Sunday, January 4, 2009

Noah's Ark

Here are the paintings I completed for the church nursery/preschool hall. I have a couple more to finish, but I think they turned out cute. I stuck with acrylic paints and stretched canvases. I love not having to frame! Plus, I love the look of a stretched canvas. You get to see the entire painting.

Because of this painting, I decided to reread Genesis 6, 7, 8, & 9 last night - the story of Noah and his account. This is what stuck out to me:

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between you and me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life...So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on earth." Genesis 9:14-17

This account tells of God's wrath - how he is so perfect that he cannot understand our wickedness - but it also tells of God's mercy and love - His covenant. We do not deserve this covenant. We deserve nothing. But He gives it anyway because he loves us. He gave His one and only son so that He would never again have to wipe out the earth with a flood to wash away our wickedness. Jesus did that for us.
So beautiful. Thank you Lord!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Blessings

What an awesomely blessed Christmas season we have had! What an awesomely blessed year we have had! God has been so good to the Cook family. There have been rough patches this past year - a funeral, busy schedules, illnesses - but God continued to be faithful. He has never left our sides. His provision amazes me.

2008 Blessings:

1. The health and growth of Mary Ellen. She has blossomed into a beautiful toddler. Wow - it truly does go fast. She now weighs 21 pounds and I estimate her height is around 24 inches. Gone are the bottles, baby foods, teeny-weeny onsies and days of propping her up in a seat to play. This has all been replaced with sippy cups, pickier eating, baby talk and baby chasing.

2. We have not been hit by economic hardships to the extent of others. We have not lost any jobs - thank you, Lord - and continue to work hard to live the "Dave Ramsey" way, as we call it, which simply means "out of debt." Keep helping us with this goal, Lord. With You, we can do it!

3. Brannon and I were able to take a couple get-away vacations - alone! We went to the beach one weekend and on a cruise. It is always wonderful to "runaway" for a little while with the man of my dreams. It's a great way for us to stay connected and remember to put each other first, even before children.

4. Since I am speaking so lovey dovey, Brannon and I celebrated 5 years of marriage this year. Hooray for us! Hooray for God's hand!

5. Although leaving a church family is very difficult, emotionally, we have been blessed with even more friends and fellowship since joining HBC. HBC is where Brannon grew up and where his family has attended before he was even born. He has really matured spiritually and continues to lead this household, which in turn is helping me mature spiritually. I am so, so, so thankful for this. Thank you, Lord, for speaking to my husband's heart. Thank you for speaking to mine to be obedient.

6. I have been able to spend more time with my mother since she moved to Georgia to become a missionary. She has been willing to travel almost every month or two to come play with her granddaughter. If she still lived in Pennsylvania, those trips would be extremely less in amount. I'm so glad Mary Ellen has her Mommom close by.

7. School and work went very well for me in 2008 because of the awesome support network Brannon and I have. With the help of his family, I have been able to continue going to school in the afternoons and work in the mornings. I know that I am very fortunate to have this.

I look forward to even more blessings in 2009. It is always uplifting to think back on all the things God has granted for us, considering we do not deserve any of it. It's really hard to be down and negative when you thinks of blessings, isn't it? I challenge you to make a "blessings list" of your own. What happened in 2008 that made you smile? What happened in your family, in your life, that made you see God's work? Once you make this list, thank Him for it!

He is good. He is faithful. Thank you, Lord!

Love you all. I look forward to more fellowship with you in 2009.


I wonder what they are deep in thought about!

Sweet Baby

Sweet Baby
Mary Ellen wore this dress for Baby Dedication. She also wore this the day she came home from the hospital.