Thursday, October 8, 2009

And no...

I'm not pregnant.

God is good.

And here are a few examples of His goodness...

  1. My daughter is talking in short, yet complete, sentences.

Example: Last night while eating quite the tasty dinner at Casa Ole, she decided to tell us a story. Granted, it was a 2-year old version, so it was very simple. First, she pointed to the butter on the table and called it "Mommy". Sweet, I know. Then, she pointed to the honey on the table and called it "Daddy". She concluded her little narrative with, "Baby coming." I have to admit, that I have been hoping her first sentence would be "I love Mommy." However, "Baby coming" will have to do, I suppose. I understand she left out the all important "is" in this sentence, but we're working on it. Once she has a complete gerund phrase, I will let you know. Also, I'll let you know when she has learned the difference between the truth and falsehoods. I immediately began praying that her spiritual gift is not prophecy.

2. We have a new house!!

The funny thing about moving is that no place, no matter how wonderful, is ever without its flaws. While we are beyond thrilled to be in a new, much more spacious home, we have had an adventurous first week. First, we discovered a minor electrical problem in our bathroom. The shower light seems to only want to work when you don't really need it to. I'll turn it on before I get in the shower, and inevitably it turns itself off before I've finished washing my hair! What gives? Also, we have yet to have a functioning light where the toilet is. I'll leave you to draw any additional conclusions about this that you care to.

Also, we discovered that our upstairs bathroom has a minor plumbing issue. And by minor I mean that flushing the toilet results in sewage seeping into the bathtub through the drain. Yeah. It's as disgusting as you're thinking it is. Very gross. Thankfully, it's the upstairs bathroom that never gets used. Whatever happened in that bathroom happened before we moved in. I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

3. I have two tests next week.

I know, I know. You're probably sitting there now thinking, "How can this be a demonstration of God's goodness?" Well, I'm so glad you asked! Yesterday, in my Marriage Therapy class, my teacher decided to let us review the exam. Notice I didn't say "review FOR the exam". He literally let us REVIEW THE EXAM. As in look at the actual test for 10 minutes and "write down whatever notes we needed to."

Now, I have to follow this statement of God's goodness with an explanation. Next week is a first time event for me. Since I have been in graduate school, I have never had a week (outside of finals week) where I had more than one test. Next week is the first time in two and a half years that I will have two tests in one week. Needless to say, I've been a bit worried about this for the past several weeks. To this, God says, "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."- The Message

God is good.

So, how has God been good to you recently?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Long time....

No see. Or write would be more appropriate I guess! I just looked at the last time I blogged, and it was 5 months ago! Let's see, 5 months ago was the end of April and beginning of May. I was prepping for finals of what I hope was the most horrendous semester of my life as far as grad school goes. I look back on those weeks, and I honestly don't know how I survived. But thankfully, the Lord saw fit to see me through yet another three courses on this journey known as "getting my Master's degree". Also, our family was preparing for Braelyn's first appearance as flower girl in our friend's wedding. It was a gorgeous ceremony, and I have to say that my daughter made her family so proud as she walked (as in she did not run as she had EVERY time we practiced!) perfectly down the center aisle to her beaming mom. It was a beautiful moment of sweet pride for me, as I was quickly seeing how grown up she was becoming (even at 18 months old!). We had practiced so many times with her trying to get her to walk while sweetly carrying her little basket full of flower was a picture-perfect moment. Then, when I picked her up to take her to the back of the sanctuary, she did the unthinkable. As I hoisted her up telling her how awesome she had done and giving her an animal cracker to try to keep peace during the most climactic moment of any wedding ceremony, it happened. Braelyn chunked....and I do mean CHUNKED her beautiful little basket of flowers on the floor, and quickly followed it with a loud and proud laugh that filled the thick and anticipatory silence in the room. I quickly decided that was not the moment to attempt to fix the mess. Thankfully it was out of the way enough that I thought we had avoided the stage scene to be shot in every picture that was to be in our dear friend's wedding album. I found out later that apparently no one else even saw what had happened...thank you Lord! The last thing I wanted was for anyone to be looking at us when the bride was having her moment coming down the aisle. What a fun (and yes, I'll admit it, stressful) day that was.

Now, we are preparing for a certain little girl's second birthday party. I'm trying to decide between 101 Dalmatians, or the Little Mermaid theme. I just don't know yet. I need to decide soon though so that I can get invites out. I think we will make this one mainly family, and a few friends. I figure next year we will probably have our first "real" birthday party, complete with kiddos, cheesy games, and party favors that no parent ever wants to bring home with them.

Well, hopefully this won't be the last post for the next 5 months....getting back into a routine again, and I am hoping that blogging will have a designated block of time somewhere in my crazy schedule.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The End is Near...

....and I mean that in the most positive way possible. I am so close to the end of the semester. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's getting bigger by the day. I have one paper (really about 2/3 of a paper) left and one test. Then I can breathe easy for a week before my summer class starts. Even with one summer class, it's gotta be better than this semester when I had three. It has to be better right?

On a different note: I have recently noticed a new pet peeve that I seem to have, but never realized hot much it bothered me. Grammar and spelling. I have found myself critiquing every kind of public writing forum, whether a marquee on the rode, or a magazine, I have found that I am able to point out grammatical mistakes from a mile away- and they drive me crazy! Spelling misakes especially seem to creep up under my skin. Of course, now that I say this, I'm sure I have many misspelled words and grammatical mistakes. Hopefully not. But it's definitely possible.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Style

So, today I had the pleasure of attending a two-week parenting class at church. Isn't it funny how, just when you think you've got it figured out, God steps in and says, "Ok- What about this? Did you ever think about it this way?" And then, a whole new way of thinking is opened up? Well, that is exactly what happened to me today. As a graduate student that is studying counseling, I'd like to think that I know a little more than the average person knows when it comes to these things. However, sometimes God takes our little human egos and shows us Who really knows something, and who doesn't.

Today, my ego was put to shame in an area that I would like to say that I'm somewhat knowledgable and that area is- parenting. While I haven't been a parent for a real long time, I have read and studied it quite a bit. And while I in no way consider myself to be an expert, I have always felt like I had a pretty solid handle on how to raise Godly children, and more specifically, how I would raise my kids to be Godly adults. There are some things that seem obvious, such as praying for your children, praying with your children, and letting them "catch" you reading your Bible. While those things are good, and even essential, there still seemed to be something missing. I wanted solid, practical, parenting skills that I could apply in the heat of discipline, and in the cool of playtime. This morning, I feel like the Lord revealed to me a solid Biblical perspective for parenting. And honestly, while I am talking of these tactics in relation to parenting, I feel that this will radically change how I live my life in general.

The two verses that were said this morning that the Lord really brought to the forefront of my mind and heart are both very familiar to anyone that has spent any amount of time in a Baptist church. The first one, Deuteronomy 6:5 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." THe second is this, Leviticus 19:18 "Love your neighbor as yourself."

These are the two commandments that Jesus gave when the Pharisees were questioning his status as self-proclaimed Messiah. They were testing Him and His knowledge of the law. In a way, I feel this is where I have been in my quest through parenthood. I have just been sitting back, "knowing it all", questioning God's ability to parent my child. (Really, that's a pretty bold place to be seeing as I've only been a parent for about 17 months. Just goes to show how fast your ability and/or knowledge can go straight to your head.) The truth of the matter is, I can't parent my child. I can't. It's that simple. Just like I can't be a suitable wife to my husband, I can't be a suitable mother to my daughter. This is where these verses come in to play....

I figure that if those two commandments were radical enough to put the Pharisees in their place, they are radical enough to put me in my place. And they did. These commandments seem so simple, and in a way they are. But at the same time, again, they bring me to the end of myself. Because the truth of the matter is, I can't "Love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength." Nor can I "Love my neighbor as myself." Christ must do this for me. I give up and give in. Allow His love to pour into every crevice of my being. I think it involves keeping these verses in the forefront of my heart. This, I believe, is essential to the everyday living out of these verses. Allowing them to "transform (me) through the renewing of (my) mind". That means creating a new mind- or a new mindset. Taking captive those proud, judgmental thoughts that consume my current patterns of behavior and replacing them with compassionate, understanding thoughts that allow for mistakes: from others and from myself. After all, if it weren't for mistakes, we wouldn't need grace.

Now in relation to parenting- Deuteronomy says that we are to "commit ourselves wholeheartedly to these commands, and repeat them again and again to our children." (This is the paraphrased version.) So, when we think of parenting, what are the goals that we strive to attain in parenting? I will list a few that I have always envisioned myself striving, as a parent, to attain:

  • Educational success (aka: a college least)

  • Finding a successful mate

  • Having a successful career that fits their God-given talents and abilities

  • Having Godly friends

  • Being drug/alcohol free

  • Staying sexually pure

These are just a few. So, the question that was asked this morning is "How will you measure your children?" When you are sitting at your child's high school, or college graduation, what would make you say, "Success!"? Would it be the fact that they made good grades, and skated through all of their AP courses relatively unchallenged? Or would it be that your child got a full scholarship for his talents on the football field? "How will you measure your children?"

Today, the Lord has revealed that, even at the tender age of 17 months, I have already begun to measure my daughter by things that will not contribute to the Kingdom of God. Not that I don't think the things I listed above aren't important. Quite the contrary. After the discussion this morning, I think that these things are still important, however they are not the focus. The focus needs to be love. "How does my child love?" Does she love the Lord her God with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind, and all her strength? Does she love her neighbor as herself? When these two commandments are fulfilled, all of the above measurements will be met as well. That is why there is no need to put total focus on the previous measurements. I am thankful for the Lord opening my eyes to this truth today. I wish I could say this is the only time I will have to be reminded of these commandments in parenting, but the reality of the situation is, my heart and my mind are forgetful, and sadly quite stubborn.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moving on...

My apologies to those of you who actually read through the entirety of my last post. I don't complain a lot, and while it is not productive in any way, somehow you just feel a little bit vindicated in being able to "give it what it deserves". In this case my "it" was school, and it deserved a swift kick in the you know what. I think I successfully did that in my last post, so now, as the title of this post suggests, I am moving on....

I have to tell you this because I think it's a pretty monumentous occasion. Today, March 24, 2009, Braelyn wore her first ponytail! I feel like we have entered into the world of all things girly now that she has enough hair to actually put in a rubberband. I had to use those tiny clear plastic rubberbands though. I have never used them before, and let me tell you, those little boogers are difficult to use! Poor baby probably thought I was just pulling a massive amount of her hair out of her head when actually I was just trying to pull it out of her face. We're in that in between stage right now of hair growth. If you've ever had bangs, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's too short to put behind the ear or pull all the way back, but it's too long to be considered bangs. Quite frustrating for me. I don't think it bothers her in the least bit having hair in her face constantly, but it definitely bothers me!

Well, I'm signing off for now! Good day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


That is exactly how I feel right now. I am just going to go ahead and apologize- I am just going to vent (aka- complain) for a few minutes. I think of all of the school stuff I have to do in the next month and a half, and I feel like I should just kiss my family and friends good bye until May 6th. I have one class with 4 more groups that I have to observe, and then I have to write a paper about it. I also have to interview two group leaders and write a paper about that. THEN I have to do 2 more article critiques (I've finished one already). And in case that isn't enough, we also have a major group project for that class that we haven't done a whole lot on. Super duper! And that's just ONE of my THREE classes. I guess I should be thankful I don't have a final in that one. And I am- I really am thankful. I just have so much to do before finals week, that I can't even think that far. In one of my other classes, I just finished the third of four papers so far for this semester, but that fourth one is a doozy. 15 pages. woo freakin hoo. My third and final (and favorite! it really is- I'm not being sarcastic) class isn't as bad. But I do have a major project still to do for the semester...and a take home final, which we all know what that means. It is likely impossible to make a good grade on. I keep telling myself that it is good for me to be getting this degree and that I need it. And that I'd rather do it now than when Braelyn is older. At least this way- God willing (and I don't use that phrase tongue in cheek, I pray all of the time) that she has no recollection of this ever happening. I want to be at her soccer games and cheer practices. I hate missing out on so much right now, and I really feel like I do miss out on a lot. But in the long run, I know it's better to do it now rather than later. AAAAHHHHH.......It feels good to get that off my chest. People that have been in my shoes keep saying that it won't last forever, but I'll be honest- right now, there is no light at the end of my tunnel. Not even a pin-sized one. I'm walking in the tunnel looking for a mag light, and now a train is entering the tunnel about to plow me over. ugh. I'm done now. Find a fork. Hopefully I will one day be able to post again and say that I survived a train wreck. But for now, LOOK OUT!!