Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Jesus Storybook Bible

I love getting packages in the mail. They always make me feel special. Last week, I received a package from my cousin Kelly. While we were in Florida during my grandmother’s funeral, She told me about a Bible she was using with her children and how much she enjoyed it. You can imagine my joy when the package arrived and The Jesus Storybook Bible was included.

Larry and I have been searching for an age appropriate Bible for the children for a while. We tried The Long Story Short Family Devotions, but it was too advanced for Eden. It would be fantastic for an older child. A lot of children’s Bibles on the market are cartoonish and were not exactly what we were looking for in a children’s Bible.

We read straight out of the Bible, and think that it is wonderful, but there were a lot of things that we came across that we had a difficult time deciding how to (or even if we should) expose them to a two and four year old. We want them to be knowledgeable of the Bible, but not to some of the evils it includes. We realize babes need the milk of scripture, not the meat.

So you can imagine my joy when I opened the Jesus Storybook Bible and began reading. I loved the way the author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, wove the stories of Scripture into kid friendly tales that all pointed to Jesus. I looked up the Book’s website and read a wonderful Q&A about her and her purpose behind writing the Storybook. Her words touched my heart. She so exactly embraced Larry’s and my philosophy about the Scriptures and the wonderful Savoir for whom they were written. Here is a exert from the website:
If you lose the greater story of the Bible, the danger is you start thinking that it’s all about you and what you should or shouldn’t be doing. You can start to think it’s a book of rules to follow (of course there are rules in it and they show us how life works best but if we could save ourselves by following the rules, Jesus never would have had to come); or you can think it’s a book of heroes to copy (clearly that can’t be right though. So many of the people God uses are not heroes at all--they’re broken sinners!).

But if you see that everything in the Bible is pointing to the greater one, the greater Hero, the greater David, the greater Daniel, the Greater Shepherd, the True King--it transforms everything. Suddenly, it’s an incredible adventure story, a wonderful love story. The rescue of Noah and the ark was great--but it was not enough. Isaac was a brave son--but there would be another braver son. The Promised Land was good, but it wouldn’t last. The law was good, but it wasn’t enough. A greater rescue, a more wonderful home, a more obedient son was coming. The Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. It’s most of all a Story, and there’s only one hero of that Story. And it isn’t us! It’s all about Jesus, it’s always all been about Jesus, from the very beginning.

Even though I had only read through the first few pages of the book, I knew I held something special in my hands. We had been given a wonderful tool to point our children towards the Savior who loves them with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

As we started to read it together as a family, I began to tear up. Eden being super sensitive to Mommy’s tears, didn’t understand what was going on. She kept asking why I was so upset. I explained to her that I loved this book and its stories so much that It made Mommy cry tears of joy. They were happy tears because I love the God who gave us the Book and the stories and who loves us with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. I explained how the hundreds of books on her bookshelf were all pretend stories, make believe stories, but that these stories were real. They were from a real God and a real Jesus. Can you imagine how that must have impacted her little heart?

It makes me joyful when each night she pulls out the Bible and looks forward to us reading it together. Only a week or so into it and she knows Mommy’s and Daddy’s love for this book. I have also found myself reading ahead and loving the stories. Even though it is written for Children, the Truths are timeless and touch this tired Momma’s heart as well. The stories remind me of the Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love that God has for me as well. What a blessing!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Granny would be proud!

Last week sweet church members brought me a gift. We have teased for a long time about me needing a cast iron skillet in order to consider myself a "real" southern cook. Last week they gave me one. It's older than I am, you can tell it was well used and loved. It was a very thoughtful gift.

Last night, I decided I should make home made corn bread just like my Granny used to make. The men in my family LOVE this cornbread. So I tried. It turned out OK, not as good as Granny's but for my first try, I was pretty excited. My kids loved it. Considering that Kinsey genes run through their DNA it wasn't a  surprised. If you slather butter on warm crunchy bread any Kinsey will love it :)

I will continue to try Granny's recipes in hopes that I can grow in my southern cooking genes. It was nice to make something knowing she would have been proud of me :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Date night

Last night we were able to join another couple and have a date night. It was so nice to go out to dinner with out having to have a high chair and wipes in mind. We had wonderful uninterrupted adult conversation. 
Thank you so much Kelly and Brian. We had a blast!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Staying Cool

In our attempt to stay cool, we've spent some fun times in the pool and on the slip-n-slide. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the kids :)

Stay cool everyone! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Fun

We have lots of fun here at the Gilbreath house,. Today we took the fun outside for Father's Day. Eden was given a slip and slide for her birthday and Daddy decided he would play too.

And everyone had to jump in the pool to end the day!

We are so blessed to have Larry lead our family. He's a wonderful  husband and father.
Happy Father's Day, Larry we all love you :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

4, 2 and New!

Eden turned four Friday, Josiah turned 2 in February and our next baby is due in July. Our new family slogan is: 4, 2 and New! Larry and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the blessing of our children. We thought going into our marriage that children were not even possible so to have 3 in 5 years is a HUGE blessing. Unfortunately, others do not see things in the same way we do.

I have had lots of comments from strangers lately that are troubling. Maybe it’s because I’m in hormone overload, maybe it’s that I’m oversensitive. I feel that people should be cautious about how they speak to others and that personal matters are just that…. personal. So you can imagine how upsetting it can be for people to question our future plans for children when we don’t even know ourselves what God has in store for us.

When people find out this is my third baby I’m often asked, “Will this be your last?” or “are you finished?” These questions can be a little unnerving. Why strangers want to know our family plans just seems nosey to me. If the questioning stopped there that would be one thing. Sadly they don’t. I’ve had someone ask why we would want a third child since we have a girl and a boy. So if one of our children would have been the other gender it would have been fine for us to desire having another child, but this baby wasn’t needed because we have reached the ideal. And it gets better, I had the check out lady at a department store tell me, three was a lot and I should stop.

We’ve had lots of people ask if we knew how we got pregnant. Like we haven’t figured it out yet!  If I feel especially sassy, I’ve replied with something like, “We’ll yeah, we have. With 3 babies in 5 years we’re quite good at it!” I figure if people are bold enough to ask that, then they should be ready for my response.

I wonder how people would feel if I went to a couple that only had one child and asked, why aren’t you having another? Don’t you think your child would want a playmate? Or if I asked a couple that chose to be childless, if they felt selfish for not having a baby. You can see how rude that would come across. I’m sure families in those situations are probably asked those kinds of questions and feel the same way I do about boundaries and strangers crossing them.

What I attempt to do when I’m faced with these kinds of questions is to not get irritated, but use it as an opportunity to share the truth of the Scriptures. Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold children are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. So I tell these strangers that Scripture tells us children are a blessing. I love each of my blessings and look forward to what God has in store for our future.

So how would you respond?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Eden!

This was scheduled to post Friday, but for some reason it didn't. We've been so busy celebrating Eden's Birthday I just noticed. So here is a little look into the past 4 years with Eden.

My sweet little girl is turning 4 today. It's hard to believe how fast she's growing and changing. As I look back over these pictures, I'm reminded of how little she was, how scared Larry and I were to become her parents, how our family was made special by her arrival.

Eden was the answer to many prayers for a child. The feeling of blessing from the Lord still does not escape me as I continue to be thankful for this amazing child to be entrusted to us.

We have a thoughtful, smart, fiesty little girl. She is such a joy. May you have a wonderful birthday little Eden, Momma loves you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A little dirt never hurt

My sweet little boy loves to get dirty! It must be ingrained in male DNA that dirt equals joy. It never fails, any time we go outside to play or to the park, Josiah seems destined to get dirty.

But when he looks this happy, what's a little dirt?