Awestruck Wonder

"How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation." Daniel 4:3

Happy 1st Birthday, Sierra!!! September 25, 2009

Filed under: family — steveamy @ 20:21

We praise God for the precious gift of our daughter.  What a blessing she has been to us in so many ways – and how much God has taught us through her!!

One year ago:

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Sierra’s face then:

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Sierra’s Face Now:

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Profile Then:

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One year ago, Sierra could not even smile at will.  She slept, nursed, filled her diaper and slept again.  That’s all she could do.

Now, Sierra can do many things.  She can eat ice cream (compliments of Applebee’s) . . .

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. . . and cake (compliments of Auntie Carole & Auntie Sharon) . . .

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. . . in fact, Sierra knows very well how to feed herself, thank-you!

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Sierra knows how to open presents:

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How to charm her daddy:

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How to walk:  (Hmm . . . maybe someday she’ll outgrow that love for crawling??)

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. . . and how to climb up on things.

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She knows how to say “no” to things she doesn’t want.  (In this case, the baby turtle we rescued.)

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(Aren’t their expressions hilariously similar?!)

She can flirt with danger:

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. . . and could probably charm the socks off anyone with her brilliant smile and blue eyes.

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Most importantly, Sierra knows how to pray:

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. . . and that she is loved.

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This is our one-year-old daughter.

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Praises to our God!

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Summer Memories 2009 September 14, 2009

Filed under: family — steveamy @ 02:53

We have been meaning to blog about our summer for a while, especially for the people we got to know this summer, but with all the busyness of moving in . . . well, some things just get pushed into the background.

As I speak, there are still a few boxes in my kitchen, books stacked messily on my shelf, curtains waiting to be ironed and rehung, and just a few other things I need to do cluttering my brain and staring me in the face.  Thankfully our family is still small and we have accumulated mostly useful things such as many, many books . . . and more books . . .

It’s amazing that the summer and our internship in Ontario has already passed us by, and here we are, back in the United States, starting the new classes for the year 2009.  Life is so short.  We were reminded of this over and over this summer as we spoke with people dealing with the thought of death and the grief of the death of their loved ones – and even experienced the brush of it ourselves, as someone we had in our home died quite suddenly just before we left our internship.  We feel so thankful that death no longer has the victory over us, that God has given us a life to live for Him and through Him and unto Him, that we are promised eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  It is truly an amazing message that we bring, as Tony Zekveld reminded us at the installation of my Dad to the Wyoming URC.  We come as heralds, shouting to the world and one another, “The Lord – the LORD HAS WON!!”

It was fun to live in Ontario again, and be surrounded by the farming community, warm familiar smiles, and the comforting Dutch accents we didn’t realize we missed so much!  We got to live in a “mansion” – a big old farmhouse down a gravel road that was much too big for us, but greatly enjoyed, just the same.  We were amazed by how much of the sky we could see every day, by the sunsets and the beauty all around us!  We also enjoyed being closer to our families!  We didn’t realize just how much we’ve missed and how much we’ve missed them!  What a blessing they are to us.

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This summer what quite the learning experience.  I know that we will never look at preaching and the pastoral ministry in quite the same way again.  What a challenging work it is!  We knew this, of course, but having a front-row seat on it makes you pray all the more passionately for ministers of the word.  We learned many, many lessons about our own hearts, human nature, and many, many other things – our greatest fear now is that we will forget things and have to re-learn them!

We had the privilege of working with Woodstock URC and Riverside ARP.  Pastor Greg Bylsma was our mentor pastor.  We learned a lot from him and enjoyed working with him!

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Here are our next door neighbors who were so incredibly good to us (members of Bethel URC in Woodstock ).

SW110693 (Large)Well, some of them.  😀 These ones didn’t do much for us, but these did:

SW190123 (Large)They have six lovely children, which we quite enjoyed as well. Here are Joshua, Laura with our Sierra, and Laura and Sarah, who we took to the beach one day.

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SW050558 (Large)More friends:

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We were glad also to be in the area as my parents & family transitioned from Living Water URC in Brantford to Covenant URC in Wyoming (ON).  It was hard to be “uprooted” . . . we have so many sweet, blessed memories with the Brantford people!  Oh, how we will miss them!  But what a blessing the community of Christ is, that we find warm fellowship through Him – anywhere we go!  We are so very confident that Wyoming church will be a great blessing to my family and my family to them!

Goodbye old house: 😦

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We ended the summer off with the annual vacation with the Vogel family, a few days with Steve’s family, and my Dad’s installation to Wyoming church.

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My lovely cousin Cheryl, who left for Columbia soon after the cottage and who is going to be gone for MONTHS!  We will miss her . . . but how exciting to be devoting a special time to mission work!

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DSC_1141 (Large)“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord!”