BLAST OFF!!!

Lewis loved being a part of this church play…Blast Off!!!  It was about “God the Creator” and it was so creative and neat..so full of energy!  Here is a picture of us at the play taken by my sweet friend Christine 🙂

Blast Off!  Moment of Rest  Together :)
Blast Off! Moment of Rest Together 🙂
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It’s HARVEST Time!

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Overflow of Harvest…

Brian, Emma, and I had the stomach bug pretty bad last week…Brian and I worked together as a team to serve and pour out to our kids, but we both felt sick and weary.  Lewis and Hannah, you see, were not sick!  ….I have come to accept a few unchanging factors about my kids …especially the two, lovingly called, “the twins”–they have more energy than can be bottled and sold!  And more will than I have seen in any my entire parenthood so far, except in three others!  THESE are the hard days.  Sick parents, energetic, strong-willed kids…  I love, though, the perspective that a few days give.  I remember feeling at the end of a hard week, I truly hope to see that fruit soon!  It feels so tiresome and weary sometimes.  I love that God’s Word trumps my feelings!!  His Word says that if you sow seeds, you will reap a harvest IN THE PROPER TIME.  It takes FAITH for me to believe this sometimes when my days are long and the sowing is hard work.  But God graciously gives us sweet and persistent love for our kids…He prompts us to keep going…waking up each morning with new grace and new mercies…with freshness and new creative ideas…and vision.  Sometimes, He even gives us glimpses (hope) of the harvest to come….other times, it is an overflow!!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen beautiful glimpses…Today, it was an overflow.

I want to share a few of our beautiful glimpses and what God is doing in our amazing kids right now:

Just the other day, Lewis looked at the melted snow flowing down our drain pipe outside our home…and he said to me quietly, “mommy, look, the rain is coming down the pipe…flowing…just like God’s love…it just keeps coming and keeps coming.  It doesn’t stop.”  My eyes teared up.  It is in moments like these that I can see that they really do understand!

I love seeing God’s faithfulness to them…to pour love and counsel into them…as Lewis was thinking the other day, he told me…”mommy, I think the kids bother me at school sometimes because I expect them to treat me perfectly.”  Wow.  Such introspection, such sweet counsel from Him…a wonderful breakthrough!

And on another day, when I was wishing I had more time with Lewis that day, Lewis whispered to me while we were cooking together after nap time, “mommy, God came to me in a dream while I was sleeping and told me He loved me!!”  Oh, He covers them with His love.

And Hannah, as she battles being 3…and we all feel it…God pressed into me the other day to remember to remind my children that we are all sinners and fall short of His glory…I said this to Hannah during a time of great struggle for her and her eyes lit up…she asked me if I make wrong choices too…”oh yes, Hannah”…I said a bit too joyfully, “I do!”  I loved seeing her feel freedom knowing she is not alone in her struggle.

~Today, there was an overflow in their little spirits.  Hannah…in her intimate love…her social grace, her sweet manners, her joy in spending time with me, her desire to love and nurture me…and Emma…and her cuddlies 🙂  Lewis, in his sweet desire to help…opening doors, running to the kitchen to ask daddy, “How may I help?”  and telling me, “Mommy, you sit here and I will find it!”  What a wonderful quality to have in the firstborn child…I really don’t know what I would do without it.  …Lewis giving me and sissy back scratches…telling me how much he loves us.  This is my romantic, strong poet!!  …Lewis and Hannah’s sweet love for each other…playing sweetly together, considering each other’s needs and desires…joyfully playing together.  Oh, they are like peas and carrots.  They do love sweetly…yes, and they can argue passionately too!  But, today, only sweet love.  What a joy and gift it brings to our hearts.  They even went to bed obediently and with focus.  Really, it was an evening to remember.

Emma brings LIFE and BEAUTY and JOY and PEACE and FUN to our days….she is a gift beyond our wildest dreams…I really couldn’t imagine God giving me such a gift in a baby…in a child.  I just KNOW the depth of God’s love for me when I look into these deep and sparkly blues.  She brings forth praise and thanks in my heart…in each of my days.  We are deeply grateful for her life…and cannot believe our little Emma “boo”…our Emmy…is turning 9 months in a week and a half.  Oh we love her and will miss her babyhood.  Every day is a holiday with Emma.  She really does brighten our lives and lift our hearts up to the Lord in praise.

In Hannah’s words, “Oh Emmy, you are such a cutie baby.”

I love capturing the overflow of harvest…that I may remember…for the next sowing season 🙂

A stilled and quieted soul…

A stilled and quiet soul, like a weaned child with it's mother :)
A stilled and quiet soul, like a weaned child with it’s mother 🙂

I love the picture this verse in Psalms (quite possibly my favorite book in the Bible!!) displays….this verse is so meaningful to me as a mommy of a baby.  This is a picture of TRUST…of a soul that is not anxious or upset, not chattering before the Lord…but is STILL and QUIET in His arms.  This, by God’s grace, describes my sentiment right now.  I think normally my instinct is to chatter…to pour out my requests…but God is teaching me to be still and quiet…over time.  To trust.  To surrender.  To really trust His heart.  His beautiful heart.

When I am holding Emma, my almost 9 month old and quieting her down to sleep, there is such peace and serenity in her face and body, as she falls limp…off into dreamland…such trust for nourishment…for life.  This is the gift God is giving my heart right now…the picture of Emma still and quieted…to show me how He desires ME to be with HIM.  Hannah, my toddler, the more fitting one for this metaphor, is way too busy for me to catch for a photo right now!  🙂

When difficulties come, when the heart longs for comfort, HE IS THERE, quieting me, stilling me with His loving, strong arms, asking me to TRUST in WHO He is.  Like a weaned child, I come….I come to Him time after time again.  He always has open arms.  He has our names engraved on His palms…He gives us birth, He comforts, sustains, rescues, protects, and nourishes us.  He is “Abba”…Father.  He is a father and mother…even more.  We just can’t fathom all that He is.

 

Awesome Homemaker!!!

I am not entirely sure I should write this…but when I say it to him, he never seems to mind 🙂  And I really want to brag on him a bit here!

Ok, my husband is a really wonderful homemaker!  I know he learned much of it from his mom…and I am so thankful for that.  He likes to cook, clean, go grocery shopping, even does laundry, and likes to make things beautiful too.  He always makes dinner look so nice and appetizing!!  He is growing in his ability to multi-task 🙂 , and is such a compliment to me in homemaking.  I like talking things over with him, doing things together, and knowing if I am not well, he’ll be able to manage on his own.  I really feel like we make a good team….as strong as an Oak Tree.

He serves so much….I think with SAMS, finishing up his masters’  degree, ways God has us serving the community, and 3 littles now–7 months, 3, and 5, we are learning to continually serve together…to pour out.  Our bodies are weary many days right now, but God keeps us refreshed and encouraged.  I am learning that I can labor quite a bit from the love that God pours into me…it is the LOVE that fuels the labor.

I am learning to keep a scheduled home and the peace that this brings…on days when the schedule works out 😉

We are seeking to grow in our relationships…to know more about how to LOVE.

I am seeing as I pray for certain qualities that I long to grow in…God provides the opportunity for me to display it.  And as I display, slowly, it becomes a habit to respond a certain way.

STRONG POET TURNS 5!!!

my favorite photo of him…"broken wing," as one gentlemen nicknamed him when he broke his arm...
my favorite photo of him placed on his “cookie cake”…for a bit, he was our “broken wing,” as one gentlemen nicknamed him when he broke his arm…
serving his sweet friends at school on his birthday
serving his sweet friends at school on his birthday

Lewis Alexander Tinklepaugh turned 5 on October 26th!!!  He was really looking forward to turning 5!!!

THIS is my Strong Poet!!!  He really is SO brave and strong.  He is an amazing kid.  The pictures here are small, and so was his birthday, but his heart is SOO BIG!!!  He is FUN and full of JOY!  He is compassionate, thoughtful, imaginative, loving, loves to build and wants to build things when he grows up, is always thinking about Jesus, has a depth of knowledgeand a boldness for Christ.  He is so romanticand sweet with me and will make an incredible husband someday to be sure.  He loves being a big brother and is so empathetic with his sisters.  He loves babies!!!  He is so excited to learn how to read right now and loves to swim and can swim a side length of a small pool on his own!  

Happy 5th our precious first!!!  

A Glorious day!!!

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“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

-John 1:12

Jan 6th, 2014 will be a day to forever remember!!!  Today, our Hannah has joined us as a CHILD OF GOD!  Angels are rejoicing with us this day!!!  

Hannah has been pondering so much the past few weeks…and it really seems as though spiritual warfare has been waging in her heart.     She was asking so many questions this Christmas and God put it on my heart each time she really struggled to PRAY for her…to be a powerful intercessor.  The Lord showed me just this morning~~there is no power in my words…but in HIS SPIRIT.

This was another unexpected moment of salvation…she’s been asking so many questions, asking to “read” her bible book in her bed almost every day the past two weeks…she literally sleeps with it.  Today, we were at Harbor Lights, a precious coffee house here in Leavenworth, with Christian owners and Christian music playing in the background.  I love the lighthouses in there and was talking to the kids about the lighthouses and how they relate to darkness and light …and how Jesus is the light in our darkness.  The kids kept asking about the “Roman guards” we saw in the “Town of Bethlehem” at the Church of the Open Door a few weeks before….they were actors of course…and they were made to be harsh.  I almost couldn’t find the church that night and Hannah was such a challenge that night…I was praying on the way back for my little girl.  I prayed hard that night for her, and continued to over Christmas.  Christmas Day, Hannah kept asking to see baby Jesus…she wanted to stroke his face, kiss him…..I could see her adoration.  I pondered this moment…and treasured it.  She asked to stop at the manger in the picture above…I stopped, she walked over and loved on Him so sweetly.  I loved her intimate love.

Today at the coffee shop, she and Lewis both said to me “Mommy, does God forgive the Roman guards?”  I told them “yes, I think so. (trying to think through this quite quickly!)”  I said, “God DESIRES to forgive everyone…but we must come to Him.”  We stopped and listened to the song playing in the background which sang, “Everyone can come to the cross.”  Wow.  The timing…. We listened to the song…..Hannah said “Mommy, can Jesus resurrect people from the dead?”  I told her “yes.”  Lewis said, “Hannah, Jesus would have come to die even for just you alone.”  Hannah’s eyes softened and looked as if they were tearing up.  I said, “Hannah, do you believe that?  Do you believe Jesus came for you, to save you from your sins?”  She nodded her head, then quietly said, “yes.”  I was reflecting on the moment and Brian came in from running errands and I looked at him and said, “I think Hannah believes!”  He asked Hannah too…and she said, “yes daddy, I believe.”

Wow.  I don’t think my heart can handle some days…like this one.  I came home and looked at the verse on our table that the kids brought home from church yesterday…it was John 1:12.

I can’t fathom the eternal impact…or the impact on Hannah’s heart this decision made…and I cannot believe it was now…today!  But, this is the day He has chosen for her…and what a glorious day it is.

‘Let the children come to me…do not hinder them!’

And so she has come to Him now.

Immanuel.

God is With Us…Always
God is With Us…Always

God With US.  Immanuel.

~This is what Hannah and I were talking about and singing about…for about 45 minutes…as I coaxed her to sleep for an afternoon nap, which she seems to have dropped….I stepped out for 5 minutes to send an e-mail, and heard riveting screams from her bedroom…she had fallen out of her toddler bed as she had drifted asleep and broke her collar bone.  Brian…who often seems to properly diagnose our children quite quickly….felt the bone and informed me it was broken and whisked her off to the ER.  She was such a champ…Brian said she was so strong, (the doctor said she was braver than many of his adult patients–which is a quality that is most recently blossoming in Hannah)…Brian and Hannah prayed for a lady next door to Hannah’s room in the hospital who was in great pain…and sang O Come o Come Immanuel.

When they returned, Brian told me the news…I was shocked….and my heart ached for her….Hannah was so precious….she so sweetly comforted me.  I prayed for proper healing for a toddler who might fall a lot more.

…She has fallen a bit since from the snow and slippery floors and a big brother who still has a little of his toddler nickname left in him (bulldozer 🙂 ), so we are still praying and trying to keep her safe.  We’ll get her seen this Wednesday to see how things are healing.

God is WITH us, in our pain, in our trials, in LIFE–He never leaves us.

Emmy’s 6 months!!!

Emma Faith
Emma Faith

Here is our little Emma Faith!  We can hardly believe she is 6 months this Sunday!!!  What a precious gift she has been to our family.  She has brought such sweetness, contentment, PEACE into our family…she is a bundle of joy to cuddle with, make smile and laugh, and “talk” with…we ADORE this baby.  She amazes us in every way and is the baby of our dreams. Lewis loves to play with her, teach her, and understand her little world, and Hannah is so excited to have a sister to cuddle with and share everything with…she often tells me they are “best friends.”

I cannot believe 6 months has already gone by.  Emma is doing everything (so far) earlier than her sister and brother, which keeps surprising us…  I am treasuring these days of cuddles, because the wiggles and squirms are coming too fast…watch out, baby is getting ready to move 🙂  I love her toothless grin…I love her chub…all 20lbs of it :)…..and I love this sweet photo that captures Emmy’s personality so well.

Abundant life.

These few months have just flown by!  We had a baby, had visitors, had a birthday, had visitors, a camping trip, had visitors, a baptism, and another birthday!  And Emma is 4 months in just a few days!

Somewhere in there we were sick for 3 weeks…and I am just now over another sinus cold…they seem to be popping up almost every month.  We have been learning much…much about God…and much about ourselves.  I see Brian growing in the fear of the Lord.  I am learning to let go of expectations, trying to streamline the thoughts and ideas, and turning to God to help me identify those feelings that unexpectedly rise up and overwhelm me as my days rush by.  The Lord has been so gracious to actually tell me what I am experiencing and show me how to give it to Him.  He is helping me understand my role in the body of Believers and has opened up a sweet door of service in the body.  He is helping us in Parenting, with a sweet parenting conference–Parenting God’s Kids–  We are learning to be the instrument of self-control in our children’s lives…and to reinforce structure to help them.  We were reminded that God’s standard is high…and to hold them to it…but to allow for much grace.  Brian learned the Father’s Charge.  It was a beautiful way to come together in parenting.  He is telling us to walk Worthy.   What an incredibly rich place this is to be built up.

Tonight, as Brian was in his class, the kids and I ate a yummy pumpkin cookie recipe my mom had given me, which we all sat together and made on the kitchen floor last night.  We attempted bedtime routine…Emmy screamed so hard it made my head spin…and Lewis and Hannah followed soon after when they climbed into their beds.  I had 3 weepy babies…I snuggled them close, sang “Be thou My Vision” and nurtured them to sleep.  I went from room-to-room, said several prayers of protection and comfort, hummed lots of chorus lines, and finally, their bodies went limp and off to dreamland.  I loved this night though.  I loved being there to hold them, to sing them to sleep and comfort them.  I loved it when Hannah asked me about Jesus and me.  I told her I was Jesus’ servant.  She told me I was his mommy.  🙂

Today, Brian and I had a chance to go on an unexpected date…a cycling date at the gym!  It was Brian’s first cycling class.  It brought back memories of a cross country skiing trip…but it went so much better!!!  I loved this date…how unexpected it was…how fun it was…and how challenging it was.  I like working hard side-by-side.  Just like in life.  He’s my partner…in everything…and now I’ve gained a cycling partner too!

This is my life lived abundantly…in love…in joy…with Jesus and my 4 favorite people in the whole world.