"I will live with a heart of integrity in my house." Psalm 101:2b

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I am a student of Jesus, the wife of a wonderful rocker, Tracey, and stay at home momma to our two sweet things, Remy & Halle.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Perspective


Hey, y'all!! We made it to the weekend... this week has been a crazy one in our house! I'm jumping in with the Gypsy Mama again this week for 5 Minute Friday. By now, you probably know the rules: Write for 5 minutes on the topic, no editing, no back tracking, just write...

Today's topic: Perspective

Go.

Yesterday, I wrote with Hearts at Home answering the question 'How has being a mom changed you?'. I thought of various things, but my perspective could have easily made the list. Have you noticed how things look different through your child's eyes than they do through your own? I remember when I taught preschool several years ago, we were always encouraged to get down to the child's eye level... to speak with them face-to-face and to also view the room from their lower point-of-view. This changes things.

And it's not just in the literal ways, but things also look different through their figurative eyes. Blankets can quickly become capes. Daddy suddenly is a villainous monster. Piles of wet sand, a nasty mess in my sight, are delicious mud pies. God has taught me to ask more questions. To hear their perspective before jumping to a conclusion. And I must admit that I don't always do the best at this... I tend to 'jump' first and then ask questions second. But what I've learned with this is that many times things made sense through their eyes. Naughtiness wasn't exactly intended, when the little person in question thought that her process was logical.

I'm also learning that this doesn't just apply to children. There are so many misunderstandings that could be avoided simply by my asking the right questions and getting to the 'level' of the other person... My view isn't always the right one or the only one (gasp, can you believe this?!).

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I am finishing up a graduation cake for a party tomorrow and then leading worship on Sunday~ so excited about both! See you soon!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Changed

Happy Thursday!! We've almost made it through the week... I'm blogging with Hearts at Home again this month, and the topic for May is "How has being a mom changed you?" It's crazy to me that before having kids, nearly everyone I know, myself included, has said things like 'Oh, we'll still go climbing mountains'...'we'll just take the kids with us when we go to weekend-long concerts'... 'having kids won't change how often we go out on dates'... and then BAM! along come these teeny-tiny little humans and life is never the same.

Atleast mine wasn't. I think the biggest change for me came in what kinds of messes I'm willing to live with. Pre-babies my obsessive-compulsive side came out every morning in the form of manic kitchen cleaning and house straightening. These days I am thankful to have a path cleared in the legos to walk through. I still can't tolerate actual messes (i.e. dirt or food), but I have learned to live with less than perfection. I clear those sweet piles of Strawberry Shortcakes or Batman legos in the mornings before my quiet time so that I have a place to sit my Bible and count them as blessed evidence of my littles who live here. I have much to be thankful for, and the wee ones who play with those toys are at the top of the list!

I think another way that I've changed is that I've come to realize how little I can actually do in my own strength. On Sunday I was talking with a friend after our service, and Remy & Halle come blazing through the aisle screaming like little monsters towards their dad, who was up front clearing the stage. My friend laughed, and at first I said 'whose wild children were those?!'... but then as our conversation shifted, I remarked at how I'd never survive without Jesus. I seriously would never be able to handle the crazy moments, the wild, screaming-banshee times when they act in ways that I don't understand. I'm so thankful that in being entrusted to mold and shape these little hearts, He has drawn me closer to Him. I could never lead Remy & Halle if I wasn't learning to be more like my Master myself! I reflect often on Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart."
I love that the first command here is that I need to love the Lord and put His principles in my heart before I can ever be an example for them. I constantly pray that I am being changed by Him and His word and that I will be a model of this for my littles... That I am becoming more loving, patient, and kind. That I am gentler and peace-full. That list goes on and on.

How has being a mom changed you? You can click on the links below to read from other Hearts at Home bloggers. You're also welcome to enter your own post on the topic, we'd love to have you!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Catching Up

Hello, lovelies!! It's crazy, but suddenly I look at the calendar and realize that more than a week has gone by and there has been scarcely so much as a hello from me to you sweet things. I'm here, life is grand, and we are happily wrapping up the school year. I adore each and every one of you and your comments and clicks to this page!
I have been keeping busy with cake and cookie orders that are funding my trip to Africa this summer. (About $350 from my goal, for those of you who've been keeping up!) Last week I tackled this Nemo cake, which was my first foray into 3D cakes. We watch a ton of Cake Boss, so I used about every skill that I've gleaned from Buddy... the stacking, carving, and fondant layering about did my nerves in, but I was pretty happy with the end result. And it was much loved by the person who ordered it, so all ended well.
I also made these sweet Avenger cookies. If you know me and my family at all, you know that we are more than a little hero obsessed in our house. (I'm pretty sure once you name a child after an X-Men character you've gone way beyond crazy!) So once Trace & I saw the new movie and declared it the BEST. MOVIE. EVER., I had Avengers on the brain. I started with some Captain America cookies and posted a picture on Facebook, which generated an order for a whole collection of cookies. I have never had as much fun making cookies, I don't think! This bunch was shipped off to Indiana and well received by the guy who ordered them.

Well, there's what I've been up to~ what's been keeping your attention in the last week? Are you finding like me that things get crazy at the end of the school year? We have field trips, awards, programs, graduations... I'm looking forward to breathing deep and relaxing once the littles get to stay home!  I'll be back tomorrow with a Hearts at Home post. Have a great day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Five Minute Friday~ Real


It's Friday!! And I'm blogging along with The Gypsy Mama again this week. I have found that I love doing these posts... no pressure, just writing for five minutes on the topic given... no editing or backtracking. After a crazy week, it's nice just to dump thoughts on the page. 'Hope you've had a blessed week!

Real.

Lots of things come to mind when I think of real. The very first thing I thought of was butter. I know, I'm a little more like Paula Deen than a girl should be, but I adore real butter. I won't cook with anything else. And along those lines, I really prefer to serve my family things that are real vs. processed or full of preservatives. We do have a few vices~ I know that neon cheese does not exist in the natural world, but we do love our from-the-blue-box mac & cheese and Cheetos!

The other thing I thought of when I read the word 'real' was how nice it has been in the last year or two that I've let my real self show through. I finally gave up the notion that I had to appear to be someone else... perfect wife, perfect mom, perfect homemaker... Lord knows I'm not perfect in any of these areas, and it was exhausting trying to make things look like it. And that was just it~ I was trying so hard to make the outside of things look perfect that I was neglecting what was really on my insides. My heart was wearing out from all the striving. And finally I took to heart when I read 'Be Still.'. When I listened to this command (it's not a suggestion!) and told God I would listen to His truths about me, it was so much easier to grow on the inside and my life on the outside suddenly started to become something with meaning. Something true. And something that could be honoring to God, even in it's lack of perfection.

Real.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

the good dishes

Did you grow up in a home that had 'good dishes'? You know, you have a set of dishes that were used every day, the unbreakable work horses of the family kitchen. And then there were the good dishes, the ones that only came out on special occasions. I have heard of couples that register for beautiful china and then never use them for fear of breaking them, of knives scarring their delicate surfaces.

But dishes are made to serve, to hold things, to present an offering to the one who sits at their place. What good is having dishes if they aren't used?

I am thankful that my mom was an awesome example in this department. We had a set of every day dishes and good dishes, but my mom found many reasons to celebrate. The pretty flowered set wasn't just reserved for 'special' days or visitors, but rather ordinary days were made extraordinary by the feasts prepared and served on those delicate plates for even our small family of four. I can remember coming home to elaborate teas prepared for me and a friend and served on those pink plates. All of living could be an occasion to bring out the special.

So I've been thinking about this concept in my own life & home. How much of myself, my serving, do I reserve like those 'good dishes'? Am I saving them for some occasion that may never arise and missing the moments that have the potential to be grand right in front of me? What good is having these dishes, these gifts, if they aren't serving the ones I'm called to serve? If I'm called to do everything in life to God's Glory, am I glorifying Him by keeping some things locked away?

1 Peter 4: 10-11 "Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God's words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything."

So how will you be a good manager of the gifts God has given you? I don't want to hide them away, waiting, while my ministry is here and now!! I'm looking at my family today in light of these verses and thinking of ways that I can celebrate them and serve them, even today, in ways that will glorify God. By expressing my gratitude to Him and using what He's placed in my life, I can lift Him up, even in the moments when life just seems to be so daily.

And just for the record, we only have one set of dishes. (And I love them!)


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Math

"For who has despised the day of small beginnings?" Zechariah 4:10

Sometimes I feel like everything is a small thing... with no grand finale waiting. But these baby steps, these small beginnings, add up to a life.

Job 8:7 says "Then, even if your beginnings were modest, your final days will be full of prosperity.", and I've been building on these words. Because sometimes in doing this job, I get tired. I can't always do the math, and it doesn't add up. But today I'm counting it as joy... thankfulness overflows and the numbers roll in as offering.
~bunches of sweet snuggles before breakfast
~4 dishes in the sink... a family fed
~24 crayons left on the table, pictures drawn as gifts
~3 loads of laundry I'll do today... a family clothed (mismatched, perhaps, but covered!)
~countless number of books read and silly songs sung
~1 hour spent waiting while tiny dancer taps

I began Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare, numbering gifts, in January, and today I journaled number 920... amazing what He brings to mind as I'm conscious of His blessings. It's all a gift, a marvelous collection of a life to be offered back as praise. These small beginnings... reap dividends.

What are you counting?