Monday, October 24, 2011

Something's Gotta Give

I'm in too deep.  Completely overwhelmed and don't have a minute to catch my breath....and it's catching up with me.  I'm sure many stay-at-home mom's can testify to this fact:  you can be at home and still have a full time job.  A career in the workforce is simply replaced with volunteering, church activities, Bible Studies, school committee's and functions, etc.

And, the thing is, I stay at home so naturally the assumption is that I should be able to bake those brownies for a church function. (I was given a recipe for brownies....are you kidding me? My family doesn't even gets homemade brownies!).  I should have plenty of time to make reminder calls to "remind" others to attend a training.  And, every good Christian woman should be involved in a Bible study.  Not to mention a prayer group for your kids while they're attending school.  Oh, and that trip to the pumpkin patch that the Kindergarten class is going on....I stay at home so I want to go need to go.

Well, guess what?

Decorating fall cookies with my kids is replaced by making homemade brownies for church.

While trying to make uninterrupted "reminder" calls, my kids sit in front of the TV.

I yell at my kids to "hurry up and eat your breakfast" so I can drag them to Bible study with me.

I listen as my 5 year old tells me she just wants to "stay home and play," but then tell her to "get dressed we need to get to prayer group."

The trip to the pumpkin patch seems like a chore because I have been going, going, going and all I really want to do is sit down and rest.

I have to pencil in time with friends...something's just wrong with that.

No one is to blame for all of these commitments but me. I got myself in too deep and believed the lie that "I should be able to do _________ since I stay at home."  Well, turns out, I do not fall into the "supermom" category. I am learning the hard way that my kids and husband are my full time job.  So after way too many months of this craziness, I found it. 

My breaking point.

It culminated itself in a fight. 

My husband asked me to help him with something over the lunch hour.  What?  Do you think I have time for that?  I have to feed the kids and get Rylie out the door for school, how could I possibly have time for one more thing?

Yelling.  Slamming doors.  Childish behavior.  A bewildered, "mommy, you and daddy are fighting just like me and Austyn do."  Followed by a lunchtime prayer for mom and dad to stop fighting.

Breaking point.

Somethings Gotta Give.

(To be Continued...)
(this is me making myself accountable to let go of some things, and I'll write about it when I do.)

This Week's Verse:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Fitting, don't ya think? :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Get Over Yourself

A few thoughts on my verse to memorize from last week:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
1 Chronicles 7:14 

After Solomon finished building the temple the Lord appeared to him and gave the people of Israel instructions on how to attain forgiveness.  He gave them four conditions they must follow in order to receive forgiveness for their sin.  Humble themselves, pray, seek the Lord's face, and turn from their wicked ways.

I don't think the Lord made any mistakes when he listed them in that order.  Why is "humble themselves" the Lord's first condition?  My guess is because it's the most difficult by a mile.  Once you can humble yourself, you're able to see sin for what it is and the rest of the conditions seem to be a natural progression after that.

When I think of what it means to humble one's self, all these beautiful words and phrases come to mind.  Meek.  A spirit of submission.  Not proud or arrogant.  Modest.  But really, the phrase that sticks out most often is "to just get over yourself!"

When I was in college I played basketball for four years. Going into my senior year, we were about to have a coaching change. I loved our old coach and wasn't sure what to expect from our new one. I do remember being optimistic about some getting some wins on the board. Well, much to my regret, the new coach and I took an immediate dislike to one another.  Turns out, I didn't like change so much.  My attitude toward her got me well acquainted with the bench.  And, as you can imagine, this only infuriated me more.

I'm not really a trouble-maker by nature, but I spent a lot of time in her office discussing my attitude that year. I wish I could tell you that I "just got over myself" but my attitude and bitterness consumed me for the entire season.  It literally did not cross my mind that I could be part of the problem.  Looking back I wish I would've had the spiritual maturity to see my sin for what it was.

I often think about how things might have turned out if I would have humbled myself and given the coach a chance.  Prayed about my situation instead of complaining to friends.  If I would've tried to seek the Lord's face, not do things on my own.  And then finally, turn from my wicked ways.  Hmmmm.....what might have happened?  I think at the very least, I wouldn't look back with regrets and shame.

We so often look at the Israelites and think how obvious their sins were.  It should've been easy for them to see that it was their own sin that was bringing affliction upon themselves and their land.  By the time of Solomon's reign they'd had plenty of practice on how to attain forgiveness.  But, all we need to do is look at our own lives and we will be able to understand that what sounds good on paper is stinking hard in real life.  Until you've humbled yourself, you can't see sin when it's staring you in the face.

This Week's Verse:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 8:12

Friday, October 14, 2011

Golden Boy gets Married

Meet my brother Daniel.  I thought you should have a visual to go with my posts about him.  I referenced him HERE if you remember.  (I am now back to wearing those capri's by the way, unfortunately they are the only pair that fits right now...)

Ann, Amber, Me, Becky and Dan

My sisters and I affectionately dubbed him the "golden boy," for obvious reasons of course.  Not only is he the baby of our large family, he is also the only boy.  So, in our eyes, what Dan wants......Dan gets. 

We weren't allowed to get a car until college, but Dan?  He got high school.  A boy just has to have a truck and a car. 

Contacts were not allowed until freshman year of high school.  Dan?  6th grade.  After all, boys break their glasses all the time.  (Do you know how ugly my glasses were?  I'll post a pic sometime and you'll sympathize with me.) 

As dad's "hired hands," we girls had to milk cows on our dairy farm until we were out of the house.  Yes, think manure, 4:00 am shifts, and mean Holstein bulls.  No milking for Dan.  Boys get to do field work.

This would all be very darned annoying if Dan weren't such an idiot.  And I mean that in an affectionate way.  He's the life of the party - the room comes alive when Dan walks in.  You can't help but love him and want the best for him. 

He has that gift of making everyone feel like they're important and that they're worth talking to.  You kind of just gravitate toward him. There is nothing lacking in his confidence department, but somehow it only makes him more appealing. (I mean, how often can a person refer to themselves as "ridiculously good looking" and still not be annoying?)

Well, the Golden Boy got married last weekend.  It was an awesome wedding, and what made it even more awesome?  Her...

Preggo brain forgot to bring her camera to the wedding so this is a pic from my sisters phone.

Beautiful Chelsa.  I couldn't have picked a better girl for our little Danny.  She is the perfect match for him.  It was pretty cool to see how the Lord brought them together. 
We are all so blessed to have Chelsa officially in the family!

They let me snap some engagement pics for them - I just had to share this one!
Thanks to my friend Jen for editing it to perfection :).

Congrats Dan and Chelsa!
Love ya.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Girls are Hard to Beat

I didn't expect the tears to come so suddenly.  Or at all, really.  I guess I wanted it more than I thought.

"Are we sure we want to find out what we're having today?" asked the sono tech.

"Yep," Eric and I said in unison as we smiled in anticipation at one another.  Having two girls already, I was just sure this was a boy.  I had the name picked out and who I would call first and tell.  I envisioned Eric having a little buddy to follow him around.  He would eventually turn into a tall basketball player with lots of Division 1 prospects, a star baseball player, and a state high jumper like his daddy.  Being a 4.0 student, his high school years would be followed by a career in medicine, of course. 

Then I awoke from my dream to a reality I wasn't prepared for.

"Okay, well it looks like another little girl!" said the tech with a smile on her face.  Do you see here where the....

Nothing.  I heard nothing else.  Tears.  Lots of them.  Couldn't stop them.

"What's the matter?" said Dr. Bradley at my follow up appointment.

"I'm having a girl!" I wailed, "and I wanted a boy!!"

"Oh, good, because usually they tell me in advance if there's not a heartbeat or something," he laughed. "It could be worse, the lady who just left here was crying because she just found out she's having twins." More laughter.

Ha. Ha.

It's ridiculous, I know.  I have a healthy baby, what a waste of tears, right?  This is what I kept telling myself.  I guess it's the dying of a dream.  If this is how I reacted to having three girls, learning I have a fourth on the way would definitely be the end of me. This is most likely it for us, unless the Lord has different plans.  But, if I've found out anything in the last few days, it's that the Lord definitely has his own plans!

I always imagined myself having boys. Mainly because I don't like drama and where there are girls...drama is sure to follow.  I grew up with three sisters, I know this better than anyone else.

So, with visions of drama swirling in my head and tears streaming down my face, I texted my family (I wasn't in any shape to talk on the phone):

We're having another girl! Only positive comments are's gonna take me a minute to digest this :).

My dad was the first to respond:

Take it from an expert. Girls are hard to beat.

More tears. Sobbing actually.

That was my turning point. My wake up call.  My two little girls at home sure as heck can't be beat, and I know this one still growing inside me would far surpass any boy I envisioned.  After all, girls can play Division 1 too. 

And, that father/daughter bond....take it from me - there's nothing like it.

It's gonna be okay.

Girls are hard to beat.

This Week's Verse:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rockin' the Gut

Have you heard that country song "Rockin' the Beer Gut?"  You're not missing out if you haven't.  It's one of those songs that you have no idea how it ever made it to radio.

I haven't disliked a song this much since "She Thinks my Tractor's Sexy." 

If you want to lose brain cells, have a listen...

The problem is, I find myself relating to this song and I can't get it out of my head.

It's kind of my anthem right now.

Not that I'm a beer drinker.

I am just in that weird stage of pregnancy that makes it look like I have a beer gut.

Or that I had too much bread at dinner.

Every time I get dressed it pops into my head. Every time someone notices my gut, yep. When my girls look at me wide-eyed and say "man, your tummy is big." There it is....she's rockin' the beer gut, la da da da da.

I suppose I should just own it and rock it, huh?  What else is a girl to do?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Supwise Me

Austyn turned 3 yesterday.  We partied all weekend.  She wanted to go camping for her birthday so we did.  Have I mentioned that we have a camper?  It's a piece of junk but it beats sleeping in a tent for sure.  I like to camp but I decided I would like it much better with these 2 things:

Air conditioning.
My own bathroom.

So we bought a Craig's List camper a couple years ago and it makes a world of difference.  And really, nothing beats camping for kids.

I grew up doing it and my most favorite memories involve the campground.

Here's a glimpse of our camper, she's a beauty. 
And so is my little princess in her new poofy skirt from her cousins.

Trying out her new trike with her cousin Josiah.

I asked Austyn what she wanted for a birthday cake.  We talk about birthday cakes year round so I was kind of shocked when she said "Supwise me, mommy."  She had been rolling around the idea of a tiger cake or barbie cake so I was kind of excited when she gave me free reign!

This is what I came up with.  A unicorn cake.  What little girl doesn't love a unicorn?

Her reaction wasn't quite as strong as I had anticipated.....

Because, let's face it, when you put in so much work you expect shrieks and squeals and tears of joy running down their faces.  Or at least you hope for a smile or two.

I asked her what kind of cake she thought I would make and she said, "a monster cake."  What?  Oh brother, that's one we never talked about.  And where in the world did she get that idea?

I think she liked the unicorn in the end, after the shock of not getting a monster cake wore off.  But I'm not sure I'm going to be doing any more "supwise cakes."

Click HERE if you want to make this fabulous Unicorn Cake. :)

Oh, and I had a genius idea that I thought I would share for all you moms who try to decorate your own birthday cakes.  I always try to frost the cake the night before and then can never find a cover big enough to put over it so the frosting doesn't dry out.  So, here was my light bulb moment.  Empty out a storage tub and use it!

Here's my storage tub with all that's left of the unicorn.

And, to my little mamma's girl...

Happy Birthday Austyn.
I love you!

You're so worth a Unicorn Cake, Monster Cake,
Tiger Cake and Barbie Cake
all rolled into one!

This Week's Verse:

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:21-24

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