Friday, May 31, 2013

May Evaluation

  • Read through the entire Bible in a year following a chronological reading plan- I was on track until this week so I will be catching up this week.
  • Memorize a verse a week (for full disclosure I am starting with verses that I have previously memorized but have lost full memory of)- Our church is working through the attributes of God so I am working on those Scriptures, but only have memorized 1 this month: Isaiah 40:28
  • Spend 30 minutes daily concentrated on prayer and Bible reading- Again have been doing well until this last week. Praying that it will improve again.
  • Continue to record daily blessings to cultivate thankfulness (Goal is 10,000 things)- I am continuing to record, but many times forget the things I want to write down so behind in number from where I would like to be
  • Praying throughout the day for specified things (still developing lists and plan for this)- Did better this month, still getting all of my notebooks together, which makes it challenging as new things come up
  • Read a book a month apart from SWI matrerial- Still working on Redeeming Childbirth but also read You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins (review here) and read Magicians Nephew as a family
  • Journal 5 days a week- I think I got about 10 days this month. Still trying to get this more into my day as a normal routine
  • Write (working on books) 5 days a week- I have done a little planning for a book to go along with a child birthing class but no actual writing this month. Working a plan to make this more of a priority as God is leading me in it
  • Finish my first fiction book- Still seriously behind where I hoped to be at this point
  • Write 3 blog posts a week- I think I averaged 3 a week though some had less. 
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes! Love those ladies
  • Have one day a month for personal retreat time to pray, read the Bible and write- Did not happen, working on getting this for all adults in our house
  • Complete Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Russian- Have recently taken a bit of a language break because of other priorities, but still planning to get this done
  • Begin working on a Christ-centered prenatal/delivery/postnatal education- Yes! I have talked to many people, gotten many surveys filled out, lots of encouragement and plans in the works. Hoping to go through surveys this week
  • Go on a date once a month- Yes!
  • Go on one overnight trip away- Yes! Elk Creek Vineyard is beautiful!
  • Read together for 30 minutes once a week- Um, No 
  • Discuss and plan the week to come on Sunday afternoon- Yes
  • Take each child on a "date" once a month- I think this happened, I know J and L went out with us. Lots of Doctor's appointments have led to individual time, but not necessarily dates
  • Spend individual time with each child at home once a week (at least 20 minutes)- Have had more individualize time at home though have not done this every week
  • Work on memorizing Psalm 23 with Jamey and Lillian- Yes! Both have it memorized as well as Psalm 67 with most of Proverbs 31:10-31 and are now working on Psalm 1
  • Finish current Pre-K curriculum with Jamey and Lillian- Still trecking, Planning to be done in 5 weeks! (though my kids love school and could care less if we take a break at all)
  • Continue going to playgroup on Tuesdays- Yes
  • (I need to develop more educational goals, so I guess a goal for this year will be learning to do this for next year)
  • Begin a garden planting at least tomatoes (hoping to do more)- We have lettuce. Our other seedlings have not made it, save for a couple either tomatoes or peppers
  • Try 1 new recipe a month- Yes! Made BBQ ribs for Jim's birthday
  • Keep up with cleaning calendar- Not really
  • Develop general cleaning schedule- Have an idea, but still nothing official
Health and Fitness
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week- I have gotten 2 days pretty regularly and will continue with that for now
  • Lose 30 lbs- I fluctuated a lot this month and am back up a couple pounds
  • Continue hosting Women's prayer once a month- Yes, still praying for more people to pray
  • Email workers once a month- Sent out a few updates, but will email all this weekend
  • Send 2 encouraging notes a month- No, hoping to catch up and improve in this area
May was crazy but good. We celebrated Lillian's birthday, Jamey had surgery, Rachel came up, celebrated Jim's birthday and went on an overnight away. These are just the highlights, but it made for a bit of a chaotic month. I have felt a bit out of my rhythm. Looking forward to a more laid back June (I hope :) ).

What was May like for you?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jim is 30!

Today my wonderful hubby is 30 years old. I am so thankful that 30 years ago God brought him safely into this world and that by God's grace He saved Jim 10 years ago. It has been such a joy to see Jim grow in the Lord and eagerly learn more about God. I am so blessed to have a husband who seeks the Lord, to lead our family well and strives to provide as well as be present in our home. The Lord has been so good to us and faithful to us. What a blessing Jim is!

Last night we celebrated with our community group at Shelby Park complete with a cookout and ice cream cake! It was an Oreo ice cream cake, which is Jim's favorite (Thank you Andy and Shannon!). We have such an amazing community (Jared, Rachel, Andy, Shannon, Laura, Ryan, Joe, Tom and Melanie) and I am so thankful to have them in our lives. It was a blessing for the kids and my sisters to come as well as others who are checking out our community. God has truly blessed us. 

This afternoon we will heading off for a night alone! Another huge blessing as my sister take care of the kids so that we can have 24 hours to ourselves.

What an amazing way to celebrate 30 years of life!

I love you, Jimbo! I cannot wait to see what God does with you in the next 30 years!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gabriel is 6 Months!

I cannot believe our little one is 6 months old today! Time flies so quickly these days. Gabriel is such a big boy, but so little too. It amazes me that he fits into the clothes size that is designated for his age. This has never happened before, but it's nice being able to use each size a little longer. He rolls some, but loves being on his stomach or in his ExerSaucer. He responds to his name and hates to be dirty. He loves being around people and smiles so big. Gabriel loves his siblings and Jamey can always make him laugh. Reuben has really warmed up to Gabriel and gives hugs and kisses without prompting. It so beautiful to see our family come together. God's grace is abounding. I am so excited to see what God will do with Gabriel as he continues to learn and grow. God has given Gabriel such a sweet spirit and we as so blessed to have him in our family.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Play With Your Kids

It seems so obvious, but I know I constantly have to be reminded and remind myself to play with my kids. I am really trying to grow in this as it is not natural for me. I don't know why exactly, but my instinct is not to just hang out with them. I feel like I always need to be doing something productive in the house or preparing for ministry or something. But I am starting to realize more and more that I need to just be present with my kids sometimes and play with them. Ring Around the Rosie has become a house hold favorite as well as the Hokey Pokey. We laugh. We get dizzy. But we enjoy being together and being a family.

I need to play more. I need to enjoy more. My kids are growing so fast. Today they are 4, 3, 20 months and 5 months. It seems like Jamey was just born yesterday. They will all be grown before I know it. I don't want to have regrets. I want to play with my kids and enjoy them. They truly are gifts and I need to treat them as such.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 20 to 26

2001. Great conversation with Jim
2002. Feeling more confident to take some next steps in faith
2003. Continuing to grow in communication
2004. Getting up by 6:30 (having time to sleep in last week was great but really threw everything off)
2005. Having a good morning at school
2006. Playdate with several ladies and kids at Caroline's house
2007. Meeting Amy
2008. Getting 5 more surveys
2009. Seeing ladies I have not seen in a while
2010. Great time of community
2011. Kids playing together fairly well most of the time
2012. Homemade cinnamon rolls
2013. Coffee
2014. Time of encouragement
2015. My sisters doing some deep cleaning
2016. Big rest time for the kids!
2017. Finally going to the eye doctor
2018. Getting a pair of glasses the fit my lenses and were only $50! (however they do look like Spencer Reed glasses, which does not fit me at all :) )
2019. Quick dinner
2020. Great family reading time
2021. Gabriel becoming more interactive
2022. Reuben responding more to reading time
2023. Reuben holding hands and saying "Amen!" very enthusiastically
2024. Watching Jim and the kids wrestle
2025. Playing with the kids
2026. Not turning on the TV until time for Wheel of Fortune!
2027. Relatively smooth bed time after having naps
2028. Early bed time (I fell asleep on the sofa as soon as Jeopardy was over!)
2029. Another early morning
2030. Productive school morning
2031. Playgroup at Cherokee
2032. Meeting a Sister who is expecting and has older home school kids
2033. Learning more about co-ops
2034. Spending time with Caroline and Margaret
2035. Nice cool weather
2036. Eating at the park
2037. Lots of encouragement
2038. Restful afternoon
2039. Going to water aerobics
2040. Seeing Shannon
2041. Jim getting to swim laps while I did aerobics
2042. Full house at community group
2043. Talking about God's goodness
2044. Being honest about doubting God's goodness
2045. Looking for God's goodness in everything
2046. Seeing God's hand leading me more in writing opportunities
2047. Cheese dogs
2048. Early time with the Lord
2049. Great school time
2050. Reuben desiring to learn
2051. Reuben listening during Bible story time
2052. Getting everyone ready to go to the pool before Jim got back from accountability
2053. Family pool time
2054. Reuben loving the water
2055. Lillian desiring to be in the big pool more
2056. The kids learning to play volleyball
2057. Jamey jumping in to Jim
2058. Reuben hanging out in the pool, floating in a life jacket
2059. Reuben loving being dunked
2060. The kids all playing well together in the water
2061. Writing in my journal!
2062. Working on things for the childbirth class
2063. Being productive
2064. Gabriel's hugs and kisses
2065. Reuben loving on Gabriel
2066. Jamey playing with Gabriel
2067. Gabriel's laughter
2068. All the kids laughing together
2069. Jamey and Lillian saying their Bible verses together
2070. Reuben praying
2071. Jamey and Lillian asking to pray at every meal
2072. Seeing God's grace at work in our kids
2073. Putting Lillian back in big girl underwear
2074. Seeing God's grace at work in our house
2075. Beautiful weather
2076. Getting work done in the garden and yard
2077. Gathering leaves and grass to put in the compost bin
2078. The kids learning to work in the yard
2079. More sprouts!
2080. Doing some school work at the kitchen table (found this both easier and more difficult in different ways)
2081. SWI library summer hours
2082. Finishing You Are A Writer (Review Here)
2083. Spending some time worshiping the Lord alone
2084. God teaching me how to worship
2085. Kids learning how to play Simon Says
2086. Kids learning how to play Red Light, Green Light
2087. Lillian playing Ring around the Rosies with Reuben
2088. Doing school on Saturday (Yes my kids like this)
2089. Getting some Russian lessons done
2090. Praying!
2091. Getting up at a reasonable time
2092. Getting everyone ready for church on time
2093. Being reminded of God's Faithfulness
2094. Learning new music
2095. Being reminded that God calls us to wait on Him and His timing which is an act of faith
2096. God has my best in mind
2097. Being encouraged in writing
2098. Being encouraged to follow in faith
2099. Walking to and from church
2100. Talking to Bethany
2101. Taco Bell
2102. Getting meals planned
2103. Kids playing outside a lot
2104. Kids playing well together
2105. Jim sleeping well
2106. Jim picking up an extra shift on a holiday
2107. Ice cream
2108. Relatively smooth bed time
2109. Speaking Truth into people's lives
2110. Not having to pay back God for His grace

Monday, May 20, 2013


When people find out that I have had 4 kids in 4 years there were a lot of different reactions and words used to describe me. The one that always makes me laugh the most is Superwoman.

"How do you do that? You are a superwoman!" people say.

To which, I let out a hardy laugh and reply, "Clearly you have never been to my house."

I over react and yell at my kids daily. Sometimes I walk away. I finish reading or writing that "important" email while my kids beg me to play "Ring Around the Rosies". I push academics or timeliness over obedience and instructing my kids in the Lord. I freak out over meal planning. My house is cluttered and dirty.

I am no Superwoman.

I am just a woman, fallen, sinful and broken who has been saved by grace by a Holy God. I have been blessed with 4 beautiful kids who stretch and grow me everyday. Most of the time there is progress forward little by little. Sometimes I fall too far back. But it is a process.

Maybe one day I will be a superwoman, but it will only be because of God's grace working in my life. I serve a God who is personal and loving and never gives up on me.

Lord, make me Your superwoman!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 13 to 19

1866. Having good conversation with Jim
1867. Waking up quite early (on time)
1868. Jamey doing well on the way to the hospital, especially without eating breakfast
1869. Smooth admission and surgery prep
1870. Gabriel doing well at the hospital
1871. Surgery going well and quick with no complications
1872. Cherry Slushies!
1873. Having the same recovery room nurse as we did with Reuben
1874. Getting Jamey home
1875. Getting more of Redeeming Childbirth read
1876. Resting in the afternoon
1877. KFC for dinner
1878. Going through my blog email
1879. Reading some encouraging emails and posts
1880. Getting to sleep in this morning (though kids were in the bed)
1881. Easy morning
1882. Lillian begging to do school (though we did not today)
1883. Jamey acting normally
1884. Playgroup at the park
1885. Meeting Katie
1886. Having another Sister who wants to educate on childbirth
1887. Meeting a Sister who LOVES to pray
1888. Encouraging conversation
1889. Jesus ordaining for people to meet
1890. More childbirth surveys getting filled out
1891. Sharing with Caroline
1892. Knowing that others are being stretched and grown in similar ways
1893. Eating lunch at the park
1894. Watching Lillian play with other girls at the park
1895. Reuben learning how to slide
1896. Having my sister at the park to help with the kids
1897. Being able to help Laura (so glad she lives closer now)
1898. Finally going through all my emails
1899. Writing a couple of emails
1900. Lillian caring for her brothers
1901. Going to water aerobics!
1902. "Surfing" on kick boards (this is quite fun!)
1903. 3 New people at CG
1904. Trying out Dairy Kastle with CG
1905. Banana splits
1906. Meeting a lady who has been to Romania
1907. Finding out there may be another Sojourner interested in Eastern Europe
1908. Hanging out
1909. Meeting someone who was born and raised on the field
1910. Earlier bedtime
1911. Sleeping until almost 8 am!
1912. Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast
1913. Doing school!
1914. Jamey, Lillian and Reuben all eager and anxious to do school
1915. Jamey completing another weeks worth of language arts
1916. Lillian doing better with the toilet this morning
1917. Reuben playing well and learning
1918. Lillian having a great check up
1919. Bulk cooking
1920. Starting to get back in order
1921. Staying more on top of things today
1922. Getting some things organized in the living area
1923. Doing some work in the garden
1924. Really big red lettuce plant growing
1925. Learning my trial and error
1926. Already making plans on how to better utilize our yard in the year to come
1927. Reading more together
1928. Relatively smooth bed time
1929. Jamey acting like his normal self today
1930. Hanging out
1931. Writing emails
1932. Reading emails
1933. Realizing I cannot keep up with everything and that's OK
1934. Everyone sleeping until after 7am
1935. Yummy eggs for breakfast
1936. Having a low key school day
1937. Jamey begging for more and more book work so we got a lot done
1938. Lillian wanting to work on reading
1939. Reuben starting to get into school
1940. Getting a couple Russian lessons done with the whole family
1941. Rachel and Becca doing puzzles with the kids
1942. Jim and I getting our room cleaned and organized
1943. Finding things to get rid of (YAY for minimizing! Still have a long way to go)
1944. Figuring out where to put things in our room
1945. Getting pictures hung in our room
1946. Going to water aerobics
1947. Jim getting to swim laps
1948. Relaxing in the hot tub together
1949. Relaxing evening
1950. All sleeping later again
1951. Rachel and Becca helping with school this morning
1952. Being reminded that my kids are still young though quick
1953. Lillian almost making it to the toilet
1954. Seeing God's grace at work in our home
1955. The kids making more connections about the Truth
1956. Reuben seeking out Gabriel to give him hugs and kisses
1957. Nice rest time
1958. Encouraging emails and blogs
1959. Free stuff *
1960. Opportunity to read a book and write a review
1961. Easy little things to gain a little extra here and there
1962. Learning a lot with little realizations
1963. Getting to spend time with Emily this morning
1964. Sleeping well all night! (First time in a week)
1965. Getting to practice Titus 2
1966. Getting a free book on Writing
1967. Learning to have difficult but good conversations
1968. Learning to listen
1969. Getting caught up with some things
1970. Reuben's gigantic little hugs :)
1971. Playing "Ring-a-Round the Rosies" with my kids
1972. Reuben doing it by himself
1973. Getting a plan for the rest of school this year
1974. God giving my kids amazing minds
1975. Gabriel getting a good nap today
1976. Watching all of my kids play together
1977. Getting everybody up and ready to go by 7:45am
1978. Walking to church
1979. Meeting a lady who wants to go back to Eastern Europe also!
1980. Encouragement
1981. Learning new songs
1982. Learning about God's Goodness
1983. Being reminded why i make these lists
1984. Being encouraged in writing
1985. Getting meal planning and grocery list together without bloodshed
1986. Going to dinner with Jim
1987. Prayer time with Micheal and Rebecca
1988. Friends who help you make connections
1989. Being given the privilege to pray
1990. Sweet Tea
1991. Kids doing well for Rachel
1992. Getting Emails put in
1993. Getting Emails sent out
1994. Finding Sisters on Facebook
1995. FINALLY sending out my surveys
1996. Being encouraged by Nathan and Sarah
1997. Lillian pooping in the toilet!!!
1998. Organizing priorities again
1999. Good conversation with Jim
2000. GOD IS GOOD!!!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Not Really Free

I am starting to realize more and more that nothing is really free. It may not cost money, but I have discovered that it will often time. I love getting things with no monetary cost. It really is a blessing! But tonight as I looked through my emails and things I have signed up for to get free things, I am realizing how much time it is costing me. At 19:15 I knew I was going to work on downloading a few freebies I was wanting to get. It is now 20:40 and I honestly am not done but had to stop before it drove me crazy. It's been 2 hours for what? As I look at many of the things, I likely will not use them or will not for a long time. And as I do this I think about 2 hours of things I should have done (like write, journal, read or work on my childbirth class) that I have clearly been called to do. One thing that I have downloaded this evening deals with any of those things. A couple of them are for homeschooling my kids, but other than that the likelihood is that much of it I will not use.
I am seriously seeking to evaluate my time right now so that I can reach the goals that God gave me at the beginning of the year. God is really helping me to be more present in my family's life, but my alone time management is seriously lacking. I hope to grow in this as well as not seek things. My time needs to be spent elsewhere generally and I pray that I will seek God in how to use my time to the fullest for His Kingdom and His Glory!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Preparing Them To Die

As I think about what my job is as a mother and pray for my kids, God has brought to mind that one day all of my kids will die. I realize this is not a happy thought and something many of us avoid thinking about much less talking about, but this is where my heart is. My kids are little and I do not expect them to die for decades, but I know that one day they will.

What does this mean for me as a Christian mother. This takes me to the instructions given to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:4-7:

Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. These words that I command you today shall be upon your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 

We are commanded by the Lord to teach His ways to our children. But why?

Because He is the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth and is worthy of all praise and honor and glory.

The problem is they are sinful and cannot praise the Lord and bring Him honor and glory. Therefore we must teach them ultimately about Jesus, the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world and after 3 days raised from the dead to conquer sin and death for us. See without Jesus, they will be separated from God in hell for all eternity.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

Jesus is life! Though we die a physical death we will live for eternity and only in Christ can we live with God eternally praising His Name and bringing Him honor and glory. This is the most important thing I can teach them. This is preparing them to die.

At the same time I am, I pray, teaching them to live. But if they are living without Christ, they are not living at all.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 6 to 12

1746. Snuggling with Lillian
1747. Lillian sleeping until 8:30
1748. Great school time
1749. Seeing how much Jamey has progressed
1750. Talking to Jamey about the future for a language arts assignment. Below is what he "wrote":
          "I am going to get married. She will look like Jesus. We will have 5 boys and 5 girls. I will start a big ministry. The ministry will get medicine to children in India. I will live in Kentucky. That's all."
Out of the Mouths of Babes. Now to see what God does with this. :)
1751. Growing in patience
1752. Grocery store with Jim
1753. Becca taking finals today! (then she will be done for the semester :) )
1754. Listening to Jamey and Lillian talk to each other
1755. Jamey and Lillian wanting to clean
1756. Teaching the kids to clean
1757. Getting blog posts written
1758. Reorganizing the living area
1759. Reading more Psalms (I am really falling in love with these)
1760. Having a memory verse each week that goes with our sermon series on the attributes of God
1761. Learning about another opportunity for family connection in the summer!
1762. Seeing Pastor Nathan at church (should have been on last weeks) who has been battling cancer, check out his journey here
1763. Learning new music based on the book of Luke
1764. Jamey and Lillian saying Psalm 23 and part of 67 together
1765. Reuben "saying" part of Psalm 67 with J and L
1766. Yummy pork loin for dinner
1767. Playing Wii Fit with the kids
1768. Multitasking
1769. Getting a lot done today
1770. Going through emails
1771. Everyone sleeping until 7am! (always a treat)
1772. Great school time
1773. Meeting our neighbors
1774. Fun playgroup
1775. Talking through some things with Sisters and sharing perspectives freely
1776. Meeting a new Sister
1777. Walking to playgroup.
1778. Running into Kristi on the way home
1779. Being encouraged
1780. Having in depth conversations with Jamey about faith
1781. Working on getting the office organized
1782. Jamey and Lillian eager to clean
1783. Listening to Lillian do our whole school routine with her baby doll (she "read" much more than we do. Must not have wanted to leave anything out.)
1784. Jamey practicing piano on his own (we are not doing anything formal, but he likes to play)
1785. Doing more Wii fit with the kids and them doing well
1786. Getting a shelf full of kids books recorded and weeded
1787. Early bed time
1788. Getting out of bed before any of the kids
1789. Lillian sleeping in her own bed all night
1790. Getting more school done than I thought I would
1791. Taking Jamey to his first Braves game (in Cincinnati)
1792. Listening to Jamey sing Come to the Feast
1793. Talking to Jamey as he watches outside
1794. Watching Jamey put things together
1795. Finding parking relatively close to the stadiom
1796. Getting "First Game" certificates for Jamey and Gabriel
1797. Great seats (but cheap)
1798. Hot dogs
1799. Jamey enjoying his cotton candy
1800. Jamey cheering
1801. God being right beside us even when our minds are going neurotic
1802. Gabriel doing fairly well for being hot and sleepy
1803. Jamey taking a nap on the way home
1804. Talking to Jim
1805. Pizza
1806. Family movie
1807. Smooth bed time
1808. Good sleep
1809. Yummy breakfast
1810. Getting extra done in school
1811. Kids anxious to clean
1812. Fun play time
1813. Everyone taking a nap
1814. Jen coming to hang out and make dinner
1815. Member meeting
1816. Seeing Jonah and finding out he and Allison are expecting!
1817. Seeing lots of Sisters and Brothers
1818. Hearing about God's grace on Sojourn and all the growth and changed lives taking place
1819. Good conversation with Becca
1820. Jim getting to work extra
1821. Kids sleeping in
1822. Getting out of here barely on time
1823. MOMSTogether
1824. Meeting a Sister with connections to  Moldova
1825. Seeing Sisters again that I had not seen in awhile
1826. Being encouraged to teach my kids God's character
1827. Seeing parts of God's character throughout creation
1828. Learning of more people that might help with Childbirthing class
1829. More encouragement
1830. Seeing more and more need
1831. Kids doing well
1832. Going all day without the TV even with a rainy day
1833. Great giveaways
1834. Getting some online organizing done
1835. Rachel getting here safely
1836. All going to pick her up (except Jim)
1837. Hearing Jamey use excellent manners when meeting new people today
1838. Jamey and Lillian working together on a puzzle without fighting
1839. Jamey loving on Gabriel
1840. Reuben starting to really love on and play with Gabriel
1841. Reuben growing in communicating and being able to understand him
1842. Lillian growing in communication
1843. Lillian learning to mother (that girl has some instincts)
1844. Missions Intensive
1845. Spreading the word about women's prayer
1846. Meeting more people who want to pray
1847. Getting more Surveys filled out
1848. God giving me an opportunity to reach out to a Sister
1849. Being encouraged in mission
1850. Learning how to combine mission and theology
1851. Being challenged in mission
1852. Thinking about where I need to grow in missions
1853. God continuing to open up areas and opportunities for me
1854. Constantly learning
1855. Great conversation with Rachy
1856. Learning how to share the Gospel in many different contexts
1857. Learning more about the beauty of God (I sort of addressed this in a post last week.)
1858. Meeting another Sister
1859. Connecting with people
1860. $5 lunch deal at DQ
1861. Family nap time!!!!!
1862. Calling Mom
1863. Jamey being mentally prepped for surgery in the morning
1864. Ice cream
1865. Early bed time

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Looked at the Sky

Why is this significant?

I use to look at the sky all  the time. I would take countless pictures of clouds and sunbeams. I would marvel at the wonders of the sky. I would dream of playing in the clouds and think, "If only I could grab a piece." I would worship my God and dream of dancing with Him in the sky. I would marvel at the beauty of what God had made.

As I looked at the sky and how the clouds moved and light caught on the white pillows I realized I could not remember the last time I looked at the sky, really looked at it, and marveled. It was one of those moments that only lasted a few minutes, but felt like half a day. I looked in wonder. I worshiped my God. I thought, "If only I could grab a piece or lie on it like a fluffy bed." I wanted to dance and soar up into the sky. It took me back to a time when I would stop and focus on the beauty of creation.

Why have I stopped looking? Why have I stopped marveling? Why have I stopped looking for my Lord to come back and take me with Him?

I have no real answer, only that I have stopped looking up like I should. I look around too much. I saw God's glory in those clouds and a reminder of how big He really is.

Thank You, God, for reminding me I need to be looking up at You and not at the circumstances around me. Help me to see Your glory and bask it Your rays.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jamey's First Braves Game

Yesterday Jim, Jamey, Gabriel and I loaded up for a day trip to Cincinnati for Jamey's (and Gabriel's) first Braves game! It was exciting to hear and see his excitement as we talked on the way, walked to the stadium and watched the game. At 4 years old he was a bit restless, but overall seemed to enjoy the game that was playing below. We had great seats in the front of the top deck so we could see very well. This was such a blessing! It was also a great test of faith for me. There was glass so that he could not get over, but it was still a bit nerve wrecking as Jamey is a climber so an eye had to be on him at every moment.
By God's grace he listened and obeyed and watched and cheered (though often for the wrong team :) ) and we had a good time. Jamey did ask for some cotton candy and we allowed it for his first game. (Why is this stuff over priced at baseball games?) He did complain about being hot and asked for more sunscreen to feel cooler. Kids are so funny.
The ride to and from Cincinnati were also sweet. Jamey sang Come to the Feast, which was so precious. I am hoping his love for singing will continue and he will sing more openly. We talked about baseball, what he saw outside of the window, and Truth as we drove. These are the moments that are few and fleeting. I am learning to embrace them. It was so exciting to be present for this first experience for Jamey and I hope to see many more experiences as he learns and grows.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Help Me!!!

This has been my daily prayer for the past year. When we found out that we would be welcoming our 4th child just over a year ago I was so excited that our family would be expanding again. Not long after the morning sickness hit and I was tired.

Help Me!

We also closed on our house and began renovations. This meant trips to Home Depot, Lowes, paint stores, hours on the internet and lots of decisions for an already frazzled brain.

Help Me!

Everything in the renovations and getting inspections done took much longer than expected. This meant moving at the end of August in the heat and humidity with 3 little ones and a super pregnant woman.

Help Me!

Unpacking and organizing a new home came next. Though it was a blessing, it was easy to make it into a burden. Our Brothers and Sisters rallied behind us and supported us, but still much was on me.

Help Me!

Back into real life. Jim and Becca were in school. Lillian still needed to be toilet trained. The kids were going bananas all the time. I was big and tired. All I wanted to do was hang out on the sofa. There was much inner turmoil and questioning as well as personal conflicts that I was uncertain how to handle. My brain was beyond fried and I was schooling my 2 oldest with what little energy I could muster.

Help Me!

A week after Thanksgiving (at least a week and a half before I was expecting) my water broke and we welcomed Gabriel into our family. Such an excited and blessed time, but still overwhelming.

Help Me!

Four beautiful children now blessed our home. They are a blessing, I must remind myself. Between fights and hugs, laughter and tears some days I do now know which end is up. These 4 blessings remind me how much I cannot do it on my own.

Help Me!

Many days that is all I can say. I want to love well. Help me love well. I want to teach them well. Help me to teach them. I want them to know the Lord. Help me to show them who You are! Four kids has shown me just how powerless I am and how much I need God. When I struggle to pray, these two words escape my mouth: HELP ME! It's a prayer I know God will answer, for He helps His children in their time of need.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April 29 to May 5

1621. Gabriel turning 5 months! (Should have been on last weeks)
1622. Having young children
1623. Seeing them grow more everyday
1624. Great school time
1625. Going on a "date" to the grocery store
1626. Doing well at the grocery store :)
1627. Yummy ham for lunch
1628. Super productive afternoon
1629. Getting appointments made
1630. Making a great to do list
1631. Getting some emails written
1632. Jim's impromptu black bean quesadillas (so yummy!)
1633. Jamey giving a quite a dramatic recitation of Psalm 23
1634. Making cookies with the kids
1635. Getting 15 surveys filled out thus far
1636. Being encouraged in pursuing doing a childbirth class
1637. Getting some of the computer cleaned off
1638. Cleaning some again!
1639. Beginning to get back on track in keeping the home
1640. Realizing I need to write everything down
1641. Spending a nice family evening together
1642. Sleeping a little later
1643. Being able to get up
1644. Having Sisters to pray for each other
1645. Great morning at school
1646. Playing at Willow park
1647. Reuben trying out the slide
1648. Meeting Calvin!
1649. Finding out another Sister is having a baby!
1650. Opportunity to talk to the kids about trusting God and not fearing
1651. Nice rest time
1652. Getting more cleaning/organizing done
1653. Working on needed things
1654. Homemade frozen dinner :)
1655. Water aerobics
1656. Community group
1657. Praying for a Brother and Sister who feel hopeless (and so thankful they were able to make it)
1658. Talking about why we don't share and what we would be willing to give up for God (have been doing some thinking)
1659. Encouraging a Sister and answering questions about pregnancy
1660. Fellowship at BSF
1661. Encouraging conversation
1662. Thinking about where God is moving me and what I am holding onto
1663. Kids playing outside
1664. Kids asking to play outside
1665. Organizing stuff on sofa
1666. Managing to keep the TV off until 6:30 pm
1667. Jamey wanting to do so much book work that we did a whole weeks worth of language arts
1668. Doing a Russian lesson as a whole family
1669. Flexibility of homeschooling
1670. Making dinner with Jim
1671. Semi early bed time
1672. God being sovereign over all things
1673. Lillian's 3rd birthday!
1674. Jim making really yummy eggs for breakfast
1675. Good school time this morning
1676. Going to the zoo as a family
1677. Lillian loving the animals and asking to see particular ones
1678. Kids repeating all the names of the animals
1679. Reuben enjoying seeing the animals
1680. Seeing Bonnie and her family
1681. Seeing Susan
1682. Yummy lunch at El Nopal
1683. Running into Brooks
1684. Play time and photos outside
1685. Lillian loving her jump rope
1686. Watching her play with Jamey
1687. Lillian jumping and singing "I'm a Little Dutch Girl"
1688. Lillian trying to jump with Jamey and I holding the rope
1689. Jamey trying to jump with Lillian and I holding the rope
1690. Nice family dinner
1691. Taking Lillian to Pie Kitchen (she loved her Smurf ice cream)
1692. More cleaning
1693. Blogging
1694. Kids running around and playing together
1695. Smooth bed time
1696. Relaxing evening
1697. Getting pictures uploaded
1698. Brit calling to talk to Lillian
1699. Rachel calling to talk to Lillian
1700. Another year with Lillian
1701. All up before 7
1702. Getting everything ready
1703. Having 2 new ladies at women's prayer
1704. Becca playing with the kids outside
1705. A powerful time of prayer
1706. Hearing that a law did not pass! (Praise the Lord!)
1707. Getting school done before prayer time
1708. Jamey wanting to do more book work this afternoon
1709. Completing another week of his language arts program
1710. Learning patience (even though it is hard right now)
1711. Figuring out when Jim can work a little extra
1712. Jamey walking around in Jim's shirt saying "I'm Daddy!"
1713. Jamey telling us that he will be a daddy one day
1714. Gabriel rolling back to front
1715. Uploading pictures (really would love a faster way to do this)
1716. Journaling!
1717. Smooth bed time
1718. Hanging with Becca
1719. Having good conversations
1720. Smooth Saturday morning
1721. Writing Group
1722. Yummy breakfast
1723. Having Christian women as sounding boards
1724. Being able to encourage and uplift each other
1725. Seeing God work in ways that we never thought
1726. Seeing someone I once knew on Jeopardy
1727. Quiet Saturday afternoon
1728. More pictures uploaded
1729. Watching movies with Becca
1730. Kids crashing out by 7
1731. Early morning
1732. God teaching me patience and consistency
1733. Seeing Laura baptized!
1734. Seeing two others baptized! (I love baptism Sunday)
1735. Learning more about God's glory
1736. Being reminded that I cannot manipulate God and that I really don't want a god I can manipulate
1737. An amazing time of corporate worship
1738. God is merciful
1739. Hearing testimonies of changed lives
1740. Yummy lunch
1741. Kids are young enough for things to go over their heads
1742. Fun family evening
1743. Getting emails written
1744. Early bed time
1745. Cookie cake

Saturday, May 4, 2013


After looking at my evaluation for the month of April and attending my writing group today, I have really been struck with how little I have written lately and this is not good! At least not for me. God has given me the ability to write and He has shown me that He wants me to write. I am not always 100% sure what He wants me to write, but I know that by not writing I am hording a talent God has given me and that is sin. So I confess my sin before you and ask that you keep me accountable. There are many areas that I need to write in such as blogging, working on my book, starting another book I am feeling compelled to write, emails, letters of encouragement and a childbirth education curriculum.

That is a lot of writing!

But God keeps pressing it on me. I know I need to obey, but I always find ways around it or think that other things should come first. (Yes, many things do come before writing. I fully acknowledge that and ask that you pray that I will keep all things in proper priority.) Pray that I would seek God every day in what He wants me to write.

I am planning this month to do a few Motherhood Mondays where I share a little of where I am and what God is teaching me about motherhood. I hope this will be encouraging to many.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pray for Europe

Today as the women gathered to pray we remember Europe. Once the seat of Christendom, this continent is now dark with very little Gospel witness. Because of the great cathedrals that are vast in many of the cities, many assume that Christianity still permeates this area. But this is not the case. We are starting to see the rumblings of a Spiritual Awakening in this continent as the Holy Spirit moves throughout. We are hearing stories from west to east and pray that many more stories of God's grace will come out of the work that is going on in Europe.

Pray for this continent and ask that God will make Europe His!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lillian is 3!

These past 3 years have flown by. My little 6 lbs baby girl is now a preschool girl. Yes, she is still little, but she has grown so much. Her verbal skills always amaze me. Something has clicked recently and her sentences are grammatically correct much of the time. Her vocabulary is every growing. Her love of learning Scripture is my favorite though. I realize that all children can memorize vast amounts of information, but her love of saying Bible verses is amazing. She knows Psalm 23, Proverbs 31:10-31 and most of Psalm 67 along with other verses throughout the Bible.
I love her hugs. I love that she wants be snuggle and be near me. I pray that I will cherish and guide these moments so that she is looking at God, the giver of life and all good things, and not me. She has the most beautiful smile and bright eyes. She loves life!

Lillian loves flowers and blowing the dandelions in our yard. She loves skirts and dresses but also loves her pants. She loves her "baby" and is learning how to take care of it in the way a 3 year old understands. She is becoming a mama hen and it is cute though many times oversteps her bounds. It is a beautiful thing to see her already showing a caring spirit, the nurture side of a woman.

Lillian loves her brothers and often times does not know what to do when they are not around. I pray that they will all have a close relationship and that she will learn from them about boys, but I also pray for wisdom in teaching her how to do things on her own or with others but without her brothers.
God is truly at work in her life right now and I am so thankful that He is! God has blessed us so much with Lillian's life and I praise Him for her life. God has grown all of us because of her and I know that He will continue to use her life to reach others for His Name and for His glory.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Evaluation

  • Read through the entire Bible in a year following a chronological reading plan- On track!
  • Memorize a verse a week (for full disclosure I am starting with verses that I have previously memorized but have lost full memory of)- Honestly I have not done any individual memory, but our family has been working on Psalm 67 
  • Spend 30 minutes daily concentrated on prayer and Bible reading- By God's grace I have been doing much better. I have been giving myself a break on Saturdays and that has really helped to have this time most other days of the week
  • Continue to record daily blessings to cultivate thankfulness (Goal is 10,000 things)- I am continuing to record, but many times forget the things I want to write down so behind in number from where I would like to be
  • Praying throughout the day for specified things (still developing lists and plan for this)- Did better this month, still getting all of my notebooks together, which makes it challenging as new things come up
  • Read a book a month apart from SWI matrerial- Nope, but started Redeeming Childbirth and love it so far. Hope to get caught up on extra books during the summer
  • Journal 5 days a week- Did not even do the 2-3 times a week, but only 2 or 3 times this month apart from journaling about what I'm reading. Working on my days to get this back as a regular part as it is much need it.
  • Write (working on books) 5 days a week- Not sure if I wrote this month. Working with my sister to plan some serious writing days when she is not in classes
  • Finish my first fiction book- Still seriously behind where I hoped to be at this point
  • Write 3 blog posts a week- If you read my blog you know this did not happen. Hoping to improve this month as I have some ideas and will have extra hands almost every day!
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes! Love those ladies
  • Have one day a month for personal retreat time to pray, read the Bible and write- Did not happen, working on getting this for all adults in our house
  • Complete Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Russian- Definitely on track to do this. Half way through unit 3!
  • Begin working on a Christ-centered prenatal/delivery/postnatal education- I have a survey! Planning to put it on the blog soon to get more broad spectrum feedback. I have had 15 or so ladies fill them out already and beginning to make plans 
  • Go on a date once a month- Yes!
  • Go on one overnight trip away- We have it booked for the end of May. I cannot wait! :)
  • Read together for 30 minutes once a week- I think we have averaged this. Still working on consistency 
  • Discuss and plan the week to come on Sunday afternoon- Yes
  • Take each child on a "date" once a month- Did not happen again. Really hoping to get back on track this month
  • Spend individual time with each child at home once a week (at least 20 minutes)- Still working at this as we tweak our weekly schedule
  • Work on memorizing Psalm 23 with Jamey and Lillian- Yes! Both have it memorized and we are working on Proverbs 31:10-31 and Psalm 67
  • Finish current Pre-K curriculum with Jamey and Lillian- On track and have curriculum for next year!
  • Continue going to playgroup on Tuesdays- Yes
  • (I need to develop more educational goals, so I guess a goal for this year will be learning to do this for next year)
  • Begin a garden planting at least tomatoes (hoping to do more)- We have seedlings!!!!! So far tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and spinach
  • Try 1 new recipe a month- Does tweaking a previous recipe count?
  • Keep up with cleaning calendar- Getting back on track slowly
  • Develop general cleaning schedule- Have not yet
Health and Fitness
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week- I have gotten 2 days pretty regularly and will continue with that for now
  • Lose 30 lbs- Down another 3lbs! Already lost 13 lbs so hoping to get there
  • Continue hosting Women's prayer once a month- Yes, still praying for more people to pray
  • Email workers once a month- I still did not email everyone, but have contacted most
  • Send 2 encouraging notes a month- No, hoping to catch up and improve in this area
April felt like catch up month and only the last week did I feel some semblance of normalcy. Praying that May will be even better as we move toward God and each other as a family as well as learning how to serve the Body and others more.

How was your April?