Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quiver what?

It was not long ago that I shared with you some of the more “interesting” responses we received with the announcement of our third child. At the time, I was entering into the nauseating stages of the first trimester. It was not long into this trimester that Nate and I both began to ponder just how we could possibly do this again. I would be more than dishonest if I said it was not sometimes near impossible to keep up with two toddlers while being, not only sick, but completely exhausted. I just could not possibly think of doing this again.

But, as always, God has a way of changing hearts and I still feel “empty” with the thought of only three little ones. (Nate, however, is not completely on board at the moment.) I am still not positive what my convictions are or if they are actually founded by Scripture. But I know a few things…

I know when I hear someone say they “don’t want anymore,” it makes my heart cringe.

I know that right now, I’m not brave enough to tell God how many children I am going to have. “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

I know it doesn’t make sense to call them a blessing and at the same time refuse those blessings. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3

As a culture, we say we love our children more than anything. Would you like $1 million? Well…YEAH. Would you like a bigger, nicer home? Of course! How about that new car? Yes. How about more kids? NO. THANKS. So, if we love our kids more than our money, our homes, and our cars…then why do we despise the thought of more? Why have children become a burden instead of a blessing? Is it that our children prevent us from having all the other “stuff” that makes us happy…but what does the Bible say? “Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:21-22

I say this because I believe the number one reason people do not have more children is money. That is a question we get a lot. How are you going to be able to afford them? Just wait until they get older, they get more expensive. Is it possible they get more expensive because you choose to give them worldly things instead of godly things? I’m not saying that there are not expenses to having children; but I am saying the expense of your children depends a lot on the lifestyle you choose to live. If the lifestyle you choose to live prevents you from expanding the kingdom of God, then maybe you need to reflect on how you are glorifying God. So, now I ask myself, will I walk away sorrowful because of my desire for great possessions?

Of those few things I know, I also know this;

I know that regardless of what happens, God is sovereign. If He closes my womb, He is sovereign. If He closes our hearts, He is sovereign. No matter the spiritual battle I am currently having, His will…will be done.

I also know this probably won't be the last time you read about this...

Monday, December 27, 2010

What Resoulutions Made It?

Last year in December, I posted about my aspirations for the upcoming year. So, now is a time to look back and see what exactly did I see through to the end!

1. Simply, start working out at least 5 out of 7 days. Happened until July…see #6. (I was too tired and too sick…now I’m just too lazy.)

2. Drink more water. I did, I really did!

3. Eat less sugar. Well…I did eat clean for a short period of time, which means no sugar.

4. By April 2010, resume training for my second-degree black belt. Did not happen and decided it took too much time away from my family. I nixed this one.

5. Run the CASA 8K on June 12, 2010. I DID it! Remember?

6. Spend at least 6 months out of 2010 not pregnant, nursing, and/or both. Well, it turns out this wasn’t really a good resolution for us. I made it two months. And am VERY happy this resolution did not make it.

7. Spend more time studying scripture. This was a positive. It has taken me almost a year, but I hope to have read through the entire Bible before Anna arrives. I tried for reading it within 6 months but #6 interfered with a few of my resolutions.

8. Find a church family. We have been attending Westminster Presbyterian Church for over a year now! And we are regular members of a church for the first time since we married! Being led there stemmed from this experience.

9. Pray more as a family. We are praying more together…but can’t we always pray more?

10. Spend at least one night a month with my husband without babies. (Not enough, but a start.) This…does not happen. It is more like twice a year.

All in has been a great year. I believe my only resolution for 2011 will be to adapt to new baby Anna Lee.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pregnancy Woes and Potatoes

Along with the excitement of a new bundle of joy, pregnancy has many other things to offer. Gasping for air. An unlimited intake of Tums. Waddling induced by aching hips. But for me...the best of all is medical grade compression stockings. Some of you may know them as TED hose. Either way, each morning before leaving the bed, I must wrestle and grapple with what should be impossible. I pray daily there is no hidden camera in our room catching what could be damaging collateral as I "waller" around the bed.

I couldn't help but notice the other day that the end result reminds me a bit of my childhood. It was a neat little craft we did with was so strange the striking resemblance my thighs have with....

The Pantyhose Potato!!!

Oh well...I'll be up and running again soon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Longing for God

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land
where there is no water.”
Psalm 63:1

How this passage speaks to me! My heart’s desire is to know God. I have the longing to know Him; yet, I am in this world where He often seems so hard to find. I search and I search. And then I find comfort…

“And those who know Your name
will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken
Those who seek You.”
Psalm 9:10

What confidence to know that my continued seeking Him is a mark He has not forsaken me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homeschooling: The Early Years Book List

 These first few years one of my goals is to introduce good reading to my little ones. I have put together a list of books that I have introduced or want to introduce to them during these preschool years. (Some of these are books for Mommy.) The books I have found so far are books recommended by Before Five in A Row, Simply Charlotte Mason, and some good friends that have been there, done that. I consider this a "rough draft" for the time being and hope to add more great books as we go along.

Momma's Book List
Preschool Book List
  • The ABC Bunny by Wanda Gag
  • If Jesus Came to My House by Joan Gale Thomas
  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  • Poems and Prayers for the Very Young by Martha Alexander
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Lewis Stevenson
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • The Big Red Barn
  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • Ten Little Lady Bugs
  • Runaway Bunny
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear
  • Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton (other books by Sandra Boynton)
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett (other books by Jan Brett)
  • Guess How Much I Love You
  • Jamberry
  • So Many Bunnies
  • The Snowy Day
  • Goodnight Moon
  • The Shy Little Kitten
  • The Pokey Little Puppy
I was so lucky to have been able to preserve almost all of my books from my childhood. Several of these books are on my book list for the later years but even now...Lily enjoys Amelia Bedelia! I pray that each of my children will have the same love for reading that I had when I was a child.

some of my treasures
Do you have any books I should add?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Broken at His Feet

As I spoke with a dear friend over lunch, we discussed the different stages and times of desire we have after God and His Word. She seemed to be in a place where I myself have walked so many times before. It is a place where God seems so far away. It is the place where you look at yourself and think, “How can I be of God?” As we spoke, I was able to recall the thoughts of those much wiser than I in the faith – in that, when we see how far we are from God, our only choice is to flee to the feet of Christ. It is when we think we are “OK” and “good” that we forget our need for a Savior. (Psalms 51:17)

Through the conversation, I remembered a time not long ago where I, too, was dealing with doubt. I recall spending the morning in His Word and being flooded with the thought, “Do I really believe this?” Because if we truly believed in His Word wouldn’t our lives look much different? Through the course of my reading that morning my heart began to cry out to God – for faith, for understanding. My mind could not comprehend how I am supposed to teach my children about Jesus if I am not sure about Jesus myself. And then I came to the conclusion, even if I spend the rest of my life in doubt and still lead them to Him… all the pain is worth it. Even if in the end I am reprobate but they know Jesus, it is all worth it.

Before I knew it that morning, I was scrambling to change diapers and prepare breakfast. My darling Nate called before I made my way to the table and I found more comfort in pouring my heart out to him. Over tears I told him of my doubts and my issues with faith and my cries out to God. And then God opened my eyes to something more that day… Here I am preparing and caring for my children and my home. There they are at my feet looking up at me. There they are watching me broken at the feet of Jesus. And that is when it dawned on me, when they see my brokenness…they do see what it means to believe in Jesus.

I pray for my dear friend that she sees His Spirit will send her on in perseverance.

"One mark of growth in grace is increased humility. The man whose soul is growing feels his own sinfulness and unworthiness more every year." - J. C. Ryle

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Time of Fasting

I sign in to make an announcement of time away; time away for something very specific. As I sign in, it isn’t long before blog after blog and link after link float onto my screen. I have known for quite sometime now how distracting the instant communication in my life has become. I have pondered shutting it all down for a period of time. And then a fellow blogger gave me the “push” I needed to make that step.

We are a people of busyness and our lives are full of distraction. Have you ever thought about spending your time in prayer and fasting? Fasting has always been fascinating to me. When I was younger, I envisioned myself spending hours in prayer without food or water. Merely a year ago, I envisioned myself alone in a hotel room with nothing but my Bible. I needed a time to clear my head and to see God’s miraculous work in my life. I felt I needed to feel the physical presence of God in my life and I felt my faith needed to increase. After all the time I’ve spent thinking about fasting and prayer, I have never actually had a time of fasting and prayer.

Obviously, being five months with child I cannot endure a physical fasting from food. So, as I think about my life and where my biggest distractions lie, it would be the World Wide Web. From blogs to Facebook to sermons to youtube…two hours has past before I realize. My mind is even distracted when I am away from my computer by the ever-present Blackberry. There is not a moment when I am not “in touch” with all that is going on out there…meaningless or not. As things happen, I wonder in what way should I share this with the world? As if the world really cares what is going on in my life at any particular moment. I believe it can all come back to vanity and pride at times. Sometimes, I have come to wonder if my thoughts are not thoughts but a mere step to the next blog post. I believe sometimes what we put out there stops just short of glorifying God and walks right into lifting up self.

So, today, I lay it all down. I will not sign in or on anywhere out here. My phone notifications are going off and I am unplugging. It may be a week or two and it may be a month. I will spend my time reading, praying, and journaling…with pen and paper. (Gasp!) As oddly as it sounds, this could be hard. I border on OCD and addiction with my phone…oh but to be free from the bondage!