Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Multitude Monday on Tuesday

Before I begin, here is a quick note: I've started a new page to my blog called "Homeschool". This is obviously where I will post anything about our homeschooling adventures. I don't think you will get notices when I add things to this page, so check it out from time to time if you are interested in seeing what we are learning and doing. 

191. Our Sweet Selah

               I wonder what we will do when our home is no longer filled by the blessings that a sweet little baby brings to it?! I am so thankful for babies...right now, this baby, Selah. She is such a good baby! Let me share a bit about her:
                        Baby Grins: Selah is such a smiley baby! She has the cutest smile too. It is amazing how her little smile that stretches as wide as her chubby cheeks will permit, can make everything stop. It doesn't matter where you are or what you are doing when you catch her smiling at you, everything stops. You stand there and smile back absorbing every little second of that splendid little smile. That smile is magical too. It doesn't matter what kind of mood you are in, it will put you in a better one when it appears. There have been many times where I have been grumpy, sad, upset, etc, and I've walked by her almost completely absorbed in myself, and out of the corner of my eye I happen to see her sweetly gazing and smiling directly at me. I melt. She makes everything worth it, everything better, everything easier. Everything else just fades away, and my spirit is ministered to, my soul revived by that magical little smile.
                         Baby Giggles: She hasn't started giggling yet, but I'm waiting and watching in sweet anticipation every hour for that first little laugh. I make a fool of myself right now trying to get her to laugh...mostly I startle her and then she smiles and coos at me. :) When she starts laughing though, I can guarantee that the rest of us will be looking and sounding very silly trying to do whatever we can to make her giggle. I still remember very clearly the first time that Lucy laughed. She was 3 months old and I had no idea that a baby so little could laugh so much. Uncle Dan was visiting and I don't think he knew he could be so silly. He made her laugh and laugh and laugh!
                          Baby Gas: I bet you are laughing now. Let me share a funny Selah story. We were at my cousins wedding last weekend. We sat in the last row so that hopefully the kids wouldn't be a distraction and if they were, we could make a quick exit. I kept my eyes glued on the older ones. Selah sat quietly in her car seat, sweet as can be, until they came...those little baby gas bubbles that can be startlingly  LOUD as they echo through the diaper and the car seat. That was Selah. The young, childless couple in front of me didn't know what to think. I could hardly keep in my laughter as I watched them look back and forth at each other as inconspicuously as possible as if to say, "Can you believe that! Who would do that now. I can't believe how loud that was." Someday they'll understand.

I know that you all could probably say the same sweet things about your own babies. They are such a joy and such a blessing. It is amazing how someone who is so small, so helpless, often times so demanding can bring so much joy and meaning to your life. I am so thankful that God thought to give us babies. I am so thankful for  Selah.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Breakfast in Bed, Mary Cassatt
If this post is too long for you to read, just skip down and read the last paragraph. Sorry, I tried to not write too much because who has time to read long posts like this.  Just don't miss the quote at the bottom. :)  Heather

Frustration has set in. I know how a two year old feels when she wants something but doesn't have the words to express herself. I want to write. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head but have the hardest time getting them to flow correctly on "paper". Suddenly, however, I feel the desire to write growing, so I'm going to try. Perhaps this is the moment of inspiration.

Where to begin? Too many choices. I'll just begin with this thought and hope it makes sense.

Recently, I heard a pastor on the radio speaking basically about being "intentional" when it comes to turning from our sins. I don't remember who he was or everything he said, but what I do remember was how he explained that we make lists and plans for so many things like going to the grocery store, ordering product online, gift purchases, daily tasks, etc. I am a list maker myself, so this caught my attention. We make lists and plan out our steps for these "trivial" things, however, when it comes to something big, like trying to change a bad habit or a sin of ours, we often don't think about it beyond the small superficial prayer that we offer up. This of course isn't always true, but often it is. I know this is true for me in many areas of my life. Let me go further.

After I had Mayme, about 6 months after I had her, I found myself, well, I suppose you could say in a state of depression almost. I don't know what technically qualifies for depression, but I certainly was struggling. I would have sudden outbursts of anger toward my children and even towards Tyson. I had a VERY hard time controlling myself. These times came in waves I began to see with my hormones fluctuating. I knew that something needed to change or I was going to become destructive. I seriously was going to call my doctor and ask for medication to help control these waves I was feeling. I understood completely how and why that medication is necessary at times for certain people and looked on them in a new light of understanding and sympathy. Sometimes, that kind of help IS necessary. After praying more in that moment of frustration while I sat on our stairway trying to calm myself down, I felt the Lord nudging me and telling me to try to exercise first. Part of the reason I was so frustrated was because I hadn't lost any weight since my two week check-up. I also knew that exercising can have a big impact on your overall well being...emotions, hormones, etc. So, probably the next day, I started working out and determined to stick with it. It helped tremendously! I immediately began to feel better and little by little things came under control.

Needless to say, with Selah's arrival I've been waiting for this to return and determined to NOT let it take over as it did before. I've been watching and praying and hoping and wishing and purposing in my heart. While, I'm not anywhere close to where I was before, I have been having some problems. I think though this time it is more normal. I have only been able to gently exercise randomly. That will come with time I know.

Last week though I noticed more struggles surfacing. I don't want you to think that I yell at my kids all the time in private because I know rarely do you hear me yell in public, and if I did you would argue with me and say it isn't yelling (because I'm pretty sure I used to tell my mom that that tone of voice I was speaking with wasn't yelling. :-). Anyway, the anger and frustration behind it, in my eyes, makes it yelling. I have this struggle that most moms have, I think, where we don't address the "issue" properly when it should be addressed. We try all these quick fixes or just ignore it completely because either we are busy or lazy or selfishly don't want to stop what we are doing to take care of things. Yes, this happens to me too. Then my frustration and anger are allowed to build and build until I can't take it any more. Then, most of the time, I don't handle the situation correctly. Some of the time I do though and the results are glorious.

Yesterday, I sat down to create my list, my plan for tackling this problem. Not as easy as it sounds. I know that changing these attitudes and wrong behaviors that have been established in us over time, isn't always as easy as flipping on a switch. It also isn't something that we can do by ourselves. Anyway, I attempted to write down what I was struggling with and the consequences that action produced. Then, I tried to start finding some helpful verses for my struggle, hoping that as I prayerfully did this the Lord would lead me to some revelation. Time interrupted, time to stop, time to shower and get on with the "schedule", so I put my things away and moved on eagerly awaiting more study time tomorrow (which is today).

The morning began and after all that time thinking about my struggle, what did I do, but fall headfirst into it again! I failed miserably. Of course I knew I would still struggle and fail. I have a goal though that I'm running towards. I share this all partly for accountability, partly to gain your prayers, partly to encourage others struggling with the same things. We are not alone. We have a great high priest who understands our weaknesses, that we are but dust, and who intercedes for us. Think about that! Jesus at this very moment is praying to God the Father on your behalf! Wow! I don't think about that enough. I think that may be one reason we struggle so much: we are so busy thinking about our BIG problems that we make God so SMALL. It should be the other way around. When we make God BIG (or really just attempt to see Him as He really is) our problems become so SMALL. Things get put into proper focus. Our worship is directed towards God and not our issues. We become people of praise and thanksgiving rather than...the opposite.

That is who I want to be. That is what I want to do. I failed, but I'm getting back up and trying again. One thing I'm learning is how to fail and get up again. We often feel hopeless when we fail, but really failing can be a blessing in disguise. In the same way, being caught in sin is a blessing because it gives us an opportunity to repent and know God's grace. I read this last night in the book that I'm currently reading, "Jim White wrote recently, 'One of the devil's key strategies is to convince a Christian that God has no future for failures. The truth of the matter is, failure is sometimes the very experience that enables God to later use us and still get all the glory.' Properly viewed, weakness can be wonderful."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Multitude Monday

165. Soup simmering on the stove
166. Crunching leaves
167. Intense fall colors
168. Cool nights
169. Band-aids
170. Food for my family
171. Freshly baked cookies to surprise Daddy
172. Forgiveness
173. Chances for repentance
174. The Word: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
175. Failure
176. Growth
177. New hope
178. Accomplishments, both big and small
179. Knitting projects
180. The feel of bamboo knitting needles working in soft yarn
181. The ability to make homemade gifts for loved ones. 
182. Memories of baby's diaper leaking all over you at church when neither of you has an extra change of clothes
184. Blankets to cover the previously mentioned messes...(you would think I would have learned by now to never leave home without extra clothes for at least the baby. :-)
185. Baby monitors
186. Baths
187. Fingernail clippers
188. Cuddly pajamas
189. Story time
190. Children who love to pray and even fight over who gets to pray first

What are you thankful for? Can you list ten things? Once you get started, it is hard to stop!