Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shepherds why this jubilee?

Is there anything to say on Christmas Eve that has not been said?
There is some quiet wonderful magic that falls heavy over the world that can't be grasped or created...and I attribute it entirely to the heavens celebrating the miraculous incarnation of our Lord.
A Baby.
I know what babies are like, I've had two. What is more approachable...More friendly...More easy to relate to than a baby?
I can't think of anything.
I know when we're at the grocery store no one hesitates to come up to our sweet little Ellie bean and talk, smile, love. And without hesitation she manages to dish out the same unprecedented joy to all who approach. There is something so disarming about a baby that would melt the heart of even the coldest man if allowed. And villians would drop the load of pride long enough to look in the face of a smiling baby and giggle and coo.
And this is how the God of all creation chose to come to earth.
One could elaborate for hours on all the possible forms a great and mighty God could have taken...but he chose none of the likely options.
He chose the approachable one.
And one can only assume he chose such an option because he wants to be approached.
Now, I understand that it is not the baby Jesus we worship but this is how the salvation of all man began.
UGH! My heart shouts with joy at the thought of a God who would become man to tear off the shackles of sin that separated us from him, that held us back.
And now the greatest lines from the Christmas carols come in to perfect focus, "Shepherds, why this jubilee?", can you even imagine? They were there witnessing the God who formed them in the, what I would imagine is the same kind of heavy, quiet, moment that we all can experience if we still ourselves long enough.
"God...and sinner reconciled", in one moment....and the journey to Easter began. The great liberator did something no heavenly mind could have expected or conceived.
And the world, long lay in sin and error, pining for a great king to set them free from the continual burden of trying to be good enough, strong enough, holy enough and failing every time.
Don't you see? Years of laws that could not be kept perfectly by anyone, a standard set so high that no one could possibly accomplish it, and now we can see...why a weary and burdened world would rejoice at the idea of a king that could free them from their slavery.
Ransom captive Israel....paying the price for a world that is held in shackles of death and the stench of sin and setting them free by taking away death's sting--completely conquering death.
So do R E J O I C E!
Join the triumph of the skies.
Feast and give gifts, celebrate, laugh and worship. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare him room, because heaven and nature DO sing over this tiny baby king.
Do all the things that people do at Christmas but do them with the substantial basis of celebrating the most amazing birth our world has celebrated. Enjoy the sweet flavors, the songs, the smells, the looks on your children's faces and let those foreshadows turn your hearts to the heavenly celebration and banquet that awaits you...
and is made possible by...this great rebel Jesus. Because as good as this earth's celebrations may be God reminds us that no eye has seen no ear has heard no mind has conceived waht God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Merriest Christmas...tidings of great comfort and joy in knowing where your salvation rests and began.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I am second

Stories of victory in the human experience.
I had to share it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

You won't like me when I'm angry...

It's appropriate that my husband made me watch the Hulk this week, as it was a fitting parallel to my trip to Target with two children yesterday.
You see I've been struggling with this thing lately, maybe you can's called anger? (or around these parts--the rage virus, a la 28 days later)...
I digress (which by the way is the title I'm thinking of changing my blog to).
I've found myself, at several different moments this week, feeling so frustrated and angry that I want to kick, punch, scream (act more like the 2 year old than the mama). There was a culmination where I realized it had come too far this Sunday morning when my sweet, loving, wonderful (though not seeming quite so much of any of those in the moment) husband, proceeded to "pick a fight" with me before church.
How can I say this without someone being afraid of me...
I lost it.
I was so angry, all I could do was make nonsensical retorts that put me at a maturity level comparable to an 18 month old (with a slightly expanded and more "adult" vocabulary).
Afterward (when it's glaringly easy to see the light of truth) God gave me many chunks (mmmm, chunks) of wisdom.
Let me share with you what I learned:
A very wise woman shared with me this verse:
No temptation has overtaken you but that which is common to man and God is faithful, he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with each temptation will provide a way out.
She pointed out two things about this verse that were helpful, the first being that what I face is common to man. It's easy to get sucked into our own black hole of womanhood, thinking that we are the only ones who struggle with this, or that we're alone in it--and that, my friends, is a complete steaming pile of.....
Don't try to deal with it alone, or pretend like you have it all don't...neither does anyone else.
Also, she pointed out that we ought to pray to God to have him reveal what our opportune times for temptation are.
For example (and again, these are from the wise sage of a woman, not myself) in Luke 4:13 it says that Jesus was tempted in the desert by the devil and then it says:
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
So it's clear that the devil prowls around waiting for a chance when we are weak to go for the jugular. We need to pray to be aware of what those times are, so we can be on guard.
I also find it ironic that when Jesus was tempted in the desert in the first place it mentions that he was hungry, because (amen?) I know around 11:00am each day I start getting just a little (okay...a lot) edgier than normal due to the lack of food in the stomach.
So I've been trying to be more aware that I am more susceptible to things like the rage virus when I'm hungry, rushing out the door for church etc.

Finally, and I would say most importantly I've learned one more thing...I'm glad his grace is sufficient to save me.
You know that group of verses where Paul says that to keep him from becoming conceited there was given to him "a thorn in his flesh" and he prayed that God would take it away from him three times?
I'm there.
I pray so hard that God will take this anger away from me. That he will just make it so I don't struggle anymore (you know..."zap" from heaven and it's gone?). Well I can hear God saying to me the same thing he says to Paul:
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2Cor 12:9)
Hallelujah and Glory to God!!!
I love that he wants to bring me through it, and he will give me victory over it...eventually...and in the meantime, his grace is sufficient.
What does that even mean.
His grace (the free gift from God of my salvation, the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the salvation that comes from his blood on the cross) is sufficient (enough, all I need to be saved, fully perfect in power to cover me).
That just goes to show you the amazing God I serve. He's strong and powerful to save, so much so that I can be weak little me, staying humble, confessing my sins and allowing God to change me in his time, but resting in his perfect grace all the while.
DID YOU HEAR THAT? Please let it smack you upside the head a little,
He has done it...remember "it is finished?"
Now when I go to God I go to a throne of grace with confidence:
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16
So all that to say, I'm learning a lot lately, and I'll continue to let God change me, and show me my times of weakness and susceptibility but I will also remember that the gem that is God's amazing power to save is set best against the dark backdrop of my weaknesses.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


There is no way to talk about being thankful for something on Thanksgiving without sounding cheesy and cliche...but I'm going to do it anyways.
And (though I hate to admit it, the thought of the gospel ever sounding anything but fresh and amazing is sad) but it's even more corny to talk about being thankful for God on Thanksgiving...
but again..I am.
There is a verse I read this morning, that caught my heart so captive I had to share it...and it is on this truth that I rest my salvation, and that my heart blossoms with the most overflowing gratitude that I can't help but share it:
"But he (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." isaiah 53:5

I kept reading this morning, verse after verse to reflect on the great freedom that I have received in Christ (why is it every time I hear the word freedom that song by George Michael starts rolling through my head?) and to remember the number one reason I have to be thankful...and I kept coming back to the same enthralling and exhilirating (big words huh?) theme....grace!
Listen to Paul's words, so laced with the concept of a free gift form God that he can scarcely go a moment without coming back to it:
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by GRACE you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his GRACE, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by GRACE you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:4-9
So I can safely say that this Thanksgiving, more than any other gift I have received, more than any truth I can understand I am abundantly, overflowingly (I'm thinking of a like a giant cornucopia here) thankful for the grace that God chose to extend to me--and still daily gives to me in light of my shortcomings.
Happy thanksgiving, may the truth of God's love be real to you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Not of yourselves"....thankfully.

How do you start confessing to however many people may be reading this that you committed a sin?
I think I just did it.
So here's my story (no preface let's just jump right in, you're all furiously reading at this point to see what it is I'm sure).
I go to the Gap and buy this pair of jeans (which, might I add, cost $50 BUCKS *insert groan here*) because I was in need of some pants that fit...
I get them home and throw them on to go out for an evening with my husband, all the while thinking that I can't believe I spent that much on jeans. A few days later shopper's remorse gets the best of me (and they'd been sitting on my shelf ever since that night, waiting to either become a committed part of my wardrobe--or go back to the clinically clean shelves of the store I am so begrudgingly obsessed with) and I choose to take the jeans back to the Gap to get a credit to my account.
I heave two children, stroller, diaper bag, purse, returns, and snacks, all in the car and drive twenty minutes to the store. When I get there I hastily shovel myself and my two kids through the door, to be greeted (with little enthusiasm) by a 50ish-year-old woman who looked like she had never had a bad hair day (or worn sweat pants) in her life (we'll call her "Buffy"), and this is my first moment of feeling like a complete putz for being with my two children in the Gap wearing a jacket I got at Goodwill (which I am normally quite proud of).
The conversation that followed went something like this:
Me: I'd like to return these please
Buffy: Okay do you have your receipt?
Me: LINCOLN, where are you? Come out from behind those clothes!
Me again: Sorry, what was that?
Buffy: Do you have your receipt?
Me: Yes I...LINCOLN, stop playing with the mannequin.
Lincoln: Ooooh, a princess (looking up a mannequins skirt)
Me: Here is my receipt
Buffy: Okay, I'm sorry I can't return these jeans, they've been worn...

Now let me preface what happens next by saying that I not only do not know what came over me, but I also in no circumstances condone what I did in this instance.
Me: I'm sorry, but I've never worn these
Buffy: You've never worn these jeans? There is dirt on the hem of the leg.
Me: No, I think that's the wash or something, I only wore them to try them on...
(WHA??? If you were paying attention earlier, you would remember that I did wear them, and at this point I am blatantly lying to Buffy)
Buffy: Okay mam, I'll give you a credit on a gift card.
And THEN there was this pause that seemed to go on forEVER while she figured out how to credit said gift card...and in the midst of this pause I had a mental conversation with God...that went something like this:
God: You just need to tell her you were lying.
Me: No way.
God: Be bold, do the right thing, it doesn't matter if it's just a pair of jeans, you were wrong, stand up and tell her.
Me: Not a chance she'll think I'm totally ridiculous.
God: I've called you to a high standard, and I expect you to live up to it.
Me: Too late! She's handing me the gift card.

And I walked out of the store, heart in the pit of my stomach...feeling like pond scum.
I immediately start praying telling God I am so sorry and I cannot believe I did it. I commit the money I was credited (part of the purchase had been on a gift card and part from my fun money, so I got some money back) to our tithe and charity fund (so as not to reward myself for my sin) and call John to tell him about what a horrible person he married.
The rest of the day was ruined at this point, and I must say I was pretty pathetic wallowing in this pool of guilt I had nicely created for myself when God so graciously reached down and tapped me on the shoulder...reminding me...
"There's a lesson in all this."
And I'm thinking "Right the lesson is, don't spend $50 on jeans cause you'll regret it and definitely don't lie." And then a quiet voice tells me ever so kindly to stop thinking about myself.
And I realize the real lesson.
I need forgiveness...we all do.
Every day, every moment, every time I fade right back into who it's easiest for me to be. And there will never be a day in my life (no matter how long I've been a believer or how good I've gotten at "being good") that I don't need this forgiveness. That IS the whole point isn't it?
I'm not good...I never will be (because no matter what I'm going to mess up) and this amazing astoundingly gracious and loving God sent a mediator for me, a passionate forgiver of my sins, so that I can be seen as forgiven, even though I could never earn it on my own.
I think God gives us those little glimpses (not that I by any means think it's a good idea to sin that grace may abound) to remind us that this whole "salvation" thing is not for the good, well-behaved people, but for the rest of us, who are blissfully aware that we fall short, and recognize an amazing God who abundantly chose to give us a scapegoat, the credit is to Him alone.
The Bible says it again and again, "He saved us, not because of the righteous things we've done, but because of his mercy." Titus 3:5
I don't know how to end this, I'm not even sure that it made any sense. I don't know how to get the point across that I want to make...but I can say this...
I will never be good enough to get my way into heaven...
but because of who God is, he sent a perfect savior (Jesus) to die as punishment on my behalf...
and as a result I have been credited with righteousness.
It doesn't "make sense" it's not "fair" that someone who has sinned, has messed up, gets to gain righteousness by simply believing...but it is true.
And it is on that truth that I rest, on that truth that I live my life, on that truth that I hang my future, my past, my everything.
And I want nothing more than to see others come to know the same freedom that comes from that truth....
because there is nothing that will so dramatically change your life, no "higher knowledge" or "state of existence" that will get you to that place...
that place of forgiveness and grace in the daily life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mothers: Fashioning the destinies of immortal souls since the creation of the world!

What is it about God that makes him able to find the most obscure times to teach us something we need to hear? Must be that whole "omniscient" thing.
In light of that I'll let you guess where I was when I was reading this...

"Homemaking" written by J.R. Miller, originally published in 1882
Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is placed in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse into the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it's soul to see it's possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of it's life and for it's destiny-she would see that in all God's world there is no work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no other hands the sacred and holy trust given to her.
What we want to do with our children is not merely to control them and keep them in order, but to implant in true principals deep in their hearts which shall rule their whole lives; to shape their character from within into Christ-like beauty, and to make them noble men and women, strong for battle and duty. They are to be trained rather than governed. Growth of character, not merely good behavior, is the object of all home governing and teaching. Therefore the home influence is far more important than the home laws and the parent's lives are (far more important) than their teachings.
O mothers of young children, I bow before you in reverence. Your work is most holy. You are fashioning the destinies of immortal souls. The power folded up in the little ones that you hushed to sleep in your bosoms last night are powers that shall exist forever. You are preparing them for their immortal destiny and influence. Be faithful. Take up your sacred burden reverently. Be sure that your heart is pure and your life is sweet and clean.

I thought this was so profound and challenged me so greatly I had to share it...and if you can get past the writer mentioning "bosoms" (something admittedly hard for someone with my maturity level) it's a beautifully written admonishment to mothers. I love it and will treasure that God brought it to my attention when I needed it!
I'll be praying that God will give us all a glimpse into the eternal nature of the little ones we so painstakingly invest in, to give us all perspective in the daily butt-wiping and whining. Love to the mamas!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Caution: Steep drops ahead!

So recently I chose to embark on a study of the book of Revelation (cue: impending doom music *Da Da Da DUMMMMMMM).
I must admit it has always been very daunting to me, and I've avoided it from fear that it will be nothing but cryptic, but I enlisted the help of my husband and we sit down and read it and talk about it. It's been a major blessing and I've been amazed at how much the Bible is a living book and that God can use even the apocalyptic books to strengthen my faith.
The thing it's helped me the most with is perspective. Upon reading it you'll quickly realize that there is little in this world that is important in light of eternity. The only two things that are eternal are God and people. Wow. That really funnels down what I should be spending my time on.
But I digress...
The point I was really smacked flipside up the head with is in Jesus' words to one of the churches (I don't remember which one and you don't care anyways). He's talking to them about how they have lost their love for Christ. And here comes the verse (put on your helmets): "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember the height from which you have fallen." (Rev 2:4-5)
To quote Emeril on the toothpaste commercial...BAM!
How true this is in my heart and life. This specifically ministered to me in light of my husband and children. It's so easy for me to be quick to get angry at John, to fail to have patience with my children, to get irritated and be short because they aren't whatever I think they should be. And then a voice comes and reminds me where I came from. Here's another verse for ya:
"Anyone who lacks these things (faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love) is nearsighted and blind and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins." 2 Pet 1:9 (parenthesis mine)
Basically, "Jenn, if you remembered what a pathetic sack of selfishness you were when I found you, and I forgave you anyways, you'd be much quicker to give grace to those around you."
Let me summon my most gangsta ghetto voice to say, "True dat!"
Don't get me wrong, I still think it's critical to discipline my kids. I mean if I want them to grow up to be adults who love and worship and obey God, I have to start now right? But I don't discipline because I want perfect little well-behaved children so everyone can go, "What a wonderful little 2-year-old", but so they can be children who draw near to God, and I don't take it as a personal offense when they disobey, I'm quick to forgive (this is all hypothetical of course, simply stating what I have learned I SHOULD do, not what I've done necessarily).
Again...I digress.
The point I learned is that I need to invest my life in the criticals because in a split second some perspective could come crashing into my life in any number of ways and the things I thought were important (losing those last 15 pounds, or getting my playroom decorated) will become staunchly trivial. And if I am keeping that mindset, I'll also keep in the very front of my mind the reminder that I have been forgiven much and will be continually grateful for that. Which will in turn direct my actions back to God where they should be.
See it comes full circle.
How great a God we serve that we are asked to live out forgiveness and love to others not only as a constant reminder of the forgiveness we have received but as a living example to others of the forgiveness that is available to them as well.
And all God's people said...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Can we all just agree on a few things here?

On a recent trip to Target I almost fell over on my two-year-old (who was swinging around a princess skirt at the time) when I saw not only acid-washed jeans, but also...stirrups.
All my 80's ladies will know what I'm talking about here....pants with stirrups at the bottom so they stay tucked in your boots?
Now, I'm one who is fine with keeping up with the fashion trends (I've even been known to entertain a side ponytail at times) but not only can I not wear skinny jeans (hello...birthing hips?) but's just going a bit too far.
So I thought I'd initiate a blog-wide plea to stop the insanity...and while I'm at it, can we get on the same page about a few other things too?
1. No stirrups....ever. Some mistakes are best left to high schoolers.
2. When I have food in my teeth...tell me. Let's not be afraid you'll hurt my feelings and not say anything (this also goes for things like, "slip is showing", or even "should have worn the slip", or "did your left breast just leak?"...can all the men kindly avert their eyes from that last one?)
3. Your ring tone is probably not that important...or that cool, but we all still spend way too long picking them out.
4. Mommy gray areas are off limits...that means don't judge your fellow mommy the next time her kid is wearing pjs out in was me.
5. Discussions that involve specific numbers of poundage that you may or may not weigh are also off-limits. Trust're skinnier...I'm now okay with that.
6. My kid may or may not eat the me..I'm trying.
7. Sometimes it is okay to defrost dinner.

I feel a lot better since we've talked about this. Now if you'll excuse me, my two-year-old is in his pajamas upstairs crying because he doesn't want to eat his defrosted veggies and I'm trying to get the spinach out of my teeth.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Welcome to America...Home of the lame.

I am SO sick of this presidential crap I want to puke.
Hear me out..I have postponed blogging about this for fear of making this or that person upset, not wanting to ruffle feathers, not sure what was the right answer, just not knowing what to do.
I can't handle it wanymore and I'm just ready to jump off the nearest tall building or duct tape my head so I don't explode.
Let's put aside the economy.
Let's put aside the foreign policy.
Let's put aside the health care system.
Let's put aside taxes.
Because when it comes down to it many of the differences and promises in this area are negligible.
I have a really hard time stomaching this ongoing support of abortion and infanticide with no one stepping up.
I cannot tolerate or even get my freaking head around the idea that anyone would be okay with putting infants who had been through a failed abortion attempt in a room by themselves with soiled linens for up to 8 hours until they died because the parents didn't want to hold them.
I cannot imagine that we live in a world where a baby can be issued a death certificate when it's parents tried to have it aborted and it died, but we somehow justify it as not being a life?
Am I hearing this right?
Is this really happening.
We live in a country where a mother (if you can really call her that, which I would argue you CANNOT) can CHOOSE to have her baby aborted because it has down syndrome and then when the abortion fails a child is left in a cold dark room alone to die.
If that doesn't make you sick--come over and I'll smack you in the head.
I'm sorry I'm so passionate about this, I just don't have the stomach for it anymore.
And I refuse to support politicians who pass legislation (MORE THAN ONCE) to allow this.
Truly. Let's major in the majors here.
These are lives. These are babies.
These are human beings.
They are dying.
Remember Darfur? Remember the same politician who cited our troops for "air-raiding villages and killing civilians?" He's okay with a child being left alone to die because no one wants it?
Don't get me wrong, I'm pro-choice.
I believe every woman most definitely has a choice not to pull her pants off and get pregnant and then also has the choice to put a child she cannot care for up for adoption. And if she can't make that choice? Guess what? Life has consequences. And you learn them really fast.
When did we lose all personal responsibility.
The predator lenders sold me a loan I can't afford so the government owes me.
McDonalds made me fat.
I don't want to go to Sam's Club to buy economy sized jars of mayo and I'm pregnant with twins so I'm going to abort one baby and deliver the other.
Really? Let's grow up. Let's start accepting some responsibility for some things. And let's stop buying in to the lie that we can't change this.
Because we can.
Yes....we can.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stocks Schmocks!

If you're anything like me, you're a little bit overwhelmed and (honestly) annoyed by all this stock market talk lately. Not to diminish the seriousness of what is happening in our economy and world (can anyone say "Hello Socialism?") but it does get a little doom and gloom for me.
My response?
Baby animals!
When John calls me daily now with the raincloud report (you know "The stock market is down 450 points?" "We're all gonna starve to death" "The world ends on Monday"--get the gist?) He now also has to deliver one bit of positive news....(this is my new rule).
I fell so in love with the story he shared with me today that I had to pass it on.
Noodle the tumbling kitten has found a home.
Go to this link, watch the video and I guarantee you won't think about the stock market for at least 3 minutes.
And tomorrow, after you've forgotten about Noodle and the stock Market is going down as fast as the roller coasters at Kings Island, check back for another bit of cheeriness....dogs in halloween costumes anyone?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take Heart!

I was listening to one of Lincoln's memory verses cds in the car yesterday (which are the main way I've been memorizing verses lately) and was singing a song-when I finally tuned into reality and paid attention to the words I started crying...does anyone else need to hear this today?
"Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed
for his compassions never fail.
His love is new every morning.
great is your faithfulness Oh Lord."
Lamentations 3:22-23
It amazes me that when I feel consumed by life, I'm not--because I serve a God who loves me furiously.
So much so that every morning I wake up and his love is brand new...
that's refreshing...cause sometimes, yesterday is still hanging on for dear life.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's been one of those weeks

You know when you wake up and you honestly have the thought, "Maybe I'll get the stomach flu so I can just stay in bed all day" (and--if I'm being honest "then I'd lose a few pounds too").
It was just one sucky thing after another, and it was really hard for me.
Let me hash it out for ya.
Between whiny children, babysitting on my birthday, running late for BSF and spilling coffee grounds on the counter followed by bagel (cream cheese side down) on the floor, and a weird series of conversations with a good friend that made it really hard to communicate effectively, topped off with a severe lack of sleep as Ellie parties in the bassinet next to MY side of the bed (while husband snores peacefully in my left ear)--it was getting to be a bit much. (And can I just say those are the highlights, I didn't really do it justice)
It culminated today when Ellie wouldn't stop crying, I was starving and lunch wasn't ready yet (Yes, frozen pizza again..I know, I know) and Lincoln was singing "LaLaLa" progressively louder in a passive aggressive and highly annoying way. I quickly stood up, left the crying baby and the whiny toddler in the living room and shut myself behind the nearest closed door I could find (which happened to be the pantry if you're curious). While I'm in complete darkness...I realized the craziness of what I was doing and, with one hand holding the door closed so a curious 2-year-old couldn't open it (maybe he just thinks I'm getting a snack) I started praying. And it went something like this:
" know how much I can handle.....and I'm not going to say I can't take this because you would know whether or not I wanted me to come to you when things are here I"
not nearly as eloquent or inspiring as one would think eh?
But what happened next was nothing short of the miraculous in the mundane.
I sensed God's presence.
The toddler still whining, baby still screaming and the pizza still...frozen, I suddenly had the strength to get through. I went out and dealt with things (without screaming) and it got easier. Afterwards I found myself reflecting on something I had learned this week (don't you love object lessons?)
When reading about the Israelites under Egyptian oppression (which lasted four........hundred.......yearssssssss...ugh) our Bible study leader mentioned the point that:
1. God allows difficult people, circumstances, and situations in our lives to change us. We can either allow them to push us away from him, or toward him.
2. He is always with us in the midst of it.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."- Jesus (John 16:33)
So I realized that while the Israelite boy babies were being killed by the Egyptians under the decree of Pharaoh (Hello,they were throwing the babies in the NILE) and the Israelites were enslaved by a people they didn't belong to (oaky stay with me, we're almost to the point) it was in God's plan.
And when I was locked in the dark pantry borderline insane with a circus going on in my was in God's plan.
And he was there with them, and he is there with me. Just wanting us all to turn to him and tell him how freakin' hard it is to follow him right now, but how bad we need him.
I love those little moments of application (after they're finished of course).
And hopefully next time I've learned enough to shut myself in the pantry at the beginning of the day, instead of at the end of my rope.
(Picture used with permission by my good friend Nicole, documenting when her daughter Ani was having "one of those weeks.")

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Work it!

It's my birthday....haaaaaayyy!
So I'm laying in bed last night after 26 years of not feeling any different at the idea of being another year older and it starts hitting me.
I'm 26.
That means I'm beyond the halfway mark of the 20's decade. That means in 4 years I'll be 30.
That means...I'll be...thiiiiiiiiiiiiiirty.
Okay, so all my friends already are (which means I can't say that I'm thinking how really old that sounds in my head) but I CAN say that also means my hubby is 36...which means in 4 years he'll be (carry the 2) 40!
This is half way to 80.
It is also ten years shy of being half a century old.
Yeah. It sounded a little weird to me too.
I remember being in high school and watching the show "Friends" and thinking how grown up and cool they seemed. I thought, "yeah, when I'm that age I'll be a total hottie, at my lowest weight because I'll work out all the time, working at some major cool company that does something really....neat (like makes slingshots or something) and I'll wear all these great clothes and be able to walk in high heels without breaking my neck and I won't have a boyfriend cause I'll be so completely satisfied on my own that I don't need no stinkin man and I'll have a treadmill in my penthouse apartment and run while I watch some sophisticated news program with a guy that has two last names like "Anderson Cooper" (or Lincoln Schmidt) and I'll yell at the tv if I don't agree and be all....savvy."
Boy was I off.
A better picture of reality would be that I wear the same jeans everyday with a shirt that may or may not have spit up on it, but definitely has syrup on it, I'll chase a two year old around the backyard and call it excercise, the shows I watch are primarily starring people who have completely made up names like Mary Poppins or Dumbo, and if I tried to walk in high heels I'd likely look ridiculous and would possibly break something. Not only am I not at my lowest weight (hello...two kids in two years?) but I don't even remember what it is anymore.
All this sounds a little sad huh?
Then apparently you're not reading it right.
Did I also mention I get more hugs and kisses than any other person in the workforce, I get to hold the tiniest giggliest sleepy little bundle of snuggle whenever I want and also get to be her favorite person in the world (for at least 12 years). My toddler looks at me when I even make an attempt to look nice (which can be as simple as combing my hair at this point) and says "Mommy looks so princess" (which is now an adjective in our home and means "wicked cute"). How often do you get to walk into the office and hear that greeting? (You should, make sure you have someone tell you you're lookin "so princess" at least once a day) and I also get to much as I want and it's considered a "team building exercise".
For example--yesterday I chased Linc around the house wearing an indian chief headdress and jumping into a giant beanbag. So I'm thinkin...26 is lookin better than I expected. And the next time I can't sleep because I'm thinking I'm more than a quarter of a century old and in another 14 years I'll be 40...I'll relax least I'm still younger than all of you! (ooh, did I type that?)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

There's something about the Jimmy.

What is (and is not) on my playlist for running:
A Little Less Conversation-Elvis Presley
A Spoonful of Sugar- Mary Poppins
Canned Heat-Jamiroquai
Anything from the CD Spidey and Friends (which IS now in my trash can)
Eye of the Tiger-By....the people who sing it
Anything by C&C Music Factory (sorry friends)
Get on the Good Foot-James Brown
The Hokey Pokey (which I listen to the rest of the day)
And my current power song:
Get up offa that thing-James Brown (what can I say I've got soul)
And yes...I do punch at the air and sing out loud while running.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lady Riders Unite (I almost typed "untie").

I apologize in advance for the suckiness of the layout here. Would someone please tell me how to upload pics in a straight line...I'm such a goober (and even more so for saying the word "goober")

OH the joys of truck stops and water slides.
Recently John and I were blessed (by the joys of Grandparents) with the opportunity to stay the night in a hotel away from my favorite 2 year old for our anniversary. It was SO fun.
While we did have little E.P. with us, we got to do many fun things thanks to her...ability to sleep in any circumstance (It's a super-power inheirited from her Daddy).
We started off the evening by going to a yummy restaurant called the Bent Fork, where I ordered ravioli-olis and John ordered...something that wasn't very good. Then we went to see a movie (See pics of Ellie's first movie--which-by the way, was Batman).
Afterwards we got ice cream sundaes from McD's (see pic where my head is cut off, I am not quite as skilled at the long arm photo as my hubby).
Then we watched a show about fat people on cable while laying in our oversized bed (which is now the same size as our normal bed) under the covers in our room with the thermostat set at (GASP) 65 degrees (till John turned it up...*frown*)
We woke up at (5:30) then 8:30 and decided to go get Breakfast. While John wanted to sample the same fare at Cracker Barrel that I've been eating since I was 5 on family vacations, I chose a less...conventional locale. Johnson's Corner.
"What is Johnson's Corner?" You're asking?
It's a truck stop restaurant, but not just any truck stop restie...voted BEST truck stop restaurant by the Food Network, AND home of the world famous cinnamon roll.
John's curiosity was not at all peaked, but mine was soaring high. And while it didn't deliver quite the "hole-in-the-wall/have a cup of coffee with the old ladies in the picture on the ad" charm I thought it would with a 25 minute wait time, and the cinnamon rolls were...well, not being talked about in India let's just put it that way, it was a great opportunity for John and I to go on a hunt in the gift shop to find the strangest item:
See Photo: "The last pencil you'll ever have to buy"
Photo: "The kissing monkey salt and pepper shaker that you might be getting for Christmas"
Photo: "Who doesn't love a purse that looks like someone's...butt"
Photo: "The patriotic notepad" When we actually heard someone say "What's the matter, aint you patriotic?"--in trying to get his wife to buy a bumper sticker from the same section.
and the winner...
Photo: "The Lady Rider leather motorcycle vest and "Hair Glove"
Okay, what is a hair glove? "It is the most dynamic and talked about hair accessory in the marketplace today" according to their website,, and it's unisex.
After all that hilarity, we went back to the hotel and John got to go down his beloved waterslide. I don't think I've seen him that happy since 5 years ago when we were married.
Ah, a man and his water slide.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What DID you do today?

I recently heard the idea of creating a "Did Do" list rather than a "To-Do" List.
I was so excited at the prospect of revisiting all my accomplishments in the last 24 hours that I ran to my keyboard.
Enjoy! (And then make your own)
1. Ate breakfast and cleaned all the dishes up after
2. Swept the front porch and fed the birds while making sure that a toddler with a cape didn't "fly" into the street.
3. Made 3 grilled cheese sandwiches for hungry tummies (of which 20% were actually eaten)
4. Did more dishes
5. Nursed for 4 hours (not consecutively--though it felt like it)
6. Read 7 kid books
7. Helped aforementioned toddler "fly" 5 times
8. Folded the same blanket 8 times
9. Set up a crib
10.Moved boxes from one room to another until they eventually got to the hallway in front of the garage (on tomorrow's to-do list? put them in the garage)
11. Thought about returning towels to Wal-mart and giving friends back borrowed items
12. Walked to the park
13. And back
14. While carrying an infant
15. and pushing a stroller
16. Recreated the movie Mary Poppins in our kitchen with a stuffed Batman doll
17. Got a 2-year-old to say "please" , "thank you" and "May I"
18. Remembered to do the same myself (though not as consistently)
19. Thought about going for a jog
20. Washed my face and got dressed
21. Almost made the bed!
22. Put in pacifier 50+ times
23. Changed 7 dirty diapers
24. Checked the mail-TWICE!
25. Brushed my teeth (thought about flossing)
And Finally,
26. Prayed (while driving)
Oh, focusing on the positive. It's so rewarding!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What to wear to a birth

It is a strange feeling to wake up and get a shower, fix your hair and pick out an outfit to wear to go give birth. But it is a good way to get expensive gummy bears.
After a week of being past my due date (how people go two weeks past is beyond me...they should get medals...or cookies or something), almost all of you know I was induced. What many of you don't know is the challenging emotional junk that went along with it. That morning I was really a nervous wreck, it's kind of an awful feeling to know you're going to the hospital and you're not going to leave until you go through a tremendous amount of pain (don't worry Paige, it's not THAT bad) and push a baby out...yikes.
I was also really struggling with the fact that I wasn't going to have the experience of going into labor on my own, something I really wanted and adamantly prayed for in those last few (I mean many) days of contractions leading to nothing. And all those people that said all the work I had done before (pre-labor contractions) would mean I'd have a really easy labor...were lying.
But I really struggled the morning of, up until that point there was always still the hope that my water would break at any moment, that labor would start, that I'd wake up in the middle of the night and rush to the stork parking at the hospital. But that morning, it was pretty certain that these things weren't going to happen. And then I was faced with the reality that God's plan was different than mine. And it was in the heat of this realization that I pouted and stomped around my house, like a tearful toddler (actually, I don't even let our two year old act as childish as I was). I could tell within an hour of being awake (and rude might I add) that I needed to pray through this, or the whole experience was going to be miserable. I asked John upstairs and confessed to him in no uncertain terms that I was mad that I didn't get my way, and didn't think God was getting it right, and couldn't believe He would deny me this one thing I wanted (I'd like to pretend I'm more mature than this...but I totally wasn't. It really was that self-centered). After telling him this, and praying I began to soften up and realize how little I know about anything. And while many people say that I'd someday realize the intention behind it, that I'd understand God's ultimate plan, and have a great insight as to why he said no...I still don't. And I don't ever expect to.
You see, that's the great thing about God...he's not me. And He doesn't have to act like I think he should, or do what I think he should because he's God. And he can do whatever he wants whether I like it or not. It's not a nice little story with a perfect ending like you'd expect to read in the dentist's office. But it 's a real one. And it changed the way that I think of God...completely sovereign. We like to think it's always going to work out in some perfectly ironic and beautifully timed way of us getting what we ask for (and it often does) but sometimes he just tells us no, and we don't know why.
Many of you may think it's not that big of a deal and I should just be thankful, and get over it. But it was hard for me, and those hard lessons are the most precious (character building, we call it around these parts).
All in all, I ended up with a great labor experience (not exactly as I imagined it, but with many bonuses I hadn't expected. my mom was there and was an amazing support to John and I. I got to bond more with her, John and Gretchen more that I have before, and i got the expensive gummy bears the hospital sells. $3.00 a bag but SO worth it).
""For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Eggo is Preggo....still.

Answers to your most asked questions:
1. This Saturday (when are you due?)
2. As good as a person can feel with 7 pounds of another person tacked to your mid-section (how are you feeling?)
3. It's a girl (do you know what you're having)
4. I'm fine (do you need help with that?)

If you see a pregnant woman out in public...just don't ask, no matter HOW bad you want to.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

He's speakin' my language

And that language is...chocolate.
Yeah, you know that Tom Petty song, "The waiting is the hardest part", MAN does it hold true for so many things in getting our kids into our arms.
I was going to just say pregnancy in general, but I have a dear friend who is going through the adoption process who recently met her son, and is back here now, WAITING to go get him...agony I'm sure.
So let's keep it generic, waiting sucks (omitting I suppose things like Death Row and the like).
It's funny, when I'm in the first trimester of pregnancy I think "This is horrible, nothing...nothing can be worse then this" when week 38 comes and it seems like an eternity I realize how wrong I was. People like to say things to you at this point like:
-You look like you're going to pop
-You MUST be due soon
-Just try and enjoy this time, it'll be over soon
and my favorite
-Two weeks isn't that which my reply would be, "You're right it's not, but it seems a lot longer with a human being inside your body".
Anyways, recently I received a funny lesson from God through Dove chocolate (which is a great way to talk sense into a pregnant woman by the way). I was reaching into our candy dish for a piece of chocolate (you know those ones that have like a clever little message written on the inside-like "follow your dreams" and such?) And I thought to myself, "maybe this will give me some hidden fortune- like a glimpse into when the baby will be born." So I open it eagerly, sure at this point it's going to contain some profound insight into the arrival of my child, bearing some asian-sounding, yoda-esque saying such as "Cease your wait soon will." Here I am standing in the kitchen after having thought every day for the past week that I'm surely going into labor, staring blankly at a piece of foil that says:
"Don't think about it so much."
Yeah, God has a sense of humor--and I'm sure he got a big kick out of that one.
Anyways, it was at least good advice. Now I keep opening the fortune-telling chocolates hoping to get some more divine insight, but the only one I keep getting is "flirting is mandatory", which is absolutely not fitting advice for a pregnant woman (how do you think I got here in the first place?)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

10 Things I never thought I'd say in life-Revised

10. No you may not have candy for breakfast
9. Stop feeding the neighbor dog a banana
8. My name is "mommy" not "Jenn"
7. You may not brush your friend's hair with a broom
6. You may not have cake for breakfast either
5. Really, you see Jesus flying outside the car window?
4. Eat your pizza first and you can have a pear
3. Once something is in the garbage, we don't pull it out to taste it.
2.We do not eat banana chips we found in the parking lot.
1. Stop yelling the word "boobies" in the doctor's office

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Popsicles and inexorable truths

At some point in motherhood every woman is smacked right in the cheek with that inescapable truth that we all hate.
They grow up...
It's something old ladies in the grocery store have warned us about for years, something our mothers have always told us, but it doesn't become such a reality until sometime after you have them in your home.
And it hurts.
Surely some of this sentimentality can be attributed to my advanced state of pregnancy, but I would wager that even the most unemotional mama has at some point shed tears over the fact that her baby is no longer that. And now I know why my mom cried so much. Surely, it was just a brief moment ago that I was waking at 2am (and totally miserable might I add) with this tiny, bald little bundle of squirm that is now so busy that all the pictures we take of him manage to look more like a blur than a child. And it is at moments like this that the inexorable reality comes into perfect focus,
they were not made to be held on to.
It's constantly before me that my children are not made to be close to me, reliant on me, they were not made to be constantly needy of me. From the moment they are born, they are in a perpetual state of moving farther from me (in my belly, to being held always, to walking, to running, to being embarassed by my hugs.)
Thankfully, I think back to my own life (and mom, you can stop crying now) because I realize that there is surely some portion of me that will always need my own mother. Advice, comfort, knowing that when I'm sad, discouraged or confused she has some God-given power to know me well enough to deliver exactly what I need to hear (even if it's "get over yourself" and it often is). And while I don't think you ever get over the fact that your baby is not a baby...(or a toddler, or a kindergartner, or even a high schooler.....well, scratch the last one), we can at least find comfort in knowing we are always pointing them to the one thing that all of us can (and should) hold on to at all phases of life and with such intensity that we refuse to let go... and that is God.
The One who knows better than all else how hard it is to let go of a child.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Just kill your internet.

Here's the typical scenario:
Kid gets fever, fever spikes at 104, mom and dad freak out. Mom gets on internet visiting websites such as webmd, and other paranoid parent chat rooms at a not only unreasonable and irrational but what some would describe as unholy hour of the night. Mom goes to bed an hour later with no useful information on fevers but having gained an unfounded prognosis that her child has meningitis and needs a spinal tap and a brand new fear of illegal border hopping pimps.
How many times has this happened to you?
Okay, maybe none, but I can honestly say it's something my poor husband is all-too familiar with. The internet (like war) needs a song asking the very pertinent question "what is it good for?".
Obviously it has it's acceptable purposes, such as watching episodes of LOST that we missed from last week and seeing just how chubby and drunk all my friends from high school have gotten (I know, I have also achieved a new level of poundage, but with no debauchery of strong drink to attribute it to). But the majority of my pursuits on the internet either result in me idling away my very valuable time recklessly just to carefully pick out which "flair" to post on my facebook page, spending way too much (or wishing I could spend way too much) money on things I didn't need an hour ago or (as is referenced in said above scenario) getting inaccurate and terrifying information from websites I for some reason deem reliable such as "wikipedia" (which is in no way shape or form to be qualified as credible).
Luckily for me, God has given me a husband that can rationally and calmly make the statement, "honey, I think this is one of those rare illnesses we're not supposed to try and diagnose" to bring me back down to planet earth. In the future, will someone please remind me at 2:00 in the morning, not to "google" something as vague as "fever" and "possible illnesses" until the next morning?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I hear ya!

Today I was at the library and couldn't help but get a kick out of the sign that was in front:
"Please be careful of the geese, they are nesting and can be very aggressive."
How do I get one of these for my front yard? "Please be careful of the Jenn, she is nesting and can be very aggressive."
It would just make my life so much easier.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Rare, Vintage Antiques from 1987

Okay--what seriously annoys me?
When people on eBay list something as vintage and then say it was made in 1987.
Not only was I ALIVE in 1987--but I was 5 years old.
I guess that makes me vintage? I don't think so pal! I can barely stand the fact that all the kids at the drive-thrus now call me "maam", (I recently asked one of them if I looked old enough to be a "maam"--I think he swallowed his retainer).
But now things from my childhood are being referred to as vintage???? Give me a break!
I'm not old okay people.....
now my husband...that's another story ;)

Monday, March 31, 2008

When did this get so hard?

In the past few days the line between obedience and rebellion have become increasingly blurry.
Discipline is getting harder, and Lincoln is getting more opinionated (I know I know--he's almost two, but I think if one more person uses the phrase "terrible twos" or reminds me of it I'll break down into a sobbing heap--because the fact is, he's not even two yet).
All the fun new things of having a big kid are here for sure, but with each sweet toddler moment that we have come a handful of unbearable ones where all you can stand to do is shut yourself in the bathroom for a moment and pray--hard.
Here are a few of the most fun things Lincoln has done lately (mainly to help myself keep things in perspective).
-recently switched to a big boy bed--which he loves jumping on and sleeping in. He calls it the "big bed". Pretty cute (See pics below).
-today at Wal-Mart when we were finally done shopping I looked at him and said "Okay buddy, we're all done shopping,
great job " and gave him a thumbs up, to which he replied "high five" and put his hand up to give me one.
-We get into "I love you" contests" where I'll tell him "I love you" and he decides to say it back, only louder, so we go back and forth like this for a while.
-he just got a bow tie and loves wearing it, and the best part is how he says bow tie, it sounds like he has a jamaican accent.
-when John goes to pray with him before meals, or bed he yells, "mommy pray" and when I come in he throws his arms around me neck (he'll do the same thing with John when he's not in the room).
-John's been giving him pennies in his piggy bank every day when he gets home from work (he gets 2 pennies a day) and on Sunday he got to take a penny to church to put in the giving box (it's his tithe). It's pretty sweet when he calls it "Jesus' penny".)
So all this will stand as a reminder for every other time when he's screaming at the top of his lungs because the dvd is over, or he can't have a marshmallow.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the
proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give
up." Galatians 6:9

Monday, March 17, 2008

Life lessons from Sun-Maid

Another lesson from mommying:
Today I was driving in the car with Lincoln who has recently developed a passion for raisins (I don't think he's my son). I handed him the bag of raisins and he's plugging away eating every last one when I think he's had enough. I take the bag of raisins away and hand him a few more to tide him over when he starts screaming.
He knew he could have had the entire bag and all he has is a few in his hand. So here he is, shoving the raisins he has been given in his mouth all the while screaming fervently for the raisins he doesn't have. I try to comfort him by telling him "It's okay buddy, eat the raisins you have" and then I catch myself saying something with such profound meaning for my life that I can hardly believe the words are coming out of my own mouth. I tell him "Be thankful for the raisins you do have."
This is such a foreign concept in my heart that I couldn't believe I was touting the principle to my 2-year-old. It was at that moment that I felt God lovingly smack me upside the head with a new truth I need to grasp. Contentment.
Be happy with the raisins I have. So often in life I catch myself asking God for something (namely at this stage it's me asking for our townhome to sell and for us to be blessed with a bigger house before this baby comes), and I'm crying and screaming so much for the raisins I don't have that I fail to be thankful for, end enjoy the raisins that I'm currently being given.
I wish I could convey what an impact this had on me. It's one of those lessons that you "know" but you haven't really come to learn. Surely I've been blessed beyond measure, and my thankfulness for our current circumstances should be much deeper than a mere formality I profess to believe because I know how pretentious it sounds to be asking for a bigger house with a yard. Surely there are people not only with much less, but with nothing at all, and the thing that I have been given (whether townhome, clothes, etc) is perfectly suitable and even beyond that an abundance more than I've ever asked. Not only that, but remind myself of the truth that I have been forgiven an astonishingly large debt, for which Christ bought my forgiveness and I am a free woman, no longer even living for the things this world can offer me. Yet somehow I've managed thus far to coast through life with little appreciation for my raisins.
I wonder which raisins I can learn to appreciate better today.
(the picture above is our amazing garden, something which God greatly blessed us with and for which I am overwhlemingly thankful every spring and summer).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Confessions from mommyhood

I know of no other calling in life where what you want to do and what you must do come to a neck-breaking collision more than in least I didn't think I did. Here's a story...
My futile attempts to keep the backseat of my car clean are dashed, Lincoln manages to dump every type of snack I hand him on the floor, making it look more like a pond of little goldfish than the floormats my husband once so cleverly negotiated upon the purchase of our car. I remember those days. Staying up late, watching movies from start to finish, eating hot meals, having clean clothes....ahhh.
But alas, I am pulled back to reality with the shriek of a 20 month old and a kick in the side from our unborn monster (remind me what we were thinking)...I go through my day, chasing, playing, carrying, monitoring all the while feeling more and more taxed as I realize I just want to take a shower, or get dressed without my laundry being quite uncarefully strewn all over my floor. What happened to my house? It used to be so clean. Why can't I read my Bible without hearing "all done" 40 times from the high chair next to me? I remember the days of hour-long Bible studies UNinterrupted. What IS that stuff on my shirt anyways--graham cracker? Cheerios? I find myself in my car eventually, running late for Bible study (a perpetual struggle for me of cosmic proportions) when I realize I have lost all ability to think rationally and start gushing tears. How did I get here? How did I get to be that crazy mom? When will my life be manageable again? After two kids?....heh heh. *sob sob sob*

I glance into the mirror to realize that my face is now completely soaked in tears and I know there is no way I can go into a building of wonderful sweet caring women and some of my closest friends looking like I've just been crying and not have to talk about it.
I open my glove box hoping by some unique twist of events that a pack of tissues has suddenly materialized in there, and find my hopes dashed. I stare apprehensively for a moment at the size 4 diaper I keep in case of emergencies (and trust me they are just that), throw my inhibitions to the wind (clearly a woman crying in her car is not in a position of high standing anyways) and I grab the diaper and begin soaking up my tears with it.
Here I am...sitting in my car...crying into a diaper...hoping desperately none of my friends walk by and I realize how comical the situation is and start laughing.
Am I this helpless? "Lord, I need a fresh word from you, I need to hear your voice. More desperately than I have in a while I need some intervention, some perspective. I am drained, and I need your spirit. I am completely sucking the bottom of the bucket. I need your voice"
And faithfully as the tides, it comes. Isn't it a thing of wonder that the God of everything stoops to wipe out tears?
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24
I realize this pursuit of being mommy is not unlike my walk with God. What other path can I seek to pursue that requires every ounce of my life and energy. That demands I sacrifice the things I once used to pursue so passionately for a cause outside myself that is so much more important to me? What other lifestyle is left empty without a complete emptying of myself, and requires a constant dialogue, a continual dependence, a relentless reliance on the creator of the universe? The two are paralleled in ways too clear to be coincidental.
The Lord is constantly reminding me that the things I used to pursue are no longer important, as a woman in Christ, I am supposed to serve, and in that serving lead my children and other peoples children (old and young) to see God. "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men," Ephesians 6:7 I can think of no greater calling that requires me to become less. "He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30
To close, I quote my husband. In a card to our neighbors who recently found out they are pregnant John simply wrote this, "At first you'll feel like you've given up everything, but after a while you'll realize the things you've given up aren't nearly as great as the things you gain." And it is like.. "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" Philippians 3:8.
And all God's people said...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My favorite song

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Goodbye Little Maggie

It is much harder than I thought, saying goodbye to this little cat. We put Maggie (my cat of 9 years) to sleep last night. I hadn't totally prepared myself for it, but at the vet's office he said we could continue to treat the symptoms, knowing that it would never go away and would eventually come to this, or we could choose to let her go now. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, which sounds crazy because I know it was a cat.
But she felt like so much more than just a cat. It's strange in a way because it's almost like saying goodbye to a phase in my life. Maggie was around when I was 16. I remember sleeping snuggled up with her as a kitten (the only place she wanted to sleep was draped across my neck). She was the runt of the litter, and she had no clue. She used to go up to our giant lab and hiss right in his face as if he was the one who was supposed to move. And then when I got my driver's license I used to take her in the car with me for drives to be near her. She was there when I graduated high school and started college. And when I eventually moved out of home and got my first apartment, she went with me.
She was with me when I got married, she moved across the country with me, and was eventually Lincoln's little play buddy.
It's so hard to think that now she's gone and this next phase in my life, one where we welcome a new baby and eventually a new home etc., is one that she'll never be a part of. It's like I'm finally grown up and that part of my life is gone, it's kind of surreal.
She was such a fun kitty. I remember the first time she met John she hissed at him and ran away (very unlike my first reaction to him you can imagine). She was always good for a snuggle--especially with people who were not cat lovers. If you sat still for longer than 60 seconds, you could pretty much count on Maggie coming up and pawing at your hair, or sitting on your lap. I'd never seen her grumpy or anti-social--she was the happiest cat I'd ever met. She also had a knack for climbing into really obscure small places and not being found. We'd hear meowing in the kitchen for 2 minutes before we pulled out one of the drawers and saw her little face peek out. An for whatever reason she always looked like a kitten.
At a mere 5 pounds she was bigger on love and companionship than you could ever guess by looking at her. And we had a great time together.
I'm confident as the days go by it will be easier for her to be gone....but today it's hard.

Monday, February 04, 2008


It's pretty amazing to be faced with the menagerie of possibilities that your future child can be. Since we chose not to find out the sex this time (though trust me--every time the ultrasound tech told me I might want to look away so as not to find out on accident, I was staring intently at whatever I thought was a private part, convinced I'd see some hint--but to no avail) it's an even broader spectrum of imagination. Dark hair or light, straight or curly, boy or girl. And then with any assumption of one of the previous options, another flow of thoughts stem--ballet or soccer? , tomboy or mama's boy?, mini-skirt battles or (ugh!) making bike ramps out of plywood?
It's crazy to think that in less than 19 weeks, our lives will be changed so incredibly. Our baby will become our big kid (the thought is already making me cry) and we'll be carrying around another tiny little person, two carseats, maybe even a double stroller....and oh....sleep deprivation, how could I forget.
But what's more amazing is that right now there is a tiny little secret growing inside me that only God totally knows. There are weeks of everyone's lives, months even, where the only entity totally aware of who they are and what they will become is God. Right now my baby is totally known to the creator of the universe. He alone knows the hair patterns, the fingerprints, the tiny feet, the gender. And He has his own amazing name for him or her. Right on the other side of my stomach, separated to me only by skin and tissue and organs (mere inches) is my future son or daughter and I have no idea what they are like.
"To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all." -Anatole France