Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stay this way

Over the past couple of days discouragement and weariness have tried to drown me and stifle the joy inside. I'm a tough cookie and I'm a fighter, but some days get the best of me. Today, all I could do was hibernate and retreat. Here are a few pieces of our day, shining light and hope on this season of waiting in the wilderness. The simplicity of this day and the innocence of my daughter brought moments of serenity and peace to this much needed soul.

"The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom."
Isaiah 35:1-2

Lord, show me how to rejoice and blossom in this season.
May my eyes be fixed on you and not on the withering lifeless choking weeds of struggle and strife. I want to burst into bloom for you today, tomorrow and always...
and to stay this way, alive in you.
Breathe life into me now.

Waiting and Hopeful.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What do you get...?

What do you get when you lock your keys in your car while shopping at an outdoor mall in March in Michigan? Answer: Too much time in Nordstrom waiting for a spare set of keys to be delivered which leads to extra shopping that one wasn't initially considering and a brand new bathing suit for a sweet little girl!
(Did I mention this suit is a 3T?)

Yep! It fits Mommy!
$18.00 well spent!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bye Bye Bottle!

Well, it's official!
We have said goodbye to the baby bottles.
(or as Berlyn says, "bye bye bottle")
We've been talking about it for a while now. I think Brayden was weaned off the bottle around 12 months and Brooke roughly around the same time. Neither one of them seemed to love their bottles and the transition to sippy cup didn't phase them a bit.
Berlyn is another story...
While she has been using a sippy cup for some time now for water and/or juice,
she still likes to have her morning milk and her bedtime milk in a bottle
(and a little warmed up too:)
And while she is growing up so fast and wanting to do all things "big girl,"
she is vocal in letting us know she truly prefers her milk in a bottle and not a sippy.
(even chucking a sippy of milk across the floor that was given to her because it wasn't in a bottle and handing milk that was not "warm enough" back until it was to her liking :)
such a diva.
So, in my efforts to let her be my baby for as long as possible, I haven't pushed the idea.
They grow up fast enough on their own without needing parents to push them to grow up any sooner than they already will. I told myself I'd transition her at 18 months.
So here we are!
This morning we had our talk about what a big girl she is now and decided to pack away all of her bottles in a bag to give to "baby Josh" (her favorite).
she was all game for this activity...
although she was having much more fun playing with the bottles and trying to put them back together rather than putting them away in the bag.
That a girl!
And when mama says "say cheese,"
this is what I get...
(can you tell she is trying to say "cheese"?)
OK, this one's a bit better :)
And now that the task is completed,
what better way to top it off than with a refreshing sippy cup of milk!
My little morning rag-a-muffin did just fine!
In all truth,
I think it's mommy that's having a harder time with all of this
growing up stuff.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The curse of being the 3rd child...

Everyone tells me that the 3rd child grows up much quicker than the first two. I'm beginning to fully understand. Berlyn is swiftly trying to keep up with her older brother and sister in all things...she doesn't want the high chair, but wants a big chair...she wants to drink out of a regular cup and not a sippy...she doesn't want to wear a bib or sit in a stroller or a cart, but wants to "wk"(walk) by herself when we are out and about. She is getting a taste of freedom and independence and keeps craving more.
So how do I keep her my baby?
When instead of "Goodnight Moon," she is reaching for "Let's Find Pokemon."
And while we should be searching on each page for little mouse,
we are searching on each page for Pikachu.
And although she loves Super Why and Baby Einstein more than anything,
when Brayden and Brooke are home Noggin gets put on hold,
and iCarly takes over.
Still...I am loving this age!
18 (oops! now 19) months is so much fun for mama and her girl.
Every day brings new discovery...
and not just Pikachu on a page in a book,
But a world that is becoming fresh and alive,
new and exciting.
I love seeing life from her lens...
the world is innocent
and simple
and full of wonder with each passing day.
So, please tell me how?
Can I keep my baby my baby?

Friday, March 25, 2011

my crazy-haired clowns...

"God's children and their happiness are my reasons for being"
-Red Skelton
(truth from a circus clown legend)

They certainly do bring much purpose and joy into this life of mine too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

it's time for the PERCOLATOR...

Michigan Spring has ushered in more snow, sleet and freezing rain. Joy!
I was extraordinarily optimistic this year that from here on out we were going to see GREEN!
I've lived here my whole life, so the recent snow should be no shocker to me...
afterall, it is still March!
And with the cold, my chilled body is craving all things warm...
like soup and tea, coffee and more coffee!
So, why not share with you all the two recent additions to my
newly founded mug collection.
I wrote about this middle mug a while ago,
and since then have acquired the other two.
Don't kid yourself, coffee tastes better when you drink it from a pretty cup!
In high school, Kim (my BFF) and I dreamt of opening our own coffee shop and serving our customers hot steaming java from a variety of mismatched eclectic coffee mugs collected from all over the world :)
I guess there's a tiny piece of me still hangin' onto this high school dream...
except I'd prefer the coffee shop to be my own kitchen
and my customers to be my closest family and friends
stoppin in from time to time
to share a smile and a cup of joe.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

mermaid on the brain

brooke's lastest obsession is mermaids...
she wants to be a mermaid for halloween;
she wants a mermaid costume and mermaid polly pocket for her birthday;
and several times in the past couple of weeks she has been very serious when saying,
"mommy, i really, really wish i was a real mermaid!"
today she came running off the school bus with this abstract (yet darling) mermaid creation blowing around in her tight-gripped little hand and a wide smile planted across her face.
each limb and hair strand has been individually cut, glued, and placed with precision.
a lovely work of art
that any creature of the sea would admire.
too sweet not to share.

Friday, March 18, 2011

make music of me...

Sometimes I feel like my heart is just an old piano,
when left neglected and unplayed
it becomes dusty and out of tune...
unable to make music.
That's where I've been this past week or so.
Slacking on my practice, forgetting my notes,
and frustrated by the symphony of chaos I create
in the song of my life.
Not a pretty sound.
I can hear Christ sing over me,
"The melody is quite simple
when you let it be Me.
The harmony falls into place
when you're prepared and persevere."
And I know that when I tap into the Creator of all notes and song,
and allow my heart to be played regularly,
and my spirit to be tuned to His,
then I'm able to hear the music once again,
and the melody of my life becomes something beautiful.
Striving for balance and rhythm...
to waltz with the Spirit and to be an instrument
for His glory.
Songwriter and Composer of everything good
and true
and melodious
and worth dancing to,
make music of me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Darcy!

Who would have ever thought?
That this sweet little precious baby...

Would turn into this mischievous little toddler...

Who would turn into this driven little boy...

And into this dedicated man...
A man of godly character and integrity.
A natural-born leader I've been blessed to call husband.
Happy birthday Darcy!
Thank you for all you do for our family.
The hard work and the perseverance you've been pouring into your career, into bettering our family, and into your own faith journey does not go unnoticed.
You will reap the rewards.
I'm so excited to see what God has in store for you.
Praying blessings over you today,
that they'll be carried throughout this 34th year of your life.
You are still just a youngin'...
but one I love and most admire!
Happy Birthday!


Now, aren't these the sweetest lil' bloomers ya ever did see?
I splurged on a rare trip to Somerset and couldn't resist buying these
as I imagined Yummy's chubby little tanned legs and barefeet
running through the freshly cut green grass
on a warm sunny summer day.
Paired with a little graphic tee or lace-trimmed tanktop,
she surely will be
my little beauty in bloom!
Some things are worth imagining and dreaming about,
to carry us through until the "real deal" happens.
Summer, sunshine, warm breezes, and firefly catching nights...
we will revel in your arrival.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Resting 101...

I'll be the first to admit that this life is like a roller coaster, with some days feeling like I am slowly clicking my way up to the top and other days feeling like I'm going full speed ahead, with nothing underneath me, about to crash. I've been candid with my struggle about "feeling" like God is FOR me. It's an area in my spiritual life that God has been working through...believing something to be true and actually embracing it can look like two completely different things.

I was just telling Darcy Sunday night that sometimes I feel like that kid in the back of the classroom with hand held high, jumping in and out of his seat, waiting to be called on. I look around and can see answered prayer and blessings in the lives of others, have prayed these things for loved ones, and rejoice with them when this happens. But quietly am whispering to the teacher at the head of the classroom, "What about me? Is it my turn yet? (pleading) Pick me! Pick me!" And I feel overlooked. I know it is foolish to feel this way because God doesn't owe me anything and I have plenty of blessings in my life to focus on. I've just felt that we have hit trial after trial, and fire after fire. While we have and are being delivered through them all, it is exhausting. I'm ready to be called on. I'm ready for my turn. I'm ready for a break.

Monday morning as I was about to start diving into my Bible study, I hadn't even gotten past reading the second paragraph on Day One when I was re-introduced to Romans 8:31 reminding me again to trust that God is FOR me. I stopped right there, opened my Bible (and turned to a couple other translations of it) and let this scripture sink in...inhaling each word into my spirit.

It hit me when reading over the NLT version, verse 34..."Christ Jesus died FOR us, and was raised to life FOR us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading FOR us."

I couldn't get past the "pleading" part. I felt like God was saying to me, "You are not the overlooked kid in the back of the classroom. Someone else is there; He took your seat...even took it to the cross. And He's not in the back of the classroom anymore...He's seated at the front of the classroom, right next to me, in a seat of mercy...and He is pleading for you. You don't need to be that kid. It's wearisome and I have someone who can do that FOR you. So rest. Rest child. Rest in my promises, in my truth, in me. You are wasting too much energy trying to hold the weight of the world on your shoulders, but if you take on my yoke, your burden will be light. Peace comes in believing me and trusting me. Rest."

Later that afternoon I had a very anointed lady call me...someone who has never called me before, but sought out my phone number because she sensed our family is being oppressed and we were laid heavily on her heart. She spoke truth to me and encouraged me through her wise words and powerful prayer. It just felt like God was trying to use every avenue possible to reach me and tell me that He indeed is FOR me.

I guess I am a slow learner. Thankfully, I have a Teacher who knows all of the answers and can solve all of the problems on the chalkboard of life. He leads me. I also have a perfect example of a student in Jesus. He studied for me, and when I am called on, it's He who will supply me with all the right answers. He shows me how to follow.

I'm learning to REST. I'm embracing that the Lord is FOR me. As my divine friend shared with me on the phone, "the promises I sow in tears are promises I will reap in joy." I'm breathing it in and resting.

(love the lyrics in this song by Sara Groves:)
"Lord I have a heavy burden *its* all I've seen and know
But your word is like a fire
and I cannot let it go

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought ..."

It brings me back to Exodus 14:14
"The Lord will fight FOR you. You need only to be still."