Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pondering them all in my heart

I've been a little silent these days. Both online & in my real life. It started out a forced silence; due to some unexpected issues, I found myself with very few cell phone minutes, no home phone, and a daughter with RSV, a very contagious illness. So I stayed home, didn't call anyone, and stayed away from Facebook because God was asking me to "come away and be separate."

Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things, but I think He was just drawing me away for some quiet time, to ponder my life and some things He's been teaching me, and to learn new things as well.

The following links are just a few of the things that He has/had been teaching me. It's always encouraging and not-so-surprising that He directs my paths, even on the internet, to places that He has designed for my ultimate growth. I hope they minister to you as well.

Self-Entitlement: "I call myself a servant but expect to be treated like a queen."

Time Management: Using Eternity as my Filter

Be Intentional: Living Life on Purpose

Blessings: What does it really mean to be blessed by God? Is it only when things are going the way we want them to?

We've been studying a book called Loving Your Husband (Cynthia Heald, NavPress) in my weekly mom's group. When I entered this study, I thought I would be learning a lot about how to love my husband--and don't get me wrong, I am--but I've found what I am learning more is that this life is not about me. That at the core of being a servant is the realization that you are there for the sole purpose of making someone else's life better (not the other way around!).

And the only way that we can accomplish any of these seemingly difficult tasks is by realizing that we have to look to Christ to provide everything we need. No husband, boyfriend, job, child, or bank account will fill that empty place every woman has inside her. Only God can fill that void. Only He can be everything we've always dreamed of. He is our "Knight in Shining Armor."

When you can enter a marriage, start a new relationship, renew an old friendship, and you have realized that it's not about you anymore, but about the person you are trying to love...there is such freedom in that place!

Consider this quote by Lawrence Crabb, Jr., from the book The Marriage Builder:

Until I am aware that my needs are already met in Christ, I will be motivated by emptiness to meet my needs. When by simple faith I accept Christ's shed blood as full payment for my sins, I am brought into a relationship with an infinite Being of love and purpose who fully satisfies my deepest needs for security and significance. Therefore I am freed from self-centered preoccupation with my own needs; they are met. It is now possible for me to give to others out of my fullness rather than needing to receive from others because of my emptiness. For the first time, I have the option of living selflessly.

I think I've rambled on enough for one night! Hope these thoughts have ministered to you as they did to me.

In a moment

Watching... just got done with my weekly show, The Biggest Loser. One of only 3 tv shows I watch. (The Office & Numb3rs are the other two, in case you were wondering.)

Relaxing... about my life & my self-appointed pressures. There is so much freedom when you live the life God has for you & not anyone else's.

Feeling connected... to my family. Though they are far away, I hope they will always feel like "somebody's missing." :)

Feeling satisfied... with my life in general.

Wondering... when will be that blessed week (7 days in a row) when my daughter decides to sleep through the night without waking up even once. You won't recognize me; I'll be so rested!

Looking forward to... seeing my newest niece Kadence in 4 1/2 weeks! She will be 6 1/2 months old & I've never met her... :(

Not looking forward to... my 6:30 a.m. wake up call from my favorite son.

Praising God... for my two small children, each one a miracle and a blessing.

Praying for... a very special woman.

Hoping... I fall asleep before midnight. (and I haven't even had any caffeine today, go figure)

Laughing... at Helen's hair on The Biggest Loser. I don't laugh out loud much at tv, but that was just plain hilarious!

Thinking... about today's lesson at my mom's group on integrity. Doing what's right when no one is watching. Being faithful in the small things. Staying committed to what you promised you would do, even when the circumstances relating to that promise may have changed.

"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Thursday, April 23, 2009

3 weeks?

Has it really been almost 3 weeks since I posted anything? Just in case you're wondering, I have worked on my house & "blitzed" & cleaned the last few weeks...just no posts to document it! Life has been a bit crazy around here with some family in town, Easter, and a new little tooth to complement the other two.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last few weeks:

At Makenlee's 2nd birthday party, taken by my friend Melissa (her mom):
I need to frame this picture. In the worst way.

My brothers surprised us on Easter Sunday (mom & sisters were already visiting). It was the first time in 3 years all 6 of us kids have been together and we made the most of it! I have some very, very cool siblings. I wish we could all live together again...it would be a blast!

In order from left to right: Katie (#6), Jacque (#4), Mike (#5), John (#2), Krista (#1), Joe (#3) This is in order of birth & not coolness. Heaven knows I am the nerdiest one in this bunch!

This past weekend, Marc's parents came into town for a little visit. We drove into the mountains for a trip to the "Y" in Townsend. Kenna got her first dip in the water...it's kind of a family thing that every new kid has to be "baptized" in the Y. (This is not a religious thing, just one of those traditions...)

Zachary screamed when we first dipped his feet in. He was exactly Kenna's age. She was fascinated by it & didn't cry at all, which was shocking, considering that Z got to experience the water in June and for Kenna it was April! That water is coming straight down from the mountains and let me tell you it is cold.

Thanks to Marc's parents (& my mom & Katie) for watching the kids & giving us 2 date nights in 2 weeks! We had more date nights in 2 weeks than we have in the last 7 months combined. We had an awesome time together & for a few *short* hours remembered what it was like before children & second jobs.

So...updates. Zachary is becoming quite the little man. He talks about going to school all the time, and has especially become interested in baseball. He tells me when he is "4 or 5" he is going to school and will play baseball (T-ball) because he "is a really big strong boy." Though his talking can make anyone tired :), he is a bundle of joy and smiles. One of his new favorite things is reminding us which color of car belongs to which of his family, friends, and/or friends' parents. It's quite exhausting, and I'm not sure how he remembers, but he does!

He also has a profound love of flip flops. He will wear them around the house, even if he's only in his underwear. Last year's pairs (red & green) were way too small, so on our date night, Marc & I stopped to get the little guy a special treat: 4 new pairs of flip flops from Old Navy. (At $2.50/pair, you really can't go wrong!) He is excited about them and loves to mix/match. Today we went out to a Chick-Fil-A Kids Night event and he insisted on wearing one green flip flop and one red flip flop.

Kenna is growing so quickly! She is at that "fun" age, where she is starting to babble, sit up, and trying to crawl. She will get up on all fours & rock back and forth, but at this point, even after 2 weeks, she can only crawl backwards. It frustrates her to no end! She gets so fussy when she realizes she's moving backwards instead of forwards. One of the other things she will do is get up on her tippy-toes like she is going to do a push-up. She does manage to go forward a bit in that position, but she still hasn't quite figured it out. I just think it's adorable watching her--it looks like she's doing some kind of baby yoga.

She adores her big brother; Z can make her laugh at the drop of a hat these days (always helpful when I need to get some chores done). She is a home-girl and loves loves loves to be home. She does enjoy new things & getting out of the house, but you can tell when we have been out & get home after a long day out---she just grins when we walk in the door as if to say "Ahhh! I'm home!" Kenna gets super jealous of her daddy these days. When Marc gets home, she wants him to go right to her. If he kisses me or plays with Zachary first, Kenna will do this fake cry that she has to try to get his attention. It's so sweet to see her with her daddy! She is finishing up cutting her 3rd tooth (all bottom teeth).

Marc & I are just surviving. :) There's not much else to say but that! We love and hate this season of life we're in. Some days seem so long and so hard, that it's difficult to remember it won't last forever. We're trying so much to focus on the sweet moments with our kiddos, even when we're tired. We remind each other "it's just a season," and we are thankful every day for our miracle babies, and this loving family God has blessed us with.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blitz-it Friday

Grab My Blog Button!

I'm participating in Blitz it-Friday at Organized Everyday. I've been a subscriber of her blog for a few months now and I always enjoy her tips for getting & staying organized. This one (the blitz) is so exciting for me, though! The basics are: you pick an amount of time for "blitzing" and focus your attentions for that amount of time (no distractions) til the job is done.

As a mother of 2 young kids, I need this weekly reminder to help me get stuff done. You know...we all have those days when you feel like nothing gets accomplished! Those of you who know me, know that I'm not afraid to be vulnerable. If you don't want to see pictures of my messy house, stop reading now. :) But, if you *might* have a messy house, too, every once in awhile, and want to not feel so bad about yourself, keep reading!

I've been meaning to participate in this blitz for the past few weeks, but just hadn't gotten around to it. (Maybe I needed to "blitz" my blitzing post! ha ha) Today, I purposed I was going to get this done, no matter what. It was a good thing, because my kitchen needed it! I blitzed for an hour today.

Here are the before pictures of my kitchen/dining room. I won't apologize for the mess. :) It's life; it happens. The only thing clean in this picture is my empty dishwasher. I did at least get that done this morning!

I set my timer. The one thing that surprised me was that as I started rolling along, I was amazed at how much I accomplished in the first 15 minutes. It was just the encouragement I needed to remind myself to keep up with my small tasks so things don't build up to this. (And no, my kitchen does not look like this on a regular basis....it's just been a rough week.)

And this is my picture exactly 60 minutes later: everything on the counters is now clean & ready to be put away. One sink is full of dirty dishes, which were ready to go into the dishwasher once it was done.

And...my cutie-pie son, who woke up exactly 19 minutes into my 60 minute blitz, but thankfully was not too much of a distraction. How could anyone resist staring into his cute little face? :)

I finished the job shortly after supper, so it's all clean now! Yeah! Hopefully, I'll be able to keep this up every week, doing different projects along the way. I have a few things in mind I'd like to organize & get done, and this hour-long blitz seems like just the tool!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This week in pictures

I just thought this look on Kenna's face was so cute! She's really starting to move around where she wants to go...every direction but forward, to her dismay. Z was reading to her in this picture.

They each start to get a little jealous when the other gets "daddy time" so I often find Marc holding both kids at once.

This is a great plush pillow that my dad bought for the kids at Disney World last month (Z got one, too; his is Pluto). It velcros into a regular-looking stuffed animal. I thought this was funny because it looked like Tigger was giving birth to Kenna. Sorry if that grosses anyone out, but I thought it was pretty hilarious. :)

And this is how I found her this afternoon while I was fixing lunch for the kids. Z is finding all sorts of interesting ways to "entertain" himself & Kenna these days! Unfortunately, right after I took this picture, I came back into the room to find him lifting up her entire exersaucer, almost flipping her over on her head. I'm a little bit worried about what he'll think of next....

Consignment sale fun!

Just thought I'd share a few fun photos of all the good stuff I got at our local consignment sale Duck Duck Goose. I got all this good stuff for $96...clothes, shoes, toys, movies, games. Most of it is brand-name stuff. It's very exciting! My friend Melissa has me hooked, I think... :) I did bring some stuff to sell this time around, too, so we'll see how that goes!