Monday, December 19, 2011

Caught up in disappointment

Anyone else have that problem... where, you can't see the 1 million awesome things happening - but, you notice and focus on the little petty things? Yea, me neither. :/

Actually - I'm the biggest offender in this category sometimes. And it's something I'm working through in my personal life and walk with the Lord. To be honest with myself and you, right now I'm battling big time. I KNOW truth. I KNOW reality. But, for some reason my heart and head are having a hard time connecting. I'm caught up in disappointment. I forget that people fail. Big fails. Little fails. I fail. Maybe it's not even forgetting...but, choosing to not remember.

This weekend my husband and some of our teens {and leaders} took a trip down to one of our local homeless shelters/missions. As I've shared before my husband is passionate about serving in this way - I'm thankful for that, and him. This weekend they took down new bedding and an offering the teens raised to support the needy during Christmas. Did I mention this was all student initiated and run? God has been at work in the lives of some of our teens... it's very exciting. They took time to make several beds with the new sheets and pillows they bought. After they'd make a bed, they would kneel down and pray over it - and the person who would be sleeping there that night. Powerful. Then they sat through one of the missions "sessions" with the people who live there - and had some interaction that way.

It's the times like that where I'm left convicted and dumbfounded, really. So.much.good. God is working in hearts, changing lives, impacting a new generation.... and here I sit bent out of shape because it's not EVERY student. How selfish. How arrogant to think what I say and how I say it will change a life. How ungrateful to not give thanks for these few. These precious. Those growing and trying. And I wonder, "Why on earth am I so intent on being stuck in disappointment?". I keep thinking of how the prophets in the OT must have felt. Isaiah, Jeremiah - no one listened. No one cared. No one loved God. And they were preaching death sentences, even.

Psalm 14:3

"Everyone has turned away. Together they have become rotten to the core. No one, not even one person, does good things."

All this to say, the Lord is working on me. And I'm thankful. I'm thankful for watching teenagers grow and change and embrace the narrow road. I'm thankful for leaders who give up their lives, their saturdays, their everything... to touch one stubborn {at times} life. I'm thankful for tender hearts, for apologies, and honest tears. And I'm thankful to GOD for reminding me time and time and time again...





And that is my freedom today. I will glory in my redeemer. The redeemer of souls, the heart healer, the almighty God who sees every heart and tear and pain and frustration. I will choose joy. I will choose rejoicing. And I'll be thankful even if just one... loves God.

*for the record, Praise God, we see lots of Love for our Savior around here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A stump story...and a few decorations.

Several weeks ago I saw an incredible idea on Pinterest. {shocking, I know} Someone posted the idea of keeping the cut off stump of your live Christmas tree and making it a keepsake. Being that this was to be our FIRST year of getting a REAL tree... I was hooked on doing just that very thing. We didn't travel far away, cut down our own, or really even take a ton of time to look - just grabbed up the one we liked from Menards. Griswalds would be disappointed. ;)

The lovely stump before:

And what I did with it:

Simple. Special. Done in about 5 minutes.

This year I wanted to be as "natural" and "free" as I could be with our Christmas decorations. I just love the look of raw material... and, honestly, spending a lot on decorations just can't be a priority right now. And, not even sure I ever want it to be. 3219 looks pretty good, if you ask me.

Used the copper I found over the summer from Salvation Army, two trees we already owned, threw in a pic of the hubs and I PRE-kids...and voila... one wall done.

My mom gave me a box of her old decor she didn't want - and this simple wooden sleigh was in there. Perfect! Slap some raffia on it...good to go.

My camera, bless her, is not a very good one. Every picture I've attempted of our tree and rest of the house has come up blurry or just not good. I'll keep trying. Hopefully I can share before it all gets taken down. {sigh}

Tomorrow night is our Christmas @ Elevate - our youth Christmas party. Would you take a few minutes and pray for any unsaved teens that might show up? We have a few... What an awesome time of the year to really see and SAVOR what Christ has done for us. And, if no one has said this to you yet...


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

.:This, that, and the other thing(s):.

I'm finally sitting down for a few minutes of quiet. All three children are asleep, the sun is shining and a few flurries are blowing about on the wind. It's freezing cold. This morning the kids and I watched the new Veggie Tales Christmas movie and then I continued putting up some decorations. A little at a time. It may take me all month. August slept well lastnight - and woke up at 6:30! PTL! This is a big answer to my prayers and I'm hoping for many more mornings starting that "late". :)

Today I want to share a list of "this, that, and the other thing(s)" that I am thankful for. My life really is a bountiful one. We never lack. I am so grateful for all that we have...and for all that we struggle with. This past Saturday night a lady from church used the expression, "struggling well", and it stuck with me. I want to struggle well. Speaking of "struggle" - I got my blue bravo star in Weight Watchers last week! I'm down 5 lbs! What a great encouragement. :) Now...onto those "things"....

Let's start with coupons. I'm thankful for friends who think of me and share their coupons.
I have never gotten a catalina for the formula we use :( Boo. Even though we buy it at least twice a month. Weird. Thankfully, these were given to me this weekend - and, if I time it right... might be enough to last several months :)

Next up...Pinterest. I'm thankful for Pinterest and it's plethora of ideas, recipes, and just fun things. I have TONS of things for Ava and I to do together! This was our first "project".
We hung it up today. It's just Ava-girls hand prints in the shape of a C-mas tree. We used tissue paper for the "star" and brown cloth for the "stump". I wrote her name and the date. I'm planning to hang this up yearly - I treasure it and the memories from making it with her. :)

My children. They are a blessing to me. I am so thankful for these two amazing girls. And I love this stage where they crack each other up... I've heard rumors that girls grow up bickering and fighting. But for right now {and Lord willing - a while longer} I'll enjoy giggles and songs and out right belly laughs from both.
Ava has attached herself to the new nutcracker Grammy sent back home with us. She plays with it all day and says, "look, Mommy, it's me". I don't have the heart to tell her she is NOT a nutcracker. First thing when she wakes up she picks out a dress up outfit. Usually something frilly with wings - and wears it the entire day. Occasionally she'll ask to take off the wings for naptime. They "bodder" her. :) I love, love, love having girls!

And my precious August. 7 months this month! really?! She started "Scooting" backwards yesterday - and just gets so frustrated by the fact that she moves further and further from the toy that was right in front of her. It's hilarious. I made some homemade Rutabaga baby food and she loves it. No teeth yet and we are fine with that. She's my cuddly baby, and I love it. Somedays all she wants is to be planted near me on the floor or couch. Perfectly content with just her little hand on my leg. No toys. Nothing to chew on. Just me. I am blessed.

And while I don't have any recent pics... I'm most thankful for my husband. He has shown such an example to me lately of selfless love. The dishes are done, dishwasher loaded and unloaded, living room tidied and whatever else he can see to do...he does. I don't even ask. He takes his roles seriously and I'm so thankful for him.

I'm reading through the book of Luke this month and I was relating so well with Mary's words {tho, I am not carrying the Christ child..or ANY child} on Magnifying the Lord. Go ahead and read these out loud...

"Mary said,

My soul praises the Lord’s greatness! My spirit finds its joy in God, my Savior, because he has looked favorably on me, his humble servant.

Luke 1:46-48

It is so, so, easy and tempting to forget about God this month. Seems like the opposite would happen, but, no. I forget. You forget. I want to be intentional in seeking God in this season. I want to magnify Him and find my Joy in Mary did. So thankful for this rich life.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's not cute at 4am

I'm home from vacation. We had a great time with family and came back refreshed and ready to go. But I do need to bring up one point here. VACATION usually implies "rest", "relaxation" and maybe even some extra sleep, right? Like, no alarm clocks going off because you are on vacation.

That said. My children did not get that memo. They got this one, instead:

"To whom it may concern:

While mommy and daddy are on vacation we need to wake up at 5:30 or earlier, refuse to go back to sleep, whine and throw tantrums at bed time at night and wake up randomly through the night every other hour or so." Signed - The baby/kid sleep refusal board.

Yeaaaaa.... sleep was def not a priority to either of my doll faces. {sigh} And I've tried not to be the whiny, martyr, mother - but, I'M SO TIRED. Physically, shoulder hunchingly, eyes squinting, tired. And the thing with life is... it goes on. Sleep or not. My children need care during the day, my husband needs a functioning home, our ministry needs tending, chores need done, bills need paid. Life.

This morning August woke up at 4am. Seriously. We let her babble for a long time... I couldn't tell you how long because I was in a half stage of conciousness. But it must have been long enough because the gentle babble turned into a translated, "GET ME OUT OF HERE NOW." Obviously the sun wasn't even up and we don't want our bigger girl to be woken up at this time of, I pulled her into bed with me. She dozed off shortly after on my arm - that was now falling asleep - and I couldn't move it. I was pinned. Right before she dozed she turned her face to me and smiles. All I could thing was, "Augs... it's not cute at 4am." But of course it is.

I'm open to suggestions. I don't think I know it all about raising these children. We've tried putting her down later, and earlier. We've increased food. We've eliminated a late nap then added it back in. I've tried to leave her unswaddled. But she prefers swaddled. We've done nothing. We've tried everything. I've cried out to God in the middle of my sleep-deprived-tear-stained-cry-fests. She used to roll onto her belly and fall back to sleep - now she acts like a flipped turtle who can't roll over. :/

Yesterday morning my husband said to me, "you are such a good mom." I was so challenged by that. HEART MOTIVES. I'm also so challenged {again} with the truth of GRACE. Thank you Lord for new mercies... and very strong coffee. I know this phase will pass and one day my babies will be grown and gone - and I do so want to enjoy this phase. But, maybe after a nap? Trying to remember and live today - "Give thanks IN ALL THINGS." Eucharisteo.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What IS this for? Junk drawer edition.

Do you have a junk drawer?

I, apparently, have a home full of them. I'm not sure it how it happened, but, in every room of our home there is at least one drawer this is full of stuff and nonsense that makes me absolutely bonkers. {sigh} I don't pride myself on being the most tidiest of home makers...but c'mon! For reals?! EVERY room?

Intro kitchen "utensils" drawer.

When we moved into this home 2 years ago I was thrilled about this deep spaced drawer right by the dishwasher. Oh the visions I had of keeping a tidy drawer for all of my odd n' end pieces. Things that were necessary and needed, but didn't have a "proper" place to land. I pictured myself whistling while I worked, diligently emptying the dishwasher and placing utensils in this drawer. Perfect. And for a while I did! Then... well, you know. Life gets real. Time gets short. Other things become 100x's more important then a silly organized drawer.

Today as I cast an annoyed glance at this hot mess - something caught my attention. And this is how the Lord often teaches me. Random personality - Random lessons. Everything in this drawer has a purpose. Everything in the drawer is important at some time. And, this hot mess will remain a hot mess unless the chaos is put in order. For example...
Mom's old metal/copper cookie press. You know... makes those amazingly addicting little spritz cookies. All I seem to have is the barrel portion of this tool. The press... who knows? The little shaped discs...nada. The turny-wheel thing that pushes the dough into the shaped discs... gone-sy! Thank you for your grace as I clearly know NONE of the actual parts names. :)

Next we have Mr. I-Have-No-Clue-What-This-Is.

Honestly. This came to me in a hand me down box when I first got married...and I've never used it and I haven't a clue what it even is. But it's cool and antique-y, so I kept it year after year... filling space.

So, what am I talking about? Here's where I try to put heart to paper, er, keyboard.

Though these things seem to useless and weird and out of place to me, they do possess a purpose. A purpose that really...only they can acheive. Sure I can make some spritz cookies using a plastic ziplock bag with a hole in the tip of it. But, they look awful and its not as much fun. And as for the item above...well, I'm positive it was made for a very specific reason to do a very specific job. Same with us. We are each created with purpose in mind. We were made specifically by a creative creator, God. When I try to be or do something that just isn't who I am... it's a mess.

These items also reminded me of the Church {that Christ loves, by the way...}. Each person plays a role, each part fits together to make the whole "machine" work. It can't be all cookie presses or thing-a-ma-whats-its. Out of order we are a mess. Like my drawer...kind of.

I keep having conversations with people who feel lost or alone or left out. I battle with that from time to time, too. We all do. It's human. Every time I go on FB I see a status about wondering what to do with life, where to go, why are we here?! We struggle to see our purpose. We are blinded by the worlds lies - the Deceiver prowls around sniffing for opportunities. We try so hard to be a "spoon" and then wonder why we just can't cut it - when we are actually "knives". {pun} And maybe this doesn't even make sense to anyone but my brain. I just praise the Lord for this...

"He who began a GOOD WORK in you will be faithful to complete it." Philipians 1:6


"In the same way, even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other." Rom. 12:5

"For example, the body is one unit and yet has many parts. As all the parts form one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Cor. 12:12

"You are Christ’s body and each of you is an individual part of it." 1 Cor. 12:27

What looks like a drawer of mess and chaos to us {earth, church (gasp at the thought), family, etc} - God has completely under His control. He has a plan. You are in it. I'm in it. For the record, my junk drawer is a mess because I haven't taken care of it... our perfect God perfectly takes care of us. No comparison... really.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's be honest...

Lastnight we had a service to celebrate our THIRD church plants beginning. Greg and Laura Pollak and their 5 children have been called to the Altoona, Iowa, area to start a church. I could hardly contain myself {and my tears} through the service. At first I wanted to blame my hormones, it's an easy out, but... as the service went on I realized that it really was my heart being tenderized, convicted and motivated all at once. I was challenged by a few things but the overwhelming thought was about Laura, the wife.

It's no surprise that I struggle with "sharing" my pastor hubby sometimes. Even in the most important, God-given, clearly directed moments... my selfishness can take over. "What do you mean you need to pick up "so and so"? Doesn't he have a dad?!" Yup, ugly. Let's be honest - I think we all can struggle in this area as wives and moms. Or...just women in general. OUR time is OUR time. Rabbit trail... anyway, back to Laura. I just sat there and watched her and listened to account after account of how God had been using her husband to lead people to Christ, lead a church, impact generations... and it hit me. DUH - OBVIOUSLY God can use a man whose wife is behind him, supporting him, loving him... and letting him go. And I know from personal experience its not always easy - but, it's vital. And, it's part of my calling, too.

Lately I've been bearing this burden of feeling guilty. And I know thats a loaded statement - some of you may be screaming at the screen..."Guilt is all in your head", while others, "life isn't based on how we feeeeel", yep - I got it. And I know that. All the same... my heart has been heavy and I've been physically exhausted. Whiny. Complaining. Needy. You name it, I've been it. And I guess I always just assume my husband doesn't mind my constant string of annoying texts telling him how exhausted I am, how naughty our daughter is, or how much I hate Weight Watchers. {that is another story altogether}
But the other day he said something about, "yea, I could tell you were having a hard day from all those texts", GASP. It wasn't said in sarcasm or in a hurtful way - just chit chat, and it hit my heart (as it should have). I went back through and read my texts and seriously... if he was texting me that often and that whine-a-ly I think I would have turned my phone off. But he never does.

Long story short. This all came to head for me lastnight sitting in the service, watching this beautiful family surrender to the Lords work. Tears. Lots of hot tears. And I think, "why Lord, did you chose me? how am I any good? why can't I just get a grip on my selfish heart? and why can't my intentions be REALITY in my life?" It all boils down to surrender. Surrendering my "feelings" to truth, surrendering my exhaustion to the power of God in me, surrending my agenda for the Lords.

And while I don't exactly have a "set in stone" application for all of this ramble of thoughts, I do praise the Lord for working on my tender heart. I'm thankful for the reminder of how PRECIOUS and POWERFUL the role of a wife is in the husbands life. And I'm challenged to buck up and get on with it. We ended the service by singing a song with these words in the bridge...

"You're all to us.

You're all to us.

You're all to us.

Yes you are."

I evaluated my life. How I live. How I text. Do I live in a way that SCREAMS, "Jesus you are all to me"? Let's be honest... it's hard. But its so worth it. And I crave that. It dawned on me that I keep yearning to be USED, to be a part of the bigger story... and here I was. I AM part of that story, and I'm just wasting pages with whine. Thank you Lord for the gentle reminder. Thank you Lord for using Laura Pollak as an example in my life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

coming to the end

Last week I snuck out for a few minutes while the children were napping. Snuck out... to my backyard. I know, life on the wild side, eh? Anyway, I was hoping to snap a few pics of the amazing leaves and bright blue sky before it all fades away. This weekend it seemed like the last of the leaves fell and although the sky is an amazing cobalt blue this morning... I know, that too, will fade to gray. I don't complain. I actually look forward to colder weather. I love sweaters, jeans and cozy socks. I love the holiday season. I enjoy all the special coffees, tv movies and whatever else comes with being inside. It's me.

All that said...
it's kind of weird to see summer and even fall quickly come to an end. Just like that. What a strange, trying and wonderful season it was. Was it really just 4 months ago I was lying in that hospital bed? Do I really have an almost 6 month old baby now? Were we eating grilled meals just a few weeks back? Life just speeds past. Not to sound morbid or like Debby Downer...but, Fall really does represent the End. It's been such a potent reminder to me lately. Life is short and we have to MAKE IT COUNT. Beauty is fleeting, hearts are eternal.

This all sounds very random and jumbled, I know. I'm still just working through so many thoughts and lessons learned. Maybe someday I'll have it all figured out. But, today, we'll just enjoy another gorgeous day and the reminder that ALL IS GRACE, all is GOD GIVEN. And we'll say thank you. Today I'm also thankful for...

- teenagers going door to door handing out cocoa packets and asking strangers if they can pray with them
- my husbands chipper morning self
- incessently babbling baby girl
- almost 3 year old who LOVES to play
- a warm house
- wearing hubs sweatpants on a cold morning
- coffee, always coffee
- a break in the routine
- getting approved for the financial aid program for our med bills - 80% discount! AWESOME.
- going "home" to Ohio in two weeks, family members meeting our newby for the first time

Friday, November 4, 2011

Trash to treasure

Remember this old, blue, basket I found at Salvation Army?

When I saw it on the overcrowded shelf I'm pretty sure I emptied out several smaller baskets to get to it. I had a plan. But, since I'm not always the best "follow-through-er" on my plans, I'm actually surprised its already done and up for display!

I wanted something Fall-Festive, that I could also use for Christmas time. I think I've nailed it. Thanks to a can of red spray paint and a package of raffia (that I also got at salval). Total = $2, maybe.

Right now I'm using it as a fruit/veggie basket - but, I think for Christmas it may hold ornaments or a bunch of scented pine cones :) Now THIS is the kind of DIY I can get into. Simple.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the one where I gush about my children

I love them.

Ava and August. They are my heartbeat. They are my full time job. They bring me joy. Yes, we have our days where it isn't all rainbows and sunshine - but, over all I'm so blessed.

Lastnight we got home late from church. August had fallen asleep in the van while we were waiting for daddy to lock up. So by the time we got home it was at least a good hour nap in the van. Most of you mommas know how those "cat" naps kill bedtime. It was no exception here. While Brad got Ava ready for bed I tackled the littlest - getting jammies on, swaddling, then to lay her down. She closed her eyes right away like she always does. I back out quietly and think, "wow, that went better then I thought." 20 minutes later the red lights on the monitor go off. I readjust, reswaddle. Another 10 minutes go by, red lights again. No worries...its not like I was trying to cuddle with my hubby on the couch and watch that interesting Steve Jobs bio. I repeat this three times. The fourth time I scoop her up, give a good tight swaddle, offer her night bottle early - and we rock. She finishes her bottle and I just hold her. She's dozed off - and has steady breathing. She's completely content and at home in the crook of my arm. As her little brain dreams she cracks smiles and grins as her eyes stay closed. It's beautiful. I rock her a little while longer until she is good and out, kiss her baby lips - and then lay her gently into her crib. She sighs.

What an amazing blessing to hold my babies. To watch them sleep and kiss chubby cheeks. It wipes away all of the difficult days.

Yesterday Ava was acting a little "pesty". From time to time we see this in her - she just walks around looking for trouble. Because the little guy I babysit doesn't seem to notice or mind, I become the ultimate target. She'll follow me around just whining, being grumpy or just plain naughty. For example - I'll be making lunch on the stove and she pull a chair up to the counter to "watch", only, grabs everything and intentional moves and throws stuff because she's grumpy. Several times I asked her to find something to do, something to make, a book to read, etc. At one point she looks at me and says, "mommy, I just want to be near you." Ahhh, just shoot me through the heart, right? If it's not that statement then its, "Mommy, can you please play with me?" while all of her strawberry shortcake toys spread out in front of her. Honestly, a LARGE part of my selfish heart says, "you have tons to do, and she does know how to play solo" but another part screams, "do you honestly think she is going to ask you that forever?!". Children really do just want our time. As Ava grows and changes - I'm finding more and more how much she craves one-on-one time with me, and how different her behavior is when that time and Grace is freely given. WHEN WILL I LEARN?

I'm so thankful for babies to rock, preschoolers to play dolls with, girls to dress up and love on all day. So blessed by my little ladies.

Monday, October 31, 2011

.:Beautiful Things:.

Monday is a day of Thanksgiving around here. Though I haven't been good at getting my "Multitudes on Mondays" up for the last few weeks... I'm still striving to be THANKFUL in all things. While I don't want this weeks post to come across as materialistic or shallow - Today I do want to give thanks for things. Beautiful Things. I truly believe that the Lord loves us to enjoy our lives. He wants us to live abundantly and with joy. Not that things bring lasting joy...but, sometimes... seeing a beautiful thing causes my heart to stir. You? And that comes from God. Creator of all. Creator of beauty.

This weekend I had the opportunity to stop by our local Salvation Army. I have a love/hate relationship with that place. But on this particular day I was feeling lucky and determined - so, off I went. I was looking for copper. Better Homes and Gardens did a spread about using copper in your autumn decor and I was hooked - line and sinker. {ha! Is that even how that expression goes?! HA! I'm totally leaving this in here because I love it.} :) I had the dream of finding a large copper pot. Thats when I realized that copper actually has value and I'm sure I would not be finding one of those. I did procur a few other little gems and hope to have them placed strategically in my home prior to Thanksgiving. The rush is on! And, I'm not sure why...but, Salval's prices have dropped. I mean, really dropped - things were .29 and .49 cents when usually they were 1.99 or something.

I walked out with several copper-ish pieces as well as a few other knick-knacks that caught my eye. I'll say it again... I'm NOT a decorator, though I would love to be. But these little things caught my eye and my heart. For some reason along the crowded shelves in the dirty salvation army they stirred my heart as beautiful things. Things that could have another chance - much like myself. And I'm sure this sounds silly. But I'm thankful to find beauty in the small, unsuspecting places. And I'm eager to share this beauty with my family. So, bag of raffia, cheese cloche, huge basket, random metal wheelbarrow, copper pieces, old tin cup, brown vase and bead berry wreath... I'm thankful for you. And I'm thankful for the little times like this when I find pure joy in life. Simple. Joy.


Another little thing before I log off here.

This weekend hubs and I also took a glance at what lies under our delicious blue carpet. {ick} This is what we found. Keep in mind our home was built in 1914.
We don't know if it's salvage-able or not. We aren't even sure what that green gunk is. We are so very house-dumb about this kind of thing. But, they are REAL wood, and REAL old. Who knows, maybe someday we'll have time and know how to finish these babies and make the dining room look fantastic. In the meantime.... anyone know anything about hardwood floors? We'd love to hire you. We can't pay, but, we'd love to hire you! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

His Mercies...the anticipation

Lastnight as I lay in bed my shoulders were tight, my head pounded, and I dreaded the early morning hours to come. The night prior was a disaster. Both of my girls have head colds and both of them are up at random times during the night - making for one exhausted momma, as I seem to be up hour after hour waiting on two children. Time seems to FLY by sometimes, doesn't it? And then some nights it draaaags on. My poor Augs has the worst of it, I'm afraid. She's completely congested and just coughs and gags and chokes all night long. I'm not the type that can "tune out" that kind of thing... so I lay there feeling helpless and stressed out. As if my thumb twiddling and grimmaced face helps. Anyway, yesterday was a long and difficult day for me after a midnight awakening, followed by a 4 to 6:55am wake up time. Keep in mind that I babysit full time and my 3rd little one was to arrive shortly after 7am. My body was protesting BIG TIME as I tried to get dressed and get moving. Everything within me was exhausted and begging for sleep. Had those days?

The whole night I had been begging God to PLEASE help me show love to my children, to be patient, to be kind. I was claiming VICTORY over my flesh...because Christ has already given us victory - we forget that.

Finally the adrenaline kicked in and we actually ended up having a pretty great morning. Ava and I had some great one-on-one craft time while Augs napped and little boy played on the floor. We talked about "Eucharisteo" and giving thanks in ALL things. I had Mozart playing quietly and our fall scented candle burning. I kept thanking God over and over for His mercies that morning. Then nap time came and life just seemed to all fall apart. Augs wasn't adjusting to her new 4-hour routine, and she was snotty and having trouble breathing -which, kills a naptime. Ava's new thing is fighting nap time, when, usually she LOVED going to nap. My morning adrenaline was fading and I was tired...aching for 10 minutes of alone time. My head pounded and reminded me of just how little rest I actually got lastnight. I'm so spoiled on sleep now - having a 5 month old who's been "through the night" for months! I could go on and on. I found my heart getting frustrated, "Lord, WHY is this happening? You know I can't handle this!" Almost as if I was DUE that alone time I craved. {psst...I don't} My selfishness was taking over fast.

The day ended finally, around 11:15 lastnight. I crawled into bed and just wanted to collapse into a deep sleep as fast as I could...that's when the coughing started. I moaned, "nooooo" not again. In my mind all I could think about was that I "needed" sleep - it's scientifically proven right? All I longed for was to experience yet again those new mercies from my God. I cried. {Literally} My heart sunk as I pictured myself up again at 12, 2, 4am...such ugly hours when you are at your limit. I was fighting for joy - it was a very real battle. Hubs was already asleep and I didn't want to wake him to ask for prayer... so, the Holy Spirit was definitely translating my "groanings". :) Praise God for that! Scripture was pouring through my tired mind and I slowly felt the tension ease, my head stop aching and the dread leave my mind. Not that anything magical was happening, but, my anticipation of the new mercies of the Lord were my comfort. I could make it through another sleepless night if need be. I could love my children, patiently, just as if I was running on 12 hours. I could face tomorrow. And I drifted off...

At 6:38 this morning my alarm went off. Two little beeps. My eyes fluttered and I sat straight up looking around. Did we all really sleep all night? Glancing at hubs, he asks me... "feeling better?". {Turkey!}

And my eyes mist as I yet again bask in the goodness and mercy of my God. He is REAL. He is ALIVE. He is ALL I NEED.

Psalm 89:1 -"I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations."

Psalm 103:8 - "The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy."

Lamentations 3: 22-25 -"Though the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.“ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “ Therefore I hope in Him!” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,To the soul who seeks Him."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Someday when I'm old

Someday when I'm old I'll sit on the couch and read a good book

... all the way through.

I will take leisurely walks on beautiful fall days,

enjoying the sounds and smells of the new season.

Someday I'll sleep in until 8am - then have big, fancy, breakfasts, and drink my coffee

while it's still hot.

When I'm old my house will always be clean and tidy. No scraps of toilet paper on the bathroom floor, no crumb littered couches or toy infested porches.

Someday I'll sit in silence. For long periods of time.
I'll have no one to care for and nothing to do but sit.

Thanking God that today is not that day.

I've had a rough week - the kind that every mother has every now and again. Children were unruly (does anyone still even say that word?!), naptimes were interrupted or non-existent, grocery shopping didn't get done so meals were...interesting. House work just never seemed to be wrapped up, not even the "Smaller" chores. Tensions high and patience low. Humanity showing through BIG TIME. And while I sound like a crazy lady... I'm thankful for those weeks. I don't wish for them and I can certainly wait a long time until we have another, but, I needed the reminder this week of just how very fully I need to be relying and leaning on the Lord. I can't do this wifely/motherly life on my own - and, when I try it's a big hot mess of ugly. {ask my hubby}

Several nights after the children were in bed or down for naps I just had a few minutes to sit and cry. Cry because of my frustrations, but, also because I realize how quickly these days WILL pass and someday I won't have these "treasures" in my home anymore. Life will be boring. And though I'm exhausted and tested and weak - I can think of no better way to be exhausted. I have failed many, many times this week. I'm thankful for Grace. I've been short and sharp with my biggest girl - and that breaks my heart. Breaks my will. I'm forgiven, and thankful.

Even during a difficult week we still manage to have our fun around here. It's a fun time in life with Ava turning 3 soon and Auggie really turning into a Baby that moves and does things :) We are all giddy about setting up holiday plans - including a trip to OHIO next month and then seeing all our siblings and cousins on Pausley side in December. Ava asks everyday if it's Thanksgiving yet. :) I love that she's grasping the joy that can be found in these special days. {mommy's fave days!} Lastnight we were just hanging out as a fam. Nothing to do and nowhere to be - playing with Hubs Mac. He turned the camera feature on and we had so much fun laughing, giggling and taking funny pictures. A memory I will never forget. Friday night on the couch with my babies and husband. It's burned onto my mommy-brain-hard drive. :) {Sniff, sniff}

August started solids this month. We've gone through rice cereal and carrots and this week we are working on sweet potatoes and oatmeal cereal. I know "they" say only do one food at a time but... we like to live on the edge around here. :) She's doing pretty good with eating - just has a little of that tongue thrust going on, so she ends up wearing most of it. It's adorable. She loves carrots and seems to do better with those. I can't wait to get back into making baby food again. I love it!

Miss August is now also a professional roller-over. The second I put her down she's flopped onto her belly. It's hilarious and opens up a whole new world for her. She's really into grabbing things, too, so toys are more fun these days. And she isn't grabbing for toys alone - but, mommy's coffee and food, bibles, and most importantly -her toes.

I love my chunky, happy, beautiful Auggie Hope :) She melts my heart and makes me smile.
My Ava girl is just 2 months away from turning 3 years old. I CANNOT believe that. She's amazing. Everyone keeps saying to me how smart she is, and funny, and animated. I just nod. It's so true! She keeps me hopping here at home, too. If it's not a detailed conversation about why baby Jesus doesn't wear a diaper and "look Mommy he has a butt", then it's explaining to me "actually" this or "Oh, you're right" about that. She is very opinionated and seriously emotional - we are working on the right way of training her and teaching her how to use her strong will for the Lord. Convicts me EVERY day. She loves to go-go-go and always wants to be out and about. Loves the city life - just like her daddy. I can't keep clothes (that fit) on her long enough. She, at almost 3, is in mostly 4t items. Jeans are too short otherwise. Her feet seem to be growing by the day, too. We know God will provide for our Ava... He always does. We have been so grateful for cousins and friends who give us their "big girl" clothes. :) And I love finding my deals here and there are cute things, too! So thankful for this beautiful girl and how much love she has for such an imperfect momma!

Life is a gift. Life is Grace. We can't forget that. Every moment is a chance to start over - when caught up in the GRUMPS of life. Thank you Lord for my family and the blessing they are to me. I can wait to be old.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stuff you didn't know you didn't know :)

Bear with me as I share a silly email I received this weekend...

Every day more money
is printed for Monopoly than the U.S.

Men can read smaller
print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was
originally green.

It is impossible to lick
your elbow.

The cost of raising
a medium-size dog to the age of eleven:

$ 16,400

Intelligent people
have more zinc and copper in their hair..

Q. Half of all
Americans live within 50 miles of what?

A. Their birthplace

In Shakespeare's
time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened,
making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the
phrase...'Goodnight , sleep tight'

In English pubs, ale
is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when
customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind
your pints and quarts, and settle down.'

It's where we get
the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'

Many years ago in
England ,
pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle
of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill ,
they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle'
is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Now, how have any of us survived until now not knowing those things? :P
Happy Monday! Let some silly in today!