Thursday, December 30, 2010

4 years

Four years ago, at this very moment, I was downstairs in our church basement, getting dressed, checking makeup, and getting pictures taken. I wasn't nervous or jittery. I was strangely calm, which I took as a good sign. A few minutes before two, Libby, our friend and wedding director, came downstairs and said we were going to have to wait for a few minutes because there were so many people there, the ushers were having to put out more chairs. That made me nervous--the thought of all those people!

The moment dad and I reached the top of the stairs, and I saw all the people we loved the most and my wonderful husband-to-be waiting for me at the front, I was overwhelmed. I couldn't believe the moment I had waited so long for was finally here. The ceremony seemed like a dream, and when it was all over, we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, and into our new life--which isn't, as you know, quite as perfect as the wedding itself, but beautiful nonethless.

Last night, I asked Michael what had been his favorite moment in the last four years. He thought for a minute, and then he said, "Kade". I started to get offended, and then I realized that that was my favorite moment, too. Not because I haven't loved every second I've spent with Michael, but because when we had Kade, there was finally this perfect, tangible expression of our love. Proof, you might say. Now, I realize that just because two people have a child, it doesn't necessarily mean that there was love involved. In our case, there was. And is.

God has blessed us so richly with each other, with our son, and with all of the other things and people in our lives. We have walked through fire. We have laughed till we cried. We have cried. We have had prayers answered. We have had dreams come true. Most importantly, we have had each other.

I love you, Michael. Always and forever.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Count your blessings instead.....

I grew up with one grandfather, because my other grandfather passed away before I was born. Grandad, however, more than made up for two grandfathers. I don't even know where to start.

I grew up hearing stories of our dad's idyllic childhood, traipsing around in the woods, riding camper tops down the river, sleigh riding off cliffs, and climbing trees, all under grandad's supervision--or should I say with grandad egging on and participating in the activities. By the time my sister and I came along, grandad acted shocked if we suggested any of the activities dad had told us about. He always said they were too dangerous. We gave him a hard time for forbidding us to do any of the "fun" things we had heard about.

We had our own adventures, though. We built dams and hunted for crawdads in the river. We went swimming at the local swimming pool, where grandad urged us to do flips off the side. We searched the woods for the elusive Little Pete. We climbed trees. We "worked out" in the basement. Between my grandparents, grandad was the early riser and we would always wake up in the morning to find him in the living room, reading his Bible.

I can't think of hardly an event in my life grandad ever missed--birthdays, graduations, Christmas plays, chorus concerts, proms, anniversaries. Nothing was too insignificant. He was always so proud of his children and grandchildren and loved all of us. He let you know it, too. I can't count the number of times in one visit or conversation he would say, "I love you, Leah. I love you so much."

When is the last time you ever saw an 80 year-old deadlift? Or jump off the diving board of a pool? There is no way I can fully describe to you how special grandad was and how blessed we have been to have him. Our family has been blessed beyond measure--to be so close and to have such wonderful parents and grandparents. They were both the perfect model of God's unconditional love. It didn't matter what any of us did--they loved us the same. I could never, ever ask for a better grandfather. If I had a choice, I would have never let him go. Ever. My heart breaks and rejoices at the same time, as I know he's meeting Jesus and being reunited with my granny. We will miss him forever, but I have one more reason to hold on to that hope I have.

Grandad, I love you. I love you so much.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When you just don't understand....

Sorry I've been on a bit of a hiatus. First it was Thanksgiving, and then all the rush of getting ready for Christmas (even though it's only December 8), but I'm ready to settle down a little.

This post may seem sort of vague for some of you, but bear with me. It's cathartic for me, and maybe you'll find a nugget of truth somewhere in here for you.

Have you ever been in one of those spots where people say to you: "Just trust in God's timing" or "God has a plan for this"? Have you ever thought to yourself, when someone has said those things to you--"Frankly, I can't think of a plan that could ever explain this or make this situation make sense!"

I'm in that spot right now. I would I could tell you that I've been all pious and holy and saying, "That's ok, God. I know You have a better plan for me life", but I haven't. I'll be nakedly honest with you. The first day of this situation, I sat, pretty sullenly, through an awesome service at church. I wasn't angry with God, but I just felt kind of blank. I didn't try to connect with Him at all. It's hard to offer up your heart to someone when you feel like they've betrayed your trust. I trusted God for something and things didn't turn out my way. My way. 'Cause my way's the best, dontcha know.

Slowly, I'm coming to a place where I can at least say, "Ok, God. You must have something different planned, and I can't wait to see it", because as terrible as it is to feel like God has betrayed you, it's an even worse feeling to go through something awful without Him. Even if you have all of your earthly family and friends rallying around you, it's lonely without your Father. What I mean by that is not that He isn't there, but that I ignore Him because I feel betrayed. What a relief to turn around and run into His arms, weeping as your heart breaks, but resting in the peace that only He can give.

Ultimately, He says that His thoughts are not ours and His ways are not ours--they are better and higher (Isaiah 55:8-9). Even if I don't understand that, I cling to it--white knuckled and breathless, I cling to it.

God, I don't understand Your ways, but I will give You my soul, give You all of my praise.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I know your voice.....

Kade has a distinct voice. Well, to Michael and I, he does. I'm sure that every parent could probably pick their own child's voice out of a crowd. We memorize the cadences and tones in their voices.

When Kade is in the nursery at church and Michael and I are in Sunday School, we can tell when he is the one crying. As soon as we hear that familiar cry, one of us is running out to door to get him. During church, he sometimes sits with his grandparents several rows back. He babbles a LOT, and we can always recognize his "Dabadaphtasdbhgsedadada!" above all the other babies (and there are several!)

Did you know that your voice is familiar to God? He can pick out the sound of your voice, crying out to Him, above the roar and babble of everyone else.

I've heard people say before--"Well, how could God hear my prayer when everyone else is praying at the same time?! What makes my prayer stand out among the roar of all the others?!"

You are God's child. He recognizes your voice. It's familiar to Him. Even if one million other people are praying at the same time as you, He hears your distinct, special voice. He also hears the voice of His child across the street and the voice of His child across the world. The awesome thing about God is that, even though all of His children may be calling out to Him at the same time, He can hear each one of them separately and distinctly. Each request, each thanksgiving, andeach sorrow gets His special attention. Even if we, as humans, recognize our children's voices, we can only listen to and comprehend them one at a time. Not God. He has supernatural ears.

When Kade calls out to me, I recognize his voice, and I come to his rescue!
When I cry out to God, he recognizes my voice and He comes to my rescue!

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! John 1:31 NIV

Saturday, November 20, 2010

O, be careful little eyes what you see....

Kade is 15 months old and the new things it seems like he does everyday amaze me.
One day this week, he started slapping his knees and laughing because I had done it while talking to someone on the phone.
We do little hand gestures while we read his bedtime book and he has started doing them along with us.
He's had a runny nose for several weeks and has started trying to wipe his nose himself and in the last couple of days has even attempted to BLOW his nose!
He puts his hands together and squinches his eyes shut when we say, "Let's pray."

I mean, just crazy stuff! As his mother, of course, all these things fill me with pride and reassure me that I have the smartest, sweetest, cutest kid in the world.

I think all parents would admit that there are things they don't want their children to do. We monitor what they see and hear--especially from movies, TV, and even other people in our lives. We try to keep them from the wrong things and expose them to the right things (whatever your "wrong" and "right" is). Especially when they're little.

Sometimes, what we don't realize is that while they're young, WE are the biggest influences in their lives.

When I get aggravated, I growl. Not like a dog growl, but just a frustrated growl. You probably know what I mean.
Anyway, Kade a month or so ago, Kade started growling a lot.
I was confused, but Michael reminded me that I make the same sound when I'm frustrated. He was right.

See, I never thought about Kade picking up on things that I do wrong. I try to read him the right books and sing the right songs and pray the right prayers, but I didn't even consider that he would imitate my "bad" behavior.

We're worried about what our children see and hear from others, but sometimes not so worried about what they hear from us, their parents, in own own house. It's as if (and I'm speaking for myself here) we think we're immune to the standards we've set for our children to live by.

I've been trying to be more patient lately. I don't want Kade to see my outward frustration all the time--especially at the stupid things that don't really deserve any frustration. I want to teach him to be patient and to deal with annoying things in a healthy way. I want to model that in front of him--not just tell him how he should do it and then turn around and slam cupboard doors and bang pots and pans and kick furniture when I'm upset, myself.

The parenting series we're going through right now says that "Behavior is caught and not taught" and that rings so true with me. It's great to tell your children how to live, but walk that walk in front of them and they'll be 100 times more likely to be who you hope they'll be.

Friday, November 19, 2010

FALL'ing in Love

So, I'll get off of my soapbox for awhile and talk about my babe.

Ok, yeah, I know the title is pretty corny, but I couldn't think of a better way to show this photo of my boy (taken by my pretty awesome sister).

Oh, and this one, too, because I like it so much.

And this one, because my boy has pretty awesome hair.

And this one is precious to me because he had just started walking.

And this one, because he's just so darn cute!

I fall in love with this boy over and over again, everyday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Offense, Defense, Political correctness (hey, it kind of rhymes!)

**Disclaimer: Before I get flamed, I do believe that there is a time and a place for political correctness.**

I've been thinking about the truth and being offensive and defensive and things like that lately, and thought I'd look up a list of politically correct terms. Some of these were funny!

What do you think?

Taken from
Bald=comb-free (Pastor Ken, are you reading this?!)
Bald=follicularly challenged
Body odor=nondiscretionary fragrance
Cannibalism=intra-species dining
Clumsy=uniquely coordinated
Cowardly=challenge challenged
Dishonest=ethically disoriented
Lazy=motivationally deficient
Redneck=rustically inclined
Roadkill=vehicularly compressed maladapted life form
Rudeness=tact avoidance

On a personal level, as a shorter person, I prefer to be called vertically challenged. Because "short" is just...well...offensive. At 5'2", I am short, but vertically challenged sounds so much better.

The truth is kind of offensive, sometimes, isn't it? It's definitely not always comfortable--sometimes, it's because you're still repressing the truth in your heart and sometimes, it's because you already know the truth, but it hurts to hear it. Feeling comfortable is....comfortable, but it doesn't challenge you to think or change. Sometimes, we need to hear the truth, as much as it may make us frown or squirm. A friend recently told me that she has always heard "If you don't leave the sermon feeling offended, it wasn't a good sermon" and I tend to agree. Warm, fuzzy feelings are nice, but that's it. They don't make you wiser or challenge you.

We live in a world that does a ridiculously eggshell-walking dance around everyone and everything (remember my disclaimer: some things do need extra respect given to them) in an attempt to placate the masses. It goes right along with the awesome sense of entitlement that everyone seems to have. Sometimes, though, it's like putting lipstick on a pig. Say what you want, pretty it up a bit, but it's still a pig. If someone did that to me, I would feel like they were patronizing me. I'd rather hear the truth any day, even if I get my feelings hurt.

Jesus--He didn't sugarcoat things. He put things bluntly. He told it like it was. The funny thing is that man (oh, I mean "humankind") has taken His words and tried to make everyone happy and comfortable.

Oh no, when He said that He didn't really mean that. What he really meant was......

And then there's everyone's favorite verse: "Love your neighbor as yourself," because of course that cancels out any other kind of commandment.

Well, that's ok if he/she did that because God said to love them.

Real love is saying, "Hey, I love you, but I've got to tell you the truth, even if it hurts your feelings."

Real love is saying, "Hey, I love you, and I've got to tell you--you're going down the wrong path."

In the end, real love always tells the truth Sometimes, it might step on your toes. Sometimes, it might "get all up in your grill." Much of the time, it may make you feel uncomfortable and defensive.

But that's ok, because real love cares enough to tell you the truth.

**The voice of Truth tells me a different story.**

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The veil was torn!

Last night, we went to a Chris Tomlin concert and as we were singing, a line of one of my favorite songs caught my attention:

The whole Earth trembled
And the veil was torn

I've sung this song tens of times, at least, but last night those words struck a chord in my heart and I immediately started weeping at the imagery.
If you're not familiar, during Bible times, a veil was hung in the temple that separated the people from the Holy of Holy's--the place where God's presence dwelt. No one except for the high priests were allowed to enter His presence.
In Matthew 27:51, at the exact moment Jesus died, the ground shook and the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom--symbolizing the end of God's distance from man. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could stand before God, forgiven.

It reminds me of a groom who is so in love with His wife, so infatuated by her beauty that he can't wait to finally be face to face with her as his wife. (Sidenote: I wouldn't know about this because I didn't wear a veil at my wedding, but I've seen this at other weddings) As soon as bride and groom are announced as husband and wife, the husband flings back his wife's veil, eager to be face to face with her and to shower her with affection.

We--the Church--are God's bride. He wants to be face to face with us. He tore that temple veil when Jesus died because He was so eager to get to us. He was so excited that the time He had waited for was finally here.

How haughty are we that sometimes, still we hold Him at arms length.
"Yeah, You keep Your presence over there, Lord. I'll call You if I want You."
What is wrong with us that we do this when we could be face to face with the Holy Lord God Almighty Yahweh!?

Don't keep Him at arms length!
Step in to His presence! Meet him face to face!
The veil was torn because God wanted to get to you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

In the dark

Yeah, yeah, I know I've been a blog slacker again lately. It's been busy around here, what with snot and puke and all the normal stuff, too. But here I am--back for now!

I'll bet most of you had said something at one point and had to eat your words later.

"I can't believe my mom said that. I would never said that to my children!"

Twenty years later:

"Because I said so, Freddy! That's why!"

I think most first time parents are idealists. It's a good thing! We want to raise our children to be the best they can be. Most of the time, though, not all of our ideas stand the test of time.

-I'll NEVER give my child sweets before the age of 5 (already broke that one!)

-I'll NEVER let my child watch TV before he's 2 (says the mother with the Veggie Tales addict)

I hold fairly firmly to an AP style of parenting and one of my ideas is no crying it out. No laying a baby in a crib and leaving the room while he cried himself to sleep. Never. It's not taking care of his needs, it's leaving him scared in the dark, it's making him so defeated that he sees no point in crying because he knows I won't come.

Then, I had a 14 month old who decided to make every bedtime a 3 hour struggle and to refuse to nap--at all--for two weeks. He wouldn't nurse to sleep. If I tried to just lay with him in the bed, he would scream and arch his back, and scoot across the bed. He wouldn't let me rock or sway with him. Even if I wore him around the house until he fell asleep, he would wake up as soon as I took him out. Do you know what little sleep and no naps does to a baby? It makes him irritable and cranky, prone to many, many tantrums. Do you know what that does to a mommy? It makes her feel inhuman.

After almost two complete days of being on the verge of tears and insanity, I consulted some AP friends. I said that I felt like my only other option was to let him cry and sit in front of his crib, but I felt too guilty to do it. They told me that Kade needed sleep. Sleep isn't optional. They told me that he is at an age where it is ok to give him limits.

So I did it. I did his usual bedtime routine, we prayed, sang a song, I told him I loved him, and laid him in his crib. I sat in the floor and waited. He cried--not for as long as I expected. Then, he played for awhile, laid down, and went to sleep. As proud of him as I was, I felt emotionally exhausted.

I came out of his room and Michael said, "How was that any different than just crying it out?" To be honest, I just scratched my head and said, "I'm not really sure, but it is." It seems gentler and more humane to me, but I couldn't put words to my feelings. So I asked one of my friends for help again. I said, "So, what's the difference?" And she said (not in these exact words, but you get the gist), "Because you're laying him down and making him go to sleep, he's mad; If you laid him down to go to sleep and left him, he'd be scared and mad."

So, there it is. He may not want to go to sleep, but because he knows I'm right there with him, he eventually calms down and goes to sleep. He knows I'm there. Even in the dark.

The funny thing is, I didn't even think any deeper than this until my husband came home and said that one of his coworkers, who reads my blog, wished I would write a blog about it (So thanks for the idea, Nancy!)

Have you ever been to the funeral of person whose family believes and loves God? If you've noticed, there's a huge difference. The first type of family is sad, and they may cry for awhile, but they're still able to smile and there's a joy because they know that God is there--he is there to comfort and reassure them that everything is ok--even in what seems like a dark time. I witnessed this at both of my grandmother's funerals. My parents and my family who are saved didn't spend the whole time weeping; they were able to smile and speak kind words to people and even share funny memories about my grandmothers. Even in the dark, they had hope. They knew that God had a plan and that tomorrow would bring a new day.

You might have had a much longer struggle than 3 hours with God and his plans for your life. You might not want to give in at all, because "It's your life and you're going to live it for you--not for some unseen God." When you're in a really dark place, though--when it seems like there's nowhere to go and noway to climb out--just look beside you. Even in the dark, you can see Him, staying with you as long as it takes for you to find rest. When you finally realize that He's right there, you can lie down and have peace, knowing that He's there. And if you wake up, and it's dark and you feel alone--cry out to Him again. He will come to your rescue whenever you need Him.

So, yeah, I'm gonna eat my words. I still would never leave Kade alone to cry and I don't think I would have let him cry at all before now, but at this point, it works for us. Kade gets plenty of sleep, wakes up happy, and still gives me slobbery hugs and kisses He still loves me. He knows I'm there, even in the dark.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Oh, baby, it's a new day...."

Good morning! It's a new day, people! A fresh new day and a fresh new week!
Get out there and live your lives!

It's the calm of the storm that comes blowing in
It's the springtime saying I'm back again
The clouds that roll by
Crossing moonlight
Me and you love - everything's alright
Standing in the rain with nowhere to go
Laughing and we're spinning and I hope that you
Remember this day
For the rest of your life
Me and you love - everything's gonna be alright

And it just might be
The prettiest thing that you'll ever see
It's a new day
Oh baby, it's a new day
If you look outside
To see a beautiful sunrise
It's a new day
---"New Day", Robbie Seay Band

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Trust is an issue that has weighed heavily on my mind for the last several days.
It's something that is hard to gain, but so easy to break.

In this day and time, it's hard to trust anyone. There are so many stories on the news about murders and assaults that happened just because someone thought they could trust another person. There are so many people who steal and cheat money from people who trusted them. So many children kidnapped. After seeing and hearing all of these things, of course it would be hard to trust just anyone.

On a slightly smaller scale (but more personal)--some humans, apparently, find it hard to tell the truth. Ever. Of course, we all slip up and tell fibs from time to time, but not massive lies that could potentially ruin the lives of others.

If you ever have an experience where someone deceives you in a big way, you may not want to trust anyone at all. However, if you don't trust someone, life is very lonely. For me, it's trust in God. Oh, I trust my husband and my family and my friends, but as humans, they have the potential to mess up from time to time. If I decided not to trust them at all for fear they would let me down, life would be miserable. However, God is the one person whom I can say with all certainty will never break my trust. He will never let any of my secrets slip, never turn His back on me, and never, ever abandon me.

Do you see what I'm saying? It's ok to trust people, but if we put all of our trust in them, we will someday be disappointed.

I have a wonderful group of friends. As a mother, it's sometimes hard to find people you can connect with, people who will listen to you, and people who actually understand you. This group of friends is a mixed bag of hilarious, sarcastic, understanding, intelligent, giving, nurturing goodness! We shared secrets with each other. We shared each others' lives! This weekend, someone betrayed our trust. As a result, we lost something very precious and valuable. But I want them to know, they still have my trust. Even if time proves that one of them messed up (and I believe with all my heart one of them did not), I won't regret trusting. I would be disappointed, yes, but I would not be lost. I still have One who will never let me down.

Ladies (because I know some of you read)--I love you and I trust you. It will all work out someway, somehow. Don't throw your trust out the window, ok?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

You gotta have faith.....

A year ago yesterday, I got up at 5:30 am. I cried when the alarm went off. I cried in the shower. I cried while I got dressed. Then, I cried while I woke Kade up, nursed him, and dressed him.
I got in the car and drove 5 minutes away--and I left him.

I went back to work for the first time in 9 weeks.

It didn't matter to me that he was with his grandmother (though I knew she loved him and would take excellent care of him). It didn't matter that I would be home in 8 hours.
All that mattered was that I was leaving my baby to take care of the children of others. That didn't make sense to me. I kept saying, "It's just not right." I didn't mean that I felt guilty or bad; I just knew it wasn't where I was supposed to be, but I couldn't do anything about it.

There are those who would say that I should have just quit anyways and that it's wrong to be a working mother. To those people: I would do anything to make sure my family has what they need. I wanted to "just quit" every single day that I was back at work, but I had a contract to fulfill and a family to protect.

I knew in my very heart of hearts, however, that I was supposed to be home. I taught my students nouns and verbs and Shakespeare. I did everything that I was supposed to do, but I knew that my calling was no longer with them. As I've said before, I had to believe that God wanted me home, too. That He wanted me to be happy and to have the desires of my heart. I had no idea how it would happen, but I had to have faith.

That morning however-October 8, 2009-I was not a picture of faith. I sat in my car and cried, I kicked the floorboard of my car and pounded my fists on the dashboard. I threw a hissy fit in front of God and begged Him to save me and He made me walk in that building anyway. You see, sometimes, there would be no point in having faith if we were just handed whatever we wanted without any discomfort.

To see where I was on that day a year ago, and to see where I am now......well, it just doesn't make any sense on this earth. Thank God that He's the master planner because I, with my two year-old temper tantrums, definitely would have messed things up! Thank God that I'm not where I was and I'm not who I was.

Now, I am going to go back to bed and cuddle my sweet boy some more before he gets too big.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My first time

Kade threw up today for the first time. On me. More than once.
It's strange. I'm usually a contagious gagger. You know, one of those people who immediately gags and sometimes throws up when someone else does.
With Kade, my first instinct was to pick him up and hold him. Poor guy.
I even cleaned it up without gagging.
Ah, and so goes the life of the SAHM.
In all serious, if you get a chance, pray for him today. The picture is him on my lap this morning watching Monsters, Inc. Please ignore my unwashed self in the background.
He's napping right now, so he hasn't been sick in a couple of hours.
Praying for a good, clean, healthy rest of the day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Food

I love to cook, but it's hard for me to try new things with a very small, but very cute person hanging onto my leg, begging to be picked up.

See what I mean?

However, I've gotten to make several new things in the past couple of weeks.

First, I tried The Pioneer Woman's apple fritters.

I don't have a very good camera, so this picture in no way does them justice, but they were finger lickin' good. No, really. I licked every bit of the powdered sugar off of my fingers. They would have been even better with some apple butter, but I didn't get any until the next day. I'm going to try them again soon (considering there is a 5 lb. bag of apples in my fridge that my husband ignores and my son doesn't like).

The second thing I made was Moist Pumpkin Spice Muffins, also courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.
Did I mention there was homemade cream cheese icing?


There was homemade cream cheese icing.

Then, I tried a copycat recipe of O'Charley's Loaded Baked Potato Soup. It was good, but not quite the same, so I had to go to O'Charley's on Saturday night and have some of the real thing. If you're interested in the recipe I used, though, here it is.

Since I had a cup of leftover pumpkin puree from the pumpkin muffins, I made a pumpkin cheesecake on Saturday. The recipe is a copycat of The Cheesecake Factory. I haven't had the real thing, so I can't vouch for the accuracy, but this one was pretty good! Here's the recipe for it. Sorry, no pictures, but I promise you it's worth it!

There are so many more things I want to try this fall! What are some of your favorite fall recipes?

Fourteen months old

I told you I wanted to do a picture post as soon as I uploaded my pictures to my computer, so here it is.

It's hard to believe my baby is 14 months old on Wednesday!

This is Kade singing "Happy Birthday" to his Poppa (my dad) on his birthday.

Sharing birthday cake with Grandad. Yum!

Kade and I at the park one warm, sunny day before it got cold. Yeah, last week.

What a beautiful smile! He loves to play outside!

Enjoying his new swing.

So fly.

Auntie C and Kade equally engrossed in Veggie Tales.

Kade glaring at the ducks who tried to attack us when we fed them at the park.

He is so close to walking that it's scary. He actually has taken a couple of steps, but nothing consistent. Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, once he starts walking, you'll wish we wasn't." He's into everything already and crawls about as fast as a person could run, so I don't know if there'll be a big difference.

Auntie C took a lovely series of pictures on Saturday of Kade eating Corn Pops out of a family size box. (What can I say?! I was out of organic bunnies!) I'm going to have to get her to help me do a blog with them. To those of you who wouldn't think I was the most terrible mother in the world They are hilarious!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Say it fast! Watch yourself!

I so wish y'all could hear me sing the title to this post because you would laugh your heads off. I have always aspired to be a rapper and even have a video entitled "Bacon, Egg, and Cheese" that some of you have seen. If you haven't, don't seek it out. Hopefully, my sister has completely removed it from her hard drive.

Anyways, word vomit. Most of us have a problem with it at some time or another, right? You think something and it just comes flying out of your mouth before you can stop it. I probably do it even more than you. Luckily, I am too timid to be so bold to anyone other than family or very close friends. Unfortunately, though, family and friends are the people who are hurt the most when we say things without really thinking about the consequences of our words.

With the internet, word vomit has taken on a new meaning. We have plenty of time to think about things before we type them and there's also a thing known as the "Delete" key, which allows you to type something and then erase it before you send the message to a person or make public whatever you're typing. However, our little fingers seem to fly across the keys faster than we think. Also, since we're not face to face with all of the people who read our words, we're bolder and sometimes more foolish.

I typed a message to someone last week about an issue that was very petty. I didn't really think about it until after I pushed "Submit" and then felt terrible about what I had said. My feelings would have been hurt if someone had sent the same message to me. *sigh* I apologized, but there's no Delete key after your words have been sent. When we talk to someone face to face, there's definitely no delete key after the words have come out of your mouth. You can apologize, but you can't take them back.

We put all kinds of things out there on the internet for the public to see. I, for one, am definitely more verbal on the web than I am in public. However, there are two things that I refuse to talk about on the internet: my marriage (Except about how awesome my hubby is! He really is!) and my finances. I don't mean discussing privately between friends; I mean Facebook status out there for everyone to see public. Because c'mon--you may have 250 (probably more) Facebook friends, but for most of us, they're not all close friends that we want to know your private business. Most likely, people are going to remember what you've said far longer than the issue actually lasts. Our fingers can type something really fast, but the impact will probably last a lot longer. So, even though you're tempted to say it fast, watch yourself!

Oh, you have no idea how much I want to type "yo'self", but I will be ridiculed by the people in real life who read my blog, so I will restrain myself.

And at this point, I've probably said too much, so.........

It's finally October here, so I am going to enjoy this beautiful fall day with my gorgeous boy and my handsome hubby (who is actually home today), after they wake up from their nap. Oh, and also spend some time with my beautiful sister and her charming boyfriend, who are coming home today. Then, I'm going to top off the evening by going on a date with Michael. Tomorrow, I'm going to go to church and make a pumpkin cheesecake. Perfect weekend!

By the way, I have a cool little widget on the sidebar of my blog that tells me the location (just City/State, not IP address or anything creepy) of all the people who read my blog. Comment sometime--or at least send me an e-mail to the address at the top of my blog. I'd like to see who some of y'all are!

Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Writer's Block

I hate going through the cycles of a writer.

I'm working on a book (not editing one this time, writing one myself) and I go through these really frustrating phases.

First, I get an idea. I become really excited. I write and write and write. I carry a little notebook with me everywhere to put ideas down in.

Then, I get stuck. I stop writing for awhile. I feel stagnant. I am stagnant.

Something motivates me and inspires me to start writing again. I feel good. I write and write again.

I get writer's block and feel like I'll never finish.

I'm at that point now. It's not a lack of ideas; I feel like I've written so much that some of it is just mumble jumble and meaningless. I don't want to delete everything, but I don't know how to fix it. I want this book (if it ever gets published) to mean something to people. I want them to be able to relate to it and be inspired.

Darn writer's block.

Focus, Leah, focus.

Back to the writing board.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Help or a hug

Kade and I were looking in the bathroom mirror this morning and I pulled my bangs down so that they covered my eyes. (Sidenote: I got bangs about a month ago and Kade is not very fond of them. He's always pushing them out of my face.) I was hoping he would push them out of my face, but he just looked at me.

I said, "Kade, help me!"

He wrapped his arms around my neck, buried his face in my neck, and patted my back.

I said, "Kade, I said 'help me', not 'hug me'".

Immediately, I felt something move inside of me. He may not have helped me the way I meant to help me, but a hug is help. When I'm sad and Michael or Kade give me a hug, it makes a world of difference. When I'm hurting or stressed out, a hug IS help.

Reminds me of God. We're always asking Him for help, and when He doesn't help us the way we wanted Him to, we pout. Sometimes, parents divorce, children die of cancer, wars rage on, people lose jobs, and instead of stopping these things, God just wraps His arms around us. We don't always appreciate it. "That's nice, God, but why couldn't you have done so and so." I can't say why He doesn't stop all of the bad things in the world. I wish I could understand. I realized this morning, though, that when we ask for help, and He just wraps His arms around us and gives us peace, it doesn't mean he's not helping us. Take his help. Rest in His arms.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" Psalm 91:1

Friday, September 24, 2010


I was trying to think of a catchy title for this post, something that started with "F" and sounded good with Friday. I thought of "fabulous", but there's nothing very fabulous about this post OR Friday. I also thought of "fantastic", "freaky", and "fanatical", but those weren't right either. SO, if you can think of a good "F" word to go with Friday, let me know.

I missed having cable for the first time last night (we got rid of it a month ago and subscribed to Netflix), because the season premiere of "The Office" was on! Luckily, it was posted all over the webz first thing this morning. I have watched 2 minutes of it, and then paused it to do some work. I just want to savor a new episode, because I think we have watched all the seasons through twice since the end of last season. We are "Office" fanatics.

Mostly, not having cable is nice. We didn't watch much on TV anyway and there's such a huge selection of movies and children's shows that we're never bored. There's so much crap (for lack of a better description) on cable television and we were paying somewhere around $50/month for nothing to watch. Seriously. We got several hundred channels and would just sit and flip, flip, flip. Plus, one can watch all kinds of shows on websites like hulu or fancast. So, I'm happy with our decision.

Kade got his first amber teething necklace in the mail yesterday. It was supposed to be for Christmas, but I put it right on him (he doesn't know the difference anyways). He hasn't had it on long enough for me to tell if it works, but it looks so cute on him! I'll post a picture when I upload them. Actually, I have several cute pictures of the boy. I'll do a post of those soon.

He is becoming such a daddy's boy. They hang out a lot together at night (because I have the most awesome husband in the world who gets up with Kade at night and puts him back to sleep). This morning, he didn't want to let Michael go. I know it broke daddy's heart. In the evenings, I'll say, "Daddy will be home soon!", Kade sucks in all of his breath and grins and looks toward the door. He loves his dad!

On an unrelated note, it's hard to believe that it's fall here! The heat is almost unbearable in the middle of the day! I can't wait for real fall. Cool fall. Pretty leaves fall (right now, they're just brown and crispy). Fall also means that the Fall Jesus Party is coming up at church (our alternative to trick or treating on Halloween; plenty of candy, but no walking door to door). I've got to find a costume for Kade. I thought about sewing one, but my sewing machine is MIA somewhere "being repaired", and I don't know if I could learn to sew between now and then even if I had it. Anyone have any good ideas for costumes, though?

Well, I am supposed to be working on writing some things, but I got distracted, so......

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are you listening?

I was just rocking Kade to sleep and praying (and by the way, he's still not asleep; his daddy has taken over) and something struck me, so I wanted to get it down while it was fresh.

I've been praying for a certain person for a long time (and don't try to guess who it is, it doesn't matter). Years, in fact. I've prayed for this person to change, for God to soften this person's heart, etc., etc.

Tonight, the matter came up again while I was praying and God spoke something new to my heart--or maybe I was just actually listening this time. Often, He wants to tell us things far before we actually hear them--we just haven't been paying attention.

He said, Stop praying for this person to change and start praying that I will help you to love them just the way they are.

Wow, what a revelation! God will have to work on this person Himself--I really don't have any control over the situation--but I can choose to love them no matter what. I need to stop focusing on what I think God should do and start focusing on what I actually can do, which is to love.

After all, that's what God does. Even when I'm headed in the absolute opposite direction of where He intends for me to go, even when I'm stubborn as a mule and refuse to do what He says. He doesn't force me to His will. What would that teach me? He just loves me, and He waits.

So tonight, I choose to love.

Night, all!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Little Moments

So, I've got to say, putting a baby to sleep in his own bed is not easy--especially when he's been sleeping in yours for most of the last 13 months.

Kade is a very light sleeper and the tough part of this is not putting him to sleep, but in getting him down into his crib without him waking up. I've been successful at this for the past 5 nights, but only after developing a routine. After he is in his pajamas (if it's nighttime) with face washed and teeth brushed, I sit in his rocking chair with him and read a book, pray, and then sing a couple of songs. Then, we rock (which may or may not involve nursing). When I feel like he's asleep, I stand up and sway back and forth with him in my arms. Now, this is the hard part. If I don't hold him long enough, he will wake up as soon as I lean over the crib. If I hold him too long, he will wake up because he senses that something is changing.

The first or second night I got him down in his crib, I discovered that counting to 360 is the perfect amount of time for Kade to get fully asleep. I sway to the left and count 1, I sway to the right and count 2, and so on and so on. At 360, I slowly lean over his crib and gently lay him down.

Well, today at naptime, I was swaying and counting and suddenly, I thought--what a waste of time! And I realized something.

I pray for Kade several times a day, but I realized that mostly, I pray with Kade--for lunch, at bedtime, etc. I've really slacked on praying for him--for his future, his health--all the things I admired that my parents prayed for for me when they thought I wasn't listening.

So, today, I stopped counting and I started praying. Sometimes, we only get a few quiet moments in the day. The rest of the day, our thoughts are everywhere--work, husband, housework, money--everywhere but the really important things. Sometimes, we push the things that should be on the top of our list to the bottom. I want to make even my little moments count.

You know, people always say, "It's the quality that counts, not the quantity". Make this true in your life. Maybe you don't have a lot of downtime during the day. Most of us don't. So make your little moments count.

Friday, September 10, 2010

You never know....

Every Friday, one of my favorite high school English teachers would say to us,

It's Friday. The world is a sudden place. Take care of yourselves, take care of your hearts, and take care of each other. Come back safely to us on Monday, because you are loved in this place.

She wouldn't let us leave the classroom for the weekend without telling us this. If the bell had rung, you knew not to move, because Mrs. Short still had something to say. I remember one Friday, when I was in eleventh grade, she wasn't there, but she left us all business cards with her Friday saying on them.

In a way, it was surprising. Many teachers just seemed to care about what you were doing during the 90 minutes you were in their class, but Mrs. Short cared about us beyond that. She left such an impact on me, that when I decided to come back home to college and had to change my major, the very first thing that popped into my head was English class. Oh, I love to read and write--don't get me wrong--but it was the experience that had stuck with me. She had such a way with us, even when we were bad. She never yelled at us, but if we made her mad, we knew she meant business. Heck, we didn't want to make her upset. We had the most wonderful discussions (even when they were about nothing of any literary value whatsoever). She taught us about life. If I could ever be half of the teacher she is, I would be satisfied.

I guess, my point is--you never really know the long term impact you're going to have on someone. Even if you're doing all the "right" things, you still don't understand the full extent of your influence on someone. You might do something small that doesn't really meant much to you, but that sticks with someone else for the rest of his/her life.

I want to be this kind of person. I don't know if I'll ever be a public school teacher again, but I want to be the kind of person who makes a lasting positive impact on people, whether it's because of my passion for Christ or music or books or writing or breastfeeding or even just on my son. Whatever it is, I want to make a difference with someone, somewhere.

Lord, use me to do what You need me to do.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Catch up

I've been a major blogging slacker lately, but we've had a lot going on--and I've been trying to stay off the computer except during naptimes and sometimes, late at night. Plus, I don't feel like I've had much of value to say lately, and don't want to put anyone to sleep. However, you could probably use a good nap, so read away!

I'm doing some freelance writing right now, which is extremely fun and fulfilling. I like writing on this level, and hopefully, will do it again sometime.

I've also been substituting a little since school started back. Everyday that I go reiterates in my heart the knowledge that home is where I'm supposed to be (as opposed to full time teaching), but it's nice to keep my feet wet.

Michael is going back to college this fall, which I'm sure is exciting and nervewracking all at the same time. I'm so proud of him, though!

Kade is 13 months old and almost walking. He has stood by himself a handful of times, but won't quite let go of whatever he is holding on to. When he does finally let go, I know he's going to take off (We could all probably learn a lesson from that).

We went to Dollywood yesterday and Kade rode the Ferris wheel, the cars, and the carousel (which promptly broke as soon as it started). We had so much fun together, and it was nice to spend a day away with daddy. I'm pretty sure Kade's favorite part was the trip to Olive Garden, though.

After almost 3 months, Michael drove his car to work today. It has been out of commission all summer, so he has been driving his motorcycle to work and back everyday. Good for our gas budget, but not so fun for Michael. I'm sure he was glad to be inside of the car on such a chilly morning.

My little sis is back in college, with a year and a half left till graduation! She is also the director of their college sports network. Go Bucs! She has a wonderful boyfriend and most of her life is hunky dorey! Except she no habla Espanol, which could be a problema. (Just kidding, hermana.)

I could tell you all the boring stuff, like my parents just got back from the beach (Booo to them!) and I cleaned both of my bathrooms, washed the dishes, and took a shower by 9 this morning, but I'll spare you!

Happy kind of Monday!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Not me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

I haven't definitely not been a major slacker lately when it comes to blogging! I have so many ideas running through my head at all the hours of the day that I always make sure to get them down on paper before I forget them.

You haven't seen any blogs in awhile, you say? must have missed them!

August flew right by! I can't believe it's almost September! At least we have 4 whole months until Christmas. That's plenty of time to get Christmas shopping done, right? I most certainly have not started mine. While we're on the subject, I also haven't had a running Christmas list for everyone since June. That is far too early to even be thinking about Christmas, much less buying.

When I do shop, I get things done. I'm so not one of those shoppers who loads down their shopping cart and then has second thoughts and empties it of every.single.thing. That's not me!

At church yesterday, I did not wince when the praise and worship coordinator thanked our praise band for all the time we spent working on the music for this week, seeing as how we didn't practice until 9 am on Sunday morning. I always make sure I am prepared for things way ahead of time, even on weeks when I have substituted, taught piano lessons, helped my sister move into her new apartment, played with Kade, etc., etc. I am super everything. (Please note my sarcasm)

Speaking of Kade, he is such a wonderful, lively, fun one year old. He's not at the age where he can wander around the yard and he hates the grass, so it's hard to do things with him outside. However, I would never make him sit outside in his birthday wagon for an hour while I pulled weeds in my weed garden, prompting one of our neighbors to say, "Wow! He must be a good boy! He's been sitting there for awhile!"

I am also careful of what goes into his little body. He eats a lot of fruit and all of his other snacks say things like "Organic" or "All natural". I am constantly telling people, "No, he cannot eat that. Why? Because I don't want him to have it; it's not good for him." That being said, I would never, ever share my pizza with him and if I did, he would not enjoy it. My boy only likes healthy food! He knows what's good for him!

I did not do all of the laundry this weekend, knowing that it would leave me nothing to do on Monday. I love to fold laundry during naptime and would much rather be doing that then surfing the interwebz. What a waste of time! I mean, I guess I could clean the bathrooms but we're out of bathroom cleaner and I refuse to leave to house to get some more. Really, though, I cleaned them last week, so what's the use? haha

Happy Monday, everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Who's da boss?

I'll tell you who's not my boss--Society.

You know what really burns me up? When everyone adjusts their moral compass because society says, "It's ok."

Oh, at first, you feel little twinges of guilt for whatever it is you're thinking or doing, but look around at everyone else, surf the web, read enough magazines, watch enough TV, and pretty soon, the "iffy" feelings go away. Wanna know how I know? I've done it! I've done it over and over!

If you're a Christian, we call this the Holy Spirit. We hear this still, small voice (otherwise known as your conscience) and we choose to listen to it or ignore it. Stifle it enough, and it goes completely away. Feels pretty good since you aren't questioning yourself or your actions, but at some point--either here or in eternity--it will come back to bite you.

I don't want to live "up" to society's standards. I don't even want to live up to my own standards. I want to live up to God's standards. He's my boss. And though I have the hardest time being submissive and letting Him be the boss, I am choosing to give Him reign. Have Your way with me. I may struggle over and over and never quite succeed, but I am going to make the effort.

Who's your boss?

Friday, August 13, 2010

I know He's for me....and you

Yesterday was the first day of school in Wise County, and the significance was not lost on me.

Kade woke up at 4:00 and refused to go back to sleep, so I was too sleepy to realize was day it was--until 7:30 am when we were both lying on the couch, Kade on my chest. I laid there, watching the slow rise and fall of his back as he breathed, perfectly content and comfortable and safe. Then, it hit me. Instead of rushing around, trying to get both of us ready, probably getting irritated, dropping him off and then crying in my car in front of the school until it was time to go in, I was right where I was meant to be.

I say this, not in a bragging way, because nothing of this was my doing, but as an extremely thankful mom.

For weeks after I went back to work, I sat in my car and cried and then went to my classroom and cried. I did my job, all while yearning to be at home with my sweet boy. After a few days (okay, maybe weeks) of whining around, I started praying.

One of my favorite songs during that time--and still--was Kari Jobe's "You are for me".
It says:

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness
And I know that You have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

I put a sticky note on my computer monitor that said, You are for me, and every morning (and afternoon, and evening, and middle of the night), I prayed, God, I know You're for me. I know You're not against me. I know You want me to have the desires of my heart.

I thought there was no way. I thought things were impossible, but He made a way.
I am so thankful. When I whine about not having a lot of extra spending money (Oh, boo hoo, right?), I look at Kade and remember what God has done. I remember that He is for me.

And not just me, but you.

He is on your side! He's for you! Believe it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I think first birthdays are special to every parent.

I remember my parents talking about how many people were at my first birthday party and how many people loved me.

When we got home from Kade's party Saturday night, Michael looked at Kade and said, "Buddy, you are blessed!"

And he is.

Not because he had a big party and not because he got presents, but because there were so many people there who loved him. They weren't there for the free food or the swimming; every single person was there because they care about and love Kade.

These are the kind of friends who would be there in a split second if I needed them. They would do anything for us, no strings attached. We could go months without seeing them and feel like we had never been apart. We have thousands of memories and a million inside jokes.

Friends are a blessing. Though we have one great Friend, it's nice to have some here on earth.

To all of ours--Thanks for making Kade's first birthday so wonderful!

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Not Me! Monday"

Mckmama- Not Me Monday
It's Monday again! So hard to believe another week has gone by!

You know, I try to eat relatively healthily. I've lost a lot of weight since Kade was born and I plan on keeping it off! I give in every now and then, but I definitely would never eat hot dogs for three meals in a row. Nope! Not me!

I also would not make these ginormous cookies with brownies inside the day before Kade's birthday, knowing we would be having plenty of cake and cookies around the house.

I don't think I've posted any pictures of things I've canned from my garden, but I have (or had, before we ate some) 19 jars of green beans, 26 jars of pickles, 9 jars of spaghetti sauce, and 4 jars of salsa. Canning things I have grown is such a rewarding feeling. Therefore, I would never let a bag of tomatoes just sit in my fridge because I was sick and tired of boiling, peeling, and chopping them. Nope! That is my very favorite part. And I am definitely not a waster!

On another note, Kade turned one at 12:15 am on Friday morning. We put him to bed around 9 on Thursday night, and I knew I had plenty to do the next day--bake and ice the cakes, take Kade to the doctor, pick up a few things from the store, etc, etc. Knowing this, I would never have stayed up until 12:15, just to post a "Happy Birthday!" status on my Facebook. Because, of course, I definitely could have done it on Friday morning when I woke up.

Speaking of my obsession interest in the internet, I do not get up and nurse Kade in the living room just so I can check NP and Facebook. That would be just embarrassing to admit. It would be much easier to just lie in bed anyway. The web can wait.

I also would never post a picture like this just to make myself laugh on a Monday morning when it is almost 9:30 and I have still not had my coffee.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Good News

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Mark 16:15

Jesus said the above words to the eleven remaining disciples when he appeared to them after he had risen from the dead.

What is the "good news"?

People seem to have different ideas, especially in today's world.

To some pastors and teachers, the "good news" is that God wants you to prosper; He wants you to surround yourself with Godly, intelligent, successful people and make you a success. He wants you to think positive, be self-confident, and go after your dreams This isn't too far from the truth. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

The problem is that this often very heavily waters down the Word of God. There is so much more to the message than being prosperous, especially being prosperous on this earth. In fact, this is kind of a selfish message as it focuses on ourselves more than anything.

On the other end of the extreme, some preachers and even individuals, seem to think that the "good news" is that God is coming soon, nonbelievers are going to hell, and everything about this world is of the devil. Once again, this is pretty much true. Mark 16:16 says, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

Though it is true that the Bible says those who don't believe will not spend eternity with Him, that is not the focus of the message. It's not the "good news." Though people should know the consequences of their actions (or inaction as the case may be), condemnation is not God's focus. Fear of eternity is not God's focus. In fact, John 3:16-17 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son........For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

The good news is that God sent Jesus to save us. He wants us to have life and to have it more abundantly. He wants us to have heaven to look forward to. He wants us to come to Him out of love, not out of fear. He wants to reward us, not punish us. Doesn't that sound like good news to you?

Don't get me wrong. We still have to remember that there are always consequences for our actions. You touch a hot stove, you get burned. That kind of thing.

Ultimately, though, if we accept it, there is love and forgiveness.

Have you shared the good news today?

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 2009

Today is full of so many milestones.
12 months of life for Kade.
12 months of being a mother for me.
12 months of breastfeeding.
12 months of constant change in my opinions and my thoughts.
12 months of a closer relationship with God.
12 months of experiencing unconditional love in the flesh.

The best 12 months of my life.

I wish I could explain all the indescribable ways my heart has been changed in the last 365 days.
I wish I could fully express the joy of being a mother and the intense love that wells up everytime I look into his face.

In the split second that Kade was pulled from me and I stared into his unblinking eyes, I caught a little glimpse of what Mary must've felt when she realized that she was holding Emmanuel--God with us.
At that moment, he was the purest form of innocence.

I never thought I wanted to be a mother, and now--I realize it is my life's calling.


You changed my life, like winter to spring,
You changed my mind--about everything.
You changed me from a girl to a woman
Just a wife to a mother
Made my husband a father.
You changed my heart, from full to overflowing.
You changed my plans, without even knowing.
You changed all my motives--I do it all for you.
You changed my dreams, yet they've all still come true.
You changed my whole world the second you came,
And now that you're here, I'll never be the same.

Happy Birthday, baby.

I love you,


P.S. Don't grow up so fast. Let me hold you a little longer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One year ago today....

One year ago today, I got up and went to work. I started to set up my brand new classroom. I was exactly 37 weeks pregnant.
I worked in a school with no air conditioning and it was quite possibly in the 90 degree range inside of the school that day. I put up bulletin boards, made copies, got my textbooks, and finalized my maternity leave plans (because I knew Kade would be born sometime in the following weeks). At 2:30, I took one last look around my classroom, locked the door, and went downstairs to attend a faculty meeting. I had my 37 week doctor's appointment at 3:30.
I went to the doctor's appointment. They took my blood pressure. They took it again. They got someone else to take it to make sure that the first two nurses were correct. Then, they sent me to the hospital.
I have never been so scared in my life. I had never, ever, in my life been in the hospital. They said they were just going to monitor my blood pressure for a few hours and make sure I didn't have pre-E, but when they hooked me up to the monitor, they discovered I was having contractions. Big contractions. Fairy close contractions.
They said I would have to stay there all night, at least.
And that was my day, in a nutshell, one year ago.
Nearing much closer than I thought to one of the biggest days of my life.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

That's Who I Am....

I know who I am......
Biologically, I'm Leah, daughter of Jack and Ninkey, wife to Michael, mother to Kade, sister to Callie.
I'm a praise and worship leader and a piano teacher.
I'm also a Christian, a gardener, a breastfeeding advocate, a cook, a writer, and a deep thinker.
These things are mostly set in stone.

There are so many things I aspire to be:
A stylish dresser, good at making friends, more patient, a published writer, creative and crafty, a "cloth" user, a violinist, an athlete, an articulate speaker, and a traveler (to name a few).

Sometimes, I make myself sick wishing I was more like this or less like that. More like this person.
I have so many friends who can knit awesome longies or pick out the perfect outfit. Sometimes, I am green with envy. Sometimes, I even sit up way too late and blog about it, just to get my feelings out in the open.

Several of the things on my list of aspirations, I can probably work on.

For example, I just received my granny's sewing machine and am determined to learn how to sew. (Check crafty off the list)
For my first project, I plan to make some cloth wipes. (Check cloth, even though I would like to do diapers at some point as well)

I will probably never be a stylish dresser, though, unless someone picks out all my clothes for me.

In the scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. Even if I wasn't Kade's mommy or Michael's wife, even if I had no musical talent, no matter what I aspire to or fail at, here's who I am to the one who really matters:

"But now, this is what the LORD says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

I am God's child.

"And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend." James 2:23

I am God's friend.

"Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31

I am of value to Him.

All of my lofty aspirations are nice, but not necessary.
The important thing is--I know, not just who I am, but whose I am.

I know I am loved by the King, and it makes my heart wanna sing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's the Little Things

I told Michael one day last week that God is always doing silly little things for me.

He said, "Like what?"

I said, "Well.....In June, we got back the deposit from the town water department and our electricity, so we didn't have to pay them. Then, I was whining around to myself about how none of my pants fit because I've lost so much weight and the very next evening, my sister gave me some pants of hers that don't fit anymore, but fit me perfectly. Just little things that you would think wouldn't matter."

He kind of laughed and said it was neat, blah, blah, blah.

Then, one day this week, he got a letter from the insurance company that he has his motorcycle insurance through. For some reason, we will now be paying $50 less/quarter for insurance.

Michael said, "Remember how you were talking about God doing silly things for you...."

Really, though, no matter how much I whine around, God always does the neatest little things for me. I was thinking about all the drinks I will have to buy for Kade's party and found a coupon that day in the mail that was good for six 2 Liters for $1/each. I've been praying that the rebate for my phone would finally get here (it's been two months) so that I could use it this month, and in the mail it came. Mom prayed with me yesterday that a guy we've been trying to get information from about an engine would call and 5 minutes after we got off the phone, he called.

Nobody's dropping a big check in my lap or bringing me a record deal to sign, but I think all these little blessings are more satisfying than one big blessing.

Thanks, God, for listening to me and meeting my needs--even when I'm a big selfish whiner.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Not Me! Monday"

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

The last few weeks have been very busy and not a little stressful, so I'm ready for some fun! That is, fun that doesn't include canning or getting my house reorganized.

Speaking of my garden, I definitely did not overplant cucumbers. I mean, 26 jars of pickles are not enough for 6 months, much less a whole year. I'm so glad that there are 20 cucumbers waiting in the refrigerator and more to be picked in the garden. I love cucumbers so much at this point, and would never leave them to rot in the garden just because I'm starting to have nightmares about pickling.

I'm also a meticulous housekeeper. My mother did not feel the need to scrub my sink and wash my dishes when she was canning beans at my house this weekend. However, if she had done these things, I would have greatly appreciated it!

Besides being an awesome gardener, I'm also a very, very careful mother. My son would never be able to bust his lip around me, and he most certainly would never fall off of the bed. If he did have either of said accidents, I am sure that I would not become extremely protective and stay with him during every naptime, just for safety's sake. Nope! Not me!

I would also never let my 11 and a half month old son do this, just for the sake of pictures.

I have to spend most of my time at other people's houses saying, "No, he can't have that. I don't let him eat that", so he would definitely not let him do something like this:

If I did let him have said forbidden food, I would not take it away from after two bites, because that would result in......

I did not do that!

Have a wonderful, blessed Monday everyone!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday....

It may be a cheesy title, but it's nice alliteration, so I'll take it.

All too often, especially in the last couple weeks, I've let myself get mired down, depressed, stressed out, and worried, when I have so many things to be thankful for.

Lists always make me feel better, so here's my list of things to be thankful for:
1) We're able to pay all of our bills, every month, on time, in full, without fail.
2) God has blessed us so that I can stay home, take care of our son, and watch him grow.
3) I have 9 wonderful piano students who stretch my brain, make me laugh, and amaze me.
4) I have a husband and son who love me and whom I love to the moon and back.
5) I have a garden that produces abundantly more than it should considering my skills as a gardener.
6) I have friends--friends at church, long distance friends, and the best Friend of all.
7) My family is out of this world!
8) There is food in my refrigerator and cupboards.
9) God has given me gifts that I enjoy using for Him.
10) I have unlimited texting (shallow, but I'm thankful for it)
11) I live in a country that, though it needs serious help, still allows me more freedom than most.
12) The sky is a gorgeous color blue today and the locusts are chirping like crazy, which always tells you it's a nice, warm day outside.
13) There is a car outside with gas in it, ready to take me anywhere I need to go.
14) I have an insurance card in my purse, so that we can go to the doctor if anyone gets sick or hurt.
15) Today is my father-in-law's birthday and I could not have asked for a better father-in-law.
16) Kade is taking a nap, which gives me some time to relax and renew for the afternoon.
17) I live in a house that truly means "home" to me.
18) My internet browser has tabs, so I can keep multiple pages open at the same time (it's the little things).
19) I have a dishwasher full of dishes that I didn't have to wash by hand.
20) I woke up this morning to a brand new day!

Every morning when I wake Kade up and lay him on his changing table, I say, "This is the day that the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!"

I need to remember to rejoice and to be thankful--everyday!