Sunday, May 30, 2010

Away to the Water

We have found ourselves enjoying a vacation away to the water. Nope, not the ocean- which is always our preference and has been our retreat for the past few years- but to the lake. I have never been a fan of the lake. It's beautiful to look at- especially after our 5 year stay in the desert of West Texas- but that's it. The water is stinky and the unknown depth freaks me out!
But today, even though we weren't at the ocean, we enjoyed the breeze and the sound of the surf on a lake. It was beautiful and serene and when my 7 year old said, "Mom, we're not going to church today?" I said, "We're among His creation, what's better than that!" How great it would be to always worship God among nature...wouldn't it be great to have a church outdoors ALL summer? Sometimes I find it hard to get focused on worship with the distractions of a building...but it's so easy to worship among the trees, flowers, waters, sky. But with the summer comes the treacherous winter, and I don't know if I can be so worshipful in below zero 20 ft snow drifts! Our God definitely thinks outside of the box- or at least from one end of the spectrum to the other!
This picture in color reminded me of the pastoral landscape near the village I lived in in England...don't remember if the hills were this big though!
The sunlight is amazing when it mixes with nature...the trees are from our campsite.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Struggle of a SAHM

Today I realized how quickly I shutdown when the boys are testing me. My headstrong three year old does not understand the meaning of "quiet" time, or "stay in your room until it's time to come out". I had an overwhelming urge to give in to his whining and disobedience and sit him down in front of a movie so I could have some peace. Instead of looking forward to spending some time reading books with him, or playing a game (which I had committed to do in my head this morning), his disobedience distracted me, and kicked my hunger for "me-time aka computer time" into gear and I let myself spiral into give up mode. Fortunately, I did stick to it, and he didn't completely get away with his misbehavior.
It's been really difficult for me to not give in to my laziness these days. I hate to think that I will always struggle with spending time with the boys and having time to myself, but I am pretty sure it will always be a constant tension in my life. I am a dreamer. I am a thinker. I am someone who can be talked too, but not really "there"...Yeah, you could say a ditz, but I promise there is so much more going on in my head than air! So even when the boys are supposedly entertained, Mommy is in her trance of thought and always needs two or three "M-o-o-m?"s to snap out of it. Ahh, this time of night I can wallow in that guilt of my shortcomings as a stay-at-home mom so easily!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Playing with Angels

"I hope I can see you not just in dreams..." December, Norah Jones
Heaven has been a hot topic in our family lately. Not a day goes by where one of the boys doesn't mention the baby in heaven, or ask questions about what Jesus looks like or other questions that even grown ups ask. Today we talked about the baby playing with the angels. It was a sweet conversation. My 7 year old said, " I think the baby is playing with Paul!" He meant the apostle...must give credit to his school for that one!
Then my 5 year old said, "When I am there, I want to play with Jesus." 
And then I told him, that I hope that he will be very, very old when he is there, so he won't want to play, just sit and talk. Oh my, the conversations we have!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ten Days Ago

It's been nice that the weather has changed this week. I can't believe just last Friday I found out I was going to miscarry. It seems like a month ago. Funny how things like the weather, busyness of school for the boys, and maintaining the house as usual can dilute the fact that just 10 days ago I was pregnant.
Tonight, it took me by surprise how my emotions could swell at hearing the word "ultrasound" or watching a commercial with babies in it. The first reminds me of the devestation of last Friday morning and the latter reminds me of the assumption of where my life would have been just months from now. It's funny how earlier this year I was learning how to manage patience, because I will need it now these next few months.
My sweet five year old said today, "Mom, I really wanted that baby. I want a sister." I told him that one day we will have another baby (of course I didn't promise a sister). How sweet that he feels the disappointment that I do. He sees it with child eyes though. My body is still healing from this whole thing, so my eyes are a little more tainted.
Right now, I know I am not ready to think about trying for another baby. I am so scared to repeat this lowest of low weeks in my life. My husband has reminded me of the assurance and faith we both have that another baby is in God's plan, and that I just need some time to heal.
When he said this yesterday, I was thinking physically. But sitting here tonight, I realize that there is more of the healing process left emotionally as well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth

The message at church today was so inspiring. It was everything I already knew, but it deepened my peace and faith. This past week was hard. I have never been so deeply shaken. The grieving was healthy and the time with my family was sweet, but the voice of lies entered my head as well. I could give you several reasons "why" I lost my baby...some environmental or physical, but the reasons that scared me most, were things I may have done to lose God's favor. My husband said,
"That's not the God I know. If that is how God is, then I don't want to have anything to do with Him."

And through much processing and remembering my life verse, Christ already made the sacrifice once and for all. I have nothing to sacrifice, not my pregnancy or anything in my life. It is done. I am comforted to know that God only has plans "to prosper me, not to harm me." And then today at church, the message was so clearly made for me.
The pastor reminded us that millions of people believe that good works brings God's favor. When in Christianity, God's Favor spurs good works. He initiates His favor, not us!
How can mere humans jump that awesome chasm between Heaven and Earth by anything they do? When we focus on rules, doctrines, and legalistic assumptions to try and reach God, we are wasting our time. There is a bridge that crosses that chasm, and it isn't of human efforts...NOTHING we have done or will do will earn us our gift of Heaven. Christ died on the cross for that...That CROSS is the bridge! If not, then He died in vain. He was the final sacrifice (see my life verse). What a relief!
The following verses were key in today's sermon...please know that the "law" is the religious law imposed through the history of the can also be seen as the man made laws imposed by our churches today. (I don't want you to think that we are to break the laws set by the state! :) ):

 "Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain- if indeed it was in vain? Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law or by hearing with faith...Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"- so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith...Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." Galatians 3

Side note...

So, my husband told me I was bonkers and it was 85 yesterday...uh, not used to wearing a jacket in 85, thought it was 60 with the chill in the air!

First Days of Summer?

Having lived in Texas most of my life, I have a hard time calling a 60 degree, muggy, windy day "Summer"here in the midwest, but besides the weather, it really did feel like the summer days we first experienced here last year. Kids were everywhere. The boys played in the sandbox with a few neighbors for a while, then made a fort with another neighbor. Grown up neighbors were out and about, migrating to each other's porches. And the most obvious symbol of Summer was the mass of children playing "ghost in the graveyard" across three backyards at dark. We ended the night around a neighbor's fire pit while the kids began to drop like flies, crashing on the couch and living room floor. The boys' feet were black from running around barefoot, and after wiping them off with baby wipes, I covered the sleepyheads with a blanket and let them have a "sleepover" in the living room.

So, Summer is on it's way, and this morning proved it all the more. The mugginess in the house won't be relieved by the opening of windows...My hubby just woke up and confirmed the new season coming around the corner, "I'm turning the AC on!" Wow, these Texan transplants have NEVER waited until the end of May to turn the AC on..actually I don't think we ever opened windows until we moved here! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is my Country, To Have and to Hold

I always hesitate to go to anything that reminds me of my patriotism. Not because I don't like our country--actually, it's the exact opposite-- I love America, what it stands for, where we've been, and our potential for the future. Being the granddaughter of American soldiers, one who freed concentration camps, raided Hitler's homes, and protected our freedoms to their very core; AND being the daughter of an accomplished retired Colonel of the United States Air Force-- a man who would give his life not only for his children but all our country's children to defend the American Ideal-- my patriotism is a part of my very soul.

Tonight, I had the privilege to go to my son's Patriotic Program at his small school. Children from 5 years old to 18 years old sang beautiful anthems, songs, hymns about our very Nation. The speaker reminded us of the history our men and women have built upon their bloodshed, their belief in our Nation.
The speaker spoke about the Grief and Pride that went along with those who have died for us. Grief for the death of noble men and women; Pride in the ultimate price they paid to defend our Freedom. I wish I wasn't so in-tuned to the "state of our union" now. Because those very words, Grief and Pride, carry different meaning to me in this context. I forsee the Grief of the death of that very Pride in our country-- that Pride being replaced by a disturbingly divided nation where the loudest voices, even if an elite few, bully the rest of us into dark faithless territories. They suppress our very patriotism to the point of suffocation.
We are the nation that sought Freedom of Religion, providing sanctuary for Christians to worship freely and the way they chose to. We are the nation that ended the terrible act of slavery. We are the nation that destroyed Naziism. We are the nation who ended the Cold War and brought down the Berlin Wall. We ended the reign of Saddam Hussein, and began a much deserved war on Terror. We are the nation that aids victims of hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, drought, inhumane power, hunger, disease. We do all this, and yet so many point fingers at the wrong we do.
The conductor of the program reminded us of our duty as American parents to leave a legacy for our children to carry on in the name of America, and this is when I couldn't hardly stand it. As I look at our country today-- the division, the deliberate degradation of anything upstanding and moral, choosing to focus only on the wrong we have done-- how difficult it is to see the hope that my son could truly live to his potential as a citizen of a great Nation. And then to watch the high school students act out a  scene of taking the oath of citizenship, my heart was further twisted, knowing THAT isn't even worth much anymore.
Honestly, I could almost look past the controversial social issues that plague our Nation today, if I knew that at least our American foundation and security were not in jeopardy. But, to take away American flags in fear of offending someone on our OWN soil, to tell a decorated war veteran that he can't have a flag pole in his yard because of a homeowner's association, to allow a foreign leader to bash our laws in our own Government buildings-- we are disrespectful, spoiled little children who want our own way even if it's not beneficial. These things and many, MANY more are chipping away at our foundation and I fear the hearts of those that encourage this have not one ounce of patriotism left.
My very hope is in the Revival that I know many Christians are praying for. My hope is that God hasn't given up on us yet, and He will continue to bless this Nation through the strong upstanding citizens that our generation is raising. We are a Nation that wants to keep our arms open to all who seek shelter, but we won't be able to if we implode on ourselves. Please hear this as a call to action, a call to rethink who we are, what we stand for, and what and who we should stand up too. Our country is GREAT for many many reasons, and our comfortable, entitled, legalistic lifestyles can't be our demise.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Berry Special Friend

I have never been able to match the thoughtfulness of my best friend of 15+ years, Cami. Without fail, the UPS man or postal worker delivers her many gifts marking special occasions in my life. Today, I received a box of delicious chocolate covered strawberries because she knows what I am going through and she knows I LOVE chocolate!
Christopher said, "That was nice of her," and then questioned who she was...his Godmother! I think he thinks he's pretty special to have such a great lady as a Godparent, and I have to agree!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eager to Write!

I realized today that I have a LONG way to go to be a published author. I entered a writing contest, and got some pretty thorough critiques back from published authors. I appreciate every single one, since I haven't had any schooling in creative writing since high school! I wish I could just close the book and stick it in a drawer to collect dust, but really, I have a story I want to tell! I just need to figure out a way to tell it professionally!
So, my plan is to sit down to a blank screen and write the story again. I am going to change the perspective and style. It will be a fun project to tackle and so you may not see me blogging so much! ;) I can't get away from writing, can I? It's almost an obsession, so I have to be disciplined to share my attention with my kids and not just let my lil' mac hoard it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"The Gift of an Ordinary Day" by Katrina Kenison

My mentor in Texas posted this on her blog. It's 7 mins. but every mother should watch it. I am not ready to let go yet. I know it's inevitable that one day this chapter in my life will close, but I will choose to treasure each day, each "perfectly ordinary day".

A Word

I have included a button, under "favorites", of one of my sure places to get a word from God...Proverbs 31 ministries. Today's devotional was about complaining to God, and dealing with hardships. I really don't think I have complained to or about God, but I will say, I want this to be done. I beg God to end it...I don't know if that's complaining, but I do know that He has the power to will it so, and it's really hard for me to understand "why" it's not over yet. I pray that He soothes this weariness.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Too close to home

Sometimes I agree that ignorance is bliss. When I am smacked in the face with current issues that set me off, it rattles my insides and stirs up frustration. Our president has appointed another strong advocate for abortion rights and the mention of this topic has pinned me to the ground. Although my highest passion in politics has always been for the pro-life movement, after this past few days, it has become all the more real to me. Seeing a heartbeat on Friday, and then rejecting the life involuntarily has been a dark glimpse into our humanity for me...but then to know there are doctors "MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS" out there  come face to face with that heartbeat...wait, a HEALTHY heartbeat... and agree to crush it like a bug because of a woman's choice, is almost unbearable to think upon.
Mini-gods are walking around in white coats and loud mouths preaching women's rights...but there is one thing they don't have-- foresight-- what does the future hold for a nation who extinguishes life in a quick outpatient procedure? Oh, these mini-gods don't know...and their ignorance will not be bliss, but excruciating regret. At least the Omnipotent and Omniscient God of the Universe gives and takes life according to a plan for GLORY and ETERNITY-- I can't help but say...
stupid people.
Please sign this petition if you agree with the pro-life movement:

Milk from Our Local Dairy

I was excited to visit the local dairy where we buy our milk. My 2nd grader took a field trip there, and my 3 year old and I tagged along. We learned a ton of information about the milk industry! I wanted to share it, because it's so important to clear facts that have been skewed by certain sources.
First off, the milk we buy from the dairy is hasn't been ultra-pasteurized to stop the cream and milk from separating...we have to shake the jug to get it to mix together. This is actually GOOD for you. It keeps the CLA in tact--this is a super anti-oxidant...and (this surprised me most) it is actually a DIETARY SUPPLEMENT! It helps you lose weight! They sell it as supplements in natural food stores! Our society is so hooked on not having fat, but the fat in milk, if it isn't destroyed by GREAT For you and helps you keep your figure! Some people who are lactose intolerant can actually drink this milk! Also, since CLA is in the milk fat, why have we stopped our kids from drinking it at such a young age? If you think about it, non-homogenized whole milk (which is only 3.5% milk fat) has the most CLA in it, the most antioxidants AND it won't make our kids FAT!
Another thing that was interesting, is that the dairy sells it's milk in white jugs that do not let the light through. This is similar to vitamin bottles...the sunlight breaks down the milk's nutrients. Many large industry dairies sell their milk in almost clear jugs...wonder how much nutrition we are actually consuming?
Something I learned from a friend is what happens when a cow gets mastitis or a "breast" infection...the large industry dairies (according to my friend) keep milking the cow and using the milk knowing that the pus and gross stuff will be killed during the pasteurizing process! EEEWW! This dairy treats the cow but dumps the milk until the infection is healed...duh!

Proof is in the pudding...we were in a hurry this week and bought a jug of walmart milk since we were there, and after drinking the dairy milk...the walmart milk was YUCK! It tasted thin and had an unnatural flavor.

Oh, and don't assume that because milk says "organic" it hasn't been through some ultra processing...try and find a small local dairy so you can get fresh milk that hasn't been homogenized.

I have probably not done justice to the science of this, but I wanted to pass it along, especially to my mommy friends!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Norah Jones - December (from The Fall) Live December 21 2009

Creation Therapy

We had a sweet family weekend at a nearby state park. Along our hike, creation was everywhere. It was a serene time and much needed.

This was amazing...purple and white blossoming all up the hill between the trees, layer upon layer. Reminded me of the book, The Shack.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Eight Week Gift

The beauty of the weather is an ironic mask to the sorrow of my heart. Suddenly, with little preparation, my unborn child is slipping away from my dreams, and will soon be waiting for me in my Father's arms. It took me by surprise how devastating it feels to lose someone I've never met. Part of me wishes I hadn't revealed my pregnancy so I could find a hole, crawl into it, and wait for this to pass, emerging as pre-pregnancy mother of three, happy and blessed. No one would be the wiser. But I didn't choose that path and the benefit of my choice to let people know about my pregnancy so early, outweighs the cost of having to reveal the miscarriage. Prayers have carried me through these past hours. Family and friends have comforted me with phone calls and assuring words. God is close. My Joy isn't completely gone, just sharing my heart with Sadness.
This pregnancy was a great mark of obedience and calling in this time in my life. And although it could have shaken my faith in God's voice, it only affirms my need of Him in all aspects of my life- at all times- not just when I want Him to bless me. I am not giving up on my calling.
My deep desire to grow our family is ever-present, or I wouldn't be so sad at the loss of that potential. I have complete Faith that God still wants to bless us with a fourth child. And even if I have been caressing the edge of anger and confusion, I find hope that this whole thing will only strengthen my appreciation for my future child all the more. Please see my previous post if you haven't read it. It's an awesome song that will be played many times this weekend!


The song below is on the cd Cody and the boys got me for Mother's Day. It was on in my car today. The music resonated with my heart and when I saw that the title was "December", I knew why-- the baby's due date was in December. I found out today that the pregnancy is ending.

December by Nora Jones

December come to me
I hope I can see
You not just in dreams

I will let you be
Why can't you believe
How much you really mean

December won't you come
Back with snow even sun
Don't say that it's done

I will carry you home
Take you from the loneliest
Place you have known

I will carry you home
Take me from the loneliest
Place I have known

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Typical behavior from my "Angels"

Amidst the joy that I so recently have embraced to the full, my little angels are once again proving to be "spirited" children today! We have a new friend over who instantly became engrossed in our very simple wooden train track and gently pushes his train around and around. But my sons, can't sit still for more than a millisecond, and have already taught our little guest how to jump down six stairs, run and slide on the carpet, climb on top of the couch while knocking my coffee all over me, and are just crazy little rambunctious boys! I wonder what the sweet guest is thinking as he observes these strange creatures!

Really, I know that I am complaining, but as my husband often says, our boys are just different! :) They are sweet, and have been very polite and kind to their new little friend, who is only 2 1/2. And of course, as I type this, my three year old is now settled with a book, and my five year old is playing with the train set! If you read my previous post, "A Recovering Liar", you will see how this sudden change in my boys' behavior is quite expected for me, and proves that venting may actually bring about change, if they really are out to prove me "Liar".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Virtual obsession

Wow, I am learning all about HTML codes and linking images! But, it is time consuming and frustrating. Once I get going I can't stop!! HA! So if anyone has been on my blog the past 24 hours I am sorry if it has been a chameleon! I am done for now, even though it's not what I was looking for, I have to get something done in the real world!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Lovely Life

It takes me by surprise when I realize how happy I am for the most part. There was a time, not too long ago, when I would hesitate to allow myself to fully embrace joy. Because I am so bent towards the passion of politics, the justice of the downtrodden, and the right to be heard, I would allow worldly influences to taint my simple joys of life. It was almost as if I was afraid to allow myself to be happy so if something terrible happened, I wouldn't be taken off guard!
Alot has happened to me, spiritually and maturity wise, that has helped shed this insecurity. First, I realized how much God loves me and how He truly is in control and mere humans/governments /laws/words can't stop Him.  Secondly, I am surrounded by three little men who live life to the fullest every day, and are seeing the world with baby eyes. Even though they are slowly being exposed to the bad as well as the good, I get to enjoy the process and grow with them in an odd ironic way. And third of all, I am not as fearful as I used to be. If everything is going to end, or if the world is in a downward spiral, so be it, I am going to enjoy my time on Earth and look forward to a blissful eternity! Oh it makes me want to jump and raise my hands, but I am just not that kinda girl! God sees my heart though, and it is jumping for sure.
So, tonight, I told Cody how much I am looking forward to watching a chick flick with my cup of decaf and a good book in standby...I look forward to the simple routines of the week- watching my 5 year old excel in swimming, seeing my 7 year old beat his wpm on a typing tutorial, and figuring out a way to keep my 3 year old from busting his head as he performs his monkey tricks! All of it is joy-filled, wonderful simple life that is surrounded by chaos, but for now, peaceful. And I am not so delusional to think that trials aren't around the corner, look at my previous posts! But this SAHM needs to make note of her joy, and mark this moment on her path. It's easy to forget, it's easy to backslide. I will do my best to continue to allow joy in, and think upon lovely things.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photography Dabble

My friend let me shoot some pics of her sweet baby, and I tried to make them look professional using Gimp (free version of Photoshop). Thought I would offer any editing services to my friends! :) Below, are the "before" pics.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Each woman, A mother

A flower for Mom
So much today can consume us and send us on a downward spiral of negativity and hopelessness. But days like tomorrow, Mother's Day, remind us of the beauty and God-given role each woman may embrace at some point in their life--It keeps hope moving forward. I have friends who aren't moms, but they can still be the nurturer, the kind voice, the safe place for a world full of motherless children. Each woman is empowered through this unique design and I pray that each woman chooses to embrace it at some point in their time on earth.
These days are filled with this role pushed aside, not respected, treated as a cop-out to successful careers. I have felt the sting even in my small part of the world, being denied three times to be dismissed from jury duty even though I have no childcare available for my kids. This society forgets where we all came from, how our generations have made it-- because of women who chose self-sacrifice, submission (not in the way you may be thinking-- to their duty, role, purpose), and the love for a child.
Just a couple of years ago, you would catch me saying, "Oh, Mother's day is such a Hallmark holiday..." And, maybe it is. But now I realize how important it is to celebrate these God-given roles today, because choosing motherhood now, is often a side note and a less revered decision. But to see the joy of a child because of an act of a mother, whether biological or not, is an emotion that each woman should revere to the highest!
 I want to wish all of my friends and their mothers, a joy-filled Mother's Day and hope you are blessed beyond measure!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Upon my lips

I woke up this morning with praises on my lips:

"Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God…"

This popular worship song was running through my mind as I got out of bed, grabbed my coffee, and began our routine. It blessed me so much today. Just yesterday I was bothered by my lack of intentional quiet time. Perhaps the Holy Spirit still rouses my heart even in my dream state- so what I lack during my waking hours my God still receives worship while I sleep! Just a thought, but it is proof to me that I am consumed by the Spirit! HE IS IN CONTROL!

P.S. If you want to hear the song, go to the media clip on the right sidebar on my blog, and click on "Our God"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I am a recovering liar

The boys are making me a liar. When they were little, I would say, "Oh, they love that food", and then they would spit it out and make a face. So when they were babies, they made me a liar in a funny way. But now, they make me a liar to myself.

I get these self-esteem boosts when Cody and I come up with a game plan to instill rules and positive discipline in the boys. I feel like we are on top of things, and we are "intentionally" parenting to give our kids the respect, consideration, and honesty they need to bestow on others. But what happens when they do everything opposite of what you are teaching them at home? What happens when all those parents that you discuss your accomplishments and ideas with, see your children misbehaving in such a way where they contradict every principle you have worked so hard on making a priority?

 I am sure that you are thinking...don't worry about what others think...but if you are thinking that, think about all the times you have criticized a mother, father, or a child for the misbehaviors that you see. I do it. I am guilty. Therefore, I do consider what others think.
I wish that I could label each of their foreheads with the traits that they each uniquely have, making them sweet, pleasant children:

My eldest would have a sign that says Loyal, Believer, Family-oriented
My middle would have a sign that says Fun-loving, Outgoing, Self-sacrificing
My youngest would have a sign that says Bold, Happy, Friendly

As I look back on my past few entries...we have definitely been on some sort of a roller-coaster! I think maybe it's to do with the transition from Winter to Summer...being Spring, of course...but wow, I never would have thought that I want to get this season over with (it's so beautiful outside), and get on to Summer!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The neatly folded BEAST

So I am procrastinating laundry. WHY if the house needs vacuuming, or the furniture needs rearranging, or the bathroom needs a wipe down- why does it not bother me so?? But when there are three loads to be put away upstairs, and two in the laundry room, why am I on the computer finding time to write about it instead of actually doing it? My effort in decorating my laundry room in hopes that I would enjoy the chore more, has failed, and I am, once again, HATING the annoying beast oozing out of my hampers and laundry baskets!
I would love to know how any of you tackle this you set aside one day a week? Do a couple loads a day? Spend a late night catching up? I always have loads in each machine, dirty clothes in the laundry room baskets, dirty clothes in each bathroom hamper, and a couple of loads ready to be put away!! I am SURROUNDED! I wish that I could ignore it and not care. But as life goes on, I continually struggle with two traits that have resided in me since I was in college...perfectionism and laziness. They hate each other and rage against each other even now- when I don't have a deadline, a project, or a final...Maybe if I gave myself a timeline, perfectionism would win...but my little devil knows better and will just talk to lazy Angie and say, "put it off, who cares, facebook is more fun...or better yet, Golden Girls is on!"

After the rain.

So, the sun is shining, the clouds are gone, and my son is stoked for baseball season. After the drama yesterday, he came home on a high from his first baseball practice, where Daddy is assistant coach. After a good (sort of) night's sleep, I realized what culminated yesterday is just the beginning of a long road of heartaches and social dilemmas for my children. I remember so clearly my own troubles from 2nd grade on, and all I can do is build strong defenses in my kids- not ugly and revengeful, but grace-filled, and inpenetrable self-worth, grounded in the love of Christ. Thank you Alisa, for your comment, it's so true, mothering is "hard on the heart". But I have to remember that, although I am their parent here, there is Someone greater looking out for them too!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A mother's sadness

I am sad for my son. Cody and I have always told the boys to include others when they are outside in the neighborhood.  My seven year old is intentionally being left out by others that he considers "good" friends at home and at school. I don't know if he has completely caught on, but I do know that he has been sadder lately, and hangs out inside the house even when the weather is beautiful. After spilling my tears to Cody, I don't feel any better, just frustrated that he is a thinker and doesn't let me know what's going on in his head. Beth Moore once quoted a mother who said, "You are only as happy as your saddest child." Happiness is fleeting fast. Please pray for our situation. I know it sounds petty, but it's a matter of good friendships or my son's self-esteem.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Date night to Golden Girls to Friendships Springing!

Tonight is date might be our last one for a while since our babysitter is leaving town for the summer. I always look forward to Monday nights. No matter how icky MonDAY is, Monday night is always fun. The problem with date night though, is we are always rushing around to get out of the door. Cody usually comes home right before the sitter gets here and I am frantically getting ready. But if I coach myself, I can get past my frustration with his tardiness, and we can have a pretty good time.

Right now, dinner is ready, the boys are playing at the neighbors, and I am watching Golden fave! I know, I am an old woman at heart (and attitude sometimes!) I think I enjoy the show so much, because I enjoy friendships so much. About 6 months ago, I felt really lonely. I mean, I had friends and neighbors, but I didn't feel like I was completely myself in my new life. It was all my fault. I was not making the effort, not opening up, and trying to be who I thought people wanted me to be, and not just being me!
But now, I have all these wonderful friendships- with most of the same friends, same neighbors, and some really awesome new friends! They remind me of my little seeds that I planted a couple of weeks ago, and now they are thriving little plants! It's so refreshing to have friends!
So tonight, I am going out with my best friend, and Thursday I am going out with a lot of my new girlfriends. Spring and Life are simultaneously blooming all around me!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

An ugly mommy hiccup

I realized something last night, and I hope to God that I will nip it in the bud before it continues. The past couple of times I have socialized with a friend when the kids were included, I have been "that" mom who shoos her children away and tells them to go entertain themselves...the playdates were more for my socializing than for my children's my mind. Ugh! The shame of looking back and my 7 year old wanting to talk to me and I tell him, "Not now, you're interrupting grown ups...go play." But I had picked him up from school and taken him STRAIGHT to the park...hadn't seen him all day, and now I was giving him the impression that I didn't want to hang out with him! The guilt of a mom!
I was once told that if you consistently give your kids the signal that their thoughts, ideas, conversations are always pushed aside, then one day the will stop telling you, and look to their peers for a "safe place". And I told myself I would not do that, I would be the ear they could depend on, the "safe place" and that I would start when they are young, so they have no longing to go elsewhere for acceptance. So I write this, to make myself accountable to the virtual realm, and to my heart, whenever I look back and re-read my ugly hiccup as a mom.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Sunshine Award

This is so sweet of my new friend from Momblogs (her blog is , to nominate me for a Sunshine award! She has been encouraging of my blog and novel writing, and she inspired me to take the time and get creative with the boys! 

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world.

Of course, awards come with rules…

1. Put the logo on your blog and/or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award 

So I pass this award on to (I am new to blogging, so these are my friends near and dear...not 12 yet): This is my good friend who, although we are different in many ways, seems to always write things that resonate with my own life! She has become a great sister in Christ and I love talking with her about anything and everything! We moved last year after 5 1/2 years from our last town, and after I moved, we both realized over facebook that we were aspiring authors! It has been a great journey encouraging each other in writing, and I am in awe of her ability to write and inspire her blog readers with great insight into life. This is one of the funniest people I have met! She is super creative and her blog is a great read! My sweet friend is such a great photographer, and fun person to talk too. Her blog was one of the first blogs I really read. She's a wonderful Christian mommy! My bestest friend and her family's journey towards their third baby! Although she doesn't post much, her blog is always fun to read cuz her kids are a hoot...and so precious! Another great photographer! She does such fun stuff with photography...and I love her use of color!  Aboy mom, like me, who has an amusing writing style and a really eye-catching blog as well as great photos! If you want a great list of weekly meal plans, this mama has them each week! A friend who is one of the best scrapbookers I know! She posts some fun ideas on her blog.

A Work in Me

"There is nobody in our lives that is a bigger obstacle to our calling than ourselves. We can protect ourselves right out of our callings." - Beth Moore, Esther Session 4.

I am amazed at the work that has been done in me during my study of Esther with Beth Moore. I am in awe of its timeliness in my life (as usual when I take one of her studies). As Beth would say, "I can't wait to show you this"...what God has mightily done in me that needs to be shared!
Through many of my previous postings, I have shared my "a-ha" moments from this study...(look at Mommy Destiny, Patience Found, Hearts at Home..) The subtitle of this study was, "It's Tough Being a Woman". And although I did discover certain things about myself as a woman, I mostly found redemption for "It's tough being a mother."
Glance up at the quote at the beginning...this is something that twisted inside me, emerged in a refreshed affirmation of my love of motherhood at the Hearts at Home conference, and caused a complete 180 leap right before my eyes, when not only me, but Cody as well, were convicted about a life changing decision.
Some of you may think I am talking about adoption. And at first, I really thought that's what God was saying when things started to line up. But oddly enough, God was filling me with a longing that was deeper than my desire to adopt. I somehow knew, that even though I thought we were ready to proceed, the longing to adopt wasn't mature enough to endure the wait and emotional energy to survive it. No, our timing to adopt is not yet. The lesson in our study on Patience helped uncover that truth now that I look back on it.
But God did grow a deep desire in me, these past few months, something that was a complete "reversal of destiny" (another Beth Moore-ism) of what I used to long for- Over last year, I was so settled on focusing on me, and who I was, my longing for my "babies" to grow up so I could move forward was an irritating tension in my heart. Through the emotional and spiritual growth that so often blossoms from a Beth Moore study, I began to long for a baby again. Actually, not just a baby, a pregnancy. Most of you know how much I disliked being pregnant ALL THREE TIMES, so this was definitely a complete reversal of Angie's preferences!
I shed away the fear of other's opinions about, "four is too much", or "what if it's not a girl", or "you have your hands full already". I shed away the insecurity that I couldn't handle it, and that our three boys would maybe suffer from sharing our attention with one more sibling. Honestly, I saw my calling loud and clear, to grow our family, whether it be another rambunctious boy, or an unfamiliar little girl...and solidifying the decision, Cody felt the nudge as strong as anything also.
So, I am one step closer to fulfilling this new family make-up. After the long process of extinguishing uncertainty and insecurity, God has blessed us with another pregnancy!
I look back on this past winter and spring, and jump for joy (and relief- I really didn't like how hollow my focus on "me" felt!)- I jump for joy that I didn't miss the jolt of heart searching introspectiveness from my study to set me on a firm foundation and give me the strength to grasp intentional parenting of not only three children, but a fourth as well. And although I am grateful to my study's effectiveness, I truly know that it was all God speaking to me because I finally sat down and listened.
Please pray for us, since we are really early in the pregnancy! I am taking it easy, and trying to continue life with three boys as normal as possible! :)