Friday, January 30, 2009
As a mom of three kids, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a daughter-in-law, a sister in Christ, and a light to unbelievers, I have many roles to fill and many opportunities to be an ambassador on Christs behalf, but I can go days and even weeks without praying specifically about these roles. I have ideas about the type of mom I want to be but I often forget to ask the Lord for His strength, grace, patience, kindness, and servant's heart in this role. I forget at least until I feel stretched and spent and I am soaking in doubt of my ability to be a mom. I know the type of wife I desire to be but I don't pray about that nearly enough. Just wait until I am hurt, isolated, harsh, and resentful in my marriage and all the sudden I am on my knees begging the Father for his help. This is true of all the roles I listed above. I desire to do the work of the Father, to live my life in a way that gives glory to His name, but I fall short over and over again. I know in my head I will fall short if I try to go it alone, but I still try until I prove to myself once again that I am nothing without Christ. I have to have Him daily intervening in my life and I need to pray and ask for that intervention.
It is amazing that as I pray for my heart to be more servant-like I find ways and opportunities to be a servant in my everyday life. As I seek the die to myself more I realize that when a sweet little boy wants to be held and I need to sweep the floor and finish my to-do list so I can relax, that I can choose to die to self and snuggle with that child. I can find God in the midst of the mundane and I can follow Him more closely. I have experienced greater fullness of God as I have found ways to set aside more time to pray. I have learned the pleasure of interceding on behalf of my kids, husband, other family and friends. And the greatest treasure is that I have learned more and more about why I must depend on Him fully and pray more regularly. It has been a joy filled journey of seeking the Father through prayer this month. There have still been days when I oversleep and don't get that extended time of prayer, or I try to pray at night and drift off to sleep. Even with more intentional prayer my sin still creeps up and I get frustrated with my kids and snap at my husband. I still can be critical of others and judgemental, but I can tell a change. I really believe that prayer is largely about changing me, shaping me to be more Christ-like. It helps set my mind on the things above. It focuses my priorities and it helps me to live in the hope that is before me and that Hope is Jesus Christ.
Lord, take this year and make it my greatest year of prayer yet. Please keep me faithful and diligent to seek you and spend time with you through prayer. Help me to be more disciplined in the way I choose to live so that the things that creep in, the busyness of life, won't quiet my hearts desire to pray and the ability to actually find the time to devote to prayer.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The only reason I share this is because the Lord has changed my heart on this issue through my life experiences. I can remember having conversations with those around me and coming to the conclusion that a woman has the right to choose. It is her body and her life. I now believe that each and every child is formed by the very hands of God. I believe that each and every child is precious in his sight. I believe that these babies have no voice. When a mom claims to have the right to choose, her voice is heard but the baby must remain silent. It is an atrocity. It is wrong and we, as a society, turn our heads the other way and allow this to continue while we say and do little. Every year in this country 1.5 million babies are aborted. That is a startling statistic.
I am very uncomfortable writing these words. I know that there may be people reading this who have made that choice to abort. I am not passing judgement on you! I believe that we serve a God who is both righteous and forgiving. I believe that we serve a God who wants you to seek Him about this issue so He can forgive you, so He can love you, and so He can comfort you. He offers grace and mercy and I pray that my words are also seasoned with mercy. If you are struggling the pain from a past abortion please look into this study and look into the healing the Lord has to offer you and if you are willing to share this with me I would love to pray with and for you. Please feel free to email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join me this week and throughout the year in prayer for Our Nation and Our President on this issue. Melinda is asking us to commit to praying for President Obama's heart on this issue every Monday morning. She will post a scripture on Sunday night so that we can pray over this topic in unity. Will you consider being a part? I will leave you with this short video...
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Brianna made the header for me and I love it, however it made the old background look funny so I changed it. I like this one much better. Change is good from time to time. Brianna has some more pictures of our family posted on her blog. Go check them out if you would like and while you are there take a look around and tell her how much you like her work. We all like to get our feathers fluffed every once in a while and she deserves it! You Rock Bri!
Friday, January 16, 2009
This shower was super fun because the hostesses were long time friends. I don't necessarily talk to them all that often, but we are able to just pick right back up. Those types of friendships are so great and comfortable. They are also rare and I think they are a beautiful picture of unconditional love. Despite life, differences, and conflict, these relationships remain. Thanks girls for being that in my life! I think you are all fabulous!
Well, I did want to just write a bit about my girls but I also wanted to share with you some of what we did at the shower. It was one of my favorite showers to be a part of and so I thought I would share the ideas and maybe you can use them one day too.
We painted bibs, burp cloths, and onesies. Allison came up with the idea and I think it is precious. She made this sheet to be suggestions for people and then we each got to paint something.
Here are a few of the pictures of the work that was done. Allison painted the Longhorn and I was glad because Meridith is a Texas graduate and a HUGE fan. I told Allison it was the first thing I thought to do for her but that my allegiance to Texas Tech wouldn't let me.
I did this one:
Here are a few more:
Aren't they cute? Are you adding this to your shower idea list yet? Too bad I can't take credit for the idea, but I love it and I have every intention of stealing it.
Here is a picture of a group of us girls:
The Allison I referred to above is the brunette on the left. She and her husband own the local Smoothie Kings (go buy a smoothie from them!). She and I used to get chased by dogs on a regular basis when we were growing up. We lived in the same neighborhood as kids. She is super sweet. When we were wrapping everything up she made the comment that we are great to throw a shower with and I replied by telling her she was great, because she does almost all the work and pretty frugally! Thanks Allison.
Then there is Stephany who is soon to married! Congratulations Steph!
Allison in the blond is in the middle next to me. Our friendship doesn't go back quite as far (which may be a good thing since I was a little nicer maybe), but we have known each other since junior high. She is my friend that I asked you all to pray for when she lost her baby nearly a year ago and yes if you can tell that is a pregnancy bump under that shirt! Words cannot express how happy I am for her! She has been through so much and she just keeps pressing on! I love her and am thankful to be a part of her life.
Meridith is the pregnant girl next to Allison. I am so excited for her and I can't wait to meet Riley. So fun to see her become a mama! It was fabulous to see her for the shower and even better to grab a cup of Joe after the shower and chat. I can't wait to hear how this baby rocks her world. It will be in a good way, but these kiddos have such a tendency to shake things up a bit! Praying for you and baby to have a healthy delivery!
Then there is Kim with red hair. She is the next one we plan to be throwing a baby shower for...right, some day soon?
And last is Lisa. Lisa is a mom of two sweet girls and everyone agrees she is so fun to be around. I'm just not around her often enough.
This is the letter that I made for Riley's room. These are so cheap, easy, and a great baby shower gift. They are made out of a premade letter at a craft store, scrapbook paper, and modge podge. I actually get to finish the rest of the name and Meridith will use them in the room. What a fun project for me!
Girls, we really don't do this enough? Why does there have to be a special occasion to get together? We should do better.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
He is a ball of energy. He loves all things boy. He runs, jumps, and climbs all the time. He is super sweet and has a smile on his face much of the day, but just tell him no if you want to change that! He really believes that he should get his way ALL of the time!
He is silly! He loves to make faces at people and mimic all sorts of noises. He has the most precious giggle and he loves people! He chases his brother and sister around and likes to sword fight with them even when they aren't ready or looking. He is one tough little guy! He falls more often and harder than any child we have had. He wants a hug and a kiss with a little sympathy and then he is good to go. He has had weeks at a time when he has had a knot on his head from a fall and he repeatedly hits it and makes it worse and more bruised looking. He loves to play with balls and to play cars. We have this large storage tub full of cars and he drags it down the hall to me to have me open it for him almost daily. He will sit and make and engine noise with the cars for large chunks of time.
He is learning to talk more clearly. He says many words, but a few that come to mind are NO, chok (this is my attempt to spell how he says OK), doggie, where daddy (with arms out as if asking), ba(ball), and Chadow(Shadow- which is Gran's dog).
He loves to be outside and the minute someone is near the door or talking about going he is at the coat closet trying to get someone to give him his coat. He could stay outside all day long. He climbs and slides, and swings to his little hearts content when we go to the park.
He is super sweet! He doesn't sit still for long, but I cannot tell you how many times a day he comes to me, climbs in my lap, and gives me a kiss (which is just when he pushes his closed mouth to my face). He even will come and put his face in mine so we can rub noses. Absolutely adorable. What joy these moments bring to this mom's heart! He is the baby and he has captured a special place in my heart! I adore him. I laugh at him over and over during the day. He is a precious gift from above! God, thank you for Andrew. May we never take even a moment with him for granted!
He has given me two words: prayer and belief. The Lord has been directing my heart to more intentional prayer for the past couple of years. It has become clear to me that I need to be setting aside more time for prayer, for time with my Savior. And going along with that is the idea of belief. These two things are not separate. When I pray I must pray in belief. I must realize that I am approaching the King of All, nothing is beyond His reach. There is nothing that cannot be overcome through His power. We are allowed to enter the throne of Grace in boldness. I must have greater understanding of who I am praying to! I believe greater knowledge of who He is will radically change my prayer life.
I have said for a long time that I tend to either be bible heavy or prayer heavy, but that I don't do both well at the same time. The Lord has been merging these two things together in a beautiful way. He is teaching my that time in His word leads to time in prayer and it teaches me how and what to pray. If I pray God's word for myself, my kids, friends, and family then I can be pretty confident that I am praying God's will. I am not assuming to have this all figured out and it is definitely an area that I need to grow in, hence the focus of the year for me, but the Lord is faithful to draw us near as we ask. I remember last year that Trace prayed that the Lord would make us a praying family. What a gift to see the Lord answering that prayer.
Our church has begun the New Year with a focus on prayer. I am so excited to have this confirmation and to be a part of this 4 week series. At the end of the series the congregation will be encouraged to read a book by Kay Arthur that is called Lord, teach me to pray in 28 days. I have decided to read the book and would love to know if you would be interested in joining me. It is always helpful to know others are coming along beside you. Let me know if you are interested.
Monday, January 12, 2009
So far I have taken away Rebecca's 3 favorite toys. They are in my closet. I told her I don't know when or if she will get them back. She has spent the last 45 minutes in her bed sulking. I am honestly soliciting your thoughts on this. What message am I teaching her? What would you do? If we can't find it should I sell her toys to buy him a new one? Help...I don't know what to do. I want to use this to shape her heart, but I am not sure the best way. I am also very frustrated. This is the most expensive toy we have bought and now it is gone. I don't want my knowledge of costs and materialism to seep into this. Give me any thoughts. Don't hold back (well, as long as you are still kind).
***Updated to add - We found the DS a few hours later. It was stuck back behind the TV. I have told Rebecca that she can choose one item everyday to get back as long as she can be responsible with the things she has and will make sure they are put away in a safe place when she is finished playing with them. We have chosen 2 safe places for the DS where it can easily be found the next time some one is looking for it. We will see if this was a moment that helped her understand better or not. She also has to earn back the right to play with Aidan's DS. So the issue has been resolved and I have fumbled through it but I would still love your input and thoughts about how you would handle something like this. If it was Becca's toy it would be so simple, it would just be gone. The hard part was that it isn't her toy, but rather her brother's favorite toy. So will you play along with this scenario and give me some fresh thoughts?
We enjoyed our time in New Mexico with Trace's family. We spent several days in Clovis with Trace's mom, dad, and his sister. The kids got to have their 3rd Christmas there. They were truly spoiled this Christmas between everyone. Everyone got something that they loved and have played with, but Rebecca was given a jewelry box by Gran (Trace's mom) and some new jewelry that she has carried around with her everywhere. When she opened her necklace she said "this is what I have been waiting for". So cute and easy to please. Sometimes I think that we overdue things for our kids, because we don't understand how easy to please they can really be. This year I have been challenged to realize that much of our gift giving is really more for me than them. We have resolved to have a more simple Christmas next year, especially in regards to the gifts we give to our children. We are still praying about what that looks like for our family, but we know that our kids do not "need" all that they receive. It was so fun to see them open their presents, but there were moments that I could see that they were completely overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. I have this tendency to compare what we do and call it small compared to people who do more, rather than just looking at what is right for this little family of mine.
After our time in Clovis we went to Albuquerque where we spent time with Trace's best friend from college and his family and then also at his sister's house there. We always enjoy our time with the Saban family. They have 3 precious boys and we always have real, good conversation with them. I love their openness, honesty, and the fact that they just crack me up! We always stay up much too late when we visit! Then we spent a few days with Trace's sister and enjoyed a great trip to the aquarium. The kids have all fallen in love with dear aunt Susan. Here are a few pictures of our Albuquerque fun.