Friday, March 28, 2008

Jacob at Two Months

He is two months old now- I can not believe it. I am dumbfounded actually. I don't remember where the time went. I am, however, excited to share these pictures of my little angel. He has started smiling and cooing. He is playful and precious! I love this stage- still so innocent and so perfect! He sleeps an average of 8 hours a night- Praise God! My little Jacob Tyler... what an angel.

Bad Wife

So, last night I was a bad wife. I went to look at a friend's brand new house and when I got home, I had unrealistc expectations of what should have been done by my husband. Since it wasn't completely finished, I decided I would do it. I had good motives when I started, but during the course of my cleaning, I got angry. I allowed Satan to get to me and I was overcome with anger. During this time my husband was watching television in the other room. I didn't even take in to account that he had worked hard all day long and was only just then getting his first break- whereas I had been relaxed most of the day. I got angry because I was doing all of the work by my self and I failed confilct resolution 101. Rather than praying about my heart and being selfless, I was feeling tired and allowed my anger to overcome my love for my husband. I lectured him- speaking to him like his mother, rather than his wife.

I soooooooooooo know better than this. Normally I would not even go there because I know that is not how to get him to respond and I also know that is completely disrespectful to him and disobedient to God. Men need to feel respected to feel loved so when I chose to lecture him and talk down to him, all he heard was that at that moment I did not love him. Even though my heart was screaming "I love you, I just need your help so we can spend time together tonight!" What he heard was "you lazy no good bum." NO those are not the words I used, but that's what he probably heard.

So while I was in the shower, I prayed over my heart and my attitude. I surrendered the evening to God and prayed that he would give me the words to say to apologize to my husband for my selfish behavior. When I got out of the shower Kyle was asleep but I couldn't hold it in. I woke him up and poured out my heart in apologies and love for him. Before I even got the first sentence out he apologized and we were able to recognize and acknowledge what had happened. We know because God wants to use both of us right now, we are likely to come under attack from the enemy. The enemy likes to sneak in to our minds and let the little things get to us. So even housework could have blown up in to a huge issue and have separated us for the evening. Instead, God took what might have been a terrible evening and turned it in to a night of blessing. All that was required of me was to realize I had been a "bad wife". I had to humble my self and surrender it to God. Onc that happened my attitude was completely humble and my feelings for my husband had become much more sympathetic and loving. All I wanted then was for him to feel loved and rested.

How cool it is when we live in His strength- how scary it is when we don't.

"All to Jesus, I surrender.... in His presence daily live."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 3...

So perhaps diet is not the best word for what I decided to do because if I was dieting then I would have cheated but since it is a lifestyle change I guess you can't really say i cheated. I made a commitment to eat better but snuck a few M&Ms for sanity sake. :) I think if you deprive your self completely of the things you desire then you will eventually go on a binge and just eat everything in sight. I am trying to make my body healthy from the inside out so I figure a few M&Ms didn't hurt that process at all- besides, they were dark chocolate... ha! Just kidding- I know by now you have learned to love that wonderful sense of humor. :P

Anyway, everything else seems to be going wonderfully. I must admit it is difficult to stay on the path of self control. I know I have it because God gives it to me. It's just a matter of choosing to let the Holy Spirit live through me instead of me living selfishly. What I am referring to at the moment is parenting. I love my kiddos but I struggle with the issue of self control when it comes to my temper. I would never hurt them but I sometimes find my self yelling or getting angry and that's not the kind of mom I want to be. I want to model self control for my kiddos so they, in turn, can model self control. So if I were to ask for prayer for one thing right now that would have to be it- my ability to surrender control of my self to Christ so He can live through me and make me the parent and wife God wants me to be.

That's all for today. More tomorrow. Keep the prayers coming! Thanks so much!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A New Beginning

If you read the previous post, you know that I talked about wanting a fresh start. I always like to start things at the beginning of a new week because it feels like a clean slate. So with this new week, my husband and I have started working out and eating right. I want to dedicate my body (and all it entails) to God and that means I need to start taking care of it. I gained more than my fair share of weight during my pregnancy and now it's time to get rid of it. I want to be healthy for my husband, for my children and for my self. Because I have a tendency to be a yo-yo dieter I have a new philosophy. Everything I do I will do in Christ's strength, not my own. So when I woke up this morning, I dedicated my day to Him- everything that today held, from being a mom and a wife to being a child of God. I wanted everything I did today to be in His strength.

How did the day go? Well, during the course of the day I lost my temper several times with my oldest son, but aside from that it was okay. I forget, sometimes that to live in Christ's strength, I truly have to surrender my independence. And I may have to do this several times a day until surrendering my self is second nature. In the mean time, I may struggle here and there, but I praise God for those times because they humble me and remind me I can not do it on my own. I read this quote one time- Anything that brings me to the foot of Christ I count as a blessing. So all of the times when I lose my temper with my three year old or when I feel like I want to eat everything in my house or be lazy rather than work out- all of those times, I will choose to come to the foot of Christ and lay it down so He can work and live through me. :) It's so much easier when He does all of the work- so why do I keep trying to do it on my own? Perhaps I will never know. I am just glad He is the one in control and not me. I am off to get ready for tomorrow- Day 2 of my new life.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy... Easter?

I was just thinking... this morning I woke up and got ready for church. I was in the same rush that I always find my self in. I hurried to get my shower, get my hair done, and get the baby ready so we could get out the door and to church in time for rehersal. I arrived at church and THEN it hit me- today is Easter. Not that I didn't recognize the day previously, but I had been so busy with getting ready and getting things done that I had not even acknowledged the significance of what today meant or who it was about. Until I arrived at church, the day had been all about me... once there, my focus completely changed. I realized why I was at church and to whom I was singing; my focused changed from me, me, me to Him in a matter of moments.

The theme at our church today was being made alive in Christ. I was thinking- when it's all about me, I am not truly ALIVE in Him. We have been given so much and He has done so much to show us His love and yet still we find ourselves asleep in Him. I want to be alive. I want to be outwardly focused, rather than inwardly focused- living a life that brings Him honor and praise. I want to become this woman, this loving, selfless, Christ centered, amazing wife and mother!!! I want to stay on the path that points me in the direction of true maturity in Christ, rather than just venturing off and on again as I please. I want this life I live to count for THE Kingdom. I want to live a life that exemplifies Galations 2:20-21 where it says "FOR I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED IN CHRIST AND I NO LONGER LIVE, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME. THE LIFE I LIVE IN THE BODY I LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD WHO LOVES ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME."

So my prayer is that rather than waking up and rushing to get ready, I would wake up and before I even get out of bed I would make the conscious choice to praise Him with my actions and with my words... to praise Him with my life!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

God's provision

So I was thinking about answered prayer and everything we have seen God do. Then I thought- I should write it all down- everything that God has given to us and done for us. I have already written about the house and the donations involved with that. Now I'd like to share about some of the other things. When Jacob was born, we had not had a baby shower, no did we have anything we needed for a baby. We prayed and by this time, had learned to trust God as our provider. He knew we didn't have the money to buy all things baby and so trusting Him at this point, was our only option. The results of our prayers? Keep reading:

Before Jacob was born, we were blessed when a friend gave us back most of Timothy's old baby clothes, but they were out of season for Jacob as Timothy was born in June. So we just trusted God would provide, and He did. The first day in the hospital, friend after frind after friend came to visit, all bearing gifts. Each gift was something we needed, and by the time we left the hospital we had almost everything we needed for Jacob. At homegroup the following week, they had a diaper shower for us, bringing over a thousand diapers and several packs of wipes for my lil man. There were giftcards to purchase the little things and friends who lent or gave us the big things. To date, every single need we had has been met. Praise God!!! I want to shout it from the mountain tops! :) Hopefully this blog is loud enough. :P

God is our provider. God is my healer. He has met us where we are and has given above and beyond everything we needed. Even with this house- there are some little things I secretly wanted when we found a house but knew I would be okay if we did not get them. What did God do? He chose to lavish on us- I wanted 4 bedrooms, a garden tub, a backyard for my kids, a split, but open floor plan, an island in the kitchen, a big driveway for my kids, and plenty of room to entertain. We got all of that and more!!!! I am not saying God gave us these things because we wanted them, but I think (and this is just my opinion) that He loves to lavish on His children. I think He has tons of things He wants to give to us if we will just ask. I love to watch Him work, because we don't always feel like we deserve His gifts- that's when it's the sweetest. That's when it could only happen through Him. What an awesome God we serve! What an amazing, loving, generous, precious, amazing God we serve!!!

Ah the power of prayer

So I was thinking about everything that has happened to us over the past few months and I have to say this: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! amen." Honestly- I can not think of enough words to say thank you to God for all He has done for us. Our lives have been changed as we have been blessed by His love.

Now to tell the story: Last May we found out we were expecting our son Jacob. We had only major medical (which does not at all help to cover prenatal care or childbirth). I quickly dove deep in to depression. I was concerned about how things would work out, both financially and physically. I had just lost close to 40 pounds and was feeling great and looking good for the first time since before my daughter was born. I, selfishly, did not want to let go of that or of the stability we seemed to have finally found financially. So many nights I could be found crying my self to sleep. I had so many different ideas of where we would be and what we would be doing,and none of those ideas included have yet another child. Was I ready for this??? I didn't think so, but God had another plan. In the mean time, I stayed in the pit of self pity. I began to ignore my kids and my husband and focused on being insanely uncomfortable with morning sickness. I could not see how this would work out. Right around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy, I realized what a strong grip God had on my life. I had been so sick for 4, almost 5 months, and God gave me a peace. He answered the prayers of my little girl and brought me rest when I needed it most. It was after seeing Him work through her prayers that I started to trust Him- to really want to trust him for the first time in my life.

I began to challenge friends to join me in praying for everything- big and small. I knew God wanted to work through us and He wanted to bless us by answering our prayers. So then came the challenges. In November, things got a little shaky financially for us. My husband's job is 100% commission so we never know from one week to another how much he will make and if we will even have money to pay the bills and eat. It can be scary, but God showed us He's bigger than our finances. He showed up in amazing ways, starting with a few gift cards we received anonymously in the mail. They were always just enough to help out when we needed it most. What a blessing!

Then came the big day in January when my little Jacob was to be born. If you remember from previous posts, I was overcome with an almost paralyzing fear. I had allowed Satan to have control of one area of my mind and I could not shake the fear that death was coming- either to my self or to my Jacob while on the operating table. I would wake up in cold sweat night after night feeling sick to my stomach from the nightmare. No matter what I did, I could not shake the fear and was certain something terrible was happening. I remember 2-3 days before he was born, I had an emotional breakdown. I could not live with the fear that something was going to happen. I cried for hours, eventually crying my self to sleep. Then I shared my fears with a friend who prayed for me. Immediately I was granted peace. Not just a peaceful feeling, but true peace. I had been released from the fears that so entangled me and covered with the peace of God. What a blessing! So while I was on the operating table, it happened- my heart rate started to drop and I just "knew" I was about to die. This is not me being a hypochondriac- this is me having felt certain that it was my time to go. I cried out to God to save Jacob and to help me. Immediately after I prayed that, the doctors pulled out my perfectly healthy ten pound, 2 ounce baby boy and my heart rate regulated! I was completely healthy and so was Jacob- PRAISE GOD!!!!

He hears our prayers and He answers them. Of this, I am confident! :) I know this has been a long post but, well, it's my blog. So... I HAVE share this one last thing. We were in an apartment and when Jacob came, we knew we would be out of room. So we started praying that God would provide us with a house. I had some specifics in mind that I secretly prayed for, but didn't necessarily have to have. I just wanted a bigger place for our family and mostly so my son Timothy would have much needed room to roam. We looked for a couple of months and either the houses were much too small for us or they were too expensive. I had a peace, though, that God was in control and He had a plan for us. When our lease was coming to an end, I started to get nervous that we might not find a place or that we couldn't afford it. The week before we moved, I went to the prayer service at our church. One of the prayer volunteers prayed for a miracle to happen. So the following week, we found a house that we wanted, we were approved, but we did not have the money for the down payment. Where did I turn? I turned to the only place I knew I would find an answer- I turned to God. He was the only one who could make this happen- and He did. He laid it on the hearts of two friends from church to take up a collection for us- sort of a "love offering". I don't know all of the details, but I do know they asked people to pray about their involvement in this and what was collected was the exact amount needed for the down payment for our home. All of that and we moved in the same week. What a blessing! God has totally blessed us. He heared our cries and even when we tried to do things on our own, as soon as we gave control back to Him, He worked perfectly.

I can not say that He always answers prayer the exact way we want Him to, but He does always answer them. I had no idea what a blessing this baby would be, but let me just tell you- we would not have moved out and we would not have learned to trust God without Him. Jacob is the prefect baby and we are finally in the perfect home. I am so Glad God is in control because His ways are perfect. In Matthew 7:7-11, His word says "Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. 8 Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened. 9 "If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? 10 Or if your children ask for a fish, would you give them a snake? 11 Even though you are bad, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him!"

So my response? Ask! HE wants to bless you! He wants to answer your prayers- most of all, He just wants you, all of you, to trust Him, to love Him, and to ask Him. He will be our provider, He is the Lord!

So it's been 2 months!

I can not believe Mr Jacob is 2 months old now! And even worse- I can not believe I have not posted a blog in 2 months- crazy! I might say it probably has something to do with that fact that I have a newborn. Or- probably even more likely- right after he was born, we spent that entire month packing and getting ready to move... that makes much more sense. :)

Anyhow, I have a two month old precious baby. Little Jacob Tyler is already sleeping through the night (9 hours last night!) What a blessing he is- truly! The entire experience has been amazing. I was so concerned during the birth process and God delivered me from that fear. He took care of Jacob and of mommy and gave us a perfectly healthy, perfectly wonderful angelic little baby. He cries only when he's hungry or poopy- it's awesome! Well, not true- lately he's started this cute thing. If you are playing with him and you walk away or lose eye contact, he lets out a gentle scream to remind you that he's there and wants your attention... so precious!

And now with Timothy- this week, we have been potty training. So far, so good. I don't know how long it will take, but I am anxious to be done with buying him diapers. I am anxious to not have to change any more poopy diapers and to not have to worry about whether or not his diaper leaked on the way home from school. All the way around, this will be a good thing. So we give him one M&M every time he goes 'pee pee' in the potty and a tootsie pop when he goes poo poo. I figured we had to 'up the anty' for the big stuff. We'll see how well it works. He hasn't pooped yet. I suspect his first time will be in his underwear, but maybe not. He's a smart lil guy. We just need to be consistent with him and he will conquer this.

Trinity is doing well- we are currently painting her room. We bought this gorgeous green and pink quilt for her bed and we decided to paint to match. So currently he room is this beautiful sage green with 2 pink polka dots. The idea is much easier than the execution so it may be an ongoing process. :) I had originally envisioned a green wall with different sizees of pink polka dots (2 different shades of pink). I will post a picture if/when we finish the room. Who knows? Perhaps tonight I will become inspired and just polka dot away!

Oh ya! did I mention we moved??? We are no longer in an apartment- God totally blessed us with a house right down the road from the apartment so we are still close to my husband's work. The house has four bedrooms and is very open. It's not huge as far as homes go, but it does have so much more room than our apartment had. I can honestly say it's perfect for us! We love it! When I walkd in on moving day I cried because it was so much better than I had remembered it being when I veiwed it. I felt like God had really blessed us with this and so now I feel like we should use it to bless others any way that we can.

It's been really neat to watch God's hand in all of this. A year ago I never would have imagined we would be where we are now, but lo and behold, God had a compleetly different plan for us than I did and of course, His plan was much better than ours. I am loving this. every day I wake up and feel so unworthy of the gifts we have been given, and yet so loved at the same time. It's surreal. What an amazing God we serve! What a blessing that He is in control and we are not!!! Oh praise Him!!!