Friday, February 29, 2008
I cannot believe it. He is my baby. It is bittersweet I tell you...bittersweet people! I guess this weekend we will be lowering the crib mattress
Thursday, February 28, 2008
***By the way, I think my husband would be embarrassed if I allowed you to believe that we are dirty people (I may lean to the dirty side, but he does not) and he does pride himself in having one of the least sticky kitchens around. So I guess you could say we have 2 clean rooms in the house, but when I look at the piles of mail and the clutter I just don't see clean.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Mr. Banker can I please get some money?
The Doctor's...I was in good hands with these two.
Look at that spread prepared by these two chefs!
Friday, February 22, 2008
I woke him up two hours later. Not tired? You see how he still has a small yellow toy in his hand? I promise you he did not intend to fall asleep. So sweet!
Most of you know that I am going to a retreat this weekend. I am excited and will spend the day getting packed and ready. I am helping to host a shower on Sunday afternoon, in between church and Community Group Sunday night so I am trying to get a little organized for all that too. And to top it off, Andrew woke up last night with so much goop in his eye that he could not open it. I will try to get the drops for that and get him started on those. I hate to be leaving my husband with 3 kids, especially when one has pink eye. He is a great dad and I know he can handle it, but this is his first overnight duty with 3 kids (feel free to say a little prayer for Andrew's eye and Trace). What an awesome man he is that he has not complained or acted even slightly annoyed by the fact that I will be gone. You are a great dad and a fabulous husband! I love you!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I am in close communion with my Father. He is teaching, He is leading and that is clear to me. I could describe this as a mountaintop experience. I know God is pushing us and changing us and that is scary at times, but I am so very comforted by the fact that He has to be close enough to touch me so that He can push me. I will hold on to the closeness while I walk through the fear. I will hold onto His goodness, when the doubt creeps in. I will proclaim my belief in Him, and ask for help with the unbelief.
I am going to a women's retreat that is hosted by our church. It is my 4th retreat to go to and the theme of the retreat this year is From Fear to Freedom. When I first heard the topic it did little for me, I just knew that I had gone in the past and I wanted to go again. It had always been a fun time of connecting with other ladies and being challenged. I signed up and I committed to praying for the retreat. They have asked us to pray for the speaker and her health, the worship music that we will have, that the details will come together and the right people will be there.
So I have prayed, but then I got an updated list and it said something about praying for the message to be heard personally by the ladies that attend. That their hearts will be prepared and that every bit of fear that exists will be rooted out of their hearts so they can walk in freedom. I have had no problem praying that for the other ladies, but for some reason I have been fearful to pray that for myself (although I have) and if I am completely honest I must say that I am not all that excited about the retreat, but rather that I am a bit trepidatious. I mean, I am looking forward to time with the ladies, but I just keep sensing that the Lord has a message for me to hear. The places that Trace and I are beginning to sense the Lord leading are out of our comfort zone...way out of our comfort zone. I keep thinking that He is asking me to run away with Him and let Him minister to me, let Him teach me, let Him speak. That is great, I love the mountain. However, when you are on it you also know that you have to come back down and I am not sure I am ready for what we may be coming back down to.
This week the BSF lesson has been on Matthew 17. Part of what is discussed in this chapter is Jesus' transfiguration on the top of a mountain. The 3 disciples that were with Him got a glimpse of His glory and majesty. It was truly a mountaintop experience for the three of them as well as for Jesus. Right after this experience, that would produce awe, fear, and reverence for the Lord, these three men were lead back down the mountain into the valley. Jesus came back down with the express purpose of dieing on a cross, which was nearing. The disciples came back to the valley and were witnesses of both his death and resurrection. Talk about producing some fear, to watch your Lord die and not understand the implications of this. Jesus does not take us up to the mountain to leave us there, but rather to lead us back down to the valley to take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew16:24-25).
This is what the BSF notes that I read today said..."Mountaintop Christian Conferences are for our encouragement and strengthening. Everyday situations test the reality of the mountaintop experience". That jumped out to me as I prepare, with a little bit of fear, to go to a retreat this weekend. God is not going to keep me on the mountain forever. He will lead me back into the valley so that I can live and love those He leads me to, so that I can walk in obedience to His calling. He will be with me, but He will be leading me to my cross more and more all the time. He will be giving me life, true life that comes from Him, as I put do death my ways, my heart, my desires, my hopes, and yes my fears and I follow Him. He will lead to freedom, but the journey to get there could get rather bumpy. Oh, how thankful I am to know that after the cross Jesus experienced the resurrection. He may ask me to die, but in that death joy comes. Life is truly given and can be embraced! Lord help me to always remember that you give me the mountaintop so that I can live freely and boldly in the valley with the promise that resurrection is right around the corner. With that truth, freedom is possible!!!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Drink cups refilled various times throughout the day.
Trip to Walmart for groceries and what have you (3 kids in tote).
Groceries put away.
Necessary phone calls and emails made.
Kids down for nap.
Some much needed quiet time with my Lord.
Kids up from nap (much too early).
6 loads of laundry in the process of being washed, folded, and put away (plus the pile that needed to be folded and put away that was stacked in my bedroom).
Dishwasher loaded, emptied, and reloaded.
Baths administered for 3 kids.
Books read to kids.
Bedtime routine with the kids.
I am worn out. Just a typical Monday (except I actually put away all the laundry I washed today). It was a good day. I hope you had a good one too.
I will leave you with a parenting question....I am drawing a blank on good, healthy easy first finger foods. Help! I know some of you who read and never comment have little kids and can give some good suggestions. Today would be a good day to make yourself known. We have done Puffs, Cherrios, Animal Crackers, Bananas, and Kiwi cut up small. Any other suggestions would help because my mind is completely frazzled with 3 kids and I just can't remember. Also, I don't remember any guidelines like don't feed them peanut butter until? eggs? Just help a mom out who cannot think any longer.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Oh, how sweet our God is. One of my favorite things about having a little girl has been watching her fall in love with fairy tales and beautiful dresses. I have gotten to fall in love all over again with the idea of the fairy tale. I have come to believe that this is not a childhood fantasy, but it is the desire God has written on our hearts. He has definitely written it on my heart and I am watching him form this desire in my two year old girl’s heart. Don't we all want to be rescued from something? Isn't there a part of all of us who wants to be whisked away on the white horse with our Prince Charming? Can't we see that desire today...Valentine's Day, as women hope and wish for a man to be their Prince Charming? To make them feel like they are enough, to make them feel beautiful.
So I took the opportunity to discuss fairy tales, to let Rebecca know that they are not just a dream or fantasy. That they are real, that she really is that daughter of The King. She is a beautiful Princess and she has been given a savior to rescue her. He came and He died, and He will Come again! Please don't just skip past that link, please go and read what it says. He will come; He will ride up on a horse to wage war. He will fight for His glory and His honor. And in the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will give praise to God (Romans 14:11). He is my Prince, He will come to save! I will be whisked away...no, I am being whisked away daily by the immeasurable love that the Father has lavished upon me. I beg of you to let yourself go, to fall into your Prince Charmings arms and let Him whisk you away.
Go listen to this song that has become one of my very favorites (insert -- the song I am referring to is measure of beauty, click on it if it does not come up from the beginning, sorry having a problem getting this to work). Just listen as Gods word is sung over you. All the lyrics of this song come straight from scripture. God loves you, oh how He loves you! The Bride is being prepared for the Bridegroom (Jesus). Don't miss the wedding; we will live happily ever after!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Aidan, I love...
***that you enjoy playing games together as a family and will pass up almost anything for a good board game or Uno.
***that you have somehow convinced your mom and dad that it is ok to play a game of indoor soccer in our hallway (while Andrew is toted on my hip). I love the many high fives you give me while we beat your dad...we make a good team.
***the way your smile and your laugh light up our home. It is such a joy to watch you develop your own silly style.
***that you are such a good big brother to Rebecca and Andrew. It brings me such joy to watch my kids enjoy spending time together (that is of course, in between the arguing and tattling).
***that you are such a big thinker and you ask lots of questions about God.
*** that you love God and our family.
Rebecca, I love...
***your super sweet kissable cheeks.
***the many faces you make throughout a day.
***the way you laugh, it is contagious.
***the way you have put a little skip into your run.
***snuggle time with Becca and the way you tell me you love me so many times in a day.
***the way that you pat the pillow in your bed to let me know to come lay down during our bedtime routine and that you are eager to pray every night.
***the way you get your words mixed up ( i.e., the whole month of December you called reindeer kangaroo, and the fact that you really think Animal Planet is Pizza Planet no matter how many times we correct you).
Andrew, I love...
***Your beautiful blue eyes.
***Your big toothy grin, it just melts my heart.
***The way you smile and laugh at Aidan and Rebecca. I can already tell that you are so ready to join in the playtime with your siblings.
***The way you open and close your hands over and over when you are excited and want me to come get you.
***To smother you in kisses after your bath when you smell so stinkin good!
***The sweet sound of your voice when you say Ma Ma Ma Ma!
***Watching you change daily, you are growing so fast.
Trace, I love...
***the way you can make me laugh (I don't frequently admit it but you are one of the most amusing people I know).
***that you challenge me to think deeper about God and to love Him more.
***that you are my very best friend, what a privilege to share my life with my best friend.
***that you complain so little about the things that drive you crazy about me!
***that you pray for me and with me.
***that you love the Lord and seek to lead our family closer to Him.
***that you are willing to forgive me when I don't deserve to be forgiven.
***that I can trust you.
***that you are a good dad. I love watching you play with our children.
***that you love, support, and believe in me.
God, I love...
***that all of these things are gifts from your hand.
***that you love me despite the fact that I am not worthy of your love.
***that I can trust you, for you never change!
***that you pour out your mercy and grace upon this family.
***that you are in the business of redeeming lives for your glory and I am privileged enough to be redeemed by your love and goodness.
***that I know you, the only one that satisfies.
***that you would send your son to die on a cross so that I could taste eternal life.
***that you are at work right this moment in my life, in my family, and everywhere!
God you are so good, I will sing your praises! I will declare your goodness. I will shout it from the rooftops. FOR YOU ARE HOLY, YOU ARE LORD, YOU ARE WORTHY TO BE PRAISED. YOU ARE MIGHTY AND YOU ARE MY LORD! YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. THE ANGELS DECLARE OF YOUR GLORY. I LOVE YOU LORD!
And, the beloved black shoes ( by the way, this happened the first full day she wore them)...
This is terribly disturbing to me, but for these reasons my daughter will not be allowed to be a shoe person, because I simply won't buy them. These are the 3 pairs she has and she wears one of them everyday, no matter how torn up they may be. I hate that her shoes look so bad, but then I see things like this and I know this is a very American kind of problem to have. I can be thankful for scraped up shoes.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I was in shock today...I ran out to check the mail and the sky looked pretty nasty, the wind was up, and I could tell a storm was coming. Literally within minutes I heard the rain so hard I thought someone was banging on our back door. I looked outside and saw golf ball size hail falling from the sky. It was brief...it only lasted for about 5 minutes, but it was long enough to wake up Andrew who was sleeping soundly until the loud thuds threatened to break the window in his room. The kids had lots of questions about the hail (you know, what is it?, what makes it happen?, why did it stop?, etc., etc.) and their super smart mommy on the is Super Tuesday gave many exasperated I don't knows and even resorted to well, I am not God so I don't get to know that. It was fun to go outside and play with the balls of ice after it was over and done with though.
I told you I have had the flu and I have felt better for about 5 days now, but I am just so stinking tired...I can't seem to get my energy level back and I want to sleep every chance I get. I took two short naps today and I am looking forward to bedtime which is coming soon. Surely this can't last much longer...I have floors to clean (and I can ignore them for quite an impressive amount of time, but I am beginning to feel like it must be done soon, since I saw the baby pick up some ball of dirt or debris and try to eat it), I have laundry to do, and the organizational level of this house is beginning to make me crazy! It is nice to be feeling better, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by my house and the kids could really use a mommy, please sit and play day. Hopefully the remainder of this week will leave some time for all of that...if I could just stay awake when my kids are occupied.
Before getting sick, little Rebecca and I had a mommy and me day. It was our first and I invision many, many more in the years to come. She is so sweet and it was fun to get to focus just on her for once...I also must say that having one with you is a peice of cake when you are used to toting around 3 kids. I really felt like it was a vacation. We went to Dallas, had lunch with my grandfather, sister-in-law, and my neices. We then went to a baby shower for my cousin which was the reason for making the trip and then we went and hung out at the house of one of my dear friends from HS. It was such a good visit. Meridith is the kind of friend that I can go months without talking to her much, but we have just known each other for so long that we pick right back up. Finally we sropped at Chick-fil-A for some play time and nuggets before heading back. It was a good day.
The Haglers will be Mexico bound this summer. Trace and I are so excited! We attended a meeting about short term missions recently at our church. We heard about several awesome mission trips that God is putting together that would be absolutely amazing experiences, however we just don't feel like most of them are feasible for our family at this point. We did hear about a group that goes to Matamoros, Mexico every year. They go and stay at an orphanage for about a week and they run a VBS for the kids in the orphanage, they set up an area where they meet some minor medical needs for the community, and this year they will be doing some minor construction work at the orphanage. Matamoros is only about 10 miles across the border, but it is across the border. We will have to get some shots, and we will have to sacrifice a few of the luxuries of home (the big one for me is going to be air conditioning during the day, but we will have it while we sleep). We are the most excited about the fact that we can go as a family. We get to travel with other families that have a heart for missions and a desire to go and serve. That in and of itself will make the experience worth it. We are eager to see how God uses this to change our hearts! We are eager to get out there and do something and we are eager to do that as a family. I am dreaming of making this trip a regular family event, of raising kids who have a heart to see God move through missions and who desire to be a part of what God wants to do. I don't know what impact this will have on me, I have never taken a mission trip, I have never sweated for Jesus as I tried to show a little of His love to those I come in contact with, but I know this is an experience that will forever change me and right now I desire to be changed. I desire to be shaken, to be emboldened with the Holy Spirit, to share Jesus Christ (the only one who satisfies) with those around me. I don't think I have to go to Mexico to do that, but I do think it will help me in the process of being transformed. I don't know what to expect for my family, but I am excited about the unexpected!
Lastly, I have thought a bunch about suffering for the sake of Christ lately. I think that the Bible makes it very clear that if you follow Christ...YOU WILL SUFFER for His name sake. The problem that I have had lately is that I don't really suffer and I suffer so little that I even wonder what kind of Christian life am I living. Do I look any different than those around me? Am I any better at loving those around me than the nonbeliever down the street? The bible says work out you salvation with fear and trembling (Philipians 2:12). What does that mean? Does that mean that I should question these things? Does that mean that I should wonder if I have really been set apart by the Holy Spirit? I mean, don't get me wrong, God has changed my heart and I am different than I was 5 years ago. I think different, I believe different, and I do believe I act a little different, so I must be His; I am His child. I know He has changed me! The question is...How much have I let Him change me? Have I let Him change me to the point that Paul says...I count all things loss, but the surpassing knowledge of Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8)? All things? Do I count all things but loss compared to Him. Is He my only desire? Do I want to or am I willing to really suffer for the sake of His name? Well, I can answer one part of that...no, I do not want to suffer, but am I willing? Could I do it? Could I be beaten and spit on and still follow Him? I do not know. It makes me uncomfortable to think about it, but I think from time to time, I should think about it. I think sometimes I should struggle with the fact that I don't really suffer for His names sake. I do realize that I have not been called to that kind of suffering and I am thankful for that, but sometimes I wonder if He hasn't called me because I am not capable...I would break under the pressure. I was recently in a room of Christians that I respect. People that I believe do try to live the Christian life and who do seek to do Jesus' will, but I left with this topic heavy on my heart. The topic of suffering came up and someone felt the need to say we all suffer...we all suffer in some way ( whether it is giving financially or not buying something I want for the sake of God's name, or being ridiculed a little by people around us or whatever). Really? Does that count? Is that suffering for the sake of Christ or is that an American Christians way of feeling ok for the life we live and the little, tiny amount we suffer? How come we can't just sit and be uncomfortable? Why can't we take that discomfort to our Heavenly Father and pour our struggle out to Him and see how He responds? Why do we always have to make it ok? Why do I feel a need to justify my lack of suffering, my relatively easy life? Christians around the world do suffer for the sake of Christ. They are imprissoned and beaten. They are deserted by family and some times they do not even have food to eat. Can I compare my life to that? Do I really partake in the suffering of Christ? Just a question, a struggle I have had within myself...I would love your thoughts.