fear not.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It is definitely a typical Seattle day here. Rainy & stormy & dark. I actually don't mind it, to me it's kind of comforting. But that does not mean that I am not totally looking forward to next weeks vacation.

I am struggling though. Struggling with fear. We are not supposed to live in fear. However, every time I am about to fly - something just overtakes me. The enemy knows how to assail me that is for sure. I can't stop thinking about all the what ifs and my mind is bombarded with things that could go wrong.

Job 39:22
He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; he does not turn back from the sword.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

2Timothy 1:7
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

I have to cling to these promises that God gives me. I have to listen, obey, and be sanctified to be more like Jesus so I won't fear this life. I have to yield my heart, mind, and soul to the Holy Spirit so I don't give in to lies.

My mind needs to be transformed.

Transformed into trust
Transformed into thankfulness.
Transformed into laughing at the time to come.
Transformed into love.
Transformed into grace.
Transformed into _______.

What does your mind need to be transformed into?

JOB Day 21- Write down two ways that the LORD has transformed you.

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 posts 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.


precious ones.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My thankful heart never left me during this break (maybe momentarily) but i am back to share it with you. We are 2/3 of the way done with this little heart change challenge. I definitely notice a difference with the way that my heart is leaning during trial. How's your thankful heart doing? Something that I am experiencing more fully now is the blessing that children are. Matthew 18 says,
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
We are to take a look at the children in our lives. Look at their innocence and their precious beauty. Look at the way that they have faith without questioning. Look at the way that they are willing to be taught and are constantly learning. Jesus is saying if we don't turn from our prideful, selfish, all-about-me ways, then we cannot know him. We need to be teachable, humble, and malleable.

Isaiah 54:13

All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace.
This is a plea that rings out of my heart. Please Lord, help my children be taught by you. Help everything I do show them something about you. Then they will have great peace. They will know, rely on, and be comforted by the Lord. How peaceful is that? JOB Day 20 - Write down the names of the children you are grateful for and the reasons you are grateful. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. Photobucket


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bed. Sounds good right now. This has been a long day.

At about 3:30/4ish I fed Siena, layed her back in her crib, and came back to bed. Soon after I could tell something was wrong with Chris. Ugh. No! He was JUST sick. He JUST got better.

He got up quickly and went to the bathroom and that's when I knew. My poor husband who was sick for a long time was now sick again. For some reason I just figured he would beat this.

So, we missed church again. It really kills me. I love the community we have here. I love the family that I have in the church. I love how refreshing most Sundays are. But today my call was to love and serve my husband at home while he lay on the couch. I couldn't do much for him except grab him an extra blanket, throw away tissues, make a smoothie, and run my fingers through his hair. Poor guy.

I will be starting up my thankfulness posts again. Hopefully tomorrow. I need to catch my breath from all this sickness. Thats just what it has been. Sick. So.. check back soon for some encouragement from the Word. Because today, I am getting it from other people & I don't have much strength to give it out.


At least I threw in some cute pictures of my sweet mama and her first grandbaby!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

You probably will think this is really strange. But it's basically survival mode turned daily routine. When we were living with my in laws for the first two months of Siena's life our little "suite" was on the main floor of the house. So, when I was exhausted and my 17 year old brother in law was watching Cougar basketball I could not sleep. He is THE Cougnumberonefan. My father in law had the idea to grab me a pair of ear plugs and see if that worked any wonders.

Truly, I say thank you Jesus for ear plugs.

Well, ever since... I have used them for all or part of the night. With a young baby you ask??? Yes. I know. My mom also thinks it is very strange. I just feel at peace with Siena's life and these little plugs have helped me get some much needed rest. So, when we moved into this house and our lovely neighbor's owned a rooster with a very messed up internal clock (meaning he goes off from 3am-4pm & is going off right now at 9:19am) my little friends came in VERY handy.

Not only have they helped me sleep, they have also given the hubster and I a few laughs together. I couldn't find one of my favorite pair for days. This was extremely frustrating to say the least. I went out into the living room one day and the other one was sitting there. I got so excited and told Chris, "Yay!!! I found my other ear plug!" We laughed and laughed at how excited I was.

It seems like it has been forever since I last posted. Life has just been busy and yesterday I was sick all day with the flu. Very icky stuff. This weekend was supposed to be filled with three birthday parties and lots of fun stuff. Now I am just queasy and tired and won't be going anywhere today. Oh well, God's plan is better than mine.




You were born on October 17th, 2010 at 2:31 in the afternoon. That time was so easy to remember because I was born at 2:32pm. We are one minute and a whole bunch of years apart. I was pretty nervous going to the hospital because I wasn't sure what to expect. But the whole thing was an amazing experience. Jesus was there for us the whole time and helped me to relax and get excited to meet you. The entire lobby was packed out with people to meet you when you arrived. Family and friends who are like family... It was amazing. Miss Heidi was in the delivery room to take sweet pictures of you when you were born. Grammie was there too to support me and of course daddy was too. Our midwife was amazing. A midwife is a person that specializes in labor and delivery. Her name was Debra and she went to Mars Hill and was such a support and help. We also had amazing nurses and one in particular, Kimmie, was a Christian too and so sweet. Debra asked daddy if he wanted to deliver you and he surprised me by saying yes. So the first person who held you was your sweet daddy. We stayed at the hospital for one night and then went to Papa and Grandma's house. I was very tired, sore, and a little stressed. Taking care of a little, precious bundle was a new job for me! You ate every two hours all day long for the first four weeks of your life. You and I would get up in the middle of the night and go into this special little room that Papa and Grandma set up for us. It had your changing table and a rocking chair. I would change your diaper every time (I didn't want it to be the reason you woke up) while you screamed very loud. Then I would nurse you and rock you until you fell asleep. Many many times you would spit up so much after eating that I would have to change you and swaddle you again when you were sleepy. This would wake you up so it would take about an hour to put you back to sleep. Thank you Jesus for my iPhone. I used it a lot in the wee hours of the morning to pass the time. If only I knew how short that time was. Daddy finally taught me how to put you to sleep more quickly. We would hold you upright on our chest and bounce around the room. I would do this for at least ten minutes. Sometimes back and forth through the laundry room and sometimes through the entire downstairs. We did this about five times a night. Sometimes I would think you were asleep but you weren't. Right when I layed you down you woke up and cried and I would do it all over again. There were times in these first few weeks that were very hard. We were just getting used to each other and feeding you was especially hard. A lot of times you weren't able to eat because there was too much milk. You would cry and cry and then I would cry and cry. Daddy would help me to calm down and explain to me that you knew that I was upset and so you didn't want to eat. Eventually we got the hang of it. Baby bell, you are the sweetest gift (apart from knowing Jesus and marrying daddy) that I have ever received. I will love you forever. I am praying that you meet Jesus at an early age and live your whole sweet life praising and glorifying him and making his name great.


**Cindy is Siena's nickname from Chris off of the nickname Cinderella.... yes we have nicknames from nicknames :)



Monday, March 21, 2011

Piles and piles of laundry. That was my life today. I finally (after three months of living here) cleaned out our garage. We are going on vacation in a week and a half and are headed to destination 70-80 degree weather! Yay! This means that summer clothes are needed. So I brought them in and started washing. I am really looking forward to vacation.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to go to a Biblical Living Seminar at our church. Our good friend taught it on having a biblical world view. It was AMAZING. I am so excited to sketch out what we want to do differently because of what we heard.
The two big take aways I had were:
  • How I spend my time - he called it the Friend Funnel. I may get his permission to show you all what that means, but the biggest thing to me was that I am not spending time with nonbelievers. I want my life to be an outpouring of God's grace to others. I want to be bold in my faith. I want to be proclaiming his good news. Who am I doing that to?
  • If I am not sharing my faith boldly - someone else is, who has a false gospel...
I'll share more about that seminar soon...


You smiled for the first time in your second month of life on December 5th. The morning that I went in and picked you up out of your crib and you SMILED at me... I was overcome with joy. The sweetest moment. Your smiles are SO beautiful. From week four you were sleeping through the night. It started at about 7hrs and went up to 10hrs for some days. You truly are a great sleeper. You ate practically every two hours and the dr. said that you were probably getting enough calories in the day and you didn't need them at night. After 4pm you were a pretty cranky baby during this month. You always wanted to be held (you love us SO much!) and if we put you down even for a second in your swing you would scream and scream. Occasionally Uncle Shaun would take you upstairs and let daddy and I talk after a long day apart. It was very nice of him. Grammie came over almost every day and helped me with you. I was very thankful for her during this time. We were still living at your Papa and Grandma's for most of your second month and so we were far from church. It took about 45mins to get there and you would cry for the first little while and then sleep and sleep. You would even stay asleep when we brought you into church. Having your diaper changed... made you scream. Thinking back at these things show me what a short time it was. None of these things make you scream anymore :). You were dedicated to the Lord in front of the church this month. It was so amazing to stand up there and tell everyone that through God's grace we were going to raise you up knowing Jesus and hearing the gospel constantly so that hopefully you will be a strong daughter of the King.

Love you Joys,

unexpected... surprise?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Huge breath in. & let it out. Wow. This has been a GREAT day!

The men in our church went to a Men's Advance (because men don't retreat :) last night so I stayed overnight at my friend Heidi's house. We made yummy food, did a bit of a craft for an upcoming birthday party, and then after everyone else left stayed up talking about life. It was a sweet time. I slept in her son's room and Siena slept in what will be their nursery in the fall! This morning when I went to get her she was super smiley. I noticed that Heidi's door was shut and could hear her and her son giggling and talking inside. I went downstairs to change Siena's diaper and unzipped her sleeper and folded the first part of her blanket. Then I saw it. Poo. Everywhere. I couldn't keep this hilarious moment to myself.

I went and knocked on Heidi's door and Dylan opened up. I told them I had something really disgusting to show them. A very unexpected... surprise. I proceeded to unwrap her (I had to rewrap her to show them the full effect) and we all started to laugh. Siena had huge smiles on her face. I think she felt really good after all that came out :). So needless to say, Justin - if you are reading this and don't already know, Siena got a good scrub down in your tub.

After that we played at a park down on Lake Washington for four hours! I was SO glad that about half way into it Siena fell asleep in the front pack. I had no idea how she would do so this was truly a blessing from the Lord... many prayers were lifted up about it. Then we spent time back at Heidi's house and our friend Sheree came over with her two boys. We laughed and talked (probably way too much) about food. We love food. Now my sweet husband is home with me and after feeding his belly he is asleep on the couch. Probably from all that flag football in the mud I heard about and staying up till 2am.

Hope you all had a good Saturday!

Honey Bell,

You got sick at the beginning of your third month of life. This changed a lot of our "routine" or lack of one. You started to only sleep on me during the day because of your stuffy nose. Some nights you would only sleep with me as well. It was a long month. You could barely lift your head up when you were doing tummy time. You didn't like doing it so mommy didn't do it much :(. You would play on your play mat for about 15 mins and then you wanted to be held. Your smiles were showing up more and more all the time. We love those smiles! You were just getting out of newborn clothes and into 0-3 month clothes. I look back at pictures now, just two months later, and you look SO tiny. I cannot even believe how much you have grown in such a short time. Daddy helped a TON during this month at night time. Mommy was so tired from the day that he took on an 8-12 shift. Many nights when mama was exhausted, Daddy would put you to sleep, change you, play with you etc. during this time. It gave mama a much needed break. You had your first Christmas during your third month. It was lots of fun. Christmas Eve Eve we spent with the Deans. They even took you home with them that night for our first night away from you. It gave us a chance to wrap presents and get ready for Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at your Great Grandma Jean's house in Bothell where you got lots of presents. Christmas morning was at your Great Grandpa and Grandma Geiselman's. You got even MORE presents and then we went to Grandma and Papa Knights for the rest of the day. You wore a cute little outfit that said Santa Baby that Grandma Sherie got for you. You also went on your first road trip on New Years Day. We took you to surprise your Grandma and Papa Knight, uncles, and the Robaks at Ocean Shores. You slept the whole way there and back. Good Job Baby Girl!

Love, Mama

(I know this one is super dark... but the expression is SO cute!)

declare HIS praise

Friday, March 18, 2011

Last night CK was watching March Madness and ... if you know me at all, I don't understand it nor does it interest me. But, like a good wife, I sat with him on the couch and replied to his groanings when his team was behind and his excitement when they were ahead. During the other moments however, I was reading Luke and I couldn't stop reading a verse.
And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
-Luke 16:15

Woah. An abomination! says abomination means a vile, shameful, or detestable action. Very strong language. I decided to read the footnotes of the passage in our ESV study bible and it says that everything not done for the Glory of God is detestable to him. Why, you ask ? We were created for a purpose. A purpose that far outweighs anything that we think we are here for. Some think that their purpose is to be a loving and faithful wife, a comforting and attentive mama, a reliable and hard-working employee, a enthusiastic and eager sports fan, a beautiful and put together fashionista, on and on this list could go.

But none of that is our purpose.
Well, if those aren't our purpose, what is??

Isaiah 43:20-23 says,

The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
that they might
declare my praise.
you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel! You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings, or honored me with your sacrifices.

Our purpose is to declare HIS praise. To glorify HIM. To testify about HIM. The verse in Luke is clearly stating that anything we do in life, anything, that isn't glorifying HIM is detestable because that is taking away the purpose for doing things. So, it may sound ridiculous, but even the smallest act of getting a glass of water, changing a diaper, washing your car, cheering for a sports team, talking to your neighbor... they can ALL be done to the glory of God. We can choose to understand that we are stewarding (managing) well the body that he has given us by drinking water. We can choose to think about how by changing our baby's diaper we are taking care of the blessing that he has given us and therefore are glorifying him in that act. All things can be done with our Creator in mind, therefore glorifying him instead of ourselves. If we chose to glorify ourselves instead of Him, we would do those things to get other's praise, to think highly of ourselves, and to attain something. But this way, the pure and true motivation to go about life is lived out; Glorifying Him. This is something that is beyond hard for me. I find myself constantly doing things for praise, adoration, and the happiness of others. But this is not the point and I wrestle with that constantly. I want to do all things for the glory of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.



Your "fourth" month of life was different all the time! You were at the stage in your young life where you did not want to be put down. All day long your tired mama held you. Some days for around four hours and other days for up to eight. While you were sleeping I read, blogged, prayed, and talked to friends and your Grammie when she would visit. It was pretty hard to leave you with anyone during the day because I would explain that you only napped in their arms. Because of this, when you were awake (instead of playing with you) I would rush around cleaning the house like a mad woman because I couldn't at any other time of the day. You were a great eater at all times even when someone fed you out of a bottle. To get you to sleep, daddy and I would have to bounce you around the house sometimes with your binky and other times without. We would gently lay you down and MANY times you would wake up instantly and we would have to do the whole process again. You started teething this month and were very unhappy for about a week and a half. For the first two weeks of your fourth month you slept from 10pm-8am. It was glorious! You were very well rested as well! You laughed for the first time this month and we were at the Dean's house for dinner with the MacEwens. From then on I could get you to laugh occasionally especially when I would blow raspberries at you. You loved playing on your play mat! You got sad and cried for the first time when Daddy scared you one day. He came home from work for lunch and did a big silly noise and you got scared and cried. It was really sad to me but daddy thought it was a little funny. He picked you up and we both told you how much we loved you. During this month you were wearing 0-3months and 3months clothes. You were (and are) so cute. You rolled to your side for the first time and we thought for sure that you would roll over soon. (You still haven't & that's ok!)
We love you so much baby girl,
Love Mama


Thursday, March 17, 2011

This day is beautiful! This is the day that Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! It's sunny here this morning in Seattle ... Praise Jesus. I am so looking forward to spring and summer.

Not only is this day beautiful but this blog is beautiful too! Thank you Jhen Stark for designing a beautiful home for my writing. I love it. If you haven't checked out her blog, do so by clicking here!

And (yes I am a former 1st grade teacher & am starting a sentence with and, SHAME on me!), my daughter is beautiful and today adorable, kissable, sweet Siena Joy is 5 months old! I absolutely cannot believe it. Everyone tells you how fast time goes by when you have a baby, but truly in the midst of all of the sleepless nights & anxiety & change... it doesn't feel like it's

But it is! Praise be to God! My little one is growing all the time and somehow five months flew by and here we are. I haven't been good at blogging about her milestones or what she was like when. I haven't been good at writing in her sweet baby book that you really should buy for your next baby, it is just so darn cute. For most of her sweet, precious life I was just trying to keep my head above water. More accurately, I was trying to stop kicking and flailing and cling to the Holy Spirit's flotation device. But now we are here at her five month birthday and the Lord has brought me peace and stability more than ever before. So, in honor of my little one (and because I left my Basket of Blessings book at my mom's house yesterday...) I am starting a little 5 post break from the JOB, which you can read about here, and telling you month by month how SJ has changed and grown. We are going to start at the present and work our way back to her birth. Sound fun? Here we go.

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Belle Belle,
You are such a wonderful joy in my life. You light up my days with your sweet smiles and those precious laughs, I truly cannot get enough of them. I feel so honored that Jesus has given me such a great blessing. To be your mama and to spend each day with you is a wonderful and life giving task. From February 17 to March 17 our lives have changed drastically! You are taking naps now every day at almost the same time every day. You sleep from about 9:30-11:30am, 1-2pm, and 4-5pm. You put yourself to sleep now. I feed you a little and lay you down and you cry sometimes because you love us but then you fall asleep. You wear pajamas and a sleep sack to bed each night to keep you warm. You are now sleeping on your tummy. Little one, we are trusting Jesus with your life. You sleep so much better on your tummy and so do I, I can't wait to see the other ways that we will be alike as you grow. You go to sleep around 7 each night and sleep until about 8 in the morning. All night you ask? Well, no. Not anymore. But that's ok. You wake up about two or three times during the night to eat and snuggle with your mama. I've been trying to love those moments to pieces and caress your sweet baby head and hold your sweet baby hands. They won't be baby forever. During your awake time you love to stand while holding my hands. We are working on rolling over however, you feel quite content just laying on the floor staring at toys, your family, or taking in your surroundings. One day you will roll over, you just aren't ready. You don't really like the bumbo, but we sit in it occasionally, especially when I have to do dishes, cook, or do laundry, and you want to be up and part of the action. You LOVE tv ... but I don't think I've let you watch it in a few weeks. I just forget because I love playing with you. The last time you watched it was when we met your Papa and Grandma for pizza. That night they told me that you look a lot more like me than you ever have before. That makes me SO happy! I love when babies look like their mamas. You have become very distracted while eating. I can no longer talk, look at my phone, or do anything else while nursing you. You just stare with your big eyes right up at me. You are WAY more interested in what is going on around you then to eat. Now- baby girl, that is the first difference in you and me. Your mama loves food so much, sometimes too much, and won't notice whats going on around her because of how delicious a certain food is... We'll work on that! I gave you water for the first time a few days ago out of a baby sippy cup and by the face you made, you thought it was NOT as good as your mama's milk. We take lots of walks now and you are beginning to enjoy them. The trick is carrying you on my body. I'm not sure how long I will be able to do that. Your mama doesn't have very big muscles and you are growing so fast. You have laughed quite a bit for me but not much for anyone else. You need it to be the right time of day and the right dance move, raspberry noise, or silly face to make you giggle. You are getting better at liking the car or your mama is knowing the right time to put you in it. You babble all the way to places instead of screaming your head off, which I enjoy by the way :). You are starting to get scared of things like little boys flying toy airplanes by your face, your grandpa's deep voice, and your daddy's sudden silly movements. At that point, you have to be assured and loved on by me. I don't love that you are crying, but I love that you need me and that you seem more like a little girl. It is so sweet. You are wearing three month clothes still (but are about to grow out of them), three to six months, and some six months. You are beginning to reach for things, you have a silly, squishy, yellow toy that hangs from your play mat and I saw you reaching for it the other day in the kitchen. The other day you made raspberry noises for the first time. I tried so hard to get it on tape... but you would not cooperate. You love to take showers with mommy or daddy and are happy afterwards (well... after you get clothes on that is!). I love you more and more each day sweet girl. Your mama is feeling more sane, more able to get things done at home, and more like a regular person. I am so excited to watch you grow into a little lady! I love you.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some days I think it would be hilarious if a camera crew followed SiSi and I around. Some sort of reality TV show that was about the day in the life of a SAHM (stay at home mom). In reality, most days are full of the same ol same ol, but we try to make it interesting. I say we, by that I mean me. There isn't much planning that my almost 5 month old does these days.

Today would have been a great day for that TV show to start. But then I wonder what you all would really think of me. I do some pretty ridiculous things to get my little one to laugh. Probably because that laugh melts my heart. It is the cutest thing she does and she rarely does it. When I finally get it out of her I do whatever started the laugh over and over again.

Well, I hate to admit this but today what did it was hissing like a cat. I know. It sounds ridiculous. But something made me do it this afternoon and she laughed out loud each time. I've continued doing it all day and she loves it. The problem here is that everything that makes our dear one laugh is extremely ridiculous to show other people. I think she secretly knows she is making her mama look this way and can't help laughing at me.

The second reason why today would have been great for a camera crew, you guessed it: downpour. The reason why this word is the title of my post is because it caused me some good laughs today. Siena has finally gotten into a routine with naps which is great for time to get things done at home but hard when it comes to leaving the house. We have a longer window after her second nap to go out and do something; usually a walk around the neighborhood. Today I had coupons for Tillamook yogurt, which if you haven't tried... you really should. It's THE best yogurt & since it's made in the great Pacific Northwest it has to be good. I decided that instead of our normal walk we would head to the grocery store. I never take Siena to the grocery store because I have an amazing mom who comes and watches her when I need to go.

We left at 2:15 and it was not raining at all. I actually thought, "Wow, it's not raining." Right when we pulled out of the driveway it started sprinkling. A prayer was said that went something like, "Jesus, please make it stop raining before we get to the store." It started to really pour. He knew that what was coming was more fun than the alternative. When we got to the store it was really raining and we basically live down the street. I got out of the car to put the Baby Bjorn on since Siena is so much happier in it than in the car seat. As we were walking into the store, well - a little more like jogging, I had my hands over Siena's head to try to keep the rain from pouring into her little eyes and the woman leaving the store gave me a nasty dirty look. I couldn't help but laugh. I'm sorry... I didn't know it would be raining when I got here! I'm sorry, my baby would be screaming the whole time if she were covered up in her car seat! Multiple people looked at me crazily as I walked the isles & we got what we needed and left. Multiple times I just laughed, this is my adventurous side these days!

As I sit here and listen to Siena cry... it's nap time & she isn't having it. I am reminded of the way that my relationship with my daughter can image my relationship with my Father. Siena is choosing the lesser right now as she wants to be awake - obviously not the most healthy or necessary option. I have to let her cry to learn what is best. Sometimes I think that the Lord looks at us this way. The Lord loves us with an infinite love, he promises to and sometimes that means allowing us to learn as he guides us. He tells us that he will never leave us or forsake us. I cling to these promises because I know that I am a work in progress. I am not finished yet. The sanctifying work that the Holy Spirit is doing in my heart and life isn't done! Hallelujah! I am my Heavenly Father's baby girl and he is teaching me and molding me into maturity, the same way that I want to teach and mold my sweet Siena Joy.

JOB Day 19- What precious promises of our Savior do you cling to?

**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.

Transform Me

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's interesting being sick as a mama. I haven't experienced it much & I really don't enjoy it. I love being able to get things done in a hurry and take care of my two loves. Last night though, I woke up with a terrible sore throat and was so exhausted I couldn't get up with CK. Thankfully... my mom lives within driving distance (as you have heard me talk about before) and she came to my rescue.

The funny thing is, I don't feel extremely sick. My throat just hurts and I am having a hard time doing anything that doesn't involve laying on the couch. I'm thinking that the old wives tale about moms never getting sick isn't true after all.

This morning the Holy Spirit helped me to realize something. Sometimes when we are sick it helps us to slow down. Normally I would have been doing things all day long. Go, go, go. Item checked off after item checked off. Today was different though and I was just plain exhausted after making my bed, doing a load of laundry, and fixing dinner.

Today's reading on thankfulness was about sharing God's love. It was a great reminder of how the people closest to us show us God's love by their words and their actions.

In one place she says that no lasting transformation would happen apart from God's love.

That is SUCH a true statement. I look back over my life and all of the good that is there is only because of Christ. I have asked for change in areas and he has granted it because of his grace, mercy, and love for me. Thank you Lord.

What are ways that you have experienced God's transformational love? How has he changed your life?

Specifically, the Lord has allowed me to ask for forgiveness. Yesterday's reading was really powerful for me but I didn't have much time to blog. We all need to forgive because of the One that first forgave us. It is definitely not always easy! For example, I led a group of women through a book study. We were all different and at one point I let my pride get ahold of me with a relationship with one of them. Sadly, my flesh took over and I judged her for many things that were different than my more "perfect" ways. In my mind I was just joking and no harm was being done because I was just talking to my husband and a friend about those differences.

Harm WAS being done though. In my own heart. I was gossiping. I was putting a wedge in my relationship with the Lord and my relationship with the other woman. Within a matter of days I knew I had to ask for her forgiveness. I was so scared. Scared that she would in turn judge me for the way that I had acted. Scared that she wouldn't respond well. But I prayed. I did what I knew the Lord was calling me to do. I told her what I had done. All the dirty gossip and judgment. She had a right to be angry and she had a right to know. After I did it a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I had responded to the Lord's calling in obedience. I am so thankful for his love for me and pushing me to ask for forgiveness. Not only did I obey the Lord but the woman responded with grace and love, telling me that she forgave me. It was beautiful.

JOB Day 18- Where has the Lord shown his love for you and guided you in transformation?

Winner! &ten

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Samantha Holland...

You are the winner!!!!
Congrats! Soon you will see a package of sweet cards in the mail! Enjoy!
On another note, I have wanted to blog all day - I have tons that I want to write about! But because I don't have much time & ten people commented on my giveaway post - I'll tell you ten things.

1. We spent the night on Thursday at the Lantings & they were simply amazing to us. Yummy tacos, Coug game (even though we lost & I went to bed before every one else), AMAZING pastries and coffee when we woke up... it was amazing!
2. I called out to Jesus about something Friday morning and he totally answered my prayer. It was so sweet.
3. My daughter is almost 5 months old! Wow!
4. Chris is completely healthy! Praise Jesus!
5. I am going to be posting some yummy recipes in the near future!
6. The JOB reading was about forgiveness today. I feel like I've had to ask Chris forgiveness many times lately. We've just been struggling to get back on track after the weeks of sickness. Blah. But it's getting better by the grace of God.
7. Our amazing friends Katie & Ryan came over the other night. To say it was amazing would not be sufficient. It was such a blessing as it always is and spoke to our hearts. We love you guys... and we hope some day we live much closer.
8. I hope to relax a little more this week. Last week was kind of a chaos fest. We'll see what Jesus has in store.
9. My prideful self was totally humbled today at church. Siena was VERY upset through almost the entire service. I will have to remember that Day Light Savings is not fun for little ones. I woke her up an hour early this morning to make sure that she would be able to take a nap before church.... then I had to wake her up early from her nap... I totally wanted to "look" put together today but Jesus had different plans. Thankfully those other sweet mamas totally understood.
10. I saved the best for last. If you are reading this ... thank you and you get the special treat. I had THE best experience I have ever had with Siena tonight. We went out to dinner with Chris' family tonight so Siena went to bed way later than normal. I was feeding her and she stopped and for five minutes cooed, laughed, and smiled at me for no apparent reason. It was the most fun we have ever had. I couldn't stop laughing. Love her.

JOB Day 17 - What has the act of forgiveness done in your life? Why are you thankful for it?
**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.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Sanctification is such a beautiful thing. During our time here if we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit, we will become more like Jesus. My soul shouts, "Praise God!"

But that doesn't mean that it's not rough. Sometimes sanctification hurts. You see your sin. You feel the call to change.

I feel that now. I am so glad that my mom gave me this book and that I started this journey with you to better thankfulness. It's funny though because every day when I come to read the book, my heart goes, "Woah, ouch." Primarily because I had already forgotten to be thankful in the few hours since reading the previous day. How tiresome it can become. But there is hope and for that I am thankful.

Today my heart has felt fleshy - yeah the dictionary says a different meaning for that word. What I mean is I feel led by my internal emotions not the Holy Spirit. The bible talks about when we let the Holy Spirit direct our path we get fruit such as self control, peace, and love. When we live out of our flesh, gross, icky things come out like hatred, anger, and despair. To top it off, I didn't just feel fleshy today, I acted fleshy. Please forgive me Lord.

Sometimes we need to just stop and ask for forgiveness. & that is today for me. Actually that is this moment.

I have been so wrapped up in how I wish certain things were different in my life, how I desire more time with my husband, and giving in to anxiety, that I was entranced with the weeds instead of gazing at the garden. CK came home for lunch today and instead of being thankful and happy I was depressed and full of anxiety. Boo. I ruined a fun lunch date. Today Karen reminded me that we need to ask God for his point of view so we don't stay trapped in our stare at the weeds mentality. When you ask, you will receive. How sweet is that. In the chapter she gave an example of a woman being at a Billy Graham crusade and hearing thousands of people singing praises to Jesus gave her a new perspective and a new vantage point.

Right when I read that, the Holy Spirit brought one of my favorite memories I have with my mom to mind. We both went to the Mars Hill Bellevue women's retreat last year when I was about six weeks pregnant. I remember being in the room with so many women singing Amazing Grace. We got to the verse that says,

When we've been there
ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We've no less days
to sing God's praise

then when we first begun.

I remember grabbing her hand and feeling so thankful that we both knew Jesus. That we were going to be spending an eternity together praising him. But I also remember being heartbroken for the people that we know that won't be there. & then feeling the urge to tell them the great news. What an amazing memory.
I am so thankful for it & the perspective that the Lord gave me in that moment.

You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28

JOB Day 16- Thank the Lord for the ways in which he has shared his vantage point with you.
**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 giveaway is open till Sunday - click HERE if you want to comment on the post & enter


Thursday, March 10, 2011

What a blustery day! If you are anything like me... you love this weather. The stormy, windy, rainy feel of a day makes me want to cuddle up with a blanket, hot cocoa and either a book or my hubby (too bad he's at work!). What's funny about this though is that I really love the sun too. I honestly love all types of weather and can feel joyful during it all. But, by the end of the season I am definitely ready for the next one. For example, I think that I really am enjoying this today because I know in three weeks I fly away.

Away to Palm Desert.

I have never been but I've heard it's wonderful. I cannot wait to relax by a pool & I just bought a cute suit. Scratch that, I bought two. But really just so Chris can decide which one he likes better. Who knows, maybe he'll let me keep both ;).

Since we took a break for the fun giveaway, it's actually open till Sunday - click HERE if you want to comment on the post & enter, I am back to my 31 day journey of thankfulness with you.

Day 14- Karen talks about something that I am not sure many people think about. Being thankful for what we don't have.... For example, I can thank God right now that I do not have twin babes to take care of. I am sure that if he would have blessed me with them he would have helped me survive. But at this moment I am thankful that I have one little precious angel to take care of and not two or three or four. Another thing I am thankful that I don't have is extremely petty. I am thankful that I don't have the version, paint color, interior "niceness" - yeah not a word but go with me - of my car. Now, I am SO thankful that I have a car and can go to and from the places I need to be. BUT if I had what my flesh desires in a car I could really become wrapped up in materialism and so for that I am thankful. What are you thankful for that you don't have?

Day 15- Seeing the big picture consists of not getting so focused on the itty bitty details in life that we fail to look around us. She describes it as staring at the weeds instead of gazing at the garden. My goodness! How I get lost in the weeds on a daily basis. I am definitely one for grace and I know that Jesus is as well. How grateful I am for his grace! Every day I get entranced with a weed and by the Holy Spirit am able to take my eyes off of it and look at the garden. This is definitely a work in progress as we all are - how I wish that I was always loving the sight of the flowers and veggies and beautiful dirt that nourishes. Currently, the detail I am focusing on too often is my daughter's schedule. It is healthy and good for her to take naps and go to sleep at the right time so her little body gets rest. But this is sometimes at the detriment of people around me; especially my husband. If I stopped staring at the weed that in turn creates so much anxiety, I would show my husband respect and thankfulness instead of freaking out over every noise. What details are keeping you from being grateful?

JOB Day 14- List at least five events or things that have not occurred and give thanks for them.

JOB Day 15- What is the most important gift God has given you?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**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.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

50!! 50!! 50!!

50 blog posts that is! So exciting! I am loving this new hobby & decided after seeing my dear friend Shelby's giveaway that I should do one of my own. So of course, I first asked my sweet husband & he replied sure! I am taking a break from blogging today to do my giveaway which is a lovely set of cards called the Love Card Collection from my friend Sally. I am excited to have her posting today on my blog and to give away her adorable set of cards.

To enter the giveaway:
-Post a comment on this blog post telling me what you are thankful for & how you show that you are thankful for that
-Subscribe to my blog & write a comment telling me you did so; if you already do just tell me so!
-Subscribe to Sally's blog & leave a comment telling me you did so, if you already do just tell me so!
-Tweet/Update your status telling your friends about the giveaway
-Like Sally's shop on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so, if you already did just tell me so!

You heard me, 5 chances to win this! The winner will be announced Sunday night! Get commenting! But first... read this great post from my friend Sally! Thanks for posting Sally!

(Photo courtesy of Sally Balt)


I have been loving Megan's JOB postings. They are personally convicting to me, a self proclaimed “pessimist” or, if I were to be honest, a women who many times chooses discontentment and grumbling over praise and thankfulness. JOB day 12, “Write down something you're grateful for that you do not yet see the outcome but you know God is working...” was an especially interesting exercise for me. I have had many moments when I didn't understand what God what doing and instead of trusting that God was at work behind the scenes orchestrating, loving and working out the best for me, I chose to forget that he who had “formed my inward parts” and “knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) wants the best for me. He loves me so much that even the hairs of my head are numbered (Luke 12:7). He was and is at work. Why then do I so quickly forget all of that? I constantly try to take control of my life, as if I ever really had control in the first place; I try to control the hurt and then look accusingly at God saying, “Why aren’t things going the way I had anticipated and planned?!” Even writing it down makes me cringe, as I am able to see my selfishness and pride dripping off every word. I find that I do this in things big and small. I can think of many times in the past few years that I did not see situations as blessings, but now I could fall to my knees in gratitude; I am so thankful that the Lord showed me the grace that he did.

It’s so easy for me to say, “Oh, thank you Jesus for food; thank you for my MacBook; thank you for my cute new JCrew coat” (those things are blessings for sure, and definitely deserve their own thanks!), but the challenge for me is to say “thank you” for the difficult things and to recognize that God is working for his good (and my good) behind the scenes, which sometimes takes me an embarrassingly-long time to recognize. Some things that I have struggled with are: thanking God for a budget (a new thing since being married!), realizing that I was putting my faith in stuffand it was becoming an idol, thanking God for allowing me to go through a recent season of daily migraines (without that, I wouldn’t have realized how prideful I am when it comes to asking for prayer)... seriously, the list goes on and on and, as a self-proclaimed “pessimist,” the list gets pettier and pettier, believe me!

All that being said, I am really thankful for the way the Lord doesn’t give up on me and continue to work for my good even though I am extremely prideful and, I am sure, very annoying much of the time. His grace is incredible and his patience limitless. I am thankful for that. I am also thankful for people like Megan who remind to be thankful. I hope you all are enjoying her sweet little blog! Thanks for asking me to post, Megan!


Straight Paths

Monday, March 7, 2011

Proverbs 3:6
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Instead of relying on our own strength, it is so important to rely on the Lord. So many times we try to rely on ourselves and end up walking back and forth not knowing where we are going. If, like this verse states, we acknowledge God in our days, he will make our paths straight to our destination.

Where are you relying on your own strength?

Personally, I've been relying on myself with my planning and "to do" lists. I plan so many things in my head, write down so many things, and have so many desires to do things and forget to include the Lord. Because of this I forget things, feel stressed, and upset when something doesn't work out.

On another note, be sure to check back here in the next few days... you won't want to miss the next post!

JOB Day 13- Write down ways that God has given you straight paths when you have acknowledged him

**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.