Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baby Due

Today is suppose to be the day. The due date is quite potentially one of the things that is the most frustrating with pregnancy since it's only a guess. I almost wish they wouldn't give you a date but like a two week span of the baby should come during this time. I know it's for their own comfort and making sure that everyone is healthy, but knowing that due dates are so subjective it would be nice if they would just give you a range instead of a date.
I do wonder what they did back in the day. How did they calculate when there babies would come? They really had to rely on God to bring their babies when it was the right time.
And so I continue to wait and pray for God to give me His patience and strength.

Monday, August 29, 2011

God's Glory

This is suppose to be the most important thing in the world, especially to those of us who call ourselves believers. So why is it that we so easily forget this? I hate being human! But I am so grateful for the grace our Lord gives us through Christ Jesus so that we can be reminded of this truth and live for God's glory. This concept is one that has really been hitting me this past week. As I wait for the delivery of my child I have been reminded that everything we do should be for God's glory and everything God does is for His glory. My desire is to go into labor on my own, but I have had to completely relinquish this desire once again and say "Lord, whatever will bring you the most glory, let it be done." Before with birth I did not think of it this way, but this time God has turned my heart toward Him. I have been so thankful that the past couple of weeks God has been drawing me closer to Himself and I am learning to rest fully in Him. We are studying God's grace at church and it is overwhelming me right now. How is it that God would love me and offer me grace when I am so undeserving? How is it that God blesses me, when I deserve nothing more than curses? Because His grace covers me and I am covered by the blood of the Lamb.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beautiful Savior by Stuart Townend

All my days I will sing the song of gladness
Give my praise to the fountain of delights
For in my helplessness, you heard my cry
And waves of mercy poured down on my life

Beautiful Savior, wonderful counselor
Clothed in majesty, Lord of history
You're the Way, the Truth and the Life
Star of the morning, glorious in holiness
You're the risen one, heaven's champion
And You reign, You reign over all

I will trust in the cross of my Redeemer
I will sing of the blood that never fails
Of sins forgiven, of conscience cleansed
Of death defeated and life without end


I long to be where the praise is never ending
Yearn to DWELL where the glory never fades
Where countless worshippers will share one song
And cries of "worthy" will honor the Lamb


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Sister's Keeper

This is a subject I have thought about, struggled with, tried to understand for about the last 5 or so years. What does it look like? How do you do it? What do you share when you are not suppose to let people know how you struggle? This past Saturday we had a wonderful day of discussing just that and I want to share a few high lights from this time.
The first and most important thing is Jesus Christ! If you have been washed in His grace and salvation through the work He alone can do and did on the cross then the rest will follow if you allow it. The key is a relationship with Christ first and foremost. Without it you are lost and doomed to death. But in Christ we have life and we are kept by the One who has saved us from sin and death. He is our Keeper.
So if Jesus is my Keeper and He is your Keeper, then we are in turn to keep each other. But how? This is the part that is the struggle for everyone. It involves getting involved in people's lives and loving them the way that Christ loves us. We are naturally selfish beings who want what we want when we want it and want to do what we want to do when we want. So keeping each other can be a challenge when we say, "but I really don't want to do that" or "I really do not care what she has to say." We have to take us out of the equation and let the love of Christ flow through us. Remember we have been saved so we can help each other in Christ's strength.
It also includes being real with each other. We are ALL sinners. I repeat, we are ALL sinners and we ALL struggle with sin. It is life. It is the human condition. There are things that all of us are stronger at and those thinks at which we are weaker. So in areas where we are strong in Christ we can help and encourage those who are weaker. When we are weak we have Christ and those He has put in our lives to help and encourage us. Knowing that we are all sinners should drive us to love, compassion, grace and mercy for one another and in doing so we can help keep each other for Christ's sake. This also means we can confess our sin to one another, pray for each other and truly seek to be real about these struggles and weaknesses we have.
Knowing that we are perfectly cared for by our Savior frees us to care for others. We have everything in Christ so we are free to give and give generously. We are free from sinful comparing, feelings of alienation, jealousy, selfish ambition, man-pleasing, fear and self-condemnation. (And I definitely have at some point struggled with all of these and still struggle with many! Have you?) Confess these things to God and to others and let the healing and keeping begin. Focus on Christ and what He has done for you. This pushes down the road of sanctification. And trust the work of Christ in other people. We all learn and grown at different paces, in different times and in different ways. Pray! And remember that God is always in control.
So what is holding you back from being kept? What is holding you back from keeping other people? What sin do you need to confess? Are you willing to risk being transparent even if others are not? Are you willing to let go of your agenda so that Christ can work fully in you and use you to work in the lives of your sisters in Christ?

Friday, August 19, 2011


I know that whining is part of the growing process for kids, but some days it feels like that is the only way Jamey knows how to communicate. I am constantly saying, "I cannot understand you", "please use your words", "that is not how we get what we want", like a broken record. Even if he likes something it might be said in a whiny voice. It is so crazy. And it completely wears on my nerves. Needless to say I find myself always checking my attitude and reminding myself that I am the adult and I need to act like it. It seriously tries my patience.
I have written before about how children help in the sanctification process, but right now it is seriously stretching me. As I go to God I have begun to think about how I approach God. Do I go to God like a two year old child whining about how much I want something, do not want to do something, how unfair I feel life is, etc or like an adult talking to a friend who also is the Almighty God? Many times I am going to Him like the whiny child with some complaint about something. I feel like I am owed something and I must have my way. Recently I have definitely evaluated how I come before God. It is obviously a process, as everything is, but I try to think of the Lord's prayer when I come before Him, giving Him praise and honor and confessing my sins before bringing my concerns before the Lord.
Children seriously point out the sin and failure in your life. But praise God for Jesus Christ who has washed me clean and declared me right before God and continually works in my life through the Holy Spirit to sanctify me and make me more like Jesus every day. Having children helps you understand how God views His children. It brings so much pleasure and some pain, but every day is worth it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Family Day and Nesting

Today we had a great family day, still a family of 4 before the craziness starts. Jim begins classes tomorrow and some time in the next 3 weeks or so we will become a family of 5! It is amazing to think that at 27 I will have 3 children. My family was 6 growing up and it never seemed odd to me, though it was definitely larger than most of the families around us. But the thought that we will be a family of 5 soon is completely blowing my mind. It is exciting and scary all at the same time, but I know God has a wonderful purpose in it.
Today was a wonderful day! We spent the whole day together as a family and it was a wonderful and beautiful thing! We started the day with breakfast, family worship and school. Today we decided to be like hobbits and have a second breakfast of Chick-fil-a biscuits! I had forgotten how yummy they are! We took care of business at the school and decided to go to the zoo since the weather was so nice today. It was also an attempt to "walk the baby out". Lunch was at Dairy Queen, then home for naps. While the kids rested Jim and I did some cleaning and organizing. After post nap baths we decided for dinner out at McAllister's and returned home just in time for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy (or Jepy as Jamey calls it). Finally bed time for the kids and Jim and I finished up what we had started in the afternoon. It was wonderful!
The weirdest thing for me right now is nesting. With the other 2 I never nested, but this time I feel like I will never get this place cleaned and organized enough for the baby to come. It is bizarre! But somewhat exciting as well as it has made me much more productive recently. There are some cleaning things that I physically cannot do so Jim has to take care of them, but I am getting things I can do done and that is a wonderful feeling. I am still working on organizing my whole time better, but that is a process as is everything in life. And I know about the time I have it "figured out" something will have to change. Life is such an adventure, but I'm thankful for the adventure I am currently on.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Always Learning

We are into week 2 day 3 of homeschooling. It is extremely exhausting, but so far worth all of the effort. I am definitely still in the learning phase of what I am doing, but the point is I am learning too. This is a good thing for me! It is helping me to know my children better, to see what they need, where they are and how I can help them learn better. Jamey loves to learn! He wants to read a book then go through every page by himself and talk about the pictures. I love that! I am also learning, too, that many times you have to tweak your program. Week one I followed almost exactly what my curriculum for him said. I realized it was really too easy because of some of the things he already knows. So this week I am focusing on numbers and letters with high lights on other things, instead of only focusing on a letter one day and a number one day with only highlighting them the rest of the week. So far this seems to be working better. It is funny, though, that he has become resistant to singing! When I tell him we're going to sing he screams NOOOO! This is, of course, Lillian's favorite time as her primary focus is learning to sit with us and increase her attention span while we read. Jamey is also getting into learning words in Russian and today asked me how to say "bird in Russian" (yes he said it just like that). Then yesterday both at nap and bed time he asked me to play his Russian cd instead of music! That is so exciting for me. It is also helping me brush up on the little Russian I do know and add to my vocabulary. I do not have a grasp on the grammar, however, but we will work on that later.
Lillian is starting to get into books, but mostly likes to look in the mirror and play with puzzles while we're in school. I can definitely see an increase in her attention span growing ever so slowly, but she still gets bored quite quickly. We spend more time together in the afternoon working on motor skills and basic instructions. She loves anytime she can get with mama or daddy without Jamey competing for the attention.
I'm currently working on how to make the afternoons more intentional and a learning time for both kids. I know in a year or 2 they will be closer to the same level and it will be a bit easier, but for now, they are both having to learn patience as they take their turns in different activities when I am alone with them.
I also love unintentional teaching moments! We have had the worst time finding basic bottles of paint, so Jim finally found some but only in a few colors. Our color of the week is green but no green paint. So Jamey got to have a little Art 101 lesson about mixing blue and yellow together to make green! He thought it was cool! So did I. It's amazing to see the realization as they learn these things. Yes, I know I will probably have to explain this concept to him again many times, but it was a moment that might not have been had we found a bottle of green paint. I pray that I will continue to be aware of these unplanned learning opportunities and make the most of every moment God gives me with my children.
We are also working on developing the fine motor skills. This is something I did not realize would be so challenging and take so much time. Mostly it is teaching him to hold scissors, cut paper and use little pieces of paper to glue onto another piece of paper. I never realized how difficult this really is and how much time and practice it will take for him to really be able to do those things. He does well holding a crayon and will not hold it correctly most of the time without being told to do so. I am amazed in new and different ways every day. I'm learning that home school is just as beneficial for me as it is for my kids. Who knew!?

Above- green squares from our "homemade" green
Jamey's cow made from squares last week!