Sunday, April 13, 2014

why i can't take the credit

I've had several friends tell me recently that they've shown off my preggo belly pictures to their friends - mostly because they are amazed at how far my belly sticks out! And they can't believe I can still stand up :) Of course my first reaction is to be quite proud of myself - I am a tiny woman who carries giant babies! Go me and my body! 

But feeling proud isn't where I want to stay - I want that to turn into gratefulness to God, because the mere fact that I can carry children at all is a miracle.
My parents were never sure if I would be able to have biological children, let alone if I would live through my mom's pregnancy with me and my twin brother. Doctors told them for months that I would die in the womb, and that if I lived I would be severely handicapped. When I was born, doctors shared with my parents a multitude of problems to expect in coming years. I had a heart defect that required open-heart surgery, underwent hours of therapy for random issues, and was "never going to live a normal life." In God's sovereignty, the "nevers" and "supposed tos" never came to pass. I grew up as a very healthy and normal child, besides the whole being super short thing. (Though family would probably say I'm not "normal", but that's just my weird personality, not my health.) 

Thank you Lord for my two babies. Thank you for being HOPE WHEN THERE IS NO HOPE. Thank you for forming these beautiful boys in my body and for showing that Your power to heal is mighty. So yes, when people share my picture I sometimes want to pat myself on the back for merely getting through this pregnancy; but really, I want to share how faithful and powerful God is.

(PS - five more days!!!! My c-section is scheduled for this Friday. Wow, I can't wait to meet this boy!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

on owning it

Oh boy, there's so much of me that wants to fight this season of my life.
I want to blaze past it and just move on already.

I'd love to be me a year from now. I have a few goals/dreams that I've made a teeeeeny bit of headway on, but are still so far from fruition. They are getting bogged down by a body that has to sit down for hours on end, and a heart that is heavier with prayers and worries than with bountiful encouragement and life-giving words.

In many moments I feel stuck and just tired.
But I also have this hopeful flickering in my heart, that I can't ignore anymore. 

Embracing the hardships and limitations of this season doesn't mean I've given up on my passions. "Giving in" to where my life actually is doesn't freeze my relationship with God or my potential to life an obedient life for His glory.

This little flickering in my heart tells me that owning this season, even rejoicing in it, actually leads me further on the path to being the woman God wants me to be. This season is exactly where He wants to pour into me, teach me, and mold my passions so that I can obey Him. I have this feeling that I will move forward with more faithfulness, more passion, and a deeper commitment to Christ because I haven't blazed through this season.

Even in this time that feels dry and seems to linger on, there are people in front of me. There are truths that my heart needs to learn. There are many chances to say yes to Jesus. I do not want to miss out on these incredibly important parts of my life, all because I just want to move on.

I don't feel ready to say, "Oh, this is what I learned from this season! This is why I went through it and what God was teaching me." But, with heaps of God's grace and strength, I'm ready to let go of what I'm not and what this season is not, and instead ask, "God, what do you have for me here?"
I'm ready to own this season.

::          ::          ::          ::          ::          ::          ::

Thank you to women like Rachael, Kara-Kae, MeganAmanda, and others who don't have an internet space that I can link to (Sarah, Miranda, Becky, Jenn, Hannah, to name a few). You have walked out some long and hard seasons, and you have dug in and embraced them beautifully. You have let Jesus meet you there, and He has been proven faithful while also growing beautiful things in you. I look up to you so much and hope to walk out this season in faith, just as you all have before me.

*To be clear - the season I'm talking about isn't my pregnancy. This pregnancy is a major blessing, even if it makes my body super exhausted and does bring some physical limitations. If you've read my blog the past few months, you might know that the last 6-ish months have held a lot of change and transition, in all areas of life. That's what I'm referring to.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

april goals. well, just one.

My goal list for this month is pretty simple:

1. Cherish
2. Cherish
3. Cherish

I do have a few ahem a million other to-do list items before our sweet baby joins us on the 18th (yay!!), but I want my head and my heart to be super focused on this one goal. Cherishing.

I want to cherish these last days of being pregnant. For personal and medical reasons, this will probably be our last biological child. (Both sad and crazy!) I want to just soak in what it feels like to have a little person rolling around inside of my body, and cherish the feelings of anticipation. How big will he be? What will he look like? What will his little newborn, mewling cry sound like? Soaking it in.

I want to cherish my moments and routines with Nicholas. I want to relish the (literal) hours that we play with cars or make "projecks" - anything involving a glue stick and paper. I'll be honest - I'm tempted to spend these next two weeks trying to occupy him with toys/shows so that I can knock items off of my "pre-baby" list. That will happen at times, for sure. But very soon, I'll be splitting my attention between two little guys, so I want to enjoy and be in these moments with him.

I want to cherish the next 18 days with my husband. You guys, that man has been straight up serving me and working his butt off. His new job plus the church plant is a very demanding schedule, and so I wouldn't blame him if he came home and just vegged out. But he's been hanging up picture frames, building Ikea furniture, going grocery shopping, and making special time for Nicholas. (And getting me many bowls of ice cream.) I want to cherish and thank and affirm him.

I want to cherish this time with Jesus. He's been my constant during this pregnancy, my wisdom as I parent a wily toddler boy, my strength as my body is so tired. He will continue to be all of these things as I learn to parent two kiddos! So I want to continue to go deeper into my relationship with Him.

And finally - I want to cherish my new little boy! Ahh, I'm just so excited to meet him! I am over-the-moon excited to snuggle him, stare at his sweet face, hold his tiny body. YAY! This one won't be hard to do ;)

What are you hoping to cherish this month?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

a home-y kind of home

It's laughable that I'm anything close to a "designer" when it comes to my home and decor, but last week I finally got some decorations up in our home, and it feels wonderful! 

When we moved this past September, we left a sweet little house that was full of memories and it felt like ours. I've really missed that home-y feeling since we bounced between living with family and then moved into a new place in January. With this baby coming in 3.5 weeks (hooray!), there's something in me that just NEEDS our apartment to feel like home. To feel like ours. So I brainstormed with my decorating team (aka my husband and my mom!), and then I bossed them around from the couch because I've got a basketball attached to me. With a few nails in the wall, a can of spray paint, and some online purchases, we've got a home. Content sigh.

I keep repeating to myself The Nester's mantra, "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." Our decorations are simple, our budget was small, and there's still a lot of empty space. I'm just so happy that the ideas of this non-designer mostly translated into reality, and that we finally have pictures of our family up on the wall! It was fun, too, to find new uses for decor that we've had forever (or at least since we got married five years ago). It was kind of like solving a memory-filled puzzle, re-purposing items that we'd once obtained for different uses. This also saved a LOT of money. :)

Here are a few pieces that make up our very simple and not-yet-finished home:

Ruth print from Naptime Diaries  I  Both frames from Target  I  Canvas from Easy Canvas Prints
Lampshade from Target  I  Lamp base was very old from Target, which we spray painted.

This Instagram wall is my new favorite part of our home! Walgreens prints square photos for really cheap and typically has great discount codes on their website!

Garland from Land of Nod  I  Lampshade and base both old from Target (stand painted)
Accent pillow from Target  

This little area is what makes my kitchen feel like mine :)

Shelves/hardware, canisters from Ikea  I  Naptime Diaries print  I  Flower from my twin's wedding
Tea cup was a gift from Anthropologie  I  Tea pot from a store in Seattle a long time ago :)
And I love this picture of my sweet Grandma!

A piece of our home in Montana, a map of Flathead Lake from an antique store.

Left "B" was a gift  I  Old shelf from Target   I  Old clock from Urban Outfitters
Right "B" from Anthropologie

I'll end this post by adding that Nicholas now points to all the "decorations" around our house. He sometimes prays for "the decorations" before bedtime (weirdo), and loves to look at the pictures of himself. That's what makes a house feel home-y, right? When you can look at pictures of YOU :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

when i don't have enough

I might sound like a broken record when I say that my body is just not handling the end of this pregnancy well. This last week was pretty difficult, adding on a stomach bug and a toddler who's sleep patterns are terrible after daylight standard time began. I'm exhausted in so many ways.

There were several moments this last week that felt like, "I just don't have enough right now." 
I'm not getting enough sleep, due to some "fun" pregnancy side effects and a child who wakes up well before 6am. I don't have enough patience to endure the sometimes pretty hash physical pain, or to stay calm with my 2-year-old whom I adore but who is so "two" right now. I don't have enough time to get my home prepared, my freezer stocked, my last minute to-do's completed. Quite a few elements of my life feel maxed out and so meager. (Except for my ice cream supply. I replenish this often.)

There's not a band-aid for seasons like this, is there? I keep trying to suck it up, emotionally and physically, and yet the realities of life don't always allow me to keep things perfectly together. What if right now my life is just tiring and messy? What if I did raise my voice at both my toddler and my husband, or we're eating frozen meals off of paper plates, or Nicholas watches waaayyy too much TV?

What if?
Well, then I can look at the Lord and say, with more understanding than ever before,
"Whom have I in heaven but You?"
And He responds with a resounding, "I'm here."
He's here, in my "not enough" places. He's present where I feel utterly depleted.

I keep picturing myself as clinging to Him, holding on with tired fingers and crying out with continual requests. But He keeps replacing my picture with His own version: His arms wrapped tightly around me. My strength and my ability to hold on are literally out of the picture. He's just holding me.

So yeah, right now, I don't have enough. But I have Him. And He has me.
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