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music monday: hello, my name is by matthew west

Tiffany NicoleComment

There is something almost magical about the day you become a parent.  A certain amount of euphoria mixed with anticipation and joy beyond description. My oldest brother recently had his first baby, which got me thinking about the emotions entailed with this event.

Not knowing when baby will come is all part of the fun, whether via adoption or birth. These days, you get to plan practically neverything. But with babies, most do not get to chose the day of arrival. The excitement builds and the thought, today could be the day, emanates your thoughts. The biggest day of your life. More exciting than Christmas morning as a child. You patiently await the birth of your precious gift that God has graciously lavished on you.

The gift that will change your status to parent and will add family to your description. The gift that changes a room in your home to a nursery and sprinkles it with baby gear.

I cannot imagine how God feels when we turn to him. When we truly turn our hearts to him and become his son or daughter. The bible says that angels celebrate when one sinner turns from his ways (Luke 15:10).

It goes on to say that he has adopted us. We are his children.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
As I was writing this, Matthew West's song, Hello, My Name is, ran through my head with that verse.  I know, another Matthew West song. He has amazing lyrics, and though he does not frequent my playlist often, the lyrics always stick. Have a listen.

Hello, my name is child of the one true King. I've been saved, I've been changed, and I have been set free. "Amazing Grace" is the song I sing Hello, my name is child of the one true King. What love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called His children. I am a child of the one true King.
The bond between a parent and child is great. How much more so with the creator of the universe who has so intricately made you? Since becoming a parent, my relationship with God has shifted and has allowed me to view him in a different light. Seeing that he really knows best. That he has the best plans there can ever be for my life. Seeing that discipline is necessary and not easy for either party involved. Seeing that my strengths and weaknesses are there for a reason and how to best use them. 

I pray that if you find yourself far from God, that you would see his out stretched hand and his big, warm, fatherly embrace to welcome you back. I pray that if you are a parent, that you would see your children as God views them, as well as yourself. You are unique and your relationship with your child and God is, too. 

Here's to adoption and returning to God the father. And parents and children and loveliness. 

music monday: love came down by brian and jenn johnson

Tiffany Nicole2 Comments
I spent most of my college career working as a barista. It was busy. Multi-tasking was a must. With twenty or more drinks to prepare on one slow espresso machine and forty tired eyes staring, eagerly waiting for their morning pick me up, it got a little crazy. 

These days, my busy time seems to be the five o'clock hour. When the clock strikes 5pm, it seems as if the entire house goes bananas. The baby cries. The toddler whines. Dinner on the stove starts whistling a burning tune and I stare at the mess that has accrued on the living room floor from the past hour of play time. Overwhelmed? Perhaps a bit.

I take a minute to digest it all and get a game plan going. The game plan has been more on the offense these days as this routine has brought itself about. The crock pot has become a good friend and earlier prepping has been the wisest of choices.

I know this is just a season and shall too pass but in the mist of of it all, it can be total chaos. I have to keep calm for the sake of everyone else and have a clear head to cook and feed and bathe and clean all by six. It's in these moments that this song becomes my anthem and my prayer:

If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear your voice. I hold on to what is true, though I cannot see. If the storms of life they come and the road ahead gets steep. I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe. I'll remind myself of all that you've done and this life I have because of Your son.

Have a listen. 

It is in these moments that God grants peace and patience and somehow everything comes out okay and we arrive at six fed and clean and calm. It is in these moments that thankfulness has new meaning. No, I am not thankful to have the crying baby and whiny toddler but I am thankful they are there in the this moment that God has blessed me with them. And for their health and the ability to provide a meal for their hungry bellies. And for the little place we call home to shelter them from the heat and cold. Thankfulness takes over and as the song states, I'll remind myself of all that you've done and this life I have because of Your son. 

Everything I have is because of Jesus. Because he died. Because he loves me. It is in the crazy that prayers come to life and the bigger picture unfolds, if you let yourself see it. I pray that when you find yourself in the midst of the chaos and daily stress that God will whisper the little prayers of thanksgiving to your heart and the small reality around you will melt away with gratitude and joy. 

Here's to more thankfulness in the busy and more calm in the daily storms.