August 29, 2012

Feast on truth.

Feast on truth, my friends.  


We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased. - C.S. Lewis


August 28, 2012

Planning and grace.

Hello friends!

Life is starting to resemble some sort of routine these days.  Having a newborn the first time changes everything.  Life suddenly revolves around, not you, but another tiny human who relies on you to sustain their very life.  Not much has changed the second time around.  The difference is that much of the anxiety has eased.  But the busyness just multiplies.  In a good way of course {right??}.  I keep saying, I am cherishing and not wishing away these bitty days I have with Isaac, but I know that in a year, life will be much more predictable (and I like predictable).  I will know that at nap-time I will likely have at least an hour to myself.  Until then, I don't mind soaking up these bitty moments.

I don't know if you do this, but I often create "Rules" for myself.  I find that if I don't put down on paper some sort of guideline or goal for my day-to-day life, I get caught up in the chaos and not much gets done.  Simply, I won't be intentional in the moment if I don't plan to be intentional.

I have found that if I don't give my mornings to what is important, what fills me, then it is likely it just won't happen at all.  That's why I've been trying to wake up before the boys to get filled with the Word.  Sometimes this is a great study time for me.  Many times, this is reading for 10 minutes before needing to jump up and nurse a hungry babe.  The important thing is setting my eyes on Christ first thing for the day.  Praying that he would guide my steps and give me that extra dose of patience I need in toddler-ville.  And praying that truth flow freely in our home.  

It's discipline.  I really struggle with that at times.  To do the mundane things that make our home run more smoothly.  In fact, right now I told Jordan I would be updating the budget, but I haven't touched it.  I need discipline to spend time on me early in the morning so that I have been filled enough to act in truth and love and patience (lots of patience) toward my kids.  It's so easy to get caught up in the day and at the end feel exhausted without much accomplished.  I'm talking chores and housework, but even intentional time with Jude specifically.  Sitting down and playing legos or reading or coloring or covering his arms with stickers.  Right now, my split attention means that whatever is getting my attention needs at least 75% of it (let's face it... as moms, you never will get back 100% attention).

I've said it a zillion times.  Since first laying my eyes on Jude, I have had a passion to be intentional with my time with my kiddos.  But, I often fail.  I have days (like yesterday) where I wasn't as patient with Jude as I should have been.  I have weeks where the laundry piles in my room without a second glance from me.  And it has been a month since I have updated our budget (I'll do it tomorrow.....).  Homemaking and parenting is not a job for the faint of heart.  Something I never truly realized until I did it myself.  As the to-do list piles up and the days fly by, there is lots of room for mommy-guilt.  I experience it daily.  I should have sat and made googly-eyes and cooed at my littlest boy while he was awake instead of feeling like I needed to do the dishes... or check Pinterest.  I should shut off the TV after I'm done nursing to limit Jude's screen time and invite him to read a book.  I should take Jude outside more when Isaac is napping.  I should put the darn phone down and bust out the crayons or finger-paints (more on being a hands-free Mama some other time).

Oh, how I could fill my days with all the shoulda' coulda' woulda's.

But.  I'm going to have to settle with being imperfect.  And let grace abound in the gaps.

And pray that God will do a good work in my kiddos hearts, because that is truly none of my doing anyway.  In the meantime, I am praying that God would increase my discipline to follow through on what I have planned.  And show me where I need to maybe give up on some good things, so that I can spend time on the better.  It's a delicate balance.  But it comes down to my priorities.  First, Christ. Second, my marriage. Third, my kids.  The rest becomes somewhat of a blur after that in this season.

I am not sure that this post went exactly where I intended it to go.  But, it is where I am right now.

Real life.

August 7, 2012

Love having two under two.

I mentioned it in Isaac's birth story, but prior to his birth I had a lot of fear.  Fear about how adding to my family would change it.  Fear about my relationship with Jude changing.  Fear over if I could love this newest baby well enough.  Fear about how much hard work two under two would be (and I always feel the need to distinguish... not just two under two... 15 months is very different from 24!).

Let me repeat (for myself), fear isn't of our Lord!  

Something I am learning, to surrender my fears and worries to the Lord first.  Be quick to pray.  I tend to be quick to google.  And in about 99.9% of these cases, google doesn't end up being the encouragement I'm looking for.

While I was pregnant, I searched for others' experience with two kids fifteen months apart, and my fear was only fueled.  I read things like "I don't know how we made it through the first year", or "It's REALLY hard work - I wanted to pull my hair out", or "My goal was just to survive every day".

Wouldn't you be afraid?

Well, six weeks into this gig with two boys fifteen months apart, I can tell you I had no reason to fear.  I wouldn't say it has been easy, but it certainly isn't the huge insurmountable task I had imagined.  Parenting in general isn't easy.  It is the most challenging and rewarding thing we will ever do. But I don't think that fact changes whether your kids are 15 months or 15 years apart. :-)

In an attempt to be a voice of encouragement in all the blogs out there putting fear into these future-Mamas' hearts, I will say that I have loved and having two boys so close.  A few reasons why....

First of all, we are already in baby mode.  I do diaper laundry a bit more often (because the boys are both in cloth), but I was surprised how easy it was to just slip Isaac right into the routine.  Baths.  Diapers.  Laundry.  Cribs.  No huge transition in that sense.

Jude was too young to really get jealous.  Of course this could just be his personality.  But all-in-all he has pretty much ignored Isaac.  I am pretty sure that now, six weeks later, Jude doesn't remember life without his baby brother.  We had zero sleep regression or anything of the sort.  Life just went on, only with a baby brother in the mix.

I just love watching this bond slowly develop between my boys.  Right now it is basically Isaac happily watching Jude when he's in the room and Jude being on paci-patrol.  Although, today I did catch Jude trying to give Isaac a drink from his sippy cup.  But I know that in the years to come, these two will be permanent buddies and their close age means they will do everything together.  This makes me very excited that God gave us two boys so close.

Despite what I imagined, I can count on one hand the number of times I have had two babies crying and needing me at once.  Those moments do not make up my entire day, but rather are few and far between.  And God has given me that mother-intuition that I need to make it through the challenging moments.

Really.  That last one sums it up.

God has given me what I need for the moment.  He chose me to parent these boys and he'll give me what I need to get through the challenging times.  I won't lie.  It is a busy life.  A full life.  A life full of opportunities to either freak out and question your abilities... or to stop. breathe. give it to God and thank him for the blessing of two sweet boys.  And trust the intuition that he gave you.

But there are many many moments of pure joy in-between the challenges.  It is not all chaos and craziness.  It is also seeing first smiles again.  Sweet baby coos.  Hearing big brother say his baby brother's name for the first time.  And more love than you thought was possible.

God showed me that he created me for this role.  I am enough.  In Him I am enough.  I'm growing up a bit in this role and gradually gaining more and more confidence.

So, is two under two 15 months "easy"?  Ummm... not the word I would use.  It's full.  And busy.  Most often in a good way.  Life is good. 

I don't know it any other way.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.