Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Mom After God's Own Heart: Chapter 3

I told you I wasn't going to take long to post this chapter! This chapter was especially my "cup o' tea" since the title is, "Talk to Your Children About God". Again, the verses for this chapter are out of Deuteronomy 6: 6-7, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall...talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."

The last chapter was all about teaching, and a lot of our teaching is through our words, so talking to your children about God is definitely a key factor in growing them up to be Godly men and women. As a continuation from the first two chapters, is a reminder that until we are allowing the Lord to fill our own cups as women, we won't be nearly as effective as moms. One of my closest friends has often told me that as far as being productive and feeling like she is more in communion with the Lord, she spends a minute or two praying over her day before even lifting her head from her pillow. I have to say, the days that I do that as well, there is DEFINITELY a difference in my attitude, my priorities and my actions towards my family!

One of the great things about talking and teaching our children is that the Lord doesn't require us to have any kind of special abilities, training or gifts. Regardless of our background, upbringing, or education, we can still point our sweet children's hearts towards the Lord. Talking is a big influence, and no matter what type of home you grew up in, you know that statement to be true! Whether the talk was negative, positive or indifferent, in some way, we have all been effected by the way out parents talked to us and around us growing up.

A few of my favorite quotes from this chapter:

"It takes dedicated parents to produce consecrated children."

"Do you want your children to love God? Then simply talk about Him. Why talk about God? Because we talk about what's important to us. And when we don't talk about God, we send a loud message to our children that God really isn't that important. Talk about Him and His ways. Talk about His Word and His Son. Talk about the wonder of His creation."

"Gos is asking you to commit yourself to teach your children diligently to see Him in all aspects of life, not just those that are church related. Your teaching is to go on no matter where you are physically with your children."

"It's never too early to begin sharing God's words and teachings with your little ones, and it's never too late either!"

There is so much to process and act upon from this chapter so far! What great questions, even if you aren't quite yet in this stage of parenting (with older children), you still have the opportunity to influence your kids from the very beginning, whether through words or actions, attitudes and priorities! The way you lead your daily activities with your children can leave a lasting impression.

From A Dad's Heart...

By far my favorite excerpt from this section was, "A father can contribute much emotionally and physically to the children and to the home. But everything he does around the home spiritually seems to get double mileage. When dad comes home, the children listen. And because he's Dad, they really watch what he does and says. So, in your sweet way as a wife and mother, try to alert him to the importance of talking about God, talking about Jesus, talking about about being a Christian."

Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings

I love this section because it always gives practical steps of how to apply these truths to our lives. From this chapter the takeaways were:

1. Ask God to help you be more aware of Him.
In Deuteronomy, God begins with your heart, mom. He then moves to your calling to pass your heart for God along to your boys and girls. Ask Him for His help in making you more aware of Him -- of His goodness, of His creation, of His love for you.

2. Purpose to talk about the Lord.
Create an environment and a schedule or routine for teaching your children about God and the principles of Scripture. Go the next step and purpose to intentionally talk about God.

3. Examine your daily routine for opportunities.
How does your waking-up hours go each morning? And how can you introduce and interject God into that portion of the day? Are any little ones at home during the day? Hoe can God be the center of their at-home time? Scripture memory, illustrations with crayons. Listening to children's worship music, books. Are your children going off to public school? Send them into the world with a 3 x 5 card or a bookmark with a verse in their lunch. And don't forget to pause and pray with them in the morning before you drop them off.

4. Center on God at mealtime.
Examine your mealtimes. Are you praying and asking your children to participate in the praying?

5. End the day with God. Ending their day with a prayer, a verse or a truth and "Jesus loves you, and so do I" is just one idea.

So, TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT CHRIST! That's the main jist of this chapter, if you didn't get that from everything above! I hope that this has been somewhat encouraging to you, and not at all a beat down of maybe what you haven't implemented! Coming from someone who struggles with guilt over past mistakes, whether big or small, I have to constantly remind myself that each day is a new beginning, and the Lord gives much grace and mercy to me, as a wife and a mom! I have the opportunity to choose what to do with my day and the words that come out of my mouth, and I just need to train myself to think about what I'm saying before I do!

Thank you Lord, for your grace and the huge learning curve that comes along with being a Godly woman, wife and MOMMA! You are so gracious to remind me of your heart's desire for all of your children, to know you intimately. May I continue to be humbled by your Word, and may I continue to grow in my knowledge of raising my precious baby boy in your presence.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Big 3-0

I can't believe I'm actually writing this post. There's something about saying that I'm 30 that makes me feel like a grown up, yet I'm not sure I really feel that inside. The first 30 years of my life have been full of adventures, trials and memories. Stories that I will be telling my children and grandchildren for years to come!

Here's what my first 30 years included:

-Accepting Christ at the age of 3, 4, 7, 8 and 12 (I think that's it! I just wanted to be extra sure!)
-Attending 8 schools (K-12)
-Having two "boyfriends" in Kindergarten, who happened to be best friends
-Being a "lifer" at Kanakuk
-Being "too sick" to go to shcool, just so I could have more time with my mom and grandma
-Being stung by a bee while having a picnic in Colorado with some family friends. I was 8.
-Being an Angel Tree child for many years, I still remember some of the gifts I received from those sweet families!
-Growing up in youth group and taking a trip to Kings Island in Cincinnati, OH (random!)
-Watching my Mom graduate nursing school
-Living with my grandparents, MULITPLE times (who I adore with all I have in me!)
-Having my first kiss in 7th grade, at the exact same location in Colorado that I met my husband 9 years later (the Lord has such a sense of humor!)
-Becoming a "blended" family and gaining a sister only 4 months younger than me, at 15
-Cheering in High School
-Playing in the school band
-Getting caught smoking at a Friday night football game in my cheer uniform and getting ISS for 5 days
-Struggling with relationships with men until ultimately realizing that only the Lord can fill every void in my life
-Being baptized by Joe White in Tablerock Lake at 18
-Living with my best friend Jenny, while we worked at the same place (GREAT memories!!)
-Watching the Lord transform my relationship with my Dad and Sister (so thankful this is an ongoing process!!)
-Living in Vail, CO at 19 years old, which is where my biggest dream of all came from, to ultimately move back to the mountains (or foothills) of Colorado!
-Heartbreak at 21 - defining moment of my walk with the Lord even though I didn't know it at the time
-Moving to Dallas at 22 to be with Aaron (the Lord used him to get me here, to completely transform my heart and life!!)
- Having my first set of true, Godly girlfriends at 23 - still are, and always will be what I consider to be the beginning of a new chapter of friendships in my life (shout out...Mel, Becca, Rachel, Kelli - love y'all!!)
- Finding healing from past relationships and the heartbreak I experienced at 21 through the power of the Lord working in my life and transforming my heart
- Living in authentic community with our best friends ever!
- Going to the best church ever where I have experienced more life change in 7 years than I ever did in the first 23 years of my life! Praising the Lord for the ways he is working at Watermark!

There are so many other memories and experiences that I know I left out, but the ones I mentioned above were and still are defining moments that I will remember forever. I praise the Lord for continuing to pursue me and love me when I felt unlovable, to continue to challenge me in my walk with Him, and to place people in my life who spur me on to be a better woman, wife and mom. Praying that my next thirty years will reflect even more of the grace, love and mercy of our Heavenly Father!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Monday Adventures...


So, today was an adventure! Over the past couple months Caleb has been losing weight (VERY small amounts) and so we've had to go through a couple different rounds of testing just to make sure that it's not caused by anything other than the fact that he's growing taller and losing some of his extra baby fat. A couple weeks ago, we went through torture at the Dr's office as he had his first blood draw in the arm (liek us adults have it done). That was MISERABLE and I think a few tears fell from my eyes. Sweet boy. When all of those tests came back fine I was very relieved.

The next step was to have a "sweat test" done to test for Cystic Fibrosis. Now, I had absolutely no idea what exactly Cystic Fibrosis was and so of course I went and googled it. What a mistake!!! Talk about completely scaring a parent! Although looking at the different symptoms and then looking at my child, I would be absolutely shocked if he did have it. Either way, today we went to Children's Hospital and had him tested. The wait was long, and the test even longer, but little man did great, all things considered.

The test is pretty strange. First, they put a solution on his forearms, and then hook him up to electrodes at a VERY low current, explained to me as feeling like when our foot falls asleep and is waking back up. They leave the current going for 5 minutes and then they take it off, put on a little round circle paper looking thing, and then wrap his arm (wrist to almost shoulder) with plastic, saran wrap and the gauze they use to make casts out of, but they leave it dry so it doesn't harden. They repeat the same thing on the other arm, and then we wait 30 minutes before it all comes off.

Needless to say, the hardest part was the getting it all on. Once it was all on, Caleb did great! We watched Shrek, ate some snacks and played with a couple toys. Here are a few pictures from our adventure (taken on my iPhone so quality on some aren't that great, sorry)!

Chillin' in the waiting room watching Camp Rock

Playing with mommy's sunglasses Waiting in the room where the test takes place A picture after all the drama Caleb waving to the camera!
His sweet little arms, they looked so cute all wrapped up! He did so good!

Thank you Lord for your sovereignty. Although we are praying for a negative test result, we are trusting you in all things, and know that your plan for Caleb's life is so much greater than our own!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Waking up to the snow barreling down this morning was AMAZING! I haven't seen it snow this hard in a REALLY long time here in Dallas. As some of you may know, I LOVE SNOW! I LOVE WINTER! I know I must be crazy, I live in Dallas, but believe me, I think the Lord had a little chuckle when he sent me here, knowing full well that my heart's desire is to live in Colorado. Nonetheless, here I am, and I love my life here, especially on days like today!!!! Almost makes the non-hilly, dry hot summers worth it!

Anyway, so this isn't the first time Caleb has seen snow, but it was the first time I actually bundled him up and took him outside to play in it. I don't think he really knew what to think, he kind of just stared at it. I only got a few pics becuase we were only out there for about 5 minutes before he looked like he was about to have a melt down. He loves looking out the window at it though (from afar, as usual)!

Here are a few pics from our day so far...

My Dad bought this snow suit for Caleb while on a trip to Italy. You can't really see it, but it's a Ferrari snow suit. Looks like we waited too long to get Caleb in it, he had grown to tall for it. So sorry Dad! I had high hopes for this snow suit! Maybe baby dos will have many more opportunities to use it than Caleb!

My sweetie's first time playing in the snow and the only semi-smile I got the entire time we were out there!

Studying what all this white stuff is

Crawling towards the apartment

Such a cutie all bundled up in layer after layer!

More playing and looking!

The view from our deck

LOVE how the tree looks all dressed in white

Another great pic
Be Blessed and Encouraged!

A Mom After God's Own Heart: Chapter 2

I can't believe that the last time I wrote about this book was September! How SAD!! I have spent time, though minimal, reading this wonderful book and am ready to continue on my journey through it, while sharing some thoughts here for anyone who cares to read them!

Chapter 2, "Teach Your Children God's Word" was such a blessing to my heart! Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children." What a command from the Lord! What a daunting and sometimes scary task for a mom!

I remember starting this chapter when I was at the peak of my spiritual walk last fall. Memorizing Psalm 1 was a daily occurance. I used this technique to do so and it works amazingly (sorry for the little plug)! After memorizing one verse each day, reciting each verse all throughout the day, mealtimes, play time, quiet time, I still to this day can recite the entire chapter of Psalm 1 from memory. The best part was that I mainly spent time memorizing while I was feeding Caleb. Each time that I would start, he would stop eating, stare and me and smile and just listen! What a joy it was to see immediate results of writing the word of God on my heart, and sharing it with my baby! To this day, he still stops whatever he is doing when he hears me recite Psalm 1.

Looking back over Chapter 2, there are so many great, encouraging things to share, but I'm going to try and keep this short and simple. So here we go!

God designed us mommies to not only be housewives, home managers, cleaners, cookers, and the like...he designed us to be TEACHERS! This truth is coming to a head as I write this! I am not just Caleb's momma, play friend or care taker, I am his teacher and I have a responsibility to teach him things that he needs to know. Whether that be how to read, what different animals are, what different colors are in the rainbow, how to have self control, how to listen and obey when mommy says no, how to speak or how to walk. While all of those things are vital to life, they are by far not the most important. The most important thing I can teach Caleb is to "Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." And where else is he going to learn this from, than from the person he spends every waking moment with, ME!

While I can think about that and get very quickly overwhelmed, the thought that I might have an influence on whether my child comes to know Christ as his personal Lord and Savior is the most thrilling, gut-wrenching and exciting thing to think about! Teaching Caleb about the Lord may not come naturally to me every moment of the day, but I'd like to think that there are defining moments during our week at home that I am more intentional about this than other times. Being Caleb's teacher has been a million times more rewarding than anything else I can accomplish in our home during the day. And to know that it's only going to get better and better as Caleb learns to read and speak is just icing on my little cake!

Moving on...here are a few of my favorite nuggets from this chapter...

"God does not require anything of you but a heart that desires to follow after Him and obey His directive to teach your kids."

"A mom can never begin too early to teach God's Word diligently to her children."

"Don't worry about what your children are or are not getting out of your Bible reading times. What they do get is the firsthand experience of seeing your love for the Bible and your wholehearted commitment to God and His Son. They'll realize God's Word is important to you...therefore it will become important to them. They also get to hear the scriptures. And, as the Bible teaches, 'faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17)'"

A few additional takeaways from this wonderful chapter:

From the section: From a Dad's Heart (written by Elizbeth's husband, this section is at the end of each chapter and is basically a dad's perspective, such an encouragement to both mom and dad's alike!) "If you have a believing husband, thank God every day for this man! Your job of teaching becomes a little easier. Most men are busy porviding for their families, so they don't always think about the teaching aspect of being a parent. Why not sit down with your husband and agree on the part each of you is to play in the exciting role of teaching your children about God?"

And from the section: Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings, this section is a call to action section, giving practical tips and ideas of how to put in to action all that you just soaked in through the chapter. I love this section becuase it's not only insightful, but convicting and a great reference point to continue to go back to for more ideas...

For momma:

1. Read God's Word regularly yourself! Your personal love of and familiarity with the Scripture will be a driving force in your desire to share it with your children and in your faithful follow-through on God's calling to do so. Be sure the first little choice on your to-do list each day is your own heart-filling, soul-refreshing, strength-producing time with your Bible. Choose to do it for yourself...and choose to do it for your family.

2. Read from the Bible first. Nothing can take the place of the God-breathed, God-inspired, written-by-God-himslef Scriptures! Be sure each of your children has a Bible, no matter what their ages. **My own insight on this: Caleb has a few different Bibles, but currently our favorite, ok my favorite one, is one he got for Christmas. It's a board book Bible, and if you have a one year old, you know how much they like to rip and tear things, and its SUPER hard to tear a board book, so for now, our board book Bible is it! Shout out to my Aunt Heather, Uncle Troy and cousins Parker and Foster for getting the board book Bible for Caleb for Christmas, we LOVE it!!**

3. Read Christian books to your family.

4. Read to everyone. I urge you, don't leave anyone out! Pay no attention to your children's ages. And if they have friends over, include them too. Just pile the whole kit and caboodle of kids into the room, on the bed, the floor, the couch, or around the table, and read away!

5. Read from Proverbs. God states the purpose of the book of Proverbs right up front in chapter one, verse four: "To give...the young man knowledge and discretion." Give them Godly wisdom. How? Read out loud from the proverbs at every opportunity!

Ok, so I went a little long, but truly there was so much great insight in Chapter 2, as I'm sure there will continue to be in the remaining chapters, I just couldn't leave any of it out! I hope you find little nuggets of encouragement through Elizabeth George and her gifted writings. She is truly using her God-given talents in such a great way and I'm just so thankful that I get to reap the benefits of it!

Until next time (which won't be too long since I've already finished Chapter 3!)...

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, February 5, 2010

13 Months Old

Caleb, you're 13 months old! Again, momma can't believe it! I think time has officially gone in to over drive! You are my sweet little honey and continue to amaze me at how quickly you learn things! Here are some things I don't want to forget about this stage of your precious little life:

1. You have officially said your first word!!!! And of course it has to do with food (would there be anything different?!?). "More" pronounced "Mo Mo". When you want more food, you say Mo Mo and sign More. It's precious!

2. You have gone from two naps to one nap and back to two naps! I'm really ok with either but can we just figure out which one it's going to be? I'd pick one nap becuase that means you sleep in more in the morning, but that's just me being selfish!

3. Dr. visits are expensive, but I'd rather know you are perfectly healthy than wonder...praising the Lord for providing the funds to pay for all these tests and trusting him to continue to provide!

4. You LOVE to look at pictures on mommy and daddy's iPhones! Whenever we have them out and say pictures you come speed crawling and laughing in excitement!

5. You have officially rejected your first food: peas. Just like your dad. Bummer, peas are one of my favorites.

6. You like to come in to the bathroom while mommy or daddy are in there, and open and close the bottom drawer over and over again.

7. You LOVE to read!!! You know when books are upside down and quickly turn them around, and you listen with much intent whenever daddy reads to you.

8. You know how to blink, dance, clap and cough on demand, it's hilarious!!

9. You like to go walking at the store with mommy and people watch (just like me)!

10. You still wake up from night terrors every once in a while, but that means we get to come in and cuddle with you, and there is nothing more precious than that for this momma!

Here are some pics over taken over the past few weeks, enjoy!

Blinking - it's so cute in person!

Caleb had RSV earlier this month, after being sick for almsot two months, and we had to give him breathing treatments. He did FABULOUS during these, I think he could tell such a difference that he actually got kind of excited when he had them.

Playing with his sound puzzle and learning all the different sounds the animals make

Sweet laughter!

Our little drooly monster!

Loves his pacy!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!