30 Things About Ezra


In honor of Father’s Day and Ezra’s 30th birthday this month, here are 28 things I wanted to share about him and one thing from each girl (not in any particular order):

1. will eat almost anything you put in front of him (excepting pickles, canned tuna, and olives).
2. But prefers variety, flavor, and adventure in his food.
3. And is very good cook.
4. understands the nuances of grey areas and is balanced in his views.
5. poet
6. discerning, especially reading between the lines and understanding where people are coming from.
7. sees the big picture
8. gardener
9. seafarer
10. longsuffering
11. serious about fighting sin and pursuing holiness in his life and in helping me do so.
12. informed by scripture, not culture or social media.
13. servant (up there #3 about cooking? Most of the time he spends in the kitchen is actually doing the dishes for the messes I make and he never complains).
14. wise counselor (see #4, 6, 12!)
15. not easily provoked (I’ve never heard him come the slightest bit close to losing his temper)
16. content
17. lifter of loads
18. “stories” – Ellie (meaning she likes it when he reads to her)
19. resourceful
20. optimistic
21. has a massive sweet tooth… but tries to reign it in for me. 🙂
22. thorough
23. “Gives a great twists in the air.” – S
24. creative with art and word, on paper and verbal storytelling (mostly bedtime stories!)
25. takes sleep seriously
26. looking to invest eternally more than in temporal things
27. but balances frugality with quality
28. discontent with stagnant relationships
29. patient teacher
30. dependent on God in prayer & worship

We love you, Ezra, and are so thankful to have you as father/husband/friend and are looking forward to walking this next season of life with you wherever God leads us!

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Thankful…


…for my mother-in-love coming to stay with the girls so we could get away just us for the first time since having kids.
…for Ezra doing almost all the planning so I could really just relax and enjoy without feeling like I had a must-do list.
…for getting to try all the food at Pike Place Market I always wanted to try but we had always packed a lunch so never got to.
…for the easy, happy first year of marriage.
…for the two hard years in the middle.
…for this fourth year of growing and reconnecting.
…for the laughter the girls bring to us.
…for the ways parenting brings us closer together.
…for all the adventures we’ve had, from our back yard to Mexico to Japan, chosen and unchosen.
…for our hopes and dreams
…for all the times he does the dishes, prays with and for me, rescues me from stress or botched recipes, supports me through PPD, surprises me, gently points out my sin, and is patient with all my fallings short.
…for anniversaries and all the other celebrations we get to have.

“The LORD has done great things for us and we are glad.”

Happy Birthday, Ezra

Ezra’s birthday is coming up and I wanted to give him his own post… not to highlight milestones like I do with the girls but because I want to publically praise God for him and share some of the ways he supports, challenges, and encourages me.

One of the things I continue to be amazed at is how he has been just what I have needed in the craziness of the last three years with all the moves, changes, and PPD, and the specific needs and challenges that has brought and the girls have. I honestly don’t know where I would be without him – especially with PPD he has been one of the clearest ways I see God’s help and grace, in the way he has supported me physically (taking the girls night or day, doing dishes, cooking dinner, helping me think through things to de-stress and calm down) and spiritually (praying with and for me, reminding me of scripture and hymns, seeking counsel with and for me, offering me hope). He’s put up with a lot of moodiness from me in the last year and is so gentle and gracious about it.

He watches the girls so I can do things like go to ladies’ Bible study and play oboe for my friend’s music appreciation class (and once they were on the same day; I felt like I had the day off!).

He always has solid, balanced, biblical wisdom for me and others, which I especially need as it’s so easy for me to be black-and-white and rule-oriented instead of being gracious and seeing what the Bible puts forward as nonnegotiable and in what areas we have Christian liberty.

His devotional life  – watching and listening to him pray has been a challenge to me to not let my prayer and Bible reading become just a check in the box.

His diligence in preparing for seminary – studying Greek and some counseling in his spare time to not be overwhelmed when he officially starts, and his making our family a priority as we look ahead to a different lifestyle when he goes back to school. And on top of that, all the yard work and gardening he does!

The way he shepherds our family, teaching and explaining scripture to S as well as doing the same for lifeskills, and the way he plays with the girls – I love hearing them laugh and shriek with him. They both adore him and I love to see that. And for our recently-begun weekly prayer times just the two of us.

Ezra, I’m so thankful for you and I’m glad we get to celebrate you together this year!

 

Reflections on the Past Three Years


{two days before Ezra proposed}

It’s been three years since my parents told me there was someone interested in me. As I sorted through my stuff in preparation for our move this summer, I went through all my journals, lingering especially long on the ones from those three years.

If I had known how hard those three years would be, I may have said no… But if I knew the future to know how hard they would be I would have also known how beautiful they would be. So I would have said yes without hesitation.
Because I did hesitate. I didn’t know if I was ready to be in a relationship that might lead to marriage within a year. I didn’t know if I wanted that, especially if I wanted it more than staying in Dubai or counseling at Csehy.
But I finally concluded that God would make clear which was for me, so I agreed to begin a courtship with Ezra. That’s what we called it, but really you could call it all sorts of things: we wanted to get to know each other with prayer and counsel in order to determine if it would be wise for us to marry. It was eight months of long emails and Skype calls. Sleepless nights of prayer and soul-searching. Long runs and walks sorting out thoughts. Late nights talking with mom and dad. Did I really know what I should do with my life? Did i really trust God and Ezra? Did I want marriage to Ezra over Dubai?
But the light of clarity grew, and in December we were engaged and over the moon.

Engagement wasn’t easy either. The distance was even harder than before, there was so much to be done, and the sleepless nights didn’t end as I wrestled with trusting God about marrying a sinner and all that might entail. I struggled lot with fear, both of sin in either of our lives and of injury or death.

And then came marriage, and it has been easy compared to our pre marriage relationship, though not without trial, especially since Miss Munchkin came along, bringing a new sort of sleepless night. And then there was her reflux, which is a beast and makes sleep harder and slower in coming.
With S came postpartum depression, and with the new year came lots of traveling for Ezra.

But I wouldn’t have changed the last three years. They have shown me my sin is deep. Have taught me that God is sovereign and that the cross means even the worst of that sin is forgiven. Have demonstrated that He hears our prayers in our struggles and will help us conquer sin. That this life is just a shadow.
That He is faithful and loving and good, and gives good gifts, like Ezra and S and our friends and family, and stars and clouds and birdsong.

There have been difficulties, but even more, there have been blessings and surprises.
I knew Ezra was pretty amazing when I married him, but I didn’t know just how he would love, serve, and care for me and S, even when he’s away, and I didn’t know how exciting it would be to watch as he grows in leadership at the church and work.
I knew we had friends and family that loved us, but I didn’t expect so many of them to give of themselves in counsel, love, and help throughout these last years.

I don’t expect the next three to be any easier, especially as we leave the community we have here in just a few short months. I couldn’t have asked for a better church to be at as we navigated the first year and a half of marriage and months of parenthood.
But I’m so excited to see what He has in store for us, and pray I will remember to look back and see His work in the past and let it give me hope when we can’t see ahead.
I can’t believe I almost said no and missed out on all of this. God always knows exactly what He is doing!

One Year

We celebrated our first anniversary on Sunday. It’s gone by so fast and has been so wonderful, though crazy, with traveling for two months, moving, and having a baby. I’m so thankful for Ezra and his humility, servant heart, and the way he looks out for me physically and spiritually. God has been so good to us in the last year, both when things were easy and when they weren’t.
Here’s to 60+ more!

2014 Highlights & 2015 Hopes

2014.
moving from Dubai

wedding

{truly one of the best weeks of our lives}

honeymoon in La Paz

Isaac and Michelle being nearby for a few months

meeting Michael Card

pregnancy

Road tripping & traveling – meeting so many of each other’s friends and spending time with family

Getting a new niece AND nephew!

Csehy

moving again!

dates with Ezra, the “best” of which was when we went to The Great Divorce

oboe lessons & birth class

Thanksgiving at our place

so many appointments!

welcoming Miss Munchkin

2015.
some things I hope to do
Nourishing Traditions: soak, ferment, whole, broth
publish an eBook
52 project: photo a week
Bible reading plan
get together more with ladies from church
meditate on the glories of Christ and of heaven (the practical side of the resolution to not fear)
MOVE back across the ocean & sort through/get rid of stuff before we go
cook through (or more through) Jerusalem
work on reeds… if time allows
possibly learn to draw some again

I know it’s going to be a crazy year so I want to keep my focus in the right place, of people over doing things, and even more, of being with God over doing things.

A Thankful List

– sleep – whenever it comes, even if it’s not there between 11 and 2 and barely there between 2 and 5 and I have to “catch up” between 7 and 10.

– an appetite!

– another relaxing weekend just the two of us (I’m savoring these quiet moments together!).

– the Bible in my own language, so we don’t have to rely on how others interpret it but can check it for ourselves.

– advice and offers of help from church friends.

– memories (working on a 2014 Shutterfly book).

– baby kicks

– 10 months of marriage, and for Ezra – his rescuing my poor dinner planning, his love for baby and the way he’s so excited to meet baby and so helpful as we prepare, his humility and servant heart… the list doesn’t really ever end.

– longer walks and phone calls to Cait

– overcast, chilly days.

– my family coming soon (and Joel and Cait soon after, and Sarah after that!)

– Skype!

– Erina (and all the midwives… but Erina especially).