Thursday, June 21, 2012

Obedience

Sometimes I just don't want to post.

Do you ever feel that way? Really, right now I'm wishing I had a big bowl of ice cream I could chow down on while watching some kind of show on my computer. But seeing as I am trying to lose those last 15 pounds I don't think that would be a very good idea.

Mind over matter.

Kids have opened up new realms into my life. I think the biggest thing has been creativity and fighting tooth and nail to actually have fellowship in my life. It's not as easy as coordinating coffee dates and getting up and going. Nope. You need to find a sitter or you have to take them with you. My friend and I were talking today about how playdates are not actually fun for moms sometimes. The reason? "Okay, did I get the diaper bag? Does it have diapers in it? Do I have snacks? Do I have drinks for the kids if they are thirsty? Has everyone gone to the bathroom? Okay, get in the car, no, don't get in the driver's seat and start pushing buttons and turning nobs! Where are your shoes? The baby is now crying, she needs a nap, we are 20 minutes late..." and then the people you are trying to meet are 40 minutes late so then you just sit there on the playground with your kids for 20 minutes after rushing out the door and forgetting to throw those extra diapers in the bag. It's inevitable that if you forget extra diapers you WILL have a poopy diaper. I am not a superstitious person but this is something I actually believe and go by. Seriously.

Anyways, I am learning you just have to fight for it. Lord, help me to learn flexibility. Help me to know how to have community with others around me. I am so weak in this sometimes.

I got to hang out with another friend today. We were talking about why do we do the things that we don't want to do (like overeat) and why do we not do the things that we do want to do (like read our Bibles).  We put it off, we procrastinate, we make excuses.

I finally realized that this correlates completely with trying to parent a two-year-old. Levi is getting to the age when he will put me off and try to get around obeying me. It will cause him more effort to disobey me than to obey. Usually the consequences are more painful as well. I've been reading in Paul Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart about how obedience is submission. Submission is like this dirty word in our culture. But really, we will always have authority and things will go well for us if we submit. Life will be so much better for Levi if he would submit to his authority. If he submits and obeys he will eat what is on his plate, he won't go running out into traffic, he will be a more pleasant child to be around and people will actually enjoy being around him.

We procrastinate, put off and make excuses because we don't want to obey. Wow. This is so my heart. I want to do what I want to do and I want to do it now. God says, "I know you better and this is what is good for you, I'm going to slowly speak into your heart and I'm going to give you loving consequences for your actions."

Lord, help me to obey. Even when it is hard. I need Your help. I pray that I would discover the joy of obedience. Teach me to listen to You as I want my son to listen to me. That my ear would be attuned to everything You have to say.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Introducing Solids

My first Vlog
(... I don't know if I should capitalize that or not, if you haven't picked up on that yet, I'm really bad at knowing what to and what not to capitalize. Cant you tell I'm self-conscious, if anyone wants to clear this up for me they are more than welcome.)

I have been wanting to do a vlog. In no way am I an expert in all things baby. I'm just talking mom-to-mom in this, talking about what I do. You have to realize that every baby is different. If I remember correctly, Levi was a lot more feisty than Aria. So if you are watching and thinking, "My baby would never just sit there like she is!" Know that whatever you are doing to feed your child and keep them alive is worth it. You just have more work cut out for you. :) 


video

Friday, June 15, 2012

Staying Home part 2

So, last week I posted about how being a stay at home mom is really difficult. I forgot to say that it's all SO worth it. It's worth it to be the one your child sees all the time, to be his or her rock and security. It's worth it to get to see them roll over for the first time, to take their first steps. It's worth it to be able to discipline them the way you want them to be disciplined, to teach them, to watch them learn and grow.  It's beautiful, it's hard, it's incredible, you will shed so many tears... tears of joy, tears of frustration, tears of I-don't-know-what-in-the-world-this-child-needs-right-now. It's been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and yet the most fulfilling. 

Okay, so all that aside. I'm going to give some advice. Yes. 

Lord, You know that I am only speaking out of my own brokenness here. I am only wanting to communicate what I did wrong and maybe a few things I happened to get right. In no way am I speaking out of perfection. I struggle with this and I want other moms to know that it's okay to struggle... its good to struggle. Life in this world will never be perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect mommy and there is no such thing as the perfect child. We all mess it up and that is why we need the blood of Jesus to cover us and cleanse us. 

So, yeah, I am just trying to speak from the little that I have learned in the past two and a half years as a mommy. 

1. You are your own stinkin' boss. I have struggled a lot with time-wasting. When my husband was gone, it was easy to sit around and waste time. My baby certainly couldn't say anything, so it felt like I had no one holding me accountable for my actions during the day. 

2. Turn off the TV. I went through a phase of watching different shows. I've watched Desperate Housewives (I know! It was TERRIBLE for my marriage), Gilmore Girls (just kind of a waste of time), Laguna Beach (strangely addicted to that one). You can see what I have to say about television here. I just have to say that I have wasted too much of my life in front of the TV. It has given me a false sense of community, skewed my perception of reality, given me a crummy attitude at times... I just had no self control when it came to turning the thing off.

3. Learn from your mistakes. When I first got married I had no idea how to grocery shop, meal plan, all that stuff. No i-dee-ah. It has been a four year process of the first grocery trip getting all "fun stuff" like Cheez-Its and Cocoa Puff and randomly buying cans of green beans because I had seen them in my mom's pantry and I knew I could put them with certain things. I look back and I was pretty naive. It was overwhelming to me to think that I had to fix a meal EVERY night. I had worked so hard the night before, did I really have to do it again?! But really, it has been a process of learning, growing, adapting, planning, listening to others and what they do, asking moms who are further down the road. It doesn't happen overnight that you suddenly become a homemaker. It's a process. 

4. Go for a walk. Every morning if you have to. Make it as simple as you can and no pressure to go super fast and get your heart rate up and all that junk. I learned that I could go for walks in my Chacos. I could just put on some socks and slip on my tennis shoes (yes, I never tie my shoes except when I decide to run, I just slip them on and off). Seven or seven-thirty in the morning is the best time to walk for me. It's after my time with the Lord, the air is still cool and clean and I'm pretty much awake and alert by this time. I remember last summer when Levi was about 15-18 months he went through a phase of refusing to sit in the stroller. It was a battle, but in the end I won. I'm bigger and stronger and I will give you a cup of apple juice if you would just sit in the stroller so I can get some exercise. I want my children to have a love for the outdoors, I want to engrave it on their little souls. 

I was going to write 5, but I think this is long enough for now. When I think of more mistakes I've made (ahem) lessons I've learned, I will post them. 


Monday, June 11, 2012

Staying home: not for the faint of heart

I just recently saw a post on Facebook about a friend staying at home with her baby. She asked for prayers and said she was excited. I clicked on the comments thinking that I would see a lot of "You're going to be an awesome mommy!" and "You can do it!" Which is perfectly true, of course. But sometimes I feel like others will over simplify this very difficult job. Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, it's good to be encouraging and uplift but in the back of my mind I was thinking, "It's a lot harder than people think it is."

And so I will write.

Disclaimer: I am not wanting to compare working moms to stay at home moms. I think comparison kills. If you are a working momma I am not knocking what you do at all. That is not why I am writing this post. I am simply writing about being a stay at home mom.

I guess what I want to say is that staying home is a difficult thing, but is well worth it.

Why is it difficult?

Living off of one income in the midst of a culture of two-income families, budgets must be strict and lattes can be few and far between. Ben makes plenty of money, but it just means we won't be doing and buying the things that other around us are doing and buying.

Relationships are difficult. I'm going to be very honest here. I'm not good at just picking up the phone and calling a friend. Usually because I'm tired of being interrupted every two minutes or by the time nap time rolls around I am too exhausted to think about carrying on a conversation.

Okay, I don't want this to sound like complaining. Lord, help me. It's difficult sometimes to be able to get together with other moms. Nap times will be different, finding a place where kids can play and then once you do get together interruptions are inevitable. Being a mom means, absolutely means that your life will be interrupted. It's like this big humbling process that God gives you. You just thought you were flexible before, but having babies will help you see how far you can bend.

I feel like I'm in a constant fight against ... I don't know what to call it. Gravity? Laziness? Intertia? (I looked that one up on Dictionary.com) If I had it my way I would be sitting at home watching TV all day and eating sweets. I have to fight against it. I have to fight against being so sucked into FB or Instagram. I have to make "To Do" lists, I have to get myself out of bed and be my own stinkin' boss because no one is telling me what to do.

Okay, I have like a million more things I want to say on this subject but my eyes keep closing as I write this. I'm thinking I'm going to make a list or something... Also, Aria is telling me to put her to bed with her little whimpers.

Good night. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Losing Weight

I was just trying to read my Bible and have a quiet time but I felt this overwhelming need to post a blog. Holy Spirit, I hope this is You because if it's not this thing will be worthless.

I was advised last week to go through some of my old journals to see how God has answered prayer. I have always dated my journals and I'm very glad I did. I picked up one from May of 2004. I was nineteen. Hello nineteen-year-old self. Some thoughts are profound and I can't believe I thought that at such young an age. "I have no idea how to trust You. I cannot fathom You. I cannot imagine Your holiness, Your perfection, Your plan." And then some things that I said/prayed are absolutely ridiculous.

"God, help me lose ten pounds a week."

What?!

It's kind of embarrassing to read old journals from this time in my life. My high school and college days are a blur of wanting and trying and obsessing about losing weight. I tried my hardest to get out of the junk I was in, but in all honesty, I was just insane.

So what has brought me to sanity? I still have insane thoughts from time to time, Lord, please give me discernment in this. More than anything, it's been prayer. Realizing I cannot do this on my own and just taking it to the Lord. Laying down idols of television and overeating. Both of those were huge idols in my life.

The word "idol" is weird because it is so old-fashioned and sounds a bit ridiculous, but I think it's completely appropriate. I worshiped the idol of becoming thin. I worshiped the television and all the thin, perfectly happy people, and then my comfort to go along with these starving people as my friends was ice cream. And chips. And cereal. And whatever else that sounded good that I could put into my mouth.

I remember reading in 1-2 Kings in the Bible with each King of Israel they would not destroy the high places where people would sacrifice to false gods. I think the Kings were afraid of what others would think of them, they were afraid to close the back door just in case God would leave them hanging.

Really, the idols and the high places need to be destroyed. Personally, my destruction was just flat out getting rid of the television. For a time I had to lay exercise down completely and just stop any and all diets and attempts at diet. There was also a season where I felt like I needed to completely cut out sugar and sweets because they were my comfort.

I am discovering every day that losing weight is not an outside-in fix. It's an inside-out solution. It's my heart and my attitude about food that needs to change.

Lord, only in You there is freedom.