Monday, October 31

Praise you in the Storm by Casting Crowns

 because life doesn't always go as planned....but even so, I am continually reminded to praise God.

Sunday, October 30

Than's 5 yr photos

I had some fun the other day (before the snow hit!) to take a few snapshots of my dear five year old boy.

Saturday, October 29

my plan vs God's plan

I carefully laid every plan:
The future seemed so bright.
My hopes and dreams they towered high-
I saw no trace of night.

And then at closing of the day
I knelt in usual prayer,
And prayed; "Dear Lord, bless every plan-
All that I hope and dare."

But day by day my plans all failed,
My hopes came tumbling down.
All my ambitions disappeared,
And FAILURE was my crown.

Perplexed- I could not understand,
Had I not knelt in prayer?
And asked that every plan and hope
Would find a blessing rare?

Then in the stillness of the night,
Out from the shadows dim,
I heard a sweet persuading voice
That called me close to Him.

"Why don't you let Me make your plans?
I've trod the path before
Just leave the future in My hands,
I'll lead thee o'er and o'er."

In shame, I bowed my humble head;
My spirit low was brought,
For I had caught a strange new light,
By His own Spirit taught.

No longer do I pray as once,
"Dear Lord, bless all my plans."
But now I pray: "Lord, plan for me,
The future's in Thy hands."


Wednesday, October 26

Happy 5th Birthday Nathaniel!

My boys are growing up WAY too fast...hard to believe my second son is 5 already!

We celebrated by having a few friends and cousins over to play.

Than picked out a dinosaur cake, which was the theme *smile*

Apparently the T-rex pinata wasn't behaving during the party.

Trains, cars and swords are what make my boy happy.

and of course, cake.

It's funny how Nicaraguan tradition is still deeply rooted in my little guy.  

We celebrated his birthday a day after his actual birthday, but when we told him happy birthday before the party, he replied, I haven't hit the pinata, so it isn't my birthday yet.  


Tuesday, October 18

I am ME

I am me and you are YOU.

God created me to  He did not create me to be just like Mary, or Sue, or Jane. 

He does not expect me to be somebody I am not.

How often I have admired other women, for their creative energies, domestic diva prowess, baking abilities, wise character, and so forth.  I am blessed to know a host of beautiful women, both inside and out.  And how quickly that admiration has turned into self-condemnation, the voices asking me, taunting me, Why am I not like that?  

Why cannot I be more like them? 

Have more energy?

Be more organized?

Be more spontaneous?

Cook gourmet meals?

Speak more words of wisdom?

Laugh more?

Need less sleep?

Be more creative?

Be more time-efficient?

Be more extroverted?

Spend more time with God?

Not be stressed with only 3 children?

and on, and on, it goes.....there is no end to the introspection.  There never will be, if truth be told, because I am a truly flawed and imperfect person, whom God loves, and has loved, since the beginning of time.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
~ Romans 5:8

Meditate on that for a moment.

God loved me, before I started trying to be good, before I even knew that I was a sinner.  He loved me, loves me still, with ALL my faults.

If God can accept me as I am, loving me fully, can I not accept myself, and love myself for who He has made me?

I am NOT stating that we should never strive to be better, to become more like Him. Indeed, while He loves us as we are, He encourages us to be holy, as He is holy.  However, self-condemnation will never get us closer to Him. It only alienates us, from Him and from others.

There is a difference between striving to be more like God because we are in a relationship with Him and viewing others' gifts as an excuse to beat ourselves up.  God asks that we look to HIM, not others, as our example.  He needs to be our model.  

Remember, other people are not as flawless as you might think *wink, wink*

Monday, October 17

Scripture and a Snapshot

 For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 

27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 

28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 

29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?You of little faith! 

Jesus - Matthew 6:25 - 30

There are many passages in the Bible that are daily applicable to my life, the above being one of them.  How often I read Jesus' words, nod my head and accept their quiet authority, and then not many days later, I realize that, once again, I have taken to worrying and carrying the heavy burdens of life.  How easily His truths slip through my fingers and steal away!  

God, grant that I may truly know you as my Provider of all things.

Saturday, October 8

Ode to mothers...

This poem is in the beginning of a wonderfully humorous devotional book for mothers, called Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker.  This is in reference to my last post.

A (Fairly Lame) Ode to Mothers

An ode to the marvelous woman called "Mother"
Though not one of us is exactly like another.
From the second we're born to the minute we die
Our preferences are as limitless as stars in the sky.

We might have been perfectly gorgeous before
But childbirth entered us in the Mommy War.
Rather than letting everyone else be
We criticize parenting that isn't exactly

So once and for all let me put this to rest
None of us owns the title of "best".
Natural childbirth does not make you a hippy
Epidurals are not just for women who want to feel trippy.
In a bathtub with a doula or in a hospital bed
We all got a baby with limbs and a head.

Nursing is great if nothing goes wrong
But some nipples turn inward and refuse to play along.
This is a choice for each mom-it's her route
So it's just A+B and everyone else can C their way out.

Schedules and timers do not make you cruel
Feeding on demand does not make you a fool.
In the nursery with a monitor or in the family bed
Every chick gets to pick where her baby lays his head.

If I see one more mom roll her eyes at "organic..."
"Partially hydrogenated" throws some of us into panic.
But neither judge Sonic burgers and fries
Some of us just want to enjoy food before we die.

Preschool, home school, public or Montessori
Listen, my friends, and I'll tell you a story.
Two moms differed on favorite school trends
Their kids turned out pretty much the same. The end.

If a girl gets the title of "mom" accidentally
The worst thing we can do is treat her judgmentally.
How about some love, some help, some advice?
She needs our love and we shouldn't think twice.

Discipline through various methods will prevail
Look, we're all just trying to keep our kids out of jail.
These things are just preferences, not right or wrong
What matters more is teaching our kids to get along-
To love and to share, to speak gently and kind,
To obey so that mom won't go out of her mind.

Showing them Jesus is our common ground
Teaching them how he can always be found.
He's present in public school and Waldorf (so trendy)
He's over at Whole Foods but also at Wendy's.
Jesus never cared about these sorts of things
It's our hearts that he wants and the worship we bring.

It's time for us moms to declare at truce
Regardless if we buy Capri Sun or 100 percent juice.
My way is not your way and your way isn't mine
But both of our kids will turn out just fine.

Rather than judging and looking down our noses
Let's enjoy the common ground motherhood poses.
As believers, we all love the same good Lord
We all have children who tells us "I'm bored."

We all need more sleep than these tiny five hours
Most of us struggle to find time for a shower.
We haven't been to the bathroom alone in an age
Our mothers have all told us, "Relax, this is just a stage."

We all love our babies so much we could die
We'd take a bullet for each one without batting an eye.
Though we are difference, we're in the same tribe
Motherhood requires a similar vibe-
Love and affection, sacrifice and grace
Laughter, which keeps the whole mechanism in place.

Though different, by the grace of God, I suspect:
ALL our children will rise up and call us...collect.

Wednesday, October 5

the comparison trap

As women, it's hard not to compare our lives, ourselves to others.  We compare our shoes, fashion wardrobes, jobs and/or career choices, our boyfriends or husbands (or if we're single, how much better our life would be if we had a man).

But then it gets worse; we have children.

Our competitive edge and comparison notes skyrocket, and it starts before our babies are even born.

We talk about how much weight our friends' gain but then off-handedly remark that we only gained 5 pounds (and had a 20 pound baby!).  We mentioned how small everybody else looks, but of course, we are HUGE.  (how does that work?)

We can't help but smirk when we hear somebody had an epidural at only 5 cm, but boast of having back labor for 3 days with no pain meds, scrapbooking through the contractions and even managed to do our nails while pushing.

and then, of course, there is the competition about who had the largest baby, who sleeps through the night first, how long you nurse, how quickly you fit back into your clothing (for some of us, the answer is NEVER), whose baby rolls over, sits up, eats food, walks and talks first....and it goes on and on.

What happened to sisterhood?  What happened to supporting each other through all these stages, when we are feeling the most insecure and wonder if we're being the best woman/mom that we can be?

Ladies, we need to wake up.

Life is hard enough without adding to each other's stress.  Instead of being a source of strain, why not share each other's burdens?

Competition isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't belong between women, between sisters in Christ.  When we are struggling with our weight, wondering if a man will ever fall in love with us, hoping to find a job that we actually like, fighting to balance family, marriage, time with God and time for ourselves, snide comments and subtle barbs are not what we need.

Let's lower our shields and allow ourselves the freedom to be "just ourselves"'s okay that we're not perfect because guess what?  NOBODY IS.

Don't fall for the lie that you are the only one that doubts, or has insecurities.  We need to talk about our fears, our struggles, our hopes and dreams.  I doubt there isn't a single mom out there who hasn't wondered, at least once, if she is doing a good job.  Or a single woman that fears always being single.

My next post will talk about loving ourselves for who we are.