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Sunday, January 19, 2014

We Kept The Crib

Yesterday was a sad day in my world. Yesterday, my hubby finally convinced me to sell several items that have been taking up space in our storage building, things that I have been hanging on to "just in case", things that I just haven't been ready to get rid of yet. Yesterday, we sold Logan's baby gear. ALL of the baby gear - the play pen, jumper, swing, high chair, & stroller.

After Makenzie was born, we sold everything except the crib. I didn't plan on having any more babies. When we decided to try again & we lost the baby, I was really done. I was too scared. I never wanted to experience anything like that again. So when we were expecting Logan, we found ourselves needed everything again. Everything except the crib.

And even right after he was born, I knew I wanted one more. There are 3.5 years between Austin & Makenzie, then almost 6 years between Makenzie & Logan. I wanted another girl & I wanted the age span to be similar & I wanted a winter baby. (Austin is spring, Logan is summer, & Makenzie is fall - the baby we lost would have been born in winter)

There sure are an awful lot of "I"s in that last paragraph, huh. Well, here comes a few more.

I would still love another baby, but I am realizing that I am getting older. I am realizing that my kids are getting older. I am realizing that our house is getting smaller. I am realizing that my patience is getting thinner. I am realizing that God has prepared me for this moment. I am realizing that my family, even with all of our flaws, is just right.

So unless, God has another plan down the road, I am accepting the fact that I am done bearing babies.

Yes, yesterday was a sad day, but we kept the crib!




Saturday, January 18, 2014

A New Focus

I've realized here lately that things just felt "off". You know the feeling. You can't pinpoint exactly what it is. You don't really know what is wrong. You're not really in a bad mood. But something, just doesn't feel right.

I have been there lately. There isn't a clear cut answer. At least, not on the surface. But once I started examining my life, I figured it out.

God has been convicting my heart lately. Somehow, somewhere, I have mixed up my priorities...again.

I have been concerning myself far too much with things that ultimately don't really matter in the long run. I have found myself mixed up with drama, strife, & worldly gain. I have neglected my spiritual growth, the desires of my heart, the encouraging of others, & the affections of those that mean the most to me.

Now, there wasn't anything wrong with the things I became focused on, but the problem lies in the fact that I was more focused on that instead of the things that I knew really mattered more.


As I find myself still evaluating the beginning of a brand new year, I realized that I want to pursue a journey towards a healthier me. Not just physically, but mentally, spiritually, & emotionally as well. I want to surround myself with uplifting words of encouragement. I want to pour motivation into me. I want to make better decisions for myself & my family. I want more moments where I let my hair down & laugh until I cry. I want to be "that girl" for my husband. I want to be the one my preteen son confides in, the one my daughter looks up to, & the one my toddler thinks hung the moon. I want to grow closer to God than I ever have before.

I also want to rid myself of excess drama. I don't want to associate with people who I have to struggle to remain positive around. I don't want to have to put on a show for anyone. I don't want to seek constant approval or fear repeated rejection. I don't want to go to bed at night thinking "What If" and I don't want to wake up in the morning thinking "Not Again".

But even more than that, I want to be that source of encouragement to someone who is down. I want to be the person that friend calls when they need advice. I want to be known for my faith, my loyalty, my honestly, & my love. I don't want to be the rain on someone's parade. I don't want to cause that awkward moment. I don't want to be the one making you doubt.

Now you may be reading over this list & only be ably to focus on the "I"s. But that's where I've messed up in the past. Everything has gotten out of focus. When I look back over the years, I do see a lot of "I"s, but as I gaze longingly into the future, the "I"s don't stand out nearly as much. Instead, the only way to accomplish any of this is to see a lot less me & a lot more God. He is the only one who can give me the desires of my heart & make me content with them. He is the only one able to take my mistakes from the past & turn them into a promising future. He is the only one able to make me into something more than me. He is the only one!





Monday, January 6, 2014

Where Did They Learn That

I have said for years that "children are a product of their environment".

If you see a child that misbehaves, more than likely they were allowed or even taught to act this way. If you see a child that is rude or disrespectful, they could be modeling what they have seen from others.

If you see a child that plays quietly and listens during church, more than likely this behavior was encouraged. If you see a child that is well mannered or gets along most of the time with their siblings, they have probably been treated with respect themselves.

I know that there is an exception to everything. I know that not all children who are considered "good" come from ideal environments. I know that not all children who mimic unfavorable behavior, had parents who didn't care.

For the most part though, we are who we are because of the circumstances that encircled us & molded us. Just like the saying "you are what you eat.", children become what they see.

This is an especially hard pill to swallow right now since I am raising a preteen boy who knows everything & wants to argue with the wall. This is especially hard when I see him lash out in anger & disrespect. This is especially hard when I see my 8 year old daughter purposely pick fights with her brother. This is especially hard when I see her leave her room in a state that could easily be classified as a disaster zone containing HazMat materials.

I keep looking at my children, wondering WHAT happened to cause these behaviors. It doesn't matter that the majority of all children go through these stages. It doesn't matter that we went through them growing up. It always looks & feels so much worse when it happens in your own backyard though.

Then I realize that although a lot of these behaviors are a natural part of growing up and a lot of them can be attributed to man's natural tendency to sin, that many of them can be traced back to me.

FAIL

Yes, children are the product of their environment. Even when that environment isn't ideal.

As I watch my children & try to correct their behavior, I pray that God help me change my sinful nature as well. I pray for mercy & grace as I try to remember to act with mercy & grace instead of justice. I pray that one day, my children grow up to be a better Christian example than I have provided for them.