Friday, February 28, 2014

Parenting: the great unknown

I've tried so many times before to separate my life.  To divide it in to sections... to compartmentalize parenting from the rest of my life.  It's just not meant to be.  So when my kid is going through something, I'm going through something.  Sometimes, I've realized, they may not even know they are going through something.  They are still too young to know the devastating affects sin has on our world. They don't yet get that sometimes life is complicated and painful.  They thankfully know nothing of failed expectations, comparison traps and doubt. But as parents, do we ever understand these things.  I was struggling yesterday with frustrating results and hard decisions in regards to one of our kiddos. I've learned being a parent of adopted children and those born through you that the unknown is inevitable.  It makes no difference how they come to you, their future is a mystery to us.  Because we don't know, it can cause us to doubt and be anxious over the bumpiness that is life.

I've recently, as many have, fallen in love with the song, Oceans by United.  One day while we were listening to it in the car, my daughter asked what she meant by walk upon the water.  I told her about Jesus and Peter. How Jesus had called him to step out onto the water with him.  How Peter could see Jesus was not sinking and knew he could trust him.  She listened with amazement when I told her Peter did just that....stepped out onto the water.  But then he doubted.  I told her that even though Peter knew Jesus was faithful and had seen his miracles, he didn't trust him with his life.  How because he feared, he started to sink. She looked concerned.  Then I comforted her by telling how though Peter didn't trust and started to sink, Jesus saved him.

Parenting is a lot like this, I feel.  Jesus calls us into the unknown.  Something we've never done before. Places we've never gone to, with emotions we've never had.  He gives us His Word and shows us His faithfulness.  So excitedly, we step out onto the water with grand expectations of this new adventure.  Then, just like parenting, we start seeing the overwhelming waves around us.  Our sight is blurred by the mist from the waters around us and the wind is strong against us.  We fear what will happen to us, happen to our children.  We start to sink.

The _________(waves) will overcome us.

Put whatever circumstances into that blank that you're facing right now as a parent.  Frustrating behavior problems, health scares, failings at school, troubles with sleeping at night. Whatever it might be, when the waves are lapping at our ankles, it all seems too much doesn't it.

I love this set of lyrics from that song, Oceans:

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Thankfully, Peter sinking into the waters was not the end of the story.  This moment of fear and frustrating circumstances is not the end of your story.  Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter.  Then when they returned to the boat and the wind stopped, they worshiped Him as the Son of God.

So I didn't find it a coincidence that after such a rough day worrying over one of my little lambs that God reminded me of this truth.  I signed up for the emailed daily scripture from to help me make God's Word more of a priority in my life.  Yesterday's scripture was John 6:16-21, the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water.  Thank you, Jesus, that I'm not alone and you won't let me sink.

So don't let yourself stay in that position of feeling overcome by the waves slapping against you. Reach out for Jesus and then when the wind dies down (and it will), worship Him.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Valentines Re Cap

Well, Here is just a few things from our Valentines fun.
My Decor:
These were a sweet bouquet from my man!

This is just stuff I've collected over the years and pics of my babe.  I did add that canvas this year. I just redid an old one to be Valentinesy!

My Gift:

We made these at MOPS and I loved how they turned out.
My only suggestion when using sharpies on plates or mugs is write dark because my faded some. 
The dates are our first date, engagement date, and wedding!

My Valentine:
This was taken at a Sweetheart Supper a couple from our Life Group at church does every year. We all gather in the back room of a local restaurant (yum, Colby's!) and have such a fun time.
I look forward to this every year. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

party like it's 1999

I've been prepping for some little girl's 2nd birthday party! Crazy, I know. Surely, Livingston is not turning 2.  I've been thinking through the last year or so of parties.  I'm in LOVE with planning parties and sometimes go overboard.  I've learned the hard way that sometimes too much planning can get in the way of enjoying the reason we are celebrating.  So I've learned to do what I can and let it be.  

These are some of the parties we've had lately:

Leland's 7th and Fynn's 4th Birthday
 Construction theme was a score with the boys and easy to execute.
 We are blessed to have our own amazing and creative baker, Aunt Nina!
Seriously, isn't this cake amazing. 
 The good thing about construction theme is we had tons of everyday toys laying around to use. 

Making the kids a space is one of my favorite parts to decorate.  

Evy's 4th Birthday
This was a Tea Party theme and it was all very girly.  
I loved decorating with ribbons, hankies and lace table cloths.
 We even had a little table set up with a tea set for them.
 I got to pull out all my crystal, vintage tea cups and my Nanny's tea pot. 

Leland's 6th Birthday 
Making invites are pretty easy for me because I just get pictures I want and use photoshop to do the rest. The kids get a kick out of them and the grandparents love them.  : )

Gender Reveal Party
Little did everyone know that what the pinata was stuffed with was...BLUE!
It's fun getting creative and celebrating key moments in your families life.

Maggie Ann's Sprinkle
 We love celebrating babes in our family!
For my sister's 3rd little dear, we had a small sprinkle in the back room of a little 
restaurant downtown. I used some girly things and tied in umbrellas and rain boots!

Livingston's 1st Birthday
 Here is Liv's party table and decorations.  I used burlap, a bunch of clearanced valentines decorations and her pictures from every month of her first year. 
Another amazing cake from Nina. 
A lot of times, I just find something I like to use as the toppers for their cakes....
something I print out, a toy or scrapbook supplies. Whatever works to make it personalized and make them happy.

That is my favorite...watching them giggle with glee and feel celebrated!

So excuse me while I kick this birthday party into fabulousness! 
Then I'll need to nap for 3 days to recover, as always.
: )

Monday, February 17, 2014

falling in love.

I can't believe my little guy is 3 months already.  He is such a joy and our family is fuller with him in it. I feel like a bad mommy because I've hardly posted pics of him.  I've been taking them though...he's such a little charmer. 

He was so tiny! I'll never forget how teeny he felt in my arms. 
 From the hospital...his halloween outfit! 
 Fresh out of bath!
 Love his smile!
 He's shot up in weight and is looking rolly polly these days!
 This is his, don't even mess with my monkey look!
This one is my favorite lately.  He was laying on me. I could eat him alive, he's so sweet.

Hard to believe this is 3 months ago.
: (

Friday, February 14, 2014

for valentines day...

I'm mushy. I admit it.  I love chick flicks. red hearts. candy. flowers. little paper notes with sweet messages. I love it all!

I especially love the man who makes me swoon and tear up when I hear lyrics of a song that brings us to my mind.  I love the smirk of a smile he gets on his face when he thinks something is really funny.  I love that he knows just what to order for me wherever we dine.  I love how when we walk beside each other or sit near each other, that gradually we can't help but touch.  His voice, oh how I love his voice. It resonates in my soul and makes my heart feel good.  His arms sooth my bad days and his advice is always the first I seek. For the rest of my days, I'd be a happy woman sitting beside him doing nothing.

I refuse to hide it.  Puke over my mush. I don't care.  Stop reading this. Fine.  But I prayed for this man for many years and he's is God's gift to me.  I will boast in God's goodness for He wrote this story.

Hope you get mushy tonight.  If you are single, I hope you pray for the mush tonight.  You never know what God might have in store for you.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

laughing at the days to come

The kids are napping. I'm trying to work on pictures of a beautiful family I was able to photograph a few weeks ago.  But I can't stop the thoughts running through my head.  My heart is pounding and I'm sick to my stomach.  Another bad diagnosis.  A friend's little boy.  It's been hours since I heard, but I still feel the numbness it brought.  I'm devastated that my prayer list is full of so much grief and tragedy.  When I logged on here to type, I realized it's been over a month since I've written.  Mainly because it's been a hard month.  A high school friend lost a battle to cancer and my previous mentor and friend lost their son due to a car accident. 21 months my friend fought... he was my age and had two young children.  My friend's son was 19 and driving home after finishing college exams.

I rock my babies a little longer. Hold their hands a little tighter. Kiss my husband more often. Try to appreciate this life and the people God has put in it.  I want to be like the woman in Proverbs and be able to laugh at the days to come, but I'm going to be honest when I say I do not always do that.  It's hard to not get discouraged and feel overwhelmed by those hurting around you.  That and the fears of what could be down the line for you or your loved ones.  Of course, this morning after hearing about my friend's little boy, I was quickly thinking of my own children.  Fearing what trials or hardships they might face in this life time.

But then that's it, right?!?!  They will face their share of pain and heartache.  They may never receive a diagnosis of cancer and we may never loose one of them to a car accident, but they will face troubles. So will we.  I was just talking to my friend whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer just a little over a year ago. We were saying that God is good.  He is.  It's the truth.  But when our heart doesn't believe it, we must repeat His word to ourselves over and over until we believe it as truth again.

If you know Jesus, cling to Him and His will heal you and teach you to laugh at what is to come. If you don't know Jesus, seek Him...repent and believe.

Thankful for this truth today,

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

This quote by John Piper echoes it best:
"She knows her Bible, and she knows her theology of the sovereignty of God, and she knows His promise that He will be with her and will help her and strengthen her no matter what. This is the deep, unshakable root of Christian womanhood.” John Piper
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