Today he took his last exam and now he is DONE with school! Thats right...I`m married to a journeyman. Of course it`s not official or anything yet, but it`s still just as true. He did in 2 years what most do in 4, and though at times it was a struggle (financially, mentally,etc.) I couldn`t be more proud of him today!
Dave: Thanks for staying focused. Thanks for being studious. Thanks for making us a priority amongst all the studying and projects. Thanks for providing a better income for us and better job opportunities for you. Thanks for still bringing me flowers when money was tight. Thanks for the times when you came home early. Thanks for being the love of my life and my best friend. Thanks.
In the small town where we live there are 9 churches. NINE. So naturally there is some subtle/sometimes not so subtle competition between them. When my husband and I decided to find a church we took our time and toured almost all the churches in the area. They all had good points, but we never felt at home until we went to Mt. Olive. Now we have friends at many other churches in town, and that (to some) would have been a good reason to go somewhere else, but we "fit" this church the best. The worship style, the preaching and the multitude of young families convinced us even further. Of course like ANY church, there are pros and cons, church politics, and cliques of people that have been attending there forever...but we saw past that and chose to make it "our church". Recently there has been conversations that have been rather derogatory towards my church and I hate that. Perhaps it comes from a background of being a pastors daughter that I feel this need to defend my church and pastor, but why is it that in a group of believers, we choose to "nit-pick" over place of worship, instead of just rejoice that friends are being fed by the Word?? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but please don't speak badly to me about the place where I go and meet with Jesus twice or three times a week! How mean spirited to assume that because things are done differently, they are done wrong or without spiritual merit. To conclude that this church is "not serious about Jesus" enough for you, perhaps just means you are looking more at the congregation lifestyle, than that of the message being given. Are we not all sinners making mistakes? Isn't church about being able to accept people as they are and show them how to walk with God? When did it become about the type of music, or Mom's group or small groups or version of the Bible used? Why do we miss the fact that Jesus can work through any circumstance, building or denomination? He can speak to those who would LOVE to attend church, but have none - and yet we, with our abundance of places to worship, want to make it about us and our opinions. Something has happened. Living in a primarily "Christian" community perhaps has made us unforgiving and narrow minded. Our church is not perfect...nothing is, but for us, it is home.
Have you ever seen your kids through someone else's eyes?
I don't mean when you're at the store and the kids are crying and you can feel the cold, judgmental stares of elderly citizens and other moms wondering why you can't keep your children under control. Haven't we all been there? Well I don't know, maybe you haven't experienced that, but let me tell you - it's no picnic!
No. I'm talking about when someone sees your kids as "kids" and simply appreciates them for that.
We went to the pool today. My kids were good- not great- but ok. They were just excited to be out of the house and doing something. Connor is really quite good in the water now. All he needs is water wings and he's good to go. So at some point we were in the "hob tub" (as he calls it) and he was throwing a ball, then swimming to get it. Once it landed near an older woman and she grabbed it and started teasing him. He swam over to her and they looked as if they were having a little conversation. He came back over to us, ball in hand and I just assumed things had gone ok.
Later on in the changeroom, this lady came up to me and was just so full of compliments about Connor.
"He's just so friendly and polite. What a great home he must have!".
At that moment it didn't matter to me that he sometimes throws things and maybe can't speak as articulately as other boys his age. I didn't even feel the need to tell the lady that he knows his shapes, colors and he can count to 16. That he memorizes songs and can tell us how to get home from wherever we are in town.
I just smiled and said "thank you" and realized that today, I will just appreciate him, for him.
5 am and can't go back to sleep. I hate that. Thoughts, worries, stresses and concerns start to play with my mind and before I know it, I'm WIDE awake...longing for heavy eyes and soft pillows. But, might as well take advantage of this opportunity to write. Except that there isn't much to say. My kids are doing well. So far avoiding sickness and seem to be fairly happy most days. Connor is completely potty trained at home, and starting Sunday, we will see how he does in the car, church, shopping etc. It's awesome! Funny though how the sound of the toilet flushing makes it seem like another adult is in the house. :) Sophie is walking everywhere and trying to talk so much more than C did at this age. I love having a boy and girl. They love each other so much and it just makes my heart do flip flops. Of course there is fighting, hitting, screaming, and so on, but in those moments they don't think I see, it's priceless. My husband is finishing up his last year at school and it can't come soon enough. (for him and I). It's a bit more intense this year and I just want it to be over for him. It certainly makes for interesting choices in Christmas giving when your income is cut down to half, but I'm sure that we will make it work. If we have to "do" Christmas in January, it really doesn't matter to me. My kids are not old enough to care, and personally, it's all about the food with me. :) There have been so many conversations lately about how to make holidays centered around God and the real story behind the merriment. I think doing what you feel matters within your own family is important. I think having a healthy balance between fun and serious is equally important. I think allowing our children to think of Santa as a "fun, Christmas figure" is ok! It's part of the magic of Christmas. My kids will always know and understand that the reason we celebrate is firstmost Jesus. I have many things that I'm excited to do in years to come to open their eyes to the true reason for the..."season" (couldn't resist) ; but I hope I'm able to do that AS WELL as giving them fun, and putting out cookies for Santa and watching Frosty and Rudolph. I want them to experience the fun of giving gifts and watching reactions. Quality time spent with family and silly traditions. Of course at the heart, will always be Jesus. I say "always" because why is it that at holidays we suddenly panic and need these ordinary days to MEAN more to our kids? Jesus should be there everyday...whenever they have a question, or struggle or victory - there is Jesus! Some of my friends are doing Christmas differently this year. I love it! Make it your own...tradition is great because it's so personal. No one can say what is right or wrong, it's what works for your family. I look forward to hearing how their days go and if what they decided will carry on in years to come. For us, Christmas holds a few new things this year. The exchange of pajamas on Christmas Eve after our church service. The reading of the Christmas story - first from a book on the kids level, then from the Bible. (I want to do different versions every year). Just the 4 of us Christmas morning opening gifts, playing with toys and sharing in laughter and delight. Then off to spend time with loved ones and friends and amazing holiday feasting. But in those days of yuletide and good cheer, amidst the wrapping and boxes and ribbons, hovering above the candles, twinkly lights and garlands - may there always be Jesus!
I wish you all a Happy Christmas - whatever that looks like to you - this year.
I put on clothes, makeup and most days, do my hair so of course it would go unnoticed.
But deep within..
What only my husband and children see...I'm a bit of a freak.
Oh it's not neatness or organizational...
Not even autobiographical or psychological...
But it's there. My difference.
And so in the spirit of - honesty - I will bear my soul. My darkest secrets.
I will let the freak flag fly!
1. I listen to Christmas music all year round. It's my cozy feeling in February, my relaxing chills in summer and my holiday magic when the snow falls. It's my happiness when the sun stays out for only 7 hours, and my secret delight when I meet others who share my guilty pleasure. It's a "me" thing.
2. I like chips. Chips and dip to be exact. Really if you can dip anything, I like it. I purposefully go into the grocery store and tell myself "you don't need chips or dip, you DON'T need chips and dip" but somehow, mysteriously, they end up in my cart, and then in my bag, and before I know it, my stomach. But here's the weird thing - I don't feel guilty! I love it! It's yummy and it tastes good and it's sooooo worth it!
3. I have blue and white plates. Dinner and salad plates. And regardless of whether they are in my cupboard or I'm washing them, I stack them every other color. I can't help it! Sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it!
4. I pick hair off people's clothes. Strangers, close friends, doesn't matter. It's a sickness.
5. I will watch a musical just to see my favorite songs, then promptly rewind the song and watch it over...many times doing the actions from the movie, or special ones I've made up just for me.
6. I am a completely different size than I was when I got married only 3 years ago. (shocking I know) I look at pictures and barely recognize myself. Freaky no?
7. I'm terrible at telling jokes. Sarcasm I have mastered for many years now, but jokes? Forget about it. Sometimes even a knock-knock can fail me miserably.
8. I love to share food, but will not take bites of someone else's meal. My husband has tried in vain to get me to "just try" whatever he ordered, but I will resist everytime. I don't take bites...but please, try some of mine!
9. I have to sleep with my bare feet out of the covers. I could be winter camping in the Alps with temperatures well below freezing, and my bare feet would be poking out of my sleeping bag.
Of course there are more, lots more I'm sure, but take these few.
We are talking in my moms' group lately about our children's uniqueness and how to channel that as mothers when things they do may be irritating or overwhelming. It made me think of some of my eccentric ways and unique behaviour.
I am woman, hear me roar! But I'm also so much more. The lady underneath...the mystery.
My brother recently got married and is it ever cute to watch the two of them interact. The loving looks, lots of touching(always PG of course) and the way all of their flaws and bad habits seem somehow "cute" to the other one.
The first time I heard my husband snore, I remember thinking, "Ah..he is so tired! How sweet!" Now he's lucky to get one small snort out before my elbow meets his rib in a firm, yet loving way. Ha...when does that change? How fast things can go from "cute" to "irritating" in those first few months.
They are so in love, so I know that even though the small things will become big and all of a sudden it's a big deal which side of the roll the toilet paper hangs down, they will get through it. They will become better for it and it will bring them closer. I'm so happy for them and excited to watch their love grow. :) AH...young love!
My husband and I were talking tonight about our son Connor and it kinda hit us...we've given him a bad rep. Everywhere we go its, "Oh Connor is a brat...he's disobedient, he's not a nice kid, he's a treasure." And now, people seem to expect him to be bad whenever he is around. Of course we have our struggles, our moments, our days, our minutes...but he really is a sweet boy. He loves his sister, and Dada, and Mama. He loves to sing "Sunshine Mountain, Jesus Loves Me, The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Running Over", (with all the actions). He dances with me and giggles when I tickle him. He could have someone read to him for hours without moving. He loves pointing out every single car, truck or bus we see. (and I mean every one!). He gets crazy excited about his "duice" and treats and when I pray with him at night, he clasps his chubby hands together and says "en" for Amen. He's the first. My first child, teether, walker and 2 yr. old, and already I've made mistakes with him that I don't care to admit. How is that possible in only 2 years? This isn't a tribute, or guilt ridden post so much as I just needed someone to know that I'm sorry. I talk with friends about my frustrations and irritations, but I just never thought that would affect how people treat/view him. Everyone needs to vent right? It's human. And in the same way, every mother defends and protects what is hers, so here I go. If you know us, please be patient. Please allow him to be 2. Please understand that WE do give consequences and that he will understand if he does something wrong. Please let him be a boy. Let him make mistakes. But overall, please don't judge him on something I've said in weakness or annoyance. He is one of the 3 loves of my life and I wouldn't trade him for anything.
I was recently talking with a friend of mine about weight, love handles and general/overall flabbiness. The joys of woman/mother hood. Isn't it great ladies? I am less concerned with an actual "goal weight" and more concerned with how I feel in the clothes I own. Right now? I don't feel awesome...time for a change. I wish I lived closer to a big city gym where I could attend aerobic and spin classes, because other people motivate me to work out. I exercise daily, but just don't really push myself. (Plus I'm not sure a good brisk walk counts for anything when you come home and proceed to eat cookies, chocolate and chips by the handful.) So I've decided to cut out certain things in my diet. Starting NOW I am fasting from pop, chips and chocolate. (my goal is to go one week at a time and keep adding weeks and see how I do.) And next week I am taking up running. Now to those that know me best, the thought of me doing any kind of strenuous activity may seem comical...perhaps even impossible, but I am resolved! And you will all be keeping me accountable on this. (even if no one reads it, I will know that I don't want to admit failure and that will spur me forward). Many of my friends are runners and by that I mean...marathon! I'm at a slow jog/speed walk level, so honestly this should be interesting! I plan to run in the evenings or mornings(fewer people to actually witness this roly poly body swishing this way and that) and I have a jogging buddy who has agreed to come with and help me attain this goal. I will let you know how it goes! Regardless of what our goals in life are, isn't it great when you reach them? Such a mixture of pride and accomplishment. Feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction...I'm so looking forward to that! *On a side note though - what is jogging etiquette? When you work out with a friend is it appropriate to listen to music? Do you have to talk? Do you discuss how many blocks you will go? Hair up or down? Gum or no gum? Water bottles? Is it weird to dress similar? Shorts? Pants? Tank or tee? Any help on this would be appreciated!
Have any of these things tempted or made you envious? They certainly have for me(especially the food ones). What would it be like to constantly be content and happy with what you have, how you look and where you are in life? How would that play out? Can you recall instances in your life when you struggled with discontent, envy and temptation? Did other areas of your life suffer because of your selfishness? So often we are reminded to be grateful and thankful with what we have; and yet drive by a nice house, go to the mall or watch tv and BOOM - insecurity and inadequacy. Temptation. Perhaps one of the reasons behind debt, divorce and general unhappiness. Oh if only we could look beyond what we could have and really see what it is we do. A house, working vehicle, healthy family, God, love and relationships. But alas...we fall so short and it happens over and over again.
Laura is my mom. It's funny how the word "mom" comes with so many emotions: warmth, love and laughter. As a child, I didn't really know my mother as a woman - she was just my mom! What a pleasure it has been to get to know her as "the woman" and find out that she is my very close friend.
She is wonderful. She is the best. She is a woman of integrity. She is a woman of godly character. She is the mother of 3. She has aged beautifully. She is a teacher. She loves her family. She loves people. She is a great listener. She is a good "cookers". She is lovely. She is hilarious. She has great taste in men and even better kids. ( :) ) She is incredibly courageous. She cares. She exudes wisdom. She keeps the peace. She accepts situations and crisis with grace, kindness and love. She has a heart for our international friends. She speaks truth.
Mom - I hope you don't mind your Mother's Day card being put on display this year. I'm not sure I can put into words how much I appreciate and love you. It is such a comfort knowing you are only a few hours away instead of across the country. I love watching you with my children and know that they will have so many more memories of time with their Nana. You truly are an inspiration and you make me want to be better as a wife, daughter and especially a mother. I love you so much!
"...Mawidge that bwessed awangement! A dweam within a dweam..."
I was talking with my brother (newly engaged) the other night and he was going on about his sweetie and how much he misses her and wishes he could spend more time with her. Aw...right? Except for at that moment as he rattled on and on, I looked over at my husband lying on the couch and recalled how the day before we had argued...for quite some time...about the mailkey. A mailkey? Really? How did we go from "dating bliss" to 30 hot headed minutes of "who should get the mail". ??? Listening to him talk, I started to miss the dating we had...everything being exciting and lovely. Hearts skipping, feeling flustered, wanting to never be apart, late night phone conversations. Oh those were great times! So exciting. But wait - am I saying that marriage is nothing like that? Isn't that the message society sends? Excitement, passion, and freedom are all chucked out the window the minute you say "I do". No more fun. No more romance. No more you. Not true. Of course it isn't the same relationship as it was when you are dating...you are living with this person! Eating, sleeping, washing, cleaning, etc. Everything becomes different and little things (aka. the mailkey) become a big deal. I'm not entirely sure this can be avoided. When God posed the idea of marriage to His fellow angels, I wonder if they thought "Ok so you take two flawed humans...they fall in love, get married, have kids, deal with stress and life and have different opinions and they are supposed to stay together forever? Riiiight...go team." And so the relationship changes....but it gets better! It's fine to let your mind drift to those "glory days", but there is no way I want to go back there. Are you kidding? I love marriage! I LOVE that I wake up/go to bed with him every night/every morning. I LOVE that he buys me donuts/chips/candy when he knows I'm having a tough day. I LOVE that he still tries to romance me at the most inopportune times just to make me laugh. I LOVE that I my heart still flutters when his hand brushes mine. I LOVE that he calls me throughout the day just to say hi. I LOVE that we are silly. I LOVE that we fight about the "mailkey" and other such nonsense(which was properly resolved by the way) I LOVE that when I get up in the morning I see the Bible on the table that he was reading while eating cereal before work.
I LOVE MY MARRIAGE!
*I know that to some of you "seasoned" wedded people, this is not news, but in this world we have to fight for our marriages and maybe I gave you a reason to be thankful for yours today?
5:06 am - little girl wakes up screaming 5:28 am - little girl back to sleep - mommy and daddy WIDE awake.
perfect time for reflections?
my husband and I are currently in a Bible study called "The Peasants Princess" by Mark Driscoll. It is based on Song of Solomon and although the study can be enjoyed by anyone, he is discussing sex in a strictly marital context. It is interesting to me how that book of the Bible seems to be passed over so often. Growing up, I remember many occasions when my friends and I would read through the verses, stopping to giggle that the word "breast" was actually written in the Bible. As far as I can remember, I don't think I've ever heard a sermon based on this book...yet sex seems to be a big part of our society and so much of the reason that marriages are ending sooner these days. Infidelity, immorality, selfishness, etc. Seems we should be talking about it more. This past week we delved a bit into how a man works and the way his mind seems to take visual "snapshots" of beautiful women that they may see. These shots are then stored away and can be recalled at a moments notice (for some men...this is a pretty general statement). He discusses how it is not wrong - and also quite inevitable because of the way they are made- for a man to take notice of other women and their beauty, but it is wrong what is done with those images. I agree...it's all about that second, third, fourth look and so on. But I'm sorry. Does this bother any other woman out there but me? Perhaps it is immaturity, selfishness or simple insecurity, but I don't want my husband to think there are other attractive women out there! I mean, shouldn't I be enough? Even as I write this, I know in my heart that I am enough for him...and he is very respectful in the way he is with women, but it still makes me a bit upset inside. Of course I can tell if another man is good looking or not, but it just seems different for men you know? There are a bunch of things I'm anxious to sit down and chat with God about someday. Some comical for instance: - "Mosquitos? Really?" - "So um the purpose of acne is...?" - "Was it necessary to bless me with two cowlicks and incredibly stubborn hair?"
some more serious: - "why do children and women have to suffer so much pain?" - "how do you allow perverts and murderers to live and cause such destruction?" - "why did you make men so visually stimulated and women so sensitive that we would clash forever and hurt each other again and again?"
Is this just our "lot" to bear in life? Do we have to just always assume that our men of choice are noticing other women? (with or without sin on their part...) Or on the flip side, if this is truly the way things are, how much more should I be conscious of modesty and how I portray myself to other men. Perhaps I am overreacting and acting out of complete selfishness, but I can't imagine that this need to protect my marriage and hold it at a higher standard could be considered selfish...any thoughts?
Most anyone who knows me could tell you that I am not a "tidy" person. My whole life my parents tried in vain to keep some sense of order and neatness in my room. Bribes, rewards, punishments...I could last maybe 2 days and then it was a lost cause. This of course transferred into my married life (lucky Dave). My house is generally pretty neat and tidy, especially if I know people are coming over, but I'm just never going to be the type of person who has a spotless house. It's not me. Not my personality, and not my goal in life(sorry Mom). That being said, I do have a cleaning/laundry schedule that I follow pretty religiously, and I do my best to clean up toys, books and clothes that my son feels the need to throw around the house, throughout the day. I love when my house is clean. I'm proud of how it looks and I want people to see that when they come over; and although it is embarrassing when someone happens upon my doorstep and the dishes are overflowing in the sink and the floor is barely visible under the carpet of toys and things, I would never turn someone away because of my messy dwelling. If you have read previous blogs you would know that our house is kind of a construction zone as we try to remodel and renovate. It's a slow process and often I feel it won't ever be completed. However, this summer is our time to renovate the outside of our home. This means digging out our boardwalk in the backyard, moving our shed, building a new fence, and landscaping/flower gardens throughout the yard. Big job. We decided to tackle it this weekend. Oh the mess...and dirt...and dirty children! After I had finished raking the front yard last night, I decided that we needed to trim the big tree out front thus making even more of a mess, but looking much better in the end. I'm headed out there again to rake and pile and bag and I can't help but think that my life is filled with "mess". Everywhere I look right now I see piles of brush, clothes, toys and cheerios. I get that I have kids and we have goals for our home, but, When does it stop? Does it stop? Should it stop? I don't think so. "Mess" is necessary! Without piles and clutter and garbage and smudges and debris, how do we ever appreciate clean and tidy and neat and polished? Without thunder and lightning and rain, how do we appreciate green and fresh smells and rainbows? Without arguments and tempers and anger, how do we appreciate apologies and love and kindness? Without death and fear and pain and hell, how do we appreciate heaven and grace and life and Jesus?
If everything was "clean" in our life, how would we know what to do with messy? I like this logic. It makes me feel like I'm allowed to be...maybe even supposed to be a mess.
I'm an animal person. I don't like to see animals that are unhappy or being mistreated. Can't usually watch nature shows because I empathize with mothers and babies that are separated or eaten...it's so sad. However, I feel absolutely nothing when I kill a fly...or a wasp...or a mosquito...or a spider. In fact today it probably would have been comical to watch me stalking around my house, flyswatter in hand-on the prowl for the one lonely fly who made the unfortunate decision of coming into my house. I can't stand them! Their buzzing around a window or over your head... The amazing thing is that although my love for the animals of this world is a pretty big deal in my life, I get an amazing satisfaction from killing something that is so small, yet so irritating. I know that God has some kind of purpose for these bugs, but a mosquito? Really? Perhaps before the "fall of man" these bugs coexisted with us very naturally and wonderfully...perhaps in heaven they will again, but right now they are invading my sanctuary...and they must be stopped! To accomplish this though I'm looking for some healthy remedies for stopping this impending attack. Any tips or comments you can leave to encourage this insect genocide would be greatly appreciated. (especially the bees and spiders....yuk!)
I wasn't able to nurse my first baby, so the fact that Sophie breastfed was amazing! However, I really didn't like it and although the pain stopped a very long time ago, I just never enjoyed nursing...or so i thought. For me it was always the plan that I would wean at 6 months because the baby starts solid food then.(and also because I did not enjoy it) I've had to supplement and give Sophie a bottle a few times so I could go out for a date, a shopping day with friends, or something else. I wanted her to be able to take a bottle and she does quite well. The last two days, I have been away from her for almost 8 hours a day because of my involvement in a wedding. This morning she didn't really want me at all and I couldn't believe how sad I felt. I know it isn't "rejection" in the sense that she doesn't want me, but she enjoys the easy flow of the bottle. Still. My little baby is already making choices for herself and my maternal instinct kicks in as if to say "But what I have is so much better for you!". It's starts early doesn't it? This overwhelming need to take control of our children's lives? I did not expect such a reaction from me and it made begin to ponder all things parental. When I was growing up, the rules and boundaries my parents set up for me were to protect me and always in my best interest. But let's be honest, I think all kids know how to break those rules and deviate from the plan. Now as a parent, I often get caught thinking that this won't ever happen to me...I know all the tricks in the book right? ha ha...each generation comes with a whole new set of deceitfulness and "ways out" if you will. So how do you fight it? Do you set forth a Godly example and explain why rules are there, and choose to trust your children's judgment? Do you put a GPS in their car someday or listen in on their phone conversations? Check their email? Look through drawers and closets in their room? Call their teachers ate school to get updates on their status? I don't know...I think kids need to think they are getting away with something, but they also need to be caught if you want them to learn. This is quite a tangent to go on due to the fact that my 5 month old is weaning herself, but I think the two are linked somehow.
I've been singing this song in my head for the last week. Not sure if you know it or have heard it, but if you haven't listen to it! (or read the lyrics)...powerful and uplifting message. One that I think applies to most of my woman friends. I love that I know REAL women. I love that I can be REAL around them and not feel the need for flawless perfection...
REAL LIVE WOMAN
I don't buy the lines in magazines That tell me what I've gotta be Don't base my life on a movie screen Don't fit the mold society has planned
I don't need to be 19-years-old Or starve myself for some weight I'm told Or turn men's heads down that road And I thank God I finally know just who I am
I ain't a movie star They never see the view from where they are And this old town may be as far as I'm goin' What he'll hold tonight in his hands He swears is so much better than Anything this old world can show him
I'm a real live woman In love with this man I see lyin' here next to me Lost in the way that he's holdin' This real live woman In the arms of a man where I'll fall asleep knowin' there's Nothin' on earth he loves more than This real live woman
I work 9-5 and I can't relate To millionaires who somehow fate Has smiled upon and fortune made their Common lives a better place to be
And I no longer justify Reasons for the way that I behave I offer no apologies For the things that I believe and say And I like it that way
Cause I'm a real live woman In love with this man I see lyin' here next to me Lost in the way that he's holdin' This real live woman In the arms of a man where I'll fall asleep knowin' there's Nothin' on earth he loves more than This real live woman
I'm not too sure what to write about today...maybe that means I shouldn't be writing, but just felt the itch this morning. Hmm...things in my life lately have been great! My kids are lovely and for the most part, well behaved(we are working on it). Dave is back at work and although I miss him during the day, it just seems better to have a "routine" again if you will. My mind seems to be slowing down in regards to the paranoia I spoke about earlier. It definitely makes it easier to live day to day without the craziness of my imagination. Summer is fast approaching and though I'm excited for the warm weather, it also brings some sadness as I have to say goodbye to 3 friends that are moving on. They will be so missed as each of them is such a pillar of kindness, wisdom and joy. I'm happy for them in this new transition though and wish them all the best. It does make me wish it was our turn, but I know it is not the right time yet...oh this little town has so many reasons to stay! We've been reading two books lately. Love and Respect and Stuff Christians Like. The first is a marriage book that breaks down how women need to feel love from their husbands, and men want respect from their wives. We are finding it very insightful and picking up on some ways to improve our marriage (not that it is bad, just everyone can use a little touch up right?). The second is very different. Jonathan Acuff is sarcastic and humorous in his discussion of the Christian faith and things that we all do, but maybe don't talk about. Some of his chapter titles for example are: Finding Typos in the Worship Music Disguising Gossip as Prayer Subtly Finding Out if you Drink Beer Too, and Being Slightly Offended that the Pastor has a Nicer Car Than You Do. Don't get me wrong; he is not dissing or insulting Christians at all, but simply putting a humorous light on some things we may need to "check" ourselves on. It has made Dave and I laugh out loud and also feel convicted at the same time..."sometimes the stuff that comes with faith is funny". Great book! Would love to go for a walk today, but it is supposed to rain, so maybe a baking day in the house would be more beneficial! :)
Today the air was crisp, the sun was warm, and the sky was a perfect mix of blue and white, wispy clouds. I decided a walk was a mandatory experience and dragged my two kids outdoors. Usually walks go very well with my children. Connor loves to be outside and Sophie, although she protests to begin with, falls asleep and just enjoys the ride. We started off really well, but somewhere between Gramma and Grampa not being home, and Connor wanting to be carried instead of pushed, we experienced a full blown meltdown. 45 minutes later, we had only progressed two blocks down the street and out of pure frustration, I sat down and joined my children in a good cry. No I didn't ball or stomp my feet, or shriek at the top of my lungs, but there were a few hot tears falling down my cheek. 30 minutes later we arrived home and I found an envelope that someone had left on our doorstep and assuming it was a card, put it on the table and got the kids to bed. After taking some time to sit and recoop, I remembered the envelope, and went to open it. (I should maybe put it out there that my husband has not been working since January because of school, and now surgery and money has been tight. We've been doing ok, but after discovering that our tax return -that we were counting on- would be a considerable smaller amount than we planned, we were kinda trusting God to give us wisdom with the money that we do have now. ) When I opened it, I found that some anonymous donor, had left us money and the tears fell freely once more. It is so easy to say "we are trusting God" but quite another thing to actually practice it. He never ceases to provide for us, and yet so many times I've looked at Dave and said, "How are we going to do this?". How do you properly thank someone when you don't know who they are? How do you sing praise to a God that you constantly doubt and forget to trust when times are tough? How do you accept another's generosity and love? It's humbling, and moving and incredibly heartfelt and although this person may never read this blog, I thank you. From the bottom of my heart...your gift of love put diapers on my kids bums, groceries in the cupboard and hope in our hearts!
I'm a homebody. Always have been, always will be. I like to be at home with my fam. It's comfortable and cozy and I'm surrounded by love, kisses and cuddles. That being said, I love to be out as well. Friends and a social life outside my home are important, BUT I love to come home.
I woke up the other morning and found my 2 yr. old asleep on the floor, beside my 4 mo. old's playpen. What a precious sight to behold first thing in the morning! I love that they are sharing a room now - (even though they get up WAY earlier than before) - because I think it is bonding for them. They wake up and see each other first thing in the morning. They talk to each other, laugh, cry, and often Connor will put toys and books in Sophie's playpen...very cute. I remember when I was younger, I didn't like being along at night. It wasn't that I was scared of the dark so much... I was just lonely. I didn't want to be on my own. I missed the companionship of my siblings. (One of the great things, for me, about being married is never having an empty bed! :) I hope for my kids to be friends...really friends. I know that they will have fights, arguments and tough times, but I hope they always have a connection.
Since having Sophie, I've been struggling with something rather weird...paranoia and dark,twisty thoughts. To put it bluntly, I'm scared alot. Visions of me getting raped, or our house being robbed, or my kids being harmed seem to plague me throughout the day. I'm not sure why this is happening...perhaps some weird hormone or strain of PPD? I don't know...but it needs to stop. I'm tired of feeling this way. The thing is...I know I'm not crazy. I'm not psycho and not in danger of hurting myself or others around me. I'm not depressed or emotional...but my mind is just so open to these horrible thoughts! They are not from God...they are right from His enemy. I heard something so great today at my moms group. A woman, who was struggling with similar problems, would vocally rebuke the voice of the enemy by saying, "I only respond to the voice of my Father". WOW. I was blown away. I was so inspired and so ready to not think the way I have been, that I'm putting it into practice immediately...what a great lesson for us though right? I mean, how often are our minds just filled with a spiritual battle. What voice wins the most? I'm so happy to know that God would not fill my mind with worries, doubts or fears...and now I can proudly call out to Him and rebuke His enemies...
I only respond to the voice of my Father...I only respond to the voice of my Savior...my Master...my Jesus!
I remember when a pimple was my biggest concern for the day... I remember when it mattered if my hair was highlighted, dyed, straight or curly... Now, I remember friends of mine with cancer or harsh treatments and they have no hair...I guess I can be thankful mine is clean!
I remember when I wondered if I would ever find "the right guy"... I remember getting my heart broken and breaking others... But, I remember the first time I saw Dave...he was laughing, and I knew...
I remember when I didn't have love handles, stretch marks or wiggly thighs... I remember when I didn't have to change my diet to achieve the previous statement... But, I remember being pregnant and giving birth to my children...I think I can handle a change in what I eat. :)
I remember having no financial worries or debt... I remember spending my paycheck on clothes and makeup... But, I remember going to school and getting my diploma, buying a house, a car...it was worth it.
I remember making big mistakes... I remember hurting those close to me... I remember crying until my head ached... But NOW I look in the mirror and see the woman I've become... And I remember that forgiveness is something that God gives when we need it.
What is there to know really? I'm just a woman/wife/mother who desperately needs an outlet of creativity and this is where I landed! Thanks for sharing my happiness, frustration, anxiety and insecurities and feel free to leave a comment or two.