Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Resolute in Resolutions?

The new year will be upon us shortly. 2012... can you believe it? New years
come with the hope of new beginnings. Already this week, I've noticed what 
seems like more runners out hitting the pavement in what I'd imagine is a 
head start on their resolutions. One somewhat older gentleman I observed 
looked like he should've had a paramedic following him down the road... just
in case. 

The end of one year and the start of another causes me to ponder what I'd 
like to change in my life. If I could narrow it down, I want to be more disciplined 
when it comes to my quiet time with the Lord, be sure to actually open my Bible 
daily and in my housework. It's been difficult having two kids four and under 
and being pregnant to keep up with the house and laundry. It's much easier to 
sit and type than to hall around the vacuum or heaping baskets of clothes that 
never end. And as far as my Bible reading and prayer time, well I don't have 
any excuses for that. 

I'd also love to acquire a literary agent this next year. I'm trusting the Lord will
continue to guide me in this search, and all will come to pass in His good 
timing. In the mean time, I continue to refine what I've written and have started
on a new project. 

I love the idea of new beginnings. Intentions are great, but I can't help but
think about follow through, that discipline deal. How can I be sure to not
let the new changes slip away as the months go by? 

  1. Take a lesson from Nike and "Just do it!" Stop making excuses.
  2. Ask the Lord for help when I just don't feel like it. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). 
  3. Remember that when I work, whether at my job or doing laundry at home, I do it for the Lord. Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

I take these points to heart as the new year approaches. Do you plan to make
any New Year's resolutions? Do you have a plan or strategy on how to keep them?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tis the Season...

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I know, it sound cliche, but true
nonetheless. I love Christmas music, trimming the tree, and the wonder
on my children's faces as they rediscover all the ornaments on the 
tree. Of course, I have to stay vigilant with my two year old. He seems
to think the ornaments are there for him to remove. This is also the 
time of year I tend to make Toll House cookies, our family's favorite.

More than ever, this year, my heart has been impressed with the 
truth that it is more blessed to give than receive. The last couple
years have been particularly difficult for many people I know, and
I'm sure that you know as well. Personally, we are "tighter" financially
this year than I can ever remember. It's natural to want to take 
care of your own family first. Although we do have a responsibility
as parents to make sure our children's needs are met, we don't 
need as much as society tells us. Do we need to have an HD TV? 
Despite the male perspective that it is a bare necessity, it really isn't. 
Our children don't have to have the latest and coolest toy if it doesn't 
fit into the budget. 

I've been trying to instill an attitude of thankfulness in my children 
this year. They may not get everything they want, but we need to
be mindful of those less fortunate and thankful for what we do have.
Above all, the Lord is our Provider. He knows what we need before
we even ask and delights in us as His children. Matthew 7:9-11
speaks to this and says that if we who are human and sin give
good gifts to our children, how much more will our Father in 

When I was in college, I traveled to West Africa with my school on
a medical mission trip. We were there for 2 months. I'll never forget
the hospitality of the sweet people there, and how they gave to us
the more fortunate, even though they seemed to have nothing. God 
desires us to have a giving heart. The people I met in West Africa 
exemplified that perfectly. How much more can we give? Not only
material possessions to those less fortunate, but give of our time,
ourselves. Someone I know recently told me of a relative of hers
who has found herself and her child in an extremely unfortunate 
situation. I was able to give out of what I already have toward that 
situation. Let's be mindful of those around us this Christmas season.
Let's give of ourselves, our time, or our resources if possible. In 
doing so when shine the Light of Christ to those around us. 

I pray you and yours have a wonderful, fun filled Christmas season,
with sweet family gatherings, special memories, and giving hearts. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Ultimate Adventure

Around my house, you have to stay on your toes. You never know when
a child may charge you for a tackle, I mean hug, or repeatedly kiss you
with slobbery, tiny lips until you laugh so hard tears stream down your 
cheeks. Other things to watch out for are unsupervised impromptu painting 
sessions at 6:30 in the morning, partially eaten cheese sticks left randomly 
through the house, or a mostly consumed diaper (thanks to the dog). It's not 
uncommon to hear children competing for who can roar the loudest, hopefully 
as they're pretending to be dinosaurs. My four year old also enjoys throwing 
a plastic baseball (overhand) down the hall for my two year old to retrieve 
for her. "Go get it little boy!" is shrieked repeatedly amidst rolls of laughter 
from both. Watch out for when the ninety pound boxer mix wants to join in. 
Someone could get taken out. 

Just this morning, after reading a lengthy book to my tank of a two year old,
I decided to catch up on email, facebook, twitter... . Without warning he jumped
and dove across my arms and laptop to the couch cushion next to me. How
hilarious! I laughed, tweeted about it, then closed the laptop and suggested
a snack to him. Obviously he wanted my attention. I call him a tank not because
he is stocky or bulky, but because he'll bulldoze through almost any obstacle.
He'd be a great tackle if he ever wants to play football, but his dad plans to
steer him as much as possible into baseball, which I can't disagree with. 
Baseball season is a favorite in my family. He is the most determined child
I have ever met. A quality I first noticed in him at six months old. On all fours,
he'd stare at a point ahead of him, and with a surety in his eyes, I could 
almost hear his thoughts, I'm gonna get there... . And that was just learning
to crawl. 

Another funny, but yet not so funny story from this morning is when he and 
I were about ready to pick up his big sister from preschool. I bundled him 
up and then realized I wouldn't make it back home again without needing
to use the restroom. I raced to the bathroom. From inside I heard nothing 
from my little tank. Not a good sign. I yelled, "What are you doing?!" His reply
was muffled. Not good. He had something in his mouth. I finished with 
lightning speed and rushed to where he stood on the hearth holding his
sister's candy pale from Halloween (yes we haven't finished it yet). I
ordered the adventurer to open his mouth where I observed a chewed up
extra large tootsie roll, paper wrapper and all, smooshed to the top of his
mouth. I grabbed a paper towel and swiped the whole wad from his 
mouth. He seemed grateful to be free the chewy mess. 

Lesson learned, again. Stay on my toes, expect everything, be surprised
at nothing, take bathroom breaks with lightning speed or use restraints if
speediness is not possible (a.k.a. strapped into a booster chair in front of
the tube). Motherhood, without a doubt, is an adventure not intended for 
the faint hearted, weak willed, or weak minded, at least not at my house.
To all my fellow adventurers, may you have a safe week, full of fun, rolls
of laughter and tackling hugs.