Saturday, October 30, 2010

More precious than rubies...

Lately, I feel like I have been hit in the face with how stinking important (and hard!) my roles of a wife and mother are.  Often I become (or allow myself to become) overwhelmed with having to be the perfect wife and mother.  It's as if I can't get it right, right NOW I will have failed in my job, and failed my husband and son.  If I can't get my son to eat his vegetables every day and to stop laying down in the middle of Wal-Mart just because he can, he might end up on the street selling PCP.  If I don't get every load of laundry done, folded, and put away by naptime my husband might be driven into the arms of another woman who can do that all while smiling and who (gasp!) showered before 4pm.  

I look at other women and I tend to think that they have it all figured out.  I seem to get a tunnel-vision perception and only see my child's tantrums, or my exasperated sighs.  I only see that I can't coupon with the best of them or that I can't keep my house spotless every day of the week.  I only see my drained energy and my ungrateful attitude.  And then I look at Scripture and realize that I maybe I am not the only one who struggles.  

Although the Proverbs 31 passage on the "perfect" wife is used ALL the time and I don't want to overharp on it, I do feel like is by far one of the most encouraging and challenging passages in Scripture to me as a woman.  For Heaven's sake, it stars off with "Who can find an excellent wife?"  It's not like it says, "okay there are lots of girls out there who love Jesus with every breath they have and basically do everything right.  Go pick one of them and it will be fine."  No, right out of the gate, this passage talks about how this perfect woman isn't everywhere!  Who can find her?  She is more valuable than all the diamonds in the world!  

And then it goes on to, what I believe, is the heart of this passage.  "Her husband can trust her and she will greatly enrich his life."  If every day my goal is to live up to the standards that I believe the world has set up for me, I will fail every. single. time.  However, if my goal is just to honor my Lord first and my family second by my life--well that seems doable!  

Then there's those pesky magazine covers that make me feel like I weigh 600lbs.  "Charm is deceptive and beauty will not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised."  Now if only I can remember that when I am standing next to another mom who looks like fresh off the runway!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For the love of cute...

So I just read this post on a mommy blog about one of her kids getting lost at the pool and The Fear setting in.  And basically I was crying like a hooligan.  So, although it had a happy ending, I needed a little pick-me-up and I my stomach already hurt from all the cookies I just ate in my teary moment.  Instead I decided to make a list of all the cute things my baby boy has done (mostly said, because that's all he has does...say say say things) recently.  While this may be the most boring thing you'll read today, I liked it.  You're warned.

1.  He has learned every Sesame Street character's name.  He only watches one (okay sometimes 2 if I need a break) episode in the morning while he eats breakfast and wakes up.  And this morning he decided to give me a verbal rundown of the character list as they came on, as he points and yells,  "Mama ba-tis on! (I have no idea why ba-tis is TV)  Elmo!  Cookies!  Boger (Grover)!  Abbey!  Bah Dah (Big Bird)  Bert!  Eh-nie (Ernie!)  Mummy! (Murry!  This one is actually my favorite because it sounds like Mommy, although he only calls me momma).

2.  We finally had his 18mo checkup today and he grew FOUR AND A HALF inches in the last 3 months.  Uh maybe that's why he has been sleeping so dang much.

3.  At his appointment, his doctor said, "Wow.  He talks a LOT.  A LOT.  And in full sentences.  Usually at this age they can speak 10-20 words.  Do you know where he is?"  I said, "Well I made a list the other day and I stopped counting somewhere around 220."  Yeah.  I know.  His mother's son.

4.  Yesterday, I asked him to help me bake cookies.  He loves to help "cooooook" in the "kitten."  So I got him his own bowl that he got to mix in (he loves the whisks!) and thought to myself, "ahh, maybe he will be a baker just like his momma."  And then he found my wooden dowels for my cakes and pulled them out onto the counter.  I hear "dum dum dum!" as he started to drum all over the counter.  Yeah.  I know.  His father's son.

5.  At this age, he is either making me laugh hysterically because he is being such a weirdo or making me question my sanity.  Needless to say, we have our share of timeouts at our house (for both momma and baby).  And now he is trying to talk his way out of them!  He cries for the first 10 seconds and then tries to distract me by labeling (in rapid fire) and pointing at EVERYTHING in (and sometimes out of) the room, "Ball!  Cracker!  Book! Shoes!  Pants!  Belly!  Toes!  Cart!  Hat!  Car Car!  Ohgut (yogurt)!  Dit (sit)!  Pecket (ketchup)!  Mow (his lawnmower)!  UhJay (Uncle Jay)!  Cuhdin (cousin)!"  Sometimes he's just so dang cute that it works.

6.  He wakes up every morning talking.  As soon as he wakes up.  As soon.  Or if I have to wake him up from his nap, the instant his eyes open, words are shooting out of his mouth.  It's like they are connected:  eyes open, mouth talks.  First, he wants to tell us all about his crib, "Bear, puppy, bobie (Brobie), amb (lamb)!"  (All of his stuffed animals he insists are in there with him.)  Then onto what I can only assume is about his dreams, "uhuhboomgomamadadamamawpapawgopuzzlesbearshoesgopuzzlesbook!"  All the words at once.  Time for a 3 second snuggle.  Then "down! go!  door close!"  And so our day begins.

7.  He loves to "pin"  AKA spin.  He spins in circles while shouting "pin pin pin" until he gets dizzy and falls over.  Then gets back up to try again, falls over and laughs.  Then starts back over.  Ironically, he sometimes also does this at the beginning of a tantrum...just starts spinning.  Explain that one.

7.  This age, they are just sponges.  Soaking up everything you say.  Which is awesome until an unnamed relative teaches him "idiot" (sidenote:  that's how exactly how he says uncle elliot (ehdot).  same. exact. way.  kinda awesome).  So it makes me pretty excited when we get to teach him things to do or say that are in no way, shape, or form necessary for life.  Examples "raise the roof" where he lifts his arms up and shakes his hands.  "Smelling like daddy" where go goes and gets daddy's deoderant and rubs it all over his belly.  Holy Moley sounds like "moey ohey."  Boogerhead sounds like "bohga-ed."  Asking him to "sumo" and then he slowly (or quickly, depending on his mood) stomps both legs.  Asking him "can you get mommy/daddy/mamaw/papaw/annon (Andy) or whoever is with us" leaves him running to the person just so he can tag them and run away from them giggling.

8.  One of his FAVORITE books we read to him is his book about Moses and its the cutest thing eh-ver to ask him to pick out a book to read and and he "un un un!" (runs) over to the bookshelf and looks through all of this options while saying "Modis, Modis, Modis" until he finds it.

9.  I think this pretty much says it all.

I. Love. My. Life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

With a sad heart...

I know I haven't blogged in a month, so I am sorry that this one is gonna be a downer.

Saturday, Eric and I found out that a former student of ours from the youth group at FCC was killed in a motorcycle/car accident.  By a 17 year old girl.  Who was drunk.  Matt was only 19.  Now I haven't seen Matt in months, and haven't talked to him in longer but it has me shaken.  He was an incredible young man who loved the Lord --the world is a sadder place without him.  The outpouring of love and heartache I have seen in the last 24 hours to him from those who knew him best is such a testament to him and his life.

Matt's story

But this wasn't someone I saw on a daily basis.  Even when he was in our youth group, he hung with Eric (as it usually was the case with the boys) way more than me.  Although, he wasn't even that close to Eric either.

However, I am still reeling from this loss.

As I do anytime death is around me.  I have come to learn in the last few years that I don't deal well with death.  Okay that is an understatement.  I deal horribly with death.  And honestly, I haven't had someone particularly close to me pass away (although now that I say that, I am sure someone will remind me of a situation and I am going to feel horrible later for forgetting it).

I had a classmate killed in 5th grade.  A dear friend's mom pass away from cancer in 9th grade.  Great-grandparents when I was young.  A regular at my Starbucks just died of a drug overdose.  A few years ago, we had a youth sponsor take his life.  And recently, the story was told simillarly with our worship pastor.  

None of these people were ones that I had everyday contact with on a deep level (yes I cared for these people and the loss it caused the families and friends, but you know what I one whom I have grown up with or been mentored by or close family).  But as I get older, these deaths have hit me harder and harder.

And each time I can feel some element of evil wanting to take over my thoughts.  For days, my mind will be consumed with death.  I can't stop myself from imagining the worst for my friends and family.  Or even myself, and leaving them behind.  I cannot imagine what sort of evil game Satan will want to play when someone extremely close to me dies.

And I don't know how to stop my brain from going down these roads.  Yes, prayer.  Yes, reading my Bible.  I have drowned myself with those things in the last few hours and yet, here I am, awake because I could not shut my brain down (or quiet Satan's shouting) enough to go to sleep.

I know that for some reason, since I the time I graduated high school (haven't quite pinned down the event, but just the general time period) I have become a worrier.  Nothing used to bog me down.  Sure I had the typical teen angst or body image crud, but nothing like I am now.  I get consumed by worry.  (And yes, I have read Matthew 6 about a bazillion times, so thanks in advance for the suggestion--sorry for the snark).  I can't seem to shake it.

And death seems to be a hot button of worry for me.

I am 100% sure of my destiny.  And just as certain (or as certain as you can be without actually being them) of the destinies of those that I am close to.  And 4 out of the last 5 people that I have known that passed away were amazingly Christ-like and beautiful examples of love (the other 1 might have been a believer,  I just didn't know him well enough to know).  So I don't believe it was an issue of "oh no, I didn't share Christ's love with them" or "I just don't know if I will see them again."  Those that died that I was closest to, I am SURE I will be partying it up with them in Heaven.

So why such worry and saddness when it comes to death?  Why do I allow my thoughts to be consumed with it?

From what scripture tells us, death is (and supposed to be) and foreign concept to us.  We were never meant to die the physical death that we all will face.  Until sin entered the picture in the garden, we were all supposed to live eternally, physically and spiritually (at least from my understanding of the Word.  Please correct me if I am wrong).  Death was never something we were supposed to get used to or comfortable with.

Somehow, those words and thoughts still aren't a comfort to me.

I don't have any resolution to this (again.  I seem to leave a lot of my blog entries like this...sorry!)  But at least I got my thoughts and tears out for now.   So at least it was theraputic for was unintentional of it made your brain hurt reading it.

One thing I am sure of though, is that the joy certainly does come in the morning.  Night all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So now you know...

Several people have said to me lately "I've been reading your how are you doing?"  And every time, they would give me that sad little tilted head nod.  I think people read my blog and thought I was this melancholy person who only had things to complain about!  So from the bottom of my heart, I apologize for giving anyone that impression.

With all of the heartache and chaos I have seen in the lives around me lately, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  All that should come out of my mouth are the stirrings of a grateful doesn't always happen, but I'm trying.

So how am I doing?

I have to say that I am so freaking in love with our church and its staff.  I have never been a part of a more loving and welcoming group.  The things that this church has gone through in the last 2 years were crazy enough.  And then bring on the last 4 months...holy stinking moly.  Sometimes I want to crumble at the weight of it all and I don't even have 5% of it on me that others do.  But still, they praise God and take on the next day.  We are so blessed.

So how am I doing?

I have an amazing husband who finally loves his job.  I have the most handsome chubby little boy who is becoming more fun (most) every day.  Right now I am hear him waking up from his nap, kicking his mattress, singing, and growling.  I am sooo blessed.

So how am I doing?

I am loved by a mom and dad that are 2 of the most generous people I have ever know.  I don't konw why it surprises me anymore when they shower their love, but it always catches me off guard with how much they love other people.  And I have the BEST brother, brother-in-law, and sisters-in-law the world could ever offer.  Hands down.  Nuff said.  They just keep rocking the house.  Oh and's cutest neice.

So how am I doing?

Well I finally found a hobby...I love cakes!  I am sure you read that and said, "duh...Sarah we know you love to eat!"  Muah ha ha you make me laugh :)  I am having sooo much fun baking and decorating cakes.  Each time I get to do another one, I get thrown into the world of creation and I am immersed.  I have caught the bug.  I would have never thought I would be good at something like this (and let me be the first person to tell you that I know personally at least 4 people who are light years ahead of me in this) but I seem to be picking it up pretty quickly!  It's nice to have something that is "my own."  Maybe one day I could even sell them.  A girl can dream can't she?

So when I look at all those answers to the sad head noddy questions, I can't help but wonder why I complain in the first place.  Sure it's like pulling teeth getting me to leave my family and go to work (boo lame-face work!  boo!)  every day, but there are tons of people who have been looking for jobs for well over a year now.  Where do those stirrings of a grateful heart go off to?

Alas, I must take it moment by moment.  That's right, I just said alas.  Deal with it.  :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crazy, thy name is me

About a week and a half ago, I turned into a crazy person.  I was yelling at my son for no reasons other than him being a toddler, I was being mean to my husband, and basically just being a big whiney baby.
It got to the point where I was sending Eric a long apology text every day, trying to make up a reason for my behavior the previous day.

It didn't feel like out of control hormones, this was different.  Usually if I am hormonal I just get sad and mopey (at least I think so.  Eric might tell you a different story all together).  I was feeling consumed by something I couldn't put my finger on.  Everything just felt harder to deal with.  I have dealt with a cranky teething child before and come out looking much less ugly than this last week.  The last few days, Hendric has been especially difficult for me but an angel for Eric when he comes home.  Usually I would blame that on me working and that I am a horrible mom to leave my child.  This time I tried to reverse it and told Eric that I must be so crazy lately because Hendric was having such a hard time.

Eric tried delicately to tell me he felt that wasn't so:
"Um, I think that's possible your crazy time started before Hendric had his bad days this week."

Ouch.  Take that one down your gullet.

And he was totally right.  What the hannah was wrong with me?
I tried to rack my brain.  I had gotten into a funk that I couldn't shake...a little depressed, a lot crazy!
As we started to talk it out last night (or as I word-vomited everything that was in my head and Eric graciously listened), I said something that I really didn't think had anything to do with anything, "I am really really scared about Sunday."

So for some prior knowledge for all ya'll, Sunday is my first week on the vocal team at church.  Now I have sung hundreds of Sundays on why the freak out?

I should have known there was something wrong in my head when we had the following conversation shortly after receiving the email for our July vocal schedule about a week and a half ago:

Me:  ERIC! (of course yelling)  Why isn't Matt (our worship leader) leading at all in July?!
Eric:  I have no idea.
Me:  What do you mean you have no idea?  Why don't you know anything that goes on at church!  You work there! (first of about 1000 overreacting statements that I made in the next 10 days)
Eric:  Yes, honey, whom I love dearly.  I do work there.  But I don't know the in's and out's of everyone's personal schedule.
Me:  Well I don't think I can do this if Matt's not leading.
Eric:  What?!  That's crazy. (If he only knew how crazy it was about to get all up in here).  Why would Matt leading have anything to do with you being able to sing?
Me:  He's the only one who's heard me sing and not suck so bad.  No one else has.  What if I suck on Sunday and then everyone thinks I always suck?
Eric: (using his famous male logic)  But you don't suck.
Me:  But I might.  And I pretty much suck at everything so I might as well suck at this.  And then everyone at church is going to know I suck and they are going to feel bad for you that you have such a sucky wife.

Yes, this conversation should have been my first clue at my crazy level.  But it wasn't.  And I got thrown right into Crazyland, USA.

Fast-forward a week and amongst the yelling, crying, and whining (all on my part) I have listened to the songs we are supposed to do this week about 105 times and have convinced myself that guessed it...suck.  I couldn't find harmonies that didn't sound like pigs dying.  I couldn't remember more than 7 lyrics in a row.  I suck.

Fast-forward again to last night during my crazy-filled rant to my husband.  Now I have said it before, and I will say it again:  I LOOOOVE my husband.  God gave me exactly the right man for me.  He balances out my woman-crazy with his man-logic.  He calls me out when I am just being mean.  Or stupid.  Or petty.  Or D)  All of the above.  I don't know how anyone could sit and listen to me when I am at my crazy threat-level 58 and not go insane themselves.  But he does.  And somehow he still loves me.

Anyway, we talked a lot about how Satan knows what gets me.  And if you know me at all, you will know it's worry.  And the Enemy was taking something that will bring glory to God and joy to me and was skewing it like crazy.

And when I look at it at face-value, I realize that's exactly what was happening.  I wasn't even allowing myself to worship or have fun while I was singing these songs.  And when that rejoicing is gone, I might as well kill the pigs myself.  Nothing good is going to come from that.  I was allowing Satan to turn me into a worry-machine on the inside and that manifested itself as a crazy-train on the outside.

So basically, Eric told me I couldn't quit without trying (I would have been too afraid to show my face around the church office after that anyway) and there wasn't really any way I was getting out of it.  Dang.  I hate when God uses my husband to stretch me.

So if you see me on Sunday with a bucket next to me, don't stare.  Just be grateful I am spewing in that instead of on your head :)

And to my husband,  sorry.  Really sorry.  As Darryl (from The Office--really what else would I quote!?) says, "I need you to access your un-crazy side".  I'm trying :)

On a positive note, I became an aunt on Monday at 9:36pm.  Taylor Marie Fleming was born to my rockstar brother Zach and gorgeous (and if that wasn't enough, she is REALLY REALLY nice and I LOOOVE her) sister-in-law Christina weighing in at 6lbs 13oz and 20".  Here is the beautiful new addition and her amazing momma.

Love you sis!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Your friends are your friends, they are not your lunch

Okay a little background info:  when Eric and I moved to St. Louis in December of 2006, we had been married for a little over 6 months.  Not only were we leaving behind our familes (and that was incredibly hard) but we were leaving an amazing group of friends.  We were a part of 5-6 married couples who were our closest friends.  It included both of the families that Eric and I lived with before we got married, those that were in our wedding, people with whom we did ministry alongside.  People we did life with.  I ached for them after we left (you can clearly see why they were so special below).

When we moved to St. Louis, we got stuck in the youth ministry bubble and pretty much the only people we spent time with outside of church were teens.  The kids were great and I loved hanging, but I was in desperate need for some adult interaction.  When I finally did reach out, I got really hurt by a few people (a different story for a different time).  My integrity and heart were called into question and people I thought I knew turned out to be completely different.  It took a LOOOOOONG time for me to heal from that.  And because I was so gun-shy, it was almost a year before Eric and I actually started making friends in MO.

We finally joined a "young marrieds" class and it was a deal-sealer for us.   I honestly know I would not have made it as long in St. Louis as I did if it wasn't for this group of people.  As for the women, we cooked together, got pregnant together (that sounds weird, but you know what I mean), had babies, laughed, talked, and cried together.  I got to be a part of one family as a nanny for their precious little girl.  What started out as an arrangment of convenience turned into an amazing friendship.  If I can remember correctly, I think Tricia was the first person I told, aside from our families, that we were pregnant.   Looove her.  Then there's Carrie Imhoff (Sutherland?).  She rocks my socks and is pretty much one of the best moms I know.  And I think about her EVERY day since we left.  She's that great.  Ooo and Jen Bensinger.  Amazing woman.  Nuff said.  And Lisa Ryan makes By FAR the best icing I have ever tasted...and she likes The Office as much as we do, so we were instantly friends.  As for the men, well, they did weird men things together (including making me throw up while driving erratically in a parking lot of a Christian concert...thanks Mike).  But we had so much fun with this group.  When we left, they were the hardest thing to leave.

Lately, I miss this kind of stuff.  I miss sitting on the Witte's couch talking about weird stuff that we would never even mention to anyone else while watching ridiculously insane reality television mocking those on it (all the while Bob and I hoping we would get picked to be on the next season!).  I miss taking up waaaay too much of Tricia's work day talking about nothing in particular (or no one in particular as the case usually had it).

Eric makes fun of me because he says I am always on the hunt for a new friend...and I am!  As soon as we meet a couple, he can see the gleam in my eye and it's usually followed by, "Oooo I like them!  Did you like them?  I can really see us being friends!"  He just laughs.

I have definitely been wrong on my assumptions.  There have been people lately that I thought were going to be our matches and they were seriously not.  And there have been those that I wrote off completely, and they turned out much nicer (what a lame word) than I thought.

We are surrounded by great people at Spring of Life.  Absolutely looove it there.  And I have a great friend that I get to hang out with and our little boys about once a week and mommychat (yes, that is one word).  So while I am definitely not lonely at this stage of my life, I am feeling the lack of the intimate friendships that we have had in the past.

I was just reading what I had written and it totally sounded like an application for The Bachelor.  "I am ready for love.  I cannot wait to take that next step in my life and settle down with the one I want to spend the rest of my life with."

I can't help it.  That's who I am.  Corny, cheesy, and a big nerd.  But I love friends!

Oooo and I am super excited because Eric is doing a "boys night" with our church staff and some others this week.  He asked me "Can I swing by?  Do you mind?"

Hello!?   Swing by?  Do I mind?!  How else are we supposed to find our friend-soulmates?!  I toned it down when I answered him to just give my wifely approval.

But watch out boys--I might make Eric bring a questionairre for you to fill out so I can figure out which of your wives will be my new "Bachelorette" watching-buddy.  Eric is ready for it not to be him.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Too many rabbit trails

Today in church I was really excited...thinking I was finally really hearing from God about where I needed to be serving at Spring of Life:  It was time for me to get back into worship ministry.  It had been far too long and the desire had been overtaking my soul!  Okay, so I was all squared away in my head, already mentally writing my email to our worship pastor about auditions.  Then at the end of the service our pastor was talking about the need the children's ministry had--they were about to kick off a new program and I definitely already knew of the need they had there for help with actors/singers in the new KidzLife stuff.  Dang it.  So they really need help there.  And I know I could really be used.  Dang it.  Then comes the question of childcare:  What the heck do I do with my kid when I am serving (not necessarily Sundays during service, but rehearsals, meetings, etc...) Then there was the email I got from our women's minister who is looking for help planning and organizing events for our Girlfriend's ministry.  Hello!?  Do I LOVE planning?  Yes.  Do I get obsessed with organizing?  Duh.  But as soon as I read the email I automatically thought about all the time I don't have with my son and husband already because I am working.  Do I have more time to give up?  The totally negative side of my head flushes all of those ideas down the toilet and leads me back to the drawing board.  I am not sure how I go from finally "definitely" hearing from God on something I have been praying about for months to feeling like I can do nothing in a matter of minutes.

I do this to myself all of the time...half-start things because I think I would have fun or I would be good at it or I could really help people...and then something comes up and I drop it.  Right now I have 5 plants ready to be planted along with 5 milk jugs in my kitchen waiting to be made into my homemade topsy turvys.  I have a HUGE box full of scrapbooking junk that I don't have a clue how to use but that I bought with intention of scrapbooking my wedding--4 years ago.  Somewhere in our stuff (or maybe I finally threw it away) is a chalk drawing I did on a whim 2 years ago because I thought I was going to be artsy (it was supposed to be this abstract interpretation of God's love showering down on us.  I showed Eric and he asked if it was a volcano.  Don't worry, he wasn't being mean.  It really did look like a volcano.  There goes my artsy side).  I currently have 3 different diets I am researching as well as 2 different exercise plans.   I am in the middle of 3 books.  Two months ago I had the first paragraph written to my novel I was going to sell zillions of copies.

My brain goes in a million different directions at once but can only do 3 or 4 things really well.

I am a mom, wife, and a follower of Christ (and not in that order).  Those 3 go without saying.  So what else is me?  Eric and I have had about a billion conversations about hobbies.  He has several things he is really passionate about and really good at:  cars, drums, guitar, writing.  I could probably name off 5 more.  But what the heck do I do?  Read?  That's all I got.  Where can I be used best by God?  I don't really have any answers right now (sorry if you were looking for some dramatic conclusion in this post).  I do know that I need to be serving consistently though...somewhere.  I ramp myself up with all of these hesitations and it leads me to do nothing.  To sit and do nothing.  Well, I gotta do SOMETHING!  Now to find out what it is...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jesus loves me, this I know

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
(Luke 18:15-17 ESV)

Hendric has this foam "Jesus" book that has been chewed on for months and we have been missing all of the pull-outs since the week he got it.  But he loves loves to sit and read it --it's among his chosen favorites as a bed-time story.  There is nothing hugely profound in it...just a book with the few token "Jesus loves children" verses accompanied by cartoon Jesus pictures.  Whenever I read it to him, and we come to the last page, there is a picture of Jesus with his arms spread around children opposite a little girl sitting beneath the tree.  For weeks I have been asking Hendric where Jesus was on that page, and without fail he points to the little girl or the tree.

Just this morning, Eric and I were playing with him and I told Eric that I am going to try to get Hendric's next distinguishable word to be "Jesus."  He joked that it would probably sound a lot like "cheese" (a staple in Hendric's vocabulary) or "chia" (he hasn't learned this one quite yet :) ).  Just to prove us wrong, Hendric walks over to the cover (which has long since been ripped from the remaining pages) of the "Jesus book" (with a giant smiley cartoon Jesus on the front), picks it up, and clearly says "Je-sus."  His parents could not have been prouder!  

It got me thinking about the recognizability of Jesus.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't honestly think Hendric knows exactly who Jesus is or that he had some salvation experience.  And I certainly don't think that Jesus looks anything like the white cartoon man in the book.  

But I have always wondered what the exact meaning of "receiving the Kingdom of God like a child" actually meant.  Am I doing that? I don't have a seminary degree, so I could be way out in left-field.  However, the more I study Scripture I am convinced that when children had an encounter with Jesus they KNEW without a shadow of a doubt who He was.  There was no questions in their mind, they didn't worry about what others thought about Him or them.  All they knew was that this man loved them.  Them in that moment.  Them in that life.  

I often wish I could get to this acceptance.  Yes, I whole-heartedly believe that Christ is my Savior and King.  He is my loving Father who loves me for who I am and leads me to who I should and can be.  

But do I live this out on a daily basis?  I can't say that I do.  If I did, I wouldn't have the nagging fears and doubts about my ability as a wife and mother.  Instead, I would rely on the strength He gives me.  I wouldn't look at myself in the mirror and see inferiority and worthlessness.  Instead I would see a beautiful daughter of the one and only King.  

Self-image has always been a struggle of mine and it is one I am sure I will be working through my entire life.  But I do know that when I take God at His Word (as children do) I am a different person.  The shouts of self-doubt Satan hurls at me are distant whispers.  I am able to see that I am the new creation God made me to be.  What an amazing picture of God's love to know that in this moment, who I am right now...I am loved.  By the Creator and Savior of the Universe.  

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7–8

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! Psalm 36:7

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gotta Brag on the Hubby

My husband is pretty much the hardest worker I know.  Since we have been married (4 years today!!), my eyes and heart have been opened to see just how generous he is with his time and talent.  I am simply amazed that he keeps giving.  He keeps learning.  He keeps loving.
He always encourages.  Always laughs.  And could knock the musical socks off of anyone I know in real life (and most people in celebrity radio land too!!)
He is a daddy to one, a husband to me, and a friend to all.  I could not feel more beautiful than when I am standing next to him (partly because he tells me about 400 times a day how dang hot he thinks I am). I probably will embarrass the tar out of him by writing this blog about him, but I think husbands deserve our praise.  So often in this society (and especially all over TV) we see men portrayed as the stupid, lazy spouse and parent.  They are shown as the men who complain about their wives and treat lust as if it's no big deal.  I am proud to say that my husband is not one of those men.  He's a fighter and he loves Jesus with his whole being.  He works incredibly hard to maintain his integrity and these days, that's rare.
So to my adoring husband:  Thanks for the craziest, most wonderful 4 years of marriage--happy anniversary.  Loves!   (oh and thanks for being pretty dang hot yourself)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lessons learned with 5th and 6th graders

"The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride." Ecc 7:8
This is what Eric taught out of on Sunday to our 5th and 6th grade group at Spring of Life.  It was one of those moments where I honestly thought, "Did they just put that in?  I have never read that before!"  It is so apropos for our situation right now.  Sometimes we get so frustrated with the amount of time we get to spend as a family.  Or we wish we could splurge and have fun.  Work, watch the baby and switch.  Oh and hello husband.  Repeat.  That seems to be the routine we are in right now.  
Hearing this verse made me reevaluate it all.  I had to step back and realize God isn't just working out our finances so that we can be more stable in the future.  He has been working for us for the past 3 years (and before!) through all of the struggles we have been through and through every dumb decision we have made.  
Each time we have to sacrifice time together as a family so one of us can go to work, we are simply laying our crowns down to worship our Creator in order to be the absolute best stewards we can.  
Soon.  Very soon, we will be moving to a new phase.  But for now, we are here.  
"Stand up and finish what you started."  That's our plan.




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