Saturday, February 28, 2009

Haircuts All Around

Today was the day for haircuts in our family. David went to have his cut this morning, which inspired me to have mine cut this afternoon. Caleb decided he needed a haircut too this evening and Sky, well, her's is from a couple of weeks ago, but still a haircut in the family none the less.

Some pictures of the fun:

A fifth grader we taught last year cut her hair for Locks of Love and inspired me to do the same. I have been itching to cut it for several weeks now, although I knew it was going to be shorter than I normally like. Well, it is done and it is short (especially the back).



David cutting Caleb's Hair:

Caleb's Stylin' New Look:

The Woolly Mammoth of an Airedale (Can't you tell she LOVES haircuts, NOT):

Sky, Sleek and Smooth:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Educational Journey...

Several weeks ago, as we considered preschool options for Caleb, David and I felt that God was calling us to pray over the schooling options for our boys. In the past, I never felt called to homeschool our kids. I always assumed that we would do public schools and that we would be very involved in their classes. Now, I feel that God is asking us to be willing to be willing...While we are far from reaching a long term decision, I will be doing preschool from home next year.

I have to confess that God has used this process to show me some areas of my faith that need to be worked on. Through my thoughts on homeschooling, God has shown me there are certain things that I am not willing to trust Him completely with yet. For example,

"I just want them to succeed." Does this mean that homeschoolers are not successful? More importantly than that, do I believe that success is measured by worldly terms or Godly terms? Is it MY doing that determines success or the grace of an all powerful, all loving God?

"I just want them to be normal." Again, does this mean that the wonderful homeschoolers I know and adore are not normal? Does it mean that I measure normal by what the world considers normal or what God calls us as individuals to be?

"I didn't do too bad in public school." You have to understand, education is a key part of my self-identity. While others were the "pretty one" or the "athletic one" growing up, I was the "smart one." I am a self-professed nerd and LOVE to read and learn. Honestly, I am hesitant to give this part of me, this part of my children, into God's hands. How hard is that to confess to you? VERY...while I would say in a moment I want God to invade my entirety, I have learned recently that is not true. Although, I am quick to confess my mind works the way it does because it is how God made me, I am slow to give that mind and all it represents to its very Creator.

I know that we have just begun this journey of deciding how and what are boys are taught. So far it is teaching me quite a bit. Have you been or are you on a similar journey? Can you share with me what you have learned or are learning through how you choose to school your children?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who Needs It

You know, sleep is highly overrated. At least that is what my boys are thinking lately. Last night was a looonnnggg night. While Nathan was only up a couple of times, Caleb has caught the croup and was up just about hourly. It was especially tough around 2:30 am when both were up competing for my attention. Today Caleb was feeling a little better, but is still congested/coughy/raspy. I got a short 20 minute nap today while both boys slept. Nathan decided that I really didn't need to sleep and woke up early from his nap of course. I fear another long night ahead. This time it will not be as bad though since David just got home! YAY God for my single parenting is now over. Gotta go catch up with my love!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Longing for Home

**This has even more meaning after hearing that one of our 5th graders' mom passed on today...Be praying for him and his family please**

Have you ever been away from home from any period of time? We traveled this weekend to see David's grandparents and his parents. Even though it was a great time had by all, I have to confess I was longing for home by the time we left on Sunday. Since I am a little brain dead from caring for the boys this week, instead of finishing the post I want to post, I want to share a little from the sermon we heard this Sunday at David's parents' church...

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place." Revelation 22:1-5

Sometimes I forget I am not home yet. My true home awaits for me with my Father. What a glorious place it will be. Did you notice we have some really cool promises in this text?

1. The Tree of Life- This is the very tree in Genesis that God was worried that Adam and Eve would eat of after they had eaten the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He sent them from the garden so they would not eat of this tree in their fallen state. (Genesis 3:22-23). When we get home, we will get to eat of its fruit year around! Now that is what I call good home cooking!

2. There will no longer be any curse- Genesis 3 is turned on its head in its entirety!!! Everything- the pain, the groaning of creation, the separation from our True Love- all done away with! "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."" Revelation 21:3-4

3. We will see His face- One of the best things about coming home is being with those you love. In Exodus, God refuses to show Moses His face because it is too powerful. (Exodus 33:18-23)In our home, we will never stop gazing at the face of our Savior, our King, our Lover, our Father.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone who said she longed for heaven and to be with Jesus. I could not honestly say the same thing... I want to see my boys grow up, to grow old with my love and to keep seeing people grow closer to Jesus in this life. But, friends, I can tell you now after learning the above, there is definitely a part of me that longs for my true home.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Someday I Will Laugh

Someday I will look back and laugh at...
  • The memory of Caleb calling me from the highest point of the Chik Fil A play gym, "Mommy come get me. Its too high." Only to climb up and find that he has had an accident in his pants that he did not want to tell me about.
  • The memory of Nathan sleeping through the night for ONE night, only to be followed by nights where a 3 hour stretch is a good sleep.
  • Caleb asking (quite loudly), "Why did that old lady spill her drink?"
  • Nathan peeing on my hand THREE times in one diaper change...not to mention getting the changing table, the changing pad and the wall. (Now that takes talent!)
  • Caleb announcing that he is going to eat his dinner like a pig, shoving his face into his plate while snorting loudly AND having to take away his dinner after he continued to be a pig after mommy directed him to use his fork and spoon.
Someday, I will look back and laugh at the struggles and joys of having a three year old and a newborn. I think that for my own sanity, I will try to make that someday today.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones!
Proverbs 17:22

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2 years ago...

Today is the second anniversary of David's hospital stay with meningitis and transverse myelitis. Two years ago, we were going to bed unsure of whether David would ever be able to pick up Caleb again, whether we would have any more children and if David would even be able to walk again.

God in His incredible mercy saw us through that week and five days later David left the hospital with little to no lingering symptoms.

Tonight my heart wells up in thanksgiving as I watch David carry Nathan, wrestle with Caleb and go about life as normal. My heart wells up in thanksgiving at the memories of those who surrounded us, prayed for us and loved us during that hard time.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fastest 45 Minutes

On the average day, I have 45 minutes to 1 hour of time with both boys sleeping. The number of things that vie for my attention during that time is astounding. Besides the cleaning and normal housekeeping duties, there is:

1. Community Bible Study Lesson- This week we studied Amos. Amos has always convicted me on the excessive materialism in which I live. While I am no Cow of Bashan according to American standards, compared to the majority of the globe, I have to say Moooo. I have definitely sold my share of the needy for sandals. (Although I did participate in a sit-in protesting sweatshop labor in you did not know that about me!) Reminds me of a book I have wanted to read for four years now...Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger...something else to do during naps I guess :) .

2. I am reading a really good book called Family Driven Faith by Vodie Baucham. Incredibly challenging. It has revealed some points in my faith that God is working to smooth out...more on that another time.

3. The deep depths of cyberdom. While I enjoy blogging and emailing with friends/family...more often than not I am quickly distracted and end up info snacking my time away. So many interesting things to read, so little time.

4. Many days, I also try to get a head start on dinner or do some baking. I made the best cookies this past week. YUMMY! Excellent recipe, but use 1 cup of butter and no shortening for the best results.

It is absolutely the fastest 45 minutes in the entire day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

3 Months and Growing

Nathan turned three months old this past week. He is a really happy baby! He loves to lay on his back and kick kick kick. He is a good sleeper, not through the night yet, but he promises me he is working on it!

Just think...
This little one

Is now this not so little one...

And this

Is now this...

I could not leave without doing a quick flash back to Caleb at 3 months. Can you tell they are brothers or what?

This little guy

Is now this BIG boy...

Who loves to stay busy...

And keep his mom and dad busy...
*Yes that is an entire bottle of ranch dressing on our kitchen table*

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Best of Intentions

As I become more intentional with my relationship with God, I hope to allow it to spill over into my other relationships...especially with my husband and children. Again, I firmly believe that if I do not set out with a purpose in these areas of life, life itself is going to take over and rob me of much good.

With David, I would like to be more intentional with the time I get to spend with him. I scoffed in our premarital counseling at the idea of scheduling time to be with my husband. Bah! I (whose love language is a close tie between quality time and words of affirmation) could not imagine a time when I would get too busy to live life with my beloved. Now, I see that at the end of each day, both of us can be in the same room, even doing the same thing (watching TV for example) and not be living life together. Crazy, huh?

With the boys, I want to be intentional in the decisions I am making now that will impact their future forever. For example, Caleb and preschool...I did not want to assume that it was just a good thing to do it because that is what you do at this age. I want to be intentional about including God's Word in the books we read daily, to keep our schedule under control, to instill a love of the outdoors and God's creation...I could go on and on for my desires for the boys, but most of all I want for my husband and myself to really search God's heart for the calling He has on our family and for us to be obedient in following that calling.

In the end, I have learned that seeking God's calling and following in obedience is what being intentional is all about. I know that my own best of intentions to be intentional are nothing without God.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Intently Fixed defines intentional as "to be done with intent or purpose." Intent can mean the same, but it also means "firmly or steadfastly fixed or directed, having the attention sharply focused or fixed on something or determined or resolved." The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: "Since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." (v 1-2a)

This is very challenging to me. I can list for you all the things I need to do and have even done in the past to be intent on God- an early morning quiet time; a time for prayer and a time for study of the word; memorizing God's word, etc.- but if I am honest with you, these things have mostly been put on hold with the birth of Nathan.

Before Nathan, I was in a great routine of getting up early, praying, reading and starting my day with the Lord. Late nights and early mornings shoved this aside quickly. I try to find the time later in the day, but sometimes it just does not happen. I am hoping that with him coming up on 3 months, we will be leaving the fog of nighttime feedings sometime in the near future and that I will get back into my regular time with God.

Until then I am trying to be intentional in other aspects of my relationship with God...sending up prayers throughout the day, trying to seek out His hand on situations moment by moment, being quick to confess my sins as they occur...

Just like any relationship, my relationship with God will not grow unless I purposefully seek to grow it...and the success of all other relationships depends upon the strength of this primary one. So what about you? How are you intently fixing yours eyes on Jesus or not so intently maybe? Any thoughts?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Being Intentional

I just got back from a wonderful morning of fellowship with some dear girlfriends. What a blessing it is to have women of God with which to share life! We have been planning this breakfast for over a month because we learned early on in our friendships that if we are not intentional about getting together, it just will not happen.

God has been working my heart about being intentional the last couple of days. I am easily lost in the day to day living of life, forgetting that there is to be a greater purpose than making it through to bedtime. I need to be intentional in my relationships and in how I choose to spend my time.

Jesus, speaking on the cost of discipleship, said "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:28-33

Both the builder and the king knew that to accomplish their goal, they had to sit back, plan and be intentional in fulfilling that plan. My hope over the next little while is to take some time to think this over and to really pray about what is my goal in my marriage, in parenting, in friendships and in my relationship with the Lord...and to be intentional in living out these goals in my life.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Too busy to smile...

We had a great time playing in the snow this morning. As I tried to get some good pictures, Caleb kept telling me he "was too busy to smile." Boy was he busy, but I did get a good smile. Even Sky got in on the fun!

So after climbing a mountain of snow, mowing the snow, playing with snowy sticks, throwing snowballs, nothing is better than sitting with some friends and watching "Snow Bob" (Bob the Builder's "Scrambler to the Rescue"). What a great day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Change of Plans

On Monday, we were going to a playdate when my car decided to act up and we had to change our plans and turn around and head home. (Praise that David was able to fix the car without much expense!) Then this morning, we headed out to CBS, only to find out when we arrived that it was canceled due to school delays. Tomorrow, I have plans to go grocery shopping with my mom and lo and behold the weather is now calling for SNOW and I might have to change my plans again!

I am not exactly sure what God is trying to teach me here, but I do know I am a planner by nature and generally do not like my plans to be changed and/or interrupted. Still, Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for each of us. Proverbs 19:21 says "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Psalms 33:11 reminds us "But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations."

Maybe the Ultimate Planner is trying to remind me who is truly in control as my plans keep getting changed...Now if I could only convince Him to just let me know ahead of time that He is going to change things up~ then I could plan for it! :)
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