Tale as Old as Time

This weekend we celebrated the eighth birthday of our baby girl, and I have thought so many times what a blessing she is to us.  We simply cannot imagine life without her.  The theme for her party was Beauty and the Beast, but a retelling of the classic fairytale as rewritten by my amazingly gifted and creative cousin, Heidi.  I’m so excited to finally share this version (which is now my favorite) with you…

Tale as Old as Time

Once upon a time there was a prince whose ugly thoughts and actions had transformed him into a hideous beast. No matter what he tried, he could not change what he had become on his own. He was afraid that he would always be trapped in his ugliness and no one would ever see past his appearance to love him. On a cold winter evening, a beautiful princess came upon his castle when she was caught in an unexpected snow storm. The light and warmth glowing through the windows encouraged her to knock on the door. When the beastly prince answered the door, she was initially frightened by his appearance, but treated him with humility, kindness and respect. She was grateful that he allowed her to come in and warm herself by the fire. He was surprised that she did not seem repulsed by his ugliness and asked her why she was not afraid. In the folds of her dress, she pulled out an enchanted mirror. When she held the mirror to her face, he was shocked to see her face transformed into a hideous beast in the reflection of the glass, and he asked her why this was so. She told him that through our sin, we are all hideous beasts, unworthy of love or acceptance. “Because we are trapped in our ugliness, the Great King showed compassion on us by giving his life as a sacrifice of the purest love,” she said. She noticed a red rose on his table. “You see this rose is like our Great King. The beauty of the flower comes at the cost of the thorns. Without the thorns we cannot have the flower. The red color reminds us of Our King’s sacrifice—giving his life to make us beautiful for His father. The thorns remind us of His crown of thorns that was meant to humiliate and make him ugly. Fortunately, what man meant to be ugly, His Father used as a beautiful offering of love to bring us into His Royal Family. When we acknowledge His sacrifice and recognize our sin, we can trust Him to transform us into the person he designed us to be, and we are adopted into the great royal family of His Father.” The enchanted mirror reminds her that although she is not perfect, the Great King has transformed her into who she is through his love, she said. “How might I receive this gift?” the prince asked. As she invited him to speak to the Great King through prayer and admit his beastly thoughts and actions, his ugliness melted away into a handsome prince. When he opened his eyes, he looked into his own mirror and saw what miracle had happened. With great joy, she hugged the prince and welcomed him as a part of his new royal family. Over time, they fell in love and married, but they always kept the enchanted mirror as a reminder of who they were before they came to know the Great King and how his sacrifice transformed their lives and freed them from the ugliness of sin.

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Weekly Picture & Scripture

Tonight we celebrated two of the most important and special men in my life…my dad and my husband.  They say daughters select husbands like their fathers.  I’d say that’s true for me too.  My dad and husband are very similar in character.  Both are laid back, both are hard workers, both are wonderful fathers, both are honest, both love the Lord, both hate mayonnaise, both love meat, both are simple, both know when to be silent, both know when to speak boldly…and their birthdays are only one day apart, so they share the same horoscope.  And they both love me very much, and I love them very much.  Sometimes I think about how blessed I am to have been born to my mom and dad, in a christian home that that led me to Christ.  I think about children who are not so fortunate and are born into very different situations.  And I’m thankful that God heard my prayers from the time I was a little girl and prayed for a husband.  God knows us better than we know ourselves, because He gave me someone who makes me strive to be better.  He knew what I would need, and gave me a man that could fulfill those needs.  Happy Birthday guys!

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you”

~ Philippians 1:3

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Gone Fishin’

I was so excited when Nolan’s mom told me the theme for his first birthday was going to be “fishing”.  What a perfect idea for a one year old boy!  And it seemed only fitting to end his session with one of my favorites…bath tub!!  Because after all, if you’ve been out fishing all day, you definitely need a bath.  Happy Birthday Little Man!

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Weekly Picture & Scripture

The hint of autumn has filled the air this week.  A cool evening breeze, halloween decor filling store shelves and pumpkin flavored everything, well everywhere.  A reminder that summer is coming to an end, and our summer vacation is cast away and won’t be back until next year.  It’s hard to focus on much of anything  right now though other than hurricanes.  The devastation of Harvey, and now Irma quickly approaching our land.  I’m praying that all of you in it’s path will remain safe.  I’m thankful that I serve a God big enough to go with us in the storm.

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

~ Deuteronomy 31:6

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The Newest Edition

I’m so excited to share this story with you.  Yes, I know I’m sharing pictures, but what I’m really sharing is a story.  A story of love and adoption.  This family that I’ve known now for a little over 5 years is so very special to me.  They are precious in every way.  And when one of them called me to take “family pictures” with their newest member, my heart melted.  I got so excited inside.  The day they had waited so long for, the day that Jacob would become a permanent member of their family had finally arrived.  I get chills just thinking how special this is.  God is so amazing.  This family has been through so much to get this little guy – so many uncertainties, so many ups and downs, so many questions.  But finally, the day came.  A mom and dad got a new son, two sisters got a new brother, two nephews got an uncle, and a sweet little boy got a whole new family.  No doubt he will receive more love than he could ever imagine.  Congratulations Ballard Family on your newest edition.

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