saturday sundries :)

April 21, 2012

:: it’s SO BEAUTIFUL out this morning!!! after a week (or many weeks?) of gray cold rain, it’s absolutely glorious! i am SUCH a weather person – realizing more and more how much my spirit and mind and body respond to the feel of the air, the light in the sky, the breeze. i have our windows open, sunlight is streaming in, and i just want to be outside!

:: this morning is maddie’s first volleyball game … ever! bless her brave heart, for (again) trying a sport she’s never done before. her first practice was thursday (2 days ago) and first game is today.  i went over some basics with her, and she is a little nervous – the unknown makes us nervous! but i am thinking that she’ll have another experience like she just had with basketball: huge learning curve, lots of nerves and ultimately the best feeling of accomplishment at having learned and achieved.

:: little man is *finally* falling asleep on his own! this has been a major goal in my mind in the whole sleep training madness. and i am thrilled that for the past few weeks, the efforts are paying off: he pretty much happily falls asleep on his own. in fact, the past few days he’s been restless during our usual cuddle rocking time before i lay him down, so i more quickly put him in his crib with his sister’s beloved bear (“kirby”) and some blankets. he doesn’t utter a peep and is sleeping happily when i check on him later. yay! now, if this will translate in to better nighttime sleep …

:: hubby is working harder than i think he ever has … days will pass where he spends 18+ hours/day at his desk, on his phone and computer … skipping showers, sleep.  he is under *intense* pressure. i am desperate for GOD to bless  his efforts in overwhelming ways!! i miss him. and i am *so* thankful for him and his faithfulness to following the path GOD has set before him, being led daily and having our manna needs supplied, always just in time. phew.

:: i think i felt baby green bean move!! wednesday, april 18 … laying down on the couch, hand on my belly and i felt a pop/push feeling … waiting, feeling and then again a sudden little kick(?) or was it a gas bubble?! at that moment, i felt pretty certain it was the baby. i lay there grinning! i haven’t felt anything similar since, so we’ll see … i was 19 weeks before i felt josiah, and i am 17 weeks with green bean so anytime i’ll be feeling more. yay yay YAY!

a word that’s been encouraging and challenging me this week:

“finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (1 peter 3:8)

have a beautiful weekend, friends!

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it’s bedtime and i am about to tuck madison in. she just looked at me and said,

‘”mama, i love tuck in time. it’s something i look forward to from when i wake up. i save some things to tell you until tuck in because we won’t be hurried or interrupted.”

i had to capture this – write this down – slow my heart that is bursting with love for this girl, and gratitude for her tender honesty.

i want to REMEMBER … how unspeakably important these small moments, small decisions and commitments … how important they really are in this life that i live.

thanking GOD.

the other night, i was tucking maddie in and it was one of those nights when the door of soul-sharing was open … i could tell she wanted mama close and wanted to talk. i was intentional about being present; about allowing spaces of silence and the processing of thoughts as we talked. i love this girl so much! her heart is so precious and tender; her vulnerability with me so entirely beyond value.

we covered much … big and small thoughts she had … and landed on the subject of fear.

{this word, fear, having been my close companion for a couple of years. it has been my place of battle, coming in different costumes for different areas of my life but remaining a constant that i have fought body, mind and spirit.}

and so my girl shares her fears, the ones she has been battling this year. the ones we’ve prayed over, claimed victory on and continue to press for total release. i had a word for my girl, and encouraged her that it WILL lift; that this fear will not always be present for her and that someday she will look back almost disbelieving that she struggled with this thing. it will be done. resolved. something of the very-distant past.

she looked at me and asked, “mama, what are you afraid of?”

it was a tender moment, one that as a mama i grapple with: how honest am i to be? what is best and right and good to share with her in this moment?

oh LORD, guide me!

and then i knew.

i began to share about how mama felt when she was pregnant with josiah; how each day i battled deep and gripping fear, wondering – is he ok? will everything be ok? after losing our last baby, fear gripped me.

she nodded, as she had some sense that i had held that concern. she had no idea how INTENSE and consuming the fear was some days.

many days.

today, carrying our little gift within, that fear is GONE. i have such a peace and rest in my heart and mind about this pregnancy; i don’t struggle with fear or worry. it’s incredible! i am learning … to trust, to rest in HIM, to believe and experience a lifting of the fear.

i shared with her that i feel like worrying about this baby will be tainting a GOOD GIFT! i gave an example: what if she received a barbie for her birthday and instead of being thankful for the gift, she was consumed with worry: what if the arm breaks? what if i pull out her hair?

what a waste of a good gift!!

instead, i am THANKFUL. i am enjoying the amazing grace of HIS love … the growing life within.

fear can be overcome, by the strength of the Overcomer. amen!

{side note: hubby and i were talking about this recently – how different this pregnancy has been for me. he’s so glad!! we talked about how my anxiety had me in a place of being so hyper-vigilant, monitoring every feeling and symptom, scouring books and websites for information, tracking every single day of my pregnancy. and now? i realize that GOD is growing this life, without me even having to pay attention. imagine that! lol. isn’t that anxiety … trying to control, instead of releasing and resting in Him?}

nightly tuck-in

February 18, 2012

one of the most special parts of my day is getting to tuck my girl in to bed each night.

i’ve had the blessing and gift of tucking her in each night for her entire life … it continues to be an integral part of every day and one she requests every night.

our traditions have changed over the years … we used to really cuddle! i mean, legs and arms together like noodles, all cuddles and giggles and kisses and hugs. this would be at the end of our story time, and she’d “talk me in” to staying “just for a minute to cuddle.” we’d smile, knowing that mama would often end up falling asleep in said position, only to wake later all groggy and wondering what happened to the past hour!

these days, our tucking in routine involves saying together some memory verses we’ve put above her bed (dealing with fear as that issue arose lately, plus verses about love). she’s got them all memorized by now! i ask her how i can pray for her … she shares her heart about her day (sometimes at length, sometimes briefly), i pray for her and give kisses.

i am seeing her growing up in her distance from wanting as much physical touch but i know that she most definitely still loves some touch! (don’t we all?). another of our traditions involves me “drawing” on her back; i pick some object or thing that we may have saw or done that day, then i sketch it … on her bare back … and she guesses what i drew.  really, this is just a tickle rub … and she still asks for it every once in a while. 🙂 even if i don’t “draw” something, i’ll usually rub her back, tickle her arms, stroke her hair.

for a few years, our nightly routine involved reading devotionals (aka, “devo’s”) and that was really special. however, she’s really outgrown the devo book we had and recently requested that we do them again at bedtime, so i’ve found some that look like a really good fit for her age (and her birthday is coming up, so guess what she’ll be getting? shh. ;))

this is a gift … this fleeting, precious time with my girl. and she is growing so fast.

i think of the many nights that i had this internal push to hurry through this tucking in, to move on to the next thing. but what next thing is more important? returning an email, reading a book, finishing a chore?!

i am now intentional about savoring these moments … not hurrying through. i honor her need for space but also gladly walk through the door of any cuddling i can get!

we joke about the time, many years ago, that she promised me that she will “still sit on my lap when she’s 15.” i think it was one of those times when she seemed so small, after a bath perhaps and i was bundling her in a towel, cuddling her up on me (she was probably 6 or 7) and it seemed so far off, her being a 15 yr old. now, it’s just a few years away. and she scoffs at the idea of sitting on my lap anymore!

she is growing up but in many ways, has such sweet innocence. she still sleeps with stuffed animals, and when she got a new one recently, i came in to find her “introducing” her new friend to the others. so sweet! she is on this cusp … precious innocence and growing so quickly. i long to soak deeply in each moment, to keep my eyes and heart open and to guard against the tendency i have to hurry on to the next thing.

 

short-term vs long-term

January 3, 2012

i have a few areas in my life right now as a mama, wife and woman, that require hard and uncomfortable work in the short-term. i am in a time of really seeking GOD’s wisdom and strength to be more than i am capable of being; do more than i am able to do.

as a mama, some things come very natural for me … nurturing, tending to soul and heart issues, cultivating love and relationship. these things flow.

but i am not so strong and “natural” in areas of training toward character … a fine line difference but one that hubby and i clarified in one of those intense and productive and heartfelt convo’s recently.

so, we are pressing in, uniting as “team green” and implementing some real changes and strategies on the home front.

discipline of kiddos takes discipline for this mama … hard at times in the short-term, but essential in the long-term.

another area of short-term effort for long-term gain is exercise. i have been in reactive mode with my exercise; doing it when i can, some days.  reflecting on this, i know for sure that when i am proactive about executing an exercise plan, i feel SO much better … physically and mentally. it’s essential. and during this season of continued sleeplessness, baby care and homeschooling … it is hard. but i know that i know that i must.

so i will.

another area that is begging for short-term discipline for long-term gain is in stewarding the nutrition and health of my family. the decisions around what we eat as a family are primarily made by me – big burden and excellent opportunity. a few goals have crystallized (and i’ve put them on a note in my kitchen window): “strengthen immunity: reduce sugar, clo, probiotics”. these things have risen recently to mind in my reading and research and will be areas of implementation around here.

i’d love to hear the stirrings you are having these days … areas of resolve, focus, implementation.

 

 

on being a mother

June 30, 2011

you know how there are certain issues that you grapple with as a parent, in different seasons? the ones that seem to be at the forefront, about which you focus and grapple?

my mind and heart has been so focused these days on the difficulty and *necessity* of parenting both with the warm-fuzzy love that comes so easily as well as with the less enjoyable limit-setting, consequence-giving, and boundary-maintaining.

a friend recently commented that it’s such a bummer, when she is having one of those sweet mama-daughter moments with her 11 year old, to have to interrupt it with needed discipline.  that darn shifting of gears. lately, that gear shifting has been met with some ‘tude in our home; some serious displeasure at reprimand; a drop in countenance and a sour spirit.

this is an area of true struggle for me. and it’s an area of priority in child training in our home, right now. game on, mama.  i must raise the bar, enforce when needed, apply consequences when necessary.

most of all, i need to keep the big picture in mind: i am training a child who will someday be a mother, wife, friend, and (hopefully), Christ-servant. sparing her from hardship and disappointment now will *not* achieve that end.

these have given me good food for thought:

** a blog about mama’s doing too much

** this free e-book called, ‘a thinking love’, inspired by charlotte mason

vulnerability

June 3, 2011

ever have those days when the tears seem just beneath the surface, and the right question will send them spilling out?

(( it’s been one of those weeks … ))

this morning, i did morning chores, served breakfast, and did routine things … keeping a smile, striving to beat back the funk and focus on doing the next thing.

after breakfast, i sat holding josiah at the table … drinking in his smiles and coos, enjoying the beauty of the sun peeking through the clouds outside.

my husband came over, standing close, smiling at our son and … watching me. i could feel his eyes.

and then it came.

“wife?”

his gentle voice called me to look up, to meet his eyes.  so i did.

and then he asked a probing, tender heart-question. and the tears came.

as we talked deeply, sharing our hearts and laying out the things we’d been carrying in our mind, madison walked in the room. she saw my tears and was troubled, anxious that her mama was upset.

“are you ok, mama? what’s wrong?”

my first instinct was to hide my face so she couldn’t see my tears, but instead i looked at her and assured her that i was fine. and good.

a few minutes later, she and i loaded josiah in the car and headed to the farmer’s market. she asked why i’d been crying.  it felt like one of those pivotal mama moments – so i jumped in, and decided to go forward with truth and teaching.

i opened by sharing how glad i was that we are all home together; that she gets to see a variety of things that happen in marriage. i explained that we were talking deeply and honestly, and that as a woman (and she can increasingly relate as a girl whose body is changing) sometimes we cry … and that those tears are okay, and an expression of our feelings.

i explained that we were learning how to love each other even better, to which she responded:

“you already love each other so much.”

good point, my girl! yes, we do. i clarified, saying that we continue to learn how to show our love to the other person; that through all of life, in marriage, we get to keep learning how to bless and serve our spouse.

i closed by saying that i am thankful,  that mike “cares about my tears” and that my hope for her is that her husband will care about hers, as well.