Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Thinking back on 2008 brings a lot of mixed emotions for us Cobbs. There has been a lot of change in our lives in the last 12 months! The fact is, though, that we know that it has all been 100% positive change. Even though we can't necessarily see it right now, we can be sure that everything that has happened in the last year has been for the best. How do I know that? Because I know that my husband and I love the Lord, and I know that we are walking according to His will--SOOOOOO, according to the Bible, He is going to bless us.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Psalm 40:1-3 and another beautiful worship song

I waited patiently for the Lord
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth--
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.


Falling on my
knees in worship
Giving all I am
to seek Your face
Lord all I am is Yours

My whole life
I place in Your hands
God of mercy
Humbled I bow down
In Your presence,
at Your throne

I called
You answered
And You came to my rescue
I want to be where You are

In my life
Be lifted high
In our world
Be lifted high
In our love
Be lifted high

Hillsong United

Saturday, December 27, 2008

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008











Colonial Williamsburg







Monday, December 22, 2008

Truth

On Saturday, I read The Shack. It is a novel (fictional) about a man who has a face-to-face conversation with God. I had started reading it a few weeks ago, but I hadn't really been able to get into it. Then, on Saturday, I picked it up and positively devoured it; it was absolutely God's timing for me to read that book on Saturday.

But I digress.
On Friday, Bo and I took Jack to our missional community with us. It went so well; Jack was an angel and we had an amazing discussion about righteousness and what that means. We also talked a great deal about prayer and our relationships with God, and about how we humans tend to sabotage ourselves in that area. It was a great discussion; I really love when a group of Christians comes together in complete trust and love. There is no safer environment, and our conversation was completely uninhibited. We were free to enlighten, love, and encourage each other. It was magical....or should I say "holy?" Either way, it was a very special night and God spoke to me through every person in that room on Friday.

On Saturday, I sat down to read The Shack. Although it is a fictional story, there is a lot--and I mean A LOT--of truth in it about how God truly desires our relationship with Him to play out. It really spoke to my heart. One of the main themes that is discussed between the main character and God is the issue of hierarchy, and how that seems to play such a large role in the human experience. God goes on to say that hierarchy is not something He desires for us; He just wants to be in communion with us. He just wants to be with us, and that's how He wants our human relationships to be as well. "Mutual submission" is the way the author of The Shack put it. It makes a lot of sense.

The issue of disappointment/guilt is also discussed in the book, and the conclusion the author comes to is that God is never disappointed in us because He already knows everything we will ever do. If He already knows what will happen, then we cannot fall short of His expectations. If He already knows that He will have to try to tell us something 47 times, will He get discouraged if we don't hear Him the first time? No! He will be happy that there are only 46 times left.

As someone who has been carrying a lot of guilt and shame, I am very grateful that the author of The Shack wrote what he wrote. What he wrote is absolutely true, and although this truth is written down for us in the Bible, for some reason it took this book to make me realize it. God knew that's what it would take, too, and that is why He had me read that book on Saturday, the day after our wonderful missional community.

Fast forward to Sunday morning: church.
For the last month or two...or three...worship/church has been a humiliating experience. I have felt so ashamed in the presence of God that every time I have come to worship Him I have not been able to do anything but weep and beg Him to help me. This has gone one for three months. Not so this Sunday. This Sunday all I felt was joy. The message was awesome, as always, and the worship songs were exactly what I needed to say to God. Here are some of the words we sang:

I know I'm weak
I know I'm unworthy
to call upon Your name,
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed
...
Here I am
at Your feet
in my brokenness complete
(Starfield "Unashamed")
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out
Lord
In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out, Lord
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
(Hillsong United "Inside Out")

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dear Santa,

What I really want for Christmas is.....

.......to get far away from you!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas

Christmas is so exciting.
Not too many years ago, I commented that I was getting less and less worked-up about Christmas each year, as I got older. Ever since the Santa myth was dispelled, I felt that Christmas was getting less and less exciting.

Obviously, I was missing the point.

Since I have been saved, each successive Christmas has become more thrilling than the last. Each year, as I grow in my faith, the celebration of Jesus' birth becomes more real, more exciting. It's so amazing.

Casey recently told me that she finally, just this year, grasped what the song "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" was saying in the first verse:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel

She was embarrassed, but I told her I could completely relate. I remember the first time I learned that song; it was at our church in Connecticut, and all the kids were going to sing it for the Christmas pageant. I had absolutely no idea what I was saying.

Now I get it.
It is a song of waiting, a song of pleading, a song of desperation, a song of hope.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
Please come to us, we are in desperate need of a savior. Please come to us.

And ransom captive Israel.
We, God's chosen people, are in captivity, imprisoned by sin. Please pay the price for our release.

And how great a price He would pay. His life for ours.
How incredible. How humbling.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A leap of faith

Standing on the stairs holding my arms out, I briefly wondered if he really would jump.

Then he jumped.
27 pounds of toddler landed squarely in my arms and we proceeded down the stairs.

I began thinking:
What if I had decided not to catch him?
What if I hadn't been strong enough to hold him?
What if he had decided not to jump?

Then I realized:
I would never decide not to catch him. He is my son; I love him; I want only the best for him. If I could help it, I would never cause him pain.
I am strong enough to hold him. He is my son; I pick him up every day. I know everything about him, and I know I can hold him.
I knew he would jump. He wanted to proceed on his journey down the stairs, and jumping into my waiting arms was the best way to do so. And he knew--he had faith--that I would catch him and carry him to his destination.

And then I realized:
If we only have the faith to jump into God's strong, waiting arms, He will carry us to our destination. He is willing to catch us every time, and He is more than strong enough to hold us. He knows how much strength each one of us will require, just as He knows the number of hairs on our heads. If we want to proceed successfully on our journey here on earth, we have no choice but to take a leap of faith and jump into our Father's arms.

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
Mark 10:15

Christmas is upon us




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Ethiopian son.

My parents brought this outfit home for Jack last year from Ethiopia. Needless to say, it's adorable!!!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jesus

Every time I speak Your name,
It is as the first time.
Two syllables, so flawlessly beautiful,
So awkward on my impure lips.

Every time I speak Your name,
I plunge to the putrid depths
and am simultaneously redeemed
and lifted to glorious heights.

The power of Your spoken name
divides and unites
angers and gladdens
convicts and redeems

Jesus
Jesus
Jesus

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MOPS

I just returned home from my MOPS meeting, and I am feeling great.
MOPS is such an uplifting organization. It is a completely safe feeling, being in a room with 35 other people who are Christian women with small children. Even for a socially awkward person like me, MOPS is a place where I can fellowship without feeling too much like a weirdo-outsider. It is so nice to have a group of built-in friends who love the Lord!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













Incomprehensible.
In my humanness, in my selfishness, in my evilness, how can I comprehend a love so complete that "neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate [me]from [it]"--not even my own evil heart (Romans 8:38-39)?

Within a heart like mine, which has learned to fear rejection above all, a love such as this is nearly impossible to fathom. Could there possibly be Someone who can "see the depths of my heart and love me the same"?
Shame haunts me. How could anyone forgive my past and present--no, continuous--misdeeds? How could anyone forgive my impure ways, my impure heart?

How could anyone forgive me? And God? God, the One on whom I turned my back so completely that at one point, not so very long ago, I proudly called myself "agnostic"?

God, the Holy Creator of the universe?

God, whose perfection and goodness are beyond all human comprehension?

God, who sees all of my rottenness, even that which has not been exposed to human eyes?

How could God ever forgive me?




But He waits. His patience is everlasting, and He waits for me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.










But still You love me.

The Many Faces of Jackson Cobb





Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving, etc.

Thanksgiving was so much fun.
I'll admit it, I was a little nervous to be roasting a turkey for the first time with a bunch of other rookies, but it all turned out great, and we actually had a really good time making dinner. I think the fact that none of us knew what we were doing made it even more fun, because it was a kind of adventure.

5 things I did that I never thought I would do to a turkey:
1. Massage it (with butter)
2. Pour hot water up its butt (to melt remaining ice)
3. Pull its organs out of its butt
4. Put them back in (okay Kelli did that part, but I watched...haha)
5. Shove onions, celery and parsley up its butt

I think that about covers it.

At dinner, we went around the table a few times and had everyone name some things they were thankful for. It was nice. Here are some highlights:

Some things I am thankful for:
1. My siblings, especially my sisters. Having sisters is such a privilege.
2. My parents. Not many would let their 25 year old (with husband and son) move in with them and their 7 at-home children, even if it is temporary!
3. The few friends I have that I know I can trust 100%. They are few, but they are worth a trillion fake friends.
4. The fact that God loves us so much, despite the darkness of our evil hearts.

Fedila and Temima both said they were thankful to be celebrating their first Thanksgiving, and that they were thankful to be in our family.

My mom is thankful for all her kids.

Jack is thankful for Sam. "Yayyyyy Sam!!!"

Rachel is really, really thankful for her older sisters, especially Caitlyn.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jack's Second Bday



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jack's 2-year Pictures





Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Need is the Call

"Not everyone is called to adopt."

This is the most common response that I have gotten to any kind of comment about orphans or adoption. It is true, but it is often so obviously said out of defensiveness that it can be very discouraging and frustrating.

It is true that not everyone is called to adopt. But it is also true that every Christian is called to care for orphans, widows, and strangers. Adoption is not the only way to help them, but we are called to help. God speaks at great length on the subject of strangers, orphans, and widows; it is obviously very important to him. In fact, James 1:27 says this:

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world.



I don't know about you, but I think it is pretty awesome that God actually spelled out to us what He accepts as pure and undefiled religion. I mean, that is something pretty valuable for Christians to know, if they want to please the Lord!!

There are so many ways to help. There is adoption, obviously. There is foster care. There is international relief, which can take an endless number of forms: medical aide, sponsoring a widow, sponsoring a child, buying sheep for poor people of the world, donating shoes, donating food, donating money, going on a short-term mission trip, volunteering for respite care for foster families, etc., etc., etc.




There are 143 million orphans in the world.

God wants us to care for them. Every Christian is called to care for them.

THE NEED IS THE CALL.




I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Check it out: adventconspiracy.org.

A better way to spend Christmas.

143 Million

143 million.
That is the number of orphans in the world, and that is why the OLIVE Tree Alliance is having a benefit concert and orphan care seminar this weekend.

Check out this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL6KdQ06l8I

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Gettysburg Address

I was very moved by our recent trip to Washington, DC. It was a good reminder of our country's hard-won independence, and the various hardships we have overcome in order to keep it. I was especially moved by viewing the Charters of Freedom: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I was also very moved by the Lincoln Memorial, especially by the Gettysburg Address, which is carved into the one wall (Lincoln's second inaugural speech is on the other).

We are all familiar with this speech; we have all heard it or read it. Some of us have even memorized it, but for some reason I was struck by it this time. It is a beautiful, eloquent, meaningful speech, and it helped me to remember why I do love America, no matter what.

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Visiting the Schwenzers

Regan's "butt"
Regan and Jack playing together



Bo's first too-er of DC











Saturday, November 8, 2008

I wish I were more interesting!

Not a whole lot happening here in Mechanicsville these days. Bo and I did get to go to our new missional community last night, and that was nice. There were 3 other couples and 1 single there; they were all very awesome and we are excited about this community! It is going to be a great way to not only get to know the people in our group, but to get to know the people in the community surrounding us.

Tomorrow Bo and I are going to DC with Casey and Dell. Bo is really excited; he has never been there, so it is all new for him. It should be fun! I haven't been there in years, so I am looking forward to it too.

We are also getting excited because next weekend is the OLIVE Tree Alliance's benefit concert for orphans and orphan care seminar. We are really excited to attend!

For more info: olivetreealliance.blogspot.com

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun times

Jack eats a bagel with peanut butter on it:
Jack dresses up as a giraffe for the West End Assembly of God's fall festival:

Jack plays in the toddler area at the fall festival:




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Eating my words

Okay, I admit it: the outcome of the election has me nervous. Of course I trust that it is part of God's plan. HOWEVER: that does not mean that it won't bring suffering. It is clear to most Christians that the end days are upon us, and those days, as the Bible states, will not be pleasant.

I must remark that our president elect has questionable feelings toward Israel, and that is the biggest tell-tale sign of all. I believe that the people of Israel, as the Bible states, are God's chosen people, and He protects those who support them.

We are in for a wild ride, but I am fastening my seat belt and I am ready.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Calculated Reaction

As election day enters its final hours and an end draws near, most people are spending the day wondering what the outcome will be. I count myself among that number, but at the same time it is easy to let that uncertainty turn to concern, and concern all too often turns to worry.

Let me be radical for a minute and suggest that worry is offensive to God. Not only is it futile, it shows a remarkable lack of faith. Any Christian will agree that God is all-powerful, but does every Christian really believe that? If so, then there would be no worry.

As election day closes and the fate of our country is revealed--not decided, for it was decided before any of us ever saw the light of day--let us all remember that God is in charge. Whether the White House becomes blue or red, let's remember that no one comes to power apart from God.

The God who has His eye on the sparrow has His eye on the White House of the United States of America today and always, so no matter the outcome, do not lose heart. This country is His, and He will do what is best for those within this country who serve Him. I choose to trust in the vision of the One who sees the whole picture.

And no matter how the election ends, we all as Christians should--MUST--gather behind the new president, no matter his name, and pray for guidance for him and all of our government officials. They are only human and they need God's help, just as we all do.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008







Bo's Birthday at Maymont











Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On my heart...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love.

1 Peter 1:3-8

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lack of updates

I am aware that I have been slacking on the updates lately...we lost the camera cord that hooks the camera to the computer during the move, so we have been searching, but we may just have to relent and buy a new one because so far we have not found it! There's a chance it is in storage. Anyway, things are going pretty well. We have decided to stay with my parents for a few months to save more money before we buy a house. So that is interesting. Also, Bo is looking for a new job, which is not going very well, so please keep us in prayer! The good news is that we loooooooooove our new church!!!!!! It is awesome and we are so excited about it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Virginia State Fair


Jack checking out the pigs

Photos from our cross-country road trip

Memphis Sunrise in Tennessee
Virginia


Amazing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL6KdQ06l8I

Monday, September 29, 2008

We made it.

We arrived at my parents' house in Mechanicsville, Virginia around 7 pm last night (Sunday). Just in time to see the Redskins kick the poo out of the Cowgirls!!!! YYEEEESSSSSSS

The drive was long. We left our house in Austin at about 7 am Saturday morning, arriving in Nashville at about 9:30 pm. We slept until 5:15 am and were on the road before 6. Around 10 am, just east of Knoxville, Tennessee, one of the tires on our Uhaul truck blew out. We ended up waiting about 2 1/2 hours for the Uhaul people to come out and fix it, and then we were back out on the road.

Sunday's drive wasn't as bad as Saturday's because we were pretty much driving through the mountains the whole time. I will definitely post photos eventually! It was a beautiful drive. Beautiful, but long. VERY LONG. We were on the road for a total of 28 hours, including stops, which were minimal. We are both worn out and definitely not too eager to get back in the car anytime soon. Not to mention the fact that I came down with a terrible cold the day we left. It was a blast.

This morning we got up early and went to my dad's office to unload the Uhaul (he's letting us use his warehouse space to store our stuff until we find a house). The warehouse guys helped us out very kindly, and it didn't take long! Of course, it could not be without incident. I decided, being the huge klutz that I am, to split my lip while unloading some of Jack's larger toys. Fun times. I felt like a huge sissy....but I didn't cry! Hahaha....

After unloading we returned the Uhaul, which was a bit of a fiasco in itself, but overall it was fine. We then met with our realtor and looked at some houses. Unfortunately we didn't see much that we liked, but we are going out again tomorrow and I think we have some promising houses on the agenda. We are planning to meet with the realtor in the afternoon, after lunch at the Smokey Pig (Virginia BBQ....mmmmmm).

More updates later, when I'm not quite so delirioius!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lasts

This has been our last weekend in Austin.
Today was our last weekend at our beloved church.
It was our last Sunday afternoon perusal of the Sam's club on 290.
Our last family shopping trip to HEB.
Tonight will be our last dinner out with friends in Austin.

Of course we will be visiting (probably in March), but it is still a weird feeling to know that we are leaving THIS WEEK. I don't think it has completely sunk in yet; it will probably hit us as we cross the Texas/Arkansas border...Bo and I met here in Austin, and we have spent our entire courtship and marriage here, so it is definitely going to be a change of pace...but I think the change of pace is going to be awesome.

We're on our way out, Texas. Farewell, friend.

Get excited, Virginia.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A hidden facet

One of the less obvious benefits of our move to Virginia is something that I am just now really realizing.

For the last few years I have seen my maternal grandparents (and most of my extended family) about once a year, when we go to Michigan in the summer. My maternal grandparents do visit my family in Virginia, but I am rarely there when they are. It's kind of a bummer, but we deal with it.

Anyway, now that we will be living in Virginia, we are so excited to be able to see my Grams and Gramps more often! As a matter of fact, they will be visiting in October, very soon after we arrive. I am so excited to see them!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Then sings my soul

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last photo post


Cait and Jack
Jack on the plane yesterday