Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Irish kind of day

In a few minutes I am off with my precious little family to the annual Scranton St. Patty's parade. And while we won't be sloshing around drunk or wearing Irish flags or anything like that... I am looking forward to this outing and the event. People watching is spectacular at things like this! We aren't Irish and honestly I don't even know much about the history of St. Patrick, but...I'm hoping to nab a few pics of Brad and my girl in their green garb, and maybe stop to get a shamrock shake on the way home. :) Little days and memories like this are what life is all about for me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My love for my daughter

Most women wait their whole life for that one dream to come true... the dream above all dreams...the thing you pretend to be as a little girl, think about in highschool, and ache to be once you are "old" enough. For me that dream was to be a mommy. I remember being 3 or 4 and playing with my Cabbage Patch dolls - they each names, personalities and bed times. They were my babies. Then when my brother was born...he was my baby, only a little less obedient at times. My whole life I've wanted the experience of growing a human inside of me, feeling each kick and wiggle. I've always been intrigued by the birthing process (thus why I watched TLC's "A Baby Story" religiously every day in high school). And I've longed for the days of looking into my baby's face and just being a mom.
Last December, after losing our first baby...I thought I would be scared off by all of the pain we had experienced. I thought my desire to be a mom would fade a bit, but the opposite happened. Something inside me just screamed to be a mommy, whether by nature or by another source.
This morning as I was looking at Ava, examining every part (again) and talking with her making goofy sounds that only a mom and baby can appreciate. I got to thinking about just how natural everything feels. Changing diapers, wiping up spit up, fetching the screaming thing from its crib...they all just seem to flow for me. I love being a mom. I love going to Ava's bed in the morning and seeing her greet me with that smile like, "where ya been, momma?". I love when she has a cold and she nuzzles into my neck like I'm her medicine. I especially love that everything I do or say to her makes her smile right now - like I'm the most important person in the world. It's surreal to look at her, especially after losing one prior. My Ava Edyn...she wouldn't be here if I had gotten my way with our first pregnancy. She wouldn't be here making her silly noises, chewing on everything or focusing so hard on a toy that her eyes cross. My heart wouldn't feel this way either. I am blessed. I know that.
I love my daughter. I love the responsibility of raising her. I love how difficult the nights can be. I love how she smells, how she coos and all of her facial expressions. She is a little piece of me.
I love how being a mom changes my mind about so many things. I cry everything I see anyone else cry - no matter what the reason. My heart aches more for those who experience the loss or the long anticipation of a baby. I feel more...perhaps God intends that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Homemaker

My whole entire life I've wanted to be a homemaker. My mom was a homemaker for most of her life while we were kids, my grandmothers have been homemakers while their kids were at home, and all of the women I look up to the most are homemakers. The other day I was reading back through an old journal. I do this from time to time as I love to re-live and remember what has happened in my life. I love to feel how I felt and think about how things are now compared to what they were. I know I'm not the only one who does this... but maybe I do it more then I should.

Anyway, as I was reading I came across an entry from shortly after Brad and I were married in 2005 (has it really been almost 4 years?!). In this entry I was working full time as a self employed preschool teacher and Brad was in college full time while working at a golf course on the side. Money was tight, time was tight...and we were learning how to be married and what that looked like for us. What an adventure! Those were sweet times, however, according to this entry I was struggling. I was anxious for the days when I could stay home and care for our house. I had visions of "sugarplums" - having a clean house, organized closets and warm meals on the table for Brad when he got home. As much as I loved being a teacher, there was just something internal that bugged me about being away so much from the place I was responsible for keeping up. And as the weeknight dishes piled up, the laundry mound grew and the dustbunnies continued to take over our kitchen floor... the more my angst grew. Brad has never been the kind of husband to hint, "hey, the house is looking pretty bad", or anything like that - so this was just all me. But, I got tired of using my entire weekend off to clean up the house. I felt robbed of my time with Brad and I just wondered if things would always be like that. In this journal entry I poured out my heart about my desire to stay home and take care of things...

Fast forward to now...

I love being home. I love taking care of Ava; making sure she's rested, fed and clean. It's a joy that surpasses everything else in my life, aside from my relationship with God and my husband, of course. :) And after all those years of dreaming and waiting to be at home. Would you believe that I am still working on being good at it?! I thought it would come more naturally. That at the sight of a dirty dish I would gracefully walk to the sink and care for it...or that there would never be loads of laundry to do because I would be weeks ahead of all that. And I never imagined my carpets would have as many specks and dots on them as they do now. Where have I gone wrong? The first couple of weeks post baby I was really hard on myself. I couldn't physically keep up with a newborn, have dinner ready and a spotless house (we DO have 3 floors). I felt like a failure which all added to the bad combination of post partum hormones. :) But now, even when I'm rested and able I'm still not in a hurry to dust the furniture or mop the kitchen floor. This bothers me. I so want to be the kind of woman that cares for the upkeep of her home. I want to be able to host and entertain, bless others with our apartment space...and more importantly express my love to Brad and Ava by keeping this place kept up and organized. I'm sure I'm being way to hard on myself. But, after reading through my journal and thinking that I used to be so eager and passionate - I guess I'm just wondering where that passion has gone. I'm praying to get it back. Some days its here, but this where to be found.
I found that cartoon online yesterday and its just funny for me to look at, so I thought I'd share.
Fellow wives and mothers - a day at a time, right?! A day at a time. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thoughts while sitting in church

This morning during the singing time at church I found myself not really paying attention to the music, but instead glancing around and checking out the faces of those that surrounded me. Our church is fairly big so there are several people that I don't know. Occasionally I like to just scope out the room and see what's what. That's when it happened...
I'm glancing to the front of the church, I see a young couple that look so down and sad. They've just lost a baby. I look to my right and see another young guy rubbing his downcast eyes - they want to start a family but haven't been able to. The woman in front of me is starring at the floor. Her husband died a few months ago...and I can't imagine what her life is like now raising a 7 year old, alone. To my left a woman is crying and because I dont' know her I don't know why. Then it just hit me - WE ARE A HURTING PEOPLE. Everyone hurts. We are a sad, confused, hurting bunch in need of a savior. Even those of us that claim Christ as our savior aren't exempt from pain. While I know that personally, it was just odd for that to hit me in the middle of a worship time at my church. I'm so weird.
After the singing time we sit down and on the screen ahead of us appears todays sermon title - "The Good Shepherd: Our Caregiver". I was amazed at God's perfect timing as it seems so many in this building this morning needed to know they were cared for so intimately. God is so good like that. My mind swirled back to the all of the faces I had observed and I whispered prayers for each of them. Pastor's message was a good reminder of our precious Savior's love for us - He is our shepherd, but not just any ol' caretaker...a "Good" caretaker, a "good" shepherd. He had three points that I hope to take to heart today. (from John 10:11-18)
~ Jesus Loves his sheep "to Death"
~ Jesus knows (intimately) his sheep "inside and out"
~ Jesus lives for his sheep proving that he loves and knows them.
What an amazing and profound thought that God loves us. Sounds so simple, but it really is complex, at least to me. How could someone so perfect love such a person as I? I'm thankful for my Salvation and His grace. I'm thankful that the hurting, the wounded and those who feel far from the Lord ARE LOVED and are cared for. I'm thankful that God's arms are big enough to hold us all... and that the Shepherd loves, knows and lives for His sheep!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Resisting and Resenting

A few weeks ago I decided to read the book "Creative Counterpart" by Linda Dillow. It's several years old and to be honest a majority of it screams 70's and its hard for me to relate with...but, a good part of it has been great and challenging. It's a look at Proverbs 31 and some of the characteristics of what that woman looked like. I think I've done a zillion bible studies on the "Proverbs 31 woman" and every time its great for the moment and I take a few key principles away...then life happens and I blow everything I've learned in a wave of a bad mood. I'm so typical that way. Why is this woman so mystifying to us? Is it possible to do everything she did or is it more of a goal to set and try to attain in pieces? Who knows... but all the same, I do enjoy the study, and this book is again looking at this lady. I decided to read through "Creative Counterpart" because I'm struggling to find that 100/100 co-existence of wife and mother. How on earth do I effectively love, cherish and physically live as a wife and effectively love, cherish and raise this new baby?! I feel like my time is absolutely divided. Mrs. Dillow seems to have a lot to say on the topic so I'm giving it a go. :)

On top of learning to how to wife and mother... I am still waiting on the Lord for direction for our lives. We are still in PA, no ministry, low paying one income... and some days its just all we can do to not pity ourselves. Sounds silly I'm sure, but its true. We feel as if we are taking 3 steps back! While we see blessings all around us, our hearts are just yearning and yearing to move on. So, yea...there's a lot going on and I admit that many many days lately I've found myself resisting and resenting a lot of things. Resisting areas of growth that I feel the Lord laying on my heart to change... resenting STILL being here... resenting the fact that no matter how hard we feel like we are praying and how earnest our desires are we are STILL not in a ministry. There's a fine line I'm walking. Anyway, last week while reading I came across one of Mrs. Dillows deeply profound thoughts in the chapter called, "God's game plan", and it was so deeply convicting...and its helped me daily to stop and actively choose to not resist or resent this life we have now. Let me share her words...

"Have you considered your present situation in the light of God's eternal purpose? Often the very things a woman resists and resents are God's special tools to fashion her into the image of His son." L. Dillow "Creative Counterpart"


While I've known all this, and in the past practiced this...somehow in the flurry of new motherhood I've forgotten and managed to work myself into a tizzy again. I thank the Lord for allowing me to read this and be reminded again of the fact that He IS working in my life and there is an ultimate purpose for all things, even the mundane.

I have this picture of Ava and I. We were attempting to get some nice mom and baby pics and wouldn't you know something wasn't going her way so she began to fuss...and fuss...and fuss until the camera got put away and we gave up. But not before we got this shot of me smiling and her starting to cry. Sounds mean, but, I kept it because it reminded me of my relationship with Christ. I fuss and fuss because I feel like things aren't going my way, or I'm confused or uncomfortable where I am in life...and all the while my loving father smiles, loves me and His outstanding patience for His child just continues. While getting that picture taken I knew Ava would get to eat in a few minutes, and I knew nap time was coming up. She would be full and swaddled and sleep well. But Ava didn't know that... so she fussed. How baby-like I am. I don't know what's coming so rather then stay content and thankful, I complain or worry or even doubt (gasp!). And all the while God knows just whats coming up next... I'm so thankful for my salvation and Christ's forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

O Be careful little eyes...

This is my miracle...the answer to my prayers. Her name is Ava Edyn Pausley and as of yesterday she is 11 weeks old. This is the child I begged the Lord for, the baby that I cried over during the early weeks of pregnancy as I feared losing her as I did the one before...
She is amazing. In every way amazing.
Every morning I can't wait to rush into her room and scoop her up to start our day together. She greets me with the worlds biggest smile accompanied with her new favorite sound, a grunt. :) Her eyes are stunning. While their color is undecided...its something else that catches my attention. She's alert, constantly, even moments after birth. Her eyes search and discover every thing. She smiles at curtains, the fridge, anything with the color black on it....and me. She watches me. This morning this thought captivated me - and to be honest - scared me. She is watching me all the time. I know that now while she's so little there aren't too many thoughts going on in her head - but, she's learning from me. She's learning that when a funny face is made to laugh, to open her mouth to eat, and when she cries to look for me and I'll generally come running. :) She is my mission field. She is my ministry. She is my daughter. It's a paralizing fear to not be "good enough" and to wonder if my mothering skills are what she needs. Its easy to let thoughts in that I'm failing or doing it all wrong.... but then I look at her tiny smiling face that seems to say, "I love you mommy. You are all I need." She motivates me.
I still feel so new to all of this. I'm still exhausted as we wake up twice a night for is it that she can fall right back to sleep while I lie awake starring at the clock...?
Her little eyes remind me to live like Christ. To strive for excellence, even when that only means giving her the undivided attention that I can give rather then zoning out to the TV after another sleepless night. Those little eyes are my responsibility. Wow.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Has it really been this long?!

Holy wow! Between transitioning to my BRAND NEW JOB as Mommy... and the rest of life, I haven't been on here in a Looong time. So much to talk about - so many new thoughts and questions about this journey I'm little time. :)
Perhaps another day.

Has it really been this long since I took some time to sit and think?