Where I thought I Would be

March 4th, 2014 by admin

This Saturday I turn 29.  If I could give this particular birthday a title, it would be: “This isn’t where I thought I would be.”  When I envisioned my life at 29, I figured that I would have a third child or at least have a baby on the way.  That’s how life has always worked for me.  I had Cora and Elinor when I wanted them.  Easy to get pregnant.  Healthy and safe deliveries…right in the time frame I had hoped for.  All mapped out just so.  I hate to admit this but I never thought things would go otherwise.  I wanted babies and so I got babies.  Yes I prayed, yes I trusted…but it was easy to trust because things turned out.   These past few months have been so strange.  The disappointment, the waiting, the hormone fluctuations, the weight gain with no baby in sight.  I didn’t know a body had to recover and heal from just 9 weeks of pregnancy. Strange.  All so strange.

But as strange and hard as it’s all been I am thankful this happened.   When will I learn?  When will I understand?    I can make plans but he can break them.  I am so limited but  He is unlimited in his wisdom, being, power, holiness, justice, goodness, truth.  He knows what I need, when I need it.   And he cares enough to give and to take from me.  Not some random, cruel last-minute assault but a lovingly thought out and perfectly executed plan. A plan for me, my life- a little bit of dust and yet eternally important to him.

The Lord works out everything for his own ends- Proverbs 16:4

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. -Proverbs 16:9

So although he takes.  He gives.  He gives his love abundant.  His comfort that overflows.  His mercies unfailing. How personal his love has become to me these past couple months.  Love that can make all pain somehow bearable.

I sat this morning reading my bible and as usual it spoke to me.  I am so thankful for the living, breathing word of God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

How would I ever learn to trust him if he didn’t take from me?  If he didn’t challenge my frail, immature faith?   I would never choose to lose a baby.  But through this trial I have learned much, I have grown much, I am learning to trust.  For just as he promises, he fills with joy and peace as we trust him.  Our hope will overflow because he is the God of comfort.  He is the God of hope.  He never leaves us, he never forsakes us, and his love is everlasting.

As I enter my last year of my twenties I am most definitely not where I thought I would be but I am exactly where He knew I would be.

And so I rest in his will.


Freedom in His will

January 24th, 2014 by admin

It’s strange carrying an ache in your heart.  A constant ache that is always there just lingering under the surface.  It’s not something any of us would choose but it’s going to happen to all of us.  At some point we will face trials of various kinds.  Particular trials that God in his will has placed in our lives. We are promised that in his word.

Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

It has been one of those times in our lives.  Justin is facing his own particular set of trials on top of the miscarriage.  There has been a lot of back-and-forth discussion…What is all this?  How as believers do we handle all that God has sovereignly place in our paths.  Because we are 100% sure he has ordained all of this to pass.

You do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a while and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.

James 4:14-15

I was praying this morning about all the different circumstances in our lives that seem so dead end…or hard, or un-answered.  Waiting, waiting, waiting…waiting is so painful.

But then I realized something.  In all this waiting is true freedom!  Freedom I do not fully know when life is going well for me.  Right now I am resting in his will.  I am sitting seemingly frozen in time waiting on Him to act and I have never felt so loved by him.  But how does that make sense?  Shouldn’t I feel loved when things are going well?  Well, yes…He is always loving me but I am much more aware of it now.  Because in all this not working out I am humbled by His holiness, His might, His majesty, His sovereignty and far less aware of me.  After all, I am my biggest problem.  I love me.  I love my plans, I love my desires, I hold onto myself so tightly.

But to rest in His sweet presence.  There is nothing like it.  I look at my husband and I see so much at work.  The man I knew 8 years ago is so different than the man I know today.  He has had so many things not go as he would choose and all this disappointment causes me admire him so much more.  He has grown by leaps and bounds in who he is in Christ.  Christian living is ironic by the worlds standards.  The less that goes right for us, the more we become like the author and perfecter of our faith.  The more we have to die to self and all that we hold so tightly to, the more we reflect Him.

And I remember all the saints that have gone before us.  Hannah waiting and waiting for her son. The pain and anguish of infertility.  Sarah well beyond child bearing age, waiting for her promised son. Joseph unjustly thrown into prison and forgotten, waiting on his freedom.  Paul’s beatings, stoning, imprisonment. Waiting to be free.  Hardly what society would call a good God to trust and follow.  But God allowed all of those circumstances to happen.  They were all part of his plan for those particular believers.

Our trials are all part of his plan for this family…your trials are part of his plan for you.  So in all the pain, the anguish, the waiting, we need to remember.  There is freedom in trusting his will.  In understanding that he is sovereign.  In resting in his plan for our lives.  In knowing that he is perfect in his love.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power my rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And a side note.  I would like to ask you all to visit my big sister’s blog.  Some of you may have followed her a few years ago at happyhelms.  After having baby 4 she took a break from blogging. She is back now with a new blog, a few more years of wisdom…as a mother of four children she definitely has a lot of good insight.  So please go visit her here.

 

 

 

His Paths are Beyond Tracing Out

January 15th, 2014 by admin

I so badly wish I could tell the world that I am marching on victoriously through life right now.  Untouchable in all this turmoil.  But that’s just my pride.  It’s me not wanting  to admit I am really struggling.  Not wanting to feel drained and tired physically and yet still have to trudge through each seemingly endless day.  At night I just fall into bed.  My body has been so tired since all of this happened.  Is it emotions, hormones, stress, depression…?

But somehow life goes on.  And I am so thankful it does! I have often thought..what if I could freeze or turn back time?  There are so many happy  moments, so many little and big excitements.  If I held onto my wedding day and our first two years together, I would never have had our two girls, I would have never learned how deeply I could love Justin and how he could love me.  Life actually got better over time. If my girls stayed babies (it really is hard to watch them grow up) I would never see the lovely little women I trust they will grow into.  What good would it do to grasp onto all those happy little moments?  I don’t wish to turn back time because if I turned back time I would have to do all the hard stuff again.  Because in this fallen world, the bad and ugly stuff is always there right along with the good.  It’s all a passing, just dust.

As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like the flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children…” Psalm 103:15

So I feel humbled.  Not humbled by a big mean and angry God up in the sky.  Humbled by a good God who is in control of ALL things.  His ways are mysterious and so I don’t pretend to ever know why he took our babies away.  As I have told many people lately when they ask how I am doing…”There is nothing to say.”  Why is there nothing to say?  Because in faith I trust that He knows what he is doing and He knows why he is doing it.  But I don’t know what or why He is doing it.  So I am just letting him work. Work in me…his child.  I trust that one day I will look back and see the good he brought from this situation.  But I never expect to know why.

Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgements and his paths beyond tracing out. Romans 11:33

 

I remember that I am following the Man of Sorrows.  The One who bore the greatest and hardest grief…the worlds sin, pain and  anguish on his shoulders.

He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

Isaiah 53:3

Am I not promised that I will share in his suffering?  Isn’t that part of what it is to be a Christ-follower?  The end will be victorious but there will be scar after scar until we get there…wound after wound. Dying to self.  And I am only just tasting the beginning of it.  But I know that the end will be worth all of this!  And even though life hurts He is always there loving and holding us.  I have never ever felt him hold me like I have during this time.  I cannot say enough how good He is.  The God of ALL comfort and He DOES give peace.  So I am left thanking him.  Thanking him for his many, many blessings.

He is faithful.

In the Midst of Suffering

December 20th, 2013 by admin

I still remember vividly the first time I suffered.  The first time I felt real loss.  It was summer time.  I was coming home from a long day playing in the summer sun.  Two friends by my side.  Everything was perfect.  The day of our annual town parade.  All sorts of expectation for what was to come.  My little world so safe.  So protected.  I walked to my front door to see my whole family gathered on the stairs.  Eyes wet, faces drawn.  Grace, you need to stay home.  Grammie has died. Words a 12 year old can hardly stand to hear.  Grammies aren’t supposed to die.  Don’t they live forever?  My sweet Grammie with her white hair and wrinkled skin, her pearl earrings, her crackling laughter, her soft hands, her lovely smile…Gone. And so I felt pain.  True pain entered and crippled my heart.  Pain I can never forget.

One year later we had moved from my childhood home.  Years of memories washed away.  Surroundings unfamiliar.  School had always been easy for me.  I am well loved and I walk on the naive cloud of youngest self confidence.  Everyone loves me.  Or so I think.  Then my little 13 year old world is shattered.  My friends turn on me and tell me some of the cruelest words I have ever heard…hopefully ever will hear.  Pain, heart ache…personal loss.  Loss of who I am, loss of friendships. He was beginning to shape me.

I remember leaving to move South. 1000 miles from all that was familiar.  I stood in our driveway and waved goodbye to my two dearest friends.  Their little faces peeking out the back window.  Tears streaming down their faces.  Tears streaming down my face.  Goodbye to the two girls I loved the most.  Only 13.  How could I make sense of this loss?  My soul sisters torn from me.  Suddenly I am alone.  He was continuing to shape me.

Fast forward.  I am 18.  I am in love with my high school sweetheart.  I know we will get married some day.  But then my little world shatters.  One day I realize that we will never be.  It’s not meant to be.  Grief so deep, heart ache so wide…I have never felt this before.  My world shattered.  My heart stomped into the ground.  Goodbye to the boy I loved.  And I’m  not longer  a girl.  In one shattered moment, I have become a woman.  Now I need Him in a way I have never needed Him before.  Only he can repair this heart.

And so time goes on.  Years have gone by.  Different heart aches along the way.  Struggles, trials, tears, disappointments.  Many things seem not as they should be.  But I have pressed on with Him faithfully by my side.

But recently I have suffered a heart ache that is beyond what I could ever have imagined.  Something I have dreaded since the moment I first conceived Cora.  The loss of a child.

Early November we found out we were expecting our third child.  I skipped, I danced, I jumped up and down, up and down when I saw the two pink lines.  I screamed and laughed.  Cora giggled too.  Although she had no idea what mommy was dancing around the house for.  My heart soared as it always soars when those pink lines appear.  Thank you Father.  Another gift from you.

And so the anticipation began.  The imagining of what would come in July.  A third baby?  Oh what a blessing.  But always in my joy there was something unsettled within me.  I just felt like things were not right.  My sickness came on strong.  Early.  Maybe I am having twins?  Twins do run on my mom’s side of the family.  And so I wondered.

About 6 weeks into the pregnancy I started feeling sick.  I thought maybe I had just caught a stomach virus.  After all…it’s that time of year.  But a few days later something didn’t feel right.  My sickness lifted and my body felt empty. So empty.  So sad.  I didn’t know my body could feel sad.  But it did.  I started to worry.  Justin I’m afraid something has happened.  I just don’t feel pregnant anymore. My emotions soared up and down.  But deep down I just knew.

Saturday I was alone in our kitchen.  The grief and loss I was feeling was so deep.  I lay face down on the floor and prayed.  Lord, if this baby is alive give me your peace.  If it is gone…prepare me. And a voice within me…I guess it was his whispering to me said,  It’s gone.  The baby is gone.

So I waited.  Waited for my appointment.  One day away from being 9 weeks…oh why had they scheduled it so late?  I sat in the waiting room dreading the inevitable.  No peace.  No excitement.  Just dread.  The  midwife called me back to a room.  We talked.  She assured me all my weird pains, all my discomfort…normal for my place in pregnancy. Just my uterus stretching.  I tried to cling to her words…but still, no peace.  We went back to the waiting room.  Our name was called.  I told Justin later, I felt like I was waiting for a death sentence.  And I was. In dread I undressed, in despair I lay on the table.  And so the ultrasound tech came in.

So this is your third pregnancy!  Are you hoping it’s a boy?

Yes.  We are. Of course.

She started her examination.  And there it was.  A black cave.  Lifeless.  Dark. empty.  Oh wait, not empty.  I tiny little body just floating to the side.  My baby.  My precious baby.  I knew it was dead.  Before she could tell me I said,

It’s gone right? There’s nothing there.  I knew.  I knew.

Death and life are so different looking.  Life it vibrant, it moves, it has a heart.  Death is dull, it floats, it is still and silent.

What was I saying…nothing there?  There was something there.  My beautiful baby.  My tiny little baby.  Alone. Dead. Cold.  And right there, something in me died.  And I cried as I have never cried before.  A mother’s grief.  Something I had never felt before.  This beautiful bubble of motherhood I have so much enjoyed gone.  Crashing down around me.  Babies are not supposed to die.  Not my babies.  They live, they grow…they have fat cheeks and pudgy thighs.  My babies are rocked by me, and kissed by me…and loved by me.  They don’t die.

And so my midwife had me come to her office and she looked at the pictures.  She was confused.  She went to talk to the doctor.  Then she told me the even harder news.  There were two eggs that implanted.  One hardly lived at all and the other lived to 6 weeks.  Two babies.  Oh Lord.  No!  I have lost two babies. But see I knew.  I knew there were two babies.  And somehow by His grace he let me know I would never see those two babies.  But knowing is not like experiencing.  But still.  He prepared me as much as one can be prepared.  Oh taste and see…He is so good!

So on Thursday I went to the hospital.  The same hospital where I delivered our Elinor.  I went to the same registration.  I walked the same halls.  Only this time instead of going to the right “labor and delivery” I walked to the left “day surgery.”  And there I waited.  Feeling hollowed out and empty…

And so they took the babies from my womb.  My dead womb.  And I suppose they were put in a trash bag and thrown away.  Discarded as though they were nothing. Not what a mother would desire.  Ever. But see, I have something I can cling to as a believer in Christ.  They are not nothing to him.  They are certainly not trash.  They are not a dead fetus. They were spared life  on this earth.  They went straight to heaven.  Straight to the arms of Jesus.  They are already whole…before they ever had the chance to grieve or mourn or wail or laugh…they went to be with Him. They are safe.  They are being held in arms far more loving than mine could ever be.

Often life does not give us what we want.  So we cling desperately to Him.  He is the author and perfecter of our faith.  He is all we have.  Amidst this pain and loss.  Not once have I thought he doesn’t love me.  Didn’t He promise me I would suffer with him?  Isn’t it an honor and a joy to suffer with and for him?  Isn’t he faithful?  Isn’t he good?  Yes. He is always good and he is forever faithful.  Before I got the news I already knew I prayed that I would honor God no matter what the results of my appointment were.  I refuse to be like Job’s wife and say “Curse God and die!” I will be true.  True to my God.  For he deserves my faithfulness always…even in the darkest of times. For if I believe that he is God.  Then I believe that he is good.  No one can comfort me like him during this time.  For his comfort is deep within.  A comfort that is from heaven.  And so I get to experience the hardest grief I have so far had to carry but yet…He carries me.  I feel his love so deep within.  The only thing that can fill the emptiness.

And so I cling to his word.  It’s all I have right now.  And it’s more than enough.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for the darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden for you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:12-16

 

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, because like him in his death. and so somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Philippians 3:10-11

“For our light and momentary trouble are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:17

While I was laying in blackness and heavy sleep having my babies taken from within me. At the very same time, one of my very best friends was bringing beautiful and sweet life into this world.  And isn’t he faithful like that? Her baby delivered in safety one week early, mine being taken from me 30 weeks to soon. While the darkness of death hovered so did the light and joy of life.  A baby I have prayed and prayed for.  To wake from my grief and see that  little face in a picture.  Healthy, perfect, beautiful like her mother.  See He is good!  He still gives life and joy!  Light in darkness.  And I am thankful for his timing.  She is my sister in Christ…my soul sister.  And he brought life and joy to her and all of us, amidst death.  He is faithful!

And so I feel like I have aged 100 years.  I feel dried up and empty.  As though someone came and wrung me out.  The tears flow freely.  Sleep doesn’t come.  But as I reflect on my 28 years.  I look at all the suffering He has brought me through so far and I am sure.  I am sure that it has always been for my good.  From the time my Grammie died, to the loss of our babies.  He has done it all for my good. It has always conformed me to his beautiful and perfect image.  His love has never left me and it will never leave me.  It is mine forever.  And I remind myself of Job’s words,

Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?

Job 1:10

If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, what are you doing?…in his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.

Job 9:12; 12:10; 13:15

Lord, I thank you for your faithfulness.  For every trial you give me.  Thank you that I can suffer with you.  For you are worthy of all our suffering.  You are worthy of all our sorrow.  You are worthy of all our praise.  May I never curse you, when you take from me.  May I never not trust that you are good.  I thank you for this sorrow.  For in it, you are making me more like you.  You are doing your promised sanctifying work.  As I bleed the blood of death…help me to remember the blood that your son shed.  The blood of life.  The perfect blood shed on the cross for my sin.  That i can share in this blessed and holy relationship with you.  You are perfect.  You are good.  You are loving. Amen.

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. Job 1:21

And finally, I am so thankful for music.  Sometimes it says exactly what we can’t express.  Like this song by Sara Groves.

 

 

Cora’s Princess Tea Party

August 28th, 2013 by admin

All Cora wanted for her 4th birthday was a princess tea party.  Originally I planned on having it inside as it is usually unbearably hot in August.  However, we have been having a mild summer so two days before the party I changed all my plans.  I asked Justin’s dad if I could borrow his tent he uses at outdoor art shows.  It didn’t look quite princessy enough.  I found some old mesh Ikea curtains that I had never used.  I cut them in half and tied them to the four corners of the tent.  The night before the party Justin drove to our church and borrowed a bunch of chairs.

A few weeks prior to her party I had ordered two inexpensive tea sets from ebay (highly recommend if you want a pretty tea set for your girl ).  I had gathered bits and pieces of decoration all over the place and somehow it all went together.  I strung Cora’s princess dresses on a line so the little girls could dress up in costume.  I borrowed my cousin Jo’s cupcake recipe and as she promised…they were delicious!

It was a fun little tea party.

My friend Sara was able to take almost all  of these beautiful photos.

 

Reasons to Celebrate

August 26th, 2013 by admin

We’ve been doing a lot of celebrating around here.  August 11th we were able to celebrate our 6 year anniversary.  What can I say but that marriage keeps getting better and I am thankful for that.  I know it is God’s grace that keeps this marriage…or any marriage together! We give him the glory.  He knows what Justin and I are like and He knows our individual needs, struggles, quirks and sins.  He sees and he knows all the depth of ugliness but somehow he keeps these two sinners together…not just together but loving each other more and more.  Another reminder of what a good God we serve.  He faithfully works in us both to sanctify us and draw us closer to himself.  Marriage has been a painful reminder of how short I fall of anything close to perfect.  How what we both “need” will never be found in its fullness in another human being. But we press on remembering the covenant we made.  I remember on our wedding day being both excited and  terrified as I committed “until death do us part” to another fallen human being.  But God’s covenants are good.  They are true.  They stand firm.  There is such security and beauty to be found in a promise made before Him and sometimes we are reminded that is all we have to fall back on.  And what a good reminder to have.  That we need more of Him in our lives.  The more I grow, the more i realize, there is no wisdom, no truth, there is nothing outside of what He has ordained because what he has ordained is wisdom. And he made marriage a forever (on this earth) thing.  Because he is forever with us, his people.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Not just until the end of our life here, but for eternity. Not just while he can tolerate us, but forever.  Not just until we screw up one too many times, but for always.   And so our marriage vows are not simply pretty little poetic promises.  They are promises made to and before a holy God and a group of witnesses.  In our very shabby and imperfect way we represent his perfect relationship to us.  A bridegroom to his bride.  As he keeps his relationship with his church until the end, may he keep our marriage until the end.

We also celebrated Cora’s fourth birthday.  My big girl.  My little one who has almost driven me to despair and serious prayer.  My spunky, fireball.  Happy then very sad, excited then very angry.  A mixture of emotion and excitement.  Creative to the core of her being.  Oh, I love her.  I ache for her naughty and stubborn heart but I delight in the love and joy she has for life.    Sometimes we feel we don’t understand her at all.  But she is ours.  She is our firstborn.  I love her with such fierceness and I pray that God will keep her forever in his care.  I pray that all this stubbornness, all this passion will one day be used for Him.

I decided to take pictures of her and Elinor to commemorate her fourth birthday.  This is Cora…four years frozen in time.  Her sister and friend by her side.

 

 

Land that I love

July 24th, 2013 by admin

We recently made a trip to Canada, the place I was born and spent my childhood.     Years of memories flooding back.  Stretches of highway and suddenly we are passing my old town.  I can see the back of my best friend’s house.  Hours, days, years spent in that house.  Back and forth…up and down the road we would go to spend our days together. After a few days with my brother and his wife we drove  further north.  Beautiful and familiar country roads…fields stretching forever against a perfect blue sky.  Fluffy white clouds that look like they are almost touching the ground.  The wild beauty of lakes, marshes, weather-beaten trees.  Years of time, the most precious memories I have all centered around this part of Ontario-cottage country.  This is beauty to me. Perfect beauty.  I praise God that I had those years.  They are gone, life has only become sweeter but I treasure those times and am thankful that I can “go back” and remember all that was me and my life for many years.

We spent quite a few days with my brother and his family.  They are such generous and gracious hosts…especially when two very loud toddlers invade their home!  It’s hard to leave as we know it will be a long time before we see them again.

I took very few pictures while we were with them because I was simply enjoying family time and making memories…now I regret my lack of pictures!

The day before we left, we decided to visit a nearby town and show the girls Lake Ontario.

It took Cora a while to get over the stinky smell.

From Tim and Aileen’s home we went to stay with my aunt and uncle.  We spent two nights there.  Visiting them in always pure relaxation and beauty.  They live in an old farmhouse, on about 100 acres of land…a water hole and river.  It is so lovely.

As we drove up to the house this “little” white fluff ball came to meet us.  And Beau quickly became the girls new best friend.

From their house we went an hour further North to visit my cousins.  katie has four boys and  Johannah has five children plus a foster child, their brother Daniel and his wife also have one so as you can imagine it was crazy with all the kiddos running around!

It is always a blessing to spend time with them.  Wonderful women who love the Lord.

Some lovely photos Johannah took.

We have been back home for two weeks.  It has taken me that long to get back into routine.  Even though we drove and drove and drove…somehow we still were rested and relaxed.  I guess it’s just having a break from real life.  We enjoyed our time there and I am thankful for all the new memories made with my husband and children in the land that I love!

Where I am

June 27th, 2013 by admin

I have written about 5 blog posts over the past 4 months.  None of which I have posted.  I decided that today is the day. The day I jump back into blogging…maybe.

We have been enjoying our summer so far.  Girls are busy as usual.  Lots of time outdoors…

The girls play together all day long.  This means frequent battles but also a lot of love and a lot of laughter.

They bring me so much joy and so much frustration.

Cora is as strong-willed as ever.  A very devoted older sister who gives “Nora” kisses whenever she gets in trouble.  I can be sure she will be the first to alert me if her sister is hurt.  (we have a lot of fake injuries in this house with two drama queens) She plays all day long and often locks herself in her room to keep little sister from bothering her.

Our litte Elinor is just sweet.    She is happy, happy, happy.  Always buzzing about, following Cora…wanting cuddles throughout the day.  We enjoy her.  She is 17 months old which to me is when babies are their absolute cutest.

She is saying a lot of words now.  She loves to follow me around saying, MOMMY!!!! What’s that?  What is it? We go over and over every object in our house, on the side of the road…I can hardly drive trying to keep up with all her finger points and curiosity.

They make me happy.

Since it’s been a while since I posted last I thought I might recap a few big events in our lives.

First of all, I ran my first half marathon in February. So fun, so rewarding.  I will be running another one in November…not looking forward to all the training but definitely excited about the race!

My sister had her fourth child, a baby boy.  Josiah Luke.

We made our annual family trip to Savannah.  Always fun.  Always beautiful.  Although this time, not very warm.

 

Cora performed in her first ballet recital.  Melt me…we could not have been prouder!

We went on our first trip without the kiddos.  Justin had a business trip in Chicago so I tagged along.  It was so much fun.  I pretty much spent the entire time shopping.  I didn’t buy much but I wandered the stores and spent half a day in a 7 floor Macy’s.  Shopping is therapeutic for me.

We went to Wrigley Field to see a Cubs game, we took an architectural tour of the city, we ate good food…and we walked a lot.  We also took really terrible pictures with our cell phones.

Please note the woman in the background…

 

 

It was such a wonderful trip but we were both yearning for our girls by the time we got back.  We are pretty lost without them…

And so life just keeps on happening. One day at a time.  One moment at a time.  Life.  Not exactly the victory march I imagined it would be.  It’s funny how before actually experiencing adult life I had so many preconceived notions. (forgive me as I reveal the ugliness of who I am)  I was going to be super-wife and super-mom. I would have super-kids. I was going to do everything well, with a smile on my face….I would always be full of joy and wisdom.  Every day would bring more sanctification than the next and I would conquer life….me in all my twenty years of awesomeness.  Then real life happened.  I am so not a super-wife or super-mom, I probably wear a frown a lot more than a smile, I am rarely full of joy and have very little wisdom.  I know I am being sanctified only because God promises to sanctify his children.  Can I measure it?  No.  Not a bit.  Actually, sometimes I feel like who I was 10 years ago is a nicer person then who I am today.  I am not awesome.  Not a bit. Not at all.

I have learned to keep a clean house, do all the laundry, cook a healthy meal and run a million errands all in a day because doing that stuff, it’s actually the “easy” part.  But still, I am not a super star.   And there lies my problem.  I am not supposed to be a super-anything because I am

God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.And these works in Christ are so that “no one can boast. (Eph. 2:10, 9)

I can do this and that all day long but what is it worth if I am not doing it for his glory but rather my own?

Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Cor. 10:31

I have been doing a lot of soul searching and I have to confess.  I don’t like what I see.  When I look inward I see a lot of me.  A lot of thoughts of self-a lot of self-satisfaction or self-hatred…a crippling desire to prove self to others…needless to say, it’s all self.  Self never did me any favors but separation from a holy God. When will I learn? This is why I took some time to take a break from this blog.  I was tired of me.  I am tired of me.

I want to be excited about Him and to be satisfied in him.   I want to

grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory both now and forevermore. 2 Peter 3:18

I want to grow in love.  We have been commanded to

love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Pet. 4:8

I don’t love like I am supposed to.  I don’t even understand this love.  That is why I have been studying and studying…what does it mean to love as a Christ-follower?  I know that even an unbeliever can love those that are easy to love so what does it mean to love deeply?  How do I love the unloveable? I pray I learn this love.  A love that we are not capable of in our flesh and is only attainable in Him.

So every time I pray I find myself crying out- More of YOU Lord and less of me.  Less of me Lord, and more of YOU.

I know one day I will be old and I will amazed at how little growth I have made as a Christian. (My brother wrote about this very thing.  Definitely worth the read) I will have grown because I am His and He is mine.  I am bought, I am paid for  and his promises are true.  I am his workmanship, I am created for His good works…so I will grow.  But I now realize what my brother wrote is true.

Every Christian will die much more holy than he was when he first put his faith in Jesus Christ, but a lot less holy than he would like and probably a lot less holy than he would have imagined.

Sanctification.  Not the “please be easy” road I hoped it would be.  So I am left exactly where I should be.  Clinging desperately to his word.

hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful…and faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

And I am certain.  Certain that he is faithful and that I know

that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28

Sorry for the soul dumping.  I have always wanted to blog to be a true reflection of who I am and what do I have to hide?  May I boast only in Him.  Soli deo gloria.

And finally, my sister shared this song with me the other day. Oh it spoke to me!

These Days

January 8th, 2013 by admin

Sometimes Cora likes to get in Elinor’s bed with her.  They both think it’s hilarious.  Who knows why.  The last time they did this I took advantage of their “closeness” and took some pictures.

They are such girls…they just giggle and giggle together. (When they are in the giggling mood)

I’m truly loving the stage we are in right now.  Cora is coming along so nicely. She is much less temperamental…she can communicate what she is feeling, needing, wanting.  She loves to kiss and cuddle me.  Sometimes she will cup my face in her hands, give me a big kiss on the lips and say “I love you mommy.”  It melts me.  Elinor is just silly and adorable.  She is busy, she is fast, she is mischievous, she is spoiled.

She is very quick and seems to be a really capable little thing.

She’s tough and she’s a total daredevil.  Right now her face is covered in ugly looking scrapes as she fell down some stone steps.  She is scary like that.

I love being a mom.  Their mom.

I love it more every day.

Cora is still obsessed with dancing.  We are going to sign her up for her first ballet lessons.  I know she will love it.  As strong willed as Cora can be, she thrives in controlled and busy environments.  Sending her to preschool one day a week has been the best thing for her.  I am pretty sure dance will be the same.

I delight in how feminine and girly her interests are.  I think it’s healthy and precious.

I often think about how this world tries to deny and belittle femininity.  They would say we suppress girls through making them want to play princess, wear pink, love dolls, etc.  Any mother of a girl knows…you don’t have to teach them any of this!  It is their nature to love what is feminine because God designed them this way.  I love it, I embrace it…and yes, I do promote it because she is a girl!  I want her to develop into what I believe is a secure woman.  Someone who is first and foremost secure in Christ but second, secure in who she is as a woman in Christ.  That she will have a healthy understanding of the biblical fact that God designed her with a different role than a man and that is not just ok…but it is good!  Why?  Because God says it is good and necessary…so that’s a good enough reason for me.

Quite a tangent I know…but something I feel so strongly about.

And life has definitely slowed down since Christmas.  We are enjoying 2013 so far but I must admit…I cannot wait for warmer weather.  I find the cold and dreary days tedious.  We spend so much time indoors, more time in front of the TV.  I am not as productive as I would like to be.  However, it looks like this week has been warmer.  We were able to go the park yesterday…maybe we will fit a couple more trips in this week!

And I need to sign off and get this day going because the day is already getting away from me…happy Tuesday!

 

 

Christmas Recap and Happy New Year!

January 3rd, 2013 by admin

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope yours was as peaceful, restful, and joyful as ours…I must say, it’s hard getting back to the reality of routine life but I am so thankful for an entire week of family time, no routine, no schedule. It was much needed.

Unfortunately I did not capture many pictures of Christmas this year. I kept forgetting my camera which actually wasn’t such a bad thing. It made me enjoy being in the moment as opposed to waiting for the right picture.

The few that we do have are from Christmas Eve with Justin’s family. Cooper and Cora were so excited to finally get to open all the gifts they had been eyeing under the tree.

There was a lot of excited shrieking as they opened gift after gift.

I am already looking forward to next Christmas…

As 2013 begins I find myself wondering what my “goals” might be.  I don’t really set goals for myself .  I am not much of a resolution maker.  I just don’t see the point because rarely do I stick to them.  Like most people I feel driven for a few weeks and then quickly switch back into old habits.  However, some goals are worth setting.  Spiritual goals.  Last year I made a serious commitment and decision to spend time with the Lord every day.  Not just quickly reading my bible and rushing on to the next thing…but spending an allotted amount of private and focused time with Him.  It is the best decision I have made…especially since being a mom.  Rolling out of bed an hour earlier is hard but it’s worth it.  I have learned to love and cherish that time.  The Word of Life has truly become my life-line.  But it’s amazing to me how although it is my fuel in the morning…I so quickly burn out and become the Grace that needs a whole lot of sanctifying work.  And so this year I would really like to put into practice what I read.  My greatest desire is that His words would penetrate my mind and my heart.  That I would live what he commands that I do.  It’s easy to read the Bible and love what it says but it’s hard to live what it says. I want to live it.  I want to know it.  I want to practice it.  I want to exemplify it.  I want to live every day as a Christ follower.  I want to glorify Him with the things I think, the things I say, the things I do.

And it’s not going to be easy but I know it’s doable.  It’s doable because it’s not a resolution I am going to do on my own.  Actually, I can’t do it at all but can only through Him who strengthens me.

And so I look forward to the year 2013…with all its hope, all its joy and all its pain, all that He has ordained for me.

Happy New Year!