Monday, February 23, 2009

Missing Out, or Not

This past weekend started out as a pity party for one. The college/young adults group at my church was taking their annual girls retreat this weekend. I wanted to go so badly. Now, I am not in this group nor have I been for the past few years, but basically all of the girls that I am closest to including my two sister were going. Just the thought of a peaceful weekend in the woods was putting a smile on my face. I have learned over the last four years that when you have kids sometimes you just don't get to do the things you want to do. That still didn't stop my inner desire for selfishness and a weekend getaway with the girls. Well, needless to say, I didn't go. Alan was out of town until Friday night (on a "work" trip to Angel Fire with a friend.) He did have a little bit of work to do on a customer's house up there but he also managed to squeeze in a day of snowboarding. This no doubt added to my self-pity. As I woke up today though I started thinking about what a great weekend it has been. If I had gone on the girls trip, here are some of the things I would have missed out on.
1. A trip to the "spa" with Taylor. Ok, Fancy Nails doesn't really fall into the spa category but Taylor got her nails painted, complete with jeweled flowers on her thumbs and I got a desperately needed eyebrow wax. Taylor was such a huge help to me while Alan was gone so I wanted to treat her to something special and that's what she wanted to do!
2. A trip to Mardels resulting in the purchase of three new books. I am not much of a reader. I went to Mardel's looking for a gift for my mother-in-law and I ran across three books that I really wanted. I am already almost done with "Multiple Blessings." It is about the Gosselins (Jon and Kate Plus 8). It's my new favorite show to watch and so I picked up the book because the bright yellow 50% off sticker was screaming at me. (I am a bargain girl!) I am so enjoying this book. I like their show, but in the book you get a greater sense of their love and total dependency on the Lord. It excited me to think that maybe someone would pick up the book because they love the show and perhaps find Jesus in the middle of it. They are so unashamed about their love for God and they are so quick to acknowledge His hand in every part of their lives. It's a good, easy read. My kind of book! I also picked up another book by Donald Miller. His book Blue Like Jazz was a really thinker for me, and I liked that. So, I'm going to try out another one of his. Sorry, I can't remember the name of it right now and don't want to get up to go look at it. The last book was a total impulse buy at the register. It was a $4.99 special about organizing your home. God has really been working on me in this area lately and I felt like maybe this book we give me the extra umph to get to it! We'll see.
3. Worshipping at church. This was my weekend off at church. After I had Molly Kate I just felt so incredibly overwhelmed and knew that if I didn't hand off a little responsibility at work I would probably just crack and quit it all. Having two weekends a month off has been so great for our whole family. We have never been able to all come to church together and just sit and worship together. I didn't realize how much I was missing out on. Ava loves to come in for worship. She would rather sing first and go to class after, which is saying a lot because she LOVES her class, especially Ms. Louise! So, Saturday night we went to church as a family and I held Ava during praise and worship. On the third song I opened my eyes and saw her little hand raised. I smiled at her and she asked me why me and daddy raise our hands up. I told her that it was one way to praise Jesus and show Him how much we love Him. She really liked the idea of that, so she had her hand raised pretty much the rest of the time. If someone would clap she would join in the clapping. She said "Mom, does that praise Jesus when I clap?" And I told her yes, so she clapped and smiled and raised her hands. It was a really sweet time for me to get to teach my daughter a little bit about worship.
4. Great time spent with my husband. Alan and I watched a few movies together this weekend once the girls were in bed. Doesn't like great bonding time, but for us just to sit next each other and spend some alone time at home doesn't happen that often. We watched Fireproof. Despite the less than stellar acting it was a really good movie. The story was really good and made me appreciate the relationship that Alan and I have. There have been a few times in our marriage where I felt like we went through some similar things as the movie, but God's grace is always sufficient and we are now in a really great place. This weekend was great and we both really enjoyed spending time with each other.
5. Molly Kate's laugh. MK is the greatest baby! She is so joyful and I love seeing her little personality beginning to emerge. She is very chilled out baby. Unless she has gas, she's happy! Her little laugh is so precious. I can get her cackling and then she just laughs in anticipation of the tickling that is to come. I love it! I told Alan that sometimes I feel so unproductive because I spend lots of hours every day just sitting in a chair holding Molly Kate. She's either eating or we're just snuggling. He told me to just enjoy those moments because before too long she will be running through the house like a hurricane destroying everything in her path! (Oh wait, Ava's doing that now!) I do cherish the times that I get to just sit and rock her. I love the way that she looks at me with such total dependence and love. Isn't it amazing how much a baby just trusts her mother?
So, even though I missed out on a road trip and a weekend away with some awesome girls, I got to enjoy my family this weekend and that makes it all worth it!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A constant journey

It is amazing to me the difference that one year can make. I have been reflecting on my own life today and I realize that I have drastically changed over the past year. No one else may ever know or realize it (well, my husband does) but when I think back to the way I thought and some things that I believed a year ago, I can't believe that I am the same person. This is all in a good way! It is just so good to know that I am hearing God really clearly on some things. Isn't that a refreshing feeling? Just having peace as I step out and obey Him, I wouldn't trade that for anything. The crazy thing about it all is that some of the things He is asking me to do are not comfortable for me. I am a girl of comfort! I come home and put on sweats or pajamas everyday because that is how much I like to be comfortable! But being able to step out and trust His voice even when it's stretching me like crazy, it's ok with me. I just love being obedient to Him and having that sense of peace all the while. I know this doesn't make a lot of sense, but it feels good to write it down. This old song is running through my head and it perfectly describes how I feel right now.
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know "Thus sayeth the Lord."
Jesus, Jesus how I trust You
How I've proved You over and over
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Oh for grace to trust You more
The more I step out in faith and trust His leading, the grace to step out even more is always right there. I am so excited to see what God asks me to do next, because it just feels good to be in this place. And I am excited to see how much closer I am in another year or two. Right now I know clearer than I ever have what God has called me to do. I guess I've always known the calling, but God seems to be revealing more of the details. It's like more of the "big picture" has been brought into the light and I'm so ready to tackle it head on! I just want what He wants for me. Nothing more, nothing less.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crafts Are Not My Calling!

Today was a very stressful day. When I tell you why, you will either laugh and think I'm joking or think I'm being dramatic, but nevertheless, it was stressful! For some reason I signed up at the beginning of the school year to head up the Valentine's party for Ava's class. I had no memory of doing so until last week her teacher said "Now, you remember you are coordinating the Valentine's party next week? Here are some names of the other moms that would like to help. Just give them a call." I guess at the time of "Class Party Coordinator" sign ups I was big pregnant and of the mindset that this would be a good idea and not hard at all with a 3 month old baby and a million other things going on in life. So, I smiled at Ms. Kristin and said, "Of course! Sounds great!" Thus the stress began. First of all, I am not a great delegator. I would much rather just do things myself not because I am a snob and think that I will do it better than everyone else, but because I absolutely hate calling people on the phone (especially people I don't know) and asking them to do things. It's right up there on my list with fundraising and dental visits. Well, I sucked it up and called. I delegated the responsibilities of paper plates, juice boxes, brownies, and fruit. I decided to handle the pizza and the craft. Yes, I had to plan a craft. How hard could it be, right? Let's skip ahead to today, past the week of fretting over the craft and going through about seven different ideas and stressing out over not being able to find white paper sacks at any of the five stores I went to. Let's just forget all that and get to today.

I woke up with my stomach in knots about this party. Honestly, what it all boils down to is my inherent need to please others. The thought of being judged and looked down upon because of a less than stellar Valentine's party for a group of two year olds was totally freaking me out. Luckily, the fabulous Abby watched Molly Kate so I didn't have to worry about that. So after spending the morning freaking out (again) about the craft and the pizza and how it was all going to work, I just decided to forget it and go to the party. We started the craft and it seemed good enough. Little heart shaped stickers on a foamy paper thing. Easy enough, right? Well, apparently I gauged the time for a craft like this based on my two year old. Ava will sit and work on a craft for hours. Literally, I have to pull her away from things like this. The class of two year olds was a little different. About three minutes into the craft the majority of the kids were bored and were up and running around. Alan was bringing the pizza for me since all the pizza places in Lubbock don't open until 11:00 (yes, I called them all) and I had to be at the school at 10:30. I was justing staring at the clock waiting for him to arrive as I felt all the other moms staring at me wondering what I had planned next for this delightful little party, because surely I had planned more than this craft. There had to be a game or something. But no, no games were planned. I called Alan at 11:04 and he was on his way with the pizzas. Praise God! By 11:12 he had still not arrived. I knew something was wrong. It does not take 8 minutes to get from CiCi's to Lakeridge Methodist church. I called him again and he said, "Where are you? I'm walking all over this huge school asking where the 'frog' room is (that's the class that Ava's in) and asking where the Valentine party is and people are looking at me like I'm crazy!" He had gone to Taylor's school with the pizzas. Their class parties are tomorrow and there is no "frog" room at her school. The laugh over this was by far the highlight of my day! So, Alan arrived with the pizza, we fed the kids lunch and cleaned them all up and I was done. I was so glad when they started getting the kids' nap mats out. Had I known that the teacher was going to chisel out an hour and a half of their day for my wonderfully coordinated party I would have been a bit more prepared. It's nice to know now that coordinating a party consists of more than arranging for someone to bring juice boxes and brownies. I just wish I had known all of this yesterday! I did learn one thing from all of this. Next year I will simply sign up to bring juice boxes. I can absolutely handle that. I don't think I could take any more stress over planning parties.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Vote for Ava!

Hello friends! Could you all do something for me? Go to and vote for Ava!!! She is #19. If her picture wins we get a beautiful 11x14 canvas! I also think she's the cutest one on there, so go vote!!! You can find Denae's blog on my blog list. Thanks!