Thursday, September 30, 2010

You Alone

One of my dearest friends on this earth lost her elderly father yesterday. But I love the way her husband phrased it. God answered their prayers and her father is now free in Heaven. For Believers, We feel the loss, God feels the welcoming them home. As I spoke to her multiple times yesterday, we shared the sorrow, but were also able to share several answers to prayer in the whole situation and in other areas of our lives. God boggles my mind. We so often limit His abilities based on what we think will happen or our cynicism. God is not dependant on us to work. He doesn't need our help, He alone is worthy and powerful.

So today, as we marvel at the Grace of God and the homegoing of one of His saints, these words echo in my heart. (A note about this particular saint. No matter our failings as husbands/wives/parents, God works. Both this man's daughters are married to pastors, one a very famous family, a son who's a pastor, and so many grandkids/great grandkids who were/are raised to love and serve Christ. That's a legacy we can pray for no matter our failings.)

You are not a God
Created by human hands
You are not a God
Dependant on any mortal man
You are not a God
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that's just the way it is

You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You were on the throne
You are God alone

You're the only God
Whose power none can contend
You're the only God
Whose name and praise will never end
You're the only God
Who's worthy of everything we can give
You are God
And that's just the way it is


That's what You are


~So in our good times and bad, let's remember God doesn't need us to work. But when He chooses to let us watch and participate in His plan, let's remember who's worthy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mercy and Grace

I'm remembering way back to my own AWANA days on this one. I had to memorize the difference in Mercy and Grace. We as Christians often use them interchangeably, but I do think it's an important part of salvation and life to distinguish them.
Here are a few rough definitions from what I remember from AWANA:

~Mercy is God NOT giving us what we DO deserve. ie. destruction, sickness, death, disease, an eternity in hell seperated from Him.

~Grace is God giving us what we DON'T deserve. ie. joys, blessings, love, happiness, a home, job, family, friends, earthly pleasures, but best of all, an eternity with Him on a new Earth that is perfect.

Today, I need both of these in great abundance. I need His mercy to not let Levi get any sicker. When he coughs and turns pale I envision losing him. It's been such a long road and I need God's mercy to get through a winter of this.
I need Grace to enjoy the little things in my day. Such as Levi finally sleeping for more than 15 minutes. A husband who rocked him back to sleep at 5:45am when I couldn't bear to get up one more time.

Ugh, and now I need mercy and grace to deal with the fact that as soon as I type this, he's awake again. I love my son, I'm so thankful for his every breath. But I'm thankful for the grace and mercy of God that allow me to love him no matter what.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Day Awry

This isn't the weekend I had planned. It's the first weekend in literally 8 weeks that we've either not been gone somewhere, or home without company here. Don't get me wrong, I love our families and the opportunities we've had the past 7 weeks. But I was tired, I missed lazy weekends with my husband and son and dog. So I was anticipating a good weekend.

And then Levi starting running a temp and stuffy nose. This was Thursday night. He did a bit better yesterday so we stayed up wayyyy too late at some friends where she and I played cribbage until we'd laughed ourselves silly and the boys tried to conquer each other in Risk. We had lot of fun. Levi slept fine in his carseat. Then when we got home well past our bedtimes I placed him in his crib where he slept for about 15 minutes and woke crying his heart out. And he stayed awake for well over an hour. In which time I deduced I was now feeling pretty lousy myself. So we rocked, and rocked, and rocked. He finally fell asleep and I drug my poor self off to bed.
There isn't that a sad story? :)

So today was spent in our jammies watching the BBC version of Pride and Predudice. Which I had never seen any version of before. It was great. I get all the hype now. It was absolutely fabulous. Levi's been napping off and on all day, in the midst of learning to crawl and pulling himself all over the floor and into stuff. He's finally got the "army" crawling down. Now we must baby-proof to some extent. At least vacuum more often anyway. And it hit me. He's 9 months old today. He's crawling. It's amazing, like every new thing he does is to us.

And my husband? Well, he's absolutely fantastic. He's been carrying for our sick selves all afternoon. He's pretty much the best there ever has been husband/daddy-wise. I'm blessed. And so, it's not the "relaxing" weekend I'd planned. But really, that's okay. It's been a bonding experience. And a reminder of what I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Sign of Maturity?

I was 14 almost 15 when I got my first checking account and checkbook. I was so excited because it felt like such a big responsibility and sign of adulthood. I had my own job, my own money, and my own checkbook. I thought of the joy I'd get from balancing my checkbook each month. Eagerly anticipating that first statement to show how good my math skills were. Well, that first statement came, and boy, did I have a lot to learn about keeping track of my money.

That was over 10 years ago and now, I either know better, or the checkbook has lost it's allure. After we got married, it was pretty much decided that I would handle the bill-paying/checkbook balancing/money-keeping aspect of our marriage. Andrew always looked at the bills and knew what was going on, I just got the joy of actually doing it. Mostly because it comes a little easier to me than him, and also I had a little more time at home during that time than he did. I didn't mind, it was a challenge and fun to be "grown-up" in that area.
4 years later, I hate, Hate, HATE balancing our checkbook. I'm not sure if it's because they're so little in it or what exactly. But I hate it. And so, ever since I went into the hospital while pregnant with Levi, I haven't done it. That's been like 11 months ago now almost. So really, I need to grow up and balance our checkbook.

But here's a few complaints first:
1. We hardly ever write checks anymore. Debit cards, online bill pay, automatic deductions. All these lead to lost receipts, not printing out payments, and forgetting that that bill was paid automatically.
2. There's never enough money to make it seem positive.

And that's all I'll complain about. Because Andrew has a job and God has blessed us with a roof and food. So I need to be thankful, shut up, and be mature enough to balance that checkbook.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Blink and You'll Miss It

There's a country song with the title "Don't Blink". Based on the thought that if you blink, you'll miss your life going by. I feel a bit like that today. Apparently my last post about Levi's eight months was my 200th post. And I didn't realize, because like Momma's do, I was focused on my son. Levi's wearing jeans and a long-sleeved tee today in this cool weather. He's gotten sooo long all of the sudden. I realized that we need to put the heater back in his room to keep him warm at night since he kicks his blanket off. He was so itty-bitty last time we needed that. Okay, sniffle sniffle...

In other news, we spent a LOT of money yesterday. I was hoping that I'd be able to tell you that it was on a new laptop (No, we don't really have the money to spare, but we've been hoarding birthday money and with Levi, a computer that could actually upload pictures in less than an hour would be nice.) But unfortunately, it wasn't for a computer that we shelled out more money than should be allowed. No, it was on new brakes and routers (sp?) for our car's suddenly noisy braking job on the front end. And we were hundreds of miles from home. UGH. Not a fun expense at all. All I wanted to do was be crabby and mad that God could allow this. But thankfully, God gripped my heart pretty quickly and I found myself being thankful that we had, no joke, exactly the right amount of money set aside for a computer that the brake job required. You can't tell me that was chance. And the fact that we noticed it and got it taken care of before our brakes failed on the way home is something to be thankful for too.
And there's also the retirement account for a computer right? :)

I still sense a season of change ahead for us. I pray that it's an accurate feeling. Frankly, I pray for a move to somplace that has a door to Levi's room. Not a necessity either, but it sure would make sleep time less stressful, especially as he gets mobile. It's just something I pray about.

Along with a chance to see Val and baby K. And it looks liek that may in fact happen this month. Oh how I miss them, they are dear to my heart. Yes Will, I miss you too but frankly, I love your wife more! No offense.

And lastly, speaking of change, everyone is sending their kiddos off to school this week and for the first time, I'm thinking of you through Momma's eyes. Now I get why it must be hard to watch them go. You're sending your precious one, whom you love, off to face the cruel and harsh world full of sinful people. Yuck. You just want to protect them and let them know you believe in them and love them unconditionally no matter what anyone else says.
Poeple often ask me if we'll homeschool since I was homeschooled. My best answer always is I'd like to wait and see what our life and our childrens' personalities are like when comes the time. But no matter what that first day of school looks like, I get the protection instinct. And I don't like the inevitableness of the situation...No more blinking...

Monday, September 06, 2010

8 Months...Already?!

So this post is almost 3 weeks overdue, but I need to post it anyway. Especially since we slacked and missed a 7 month photo of Levi.
So here we go with the 8 month record. It'll be a combination of things from the last two months.

Levi, you have changed so much in the last 2 months!!
You can now roll wherever you want whenever you want. You're definitely Mr. Independant. And yet, you now freak out when left alone. You're a bit of a Momma's Boy right now but Daddy's still your favorite man! You light up when you see him and you're looking more like him everyday.

You can sit up all by yourself and want to crawl so bad!! You don't quite get the concept of holding your tummy up but when you do manage to do it, you rock back and forth like you can't wait to take off. I sometimes wish you would so that you'd be less frustrated by not getting to what you want.

You've got 4 teeth, two top and two bottom. You have more coming in too! Which leads to less sleep for both of us.

You're such a happy guy! You certainly have your moments of crabbiness but overall, you're a pretty smiley boy. You wake up happy as long as you've gotten enough sleep. :) People keep telling me what a good baby you are. Which I believe but on rougher days it makes me scared for what a "not good" baby is. Which is absurd.

You still chatter a lot, but a little less than before. You just learned to growl and will growl at the goofiest things and even when crying.

You are learning so much at this point in life! You study things so intensly and are always into something new. You can pick up small puffs or cereal and now know to let them go when in your mouth and not bite your hands. :)
You eat like crazy! You're now eating any baby food we give you and Graham crackers are you absolute favorite!! You light up whenever you see one and can't get your hands on it fast enough. You're starting to be interested in our plates and have enjoyed little pieces of food. You like Steak Sandwich! :) We're turning you into a carnivour already.

I'm sure there's more to share but those are the biggest things. You're wearing 6-9 month clothes and you're getting so long these days!! I don't have a recent weight or height 'cause we're almost to our 9 month checkup. That's so crazy to me.

We've spent so much time praying for you to get bigger and healthier, so that now that you are, it's sort of surreal. But it's a wonderful thing!

We love you so much Levi and thank the Lord for you daily! We pray that as you grow that you'll come to trust Jesus as your Savior and glorify God in all you do and be Christlike.

You love your puppy still so much! You also love grass! If you're on a blanket outside you try so hard to get to the grass and pull it up and play with it and try to eat it! We love that you love being outside!

You know what "No" looks like in sign language and don't like it when you're told it. Ahh sin nature. :)
You're learning what "water" is in sign and you drink out of a baby sippy cup so well now! You're definitely a big boy!

I love you Levi and I'm so proud and humbled to be your Momma. I hope that I can show you what a Godly wife looks like as you watch me interact with your Daddy so that you'll be proud to have us as your parents.
I love you my boy!

Friday, September 03, 2010

'Tis the Season

Alright, I know it's not Christmastime just yet, but it's definitely a season of change 'round here.

There's no longer any 'Bou in my life. It's a long not very fun story, but the summary in my heart would be this: It was time. And seeing God provide for us in other ways is getting to be rather fun. :)

Levi's growing like a well, baby. Fast and Furious. I just switched out his clothes last week. He's now sportin' 6-9 month clothes. (I know, he's 8 months old, but really, these are what fit him now.) I like to try to switch right about the time that the last clothes are too small and these are just about right with a little growing room.
This is also the first time I've cried over it. Before I've always been so excited that he's big enough and growing and getting stronger. After his start in this world, it was such a success to have him be bigger. But this time, I cried. Because my teeny-tiny baby boy is now trying to pull up on stuff and soon will be crawling away from me.

Now, I firmly believe we should raise our children to leave us. Let me explain. Do you remember leaving for college/work? Did you parents carry on and cry and make you feel almost guilty? Guess what, My Mom didn't. She always said she raised us to let us go and glorify God, so why should she be sad when we did just that? Now, I know she's missed us and such, but there is a difference.
I don't want to hold Levi back. I want to raise him to love Jesus and go out and serve God in whatever way he can. So why would I cry and hold him back publicly from doing just that?

That being said, I still will shed some tears I've realized. I want him to grow up and become a Christ-like believer. But I will miss his babiness.

I held a friend's 8 pound boy the other day. And realized how tiny he seemed. And that Levi had been half that size. It was sobering how quickly we forget.

I'm also learning as I pray over Levi how true this song is: (you'll have to let it play a while to get to the song)

I always wondered before Levi, how mother's could still love their serial killer/rapists/theiving children. I get it now, it's God's grace and love that He's imbedded in their souls.

So, I'm hugging my boy and rejoicing in his milestones. But I'm sure thankful for my husband who will never leave me. So, I need to remember to focus on my sweet husband a little more often. Because when our babies are no longer babies, he will still be mine.

That being said, I think this song is also appropriate: