Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Being A Mom Of Two

A blog post? Right, like I have time for that.

Really, I do have time, it's just am I going to choose to post on my blog or am I going to peruse the internet while my children nap?

I shouldn't be posting that they are napping right now because at this moment Aria is still settling herself down in her crib and Levi is on hour two of his nap so at any time I may have to cut this short because of awake babies. This is my life.

Chaos. Controlled chaos, kind of. Today after visiting with friends we came home to what I thought would be a relatively routine nap time. Levi was exhausted while we were there. He was sitting in my lap, cuddling with me almost the whole last hour, he was tired for sure. But we were waiting to go home because Aria was taking a late nap. My goal is (let me emphasize goal) to have Aria nap at 9 and 1 and then she might take a late nap again at 4 or 5 or 6, that one is pretty flexible and sometimes can even be dropped if we are out. Today she didn't nap until 11 and then of course was up at 1 which is when Levi goes to bed. The goal is that they would nap at the same time! Today we did not accomplish our goals.

As a matter of fact it took me about an hour and a half to get Levi to take his much needed nap today. You know those days when you feel like yelling out to the world that you just had the hardest day of your life? It's all I can do to restrain from posting on facebook about it. Seriously.

The good part is that because it took Levi for-ev-er to go down Aria actually ended up going down again before he went to sleep which allowed me to have some time. So, I mopped. Maybe I should have napped since she and I were up at 2 and 5 this morning, but really my floor was pretty stinking bad and I don't remember the last time I have mopped. I usually listen to podcasts while I mop which I think makes me slower because I am so careful to listen. One of my new favorites is Planet Money on NPR. This is the weird part: I am a conservative. I don't agree with their philosophy on money and borrowing and how the government should provide jobs and all that stuff, but I still love to listen to it. Sometimes I yell at them in my head and I insert my opinion but I never really do anything about it. Maybe I will someday.

I have been struggling a lot with meal planning lately. I want to plan my meals so badly, but at the same time I HATE planning meals. (I was really trying not to capitalize on this post, but I think I just blew it. I am not a good blogger... I promise.)  Hate. Maybe it's the thought of trying to save money or the thought of trying to have variety. I don't know, it's just something I'm not finding a lot of joy in lately. I need to figure that one out.

A book I am reading that I highly recommend if you are wanting to start figuring out traditions for your family is: Treasuring God in Your Traditions by Noel Piper
Another podcast I have been enjoying: Entre Leadership, it's about being a leader and is primarily geared toward small business owners but I am getting a lot out of it as a mom because I think that a family is a type of small business. :)

Wow, did I really make it through a whole post? I can't even believe that my kids are still asleep right now. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Bible Study for Young Moms (part 3)

I've been struggling over this post. We are entering the darkness, entering the brokenness of this world and the things that are written in Romans are not socially acceptable or politically correct. Deep breath.

Romans 1:18-32

  The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised.
  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exhanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
  Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


This is not a soft, easy passage. When I come across passages like this one it is sobering. I don't like to think about the wrath of God. I don't like to think of all of these things as sin. I have committed some of these sins and it's not pretty to look at. I don't get warm fuzzys with this passage.

Lord, Your Word is inerrant. If I am to accept it as true I need to accept all of it. I trust that You are good. You are sovereign. You are black and white truth in the area of sin. Thank You that there are no gray areas. More than anything, thank You for pouring out Your wrath against me onto Your precious Son. I have been an adulterer, I am boastful and arrogant, I am a gossip, I have been a God-hater. I have been full of envy, I have hated, I have been deceitful. I have disobeyed my parents.

But You... You bore all of it on the cross. You took all of the shame. You paid the penalty.

2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

 Again, I do not claim to be a theologian. I am simply a believer and a mom as I read this passage.

I read this and I see our culture today. We live in a pornographic culture. I see it on billboards, advertisements on my computer, sex is everywhere. You can read about my struggle with sexual addition here. As a mom I want to be aware of this more than anything. I believe one of the factors of my own struggle was because of exposure to sex, a wrong view of it, at a young age.

I have been entrusted with these children and it is my job to guard them when they are young and to lead them and teach them how to filter the voices of the world. Now, I know I cannot protect them forever. They will eventually leave the nest, but more than anything I want to teach them to be discerning.

Lord, I feel like my parents were naive in this area. I don't want to be naive. Help me to be wise with my children and how I talk to them at what age I need to talk to them. You are the giver of wisdom, help me to know that I cannot protect them always and that we have an enemy out there who is crafty and would like nothing better than to cause my children to be trapped in deep sin. I understand that You can rescue them out if you choose, but Father, I want to stand in the gap for my children, the lives You have entrusted me with, make me wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove. Holy Spirit, You are my leader.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Losing Weight part 5

It's been a while since I have posted on this subject. Often I am so exhausted from dealing with two little ones, cleaning, cooking and then cleaning again that by the time nap time or evening comes all I want to do is just sit in the quiet. I want to listen to a podcast and fold laundry, get on my computer and read blogs... I want to do anything but write.

So it's seven in the morning and my children are miraculously still sleeping. I still have a buzz from my coffee ... now is the perfect time!

It's been six months since I've had Aria. Here's the cold hard facts: at the hospital right before I had her they forced me onto their scale (a ridiculous part of having a hospital birth) I weighed 198.
I occasionally step on a scale at my parent's house and the last time I stepped on one I weighed around 160. I have to just think about that for a second. That's 38ish pounds in six months. I'm going to subtract about 12 for baby, placenta and everything, so more like 25 pounds.  So that's like 4 pounds a month, about a pound a week.

I just had to break that down a minute because I haven't even really thought about that yet. Which is the point, not to think about it, not to obsess over it, not to make it a big stinkin' hairy deal. I'm sure some weeks I lost more and some weeks I've felt that I might have gained. I think the point is being faithful and not "falling off the band wagon."

I don't diet. Every time I diet I gain weight. Anyone else have that experience? For the first couple of days you are doing awesome, you are exercising, the adrenaline is pumping, you are losing those first few pounds of water weight, you are counting every calorie, you are drinking water, and then you get to day three. Then you get to the weekend. Then you go on a trip. Then you go to a birthday party. Then your kids are flipping out and all you want to do is eat the pantry... and it all comes crumbling down. This shaky life of dieting is not real and it does not take care of what is most important: the heart.

My heart wants me to go to food when I am tired, emotional or bored. But really, my heart needs Jesus. He is the one who will fill me and sustain me.

God has given me the ability for my body to know when I am hungry and when I'm full. If I obey those signs He has given me then my body will naturally go towards losing weight. I need to stop trying to control the food and start submitting my heart.

The other two things I am doing to sort of help in my weight loss are:
1. Going for a 15-30 minute walk pretty much every morning. The length depends on how I am feeling that day. Not so good, it's 15, feeling really good, it's 30.
2. Breastfeeding. I've read this burns an extra 500 calories a day which is awesome. The only problem is that it also makes me really hungry and I can't go without a meal or many times even a snack because of it. I also think it tends to keep those last 5-10 pounds on you just as your body's coping mechanism. I don't know, we'll see.

But that's basically it. I think weight loss is one of those things that's best not to keep a close eye on, just keep plowing away, living your life, following God and then you will suddenly look up and see yourself so much lighter.

If you have any thoughts on this, please post a comment and let me know.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Bible Study for Young Moms part 2

Am I wanting to quit already? Lord, help me to be faithful. I am so weak. 

To make it more interesting or a quicker read I am tempted to put my thoughts first and then if you want to read the scripture I would put that below. Then I thought, "Do I really want to put my words before God's words?"

Romans 1:8-17

  First, I thank God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
  I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong - that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.  I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
  I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in at Rome.
  I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Lord, let me serve You with my whole heart. How often do I half-heartedly go about my day because I'm so exhausted from not getting enough sleep the night before or exhausted from disciplining a child or nursing. Help me to preach the gospel to my children, to share with those around me and with my whole heart be there, be present.

I love it that God is Paul's witness. Something about that phrase is crazy to me because Paul is so completely sure of his prayers and how faithful he has been that God can be his witness. I love it. This leads me to the question: am I praying at all times? Are there people that I am constantly remembering in my prayers? Help me to pray while I'm washing dishes. Help me to pray while I'm nursing, while I'm folding the laundry. I do actually pray out loud a lot. I want for my kids to hear my prayers even if it's "Help me to get through this grocery shopping trip. I need You, I feel scattered and afraid and frustrated," Even in those moments I want to remember my friend who has THREE little kids and her shopping trip to the store, that the Lord would strengthen her. I can also remember my sister in law who is in Africa without all the conveniences that I have (mostly any kind of air conditioning or relief from the intense heat) as I step out of my car into 95 degree heat and pray for her strength. I want my kids to hear these prayers. I want them to see what praying without ceasing looks like in me. Please help me Lord, I am weak.

Paul wants to see his brothers and sisters in Christ. He longs to see them so that they will be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. He knows the value of fellowship. He can't come see the church in Rome because he is on a missionary journey to Corinth and then to Jerusalem to take supplies to the poor, but he still longs to see them so that he can strengthen them. If I have learned anything in the past few months of being a stay at home mom it's that fellowship is difficult. You have to pick up the phone and call another mom, you have to coordinate schedules or places, you have to allow for interruptions or last minute stuff. Also, when you get together you have to be intentional about what you talk about, you can't just shoot the breeze, you need some encouragement, to build one another up. You also have to settle squabbles among kids, change diapers, naps will be pushed back, food will be distributed, it's just craziness. Jesus, if I could just go sit at a coffee shop with some friends for a couple of hours and talk that would be HEAVEN! (That's just an off the cuff prayer:))

I want Romans 1:16 engrained in my heart. Help me not to be ashamed of the gospel. How often do I withhold the gospel from the Mormon guy who is knocking at my door wanting to sell me a security system? How often am I afraid to share with the people in the grocery store, with the lady at Target, or just with those anywhere and everywhere I go? The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. All we have to do is believe. So simple, and yet it means our whole lives are given to it. Our whole, tiny, puny vapor of a life.

Can I just say one thing about life being short? If you ever have a baby you will SEE how stinking short life is. In that one year that baby goes from being helpless, cannot do anything on his own to being able to crawl or even toddle around, he can grab things, feed himself and play by himself. In the next year he will learn to talk, It is astounding to me how quickly Levi has grown from a tiny baby into a full fledged little boy. Life is but a vapor.

All flesh is like grass, their glory like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.
Isaiah 40:6

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Bible Study for Young Moms

Write, edit, delete. Write, edit, delete. ... this might be the most time I've ever spent on a post.

I keep trying to just start in the middle of Romans because Romans eight is so good. But I keep thinking, "No, I need to start further back here so that we have a whole picture." I am now to chapter one. Okay Lord, you want me to read Romans? I haven't read Romans in a while. It's kind of a big, huge, scary book. Scary in the sense that there is so much meat and good stuff in this book, little measily me could never do it justice.

But Lord, You want us to walk by faith.

I have never written a Bible study before and I kind of hate calling this one, but I don't know what else to call it and since I hate naming things and I'm terrible at it I guess that's what I'll call it.

Lord, I am so broken over this. I want to weep because I am not worthy to teach Your Word. I don't want to mess it up. I don't want to add to it or take away from it. I am kind of terrified right now.

In all honesty I just feel like this is something He is telling me to do. He called me to start this blog two and a half years ago and now He is wanting me to share what I am learning from His Word about being a mom.

Romans 1

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God - the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead; Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints;

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  (1:1-7)

Okay, so Lord, please help me. Help me write down my thoughts and struggles as a young mom, to write down these prayers.

This opening section is Paul's greeting to the church in Rome. Paul identifies himself and his audience. I underlined the words and phrases that meant something to my heart and now I'm going to talk about them. 

I am a servant. I am a servant of Jesus Christ. I serve my kids day in and day out. My life is serving, doing laundry, washing dishes, fixing meals, wiping bottoms. I never knew I could serve this much. This is not an easy job and many days I would rather not serve but be served. I think the world would say that I need some "me time" and I need to kick up my feet and relax. I'm always going to buck up against our culture though and ask the question, "Is that what Jesus would do?" He was the servant of all. The only thing close to "me time" that he ever did was get up early in the morning, go up on a mountain and pray. Maybe it's not "me time" that I need, maybe it's more like "God time" that would give me strength and energy at this desperate time in my life.

Thank You that all of scripture points to Your Son. The Old Testament is so beautiful with Your promises, the history. Let me know them more.

Thank You for sending Jesus, the perfect servant. As a mom I have only an inkling of what it would be like to give up your only son. To give him up for sinners like me? I am in amazement. I am in awe of Your heart Father.

You have called us to the obedience that comes from faith. To have faith is to obey. Lord, my heart often doesn't want to obey You because it's not what feels good. It doesn't want to obey because I see others around me who are not called to obey in the same areas that you have called me to. My heart doesn't want to obey because I want my own way. I am so much like my two year old son who does not want to go down for a nap. He is begging and pleading, all out fighting in defiance. But if he would just trust me that this nap is what he needs right now life would be so much better.

Lord, help me to walk in faith. Help me to obey You. Even when it is hard and even when I feel like kicking and screaming. Teach me to obey.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Bible Study for Young Moms (introduction)

Hi, my name is Jody and I am honest to a fault. I give unsolicited advice. I struggle with parenting other people's children.  I also struggle with anger at my two year old, or maybe we should call it rage when he will not stay in his bed after the third time I have walked him back to his room and told him to STAY IN BED (sometimes spankings are involved) and all I really want to do is sit on the couch and enjoy the silence of the house. I struggle with cutting words to my husband and sometime about my husband. I struggle with pride. I struggle with eating my face off when I'm stressed, bored or depressed. I struggle with wanting to look beautiful and feeling like my arms and legs are never skinny enough and my post pregnancy belly will never look like the ones in magazines.

I am a judger, a manipulater and exaggerater. I am a struggler with sin.

My days are crammed with interruptions. You can walk through my house and find half-done chores, half put-away laundry and some started project. If I finish something or follow through it is a HUGE accomplishment.

The beauty is that I am saved BY GRACE. I get to look at the top half of this post and say it is covered by the blood of Jesus. It is by His wounds that I have been redeemed and I am healed. Yes, I will still struggle with sin for as long as I am bound by this flesh but because of God's love and mercy I get to become His child. See Romans 8 for more details on THAT.

I don't know much about mommy-ing yet. I have only had two and a half years experience. What I do have is a love for the Word of God. I love how it speaks I love to study it and apply it to my life.
Reading the Word yesterday I was led to start a new series on my blog about being a mom and how to apply what I am reading to where I am at the in Word. This new place in my life has caused me to find things in the Word that I have never found before.

My desire is to share that.

So here is my new series.