Saturday, January 29, 2011

Make-Over, Email, and New Blog

Hey Campbellstown Buddies! Welcome to the 200th post! (Which I'm rewriting because my mama said that it sounded mildly self-exultant before...whoops.)

You may have noticed things look different around here... I've changed the look of the blog so I can post larger photos and keep everything fresh. Also, if you like Campbellstown, and get grumpy if you miss a post, you can now get the posts sent to your email so you'll never miss a single delightful moment. (winky, smiley) Just click the link over there... no, higher up...above our family photo.... that's it...and put in your email.

Also, (exciting news!) I've started up a new blog (in addition to Campbellstown) called Odds n Em's. It's a nifty little outlet for all the craft, D.I.Y., and art projects that bounce around in my head. I hope you'll enjoy checking out what busyness goes on there. The link for that blog is over there too....

Water color Chickadee - E.C. 2008

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Remembering Erel

Today is the day our baby was due to be born if I hadn’t miscarried this summer. It’s been a long journey from that happy day in May when Adam and I sat on our big brown couch smiling and thanking God that we were going to have our second child, to a little over a month later shaking with confusion and disbelief at the picture of my empty womb on the sonogram, to sitting with Yahweh and asking Him for a name for the child that only He could hold now, to the Monday spent in pain in body and soul at the hospital as my system realized it wasn’t pregnant anymore, to the nights of crying myself to sleep in the lap of God of All Comfort, to the days of reading and rereading treasured scripture and emails as friends and family poured out their tender hearts to us, to the quiet moments when my arms ached as only a mother’s arms do, to the moments of the sweetest closeness to my Abba that I’ve ever known singing “Morning by Morning”, to days of welcoming dear friends’ new little ones into this world, to the “Mommy you squishing me” hugs as I thanked God over and over for my little Evangeline, to the moments of sniffles and silence in my treasured husband’s arms who never knew what to say, but that was okay, to holding friends hands who knew and friends hands who wanted to know, to the days of seeing Jesus truly as Source of All Joy, to today where I can look back and cry sweet grateful tears for the pain and truly say, “He has always been my Rock."
I wrote an email to some family and folks back in June about it all, and much of what I wrote back then is still true today – I miss my baby, but accept God’s sending him on, and mostly I find I look forward to the joy of heaven ever more. Below are parts of the email and some things that God has kindly given me to feed my soul from in this season.
“… about the baby. we decided to name the baby "erel" (air-ell) which means "i see God" because we have seen God's tenderness, wisdom, care, and affection throughout this process and because we know erel now sees the Lord like our hearts long to.

elisabeth elliot says it well as she writes to a friend who lost her baby girl:
"Yet it is 'no strange thing' that has happened to you, as Peter said in his epistle, (1 Peter 4:12) - it gives you a share in Christ's suffering. ... Not only does He enter into grief in the fullest understanding, suffer with us and for us, but in the very depths of sorrow He allows us, in His mercy, to enter into His; gives us a share, permits us the high privilege of 'filling up' that which is lacking (Col 1:24) in His own. He makes, in other words, something redemptive out of our broken hearts, if those hearts are offered up to Him." Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter, March/April 1988, "The Ultimate Contradiction"

each day has it's "moment" where there are tears, but the truth is we have found joy in this sorrow. though we don't know why erel was not made for this earth for long, we are glad that God still saw fit to give him to us, even for a short while. think about it... he will never know suffering, he will never hear us speak harshly to him, tho we may never hold him, it is so much better that he is held in the hands that made the universe. he will only ever know the sweetest joys and delights that Heaven is made of, and for that we are happy to give him up. what more could a parent want for their child? he's still ours, tho he be far off, he's still a campbell, and we miss him, but we look forward to one day joining him in the presence of the One who was loving enough to add him to our family for a couple months. and we look forward to perhaps introducing him to each of you some Day and rejoicing in seeing God's goodness more fully. that will be a happy day.”

I’ve found a helpful source for thinking through trials like this in exerts from the Letters of Samuel Rutherford. He writes to a man who has lost his son,
“Dearest brother, go on and faint not. Something of yours is in heaven… The cup ye drink was at the lip of Jesus, and He drank of it… The good Husbandman ... may transplant young trees out of the lower ground to the higher, where they may have more of the sun, and a more free air, at any season of the year. What is that to you or me? The goods are His own. The Creator of time and winds did a merciful injury (if I dare borrow the word) to nature, in landing the passenger so early.”
And there’s my peace – that my Good Shepherd knows what He’s doing. He is gentle with me. He does not grieve me willingly. He is chipping and shaping and making me resemble Him more and I’m grateful for that, so grateful. He’s always been faithful to me. He truly is a rock of refuge to which I may continually come. (Ps.71:3)

Since we lost the baby, we have desired still for our family to grow, but God has not granted this yet. And after talking to my doctor a couple times she has expressed concerns about possible infertility, but we know God is bigger than any issues my body might have. He will grow our family how He sees best and when He sees best.

“He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who “do business in great waters,” these see his “wonders in the deep.” Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God’s greatness and loving-kindness.” C.H. Spurgeon “Morning & Evening” July 9th – Morn.

Because of God’s faithfulness I can whole-heartedly say with the psalmist that my “heart is glad in him, because [I] trust in his holy name.” (Ps. 32:21) It was a good plan He laid for our family this past year, and I know that I can trust Him for the future. In Is. 41:17-20 God tells the “poor and needy” that though they are thirsty now and can’t find water (or perhaps long for a baby to fill their arms), He can “open rivers on bare heights” and “fountains in the midst of valleys” and turn a desert into an oasis – all so…

“that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
As you, friends and family, think of us would you pray that God would be glorified, and grow our family, and that we will remain quiet in heart as we wait on Him. Thank you all for your support and tenderness. We have seen such a sweet picture of God’s love through you all.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Makin' Flakes

How to make your own
Coffee Filter Snowflakes:
*Gather children, scissors, a bunch of (unused) basic white coffee filters, and clear tape.
Fold take one filter and smooth in out as best you can so it lays flat.
* Fold filter in half, then half again, then half again, until you have about a 1in. "pie slice" left.
* Holding the filter together tightly, make little cuts in the sides and along the edges of the "slice" in whatever way you'd like. (WARNING: Pay attention to not cut off all of any one side. That's how you make Half-flakes.)
* Unfold your new flake and decorate if you like or leave them plain as we did here.
* Tape or hang up around your house to welcome winter snows!

Tips: Fold two or three filters together at once to make multiples of one design.
Small, sharp scissors work best for this craft.
These flakes would go great with a batch of paper hearts for a wintery valentine!
Don't have coffee filters? Use circles of tissue paper!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Having a (Snow) Ball

My little girl was very proud of her "Snow Bear"...

... then she punched him in the head...

... and shoved the rest of him off the table.

"I crrrrash him, mama!"

 Uncle Alan came!
(Hey look! In this picture he actually looks small! That's a first.)

And Eva had her first sled ride... into a holly bush.
(no surprise really, considering the driver. Love you, bro!)
 More snow buddies - Auntie Eli and Uncle Joe -
helped Eva build her first snowman.
(i know, my child lookes like a batch of
brownie bites in her snow gear)

Snow Angels

Last little bits of Christmas...better late than never

The "must-take" picture of the Christmas outfit.

This picture is "just too much" right Mom?

Eva, unimpressed with Christmas breakfast.

Mummzie thot it was fantastic! (blueberry creme pockets)

All the presents a little girls could want!

"Crim-is is the best!"

Mummzie's family arrived... and so did the party.

Stottsmas turned Nots-mas. (no actual stotts came)

Green-haired girls!

sibby shot!

Ok, now I guess it's time to take down the lights.... yep, we're those neighbors.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eva Quote of the Week: "Not Modest"

Little Eba was watching "teebee" with Mummzie. A nice man on the tv was singing a song, then a lady joined him. She was wearing a mini-dress. At the sight of her, Eba gasped, stood up, and slapped two little hands onto the tv set, covering the woman completely. (something she's seen Mummzie do) "Mommy!" she cried, "She is not being modest! This is not good for me! I can't watch this."

I just hope she doesn't do that to some poor woman while we're out shopping this week.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

'Twas Christmas in Campbellstown

I wish we could have welcomed all of you to Christmas at our Hallelujah House, but for those of you who couldn't make it, here's a taste of my holiday home.

The Poinsettias say "Welcome" in the most Christmasy way!

Christmas was placed, hung, tucked, draped, and taped up everywhere!

Obviously, this was after Christmas day....

And her tree, which she was quite proud of!
(I did not pose her here, folks.. she's just that charming naturally.)

 In the Playroom

Our newest family tradition: Advent
Adam and I spent the better part of December putting the curriculum and tokens together.
What a family treasure!

My woodsy tablescape for Stottsmas... tho sadly no one got to see it.

 For the bathroom

 A present I painted for Adam to commemorate his first year of pastoring.

In the kitchen, the lovebirds decorated their nest among the falling snow
... tho only Jessica noticed!

The den decked.......

and a new project I've been wanting to try this year...

Lookie! It's all fresh stuff and I'm so proud of it. I think this one is a must-repeat.

Lastly, one of my favorite spots in the house, the Jewish nativity scene.
(Sorry, no blonde Baby Jesus' allowed here!)

Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year
from our house to yours.