December 25, 2012

Glory be to God in the Highest.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were much afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.  -Luke 2:8-20

Merry Christmas,
xo- Chance, Sarah and Olivia Bendel 

December 15, 2012

she sees...

Those beautiful eyes. 
She sees the laundry pile up. She sees the come and go as Momma and Daddy go to work.
She sees her friends when they get hurt at school, and quickly rushes to their side. She sees someone crying on tv and when I look at her I see a single tear running down her cheek. She sees things I miss, things I'm too hurried to see.
She sees so much.

What she doesn't see is the ugly in the world.  Thank God.
She has no idea that there are people who are so lost that they commit horrendous crimes. She is oblivious to the pain and suffering that goes on around the world every day.

I pray that I can keep it that way a while longer. That we can hold onto that innocence. That she can cling to her "child-like" faith, and see the good before the bad.

stream of thought...

I sat down tonight to write a post about Olivia; filled to the brim with precious new pictures, and sweet sentiments. But that's just not what God had planned for me tonight. 

Y'all, my heart is heavy. I'm sure your's is too. 
I spent the afternoon at a photo shoot with Olivia, so I didn't hear the new until much later in the afternoon. I sat in the dance studio lobby, watching Olivia on the viewing monitor & listening to my mother-in-law reading the articles. 

With every sad detail the pit in my stomach got heavier. When she said "kindergarteners," I honestly thought I might be sick. Any act of violence is a tragedy- but these were babies. Each one a precious gift from God.  

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
(Psalms 127:3-5)

The entire nation is grieving the loss of those victims. And there's one question we're all asking.


Why children? Why was this young man so troubled? Why didn't someone see the signs?
So many why's. Questions we'll likely never find a suitable answer for this side of heaven. 


As a mom, I struggle with mommy-fear a lot. You know that paralyzing, wake up in the middle of the night-sweating-crying-can't breathe kind of fear. 
Days like today magnify those fears. I've talked before about letting go, and keeping open hands. 
I am constantly reminding myself to keep open hands. That Olivia is not mine, but rather His. Trusting that He has is all in control where she is concerned has been one of the most difficult obstacles in my walk with Him. I'm pretty good at letting go of most things and leaving them at the cross. But the whole mommy-control thing is something I'm pretty tight-fisted on. Thank goodness His mercies are new every morning- because so are my fears. 

When I hear of senseless tragedies like the one that took place today in Connecticut, I praise Him for the blessings, and pray that He comes quickly. 
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:3-4

So lets cling to the hope we have in Heaven, and hug our babies extra tight tonight.