What Happens When…

…Life happens.

All my great plans for my blog as I started it… plans for posts, plans to post frequently (once a week at least), they all went out the window when I found out I was pregnant and almost immediately found myself sick and exhausted beyond what I considered normal pregnancy stuff. But then, this is my first pregnancy with 2 little ones already demanding so much from me. From mid April through all of June, my days were as follows:

Get up, send Scott to work, feed the kids and I breakfast, put away any food, take a shower, walk the garbage down the driveway, feed the kids PB&Js and grab something for myself, and collapse on the couch for 2 1/2 hours. Sometimes I’d collapse before lunch without being able to even get dressed. Then, somewhere around 4pmish I finally would get enough energy to get dinner going and start cleaning the kitchen from our earlier meals.

Most of my time on the couch was spent napping, and I found that while I didn’t seem to get a whole lot accomplished in one day, I still had very little time online. I checked email, and facebook briefly once or twice a day and that was it. I quickly realized I had to let go of my “blogging dream” and just live. My children needed me, and now the new little Apple growing in me seemed to need me more then I remembered. My husband needed me too, as did my home, and I had so little energy. I was oh so very thankful to wake up the day after being “11 weeks” feeling like I could get things done before collapsing. And I did. The next couple weeks reminded me not to try and get done everything on my good days because it would make me more tired the next day, but if I paced things, I could get so much more accomplished. The piles of papers and clutter started disappearing (you know, the stuff that needed to get put in another room, and I didn’t even have the energy to take an extra trip down the hall unless I had more then one reason), and my kitchen counters started to be [mostly] clear on a regular basis again. I think the whole family was glad to get some more participation from me. And of course, I realized that during my time of “surviving” I had become lazy in putting the time and effort into training my little ones as I didn’t care if they were getting into trouble as long as it wasn’t hurting them. ūüôā

God has also done a lot of work in my heart this summer. He’s broken down walls and barriers that I didn’t realize I had put up. I only knew something wasn’t right because I couldn’t seem to draw close to Him like I used to. But God never leaves the side of one of His children who’s seeking Him (or the ones who aren’t). He never stops working even when I feel like I’m holding on by a string. God is good! His ways are right! He amazes me repeatedly with how He works. He takes something I think is life-altering and makes sure it IS! He softens hearts that are hard, and hearts that don’t know they are hard. He opens eyes to see through His eyes, from His perspective, and He opens ears to hear.

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Finding God in the Moment

Last week I started pre-reading Embracing Beauty¬†¬†by Trina Holden, in anticipation of it’s new release this week. At the same time, I was wrestling with feeling like it was incredible that my walk with God even exists because ever since having my 2 wonderful children, I can glance through my Journal and find maybe 20 entries I’m guessing. How can I feel so close to God yet still feel like I shouldn’t be, or I’m not?

 

Through my teen years I led a discipleship group for young ladies, and studying for those lessons was something I did on top of my daily 1-2 hours of being in the Word, journaling, prayer time.¬†They often coincided, but¬†I spent hours a week with God. But now, that’s not always practical. Well, according to the above paragraph,¬†such times are¬†almost “non-existent”.

Over the last week, through reading Embracing Beauty,¬†beautiful days outside with my kids, date time with my husband, and just life, God has shown me that just because I¬†don’t spend 1-2 hours every day reading and studying¬†His word, doesn’t mean¬†my relationship with¬†Him isn’t there, it just doesn’t look the same right now.

Right now, for me, it’s about keeping my focus on Him in all that I’m doing.¬†Praying, talking to¬†Him all the time, while I’m doing other stuff, and in those few quiet moments.¬†And when it seems like I have some time to get in the Word, I go for it! (And when it gets cut short, I focus on being thankful for the time I did get, even if it was 4 minutes!) It’s easy to become so focused on the kids, keeping up the home, oh! and don’t forget the Husband, to forget to communicate with Him who made us! It’s almost like a treasure hunt. Looking for God, His fingerprints on everything around me, giving Him glory, and going to Him with all that’s on my heart and mind.

He’s just been reminding me to keep looking to Him in the here and now. Not making it about specific times of Bible quiet time, making everything about Him as I live my life.

 

Look for a review of Embracing Beauty in the next couple days, and a guest post by author, Trina Holden in the next couple weeks!

Days Like These

It’s 5pm, I turn on my worship music (Kari Jobe, Laura Story, Kathryn Scott, and a few others scattered in) determined to tackle the dishes that piled up from company last night. Today wasn’t unproductive. Did some spring cleaning (scrubbed down the garbage cans and the high chair out on the deck with the kids), put together a special gift for some dear people (today was the deadline), exercised, took things out to the garage, played outside, and kept the kids fed. ūüôā But I still hadn’t washed any dishes all day! (Just an fyi, when you don’t have a dishwasher, and you have 2 little kids, dishes pile up quickly if you don’t do a small batch earlier in the day.)

Often, on these days when Scott works later, it is tempting to do things like wash dishes and clean the kitchen while the children eat their dinner and I can eat mine either while I work, or later when I’m done and the kids are playing. Today was one of those days. I wasn’t too far into my washing before the kids were hungry, and I realized that we sort of skipped snack time and they were ready for dinner. So, Andy pickes Peas as tonight’s vegetable and I pull out their bowls. Yes, sometimes they eat their veggies frozen. At least when it comes to peas and corn. (It all started when I thought it’d make a fun snack one day. Then I realized that they ate way more if they were frozen then cooked, so since I’m not a pea fan, we eat them frozen.) I put my dinner (it’s a night for leftovers and sandwiches) in the toaster oven, and get back to washing while they’re eating their frozen peas. As I’m singing I think, “oh, I’ll just make their sandwiches and keep washing until they’re ready to get up. It will be so much easier that way, since they won’t be trying to “help me” with the dishes.” Then I get it. That little prick from God reminding me of the wise advice my Mom gave me recently. “Don’t get so caught up in your housework that you don’t engage with the children, when they need you too.”

So when my food is done, I dry my hands and sit down with the children. We laugh, we talk. You know, they “talk” and I try to interpret what they’re telling me. We are all done at the same time. The kids go play while I clear the table and high chair. I get back to my washing, and Nan pulls a chair over to the sink beside me. She pauses before climbing up, looking into my eyes with a questioning look, and I smile and nod knowing she was asking if she could help,or if I’d tell her “no”. Thank you Lord for those eye opening moments!

I almost did tell her “no”, but I remembered that the last several times I was just finishing the last dish when she came over and she was so disappointed. At 13 months old, she loves “helping mommy” and doing whatever I’m doing. They both do, But Nan, definitely more so. It makes me so proud, yet humbles me at the same time. For one, how do I continue to encourage that helping, serving spirit in both of them? I pray about it quite often! And two, I have to be extra careful exactly what I do and how I do it. They pick up on everything and copy it if not immediately, at a later time. Now that is scary! It has made me pray all the more for God to mold so that I reflect only Christ.