I had an unexpected but wonderful conversation with my best friend’s mom last night. I say unexpected but it was SOOOO planned by God to put us together last night. It began with her telling me all the ways that HER heart has changed lately but what she didn’t know was that she was really speaking directly to ME. Everything she was saying was God speaking to ME and I was blown away! The best part was that I was so open and willing to hear what He was saying through her. I didn’t fight back, I let Him speak to me. So amazing!!
I am not going to post the personal details of the conversation but I really feel changed. In my marriage and life I have been bitter at times, prideful a LOT of the time and often selfish. In my interactions with Alan, I often nit-pick, challenge and “correct”. I have some relationships that are frustrating at times, people I tend to gossip about more than pray for. However, the question it all comes back to is, how does this serve God? Does this please God? And the answer is, if it isn’t coming from a place of love – God’s love - then no.
She told me that at times when she finds herself falling back into her “old” habits or ways that she just says to herself, “Just you and me, God, it just about you and me.” SO TRUE! Stop the gossip, the bitterness, the pridefulness, the judgements and get back to the ONLY thing that is truly important – your relationship with the Creator! Just you and me, God!
Alan and I are facilitating a retreat this weekend with our group from our church on the book Enjoying the Presence of God by Jan Johnson. It is a wonderful book that just talks about being in God’s presence ALL of the time; at any moment allowing God into your life and heart. One of the ways she talks about doing this is through what she calls, “breath prayers”. A breath prayer is a short, simple saying to get you back into God’s presence in an instant. It can be a short line of scripture or just a short prayer. How amazing was it that she was telling me about her breath prayer but in a real life context and what a great reminder of what is truly important.
Just you and me, God. Amen.
…turns into a death match.
What a wonderful day!! G, J & B got to hold their precious new babes today!! How amazing this family of 7 will be when they come home to Nathan and Corban on Saturday!! Thank you Lord for this gift!!
Jack and a I rarely get to spend time ‘just us’ anymore so it was fun to have a “date day” with my oldest baby boy! Colin spent the day with JuJu, which I am sure he loved. Jack and I started off the morning going to the Willowbend Mall play area where Jack didn’t really have a lot of interest in playing because there were “too many kids”. I was totally confused by this – but he just didn’t seem to care. So, instead, we went and had a snack at Starbucks and went and bought shoes! My kinda morning!! Sadly, the shoes were for Jack! haha!
We then left the mall and headed downtown to pick up Daddy for lunch. Since Jack had to go pee-pee when we got there we went inside – which of course resulted in yet another tour of the building so all the ladies could ooh and aww over our munchkin. Jack did enjoy getting to see the new KXT studios, however.
I had to laugh because as much as he has to fight for attention sometimes because of Colin being so little and needy – he still asked about 100 times when Colin was going to come home and was so concerned that he do so quickly! What a sweet boy!
Jack has asked about Gina and Jason and their new “babies” coming home from Africa all week so I took the above pic of him waving to them to send so they knew we were thinking of them. I was shocked to get a reply email very quickly from the mountains in Africa! We love you Root family and can’t wait for you to all be home together!
He had so much fun that he sacked out in the car on the way home.
I sit here right now with a very heavy heart. I feel like, over the last couple of days, God has placed a lot on my heart. Of course the devistation in Haiti is unbelievable and unimaginable. I cannot even begin to fathom that amount of devistation and heartache. But even apart from that I have happened upon so many stories of babies and families that are suffering right now in horrible ways. They have come to me from many different avenues. It almost seems like wherever I look – I see heartache and suffering right now. That is a lot to reconcile during a time when so many seem more concerned with who should host the “Tonight Show” than people laying dead in the streets of Haiti.
So, why is God sending me so many messages of pain when my own life is seemingly full of blessings?
Why? I don’t have a grateful heart. I have not been truly thankful of the amazing joys, love and beauty that is my life and family. No, I don’t believe in a vengeful God – He isn’t punishing me, he is simply reminding me. He is taking the focus off of my own pity parties and stupid, trivial frustrations and opening my eyes to those that need my prayer and support.
I am a firm believer that God knows how best to speak to each of us. He knows how to reach us in the most effective ways. For some He can truly speak directly to and they will hear and listen. For me, it is through images and words. Being an artist I am, naturally, a visual learner. I guess that also makes me a visual “hearer”. So, all of these images that have been flashing before me really are God trying to speak to me. It is a very strong feeling – stronger than most.
Thank you God for calming my heart and mind and helping me to show love instead of anger, peace instead of frustration. Please use me as your servant, Lord.
Let me start by saying – Jack LOVES his baby brother. He will read to him, kiss him, make him laugh, get highly concerned when he is crying etc. He does this all on his own with little or no prompting from parents (except for a cute photo-op and then it usually doesn’t work, of course!). Night before last my dear hubby was making dinner and took Colin in the kitchen with him. Jack decided he needed to “doctor” Colin.
But when Dr. Jackyll started concocting his evil plans – I started to get worried!
**Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware that this is a vet kit and not a “Dr.” kit thus confusing my poor son for life and yes, I am aware that Colin is not strapped into his bouncer – gasp! I have NEVER once strapped him into that thing and likely never will before he is too big for it. I laugh when I see newborns strapped in. Oh well, just add it to my “bad parent” list! It’s getting long!
I have often said this as a parent – “whatever works”. I don’t know that I thought I would be a “whatever works” kind pf parent before I had kids. I mean, kids should be on schedules and develop appropriately according to a calendar, right? HAHAHA!! Wow – have I changed! I mean, schedules are nice. I, personally, THRIVE on them- but I have always let the kids choose theirs. They have really done a nice job, so I don’t have many complaints. Poor Colin does have to kind of be at the mercy of the rest of the family so his chosen schedule doesn’t always get adhered to very well, but he is so laid back, that it rarely bothers him.
Sleep-wise I have also been VERY blessed. I have babies that LOVE to sleep. They are great at being put down while still awake and falling asleep on their own with only a few exceptions – however, if my sweet baby boy needs to be held to sleep because he is sick or just in need of some “Mommy” time, I am not one to complain. I used to think I would be a “cry it out” parent (and sometimes I am) but I seem to have babies that cry for a reason, so when they cry, I pick them up.
Eating-wise, I have not been quite as lucky. Jack was a hoss from the beginning and never looked back. Colin, well – you know about that. Since we have started “Operation Plump Up” he has seriously plumped up but that has really been due to the formula and not at all solid foods. At six-months I was hoping to continue breastfeeding and just fortify his solids but he didn’t seem very interested in solids at the time despite showing ALL the signs. He would grab at our food at the table, he would follow every morsel with his eyes – he seemed VERY interested but when I would try and spoon feed him he would resist with all his might! I swear he is going to be a boxer the way he guards his face. So, I decided to hold off on solids and just increase the formula.
We tried solids again at 7 months with the same result. I started to get creative and think outside of the “books”. I tried letting him self-feed with some soft bananas. Problem is, he would choke, gag and often throw up with anything remotely lumpy in his mouth. He even got to where he would gag just putting a spoon in his mouth. One evening after another frustrating attempt to try and get him to consume something he grabed my finger and started chewing on it. A-HA! Following his cues, I put some rice and avocado on my finger and let him eat it that way. He seemed to really like that because it was sort of a game of getting to chew on Mommy’s finger. After a couple of days of this, my fingers started to get a bit chapped and he, again, lost interest.
So, from what I have gathered up to this point – he likes to be in control of his eating but he can’t handle lumpy foods that he self-feeds and certainly doesn’t know how to manage a spoon. I had the idea of putting food in a mesh teether. This way it wouldn’t be lumpy but he could control his own eating. I loaded it up with his homemade brown rice cereal and some chopped up bananas and watched him go to town! He ate almost the whole bowl! The next night it was rice cereal with avocado and he ate almost half of an avocado! Last night was not as successful but I am not giving up hope that we are at least on the road to learning to eat new and exciting foods! WHATEVER WORKS!
He will be 8 months old on Saturday so there is certainly no rush or need to force anything. I certainly want to make meal time interesting and fun for him instead of something he hates since that will just cause all sorts of problems down the road. We’ll see how this goes!
Here are some cute pics of my self-feeding, messy boy!!
Ugh – what is my problem? When I have almost nothing on my plate I can’t seem to have motivation to want to do much but when I am TOTALLY slammed, I get all these ideas and want to do so much!
So, in the next month we are planning and leading a retreat for our group at church, welcoming home Bekeh and Caleb, driving to Huntsville, Alabama for Alan’s cousin’s wedding, repainting our entire kitchen, repainting the bathroom cabinets, planning and throwing Jack’s 3rd birthday party, tearing out and installing a new fence in the backyard – and so why not handmake a “Happy Birthday” banner to be hung at all of our family birthdays too?!?
I have to say that I have been ITCHING to make something lately. Ever since I quit teaching, I have been actively creating art with my photography but my other passion was sculpture or MAKING things with my hands! I miss it SOO much! But with two sons under 3, who has the time, money or motivation, right?
I was reading a cute blog of a local gal, “The Green Wife” and she posted about planning her daughter’s 3rd birthday party. Her daughter insisted on an owl theme so she set off the hand make all of the decor and favors for the party! WOW! In that same post I saw this birthday banner and was inspired. I love the idea of making something that will last for several birthdays and be a constant in their lives. My family really has nothing like that at all and I want to start some traditions with my new family!
So, last night before I could talk myself out of it I met my crafty friend, Bree, at JoAnn’s to pick out felt and fabrics. Here is the color scheme for the pennants as well as an example of the font that I will use. This is just a paper print out to give you the idea.
Each letter will be cut out of a different piece of fabric for more of a bohemian, patchwork look. Bree was nice enough to let me scrounge around in her scrap bin so, other than the adorable train fabric, it was all FREE!
I will stitch on each letter to a pennant and then add another layer of felt to the back (to cover up the stitching) and then use a “blanket stitch” to sew the felt pieces together. See me using all these cool terms like “blanket stitch”? It’s all Bree’s fault. I told her, “I like that stitch that goes loop and up and loop and up – what’s that called?” After she laughed at me, she told me it was a “blanket stitch”!
I am thinking that I am going to use grommets to thread ribbon through to hang it – but we will deal with that once I get all the letters sewn on etc. Thankfully I have a 10 hour drive to Alabama coming up during which I can do all the stitching – assuming I get it all cut out and prepped in advance!!
Wish me luck! Ok, off to paint the final coat on the cut in’s on the front door and sand bathroom cabinets! THEN I will work on the banner! Ugh!