Saturday, December 25, 2010


We were blessed to be with some family for Christmas. And for all the family we didn't get to see ~ merry Christmas to YOU!

We enjoyed a pizza party with the Q side after Christmas (which I failed to capture any photos of ... gets harder when they get older!) and Christmas Eve on the Kuipers side was busy with lots of cousin time!
Here are some photos of that:
Cousin pictures, its hard to get a smile on a bakers dozen :)
Daryn (my youngest brother) and Kira with Emmry
Mike and Jill (my younger sister), Brinley, Molly and SadieJames (my brother) and Carrie, Raleigh, Syndey and Greyson
+ 2 in heaven (check out their blog)

And our family, Steve and Amy with children
My Dad and Mom ~ thanks so much for welcoming in a family of 8 to overrun your house for 10 days!!! We are so thankful for your love and support, going up north with the whole family was a special treat too THANKS so much!
More posts to come of friends and fun over the holidays!
This Christmas we are thankful for the gift that brought us ALL into God's family!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hands and Feet

We desire to serve God where-ever he sends us -- but its tempting to say "He hasn't sent me yet (or I am not old enough, or I am not a missionary, etc!) so I don't need to serve" My thoughts ~that is WRONG! He wants to use you right where you are, at any age! So this season of giving allow God to use your hands and feet to serve those you come to meet! May you be willing to say I'll go where you send me even its its just down the street.
The lyrics of a song by Audio Adrenaline have been going through my head lately.... so though I'd post them here!

An image flashed across my TV screen another broken heart comes in to view
I saw the pain and I turned my back why can't I do the things I want to?
I'm willing yet I'm so afraid You give me strength When I say
I want to be your hands

I want to be your feet

I'll go where you send me
We'II go where you send us

And I try to touch the world like you touched my life And I find my way to be your hands
I've abandoned every selfish thought I've surrendered every thing I've got
You can have everything I am and perfect everything I'm not
I'm willing, I'm not afraid you give me strength When I say [CHORUS]
This is the lifetime I turned my back on you
From now on, I'll go so send me where You want me to
I finally have a mission I promise I'll complete
I don't need excuses when I am your hands and feet Quak Flock 10/10
if you want to see a video of the whole song click here
(they also have information about their hand and feet orphanages in Haiti and Central America on the video)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The season of waiting...

Well, I had excellent intentions of getting some lovely advent posts up... its just not going to happen, so here are some ramblings.

As we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth I am thankful to savor a few slow mornings or early evenings when I cuddle up with a blanket, my hot tea and quiet time with the Lord. Savoring his faithfulness, leading and hope. Tonight, I thought I would share a few thoughts on my heart. The advent season is a season of reflecting, waiting, anticipation, hope and finally JOY:
  • Reflecting on God's faithfulness, or maybe reflecting on the distance you are from the Lord and pondering how to draw close again.
  • Waiting for God's leading in a job, for a spouse, or where to go next in life.
  • Anticipation of a move or of other momentous events in your life,
  • and Hope for peace, a better economy, for healing, for the orphans, widows and poor.

Reflecting or pondering often reminds me of the passage about Mary after Jesus was born "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19. As a mom my mind is soaking up information and somehow it seems to thicken up as it gets to my heart (if that even makes sense). Hindsight is 20/20 and there are so many times I am thankful to look back and see God's hand working in our parenting and in our children's lives. However there are still MANY times where my heart breaks for my frequent human shortcomings: the temper that is too quick to jump out, the lack of communication leading to quarrels, and the under-abundance of grace which is not poured out. Reflecting on how evident it is when my walk with the Lord is, well, more of a gallop (which is just ridiculous I know) how I get lost, off track or hurt. But thankfully He's slowing me down and teaching me to WALK with Him! I am so thankful that this year He is growing a in me a deep longing to slow down and just BE with Him.

Waiting on God's leading, this is an area that is NOT easy! Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Ps 143:10
Especially with my "like to know the plan" nature. I am learning that I crave structure and order, letting go and being willing to lean on God as an act of trust.... well, still working in this area! We were so blessed to follow his leading in our family mission trip last month and God is reminding me that He does want good things to grow and mature our family if we are willing to follow Him!

Watching children anticipate something special is a reminder of the eagerness with which we should be awaiting the return of Jesus. Are we more excited about the Christmas parties? Getting new clothes? the pretty packages under the tree? I am sure you heard the song this year "Where's the Line to See Jesus?" As I anticipate another year of homeschooling, travel, conventions and speaking I pray that all those things are in the shadow of my eagerness for the Lords return. Its hard to for me to think of expectancy and not think of "expecting". Many have asked us how we foster, well is only by God's grace and let me tell you there are some days (like today) that I wish I could adjust the spigot! We had eagerly anticipated knowing more after the court date today however we are still left waiting. As hard as it is to explain, we do long for families to be reunified if at all possible, however we also long for children to have belonging, and permanency and fighting the battle of red tape is oh so frustrating! We cling to the anticipation in God's perfect plan for her life that none of us can even fathom at this point! Jer. 29:11 is such a meaningful verse for our family and we claim it again for her. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Hope in the best Christmas gift ever! We can hope in earthly things all our lives and not find fulfillment, but the one that provides true hope is Jesus Christ. We hope for peace to rule in our home, our country and our world. Hoping for Godly love to be shown to many who are broken and alone. Hope for our light to shine brightly to all who can see.
"The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:12-13

May you take time to ponder the gift of Jesus, sent from heaven above just for YOU! We pray you are filled with JOY in the gift of Jesus this Christmas. Amidst the busy time of year may you take time to be filled by Him so you may overflow with the hope he gives!
Blessing to your family this Christmas!
Amy Q

Monday, December 6, 2010

A few of our favorite things....

Once again advent season is here! I love this time of year! Maybe because it starts right around my birthday :) or maybe because its the anticipation of the best gift of all time!

Either way thought I would share a few of our Christmas traditions:
  • each of the 25 days until Christmas we put an ornament on our Jesse Tree to and read a short scripture, telling of the journey to Jesus. (this year we are a bit behind but I hope to share some of the stories with you as we go along)
  • opening a new window each day on our Advent calendars
  • lighting the advent candles
  • Reading about Jotham, Bartholomew and Tabitha in an EXCELLENT advent series
  • wrapping up Christmas story books and each day getting to open a gift of a special story to read! Some of our favorites: Crippled Lamb, Mary's First Christmas, Who is coming to our House?, The Christmas Tapestry and for adults Skipping Christmas, Unafraid
  • staging the happy family Christmas picture (I just cant give it up!)
  • delighting in opening cards from far away family and friends with pictures and updates
  • putting candles in each of our windows
  • making gingerbread houses ( fun for both the big and little kids)
  • hanging stockings by the chimney (this year we may put out our wooden shoes :))
  • Getting together with family!
  • setting out our manger (instead of a big tree) and placing gifts all around - helping to keep us focused on real meaning of CHRISTmas!
  • Having warm cozy fires snuggled up together
  • of course making cookies, decorating them AND eating them!
  • and Christmas music ~ especially hearing the kids play it!
  • Mary Did You Know that song is one that always touches my heart!
  • Making family memories we will treasure for years!
This season may God be near to you may you receive His wonderful gift, the gift of his son Jesus. More Christmas ponderings soon!