Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From the Mouth of Babes

Yesterday we found our lost magnifying glasses.

I was going about my business, bending over the toilet emptying a poopy diaper. From behind I hear my son exclaim.

"Mom, you have a big bum!"

I assumed he was using his magnifying glass.

But shortly after I hear:

"Wow mom, your bum is really big now!"

I laughed so hard I almost cried.

I am thinking about hiding the magnifying glasses when they go to bed tonight.

Cute-ness magnified!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sparks of Joy

Much on my mind about joy lately or rather the lack of it. I am beginning to see more and more that joy isn't about being happy all the time, it's about the habit of gratefulness. To recall to mind what has already been done for me as a sinner (the cross), the provision God has made for us (homes, cars, food, jobs) and the daily mercy abundantly overflowing for me (grace upon grace). What I most need has already occurred, so satisfaction and contentment are very much within my reach. It is a discipline to place myself before this mercy and grace while the transformation part is God's work. I hope to form a habit of this more each day.

I am also growing in what sparks joy in my daily life. Doing what I do for Him, not for me, my kids or even my husband. I am called to care for them and love them but I am first called to serve and love Him. The fruit of that is the care of my family. I have been doing this backwards for most of my Christian life. I don't think I was consciously earning favor through my service to my family but anger at myself when I would fall short is a huge indicator that I was working to earn something. I wanted to get it right not for God's glory but so I would be okay with myself. Truly, I am realizing more clearly that most things I do are tainted with the desire of what I want out of it.

When things are out of my control often my joy goes with it. Why? I have been asking myself this very question. We have been having some struggles with a particular child's behavior which I automatically saw as failure on my part. I battled with lack of joy the whole time. We have since discovered he has struggles that have nothing to do with our parenting. What I began to see through this, was that my joy was based on performance, mine and my child's. This is a form of trying to earn my salvation. A joy stealer for sure.

I have also had my eyes opened to my motivation to have an orderly and efficient home. I like it when things run well. I find great satisfaction in order. When things didn't go smoothly I got bent out of shape. Why? Because my joy and satisfaction isn't in Him who called me to serve and care for my family but in the feeling I get from doing a job well. I am doomed before I get started because I can't always do things well. I was doing the right things for the wrong reason. It looked all good on the outside but I have come to see, by grace, that my motivation for being on the ball wasn't about giving glory to God or even serving my family.....but my own self satisfaction. Why else would I get so frustrated with myself or others when it didn't work out.

I am beginning to see and experience that true joy is always based in God's glory first. All the things I do to serve my children, husband, church are the fruits of God being first in my life. When there is a lack of joy I can promise you it's because I am putting the wrong thing first.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thinking on This......

Not what my hands have done
Can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne
Can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
Can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears
Can bear my awful load.

Thy grace alone, O God,
To me can pardon speak
Thy power alone, O Son of God,
Can this sore bondage break.
No other work save Thine,
No other blood will do;
No strength save that which is divine
Can bear me safely through.

I bless the Christ of God;
I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart
I call this Savior mine.
Tis He that saveth me
And freely pardon gives;
I love because He loveth me;
I live because He lives.

Horatius Bonar, 1864

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Jonah!

Today, seven years ago, a beautiful little boy graced our lives with his birth and his death.

We celebrate each year by throwing some very special stones in the ocean.

We gave each person who attended Jonah's funeral one of these stones and the scroll below. Every year on his birthday we each toss a stone in the ocean to remember him.

Click image to read scroll

Happy Birthday Jonah......we love and miss you!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eli John....6 Months Old

Finally the details :o)

Well, this little guy is over 18 lbs in his 6th month. Kind of on par for boys in our family. In fact, Eli is a light weight compared to his older brother who was 17 lbs at 2 1/2 months. Yeah I know.... hard to believe but true. Eli also follows suite with our family history of big craniums. He is in the 90% for head size. Both my older two were in the 95%. Gotta love those c-sections!

He is looking ever so cute daily. Bringing much fun and delight around here. He loves to belly laugh especially at the family clown, his older brother. He loves to give kisses with a very wide open drooly mouth. You really need a towel on hand for the event, I absolutely love them! He waves at us regularly. His eyes are a slate blue and brownish. I get quite taken in by them :o)

I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

This is his new favorite past time. Bananas, avocado and sweet potatoes. He loves to eat! I usually don't feed my babies until they are interested. At 5 months, every time we sat for dinner he would smack his gums at us. I thought it was cute and then started to clue in, he was trying to tell us something. The rest is history.

I couldn't pass up this cuteness in his froggy print diaper cover.
Those frogs and I have become good friends, visiting several times a day.

We are spending time daily learning to do this. We are still a bit wobbly but getting there.

Eli is truly fascinated with these...his hands. He looks at them, chews on them, grabs with them and then sucks on them. They are the all purpose baby tool. They are super cute chubby too!

We have dabbled in a bit of sword fighting.
Every boy needs a little exercise even if he can't walk.

Eli has decided he would like to read early.
I caught him sneaking his brother's Explode the Code book to get a jump on things.
Truly a joy is this boy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Journey Girl

Hard to believe that nine years ago today this beautiful little girl was born. It has been catching me off guard all day long. She is so tall and grown up, especially seeing her hold her baby brother. Time truly does fly!

In our house we have a tradition.....on your birthday you get to plan the menu.

Today's menu:

For breakfast these yummy homemade whole wheat blueberry pancakes with real whipped cream and fresh strawberries. As you can tell the picture was taken on the second serving not the first.

Our amazing Egg Salad Sandwich lunch was made and served by none other then the birthday girl. We have the Mother's Little Helper Cookbook by Rod and Staff. Journey loves to make these all by herself. I boil the eggs and she does the rest.

And for dinner we will be having Eggs, Toast, Bacon (a real treat) and wanting grits but still can't find them in Canada. We haven't crossed the border in awhile to stock up.

For dessert....Oreo Cookies. Pretty big deal around here!

This was our weekend Easter Egg hunt with all the cousins. We also celebrated Journey's birthday with her cousins for the first time in three years.
She so enjoyed having her family with her.

Dear Journey,
I am so grateful God made you who you are. It has been a privilege to see you grow into such a sweet young girl. I appreciate your willingness to help and cheerfully. Your little brothers are mothered twice over :o). You have an amazing gift of making peace and getting along with anyone....your mama has learned much from you in this area. I am so blessed to have you as our first born. We are doing so many things for the first time together. I love your passion for reading, writing, creating art and crafts. I have so enjoyed learning to knit with you this year. You truly are a blessing to your parents.
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!
I love you,

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Eli Update (almost)

This week my baby turned 6 months old. Where has the time gone? I was planning to do an update but have run out of time. I will leave you with a few pictures and will finish off the details next week.

Have a Glorious Easter!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Today's Rehearsal

What a weekend. Two weeks ago my older kids were sick, the next weekend Eli was in the ER and you guessed it.....I was sick this past weekend. I went to church but honestly could have stayed in bed and sleep for the entire day. I'm pretty good at pushing myself, very poor at asking for help.

I have lately spent the better part of my time listening to myself rather then talking to myself.

I am tired! Let me just tell you how tired! I deserve a vacation, some time off...peace and quiet. The kids are waking early, my husband was on call for work when I got sick and I did have some planned time to myself that was cancelled because he ended up having to work. On top of that I feel like homeschooling is a joke right now, my house is a mess, I am never alone and there are issues with one of the kids. This stinks....I deserve better.

Ever had one of these conversations with yourself?

With out telling my self the truth I will continue to travel the road of self pity and rising bitterness. The truth is I have everything I need. Maybe not what I want but my greatest need has been met in the cross. You Lord, have provided all I need for life and godliness. Most of all you've provided my way out when I fall on my face. I'm so relieved that I don't have to be perfect nor pay the penalty for not doing so.
You know my heart in all it's weakness and you know my desire to please you, to be filled with joy despite any circumstance or how I feel. Lord, lead me to your comfort, peace and satisfaction today. I am so unable to do it for myself.

Help me:
to be weak & sick but at peace
to be tired & weary yet pleasant
to be sad & grieving yet still grateful
to be satisfied in all you are
instead of focused on all I am not.
The above is a prayer entry from my hand written journal. I find that when I really need to hear, see and taste the truth, writing it out really helps me. God is faithful and provides all that I need. When I feel that isn't true it's because I am not believing it not because He's not providing.
Rehearsing the gospel everyday is like rehearsing for a theater production. Day in and day out we practice the lines, actions, all aspects of a job well done. All this preparation is building to opening night. It helps me to remember that my job right now is to rehearse but that opening night is coming, the moment I see Him face to face.
The gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom), so scandalous (according to my conscience), and so incredible (according to my timid heart), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should. There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil then to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the gospel.
The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent
The fact that I need to get better at asking for help is a whole nother post. After relying on God and the truth of the gospel, I need to learn better how to rely on those God has provided and
actually ask for help. :o)