For me?!?!? Oh, darling Bekah, they are almost as beautiful as you are!
Another one of those moments when all the fame, adoration, prestige and riches of the world don't even begin to compare with a handful of wilted flowers plucked from the backyard by a freckle-faced redhead.
"Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10
We miss you so much and love you even more, Mariah. We are choosing every day to trust God, and let him help and uphold us.
He has never let us down before, and one day we will be able to testify that He didn't this time, either. We will praise Him for his great blessings. The joyful ones, and the ones that broke our hearts.
We spent a wonderful week following Jesus through the last days of His mortal ministry. Each morning's devotional centered on the corresponding day of Jesus' last week, and hands on activities afforded opportunities for everyone to have a personal experience as we grew in knowledge, testimony, and love for our Savior and His sacrifice.
Thursday is always a highlight of the week! On Jesus' last Thursday, He participated in the Passover with His apostles. For a few years now, we've participated in our own Passover. This year, we even had some cousins in on the fun, and invited some friends to join our meal!
The kids made the same foods Jesus would have eaten at His Last Supper.
Jonah and Graeme created a lovely traditional Haroset.
And Indy got to prepare the fish (the lamb thing is too much for me!). Add some pistachios, olives, cheese, bitter herbs, and Egyptian rice with lentils and you get....
Then we turned out all the lights, reclined on the floor, and ate our Passover Feast like Jesus and His apostles...without utensils! We read the same scriptures from Psalms used in the traditional Passover, the origin of the holiday, discussed the symbolism of each food item, and how everything in the Passover points to our Savior and His great Sacrifice. Every year it gets better and better! On Friday, we tried a new activity that er enjoyed. A group of inter-denominational Christians hosted a Faith Walk through the last day of Jesus' mortal life. It was an absolutely beautiful day outside as we "followed" his footsteps from His false trials to His tomb, and reflected on his love and sacrifice. Each of us at one point or another felt the Holy Spirit testify that Jesus truly is the Christ. His gift of the atonement to overcome physical and spiritual death has been the hope of my heart as my tears still fall for Mariah. Though I feel very deeply the sting of death now, one day my tears will all be washed away, and I will sing "Where O Death, is now thy sting?". And all because of My Savior. And even if I don't feel it all the time, I really do know it every minute of every day. I am so so grateful. It truly is wonderful.
Before Brian and I were married, if you would have asked us what we'd like to be doing in 15 years it would go something like this! "We want a big happy family! Catherine could homeschool the kids, and Brian could coach their sports teams. We'll serve in the church and teach our children about Jesus. Maybe we'll even adopt some kids!" Well, we're living our dream, and we love it! God is good!