Saturday, November 20, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Well that made a whole lot more sense after the explanation, and I have since used the expression often, and expressed my own exasperation for any fool who does not know what I'm talking about.
Last night Matt and I were talking about one of our good friends who we both agreed that we really enjoy being around. As we tried to nail down why that was, we concluded it came down to he's a WYSIWYG. He's just completely comfortable in who he is, and so he makes other people comfortable too. He doesn't try to impress people, and if someone doesn't like him he's not going to sweat about it. He's a confident dork, which we determined to be a great combination.
This doesn't come naturally for most. I was reading a passage from James about how people were showing favoritism to the rich that visited their gatherings. James was a little confused because these same people that were being treated better than the poor were the same people that were swindling them and taking them to court for all their worth. Seriously? Why do we do stuff like that? It's like we start acting like morons when even the slightest possibility of getting pushed up the social or financial scale emerges. Our own pride starts rearing it's ugly head.
So glad we don't have to live like that. So glad we can teach our children that Jesus shows us a better way. We don't have to impress; we can just be WYSIWYGs. Through Jesus we are completely loved, completely accepted, and completely free. So here's to the nerds, dorks, dweebs, and even the coolest of the cool kids, laying it all down at the cross, trusting Him to be the only thing good worth shining through us anyway.
Monday, November 8, 2010
What if I let my own guard down and let people see me just the way God created me to be?
What if I loved because I was first loved?
What if we all did this? What could our homes, our churches, our communities look like?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Emma- My girl transitioned out of her crib at fourteen months when she started jumping out and consequently, falling on her face. The transition only consisted of moving her mattress to the floor, but at her grandparent's house she upgraded to a toddler bed. This week, she got another upgrade, so when we move back into our house next week it will be with Emma's twin size bed. It's kind of a big deal.
Jax- Jaxie-boy has officially rolled over from belly to back and back to belly as of this week. He's still working on not getting his little arm stuck underneath him, but he usually manages. Good thing he has a big sister than is always ready to pull it out from under him when necessary.
Matt- Every time I get on Facebook I feel like someone has a new status update on how they just ran a marathon or half marathon or 5k or 10k or yada yada ya. I don't have the running bug, and I don't understand it. Matt, on the other hand, has drank the Kool-Aid. He loves running and wants to do it all the time. Since he really enjoys it, last Saturday I agreed to run a 5k with him and another couple. Matt was all chipper when the alarm went off at 6:30 in the morning and did not appreciate my lack of enthusiasm. He ended up running a personal best and we won in our category. Holla.
Me- It's no secret that I've been having trouble with Em lately. There were days this week where I felt like ALL I did was discipline and have an attitude from her thrown in my face. But, one night in particular I was reminded just how blessed I am. It was nothing big, but just a simple reminder of how being a mom is the best thing in the world. Matt's been putting Em to bed while I feed Jax, and then I go see her when I'm done. One particularly difficult day when I went to say goodnight she asked me to lay down. We talked for a while and when I started getting up to leave, she put her arm around my neck and whispered, "Don't leave." Now, this wasn't anything unusual, but at that moment it just melted my heart. No matter how frustrating raising a toddler can be, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm so glad that I'm the one who gets to spend day after day with her and teach her about life. I love my two sweet children so much.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Keeping up with the news and pop culture, Matt went to the party Saturday night as a Chilean miner while the I was a Real Housewife of Polk County.
Then for Em's final night wearing her costume, I had her go all out spraying her hair red like Jessie's. I probably should have thought that through more. A sweaty two year old taking and putting on a hat all night was bound to end up a big red mess. Oh well. She's never really been a hair girl anyways.
We were the trick-or-treaters that everyone loves getting at their doorstep. You know, a pack of almost twenty people, with ravishing children, all sticking their baskets up yelling, "Me too! Me too!" with a chorus of parents yelling from the street, "Don't forget to say thank-you!" It's always fun to listen to conversations while being with so many kids.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I will never post a recipe.
I love food.
Truly. Madly. Deeply.
For as much as I love food, I should like to cook. I think about food. I make plans around food. I'll drive miles out of my way for food. Just don't ask me to cook. I have two dishes that I make with relative success, but beyond that, I'm a hot mess. I manage to ruin every recipe I get my hands on. I used to think Matt just wasn't really a "dinner person" until we moved in with his parents. Turns out he likes dinner just fine as long as his mom's cooking. Though he'd never admit it, he makes his plans on whether or not to eat dinner based on who cooked.
A typical conversation of ours goes is as follows:
"Are you planning on eating dinner?"
"I was going to make _______ (insert anything)."
"Hmm, I had a pretty big lunch. I'm not that hungry."
So the story goes.
I can't say that I blame him, but still, how's a girl supposed to improve if she never has the opportunity?
Here's the other problem though. I hate touching raw meat. I hate even looking at it. The smell, the texture, everything about it makes me sick. When it's cooked I'm as carnivorous as can be, but if I have to handle it myself I can't get it out of my mind what it looked like before being cooked. I mean, the feel of a once living being's flesh between my fingers makes me want to vomit. When I'm chewing, all I can think about is how gross it is that I'm eating something that was alive. Weird, I know. What's weirder is the fact that I rarely have these thoughts if the meat was cooked by someone else. Give me a nice steak marsala from Carrabba's and I'm a happy girl. Have me season some chicken before Matt throws it on the grill and I'm done. Cooking almost makes me want to be a vegetarian. Not a real vegetarian- just a when-I'm-cooking-vegetarian. I've run the idea by Matt but he's not for it. He likes his meat, but since he doesn't like my cooking to begin with, what's the difference, right? Right. Maybe meat has been the problem all along though. What if there's a great vegetarian cook trapped inside of me, desperate to get out?
So, with that said, I need some good vegetarian recipes to ruin.
Can anyone help a sista out?
Friday, October 22, 2010
Em has always been prone to tantrums. She's had some doozies but had been doing really well for quite a while. She had a rough patch in the time period right before she could really talk and her method of communication became the freak-out. Then when Jax was first born she threw some hissy fits, which have continued off and on since June. The past month or two have been hard, but we've tried to be consistent with her when I know life is pretty inconsistent right now. When Matt's gone (like this week) the fits usually peak, but this week...oh- a total mountaintop experience. I mean, my girl peaked.
It started off at the gym when she decided to bite her bro. On the head. Poor sweet, unassuming Jax who smiles 90% of the day started wailing as I had just put him down to get a diaper out of my bag. I knew instantly that it had to have been the result of a bite, so when I saw his wet forehead with huge teeth marks in it I wasn't surprised. I handed my sobbing Jax over to the childcare worker, spanked my Em, and subsequently watched her fall into the tantrum to end all tantrums. She freaked. She screamed, she cried, she flailed. It was awful. And she did it the whole way out the door. So there I was with a baby in one arm, trying to pick up my psycho two-year old with the other arm. It's a darn good thing I've been working out. We got about halfway to the car (it's a looooong way to the car) when I put her down and just started walking. This was a great lesson for me to learn. Two-year olds don't realize that they won't really be left behind. Muhahaha. I used that trick more than once this week. Yeees.
Back to the biting though. Unfortunately, it's become a pattern. As in, she's bitten her little brother in the toes twice before the head incident and just last week bit her best buddy on the cheek. So, I did something that no parent ever wants to do. I bit my child. The whole idea of "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" was so true in this situation. It was an awful feeling. Very calmly, on the ride home, I told her what I was going to do and explained to her why. Then I tested it on my own arm to figure out the balance of not too hard, but hard enough to have an impact. I called a friend who had done the same thing and whose child never bit again. Then I swallowed down my own tears and went up to her room. I guess this is what they call tough love. I don't like it at all.
The week didn't improve either. She threw tantrums all week and I truly don't know what to do. She just did again this afternoon. I've tried everything. I stay calm even when I'm seething inside. So what in the world can I do? What's the one thing I haven't tried yet? There's gotta be something. Is it just me? Am I just a terrible parent? Oh my word. HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPPP MMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE.
Monday, October 18, 2010
All of life has some element of art to it. I love that God has placed this innate desire in our hearts to create, to make things beautiful, to tell rich stories. To be a part of something. God is the ultimate creative genius, but he lets us be a part of creation. He's been doing it from the beginning. Even after forming the world and proclaiming it good, he allowed Adam and Eve to continue with the work, to cultivate the space around them, using their own minds and hands to make it even better. What's even more amazing is that he knew we would sin and mess things up, and he still allowed us to be part of the creative process. What artist lets amatuers take his work and add their own touches? A generous and confident One that knows that He cannot be outdone. No matter how good or bad the other artists are, they ultimately just highlight the works of the Original. When I backpacked in Europe, I visited countless churches and cathedrals and saw great works of art, but nothing made by man compared to the Meditteranean coast or mountains of Austria. I was literally awestruck by the greatness of God while walking the mountains of Cinque Terra, where every turn produced an even more breathtaking view. And the God who created all of this invites us to be a part of the continual creative process.
Life is constant motion. We all have our own little space that he's given us to cultivate and keep. He's given me gifts and talents to use along the way, but my whole identity is secured in Him. I don't have to be anxious about not getting it right or failing. I don't have to operate in crisis mode, like I was in this post. Even when life seems mundane, whether it's cleaning the house or learning to raise my children, it's all the work of taking something as it is and cultivating it's potential. I just have to be faithful with the palette He's put before me and trust that He will make it into something beautiful.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Six years ago, Matt pulled into the parking lot of the Cedarville gorge, took my hand, and asked, "Want to go on an adventure?" Such a loaded question.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I've always been a pretty easygoing, carefree person.
for a period of time around the end of college.
Those first years out of school were a tumultuous time for me as I tried to sort through a lot of different issues in relationships, my faith in God (or sometimes lack there of), and figuring out what my identity really was found in. There were times when I literally felt like I was going crazy, but looking back, the words "But... God" stick with me. "But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ..." Thankfully the Lord didn't leave me where I was but lead me to see Him. It's funny- a lot of the same things that I learned in those years I've been reminded of over the last several months...minus the feelings of craziness this time around, thank goodness. Anyways- I found something I wrote while I was coming through it that I thought I'd share...
Don't lecture me. Talk to me.
Your formulas confuse me. If so much can be simplified, than what's it saying about me if I never get it right?
Don't put me in a box, or I'll get out. One way or another. Even if it's kicking or screaming, I can't stay there. It's too dark. And lonely. It makes me want to scream.
I don't want you to be perfect. I don't want to hear about how you are. I could never unload on you because I don't think you could handle it.
It's okay though.
There was a time when I couldn't either. I didn't realize it. I was caught up in my own perfection and goodness. I didn't know. I just didn't know.
There's unbelievable safety here though. In breaking free. It's not as you think it would be. There are no ten steps or bullet points.
I wish you could know it. It's messy sometimes. And it hurts like hell. But there's peace. And gentleness. And forgiveness.
You don't even realize how much you don't deserve it. Forgiveness. Being a child of God. I know you think you deserve it, at least more than others do. You'd never say it outloud of course. You may even be blind to your own thinking.
I know because I've been there.
(But God...rich in mercy)
I've been shown love when words could be considered appropriate by those observing from afar. I've been shown grace, with a closed mouth and open arms. I've been shown mercy.
And that's just from mere humans that understand in a way better than I, the supernatural workings of a God that cares.
And if that isn't enough (it gets better!), there's Jesus. I'm shown a cross. By the only One who can truly claim perfection, who bore all the weight of the ugliness of all Time.
GOD in flesh. ROCKING people's worlds.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
The first time Matt and I took a trip with his family to Maine, he held his head out the car window for much of the trip yelling, "I love Maine!" Yes, it was like the pure joy of a dog letting his ears flap in the breeze. Not saying that my husband is a dog, but for someone who loves nature as much as Matt, he's right in his element in Maine. This is one of the things that I love most about him. He can spend hours exploring tide pools, fishing in a lake, or hiking through the woods. I hope our children love being outside and exploring as much as we do. We start them young so I think our chances are good!