Monday, May 16, 2011

Sweet Babies...

Mother's Day weekend we went to South Carolina for Papa Suli's birthday.  

We stayed at Septtro & Susan's (Stephen's oldest brother & his wife).  They have a daughter, Rilynn, who is a little more than 4 months older than Brynnen.  The girls are now to the age where they can kind of play together...or fight over toys. (haha)  I'd have to admit they did very well with sharing & had a lot of fun playing "together" (playing with different objects but in the same room & paying attention to each other).   
watching cartoons together!

It was cute how if one of the girls did something, the other wanted to too- if Rilynn got her sippy, Brynnen wanted her's too. If Brynnen got in her chair to eat, Rilynn wanted up too (although Ri wasn't feeling well, so she didn't eat much- but she was great company for Brynnen). 

Even bath time! (Notice they each have a pink toy- haha)
 We seem to have started a tradition of doing a photo shoot with the girls in their Samoan dresses as often as possible.  Last time was at Rilynn's first birthday - here's a couple shots from then - September 25, 2010

Let's just say this time the weather was nicer and our models, ahem Brynnen, didn't eat the props- aka rocks & grass.

haha this one is my favorite  =)
I loved watching the girls play and interact.  They have completely different personalities- Rilynn is a little more reserved and keeps where she knows she's safe, where as Brynnen is  more outgoing and fearless.  The mommy side wishes Brynn were a little more like Ri when it comes to climbing and overcoming obstacles that can possibly hurt her-- but I will never tell her that!  I want her to try new things and explore- be herself, not who I or anyone else wants her to be.  Even if, to my dismay, she becomes a tomboy and never wears cute hair bows and dresses -- I mean, really- what did I expect?? I was the same way growing up (probably much to my mother's dismay). 

I am so excited to see where God leads these sweet babies (and their parents) as life continues.  So thankful for healthy bodies and sweet smiles =)

PS  I wish we lived close to all of our family, but for now, pictures and occasional visits will be savored.   

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do rain drops = blessings?

The first time I heard this song it instantly became a favorite-- even through the tears.  I still can't listen to it without tearing up, and thanking God for his mercies - and sleepless nights.

"What if your blessings come through rain drops?  What if your healing comes through tears? And, what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know YOU're near?  What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy? What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest night- are your mercies in disguise?"

Man, I can't even write this, I'm just in awe of God's words through this woman.  I've heard it so many times, and each time it hits me just the same.  We do pray for blessings, and peace, and joy, and wisdom, etc etc.  
We each have our own ideas of what a "blessing" is.  So as I heard blessings coming through rain drops, I didn't quite understand- probably also doesn't help that I love rain & rain boots (not the proverbial kind of course).  =)

Anyway- As I was thinking about blessings and sleepless nights, and God hearing our prayers, it hit me.  We want blessings to be tangible.  Something we can physically hold, touch, feel- wrap around us in the storm and that's not always the case.  That can be frustrating.  I think once you go through so much rain, you can learn to have JOY in it - go dance around, get your hair wet!  Once you go through loss, (job, house, entire city) you may learn LOVE (and priorities), you (or a loved one) may be diagnosed with disease after the tears (and prayer) you realize who is in control and you eventually have PEACE, I could go on--- but do you see the "blessings"? (I put them in bold for you...just in case). =)

Galatians 5:22 lists the fruit of the spirit. "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."  These are blessings.  They don't just come to you-- even though we may pray for them, often times our greatest lesson/gain is through experience.

The song writer/singer Laura Story said this song really represents how God gives us what we need, not what we want.  I hate that sometimes, because I feel like I know what I want need.  However, I'm pretty sure our creator God has more of an idea what that is.  Ha, kind of like a child who "needs" cookies for dinner instead of a nourishing meal, errr, uh, maybe that was just me yesterday when I was little.  ;)

The other verse this reminds me of is Romans 5:3-5 "...but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who he has given us."  So these dark nights/rainy days/storms produce perseverance, which builds up our character which leads to hope-- and if you have hope, you will not be disappointed (by God-- most certainly by man, and/or woman, but never by God).   So if you aren't sure why you are "going through" something, or you have a tragedy in your book-- look for what God is trying to teach or show you.  Simply ask Him.  

It will probably take more than one "rain storm" to get you out dancing in your blessings!!  Believe me often times I still whine and be grudgingly put on my rain boots, but once it's over and the rainbow appears...I end up thankful that I witnessed God at work and will reap the "blessings".  =)