Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm Tired... With Perspective

Exhaustion, a messy home, and little to no alone time - My children are worth this price and more - my very life.  So today, I'm thankful for all of these things - knowing that one day, these things will be a memory.  And perhaps, sooner than I expect.

Many times I find myself grumbling over the very things that God has chosen for my life - the path He has called me to.  Not my children, but perhaps the tiredness that accompanies little ones.  Not their sweet smiles, but the mess that comes with them.  The two can't be seperated, though.  Blessings are not always easy to handle, and come with great responsibility. 

If Christ paid the ultimate price for us, what better way to show that love than to lay my life down - moment by moment, day by day, sleepless night by sleepless night.  After all, their souls are of value - so much so that petty complaints and grievances ought to pale in the light of the sober task we as moms are called to.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to need one more (big) cup of coffee for this day.  A little perspective, though, before I do that:

Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
(Isaac Watts)

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men:”
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ‘tis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

15 Weeks

Gestational age: 15 weeks, 1 day

Baby's current size: 4 inches, CRL

Similar in size to: An apple :)

Weight gain:  When I checked on Tuesday morning, I was 1lb over my starting weight.

Looking forward to: Finding out boy or girl!  5 more weeks and I can't wait!!!

Not looking forward to:  Nothing I'm fearful of.  So thankful that, so far, this pregnancy has been  MUCH easier than the last! 

Biggest food craving: Still fruit, and this week I've craved burgers (not given in though).  I really could stand for another Cookout burger!!

Biggest food aversion:  Still eggs.  I went to Food Lion this morning since Shawn was fixing them... I couldn't even be in the house.  That, and we needed dishwasher detergent, coffee creamer, oxi clean, and milk (which I forgot).

How this pregnancy compares to the others:  Still excellent.  My skin is starting to get really oily, which was the case when I've carried girls.  But, the belly is pretty round, so we'll see!

Nervous about:  A little concerned about finding a vehicle.  Still looking for the right one, and praying we don't have to travel to get it.  Trusting God to provide this need, and the need of Shawn getting a new car before his bites the dust. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Managing the Tongue, or Sanctification by the Grace of God

This is one loaded topic that has been on my mind for a few months now, and it's an important one to talk about.  I'll be the first to say that I'm not perfect in this area, and that is precisely why the Lord has put this on my heart.  I don't have all the answers, and I won't pretend to, but it's a good discussion to open up. 

Isn't it a wonderful thing how the Lord instructs and corrects in a matter?  If you pray for Him to reveal and correct sin in your life, he will!  I am living proof of this, as this battle is hard and difficult for me

My struggle with this topic began in late December or early January, and I have wrestled with the nuances of purity of speech relentlessly - in my own heart, knowing full well that I have to answer for every word that leaves my mouth.  I have nit-picked most all of my conversations, cried, prayed, and wrestled with the "what-ifs" and "how-did-I-do's" and "wasn't-that-just-too-much's".  And you know what?  It still hasn't "fixed" my sins - especially in this area.

So, a few things, in no particular order, that I've learned the last few months on this quest to starve this sin:

Everyone has a problem with their words.  This is not a problem unique to me, nor past the grace of God in my life.

James 3:7-9
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

Every thought must be taken captive, in order for my words to reflect Christ.  Remember the fresh water/salt water analogy in Scripture?  It doesn't necessarily apply contextually, but can on a micro-level.  If my heart is filthy and yucky, my words will be also.  Yes, I know this from experience.

Christ is ready to forgive, the Holy Spirit can and will sanctify, and there is restoration to be had.  This is indeed very sweet.

My standing before Christ is what matters most.  I am hid in Christ.  That is my identity.  There is wisdom to be had in only worrying about myself, but there is a time and place for other things.

I will fail.  Especially in those areas where discernment is more difficult.  That line between truth and not painting others in a bad light.  Or, between helping a husband and strongly disagreeing.  Or, between correcting a child and explaining why their actions did not line up with Scripture and imparting shame.  The line between defending truth strongly and letting love cover a multitude of sins.  I have failed in all of this and much, much more.  And I will - because I'm human.  You will, because you're human.  If you're a Christian, we're striving for the same goal.  And when there's conflict, it's not about who's right or wrong or whatever - it's about restoration and spurring each other on to good works.

Surround myself with those willing and quick to correct me in my error, and who will encourage me towards righteousness.  This is key.  Not only is my husband excellent in this, but the ladies at my church have been excellent.  As uncomfortable as correction can and will be, remembering that the point is restoration has helped me tremendously.  I am eager to see how the Lord will continue to refine me through the body.  This is a good thing!

I'm certainly not the one qualified to write a post like this (can't say that enough!), but reformed and still reforming is an accurate statement here.  Praise God that perfection is not His requirement of us, and that we can give Him ALL the credit for ANY good thing in our (MY) life! 

What are some ways that the Lord has taught you, and helped you in the area of your tongue?  Any tips or helpful hints to share?  I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Neverending Story... of yarn

Scrappy, one-year-late baby blanket

Oh sheesh.  So it's pretty well known by now that I have a yarn addiction.  I had a brilliant idea (well, maybe not brilliant, but effective) idea to rid my yarn via The Destash Project.  Time was not an issue pre-pregnacy, so I did fine, custom orders and whatnot.  Now I'm not sure what to do with it.  Any ideas?
Anyway, onto the "problem".  Well, it's not a problem for me, but for the others living in this house.  All.this.yarn.  Now that we're expecting, I don't want to be bogged down with The Destash, but to be free to make baby items and cute little tops for the girls, and a lightweight summer cardigan for myself... and... well, this is getting me nowhere quick!

So, the pic above is the current project (in addition to my socks).  It's a scrappy, one-year-late baby blanket for my sweet nephew.  His birthday is in early April, and it has to be done by then.  Has. to. be. done. by. then.

So back to The Destash conundrum... any ideas?  Should I not take personal orders?  Showcase the items I've made for myeslf/others?  Post sporadically items for sale?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Okay, back to yarn shopping... I mean, "window shopping"...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weakness and Strength

"Many modern Englishmen talk of themselves as the sturdy descendants of their sturdy Puritan fathers.  As a fact they would run away from a cow.  If you asked one of their Puritan fathers, if you asked Bunyan, for instance, whether he was sturdy he would have answered with tears that he was as weak as water.  And because of this he would have borne tortures."

- G.K. Chesterton, from The Quotable Chesterton by Kevin Belmonte 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wordless Weekend (with pithy captions)

Rainy day

The Liberty Channel cartoons


(And we had a small fire, but there is not a picture for that.  Priorities.  All is well, but some sausage and it's packaging was harmed in the process.)

14 Weeks!

Gestational age:  14 weeks, 3 days

Baby's current size: 3.4 inches, CRL

Similar in size to:  A lemon

Weight gain:  2-3 lbs - not where I want right now, but it'll do

Looking forward to:  Finding out what our baby is!  And, getting into a normal walking routine.

Not looking forward to:  The weight gain!  I sitll had 15 lbs to lose when we found out that we were expecting, so I'm being very diligent about what I gain this time.  Well, except for the Cookout I had last night ;) 

Biggest food craving:  Yogurt and certain types of fruit

Biggest food aversion:  Eggs, eggs, eggs!  Every single pregnancy. 

How this pregnancy compares to the others:  It's been great!  My back is doing GREAT, and I'm trying to keep moving.  The morning sickness has been so much better than the last 5 pregnancies.  I feel wonderful!

Nervous about:  Nothing at this point, just enjoying all of the baby anticipation.  I don't deserve another little blessing at all!! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Failure... to the Glory of God

It's been one of those days.  A week full of them, to be exact.  Between the storms that kept the children up till all hours several days this week, and the seasonal clothing switch, the lack of sleep, and the lack of diligence on my part, things aren't running too smooth around here. 

On the surface, it's just a few things.  Below, it's a million little things.  Namely, sin.  My attitude with the curious child.  The way I grumble in the morning before getting up.  Plans to exercise again trumped by a precious few more minutes of rest.  Time in the Word daily, but no time alone with my Father.  Not helping my husband as I ought to.  Consistently sleep-deprived little ones (for a thousand different reasons).  Everything to rejoice over and be thankful for, but missed opportunity after missed opportunity sours things, and over time, this place can become pretty stinky.  Not to mention unresolved sin.  We've had a full-blown stinkfest here all week long, with me leading the charge!

Do these things define me as a mom, a wife, or a Christ-follower?  No.  Do I need to hide myself someplace all alone and have "me time"?  No.  What's in order is to roll up those sleeves and get to work.

So what's the point? 

Even in failure, do all to the glory of God.

Confess and repent... to the glory of God.
Seek restoration... to the glory of God.
Accept His and others' forgiveness... to the glory of God.
And from here forward...
Be diligent... to the glory of God. 

1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Sweet isn't it?  Confession of our sin leads to His forgiveness.  He is faithful to cleanse, faithful to restore, faithful to sanctify us through the Spirit.  Amen!

September 2010? Really?

Wow, yes, that's right.  It's been a year and a half since I blogged last.  Kinda pathetic, but it's not like I've been twirling my thumbs around here ;)  Here's the long and short of it:

  • Baby #5 was born (appropriately named Chesterton)
  • Many birthdays
  • No new vehicle yet
  • Homeschooling is off and running (in an unschooling sort of way) :)
  • And, we're expecting our 6th child!  (Expect "weekly update" posts soon)
So, not a lot of earth-shattering events, but enough to keep us on our toes around here.  It's good to be back!  And for good measure, here's a pic of sweet Chesterton, soon after he was born:

Miss those days.  But there will be more of that soon enough, God willing!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

17 Weeks

Gestational age:  17 weeks!!

Baby's current size:  Approximately 5 in.

Similar in size to:   An onion (except all the onions we get are never that big!)

Weight gain:  Not sure.  I don't own a scale, and don't plan on it, but my clothes are still fitting the same as before - except with a bigger belly :)

Looking forward to:  Finding out the sex of the baby!!  So eager to know if the baby is a boy or a girl (I'm secretly rooting for another girl!)

Not looking forward to:  Still frettin' about that GD test.  Needlessly.

Biggest food craving:  Grape juice and Cranberry Limeades from Sonic.  That's about it.

Biggest food aversion:  Eggs and corn tortillas.  Even worse, eggs on a corn tortilla.  

How this pregnancy compares to the others:  Definite back pain now, but still worlds better than the others.  Still the best pregnancy to date!

Nervous about:  Gaining tons of weight like I always do.  Definitely keeping a tight reign on the munching this time around!