October 30, 2012

Grace in all things.

I like these kinds of days.

Where I'm at, there is a chill in the air and it is grey and rainy and gloomy.  Talk to me in a few months after I haven't seen the sun, and I won't feel the same.  But today it feels right to snuggle up with my babies and a cup of tea and stay in our jammies all day.  And maybe watch "Bob the Builder" a time or two (because that's all the rage right now).  

But I know there are many today who are suffering.  This hurricane Sandy has really devastated our country.  I'm glad my family is safe in Michigan, but I have friends in New York who have had to completely leave the state... their homes.  

It wasn't long ago when Sandy was hovering over my sister's home in Jamaica.  Too close for comfort. But God spared them damage and they weren't out of power more than a few hours.  Amazing.  Praise Him.

But, I just have to echo what my sister said about this hurricane experience.  Really made me think.


Yes, praise God for those he has spared.  But praise him for his sovereignty and grace in all things.  

...

P.S. read more about Jamaica and my sister's (and bro-in-law's) ministry there at www.bkbeukema.org

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This was my first post in the category "five just write" where I just write, un-edited, for five minutes, and post.  Because sometimes that's all I've got.

October 28, 2012

New directions.

If you've visited my site lately (not via iPhone or reader), you'll see that I'm making a few changes 'round here.  So, consider me *under construction* for the time being.  Links don't work.  Format isn't certain.  But, it will be finished soon.  And I'll continue to post in the meantime!

Also, I have been contemplating my vision for this blog.  I've mentioned a few times before that I want to write more.  I truly want to use this blog as an encouragement to my fellow Mamas who are also in the trenches with their little ones.  I also want to document my own life.  And just simply write when I feel like it.  I don't know why I've been so timid to just let my thoughts flow lately, but I have.  I am thinking I just need to log on and write my heart more often.

I used to follow a blog (which is no longer being posted on) called "click clink five" where she would write for five minutes every day about whatever came to mind.  This is a great exercise in writing and sometimes I would love to do that (but am scared of the commitment).  Also, after reading One Thousand Gifts I have thought of doing a regular gratitude posts to keep me accountable.  I know it doesn't need to be formal, but I want purpose to my writing as well.  I'm not sure how I want to approach writing in this busy, precious season of life.  To use this platform wisely.  

So, that's what's on my mind right now.

Any thoughts from fellow bloggers?

...

October 27, 2012

Dear Isaac :: 4 months old



My boy whose name means laughter,

Laughter is exactly what you bring us.  We are delighted to hear the man belly laughs you bring to our family.  And somewhat surprised, as your brother didn't belly laugh until close to 8 months old (although he was all smiles).  Along with your laughter, we hear your high pitched squeals often.  Middle of the night included.  We can't help but to laugh before shhh and rocking you back to sleep.

You adore your brother and your doggy.  If they are within eyesight, you are just glued to them.  We often have to tell your brother to be gentle with you as he has been known to want to tackle you with hugs if you are anywhere near the floor.  So, you don't get as much tummy time as I would like, but you're still developing just fine.


You rolled over for the first time, front to back!  You haven't done it much since, but you often roll to your side while in your crib.  We stopped swaddling you cold turkey and haven't looked back since.  You now sleep from about 7pm until 3:30am to eat, and then again until 7am.  I can't complain about that schedule.  You still nurse about every 3 hours, but have stretched to 4 now and then.  You still don't take a bottle, but that is mostly due to me not trying.

Your naps are all over the map.  But I haven't been good at getting you on a schedule.  Right now you take between 2-4 naps a day.  Sometimes it is a short nap and a 3-hour nap.  Sometimes it is four 45min naps.  All over the place.  But you are (mostly) super happy and flexible, so it is nice to be able to take you along to our playdates and bible study and you sleep when you need it.  It hasn't affected your night sleep at all.


But you are definitely my snuggle boy that I prayed for.  Jude was a crib boy, and wouldn't sleep in my arms past 3 months.  But you definitely love snuggling up and falling asleep in my arms.  I'm not worried about you preferring that down the road.  You still sleep in your crib just fine, and this time I know how quickly these days will pass.

At your doctors appointment you weighed 15lbs 12oz and 26.5" tall!  Big boy!  You have been wearing 9 month clothes lately, still mixed in with the 6 month clothes.  But you do not fit into 6 month sleepers anymore.


I love you so much, my snuggle puppy.  I'm so glad God knew we needed you in our family!

Love,

Your Mama

October 24, 2012

A de-cluttered heart.

I have a feeling I'm not alone in this.

Oh, how I have days where I wish the mockery of being a stay-at-home-mom, sitting on her tush eating bon-bons all day, were true.  If you are like me (or have kids like mine) there is not much sitting, much less sitting and eating done during the day.

The truth is, too many of my days begin with a "to do" list too long, and end with not near enough finished.  Sure, the basics are normally done (most days).  But, in my mind I forecast this ideal day where I should be able to accomplish all of my basic "to dos"... and tackle super-mom's "to do" list as well.  Every day.  And not only super-mom's, but all of the super moms.  Crafty super-mom.  Cooking super-mom.  Cleaning super-mom.  DIY super-mom.  Then there is scrapbooking.  Blogging.  Oh, and things like dishes, laundry, and house cleaning that needs to happen too.  You must take a shower and get dressed and get all cute every day, too.  But then, of course, at-times you get the feeling that you need to scrap all that and just play with your kids with your free time.  Because that's what good moms do, right?

Every once in awhile, the things I feel like I want to be doing gets confused with the things I should be doing.  The task God has put before me.

You see, I often have to remind myself that God didn't call me to be the ultimate crafting-cooking-scrapbooking-blogging mom.  He didn't even call me to have a clean house.  Or to make sure my kids eat vegetables every day.  So, why oh why do I get so worked up over these things?  Why do I feel like I've failed somehow if I am not all of these things?  I look at my list of things I want to accomplish and know, there is no way it is all going to fit into my day.  

Something's gotta give.

But, instead of feeling like a failure deadbeat mom, I need to remember what is called of me.  The world's demands are not God's demands.  They are a far cry.  An attempt to work and glorify yourself instead of pointing to One who deserves all the glory.

I am so often that Mom who falls into the trap of thinking that the good mom has her "to do" list all checked off, and all that with a spotless house.  I've been convicted on this matter lately.  Because sometimes I get mixed up and think my value is determined by how many things I cross off that list.  And when I try, I haven't left much time for God.  For taking the days slow with gratitude.  For making sure that my time spent is on what matters.  Spending time on what makes me come alive.

None of these things are bad, but for me this image of doing it all can easily become an idol.  So, I've started giving up some good.  Paring down my "to do" list and letting go of some things that I enjoy, but just aren't in season for me. Embracing my messy house and my un-showered hair.

Because, really, what is important?  What is the message that I am sending my kids?  That an up-to-date scrapbook and creative daily crafts determines my worth?  No.

There is so much more.
Kingdom-sized more.
Praise.
Gratitude.
Knowing Him.

That is what I'm called to.  Simply that.  If my life and my heart is too cluttered to allow this, something has to go.  If my worth is wrapped up in the world's super-mom, I've missed something big time.

I truly don't think God ever desired us to live busy and chaotic lives.  How many times has he told us to come. sit. rest. listen. be still.

Do you feel that sigh of relief?

I'm in a season of de-cluttering.  Deciding what is life-giving versus sucking-the-life-outa-me.  I know what is good for me will be different from what is good for you.  For me, I know one thing that is good in my life right now is this.  Writing.  Blogging.  Sharing life in this specific way.  I'm coming to realize more and more that I am a writer, and it is through writing that I work things out in my life.  And I've figured out that in order for this to happen, I've gotta be intentional about it.

I am planning a post soon on "giving up good", to talk about some of the good things I'm holding to more loosely to make sure I have time for the better, life-giving things.


What do you find life-giving?  What good do you need to give up?

...


October 22, 2012

Lately...

Lately...

I've been feeling the itch to blog again.  But, I gotta admit I feel a little rusty.  A little out of practice.  But my passion for sharing life with other women is getting the best of me.  I feel like I gotta follow this urging.  So expect to hear more from me. :-)

My sister was here a couple of weeks ago.  LOVED having her back.  I told my hubby, I just feel more normal when she's around. Haha!  Ya know when someone is the same kind of weird?  Anyway.  Miss her.  


My Monday morning bible study has started back up, and those ladies are a breath of fresh air!  It's so sweet to share this season of mommyhood with those ladies.  I leave encouraged every week to continue to seek Jesus in my marriage and parenting, despite all of our imperfectness.

Isaac rolled over for the first time today.  Not sure how I feel about my baby doing big-boy things like rolling over.  But I sure do love love love this age. 

I'm trying to de-clutter my life.  In the sense that, I often put too many expectations and demands on myself.  Things that nobody has asked of me, but I just feel like I should be doing.  Like super-mom things.  I'm learning to let go of good, so I can focus on the few best.  Many of these things I am choosing to let go of in this season are things that I love to do, but in order to find some sort of balance, to pursue what is best, it is necessary.  

Jude has the most hilarious and cheesy smile when you ask him to smile for the camera.  It just kills me.  Just take a look.



I've been doing the #shereadstruth study the past month or so.  All it is is getting into the word daily, but along with thousands of other women around the world.  We just started Philippians.  Check it out.  www.shereadstruth.com

I'm one chapter shy of finishing Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.  It has most definitely challenged my perspective on, well, life.  I'd like to highlight some of my favorite quotes from the book here sometime in the near future as well.  I have many books on my to-read list, but would love to hear what reading has rocked your world lately.


Oh, and today is my last day of being 27.  Happy Birthday to me tomorrow!  Why does 28 sound so much older than 27??


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