately evil and painful for incredible good. When we look at the cross, we see the most innocent victim, the most immense suffering, the greatest injustice, the most hurtful betrayal, the greatest physical and emotional agony. Surely putting the pure Son of God on the cross was the greatest evil of all time. But was it not also the greatest good ever accomplished? Because of the cross, guilty sinners like you and me don't get what we deserve- punishment. Instead, we get what we don't deserve- the mercy and forgiveness of God. When we look at the cross, it fills us with confidence that God is sovereign over everything- including evil and suffering. And if he can intend the evil and suffering of the cross of Christ for such amazing good, we can begin to believe that he can and will use what is evil and may seem senseless in our lives for good."
It kind of leaves you breathless, doesn't it? I read all of this to Eddie on Tuesday night and we discussed our assurance that God's got this, our little blip on the map of suffering that hardly merits the term. I'm thankful that God isn't using some wretched disease or financial distress right now to turn our eyes to him. I'm thankful that He is being gentle, and teaching us these lessons more simply, still affectively peeling back the layers of our heart and flushing out our need for control, our pride, and our lack of trust. So while we sit back and watch our little girl run in circles around the den, yelling "it's fun!" sporting pigtails that she calls "ponies" on top of her head, we are just beyond thankful. Because God is good. Not because circumstances make Him so, but just because He is.