Wednesday, December 30, 2009

9 months old

Teague is learning something new everyday! He can wave hi and bye, he can sit down from crawling, he is pulling up and cruising and even trying to walk. He has let go a few times and usually I am there to catch him but this morning I was two seconds too late and he hit his head on the cabinet. And of course he does that on picture day, if you look real close you can see his bruise. He is just too anxious to walk and doesn't have enough balance quite yet. He had a great Christmas with lots of gifts and lots of family time. He now wants to be doing whatever Troy is doing but Troy usually says "this isn't a baby toy" and takes off to play by himself in a spot where Teague can't get him. Soon enough though they will be best buds I think!

Friday, December 25, 2009

On the twelveth day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...


The last 5 months have been life changing for me in so many ways, and I am thankful God loved me enough to not give up on me. He has also been patient enough to walk with me as I take baby steps into becoming the Proverbs 31 woman that I crave to be. Today I remembered that He gave us His son so we would have eternal life, but it doesn't stop there. This life on earth is to be lived abundantly too. Since I am a Christian, then the Holy Spirit is living in me and my actions should reflect that daily. As a friend put it, quoted from Francis Chan, "if we woke up tomorrow and discovered that it is not true the Holy Spirit lives inside us, most likely our lives wouldn't look much different."

I do not want that to be me. The power of the Holy Spirit is something I want to tap into everyday, not just something I have to keep me out of hell.

After 12 days of seeking God's presence I am on my way to making this spiritual discipline a habit. I have really enjoyed the closeness I have felt with God not only as my Lord, but also as my friend. I have enjoyed starting each day with anticipation in where I will meet Him today and ending my day with a smile knowing I took the time to look for Him and He stepped down from Heaven to meet with me also. I never thought that the last 12 days would be so eye opening and heart melting, but what else could I expect from the Lover of my soul?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On the eleventh day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...


In all my 30 years I don't know if I have ever seen snow on Christmas. Today Troy and I had a date for a movie. We saw The Princess and the Frog and it was such a good movie! Afterwards, we headed back outside to the car and to my surprise it was snowing. We spent the rest of the day taking pictures in the snow, making snowballs, and drinking hot cider. What a great Christmas Eve this has been for our family.

Freshly fallen, undisturbed snow is so beautiful. You rarely see that here, but I loved that about living in Lubbock. Today's snow reminded me of Lubbock. The snow is so white and under the moon it looks like it sparkles. Tomorrow many will wake up and think only of the gifts under the tree but I hope I can enjoy the moment of the day while remembering why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. When Christ looks at me, He only sees white. Amazing grace that I don't deserve. Unconditional love that He freely gives. A divine, supernatural relationship that I am honored to be invited to partake in everyday.

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On the tenth day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...

His patience

Ever have one of those days where you start early, end late, and everything in between is super busy? You barely have time to eat much less sit and have a meaningful conversation with your spouse, and as you both crawl into bed the only words said are "What a day!"

As I am learning to see God as my Husband and intimate friend I find myself in that scenario today. I enjoyed family and friends, long overdue good girl talk, and even a little bit of alone time. As the day is ending I look up and realize I didn't have much time (or make much time) to earnestly seek Him out today. He was still present in the beautiful sunset I enjoyed and within the family dinner we had and most of all in the laughter I shared with my friends today, but it's been a hectic day and as I lay down I hear myself telling Him, "wow, I'm tired!" And as any good husband would say to their wife after expressing that thought, I can hear God whispering, "You have had a long day. You should get some rest and we will catch up tomorrow." What a patient, loving God we serve!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On the ninth day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...

a secret

Have you ever had a friend that knew what you were about to say or do? My best example of this is from my job back in Lubbock. My coworker and I worked many long hours doing the same thing. Within a few months we had quite a routine, and as the years went on we had mastered the art of silent communication. She knew what I was going to do next and visa versa and we anticipated what was coming next to make it easier or run more smoothly for each of us. We were a well oiled machine and worked like clock work without saying anything to each other. I really enjoyed that and have some on my best memories from that job with her.

In the book 'Hearing God' by Dallas Willard he speaks of a conversational relationship with God. That our obedience to God is directly linked to our intimacy with Him. The more we obey what He wants for us the more we start to understand or perhaps the more He shares with us. We start as children, looking for the spectacular from Him, growing into a life of talking to Him, and then hearing Him in whatever form He chooses to speak to us, and the ultimate goal would be the silent communication. To live a life that is constantly before Him. I am no where near this silent communication, but I am striving to get there, although I am sure this is a lifelong process and commitment. Through my consistent obedience, which has been painstakingly hard, I saw a glimpse of intimacy with Him that I have yet experienced until today. My only explanation is that obedience is bringing a closer intimacy with Him. I thought if the verse in Luke and think it could apply here as well.

Luke 16:10
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Most of the time I hear this verse around money, but in this situation it could be used towards the information He shares with me as well. I hope that He is proud of what He sees when He looks at me and feels like He can share more with me and that I can be trusted with that information. That is surly how things played out today. My goal is to one day hear "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

On the eighth day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...


Today was a very hard day, if not THE hardest day of my life. This morning I had to make the decision to put Chip to sleep. He has been fighting pancreatic cancer for a year now and the last few days have rendered him helpless. As I sat there petting him knowing his fate just a few hours ahead, I am contemplating death and life and all that goes along with that. As the vet arrives and I go outside while it all happens I find myself crying and crying out to God. Just two short days ago my post was upbeat and happy and now such a turn around in circumstances...but my God is still the same. I'm asking God how much more can I take, feeling more broken then ever before. I realized that is the wrong question so I beg Him to teach me something in this moment. As the grave is being dug and I sit stroking Chip's motionless body, the sun is beaming down on a cold, crisp day. I raised my face and closed my eyes hoping for something from God and all I felt was warmth. Warmth on my face from the sun and warmth inside my body, no doubt, from the Son. My feelings and emotions were the same, but I knew He was near, and that's all I needed.

Chip was a great dog and so obedient and trusting, even to the point of death. I understand God is not calling me to physically die, although that might be easier, but He is asking me to die to myself.

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

I am still wrestling with the fact that this means dying to my hopes and dreams and desires for myself, my kids, my whole life. I think this verse scares many, and at times, myself. Our selfish desires make us think we deserve to be happy and there is no way to please yourself and deny yourself at the same time, so this verse must mean we are supposed to suffer our whole lives. In reality, Christ is wanting us to know that His ways are better than ours and that by losing our lives we are really gaining it. To live pleasing only yourself means you have cut God out of the equation, and that's a scary place to be! As I try to get some sleep tonight I will remind myself it's not about me, but all for His glory.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the seventh day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...

something new

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

I love this verse and I have enjoyed the fruits of being a new creation today. He really can refresh and renew anything, and today I realize that if I bring a request to Him, He is faithful to answer, if my heart is right. Thank you, Lord for all the love and support you have put around me today.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the sixth day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...

too much!

Is it my birthday or something?? The gifts have just showered down from above today. Let me share a few with you...

The day started with a Happy Birthday Jesus party for the boys. It was alot of fun with cake and crafts. I was given a card that was left in the offering plate last night at Communion. Along with all the sweet words, there was money. I am again amazed at how He takes care of me. Upon returning home, I find a book in my mailbox called His Princess Bride: Love Letters from Your Prince. To be courted by the One that invented love is out of this world.

As I said above, I am amazed at how He provides for me, but then I question myself on why I am amazed? Did he not give the ultimate example of how a husband is to treat his wife by dying on the cross for us? His Word lays out what a husband is supposed to do for his wife and two huge things are provide and love her unconditionally. So why am I so surprised that He is providing and loving me perfectly? My only answer is that for too long I expected a human being to fill that role. When he actually got it right, I was surprised and my trust grew that he would continue to love and provide. And slowly my eyes were diverted from the only One that could actually pull that off day in and day out. I should not be surprised, I should, as the verse says, wake every morning and bring my requests to Him, and wait expectantly. He will not fail me.

A few Christmas pics...
Aby and Troy at our Silent Communion

Teague and Santa...Troy was too scared to even get close.

Happy Birthday Jesus Party

Friday, December 18, 2009

On the fifth day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...

physical touch

I am just going to leave it at that today. Even if I told you, you wouldn't believe me, and I am learning that these moments of His presence are not just Him showing up somewhere in my day, but rather He and I interacting intimately throughout the day. Just as you wouldn't share intimate details of the romance between you and your spouse I am seeing that I don't necessarily want to share every detail of my moments with Him.

I am really enjoying this quest in trying to remain in His presence daily. It is alot harder than I thought. I look up and half the day is gone and I didn't even take the time to listen or look or experience the world around me. No wonder so many of us say that we don't hear God. How could we in the world in which we live. This is definately taking some effort and I hope after 12 days of it I will have formed a habit. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On the fourth day of Christmas...

My True Love gave to me...

A fresh view of His Word

I love blogs, obviously, but my friend will regularly come across a blog and send it my way thinking I will like it too. She calls it blog stalking. This could be a bad thing depending on who you are and what blog you are looking at, but the ones we stalk are only to admire the author and to go along with another on a different journey from our own to see what God is doing over there.

As I was reading through this author's posts, I was blown away at the eloquence in which she writes, and the soft slow music that accompanied it touched me, or should I say, He touched me. When I got to the bottom I decided to hop around to a few more blogs. I landed on one that talked about a lamb.

Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet he did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.

This struck me like a ton of bricks. In this season, I am the one afflicted and I complain about this daily, and if not to someone, to myself. I am hurt, angry, sad, torn, and weak; so I complain. When I read this verse I realized He was also all those things and more, and on top of that, He was perfect. He had every reason to complain...I do not. I should be rejoicing in the fact that I know Him and He uses it all for good, for those that love Him. I deserve this situation, and alot worse, because I am a sinner that chose to turn from God, but instead of letting each one of us suffer the consequence we deserve He chose to step in, to step down, and to help us. I will rejoice that I have brighter days ahead only because He is here with me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the third day of Christmas...

my True Love gave to me...

a love song

As I was running a million errands today I heard the coolest song. I'm not sure of the title but I have heard it before. In one verse it talks about praising God like the eagle spreads its wings and about that time a huge buzzard with its wings spread wide soared through the air and proceeded in the same direction I was driving long enough for me to enjoy that love gesture made just for me. Even the most hopeless romantic could not have created such a moment.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the second day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me:

true gratitude

I have an acquaintance in my aerobics class that I have known for a few years now. We are about the same age, and the same place in life, literally! She has shared details of her life with me and me with her and over the last few months I have just felt God lay her name on my heart multiple times. A few weeks ago I was working the Christmas Stroll for my church and remembered seeing her last year there and wondered if I would see her again and I literally looked up and she was in front of me. That was a little creepy, but most of the time I find myself praying for her alot. In the last few months I have been overwhelmed by the blessings God is showering down on me monetarily. I have been praying I would be a good steward of what I have been given. I knew I wanted to help someone out this Christmas and actually had a family in mind for a few weeks, but then one night while I was praying I knew who I was suppose to give to and it was not the family I had in mind.

I was excited God again laid her name on my heart and I jumped up, wrote a card, included the money and sealed it. I have been walking around with the card for a week now hoping I would see her in class and tonight she came. She usually leaves after the cardio section so I just laid it with her belongings as everyone put away their step benches expecting her to grab her things and go. To my surprise, she opened it. She began crying and came back up to me and first said she couldn't accept it. I explained God has provided for me and now for you too and the look in her eyes was incredible! Then, she touched my shoulder, looked in my eyes so intently and said "Thank you."

I don't know that I can say I have ever done something to warrant such a genuine response of true gratitude. I was just obeying God and giving to who He told me to give to with the money He gave me to give her. To look at it from the perspective of obedience, I shouldn't have been rewarded, I was just carrying out a task, but God rewarded me still. It was almost as if God had said Thank you. Thank you for obeying, thank you for providing for another, thank you for loving her. I would have loved to have spent that money on the boys but then I would have missed the blessing...makes me wonder how many blessings I have missed through my disobiedience in the past? Not a thought I want to dwell on, but I will take it to heart that obeying God always has it's rewards.

A few days behind...

I have been studying alot on hearing God and that we were created for a conversational relationship with Him. This is hard for me to grasp since I have always just prayed and that was about it. I am now striving to really talk to God as a girlfriend or a spouse and to listen in return, to expect Him to share His character with me, and to be observant everyday for someway that He is showing His love to me. A verse in Psalms says to wake each morning and bring your requests to God and then wait expectantly! I love the word expectantly, so I am going to ask God to show me His presence on a daily basis and wait to see what He delivers.

I stole this idea from Jenna's blog, but I think it fits for this, The 12 days of Christmas. I realize I am behind a few days, but after this weekend, I am desperate to reconnect with Him and His love and nothing else. So I will blog again tonight and let you know what my True Love gave to me today!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another lesson from God

This morning was a hard morning. After Troy wouldn't cooperate with mild sedation for his dental work, we decided he would have to be completely sedated. This morning I was nervous and, of course, in constant prayer, but still I was not prepared, and I don't think any parent can be. Through God's provision, Daniel was able to meet me there as he had the hardest job. He and Troy went into the room with the dentist and the anesthesiologist and Teague and I were just outside the room in a small play area. They tried to show Troy balloons and how they blow up in hopes that he would let them put the mask on his nose to breathe the fumes of medicine and to put him to sleep. I knew this wasn't going to go smooth from our previous visit, and sure enough he started to cry and scream. Daniel and the two doctors had to hold him down to get this accomplished. This process only took 30 seconds, but it was the longest 30 seconds of my life while my little boy is screaming "No, please stop, Daddy, Daddy". But, sure enough 30 seconds came and he was fine. The anesthesiologist got him all squared away and then the dentist did her work. The whole process went smoothly but in the midst of it I heard God speaking to me. I find myself responding to God through this trial as Troy did to the dental work. I am screaming and digging in my heals and asking Him to end this somehow. I don't understand why and what for, although that is not entirely true, as I see many miracles happening daily, yet I still want this to be over. Troy had to have this work done in order for him not to be in more pain in the future, he doesn't know that but Daniel and I do, and I know God is actually sparing me a future of heartache because I am choosing to submit, granted not everyday I want to, but I know only God sees the big picture and knows what is best for me and my family and I want His best. Even though today was tough on all of us I still hear God speaking and teaching me, so I am grateful He never leaves me, even when I am obstinate.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A perfect winter day

It was a cold day today with predictions of snow so I thought we better make the most of it since that is very rare! We started at the library for story time and crafts. Then we came home to enjoy a fire and lunch. During lunch, there was a down pour of snow...too bad it only lasted 5 minutes, but we managed to grab our coats and get outside for a picture and for Troy and Eilonwy to eat a few snowflakes. Then, Aby and McKinley came over to help us decorate gingerbread cookies. I think they ate more candy before it even got on their cookies, but it was alot of fun. I think that is my most favorite part of having kids, getting to watch them enjoy the little things with such excitement and getting to spoil them rotten with the things that really matter in this life.

Working hard

The finished products

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

8 months old

Hard to believe Teague is this old already! Here are his latest accomplishments:
*pulling up
*babbling alot with mamamama coming out of his mouth most often
*laughing out loud
*eating meats now
*trying to use the sippy cup, but no luck yet
*squealing when he is happy
*rough-housing with Troy
We have spent alot of time with family and traveling over the last month and Teague has been a good sport about it all. And all the family has really enjoyed getting to see him at this fun age!!

Riding the carousel

Braving Troy's driving on the 4 wheeler

Pulling up

Motorcycle riding alone