Archive for May, 2010
Today I spent an hour at the hospice holding a beautiful 3 week old boy who probably only has a few more days on this earth. Needless to say on the drive home I praised God through my tears for my two healthy children. It really got me thinking about what it means to be a parent. About what an honor it is to be entrusted with the care of these children for however long God places them in our care. It’s so easy to think that they are ours- to forget that they are really on loan to us from God. To take for granted their health and the fact that they’ll live long, successful lives. But in this life there are no guarantees. We don’t know how long they’ll be with us, whether they’ll have good health or bad, if they’ll marry or have children, if they will be successful, if they’ll be happy. The worst to ponder is that they may not choose to follow Christ. I can only do my part- teach them about Jesus, pray over them, surround them with His love. In the end I must leave them in His hands and trust that He loves them even more than I do. Trust that He will call each of them to Him in His own perfect way. And so today I am reminded to pray and to love and to laugh with my children. I was reminded to be a little more patient and a lot more intentional. And to hold them a little more loosely in my hands.
I was also reminded that God knows better than I. I have no answers. I am ignorant of His ways. Like Job’s friends, my explanations are empty and false. Like Job I must say “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Only God knows why He allowed a baby to come into this world who will not survive. Why He allows sickness and heartache to plague His people. But the Truth I do know is this…
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Today I was on the phone with a girlfriend. When I hung up JT said “Daddy?” (He thinks every phone call is from daddy- even when daddy is in the room with us.) I told him that it was Mrs. Grace, Josiah’s mommy. JT’s cute little face lit up and he said “Happy Birthday to You! Happy Josiah!” Yes that’s right, 2 and a half weeks ago we went to Josiah’s birthday party. So then JT says “mommy sing it please” and I found myself singing “Happy Birthday dear Josiah” over and over and over again- 2 weeks later. And dear Josiah wasn’t even there.
Whew- when my laptop died I couldn’t figure out how to log in to my own blog from our other computer. Sorry it took me a week to sit down and work through it! Anyway, now I’ve got myself set up on the other computer and the only thing holding me back is that I dread slogging myself downstairs to the basement. I sure hope we win the lottery soon so we can get me a fancy new computer for my desk upstairs! While I was messing with my settings I also made it easier for my readers to leave comments. So comment away folks!
Now to my actual post…
This past weekend Kate and I flew out to California for a wedding. We had some much needed girl time (shout out to Heidi!) and I actually caught up on my sleep! (I just reread what I’ve written so far and counted 6 exclamation points. I really need to work on that. Ugh- I had to resist putting one more in right there- and now I want to put one here too!) The thing I can’t get over though is that I’m old. I know I’m only 35, but shouldn’t I be 20? All weekend I kept reflecting on how much life we’ve lived in the past 15 years. It seems like only yesterday I was a guest at the first weddings for my group of friends. In 15 years we’ve shared it all- birthdays, break ups, weddings, struggles, new babies, deaths, celebrations, etc. Friends have moved away and some have even come back again. Even I got married and moved to Colorado and had 2 babies. I just keep wondering how it can be that so much life has happened to us.
I am fortunate to have such good friends. When I decided to live my life for Christ I fell in with the college group at my church. The Sunday Night Live (SNL for you insiders!) gang embraced me and challenged me when I was new to my faith. This group of people befriended me and showed me what it means to live abundantly and joyfully. At a time in my life when I needed positive role models and fellowship with believers these friends took me in. For 12 years these are the friends who I walked side by side with through life.
After nearly 3 years here in Colorado I’m finally seeing glimmers of deep friendship. These things take time. My new friends are great and fun and I love hanging out with them- but it’s a process to really get to know someone and build up history with them. Our Young Families group at church is where I feel most at home- we’ve been meeting for almost 2 years and we’re just getting to that place where we know and trust each other intimately. And it’s a good thing, because the past few weeks have been really really hard. Dear friends gave birth to a much cherished (and much unexpected) baby boy 2 weeks ago. At first everything seemed fine- he looks perfect. And then the doctors started noticing problems- he isn’t sucking, he has shaking in his limbs, he failed his hearing test, his pulse is weak in his legs. An ultrasound revealed a heart defect that required immediate surgery and transfer to another hospital. An MRI of his brain revealed abnormal development. This precious little boy and his parents have some serious challenges ahead. Other dear friends are facing accusations of an ugly nature. The husband’s career, their prospects to adopt more children, fellowship with their church home, life as they know it are all at risk. It seems that Satan has noticed out little group and doesn’t want us to succeed. That he wants to snatch these friends out of our hands.
I love these friends. To me, this feels like a challenge. It’s time to step up. To show them that I love them and am willing to BE THERE. To tell Satan that he can’t have them. It’s time to take these relationships to the next level. To get past the stage where we are comfortable laughing together and to start crying together too. To walk this path with them so they don’t have to walk it alone.
Where will we all be in 15 years? Only God knows what our future holds. What I do know is that He is telling me that it’s time to be a real friend. The kind who is willing to walk through the valley hand in hand with a friend in need.
“A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends” Job 6:14a
Today is my husband’s 36th birthday. It’s the 7th birthday we’ve celebrated together. I find that to be astonishing. How can I have known him that long? I thought that today would be the perfect day to tell you about the wonderful man I married.
- Chris is exactly the same with everyone- he never pretends or puts on a front. He acts the same around his mother, his boss, his friends, and the person he’s just met. He is so genuine and I wish that it would rub off on me!
- Chris will give you the shirt off his back. Or his car. Or a place to sleep. No hesitation, no regrets.
- Chris loves his family.
- Chris has an amazing ability to combine technology and people skills. He’s the guy who can get the engineers and the technophobes to understand each other.
- Chris is slow to anger and quick to forgive.
- Chris loves the classics- black and white movies, musicals, broadway theatre, the Beatles and Billy Joel.
- Chris is content to live with very little. (Ok- he does lust after every new gadget on the market, but he’s a techie- who can blame him?)
- Chris loves to play- board games, poker, cards, whatever.
- Chris is such a hypochondriac. Even he will admit that he’s a little obsessive.
- Chris is a packrat and a collector.
- Chris loves to sleep- almost as much as I do!
- Chris has just the right combination of humility and self confidence.
- Chris is a wonderful provider for our family- he considers it his duty to pick up extra work so that I can be home with the kids.
- Chris loves Jesus and desires to live for Him.
I am so thankful that God brought us together. I pray we have many many more birthdays to celebrate together.
Happy birthday dear husband!
I’ve been collecting JTisms over the past few days for his baby book. I thought you might enjoy them too…
- blackberries are “black blueberries” and raspberries are “rasp blueberries”
- the paper version of Goodnight Moon is “big moon” the board book version is “other moon”
- while waiting for anything electronic JT says “loading” (too many youtube videos on daddy’s phone!)
- while singing You Are My Sunshine “no no no no dear” instead of you’ll never know dear
- “mommy has a belly button, daddy has a belly button, Kate has a belly button, JT has a belly button… everybody has a belly button!”
- “noooooo” said in a cute voice when he does something silly
- “mama get it please, okay!”
- “BIG truck” “BIG school bus” “race car”- sums up any vehicle he sees
- “ong?”= will you sing me a song before bed?
- “Kate crying” he pretty much says this every time he hears Kate crying
- “bite?” when he sees Kate nursing- I think he’s concerned that she’s hurting me
- in the morning- “go CBS? go MOPS! go doctor! go church?”
- “daddy work”
- “big pictures” = our wedding album, “big pictures baby JT” = the photo book of JT’s first year
- “go basement, watch Cars” said multiple times a day since Chris took JT to the basement to watch the movie- which only lasted 3 minutes in actuality, but which has been talked about enthusiastically for weeks since
Ok- brag session’s over
I’ve been feeling a deep discontent over the past few months. Something is off in my spiritual life and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m active in my church and in a weekly bible study. I love Jesus. I’m trying to share that love of Jesus with my children. And yet I can’t shake the feeling that I’m missing the big picture. That God wants more from me – that I’m not living up to the potential that God has for me. How do I balance being a wife, raising two small children, keeping a household running, and maintaining relationships with friends and family with the call Christ gives to all of His followers “24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16″24-26
I have more questions than answers. How can I live up to all I’m called to be… a bride of Christ, a fisher of men, a wife of noble character, one who looks after widows and orphans, a good Samaritan, etc, etc. How can I stop going TO church and instead BE the church? What does that look like? How can I trade the urgent for the important? What should I let go of so that I can cling to what truly matters?
Look at what Philippians 2:1-18 says…
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Raising children has shown me that if nothing else I am selfish and have all the wrong priorities. I don’t want to be a servant! I don’t want to be humble! I want someone else to do the hard work. The dirty jobs. The boring stuff. I want someone to notice that I emptied the dishwasher and paid the bills and spent 6 hours breastfeeding today. I want my accolades and pat on the back! But look what Philippians says- Jesus took the very nature of a servant. He humbled Himself. He became obedient. And so should I.
Years ago I claimed Philippians 2:14-16 as my life verse. At the time I was battling my very nature. As a new Christ follower I had some serious changes to make in my attitude and actions. And yet 15 years later here I am again. As I reread these words I see I still have so far to go. I think that this discontent is God’s way of stirring up new change in me. He’s showing me that I’ve become too comfortable in my skin. In my faith. I’m no longer stretching and growing, but like the Pharisees I’ve grown proud of leading a Sunday School class and reading my bible every night. I don’t think God cares very much about that… I think he’s more concerned with my poor prayer life. With the minimal effort I make to reach out to my neighbors who don’t know Him. With the harsh words I speak to my husband.
So I’m working on it. I’m trying to pray more and listen more. I’ve been talking with friends about how they balance the demands of their lives with their faith. I’ve been reading books and listening to sermons.
If you have any insight I’d love to hear it. God is leading me… I just don’t know where we’re going.
This yummy dinner started with an online recipe that I adapted to the ingredients I had on hand. I used leftover guacamole from Cinco de Mayo and leftover diced ham I had left from another recipe. You can use whatever ingredients you have- it’s pretty adaptable and comes together in the time it takes the pasta to cook!
- 1 box pasta (shape of your choice)
- 1-2 cups diced ham
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 cup boiling water mixed with 2 cubes chicken bullion
- 1 sliced avocado or 1 pkg prepared guacamole
- 1 cup sour cream
Boil pasta according to directions
Saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil until tender. Add parsley, ham and combined water and stock. Simmer 3 minutes. Add avocado and sour cream- stir until heated through. Toss with pasta and enjoy!
Hello friends! My hubby has talked me into joining the masses of bloggers out there. I’ve been mulling this over for several weeks- What will I talk about? Who will want to read it? What purpose will it serve? Here are the answers I’ve come up with…
- I’ll talk about whatever happens to be on my mind at the moment
- I’m hoping that this blog will appeal to moms and women who are in the trenches of marriage and parenting
- I’d like to start a dialogue that will draw others closer to God, exchange parenting tips and ideas, find a sympathetic ear when it’s just been one of those days, and hopefully find that in writing I’m also growing. As a wife, mom, and women of God.
I’ve titled my blog “gaining MOMentum” because that’s where I am today- five years into marriage and less than two years into mothering- I’m just now finding my stride and I’m still picking up speed. I’m only at the beginning of the rest of my life- I have a long journey ahead (or so I hope!) and I want to do it well. I want to hear God say “Well done good and faithful servant” on the day I meet him face to face. I want to parent my children intentionally- with grace and wit and humor and patience. I want to love my husband wholeheartedly and build a marriage that reflects Christ’s relationship with the church. I want those around me to be better people for knowing me. I want to be a good friend and neighbor. A diligent worker. A faithful daughter and sister. I want this blog to turn into a community of support and encouragement and joy and growth. Not just for me, but for you.
So this is where I’m starting. I’m putting myself out there and only time will tell what it will look like. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever written you know that I tend to use too many exclamation points and …s when I write. I have an irritating habit of typing hte instead of the. (Hopefully I’ll catch all of those.) I also tend to brag about my kids- I’ll do my best to restrain myself, but I really like them. I’m still trying to figure out how to set up the look I want and get my links to link and all that fun stuff, but in the meantime… thanks for joining me on the journey!
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