Sunday, April 21, 2019

He Is Risen

Happy Easter! He Is Risen!
Image: Full of Eyes

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. 
Luke 24:1-12


by Andrew Peterson
(If you are reading this in an email, you may click over to the blog to play the music.)
And so the winter dies with a blast of icy wind, like a mournful cry
It’s giving up the ghost again
Another sheet of snow melts away to gold and green, just look at Peter go
He’s racing to the tomb to see

Where has my Jesus gone? He is not dead; He is risen
Risen indeed

And now the flowers bloom like a song of freedom, behold the earth is new
If only for the season
And so the seed that died for you becomes a seedling
Just put your hand into the wound that bought your healing

And let your heart believe, He is not dead; He is risen
Risen indeed

And the rain will fall on the furrow
It immerses the earth in sorrow
Mary, the sun will rise again, Mary
The sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen, daughter
Listen, He speaks your name

Father Abraham could not have dreamed of this
Could never understand the end of all those promises
How all the pieces fit, every star and grain of sand
Is safely hid in Jesus’ hand

Let every tongue confess, He is not dead; He is risen
Risen indeed
He is not dead; He is risen, risen indeed 
Mary, the sun will rise again, Mary
The sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen, daughter
Listen, he speaks your name

Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday


Image: Full of Eyes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." 
John 3:16-18

Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: The Long Goodbye


One of my favorite bloggers was Kara Tippetts. She wrote at Mundane Faithfulness about motherhood and her journey with cancer. One of the things I appreciated so much about Kara was her absolute trust in God's sovereignty and in His good plan for her life, even though it wasn't the story she would have chosen.

Kara passed away four years ago, and her story is now being told through a new documentary, The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story. This documentary follows her journey as cancer slowly takes her. It is a sad story to watch, and yet it is also full of hope and beauty because Kara knew Jesus.



Some of my favorite scenes in the film were ones where Kara was spending time with her children in whatever way she could, even when she was confined to bed. Those moments were especially encouraging to me as a mom with a disabling chronic illness. I am homebound and have to spend the majority of my time resting in bed, so being able to catch a glimpse of another mom who was loving her children while exhausted and confined to bed was very encouraging to me.

Kara sought to be kind even when grieving and in pain. She had such a hard story, but she lived it well, and she trusted in Jesus through it all. She is an example of how to live well, and how to die well.



My favorite quote from Kara in this documentary:
The world says I should be angry, that I should be shaking my fist at God. I didn’t think at 38 I’d be battling cancer, but I am, and so I need to find contentment in that place. I want to be able to share this story that suffering isn’t a mistake, and it isn’t the absence of God’s goodness because He’s present in pain.

The documentary is very well done. I highly recommend it. It is sad and wonderful and hope-filled. It will help you to keep your eyes on Jesus as you persevere through whatever hard thing you have been called to endure.



The Long Goodbye
(If you are reading this in an email, you may click over to the blog to view the trailer.)


The documentary is available on DVD and digital. The DVD is my favorite of the two formats because it has bonus features with Joanna Gaines, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Ann Voskamp. You can find the DVD on Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, and Lifeway. The digital version can be found on Amazon, christiancinema.com, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

Photos are courtesy of Jay Lyons Productions.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

One Year with a Baby


We have made it through the first year with Stafford! It has been hard - full of challenges and tears and tired days. But it has also been full of joy and blessings. Our cup overflows.

Here is a little peek into our past year...


Baby snuggles are the best.



My Three Children



Sleepy Baby, Tired Mama



Six Weeks Old



Bow Tie Tuesday!



Stafford has been the snuggliest of my three babies. He wanted to be held almost constantly for the first few months of his life.






Stafford napped in William's arms quite a lot last summer!



Dressing up!
Hermione, Legolas, and Yoda.



Best gift of 2018!



Stafford loves to play guitar with his daddy.



10 Months Old



Happy First Birthday, Stafford!

We love having a toddler in our family again! Stafford brings much happiness and laughter to our home. It has been a hard year, but we are thankful for the gift Stafford is to all of us. We are also very thankful for the help we have received from family and friends over the past year, because we could not have done this on our own!

---

I am hoping to be able to blog again this year. My body is tired, and my muscles are weak, so my posts may be very short or infrequent, but I'm going to give it a try! Let me know if there is something in particular you would like me to write about in the coming months.

How are you doing? What have you been up to this past year?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Introducing Stafford


I am happy to announce that our little Stafford is here! He is a sweet and content baby, and he loves to be snuggled and held. We thank the Lord for this precious gift.

Stafford was 8 pounds, 10 ounces when he was born. He was my smallest baby! It has been fun to have a "tiny" baby for the first time.



We are thrilled to have Stafford in our arms now! We are exhausted too. Life is hard, but we are doing pretty well, and we are adjusting to life with a newborn.

William and Adelaide are great as big brother and big sister. They are a help to us, and they love to hold their baby brother. Stafford loves to spend time with them too.

Will continues on with law school, work, and taking care of his family. He is sleep deprived, but somehow he manages to keep things running here at home. Thankfully the end of the semester is coming up soon, and the break from school will enable Will to get more sleep. We are really looking forward to summer when he won't have homework to do every night.



My recovery is going as well as can be expected. I am very tired, and I don't think that will go away anytime soon. My doctor's orders are to do nothing but rest, recover, and take care of my baby. So for now I am mostly just eating, sleeping, and feeding Stafford. It's an exhausting, wonderful, hard, and happy life.

I had a C-section with Stafford, so I was in a lot of pain for the first two weeks. I still have pain, and will for quite some time, but it isn't too bad anymore. The nice thing about having a C-section is that my body doesn't get exhausted from labor and delivery. This allows me more time to hold my baby and enjoy him in the newborn stage. I get to wear myself out taking care of a baby instead of wearing myself out going through labor.

So far I have not had a bad crash, and I am thankful for that. I know it will become much harder for me to take care of Stafford once he is mobile and no longer sleeping all day. There are probably still some very hard days ahead. I'm trying not to think about that for now. I'm trying to take it one day at a time and enjoy these moments as best I can.

I love holding Stafford and taking care of him. I am thankful that I have been able to do quite a bit of the baby care so far. I can feel my arms and legs becoming weaker from all of the exertion, but it is worth it. And whatever crash may come -- this baby is worth it.



God has been so good to us. He has blessed us with another child, and He has provided the extra help we need. My parents were here to help out when Stafford was born, and they will be coming again this spring to help out for a while. Our church and friends have provided help as well. As my needs increase there are some who are willing to step in and help out more.

And you, dear readers, have been an encouragement to me. Thank you for your prayers and support during this time of welcoming a new baby into our family.

I won’t be able to blog again for a long time, but I do hope to share short updates on Instagram and Facebook. You are welcome to check in with me there. You are also still welcome to email me. I do appreciate every email, but I likely won't be able to reply, and I thank you for understanding.

I don't know when I will start blogging again, or if I will be able to write regularly once I do start writing again. If you would like, you may subscribe here so that you receive an email whenever I publish a new post.

I am thankful for you, dear reader and friend. Thank you for being here at Cranberry Tea Time. Thank you for sharing in the joy of the birth of Stafford!
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