the walking, talking, explore everything little boy of mine

Leo has somehow grown up into toddlerhood.  I can’t tell you when this happened.  He’s my youngest and he’s always been my baby.  His mild mannerisms, his sweet disposition, his quietly content playfulness…he’s been such an easy third child!  So somewhere between November 13, 2011 and the present I have obtained a toddler!!  My little boy is talking quite a bit now.  In fact, I stopped by this morning to write down a few of his adorable phrases.  I haven’t been extremely faithful about recording them and they’re just so stinkin’ cute that I would hate to forget them forever. 

“Mommy, I git out!”  He says this as he climbs out of his crib.  This he just started doing for the first time this past week!  ahhh….

“Tinky tinky”  this one is hilarious.  It’s a little phrase of mine that when he’s working on a number two in his diaper I’ll ask, “Leo, are you making a stinky?”  He replies with “tinky tinky!”  LOL.  So cute.

“Nuggle me.”  he says this when he wants to snuggle.  My favorite phrase. 

“Tanks.”  -thanks, usually  he says this after I tuck him in at night and kiss his sweet little forehead

“I ya you.”  I love you.  When he was a little younger he’d say it like this:  “I ya you….” pause for a break….”too!” 

“Papa.”  we have an Oma and a Papa and they are both lovingly referred to as “papa.”  What’s that about being married and becoming one flesh?  Oma and papa are one to Leo.  Both special…both so loved.  Especially when Papa takes Leo for rides in his cool vintage series rover.

“Droverrr.”  Rover

“mao mao”  —said with a grunting voice for “vino.”  or “wine.”

“Gacie”  big sister Grace,

“Anga”  Sister Anya

Oma and Papa have a mastiff pup named, “Whinnie.”  Leo refers to her as “Maggie.” 

He says his G.G.’s name perfectly and with MUCH enthusiasm!  He love his G.G so much!  Often her arrivals are met with excited screaming, squealing, and jumping up and down as he watches her come to the door.

“mer.”  More.  “mer peez, mer duice, mer milk.”

I’m sure I’ll come back and add more of these adorable phrases again…but that’s all I can think of at the moment.

I love my little boy.  I cherish him.  My children make my life happy and filled with joy.  I wanted to start the morning off right, thinking upon all things good and being thankful for them.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phil. 4:8.

Happy morning to you!  Now for my second cup of coffee….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overtaken

What exactly does it mean to heed the voice of the Lord?  I love the book of Deuteronomy because of the vast and many life points that still apply to us (me) today.  The Israelites wandered and wandered in the desert with a mighty God leading them.  Yet they still grumbled, doubted, and made mistakes…but God continuously used those mistakes to make known to them that HE was there with them…loving them. Cherishing them (sometimes through discipline).  My children have a little children’s bible called, The Jesus Storybook Bible.  It is simple and playful and portrays their first view of God as a King so enamored with His kingdom that He will do everything He can to rescue those He loves and that love Him.  In one of the first introductory stories the author explains what exactly the Bible is.  Here’s a little excerpt that I love, if you read this to your children then you may be familiar with it on page 14. 

“Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.  The Bible certainly does have some rules in it.  They show you how life works best.  But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should (my emphasis added) be doing.  It’s about God and what He has done.  No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of  heroes.  The Bible is most of all a Story.  It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back His lost treasure.”  (The Jesus Storybook Bible, 17).

Do you view yourself as a treasure?  Do you view yourself as something innately precious that is jealously sought after?  So again, what does it mean to heed the voice of the Lord?  What if, no matter how hard we try, we can’t possibly keep all His commandments? Such simple guidelines to show us how life works best?  Isn’t it interesting that even though God laid out those guidelines….we still can’t help ourselves and we find ways to mess things up or venture away from Him.  Yet He is jealously seeking after you! 

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake (my emphasis added)  you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God.”  Deut. 28.2.  What if, instead of doing things our way we faithfully prayed our way through our circumstances understanding though we may not make the right decisions we are putting one foot in front of the other in blind faith trusting God to lead us?  What if we applied this concept to every aspect of our lives?  Child rearing?  Serving our spouses?  Loving one another without putting our own agendas first?  How and what we say to complete strangers who may think differently than we do?  What would happen? 

What if we were to wholeheartedly seek and keep His commandments?  What would the world see?  Would they see legalists keeping strict rules?  Surely we are all human.  We do and will make mistakes.  But remember…you are a treasure.  If we seek after Him, He will do the rest for us…and we will experience that “overtaking” power that God is for us.  What would the world see then?  People that love a God who desires us to follow Him and despite their many flaws, loves them anyways.  People that witness with their life actions to a hungry world seeking after treasure themselves instead of realizing that they are the treasure.  People that live their lives as mirrors reflecting God’s mercy, His glory, His love, His word.  People whose mistakes are carefully watched but shown to be made new and whole despite their mistakes. 

So, if I will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord my God, being watchful to do all His commandments (which I can’t possibly keep)…who am I really watching?  Jesus.  He did it all.  He came and lived that perfect life I never can or will.  He was watchful to keep ALL the commandments.  He was put to death because that was my punishment.  He loved me enough to step down in to my shoes…to say..I will do it.  I will take the responsibility.  Because of this vast and deep love for a buried treasure.  I have been overtaken because I have heeded His voice…I look to HIs son and say “I can’t do it all…but you can.”  All other religions mainly tell you what you should be doing to get to Heaven.  God says….look what I have done.  Done.  Finished! 

And this is what I want to show my children.  Mommy makes mistakes.  Sometimes mommy is grumpy.  Sometimes mommy fails you.  Mommy can’t keep it altogether….but she looks to Jesus.  The One who kept all the commandments and has given His claimed blessings to me.  His treasure. 

Do you see yourself as a treasure? 

You are a treasure. 

Let yourself be overtaken.

Mommy is overtaken.

 

timing is everything

I’m fairly certain that although God may seem quiet to me at times and I wonder what His plan is that He absolutely never fails to speak to me clearly when I need to hear Him.  Never fails. 

Yesterday was a bit rough for me.  I’ve had a tension  headache for three days now, yesterday being the second of those days.  I’m not sure what causes it…but I notice a little painful knot throbbing just below the left side of my neck and above the left shoulder.  It’ll throb and eventually the pain works its way up the left side of my neck.  Soon enough it has turned in to a full blown throbbing, painful and debilitating headache that even a few Tylenol won’t touch.  In an ideal world I’d be able to close my eyes during that time.  However, life as it is, I can’t.  So I endure the headache for several days until finally it might go away.  

In dealing with that headache yesterday we approached the naptime hour.  If you’ve read this blog from its beginning then you will be familiar with my second child’s inability to sleep…or perhaps she just doesn’t need that sleep.  Either way, yesterday was one of those days where she wouldn’t sleep and she absolutely forbid mommy from getting any quiet time whatsoever.  She spent the whole naptime hour crying, screaming, tantruming because she didn’t want to play quietly or lay there quietly for an hour or so.  So, pounding head and all…I’d go up there and threaten to discipline.  Take two…bring out the discipline.  Take three….stuff my head in a pillow and do a little screaming myself.  Take four…. and at my wits end…I reach for my devotional in desperation.  Now with all that being said…why do I seek God at the very end?  Why do I exasperate myself in the hopes of getting my daughter to listen and obey when I don’t first listen to Him?  I suppose its an innocent enough mistake but really I think I’d have saved myself a lot of trouble had I stopped and prayed and asked for the strength to go into that little room to talk with number two little girl about why she is scared of sleeping in mommy’s room and why she won’t be quiet for mommy.

In reaching for my devotional this is what I read.  It is astounding the timing of when I needed to read these words and how they touched me and how I felt renewed and given the strength to go upstairs calmly and talk with my daughter to instruct her in the ways of the LORD.

January 14

Fear and trembling have come upon me; horror and fright have overwhelmed me.  And I say, Oh that I had wings like a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest.  Psalm 55:5-6

“David prayed that he could fly away from trouble and be at rest, but running from trouble is not always the answer.  There are times we must face the enemy and defeat him in God’s power just as David defeated Goliath.  God has given us ‘going through’ power.  It is not God’s will for us to run or hide from challenges, but to confront them head-on, knowing we can fight a battle and remain at rest.  After all, the battle is not ours, but God’s

God won’t let you run away from your troubles and keep going forward in His purpose for your life.  He won’t force you to face them, but eventually you’ll realize that these same problems will keep showing up if you don’t face them.  The good news is God gives us power and wisdom to deal with our situations. 

Elijah tried to run and hide, but God made him go back to the place he ran from and continue the work he had been called to do.  After God allowed him to rest, He confronted him about his attitude.  He asked why he was hiding and what he thought he was doing.  Elijah answered out of a bitter attitude and distorted thinking.  He said he alone was left to serve God and people were seeking to kill him.  He told God that all the Israelites had forsaken His covenant, destroyed His altars, and killed His prophets, and once again Elijah sounded as if he was filled with self-pity as He told God that he was the only one left who was faithful to God.  (see 1 Kings 19:9-14).  God told Elijah that, in actuality, He has seven thousand prophets left who had not bowed their knees to Baal, and He also told Elijah to get back to work.

When we are not well rested, our thinking gets distorted and we lose proper perspective.  We want to run away from responsibility, but as we can see with Elijah, God will not allow us to do that because escape is never the answer to life’s challenges.

Are you able to see and relate to how God used that to speak to me?  My problems aren’t life threatening but they are certainly exhausting and there are times when I want to run away from the responsibility of using disobedient moments like the one with baby girl and naptime hour and have my own quiet time instead…even if she’s up there throwing a fuss.  It’s easier to ignore the fussing and not ask God for help.  However….reading this devotional was like…wow.  God….you are SO ALIVE!!!  That in that moment He cared and loved me enough to not let me just give up (because I’m tired and sometimes I complain that I’m doing it all alone).  I have a beautiful responsibility.  So after reading I took a deep breath.  Asked God to help me and give me strength and give me wisdom on how to love my little girl when all I felt like doing was yelling at her. 

I walked in to that little room when she finally quieted down.  I scooped her in my arms and I listened. I listened to her worries and told her that God is bigger.  God loves you no matter what and even if you have a bad dream, sweet girl; He’s still there with you

She came downstairs and the fussing vanished and did not show itself the rest of the day.

Praise God.  God gave me rest.

So perhaps my timing for rest isn’t what I need.  It’s God’s timing.  And perhaps even when I’m hurting physically rest is still tangible even when I can’t stop, pause, and have a cup of tea in a quiet corner.  Maybe it’s not about me at all.  Maybe it really is about seizing those awful moments when you can’t seem to get through to a strong willed child and learning from them.

How about you?  Is there something you want to run from and you feel isolated like there’s no one who can possibly understand?  If so…seek our Beautiful Father and let  Him scoop you up in His arms and let Him show you the kind of rest He can give when you feel like giving up.  He might just tell you something amazing. 

 

 

turn off your televisions

I think tv, while in moderation can be very enjoyable has led to much disability in our modern American  homes.  What good does it do?  Studies have shown that in fact when young children watch too much tv it actually trains their little minds to be unable to concentrate for long periods of time.  (try watching the light bounce off the wall in a dark room while the tv is on and observe how many times the light changes and flickers.  Several times/second!)  So why does the public school system condone the use of media devices?  To diversify learning for the sake of modern thinking?  Does it really help or is it actually harmful?  If some are visual learners…give them hands on visual stimuli to look at.  Not flickering led bulbs that have no lasting impression. 

It is my opinion of the later.  TV has trained Americans to be parrots.  Monkey see monkey do.  Just because something is on TV we tend to validate the argument of what the seller or news broadcaster is trying to sell or convey.  We automatically think, well if it’s on tv it must be legit.  Quite the contrary.  I would say if it’s on tv….run from it!    America has become a nation of “please me first.”  If I want it, I get it.  If I have a problem, take a pill.   

I came across this interesting read on anti-depressant medications.  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/16/dr-brogan-on-depression.aspx?e_cid=20140116Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20140116Z1&et_cid=DM37747&et_rid=400207733

According to the author, “Eleven billion dollars are spent each year on antidepressant medications, pharmaceutical companies have 625 lobbyists, and they underwrite more than 70% of FDA trials.”  EWWW….70% of those drugs approved are approved because of the lobbyists telling the FDA…if you don’t approve this drug you won’t get our money. 

So readers…before you take that pill and automatically trust it’s safe for you or your children consider…70%  of those FDA trials were approved because of lobbyists.  A false positive. 

Enjoy the read and I hope it provokes us all to think for ourselves a little more. 

true medicine does the following. 

“We need to identify vulnerabilities, modifiable exposures, and support basic cellular function, detox, and immune response. This is personalized medicine, where these abstract labels become meaningless because they only address the “what” of the symptoms” in an impressionistic, non-specific manner.  One as helpful as saying the fever is the disease, and Tylenol the cure. Psychiatry’s swan song has been sung…listen for its plaintive wail.”

 

 

 

a few of my favorite things

Moving was crazy but now that we are settling in our new place is beginning to feel like home.  I really love it.  It’s bright, it’s clean and it’s refreshing to live where everything has been taken care of for me.  Fresh paint, check!  Dishwasher, check!  Wood floors, check!!  This is my favorite spot in the whole house.  Since it’s next to two large windows it gets a lot of natural light.  I actually need a lot of light…without itImage I get just a little bit depressed.  When the kids are napping I’ll come here to sit and catch up on some reading (now on my new kindle thanks to my awesome brother, Conner).  It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s bright, and the view outside is just stunning.  Gorgeous mountains!  It makes me feel like I’m in a wild place.  Away from everything where life is still just a bit untouched by progressive society.  A big thank you to my sweet sister-in-law who found this place for us when we needed to get out of our old place quickly. 

 

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Another one of my favorite things about our new place is having this Meyer’s Lemon tree.  A gift from my mom.  It brightens my day seeing those colorful yellow lemons!   I love the creamy walls, the rustic leather tone of the couch and the contrast of those green leaves and yellow blooms of fruit! 

 

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This is a corner from that reading nook I love.  If you’re sitting in the comfy rattan chair this is the wall you’ll see from that point.  When our landlord redid all of the interior walls with new dry wall he could have ripped this little cubby out and closed it off.  But he left it and I’m so glad.  It’s charming.  I love having that little spot to display a few books.  The stein is an antique beer stein from Austria.  It’s perfect because it’s actually a dark blue glaze.  In case you don’t know much about me…I sort of have an innate eye for collecting dark blue things.  August chose so well when he bought that. I had to commandeer it from him.  Plus, he’s happy to have something he bought on display too. 

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One last thing.  We’ve since taken our Christmas tree down but I couldn’t bring myself to take this ornament wreath down just yet.  It was something I made at a craft night with one of my friends a while back before Christmas.  It was SO much fun to make.  It’s sparkly and shimmery and it just adds enough glitter to the room that I can’t bring myself to put it away yet.  The picture is slightly off center because I wanted to show the old door knob.  All the walls have been completely redone but all the old doors with their original knobs were left in place.  I LOVE them!   This wreath hangs on a closet door just next to our couch.  I love looking at it while I’m sitting there. 

So that’s it for now!  Hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into our house! 

 

UPS wives anonymous

Update:  Because of the response to this post I have created a blog just for us.  Visit The UPS Wife blog at http://www.theupswife.com

Enjoy!  Subscribe and please feel free to comment!

 

My husband works long hours.  In fact often a week will go by before my kids get to see their dad.  We cherish our weekends which is why often than not we don’t go anywhere.  This is such a difficult time for me right now.  Most of the time I feel like a single parent.  What is my husbands job, you say?  Is he in the army?  No..but close.  My husband works for UPS.

The day for him starts at 0545.  I don’t know how he does it.  His alarm goes off and I groan as I try to let myself fall back asleep before my kids wake up and the day starts its crazy self.  He quietly goes downstairs.  I drift back to sleep.  I don’t even hear him leave most mornings.  I wake up.  No husband in bed.  the kids are playing quietly in their rooms so most of the time I try to sneak downstairs to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.  Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t…lol.  Usually I’ll begin our day with breakfast and a movie.  I’ve been extremely tired as of late.  Fatigue is natural but I’m also recovering from exposure to mold and my body is still trying to push out its toxins.  So, I’m more tired.  I want to change this however.  Less tv, more quiet playing and then a communal bible reading.  I enjoy reading to them out of the “Jesus Storybook Bible”  because every story whispers His name.  I notice that the more movies or tv they watch the more ill behaved they’ll be for the rest of the day.  No TV and they are happier, more content to play quietly after their homeschool session with  me.

So that was a rabbit trail….I suppose you might consider that to be my new years resolution (even though I generally think resolutions are silly excuses to make us feel like we are changing less desired behaviors in ourselves).  But really…with God’s good grace this is what I want to do.

Anyways, fast forward 12, 14, sometimes 16 hours and my kids (all three of them) are sleeping soundly in their beds.  Preparing dinner, bathing, getting into jammies, the reading of bedtime stories, saying prayers, tucking into covers, kissing goodnight, and saying goodnight (sometimes one too many times if you know what I mean) is my job.  I do it alone.  At the end of it I manage to drag myself downstairs (very tired at this point) and usually this is the only time of day that I have to myself.  I spend it cleaning up, putting toys back into their corners, cleaning up the kitchen after the mess of dinner, packing my husbands lunch for the next day, setting his dinner out so all he has to do is come home and eat.  Its after 2100 and my tired, red eyed husband finally comes home.  I hear the rumble of his Mercedes pull up.  I know he’s out there plugging it up to a extension cord so that when it’s below freezing the next morning it will start up for him.  A few moments later and I try to be at the door for him.  I unlock it, he comes in.  We hug.  I kiss him.  We exchange brief moments of conversation as he eats his not so hot anymore dinner.  He’s thankful anyways!  We go to bed.

There needs to be a support group for UPS wives…and I’m thinking about being the one to start it.  Often I find myself down in the dumps.  I’m lonely.  My husband works long and hard hours that even newly graduated residents couldn’t keep up with during their residencies.  I find myself struggling with jealousy too.  I see other family’s having dinner together.  Dad’s playing with their children.  I smile and admire that.  But the smile quickly turns to an inward gloom as I can only hope that someday this trial will come to an end and my husband will be there too.  I keep thinking…if we can just make it to one more promotion maybe he’ll be able to delegate the work out and come home early.  Then I’ll get mad and blame it on him.  Then I realize what better job is there really that he could have with a bachelor’s in history? (no offense to that…)  Teaching pays so little…and for a family of five….I find myself constantly praying and yet unable to pray!  I know God hears the pangs of my heart…I have friends and family who are encouraging and understanding…but they will never really be able to understand completely and I think that’s why I feel so lonely at times.  I feel helpless.  But God sees and has a plan in all of this.  Somehow he is using this to make Himself more known to this little family.  I want my children to grow up with their dad around.  I know you hear me God.

So in all this doom and gloom of this post….I trust in my Father still.  I may be the only one my kids are watching and I may feel overwhelmed most of the time because of it, but how truly blessed I am that those little eyes are watching, observing, learning, and copying…me.  Tonight at dinner I had a worship cd playing.  10,000 reasons came on.  I love the words.  How powerful and poignant they are!  Tonight as I was cooking over the stove, my kids playing, and my eyes watering  as I was feeling particularly lonely…I was trying not to loose it in my grief of the absence of my man (something I experience on a daily basis really) I heard a little voice (and I’m loosing it again right now).  The soft angelic voice of my five year old just behind me.  Singing.  “bless the Lord oh my soul, ohhhhh my soul, worship His holy name…”

And in that moment God revealed to me that my little girl has seen me, heard me sing it.  She’s seen me praise the God of hosts when I thought no one was looking.  And she copied.  (waaaaaaaaaaa) me crying.

I praise God that when I feel like a failure as a parent most of the time there is evidence of a beautiful fruit blooming.  In the hearts of my children.  And failure is not what is being mirrored back to me.  Praise is.

It’s time to sing Your song again!

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes