Gigantic Tears

Monday, February 28, 2011

By 8:15 I had said goodbye to Chris, eaten breakfast, and sat on the couch to read my blogs. I thought for sure that Siena would wake up at any moment so I just sat quietly reading. Through a blog that I've been reading I was linked to another blog I'd never seen, which in turn brought me to Maddie's story. As I began to read I found out that 4month old Madison Paige had gone to heaven not even two weeks ago. I was in such shock as I read on and on and on. Our lives are so similar. We were married within three weeks of eachother, got pregnant two weeks apart, and our babies were born four days apart.

I sat on my couch crying gigantic tears.

I looked at pictures of sweet Maddie and could not even begin to understand what her parents were going through. I watched a slideshow that showed her parents getting engaged, married, getting pregnant, delivering her, and then each month up until a week and a half ago. So many pictures reminded me of Siena Joy. They have similar face structure, have chubby cheeks, even have some of the same clothes and blankets.

I never ever check on Siena. I have had some sort of peace about her sleeping since she was born and am more afraid of waking her up then what could happen.

But I had to see her.
& I had to see if she was breathing.

I stared at my baby's back rising and falling. I couldn't stop crying so I left the room. I sat back down and just cried out to Jesus. Please comfort that family Lord. Please. I pray that they know you. If they don't, I pray that they meet you through this horrific event.

Twenty minutes later Siena was still not awake.

I had to go in again. She started stirring and normally I would let her move around until she woke up.

But I had to hold her. I had to smell her. I had to hug her.
Because I don't know how long I get to.

This has changed my perspective. It has given me a thankful heart for even the times that are so frustrating and irritating. It makes me want to wake up a million times during the night and hold her close because right now I can. My heart aches for them. I don't know them but I know very well the love that they had for their baby girl. I don't know them but I feel like I do.

Today's portion of the book talks about gifts from the heart. Although I would have much rather learned this lesson in a different way, her mama and daddy's blogging has truly been a gift to my heart. I am overcome with emotion at their experience and I am so thankful for their honest writing. It has caused me to live today with a different attitude.

JOB Day 6- Write down a gift that someone has given you from the heart (not necessarily a physical gift, something that has touched you in a way nothing else has)

**If you desire to cultivate a heart of thankfulness & are willing to try it for 31 days (give or take - there is always grace here) - post a comment during any of my blogs that relate to thankfulness.
I will send you a gift at the end to show my thankfulness for you. If you are curious what the JOB is read my post here.

The Joy that You Bring

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Honestly, this morning I am torn. Torn between collapsing under the weight of weeks of sickness and exhaustion and turning from that and rejoicing in the Lord and the things he has done. I know what I need to do. But it's not that simple. I have a list of wants in my head that I can't stop thinking about.
-My husband back to normal/cooking us breakfast on days off/helping with chores/kissing me when he walks in the door
-My baby to give me back the 8hours of sleep that I was getting/not being sick
-Energy & the desire to go out and run
I prayed a short prayer this morning after having been up with Siena two times in the night and with Chris for about an hour. Lord, please help me yield to your Spirit. I do not want to have ugliness, pride, selfishness, and greed flow from my heart. I want patience, love, joy, and peace to flow from you into my life. I got out of bed shortly after that to get a shower in - which is a luxury that isn't happening as much when I am taking care of other people constantly. I know. Gross. But other things have been going ahead of my personal hygiene. What I realized was the Lord ordains everything. Even the fact that I am reading this book. When my mom gave it to me - it was not intended for me. Everything was going right & everything had been easy for a few weeks. Everyone was healthy. Siena was sleeping through the night. I had a schedule. I could make Chris breakfast again, make his coffee, and send him out the door with a lunch in his bag. All after having a quiet time & spending time on my blog. Wow. Those were some happy go lucky weeks. What I realize now, is that the Lord knew that those weren't going to last forever. He knew that a time of testing of faith and trial was about to begin. So he gave me this book for a specific reason - that turned out to be completely different than what I had intended. What a sweet sweet Savior we have. Lately I have been a part of a few conversations where we talk about trials and hardship. We have all agreed that those times and seasons in our lives are the ones that the Lord brings greater growth and sanctification. They are not fun. They are not easy. But the have a greater purpose. Now I just need to remind myself of that daily. Day 5 was about God's creation. I'll be honest. While reading this... I was not in the mindset of seeing beauty in God's creation. I was in the mindset of hurry and get your quiet time done before you need to get Siena up and fed. But what she said is so true. Look around. Look at the leaves on the tree, the rain coming down out of the clouds, the high mountain capped with snow. They are so beautiful and they show God's presence. Romans 1 says that everyone is without excuse when it comes to seeing and understanding him. He reveals himself through his creation. I love times of getting out of the city and into the country, hills, and mountains. It brings you back to simplicity and the sweetness of the outdoors, his presence is everywhere. But, this doesn't happen easily for everyone. Where have you neglected seeing God in his creation?

JOB Day 5- Consider the gift in creation that you most notice God and write down your gratitude for that gift

**If you desire to cultivate a heart of thankfulness & are willing to try it for 31 days (give or take - there is always grace here) - post a comment during any of my blogs that relate to thankfulness.
I will send you a gift at the end to show my thankfulness for you. If you are curious what the JOB is read my post here.

Day threefour

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Boy was I ever right. There is a need for a load of grace here. I am so thankful that we have it. Truly thankful. I've noticed something about myself lately. I start a lot of things & I start them really well. But, I leave most things unfinished. I could think of so many things silly and serious.

-Bible in a year (3/4 done)
-Every cup of cocoa or tea I make
-MANY bible studies and books
-EVERY new year resolution
-To do lists that I make practically every day

On and on the list could go. I know that some sound stupid. Especially the hot cocoa one. But believe me, I have gone to my mug so many times and realized that the beverage I wanted so badly has now gone to waste. I so easily turn to the next thing to do and forget about what I was in the midst of. Wow. This seems to me like a crazy revelation from the Lord.

Right before I started this little quest of gratitude I thought, "Oh MAN! It would be so awesome to blog every single day of the 31 days." I secretly knew in my heart that I wouldn't be able to. Now some of you would say that I could. I'm sure you are right and if I made myself somehow I could do something for that long each and every day. But I think that this lesson is bigger than that. I think that I get wrapped up in the things of this world so easily that the Lord doesn't want me to worry about finishing every little earthly project that I desire. He is just focused on the end goal. So with that, I will continue focusing my mind and heart and blog on Jesus and the thankfulness we should have for him.

Day Three: Appreciating Life

Here she talks about natural disasters, tragedy, and crisis in our lives. How we should appreciate the life that we have been given. After experiencing these things that our appreciation for our lives becomes even greater. Now, I haven't really been a part of something extremely tragic. Members of my family have died from terrible disease, friends I know have experienced great loss - but I haven't really been struck with a great crisis. On a small scale, my husband is sick. We need prayer. For weeks now his poor body has been fighting high fevers, dizziness, and pain. For what I hope will come a good ending and a good diagnosis - we really do not know. Without focusing too much on our circumstance, this is a perfect opportunity for being grateful. I can be grateful for the time that I have my husband because truly life will not be like this forever. I can be grateful that the Lord can use this circumstance for his greater glory and bringing people to a saving faith and knowledge of him. But boy is that hard. If I focus on what my body and flesh desire, I am sick of waking up 4-5 times during the night for two sick family members, tired of doing so much housework, and tired of not having my normal happy active husband around. But that is not what the Lord desires for this time and he is bringing me out of selfishness and self pity and into a greater selfLESSness and thankfulness.
What has made you appreciate life in a clearer way?

Day Four: Celebrating Friendships

We can all point to an event or experience that made us aware of the importance of giving thanks for special people. These occasions remind us that expressing gratitude is one of the most simple, yet most profound ways we can display our recognition of one of God's most precious gifts: the gift of friendship.
This comes at the perfect time for Chris & I. This week we have been shown God's love through the gift of friendship. We have many many amazing friends and for that we are so blessed. But this week in a week of barely any sleep, sickness, and emotional exhaustion some of our friends have gone above and beyond. Our friends the Deans watched Siena while we were at the lab, our friends the MacEwens brought us delicious dinner & dessert, and our friends the Lantings brought dinner, dessert, and breakfast for the next day. Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord for these amazing people who have blessed us in a hard time.
What friends do you have that have that you are thankful for & why?

JOB Day 3- Write down the thing you are most grateful for regarding the gift of life
JOB Day 4- Make a list of friends you are grateful for and why

**If you desire to cultivate a heart of thankfulness & are willing to try it for 31 days (give or take - there is always grace here) - post a comment during any of my blogs that relate to thankfulness.
I will send you a gift at the end to show my thankfulness for you. If you are curious what the JOB is read my post here.

Day onetwo & a gift for you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day one was... yesterday. Before I get all teary eyed and tell myself, "I told you so!" about missing a day already let me turn your eyes off of my frustration and onto the project that we are starting.

Yesterday, I sat and read Day One of the Basket of Blessings in my living room. My baby was sleeping and my husband was laying sick on the couch. She first talked about how developing an attitude of thanks takes practice.

First we must choose gratitude; then we will begin to see everything in our lives as a gift, regardless of the circumstances or the appearance. That doesn't mean we're expected to shout "Hallelujah!" when a loved one dies or our home is robbed or we're struck with a terminal illness. That wouldn't be human. But when we foster the habit of giving thanks in all things, as the apostle Paul counsels us in Colossians 3:17, we are able to see how God uses all these experiences for our good. And for that we thank him.
The first question she asks is, "Are you willing to choose gratitude? What will it cost you?"

I think over my day yesterday and realize that my prayer was answered. My heart is already inclining toward gratitude in one day. I know this is not of my own doing because yesterday was not easy. CK is sick and so is little Siena. My sweet husband has felt ill now for about three weeks off and on. He has had intense fevers the past few nights where he is extremely cold and covered in blankets - even telling me to lay the couch cushion on him for more pressure, and extremely hot where he soaks through the sheets. We have already gone through a lot of testing and there is more to come. They cannot figure this out. My first reaction is usually panic mode. This time was different. I was worried if I focused on it, but my first reaction was, Lord, you are in control. Thank your for whatever you are going to do through this. Chris and I have had lots of prayer times over the last few days, giving this illness, our work, our finances, to him. Am I scared you ask? Well, if I give in to my flesh and listen to it instead the answer is yes. But I am choosing thankfulness and gratitude that only comes from the Holy Spirit.

Today is Day two. The portion today that I want to reflect on is something I really struggle with. She says, "Simplicity encourages us to be well, look well, feel well, and do well without making a statement about it." I find myself really struggling with desiring new things all the time. New jeans, new pillows for the couch, new kitchen gadgets ... on and on the list could go. It is not a sin to have nice things but when your mind becomes focused on it, it most definitely is. The apostle Paul says to be content in plenty or in need. Am I? Can I be ok with the "simple" things that I have. Even that statement is ridiculous. I may have "simple" things compared to some Americans - but I own a tv, a MAC, an Iphone, a bed & nice linens, live in a warm home, and have a lot of food in my kitchen. I am not saying this to boast. I am saying this because I think that most of us are this way. We have SO much and we still desire more.

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
-John 15:11
Our joy is to be in him not what we own. Be thankful for what you have - big and small. But mostly, be thankful for knowing Christ. If you don't know him yet, he wants to know you. He chose to come to earth for you. He lived a perfect life so that he could die for your sins. He loves you. He wants a relationship with you. Our joy is to know him and know that our eternal life and salvation come from him alone. If you read this and you are questioning, searching, or wondering, please message me on fb or email me @ meganaliciaknight{at}gmail{dot}com.

Lastly, the reason that this book is called Basket of Blessings is because she talks about how someone she knew discussed with her about writing down her blessings. Her and her husband did this from January through November and on Thanksgiving morning they emptied the basket and read everything they had been thankful for over that year. This is such a sweet tradition to start and I am starting today - with a simple canning jar. My Jar of Blessings.

Heres the sweet part: if you decide to join me & I'm talking 31 days (give or take, there is always grace here) to start your own Basket or Jar of Blessings to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness comment on this post. If you do I will send you something at the end of my "31" days.

JOB (Jar of Blessings) Day 1 - One person in your life that has made an impact & why
JOB Day 2- 5 simple gifts you are thankful for

31 days

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Soon I will write an entire blog post on my mom. If you have ever read my blog, talked to me, or known me at all - you know I have a wonderful, selfless, beautiful mom. She always knows what I need, is willing to help me, and prays for me constantly.

On one of her trips here last week she brought a devotional. We were talking about something the previous week and just like she does - she spent time looking for something that would fill that need that we discussed and came across a certain devotional that she was given at some point. The title of the devotional is Basket of Blessings; 31 Days to a More Grateful Heart by Karen O'Connor. I have only read the Introduction and I am hooked.

Hooked on pursuing and praying for a more grateful heart.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction.

A grateful heart is a gift from God. Left to our own initiative, we might never develop one. we can always find something to complain about or improve.

Criticism has its place. Change is often a good thing. But life is full of blessings as well ... from a warm pool of morning sun on a bedroom carpet to the shimmering lights reflected on a rain-soaked neighborhood street. From a little child snuggled in our lap to a brand-new car in the driveway.

We can be grateful for the unexpected: a note from an old friend with whom we have lost touch... or a word of encouragement from a person we hardly know.

We can be grateful for beauty: the fresh face of a baby after a long nap ... or water droplets resting on a red rose after a rain.

We can be grateful for pain: the death of a loved one, divorce, or illness ... each a gift in its own way if we take time to see it.

We can be grateful for the predictable: hot cereal with cinnamon ever morning at seven ... or a sunny day in southern California.

We can be grateful for the unpredictable: our spouse's mood, the weather, our own feelings.

People... places... experiences. All give us reasons to be grateful.

How different our lives would be if we turned our hearts toward gratitude - not just occasionally, as on Thanksgiving Day or Mother's Day. Not just a greeting-card kind of thanks but a genuine gratefulness that expresses itself in a hymn of heartfelt praise to God. What would happen if we cultivated a daily habit of expressing gratitude, one that helped us count all of life good, regardless of the circumstances?

Besides this journey in my own life; I've decided to journey along with you. Everyone can benefit from being more grateful; but if you're at all like me, you have to pray to desire to have that attitude. So join me if you like for 31 days.

Please Jesus make us more grateful.

Sweet News...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jesus tells us to not be anxious about our lives. I really struggle with that. Even down to little weekend trips like we just had. I get anxious that it won't be restful, that we won't have fun together, and that we wished we would have just stayed home.

I really understand why Jesus says do not be anxious. Sometimes cruddy things will happen. But most of the time, the time you spend worrying does nothing but make you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest or you end up acting like such a pessimist no one wants to be around you.

This weekend was really really restful. We really enjoyed ourselves. We ate good food, read, and most importantly spent good quality time with amazing people. One of the most restful parts for me was Chris watching Siena with Grandma M so that I could go to Starbucks. I totally just unloaded when I was there, drank coffee, blogged, and read. The night before I was talking to Chris about reading scripture and how I really wanted a bible study because I felt like I was just in one of those seasons of opening my bible and reading whatever was on that page. I've been there before and it's not my favorite place.

He reminded me of something though and it was such a fruitful conversation. He asked me what it would be like if I only had scripture to lean on. Did I think it was enough to sustain me? The words that surpass all cultures, times, and seasons in life. Was it good enough for me?

At first I was a little caught off guard. I explained to him that I needed a study to help me read and get things out of God's Word. But then I started thinking about what he said and it came to me. What he said was true. This does not down-grade any studies out there because I have learned SO much from many that I have done. Studies are good/beneficial/uplifting, but if we didn't have them would we still be filled? The Lord through his Holy Spirit can reveal to me truths through just reading his word. Chris challenged me to just start reading a section of scripture even one or two verses and really meditate on them. So while in Starbucks I just went to Romans where I had been reading the last few days.

I read Romans 1:16 that says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." I am NOT ashamed of the gospel. I read this over and over and over again. Am I ashamed? I cannot be ashamed! It says right in that verse that it is the power of God for salvation for all who believe. If I, someone who believes this, is ashamed of the gospel, how can I tell people? How can I explain that it is the sweetest news that they have ever heard?

Make that my life Jesus.
I am not ashamed of the good news.

“I entered to win a Trader Joes gift pack on today. Did you?”

I love this blog. You really should read it. The three girls that write on it are amazing and I love them all.



Today, I can really say that I love being a mom. People have asked that so many times since I had Siena and each time had to come up with an answer. I would ask myself, “Do I love being a mom?” I couldn’t say yes. I couldn’t say no.

I couldn’t say yes because I didn’t feel like I loved being a mom. I knew I would. I knew that the Lord created me to be one and blessed me with a baby.

I couldn’t say no because I was scared. Scared to have people look at me crazy. Scared to admit that I didn’t love the job that the Lord gave me. Scared to say no.

A couple of times I half admitted that I wasn’t enjoying being a mom. That it was really hard. That most times I was up through the night I wanted to scream. I wanted to go outside and scream as loud as I could. I wanted to throw things. I’ve talked about this unrighteous, disgusting, sinful anger before. It was ugly. That most times I had to hold my baby through naps I wanted to cry. I’d even figured out how to go to the bathroom while holding her, open the fridge and eat, pour a glass of juice, have a quiet time. Pretty much anything.

I loved it for awhile. It was easier on me and much more restful. I didn’t have to listen to much crying and I could read and look at blogs for as long as she napped.

She finally got to the point where she was waking up throughout her naps where I would have to jiggle her back to sleep. It wasn’t getting easier, it was getting harder. So as I said before, we are on a new plan. I couldn’t hold my 13 pound baby forever.

Our days are not perfect but the Lord has looked on us and blessed my prayers. Each day is not easy but I am definitely learning to LOVE being a mom and LOVE my daughter more and more each day.

Awhile back my friend Shelbs and I were reading a hilarious post on parenting and knowing if you were ready. She told me that all of those “funny” things (that were actually more like reasons not to have a baby) were more scaring her than anything. We talked about how I should write a list of reasons that make parenting a joy. I have so procrastinated writing that list because I couldn’t necessarily find joy each day. But now I am. Now I can write that list. This post is half for my relationship with Siena and half because I have such an amazing friend named Shelby Lanting. She is such a blessing in my life and I hope to bless her through this list. Her friendship means so much to me.

*It is a joy to:

- be needed by such a sweet human

- know that you can ease her discomfort more than anyone else in the world

- know that you and your husband created such a beauty

- go to pick her up and see the gorgeous smiles that come alive because she knows you are there to be with her

- watch her grow and become a little girl

- see development each day – She is about to roll over and actually put her thumb in her mouth two days ago for the first time!

- know that the Lord has put her in my life to glorify him in my actions, sanctify me in the trials and joys, and to share the gospel with her every day

- watch her daddy and how much he loves her, totally redeeming father daughter love

- see how much others get joy from her and know that she is a part of me

- watch her little 6lb self become a chubby rolly polly 13 lb girl

- see that she is growing out of her second set of clothes and get ready to get into the next bag

- change her diapers because I am making her more comfy

- change her clothes and make her super cute with large flowers on her little head

- hear her make noises and try talking back to you

- pick her up after a nap and snuggle her little head into my shoulder

- lay her on my bed and sing and dance and watch her smile and laugh at me

- watch her daddy snuggle her on sleep in mornings

- … and sooo many more.

Hope that helped Shelbs. I love you. Thank you for constantly encouraging me and being there for me in everything over the last almost 5 years!

I'll just keep smiling...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An update:
Siena Joy is a joy. Every time now I get to hold her I cherish it. She is napping peacefully in her crib and I am so thankful. There are times that I have to listen to her cry and other times she just goes to sleep without a peep. Worth it? I think so.
Here are some recent pictures


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If I haven't already told you - Siena only sleeps in my arms during the day.

The story goes like this:
-2 month old Siena gets sick
-2 month old Siena won't sleep anywhere but in her mama's arms
-2 month old Siena gets better
-2 month old Siena still will only sleep in her mama's arms
-3 month old Siena will only sleep in her mama's arms
-4 month old Siena is now 13 pounds and hurting her mama's arms
-Mama is trying something new with the help of her mama.

(these are my notes for my new plan of attack for naps... if it bores you, I'm sorry; it's more for my records than to be interesting)
9:00am rocked - slept 1/2 hr in arms, I got fed up & laid her down, she cried, let cry 15 mins
11:20am - lay her down while shes screaming because nothing will console her, sleeps till 12:15
2:05pm - sleeps till 235 help put her back to sleep, in crib till 306
4:36pm - put in crib, quiet at 4:49 sleep til 4:53 quiet at 4:57 till 5:47
8:15pm - in crib quiet at 8:40 (yeah... 25 mins of crying) till 10:40
10:40pm - ate and slept till 7:45am

Something is working!! Thank you Mom!!

No Condemnation

This morning was rough & I just want to tell you that if you are going to read my blog - you are in for the honest truth. I need this to be a place that I can pour my heart out. Even if not everyone agrees with me. Even if not everyone enjoys my blog posts. Even if it takes a heart-pounding twenty minutes to get the truth typed out.

This morning I woke up and felt a funny feeling in my stomach. A feeling I haven't felt this deep in a little over a year. Guilt. Heart-wrenching, stomach churning, disgusting guilt. Condemning guilt.

It was overwhelming.

I came out to my couch this morning around 7:15 before my family was awake. I sat and thought and processed and cried out to the Lord. I read my bible. I told him I was sorry. Sorry for treating his precious child the way that I had. I had a week of really yielding myself to the Holy Spirit and out of that was an outpouring of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. The fruit of the Spirit were so evident in my life and relationships with my husband and daughter.

I'm not sure what happened. But I stopped the constant yielding. I started listening to my flesh and giving in to the temptation to be angry and selfish. Yesterday CK stayed home from work because he was sick on Valentines Day. It was a pretty low key day and we watched a movie, ate sandwiches that were supposed to be for his work party, and stayed in sweats. But by 4 (this happens to be my turning point in most days) I was exhausted and succumbing to my emotional self.

Chris helped me as much as he could but Siena was out of sorts, tired, and fussy. We made dinner and enjoyed it with our good friend Sendhil. We all laughed and had a good evening and eventually Sendhil left after we devoured yummy gluten free dessert made by our sweet friend Lexi. Right after he left, Siena woke up and was fussy. I was determined to have her sleep till 9:15 so she would be in bed on schedule at 10pm. My schedule that is. This didn't work and so eventually I fed her. Twenty minutes in to the feeding, she stopped eating which angered me even more. So... I took her in her room and tried to put her to sleep. She refused and I held her head to my chest as she tried moving it back and forth and cried out. Every little thing she did frustrated me and two minutes later my sweet husband came in to rescue me. He tried for a few minutes and asked if she could still be hungry. Boy, was she ever. I was trying to forcefully put my precious angel to sleep on a half full tummy. I then tried again to put her to sleep but getting upset Chris again took her from me and laid her down. Little Siena woke up 5 mins later and her amazing daddy went back in on a sick day, when he had to work the next morning, and got her to sleep once again.

Why am I stuck in feelings of guilt and condemnation?
Why I am stuck in the cycle of unrighteousness and sin?
Why do I choose disgusting choices over fruit that comes only from my loving God?

Those are questions that I ask myself whenever I struggle.


I. Know. The. Answer.

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us. Since, therefore we have been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." - Romans 5:6-11

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." - Romans 8:1-2

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment; the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God." - John 3:16-21

I refuse to let my life and circumstances stay in the darkness. I am bringing them into the light so that Jesus has control and the enemy has none.

Yield Yourself

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We had close friends watch Siena last Friday night and as we were leaving two of us began to talk. She told me that I need to cherish these hard times because they don't last for long and when they are gone there is no getting them back. I went home and wanted the perfect scenario with Siena going down easily and early. After laying her down the first time I could not stop thinking about the passage in Titus 2:3-5.

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

What did it mean for me to truly love Chris and Siena? I heard the Lord speak directly to my heart about obedience, which I have been processing through my blog lately. He told me that I have the choice, the choice to obey and to go into Siena’s room every time she woke up and to be patient and loving or to choose to be angry and upset with her because she wasn’t sleeping. I also heard him sweetly tell me that each time I went into her room and rocked her quietly back to sleep that I was glorifying him, I was doing what I was created for,. I kept hearing that verse from the song we sing at church, your love is better than my life. Do I believe that? Can I truly say that I would rather glorify my creator in my actions and feel his love than get sleep? That I would rather bask in his presence than have food to eat? That I would rather choose to feel his joy rather than sulk in my crummy situation? I’m not sure that I am there. Honestly, it is fighting my flesh every time. It is truly a choice. I am now a week out from hearing him talking to me and I can tell you that it is so much sweeter to choose to glorify him in the moment of frustration, anxiety, anger, and tiredness than to choose to be upset, self-centered, and impatient.

Galatians 5:16-25

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, [1] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Philippians 1:18b-20

Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

Philippians 3:12-15

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

Pictures from yesterday of sweet Maggie and Siena playing.

13 lbs & coffee

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My baby is no longer a skinny, 6lb, nb clothes wearing sweetie.
My baby is a chubby, 13lb, 0-3,3,3-6mo wearing sweetie.

My baby is no longer waking up every 2-3 hours to feed.
My baby sleeps through the night (except when she's teething & sick.)

My baby is no longer fussy and upset all evening.
My baby is full of smiles and sounds all evening till bedtime.

My baby is no longer a baby who has to be held constantly.
My baby will play on her play mat while I get things done.

I miss that tiny fussy girl.
I love this happy, roly poly girl.

Have I said lately that I love my MIL?
I do!
I went to get our mail yesterday and this was in it!
I LOVE Starbs, Cougs, & my MIL.
Now my hubby & I will have to have a Valentines coffee date.

Some pics from Wednesday:


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I got an idea a week ago to priceline a hotel for Chris and I's 1.5. Our 1.5 anniversary that is. When we reached our 1 year, it was August and I was 7 months pregnant and super uncomfortable. Chris had planned a getaway to the Salish Lodge that overlooks Snoqualmie Falls. I opted that we waited to go until we had Siena Joy and I was more comfy and ready to actually snuggle up to my sweetie :).

So I began to plan a little getaway for the two of us to celebrate. I was going to have it happen this Friday, the 11th, because I thought that he had Saturday off. Good thing I had procrastinated in getting the hotel because I found out Chris actually had Wednesday (today) off. It was PERFECT! God is so good. 18 months prior to yesterday we were married and exactly 12 months from yesterday I took the pregnancy test and on our 6 month anniversary we found out we were pregnant. So much to celebrate and remember.

So here is the run down of yesterday:
9am: Siena wakes up, I hurry to make Chris and I lunch
10am: We leave to go visit Daddy's office so they can see Siena Joy
11am: Meet Grandma Sherie and Grandma M at Costco to buy Chinese Chicken Salad and a Magic Bullet
12:15pm: Meet Chris back in MV (Maple Valley) for lunch and let him read this note (that I was going to print off all cute but didn't have time so he read it off my iPhone)
Happy 1.5!
Today it's been 18 months since we married and 12 months since we found out about Siena Joy. You are an amazing man of God. It is incredible to see how he has sanctified, matured, and grown you in these short months of marriage. I feel so blessed to be married to you. You lead me to the Lord when my stubborn flesh doesn't want to. You gently, sometimes strongly take over caring for Siena when I don't have the strength. You love me and show me in so many ways. Because of how amazing you are and how much I love you I pray that tonight you feel loved & cherished.
12:16pm: Chris looks and me and says, "I read it really fast because I thought you were going to say we were pregnant again!" I reply, " not yet :)" He still has no idea that anything is happening even though I said tonight
12:45pm: Quick trip to Safeway to pick up ingredients for din
1:15pm: Get home and shower
2:00pm: Shelbs here, fun chat while I race around cleaning and packing our overnight bag
3:30pm: Shelbs leaves, I race around doing my hair, makeup, and continuing to finish cleaning
4:30pm: Mom gets here with Siena and I continue running around finishing details (Chris' outfit on the bed, running stuff for both of us packed, and wine and wine glasses packed - which we didn't end up drinking)
5:30pm: Finish making dinner
6:00pm: Feed SJ
6:30pm: CK gets home confused about why my mom is here
6:35pm: We leave after I get done explaining that we are going on a 1.5 date and act like we will see my mom in a few hours
7:00pm: Arrive at Kerry Park - if you haven't been there, GO! We hadn't been and it has SPECTACULAR views of Seattle - we eat our yummy chicken (recipe courtesy of Stac), rice, and salad
8:00pm: Arrive at the Space Needle - have fun reading on the history and looking at the cool sites, although the entire time I felt like I was on a plane and felt dizzy-ish and scared I was going to die, but it was fun nonetheless
9:30pm: Tell CK there is one more destination and drive by Hotel Max and point to it and say thats our last destination, CK doesn't believe me at first
9:32pm: Find out there is only valet and decide not to care that we spend $30 on parking
9:37pm: Proceed into the hotel - which if you care, is extremely bizarre
9:42pm: Get into our room out of the creepy hallway and we have a nice bed (King size - amazing upgrade from our normal full, yes we sleep in a full) and a huge flat screen (also an upgrade from our tv...)
10:00pm: Won't explain the rest of the details of the night - but we are married
10:00am: Finally we both wake up and get out of bed
10:05am: Brush teeth, get running gear on, and proceed out into chilly but beautifully sunny downtown Seattle
10:20am: Get pieces of fresh apple from two vendors and munch happily on the crisp sweetness
10:25am: Explain to Chris that we should get some fresh donuts from Pike Place, telling him that is why I stuck my debit card in my running pants zippered pocket
10:26am: He looks at me like I'm crazy
10:27am: We don't get donuts and we keep running
11:00am: Stop at Nord to see my dad
11:15am: Get a roof tour of Nord and see all the cool buildings and the water
11:40am: Decide we are getting McDonalds for bfast, my fav
11:55am: Check out of hotel
12:02pm: Realize there is not a drive-through at the MickyD's and get on the freeway
12:20pm: Get into Renton near the MickyD's and realize there is not breakfast anymore
12:30pm: Release mom from babysitting duties, love that woman to pieces
12:45pm: Eat huge omelets, toast, and orange juice that my hubby made for me
1:10pm: Get Siena to sleep
2:15pm: Put Siena into the little crib we borrowed from Sheree and Jon
2:42pm: Realize as I'm writing this that my husband probably knew that MickyD's would be out of bfast once we got to Renton
2:44pm: My baby is still sleeping in her crib... yes I know its only been a half hour but it's the longest she's gone in 6 weeks sleeping alone during the day

This was a wonderful blessing from the Lord. We celebrated, laughed, talked, got creeped out by the hotel, and knew all along that our sweet baby was being cared for.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Jesus.

(Pictures to come)