Thursday, April 08, 2010

my privilege

i get to raise 3 little souls. God entrusted me??!! with 3 little people. they amaze me everyday. they are cute. they are witty. they have beautiful hearts. they are FULL of LOVE. how did i get so lucky?

well, luck has nothing (i mean, nothing) to do with it. God has blessed me. God has loved me enough to give me (and charles) this amazing trio.

here's some of the amazing cuteness (in the last few days and weeks):

1. mylie (the other night in bed): "mom, i'm gonna let God into my heart."

2. when discussing the Easter story of Jesus telling them how Jesus was wrapped in his burial clothes and spices: mylie "jesus got that because he was dead. and stinky." charlie: "God is stinky?"

3. charlie (in the car today, singing): "skiddamarink a dink a dink, skiddamarink a doooo, i looooove cookies!"

4. charlie (whispering in my ear at bedtime as i rocked him): "mommy, i want to tell you a sacrit ('secret')." me: "yes, honey?" charlie (whispering with his sweet breath): "mommy, i LOOOVE you!"

5. mylie (every morning as i come downstairs...looking a little crazy, sometimes): "mommy, you look beYOUtiful today!"

6. charlie (although he has struggled losing his place as "the baby"): "zeke-y, you are going to stay with us forever and for always."

7. charlie: "mom, i don't remember the words. tell me this word in spinach." (he means "spanish"). (and btw, he knows all his colors in spanish and his numbers 1-10...he's two. wow. God made him. and, all of God's creations wow me.)

8. zeke: he is precious. smiling his cute smile and grin already. and, i'm convinced he's a hip hop dancer. he has quite a lot of cute moves.

there are so many more. every day. all day.

(disclaimer: we do have our struggles--quite a lot, but the joys fully outweigh the struggles. its all according to what i choose to focus on...)

thank you, Lord, for these amazing people that you put with us for these few short years.

Monday, March 29, 2010

i think i did it!!

So tonight I think I finally did it! I accomplished something I never knew I could do.

“What did she accomplish??” you may ask. Well, let me tell you.

I successfully maneuvered, with all three children, through harris teeter with a stack of 30-some coupons taking advantage of their triple coupon days.

My goal: see how much money I really could save.

Mission accomplished. I saved $109 while only spending $80. I felt so proud of myself. I have never been a coupon cutter, but I decided to make it a game.

I LOVE DEALS!! I always have and probably always will. Traditionally, though, it is only on clothes or deals at the mall.

I never really get excited about deals on food. But, its about time that I did since we all eat—all the time.

But, I feel proud that I did it for more than one reason…

So, I strapped Zeke to my chest and put both kids in a special “car” cart and off we went.

In the first aisle, Mylie started driving Charlie’s steering wheel and the fight began. He got mad and started pulling her hair. After this went on for a couple of minutes, while picking out the sandwich rounds, I finally got Mylie out and she walked.

I felt so nervous as she dragged her precious hands along all the salad dressings. Every couple of steps I’d say “Mylie. Hands off.” which worked until the next brightly colored label.

That went on for a couple of aisles as she helped me fling things into the cart and Charlie took off his shoes and socks, standing in the cart every time I turned to grab things off the shelf.

Thankfully, Zeke continued to sleep. Finally, my husband showed up from across the store (as he went to go find something for me), and we decided to divide and conquer. He got another cart, took a child, and a pile of coupons and off we went.

Both of the older children found things to yell about. “I want to ride in that cart!” “I want to get that to buy that! Please, mommmmyyyy!” “I want to try that sample!” “I want a balloon!”

After sifting through all the coupons, because I was DETERMINED to save as much as possible, and gathering all the goods, we were finally ready to leave.

And, as the clerk scanned all the coupons and the price dropped, and dropped, and dropped!, I could feel the smile spread across my face.

All of the craziness was worth it because, you see, I saved $109.

And that is one of the many joys of being a mom. I succeeded. I won. I saved.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

what just happened??

"every mom loves their children, but not every mom loves motherhood." this was a quote that a friend told me from a Bible study she is doing with a bunch of our other friends. "interesting..." i thought as she told me, "that is so true."

i looked down at my nursing son at 4:55am a few nights ago (i have no idea what night it actually was as sleep deprivation is trying to take over my life...) and i thought "what makes people have children?"

don't get me wrong. i am absolutely, head over heels, completely thrilled to have my beautiful princess, my warrior, and my newest bundle of love & joy.

but, what makes someone try for months and even years, sometimes, to have a little one. what makes a mom go through 10 months of an ever-growing belly and body, hurting hips, waddling like a duck, swollen ankles all to go through immense pain to get a little one who can only cry, poop, and sleep and must be fed every two-three hours by only her (if breastfeeding) causing mom to lose sleep and sometimes sanity.

i wonder this often. and, yet, this is my third time around and i wouldn't change a thing.

i think some of God's first words have something to do with it: "be fruitful". every time God made a new creation it says "God BLESSED them and say 'be fruitful'." (genesis 1) and finally in genesis 9, God made a covenant with Noah and his sons and BLESSED them and said "be fruitful and increase in number..."

being "fruitful" is a blessing and humans instinctively know that. that is why we do all that we can to bring little ones into our family who will try our patience, exert their will, keep us up, use our money, and take our sleep.

but, who will also shape the next generation of our culture, who give us endless joys and laughs, who love us unconditionally (even when we royally mess things up), who snuggle with us, who sing and dance for us, and will even care for us as the years progress.

children need and take so much, but in the end, we, deep in our hearts, know this is God's will. because its our children who He will use to change us (to make us more like Him) and to change our world.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

faith for mom

“But, women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.” I timothy 2:15

In my early 20s, I remember reading the above scripture and feeling offended. “WHAT does that mean??” I asked God and myself over and over again. A decade later I am only beginning to have an understanding.

You see, the word “saved” here means “restored” or “to make whole,” and God has used the birth of each of our three children to bring me to a greater level of trust and understanding of Him each time.

In preparing for Zeke’s arrival, I just knew he would arrive early J. That is the hope of every pregnant mom, right? His due date was February 26 so right after Valentines Day we geared up for him to come “any day!” I was having consistent contractions daily and I just knew we would be rushing to the hospital at any moment.

As February 26 came and passed, and at each doctor’s appointment the report was: “nothing has really changed in your body,” I grew discouraged. “Would Zeke ever come??”

I sat reading my Bible (The Message version) after one of those low moments, the day before my due date, and this is what I read: “we pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us..” Colossians 1:11-12

Then it hit me. Ezekiel means “God will strengthen”! What God was doing in me was out of my hands because His purpose was to strengthen me, to give me a glory-strength that you can only get from God so that I can take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for me, including this new child!

The doctors scheduled an induction for 5 am on March 4, so as days passed I just figured I was supposed to be induced. But, I couldn’t accept that. Even though I felt peaceful about having an induction scheduled, I felt like I should pray that God would bring Ezekiel himself.

I prayed. Charles prayed. Our family prayed. My fellow-mommy friends prayed. And, at 8:15 pm on March 3, my water broke. I couldn’t believe it! God was definitely making himself known. We put our kids to bed, packed up, and headed to the hospital.

After we arrived and settled in, Charles asked our nurse if we could pray together for 30 seconds. She was hesitant, but agreed. He prayed God would bless her as she worked and that His presence would be with us as we were together that night. After we prayed, her attitude completely changed. She smiled and opened up.

Although my water broke, I still wasn’t having contractions several hours later so at midnight they started me on pitocin. Within an hour or so, I was having full-on contractions every couple of minutes.

But, as that was happening, they noticed that every time I had a contraction, Zeke’s heart rate dropped dramatically. They weren’t concerned at first until they tried many things (stopping pitocin, amnio-infusion, etc.) and nothing changed. Then they started to talk to me about a c-section.

I had a peace the entire time because God has answered so miraculously the challenges we faced during our other births. “No, no.” I said. “No, c-section.” So I woke Charles up and we simply prayed: “God, please make everything right. Keep his heart rate steady, and help him drop into the birth canal.”

Although the nurse started doing basic preparations for a c-section, we watched the heart rate almost immediately straighten out on the monitor. She said “Hmm. Look at that. His heart rate is steady. Did you say a prayer?”

And, I said “Yes, ma’am! God is answering it too.” Ezekiel dropped into the birth canal and within about 30 minutes, I went from 5cm to fully dilated. And, with 2 contractions, he was out!!

Here is the most miraculous of all: The cord was wrapped around his neck twice!! So, technically, as he was being birthed, his heart rate should not have become steady, it should have become worse. As he born, the doctor said to Charles “Watch this.” Charles said she leveraged herself and pulled the cord off his neck with some effort.

The nurse was amazed. I was amazed. Charles and I still are so blown-away at God’s faithfulness for answering our prayers and keeping our son.

He was born perfectly healthy at 7lbs 11 oz and 21 inches. No complications. Eats awesome. Sleeps well. And, is happy and content.

It was kind of a long story. Thanks for hanging in there. But, all of it to say, “God has made me, as a mom, stronger!” He orchestrated every part of this story even though at times I felt like “God, why are you not answering my prayers??” But, He was. He had it under control.

“Trust me,” He says gently but with strength. I care more about you than you know.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

to the pumpkin patch...

i love fall--pumpkin spice lattes, cool weather, turning leaves, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, cute costumes on even cute kiddies, and the excitement for the holidays.

today we went to pick out our pumpkins.  mylie was so excited to run between the pumpkins trying to decide which one(s) she wanted.  and charlie just wanted to eat the gourds.  we had a great time.  and, i was "in love" with the cool weather.  (well, who i'm really in love with is my all-time fav, my husband...)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

an autumn sunday

doesn't fall weather just make you so happy?  

we were outside taking some pictures and as charlie started crying, mylie reached over and started a ticklefest...that makes him laugh more than anything else and makes me so happy.  they were so cute in their brown & blue i just had to capture the love...

Friday, September 05, 2008 time flies

i can't believe the summer is gone.  i've gone 5 months being postless.  i will try to post pictures in the coming days for our eventful summer: went to visit granddad and animal kingdom, hung out in tallahassee for a conference and visited our friend brian, went to alabama for my cousin's wedding, and mylie turned two!! 

but here are a couple of pictures of our visit to orlando: granddad & the animals.  AND, we got to meet up with some of our best friends--the fishers.  we had a great time lugging our kids through the rain to make sure they could see as many animals as possible.  including this baby giraffe--very up close and personal.   the guide of the safari said a giraffe had never gotten so close before.  mylie was THRILLED!

and, as you can see below, while mylie was terrified of jack, the dog, charlie loved him.  that's my boy!

what wonders life brings

i love jesus, my family, life, and...