Rosh Hashanah for Christians

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from www.longwaitforisabella.com

So, what does Rosh Hashanah mean for Christians?

Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish feast, is a day of celebration and is also a serious day. The new year is beginning for Jewish people and it is a time to reflect and repent. It is also a time for judgment from God. We find this day in the Old Testament in the Bible. We also know Jesus and the early Christians celebrated this day.

This Jewish feast day reminds us that God created the world. We are celebrating the fact that He is our creator. It is also a time that the shofar was blown signifying a time of judgment. 10 days after Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. This is a time of self-reflection and repentance.

We could all use 10 days of self-reflection and repentance. As Christians we should be doing this daily. But Rosh Hashanah reminds us the importance of doing this. So here are some ideas your family can celebrate Rosh Hashanah in your own way:

*We are probably going to go the route of honey wheat toast with honey on top to celebrate.

Stephanie

Mom – do you want to see a baby T-Rex?

Mom! Do you want to see a baby T-Rex?  Um, not sure how to truthfully answer that question from our Oldest Child.  He’s the one that introduced me to Motherhood.  Who ushered me into a selfless life.  The truth is, no, I don’t care about seeing a baby T-Rex on Dino Dan, but I care about my Child.  He is the one that cares about the baby T-Rex and then he also cares that I see it.  So, I get up, walk in the living room and wait for him to “back it up to that part” and show me the baby T-Rex.  It actually is kind of cool. Definitely worth it!

Then the other day our Second Son looked up at me and said, just out of the blue, “You a Princess” and then looked at Rin and said “You a Princess too!” Yes, I’ll take that compliment.

It’s not always a selfless endeavor to be a Mother. Many days, our Children teach us lessons in love.  Today, I watched our daughter in the middle of a whining fit, turn her emotions down to care for my own hurting heart.  I admit, I cried a little today, and Rin softly started saying “what wrong Momma” and patting me on the back.  She’s learned some strong love skills in her few short years.

This being a Mom is a really interesting thing.  Sometimes it feels like you don’t have to try at all, then other days it takes every ounce of effort to be what your Children need. The moments that they lay down their wants to comfort us are Jewels to be remembered.

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So, today, as my twin sister grows a little life inside her (the day after Mother’s Day) – I want to say LOVE!  With every part of you – LOVE.  It never comes back void.  Many times it hurts, it cost something, it’s risky, but it’s always worth it.

Isn’t this what Jesus showed us with his life. LOVE.  It’s not a romantic love, but a lay down your life, your right, what the world says you deserve kind of love for someone else.

Holly, those Baby T-Rex, Princess, Pat on the Back days from your Lovie are coming.  Praise God!

I part with our Oldest’s words as he stalls going to bed.

Oldest: Mom, I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Me:Oh yeah? *Please go get in your bed.

Oldest: Yeah, because on Tuesday I get to practice with my costumes on, then at night – Graduation!

 

Thankful for the jewels, Stephanie

Fear, Safety & Love

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I’ve come up against some new issues these last few days. Well, one issue in particular. I’ve asked God about it and prayed for understanding. How can I live out love without extending so much of my heart that I’m in danger? Is it possible to remain indifferent and still love others? To be fully neutral and be what God asks for us to be? To be unaffected by someone else, even the most limited of acquaintance?
I know what I would tell a friend – I’d say no. If you are going to love the way God calls us to love, you are opening yourself up to others. Walking past another and not extending them grace ( a smile, a kind word ) is not neutral, it’s negative. The kind word costs nothing (unless you are keeping a record of your kindness and expecting a return on your investment). Right now the passage in Luke 27 is running through my mind: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” This is Jesus response to the questions, “Teacher, What shall we do to inherit eternal life?” So, it seems it’s very important, eternally important, to love your neighbor as yourself.

The possible danger of rejection is nothing when weighed against the true measure of Love. (see Romans 5:8)

So, I’m convicted. It seems that I’ve let fear creep in, put lipstick on it and called it safety. I’ve exchanged love for comfort.

P.S. – to temper the comments above, be wise and listen to the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Matt 10:16, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

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Grandaddy

My Gandaddy, who I’ve talked about here, went on to be with Jesus last Friday. He was 96! He did some really memorable things for me and my brother and sisters. When we were small and he and my Grandmother would visit they always had a bag of Brach’s candy for each of us. Do you remember when Brach’s had those self serve stations? They were great. The nougats with colored jelly bits were my favorite. Then before they left to go home, Grandaddy would sneak a half dollar coin under our pillows. What a guy!
When my father passed away my Grandaddy was heart broken, as any loving Father would be. I remember going to visit he and my Grandmother to watch the World Series games that baseball season after my dad passed and feeling like this is what love does. It was special. My Grandmother has also been such a constant in our lives. She was a rock during these last few days of memorials. Her most glowing act of service for me is how she loved my father, who was her stepson ( but no one would have known). She sat with my father as he passed on to be with Jesus, singing hymns to him and The Lord. It wasn’t easy to see him so sick, but she’s selfless and so she sat with him because that’s what she wanted to do for him. I didn’t realize growing up, but she has taught me so much, and her lessons have been invaluable. I’m excited to see all the other amazing things my Grandmother will do with her beautiful life.
*i didn’t get any pics because I was chasing kiddos

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*here are some other pics from the last few days

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Restoration and Family

I don’t really know why this has been on my mind so much today, but the thoughts of lost ones found, and the love, violent enough to bring them back.

I think it maybe started with our Christmas Card.  I was composing our card on snapfish (to get the best deal) and some of the phrases from the Jesus Storybook Bible kept going through my mind.   There happened to be a spot for lettering on the format I was working in – so I decided to add some phrases.  This is from the end of the “Wise Men” chapter: “The wise men had heard about this Promised Child and now he was here. Heaven’s Son.  The Maker of the Stars.  A baby sleeping in his mother’s arms.  This baby would be like that bright star shining in the sky that night.  A Light to light up the whole world.  Chasing away darkness.  Helping people to see.  And the darker the night got, the brighter the star would shine.”

Because of my salvation experience, I never really identified with Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us.”  (keep reading – I’ll explain)

I committed my life to Christ when I was 5.  I knew then that I wasn’t good and needed God.  It was a commitment, my hearts desire, but didn’t feel like a wild and dramatic saving from drowning waters.  So, my life has been characterized by commitment and I know what it is. I don’t take it lightly because I know myself and I know to whom I am committed.  I value my relationship with the Lord, our time together is powerful because I am fully known and STILL loved.

As my life has progressed swirling, raging waters have caught me.  I had a choice to let go and drown or reach for God’s hand and swim.   So, now I understand Romans 5:8 more. I do see in life how amazing a gift God gave us.
The lost ones coming home makes sense now as I have lived more and see God’s restoration power at work in my life and the lives of so many friends.

God bless you on this journey through life. It’s hard, but He makes it bearable.
*my family all together*

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*our Christmas Card*

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A little more on Christmas

We have a cute lime green mini tree that my Sister- in-law gave me a few years back and also the advent “Jesse tree” ornaments to go on it. We love it. We read one story each night, sing hymns and talk about what God did by sending Jesus to the earth. This year we hope to expand on our celebration during the days leading up to Christmas by using our beloved Jesus Storybook Bible. Here is a link to the reading list

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Hoping to start soon.

I hope to start this Bible Study soon – maybe there are other friends or not yet friends who would like take part.

I enjoy reading Ann Voskamp because she writes in such a descriptive way that you can almost forget the rules/regulations of typical life.

It seems the small and big joys in life are important to remember.

Here’s one: Today, I was waiting at the pharmacy drive thru and I could see a young man talking inside lobby.  He smiled and nodded, and had such a peace about his presence.  I could see my reflection in the teller window glass and I was smiling.  I don’t know him, but I’m thankful that whomever he was speaking to, received his peaceful smile today.  As an onlooker, he gave me joy too.

Lord, thank you for all the little and big gifts you give throughout the day.  Thank you for letting me see the young man be kind.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Stephanie