Sunday, February 26, 2012

How We Do Love

Now that Valentine's Day has gone and past, it's time for this family to focus on love. Ha ha! Just kidding, but really, I had every intention to make our "Love Banner" before Valentine's Day and have it up the entire month of February. But that didn't happen….at least before Valentine's Day. It happened right after. Drew already has the words to this verse deeply seeded in his heart. Noah is working on it…so are Isaac and Lindley in their young little minds. It's nice to be able to remind the kids how we do love when I squabble is on the horizon. It really does seem to simmer the boys down a bit.

Love is patient,
Love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast.
It is not proud,
it is not rude.
It is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
I Corinthians 13:4-5

I wrote it in this format on my mirror upstairs. I quickly realized that it is written rather poetic like. If you notice, there are 2 "is"s; 2 "does not"s; 4 "is not"s and then the last saying. Knowing this really helped Drew and me to memorize this verse.

This is how we do love. We try our hardest to be patient with each other. That is a really hard feat to conquer when you have a two year old in the house. We try our hardest to be kind at all times. If we aren't, a simple reminder makes all the difference. We try our hardest not to be jealous of each other, or of each others' toys. Sharing is a big deal around here. We try our hardest to not boast. The oldest tries his hardest to not gloat when he makes 22 shots at basketball practice and the second child only gets two. We try our hardest to not be proud…but to be humble in who we are and who God created us to be. We try our hardest to not be rude. But it happens, and we forgive and move on. We try our hardest to not be selfish, or self-seeking. We fail at that too. We try our hardest to not be easily angered…especially this Mom. I'm trying…and most days it is working. We try our hardest to keep no record of wrongs…to forgive what needs to be forgiven and just move on with our lives.

We are trying our hardest to love well, to show each other love.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will I Remember

As I was searching through literally thousands of pictures trying to locate the ones of Drew's birth and Noah's birth, I was flooded with memories. Memories of my oldest as a babe in my arms. Those days were hard…it's hard work getting used to being a mom and completely in charge of a little one. Then we added number 2 to the mix…and I was reminded of him and his spunky little self while looking through those pictures. So great…and most pictures brought me back to the exact time, exact place it was taken. What a precious trip down memory lane. I have pictures of the third and fourth easily accessible, so those weren't as surprising to me.
Boy, time really does fly.

Which got me thinking about this youngest little one that so often I find myself complaining about… Yes, she's two. Yes, she's fiercely independent. Yes, she has to wear a dress most days…and when you only have three, that makes for less laundry. Yes, she has three older brothers {who absolutely adore her} and feels the need to be defensive at all times. Yes, that need is viable, as the third brother loves to torment her. Yes, I do think at times she is strong willed…lots and lots of times. Yes, she fights going to bed. Yes, her naps drastically decreased in length as soon as she turned two. Yes, she is my first child to fling her little body on the floor in a massive fit…anywhere and every where. Yes, she will only wear dress shoes…even with jeans. Yes, she disobeys more than she obeys. Yes, she is TWO.

On the flip side… Yes, she is beautiful. Yes, she gives the best little kisses ever. Yes, she likes to cuddle up with her Dad when he is sitting on the couch. Yes, I often catch her holding one of her brothers' hands. Yes, she is tender and quiet at times. Yes, I could even call her sweet. Yes, she is adored by many. Yes, she still takes a lovely two hour nap everyday. Yes, she is 100% girl with her pretty dresses and fancy shoes. Yes, she loves to put barrettes in her hair. Yes, she is independent and will be alone. Yes, she loves to sing. Yes, she loves to dance.
Yes, she loves her tutus.

Yes, I love her and adore her and am so THANKFUL the Lord blessed me with a precious daughter. In the two years I've known her, she has taught me a ton about myself and
is shaping my heart in all situations.

Blessed be Your Name

Do you have one song that stirs a myriad of emotions that just hits so hard to the heart that you are brought to tears every time you hear it? I do. Oh man, do I ever.
The song "Blessed be Your Name" by Matt Redman is that song for me.

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When I'm found in that desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Here's a little background on why this song stings a little, hurts a little, but overwhelmingly comforts me. Back in August of 2003, Michael and I found out we were expecting our first little one. I remember driving down the street and making sure my seat belt was on correctly... just in case. I remember looking up the list of food pregnant women weren't supposed to eat…just in case. I remember not lifting anything heavy…just in case. Well, those "just in case" moments became a reality. I "lost" that first baby. The sadness and fear and desperation one feels through a miscarriage is so painful. So, so painful. I lost that first baby over Labor Day weekend of 2003. That Sunday, this song was sung. Now, every time I hear this song, my heart and mind go straight back to that youth service and Woodmen Valley Chapel. No one but Michael knew what my heart (and his) was going through. No one knew that just days before life was growing in my womb. No one knew the physical pain I was in, the heart pain, the forever pain associated with this loss. Unfortunately, I had to go through this pain twice more after that first time. And each time I was reminded...

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:16

Lord, my heart will choose to say blessed be Your name. You knew. You knew that three of the babies you knit in my womb would only have a few days there. You give and take away. You gave me four precious treasures to raise up in You. You took away three, and only You know why. But every time You took, You taught this heart something. So in that, Lord, blessed be Your name.

{Our first born…Drew}
*Not sure why I don't have a baby of him in the OR with me!*

{Our second born…Noah}

{Our third born…Isaac}

{And our last…the little princess…Lindley}

{One of the first pictures of all four of my living treasures…}

Friday, February 17, 2012

Create in me a clean heart...

This morning it was easy to get up. Unbelievable...mainly because last night I was pretty sure that I was entitled to sleep in since Drew didn't have to go to school today, so Noah was the only child to get out the door. And boy, is that boy independent. He is usually dressed, jacket on, backpack on, and fed at least 35 minutes before our sweet neighbor picks him up! So yes, I felt I could sleep in today. But I woke up at 6:30, gearing to go. Instead of fighting to go back to sleep, I just got up, crept as silently as I could downstairs, made a cup of coffee, and sat to be with my Savior. I'm going through Beth Moore's "Believing God" study right now. I prayed this morning that God would reveal something new to me and help me apply it to my life.
He delivered, and in a mighty way.

The title of today's lesson was "Something from Nothing" and the whole premise of the entire study is believing God is who He says He is. And He says He is God, and through faith, I believe that with my whole heart. The first way God identifies Himself in His Word is as Creator.
In my study today, I learned the Hebrew meaning of "create" and "formed". The Hebrew word for "created" is bara which means something created from nothing. The Hebrew word for "formed" is yatsar which can represent something formed from previously existing materials. So that in the creation of man alone is fascinating to me...but that's not where I'm going with this.

My struggle lately has been the condition of my heart...basically the ugly, nasty, gross sin that resides there and I just can't let go. That sin I'm talking about is the greediness I feel at times, the anger that spews out over nothing, the inner struggle of frustration over nothing, jealousy over those who have it more together than I do, not being satisfied with the way God made me...the list goes on and is not fun to carry around in my heart.
In my study, Beth directs us to Psalm 51:10...

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

The word "create" in this verse is the word bara. This means God creates clean hearts out of nothing. God does not "form" clean hearts out of our righteous acts or our disciplines. He creates them out of nothing. Nothing. All He wants is our repentance and our desire to be blameless and pure before Him. This alone makes my heart rejoice today. This alone is why I eagerly jumped out of bed this morning to be with Him. He knew exactly what this scarred heart needed and now I know how to make it new. What a blessed day!

My sweet (yes, I said sweet...the girl is growing on me again!!) little Lindley joined me at the end of my studying, and all I could think about at that point is that I can't wait until she is old enough to know the truth of God's Word and to understand it in her heart.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tooth Drama...

Well, today was my first full day wearing an occlusal splint in my mouth. I talk funny. I look funny. I feel funny. Not ha ha funny, just awkward funny. I had to teach today and I was not sure how that would go at all as I'm supposed to wear this thing 24/7 and I just got it yesterday.

At the end of the day, I decided to write this on my class blog, then sent out a follow up e-mail to my parents:

Oh parents! You have the most wonderful children ever. Let me tell you why...

For the past four months I have been dealing with major mouth pain. I've been to four dentist since mid-October:
  • A friend in MI for a consult back in October...she told me I clench my teeth and told me I should get a night guard from my dentist in CO.

  • One in CO...didn't have a dentist, read a sign on the street and went...he didn't know why I had the pain and gave me a root canal. Not fun, later found out it was not needed.

  • Went to a great endodontist who thought the root canal was done properly (but not needed) and suspected I had a bite problem...look back to the first dentist I went to...

  • Went to a GREAT dentist who could tell instantly that I am a severe clencher and have completely shot the nerves/muscles in my upper left jaw.

So now that you know my dental history, I'm on the road to recovery. But it won't be overnight. I have to wear an Occlusal Splint 24/7 until my bite is adjusted, then I will just have to wear it at night. I just got this lovely splint yesterday, so I'm still pretty self-conscious of how I look and how I talk. If I want to get better, I have to do what the dentist says, and he says I have to wear this thing 24/7, except to eat.Anyway, I started the day (Thursday) not wearing it because I am so self conscious. I did tell the kids that during the times I'm not talking and they are working or in specials they might see me wearing a weird thing in my mouth. I made the mistake of telling them I'm supposed to wear it all day but that I couldn't talk well with it yet. They ALL encouraged me to wear it and ALL were just so lovely and so kind toward me today. They have been very sensitive and have said many sweet words to me today. So I want you all to know that you have raised wonderful children with kind hearts and thoughtful words. Thank you for doing so!

I was just so overwhelmed with their love and respect for me today. They were encouraging in every sense and just showed me love in the best way their little 5th grade minds know how. I was blessed by 17 kids today and they just blew me away. Oh, and just to mention, only 6 of those students are girls!

For those of you who all of this is brand new news, I have been in major pain, over 10 on the scale of 1-10 for pain! Since October, I have been on Ibuprofen (800mg every 6 hours) around the clock. Finally got some Vicodin to help. The Vicodin didn't do much, so the Dr prescribed Valium. Not fun stuff. Then I was prescribed Hydrocodone. I'm so thankful that I have an amazing sister-in-law who helped me come up with a drug routine to ensure I would wake up each morning. :) I also began seeing a chiropractor friend who has been doing TMJ adjustments on me. That alone was helped tremendously! I have taken absolutely no pain medicines today...I'm already feeling that much better. My muscles still get sore after eating, so I did take one Valium tonight to help them relax.

Hopefully getting this under control will help me get other areas that I just haven't had the strength to mess with under control as well. Pray for me in this. It is so hard for me to admit weakness, and the last 4/5 months have been debilitating in so many ways for me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday to Isaac!

Back in January {reminder there on my awesome, timely blogging} my Isaac turned FOUR. in the world has four years passed since I delivered this precious bundle of joy in the worst delivery ever? {It was a c-section, as were all, but his butt was lodged in my rib cage and the doc had to use a vacuum to evict him from my uterus...a vacuum in a! Oh, and he had jaundice and played the roll of glow-worm for a few days and I got a hematoma...but that's all in the past and I've moved on and forgiven him.} FOUR. I feel like the instant he turned four he became sweeter. Seriously. He is more generous with his hugs. More obedient. More wise. In my opinion, there's a huge difference in a three year old and and four year old. And for us, it was instant. :)

Isaac wanted a VOLCANO for his birthday cake. So of course, Michael made the boy a volcano. Pretty cool, huh?

Pay attention to the detail...see the army men? I'm sad to say, most did not survive the lava flow.

But after all was said and done, they army guys were revived and are doing well despite the constant battles they endure daily.

Happy birthday, my Isaac. You bless me and encourage me and I have seen you grow into such an amazing boy this past year. Keep up the good work, my love.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Who Needs Resolutions?

My last blog post was January 5th...five days into the new year. Hmmm. That's a problem. In it, I stated that I hadn't set any resolutions...thank goodness! But I did mention several areas that I always strive to improve myself in year after year. Well, here honest, gut-checking update.

I mentioned I would like to be more organized...

This is probably the one and only area that I am consistent. I have kept up with my "Home Organization Binder" and that has helped me tremendously. It has our budget, our monthly menu, our kids' schedules for school, basketball, and lunch menus. It is where I put important pieces of paper that aren't yet ready to be filed away, and where I store the few coupons I try to use. I have a whole section on cleaning...from daily cleaning to weekly cleaning to monthly cleaning. I have a sheet for each kid and their responsibilities. I have craft ideas I'd like to conquer. It's my go to place when I can't find something. It has proven to be very useful and is still a work in progress.

More consistent in God's word...

This is the area that I'm most disappointed in myself. I'm in two Bible studies right now and honestly have no desire to do either. I have the desire to soak up God's word and be reminded how much He loves me and desires for me to know Him more, but for the life of me, I can't seem to "make" the time to be with Him. I know He waits for that time with me everyday...and I know I flat out deny Him my heart when I disobey the call I hear so clearly to get out of bed and just go sit at His feet. Now that I've shared this with my blogging world, I would really like to challenge all of you who are believers to challenge me in this area. Lift me up as your sister in Christ and hold me accountable. I'm asking for it...begging for it. If you think of it, shoot me a text and just ask me how my time with my Savior was today...if I know that's coming, I won't want to disappoint, although most days I'm sure I will. Wow, is that throwing it out there or what?!

More intentional with my kids...

At times I'm great at this. I take the time to sit with them and read. Or let them help me cook. Or watch a movie with them...wait, that's not true...I can't mention the last time I actually watched a movie with them. It's a lovely thought, just not a realistic one for me. But what I really want is to be intentional with their precious hearts every single day. I want to teach them something new about Jesus and how much He loves them every single day. I want to get back to the days when it was important to me that they have scripture engraved in their little hearts. I want to play with them more. Read to them more. Do a puzzle with them more. Snuggle more. Share more. Talk more. I just want to be with them more.

"30 Day Shred"...

I quit Jillian's video on Day 8. I don't know why. I just got lazy. And I'd rather do yoga and go run on a treadmill. To be honest (seems to be the theme of this post), I haven't had a good workout in well over a week. And I hate that. I love the time I get at the gym. I love how it makes me feel. And look. So this week, I will hopefully get back in to working out regularly.

Plan on blogging more...

Hmmm. This is a start. And I have lots of ideas. :) As I always say, I'm going to try harder.

So, my dear friends, this is a portion of the status of my heart right now. It's in a funk, it has been for quite some time. I'm having major teeth issues and I really think that is affecting every area of my life...including all of the above. I *think* I'm about to be on the road to recover...starting Wednesday. But that whole saga is a post in its own. Maybe I'll get there...but I'd rather tell you about Isaac's birthday party, or my Granny's 90th surprise party, or the awesome things going on at Alethia, or a thorough update on my four sweet treasures, or about my obsession with rearranging furniture... We'll see what happens next!