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Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

Damaged by life

Broken. hurting.

This world an unkind place of residence.

Reality crashes down around me

Falling like tiny shards of angry glass.

I try and move on

but I stumble

Time and time again

in an endless game of pinball

that has me spinning every which way

only to be halted and turned another direction

with swift knock in the head.

Bing! Married! Five thousand  points!

Ding ding ding! Home Owner! Mom! Business Owner! Ten thousand points.

Bang! New baby. Five thousand points.

Boom! Foreclosure. Start again.

Bing! Cross country move.

Points to be determined.

Spinning. Crashing. Beeping.

Oh, the incessant beeping.

And then I hear the Whisper

in this storm of life

and I remember You.

Even when I try and put You

in a box, I can’t.

The King of Kings

does not fit

in the tiny box.

Eternity does not  fit.

Agape does not fit.

As I listen, the bruises start to heal

(those to my ego)

and my heart feels alive again

and I know that You have plans for me

“plans to prosper me and not to harm me,

plans to give me hope

and a future.”

So I let go of it all

and breath the biggest sigh of relief.

And I stand ready, waiting.

Waiting for life. Waiting for God.

Waiting for Grace and for pinball.

And knowing with Your grace I can handle it all.

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Blessings

It’s been a rough year for my family. From health problems to foreclosure to moving more times than anyone should have to in ten years let alone one, to the stress that puts on a family and a marriage, it’s been hard. And I’ve been bitter.

I shouldn’t be, however, because I am so incredibly blessed.

I have a wonderful husband who loves me more than I’ll ever know.
My son is cute, sweet, as healthy as we could ever really hope, smart and fun.
My daughter is delightful, happy, healthy and sweet. She sleeps 12 hour stretches at night and only wakes once unless her brother wakes her.
We have a home. It’s safe, it’s cute and it’s in a great neighborhood.
I have eternal salvation, a gift I take for granted all too often.
I have a wonderful family who stands by me.

So I realized today that I have to get over my pity party. Yes, life has been unbelivably hard for us as of late. No, it’s not magically all getting better any time soon. That’s okay. I have more than enough to be thankful for and more than enough to keep me going. I am blessed to live the life I do and I need to start acting like it.

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Not quite.

There’s a lot of talk about the “Proverbs 31 Woman” in Christian circles. How we should all try to be like her. She’s like the Martha Stewart of the Bible. Only more wholesome. And without insider trading and time in prison.

I know I lack in the department of all things domestic. So I took a look at what the Bible has to say about her last night: (Proverbs 31:10-31 from The Message paraphrase)

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

That’s a lot to live up to. So I thought I’d take it one step at a time. A reoccurring theme in the passage is that she gets up early. So I thought I would give it a go. I am not a morning person by any means. But my husband has been asking it of me and I have been thinking I would love the time to myself before the kids were up… so this stuck out to me as a good place to start.

Well let me tell you, day one was not a success. Within thirty seconds of my leaving the bed, Keagan realized I was gone. (We practice the Family Bed.) I took him back to bed and told him he could be with Papa. He became hysterical. His screams woke his sister, who chimed in and soon we had a myriad of screaming voices echoing through our home. So much for up before the family.

So with screaming Eden in the sling and screaming Keagan on Nick’s lap now watching Kipper because I was bound and determined to make breakfast, I started boiling some water for quinoa. It’s something that I can make into both breakfast and lunch and that’s always good. So I start on the quinoa and Eden starts in on my breast while in the sling. Great one less screaming child. Maybe I can make this work. Keagan soon stopped screaming as well.

While rooting through the fridge for some veggies for Nick’s lunch quinoa, I bumped our only serving bowl off the counter. It tumbled to the floor into a thousand tiny sharp shards. Eden started screaming yet again at the sound of my bowl’s untimely destruction. Keagan started to scream at the sound of Eden’s screaming. I started to think the shards looked like a good tool for suicide. (kidding… please don’t call asking if I am “really okay.” haha)

Eventually, breakfast and lunch were made, the kids stopped screaming and we all got of the house on time. But my goodness. What a way to start my day.

I guess it takes some practice, luck and patience to be a “Proverbs 31 woman.” I hope she had days like this. It’s only fair, right? 🙂

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We’re at our new home, trying to get unpacked. We just got the internet set up again so I can get back to blogging again.

The new place is a duplex in a great neighborhood. Not as urban as the last place and it’s surely no victorian mansion, but it’s great for us.

It’s small. Around 800 sf. Actually, I think closer to 750. But that’s okay. We have been progressively living more and more simply with each move and I like it. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably realized that we’re pretty anti-consumerism and that we have been freeing ourselves from stuff slowly over the past year. Well this little place is a push in that direction. We currently have too many belongings to fit into our home. Our closets (which by the way, are awesome for such a small space!!) are overflowing with boxes. What is even in those boxes, I can’t tell you. But I can tell you this: I am dead certain that we don’t need most of it. We haven’t touched it in two months. That means it can’t be all that important!

So I started today with what mill likely be one of the hardest parts.

I got rid of books. Lots and lots of books. And I so love to read. I also love to have books around me, and around my kids. I want them to love reading as much as I. However, we just don’t have the space. So three large boxes of books went to Half Price Books today and they paid us $37 in cash for them. Just enough for me to buy two new nursing bras. Funny how God looks out for us like that. I needed those nursing bras badly (I won’t even get started about the sad state of my old bras….) and we don’t have much extra to spend at the moment, but God always provides.

So I started with books. Considering how much I love them, I think that will make going through the rest of this “stuff” seem much easier. I am trying to let go of my sentimental attachment to things of this world and thing how much happier we will be when our home is clean and free of clutter.

I plan on doing some before and after photos, so be looking for them. 🙂

Anyone else do a major downsize/declutter? Want to share some tips?

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Having two kids is, at times overwhelming. I knew that the spacing we picked would not be easy, but thought the benefits would more than outweigh the negatives.

As much as I’ve loved the past few weeks, they’ve been a tad rough. Poor Keagan is torn between loving Eden so much he can’t contain himself and hating her for taking Mama and Papa’s attention from him. I’ve been super tired. Not just tired, mind you… SUPER tired 😉 When Keagan was a newborn, I could nap when he was napping. Now, if I want a nap, my husband has to be home or Eden and Keagan have to nap at the same time. That blessed occasion has only happened twice in the past 13 days, so I am not counting on it happening often. But I’ve been tired. Eden likes to be up at night like many new babies… Keagan is two and takes a lot of energy.

But it’s okay.
Really.

Today, it just clicked. I found myself happy as can be. And not just happy, because I have been happy, in spite of an angry toddler and lack of sleep, but also at peace. Calm. Relaxed. Everything felt normal.

I found my new normal. And I like it. I am so glad to be living the life that I am. Sure, I haven’t eaten a meal without a child on my lap since before Eden was born. And maybe I do wish I could talk with adults more frequently. But I love my life. I wouldn’t trade the blessings that these little ones bring me for anything on Earth.

At some point in my life, my kids will be grown. My conversations will probably almost exclusively be with adults. I will not discuss the importance of keeping raisins out of your nose with anyone. I won’t sing the ABC song. My lap will remain empty while I eat. My body will be mine again. I won’t be pregnant or nourishing a little life with breastmilk. And that will all be fine in that stage of my life. I’ll adjust again to another new normal. But I love my life right now and I am going to try hard to be sure I cherish these moments.

Maybe it’s the placenta pills talking or maybe I am just really, really, happy. But I’ve never felt so settled in as I do at the moment.

Guess that means I have to go back to cooking and cleaning doesn’t it?

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My sweet little boy turns two today. Two years have passed by in the blink of an eye and yet I can’t even imagine my life without him. Keagan is so full of joy, so vibrant, so spirited, so energetic, so life-affirming, so … Keagan! My life has become more worth living because of his sweet presence. I am so very blessed to be “mama” to such a wonderful child.

His little sister is two weeks old today. I am also shocked to realize that sweet little Eden has blessed us with her presence for two weeks. Our wonderful little family is so full of love and joy.

Today is Easter. Such a special, beautiful day. Easter is filled with so much hope. It amazes me to think about the love of the Father and the miracle of Christ rising. We’re all given the beautiful gift of forgiveness because of the amazing grace of our Heavenly Father. There is so much beauty and joy in the miracle we celebrate today. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Bask in its beauty. Marvel in its joint wonder and simplicity.

Since today is Easter, we’ll be spending the day focusing on that. We’re having a birthday celebration for the little guy in a few weeks. I hope everyone has a blessed day!

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Eden came into the world with full force early this morning.
Warning- this has all the details, so if you don’t want them, don’t look

Last night I was having a few contractions, kind of sporadically and not really time-able. I tried to go to bed, but I kept waking up with what I thought was an upset stomach. I kept trying to go to the bathroom and couldn’t…

About four I woke up and noticed that the “tummy pain” had moved to my back and was quite strong. I got on contractionmaster.com to time what I now realized were contractions. The first three were eight minutes apart. The fourth was less than three minutes after the third… and strong. It was 4:43 am.I knew this was it. I woke up Nick. I had a few more really strong contractions and about 5:00 decided to call my midwife, my parents and Alex (my wonderful friend and doula.) My midwife, Amy said to see how it went for an hour and give her a call back. I couldn’t get a hold of my mom or Alex. After a bit, I did get ahold of everyone. A little after 5:30, I realized that there was no waiting an hour to call Amy back… this little girl was coming – and fast. I think I had Nick call, I don’t really remember. Amy said she’d be there in about an hour. I worried Eden would get there before Amy!

My folks showed up about 6:00 to get Keagan. I was trying sooo hard not to scare him. I really needed to vocalize at this point, so as not to scare him I tried to sing “How Great is Our God.” He loves that song. It lasted for half a contraction and then I lost it and moaned. Right then, Grandma and Grandpa showed up. Keagan cried. Nick ran him out the door… the contraction ended and I chased them all so I could hug Keagan and tell him Mama was okay. Apparently, he was fine, but my poor dad cried.

About this time, I started shaking and threw up. I knew this meant I had to be close and worried again that no one would be there to help. I had Nick call Amy and thankfully, she was close. She got to the house between 6:20 and 6:30 I would guess… When she settled in, Amy checked me and I was at six centimeters. I was so shocked, I just knew I had to be closer than that. I had to use the bathroom, so I went to the toilet. I couldn’t pee, but the bath looked appealing. I had Nick start it for me and he went and told Amy I was getting in. As the water was still running, Alex showed up. Not too long after that, my water broke.

Then I couldn’t help it anymore. My body was pushing. But I went poo in the tub a little bit with the pushing, so I thought it was just really intense need to use the bathroom… I got out of the tub as fast as I could to try to use the bathroom… and soon realized that it was not that, it was baby! Her head was part way out of me and I was sitting on the toilet! So there I pushed. I stood up after her head was out and gave another push, and Amy guided her into my arms. There she was! My beautiful little girl! It was 7:14 am, 17 minutes after my water broke and about 45 min from when I was dilated to six.

It took a moment to sink in and then I saw my wonderful husband’s face. He was so happy… he had tears in his eyes. It hit me then. She was really here. We enjoyed a few minutes as a family before I birthed the placenta, then we made our way to the bedroom and just enjoyed one another.

Eden took to the breast right away, having three successful nursings before 10:30 am. She’s a hungry girl!

Home birth was so empowering… beautiful… real…and full of God’s love. It was the perfect way to overcome all the pain associated with Keagan’s birth. I can’t explain how much better natural childbirth was for me than hospital birth….

Keagan loves his “BABY!!” and is trying very hard to be soft with her. Though, being 23 months old that isn’t the easiest of tasks for him. He really wants to cuddle her nonstop.

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