Friday, June 28, 2013

Resting in my Father's arms

Psalms 131:1-2
"Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me."

As I have a 4 year-old and 2 year-old that have been weaned and a 4 month old still breastfeeding this verse made me stop and think this morning.

When a child is weaned from the breast it's often not an easy process for the baby. Why? Because he will long for the comfort of the breast - that's all he's ever known and every time he's close to his mother's chest he begins to think about eating. It's the most comfortable place for an infant, so when it's time to consume real food and to spend less time on the breast there's a deep inner longing to be right back into the place of comfort that he knows so well.

However, after a few days/weeks of steady routine the baby forgets the whole thing and begins to crave real food. At this moment he's been weaned - no longer craving the breast but fully capable of resting against his mother without cooing for her breast. This is the picture of this verse - it's our responsibility to quiet our souls to a point where we no longer crave the things we used to crave (whatever those things may be for you) and we can rest against our Savior without carrying our bag of "wants" to Him. Imagine a two year old toddler (who can talk) laying against his mother's chest always asking the mom "can I breast feed again?" It would get old fast! But you can imagine the feeling a mother has when her child is resting upon her chest, not asleep but fully content with just "being" close to mom, with no wants or complaints, just still, alone with mom - it warms her heart in a way that nothing else in this world can. This is the picture David wants us to see here - still your soul, lay yourself in the lap of your Savior, put your head against His chest, be content with just "being" with Him, get alone, don't ask for anything, just relax.

He will take care of you.

Be a weaned child today!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Kids and motherhood

I am so blessed to be a mom to these kiddos

Some days are crazy, some days I have no patience, but some days I sit and soak them in. They are delightful little kids. 

Payton and Colton play so well together, sure they fight a lot, but they are supposed to do that and figure out how to work with others. Payton is such a big sister, mothering Colton and takes such pride in helping him out.  Colton loves to antagonize his big sister, I can see his scheming in his eyes and hiding behind his big grin. Presley is such a sweet addition to our family. She is such a happy content baby that right now just lights up when you look at her.

Our transition to 3 has been a really smooth one, so much easier then 1 to 2 for us. Colton was such a difficult baby that it had to get easier. Sometimes it is still crazy to me that I am a mom, let alone a mom to 3 kids. I was talking to one of my closest girlfriends the other day who has one little guy, we are both so passionate about parenting and have great conversations around the subject, while talking to her I realized how much I have grown as a mother and person over the last 4.5 years and how much I have learned with each addition. Becoming a mom was one of the biggest changes for me in life, I am a very different (and would dare to say better) person today because of what the Lord has taught me about myself through these 3 kids. Motherhood has been one of the most humbling things I have done, it has taken my eyes off of myself more than anything else. 

It has been almost 1.5 years since we miscarried and my life was on the line, I have a different appreciation for many things since then, especially each one of my children and sweet Presley Rae who we wouldn't have known if we hadn't gone through what we did. I am so grateful for our family.

I wrote the above post last week and hadn't gotten around to posting it until tonight. It is amazing what the difference of a year makes. It wasn't until I was getting ready for bed tonight that it hit me that one year ago today was our due date for the baby we lost. You can read the letter I wrote to our baby HERE. It hadn't even crossed my mind all day long. Losses are hard, but we can choose to dwell on them and grow bitter or sweetly remember and enjoy what we have in front of us, I choose the option #2.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We Da Boys

My man rocks as a Dad! He has recently been training Colton what is means to be a man (from the eyes of a 2.5 year-old). You see, that adorable smile has a wild side behind it.
 I love that Colton is ALL boy. The kid doesn't walk anywhere, it is either bouncing or running. If he is running at you, you better get a strong stance, because he will run through you if you let him. He throws and hits everything. He climbs whatever he can find and loves to yell real loud. He makes friends wherever he goes, he loves people and has a magnetic personality.

He has also had a recent love for pulling Payton's hair. He did it about a year ago during a phase where he got a reaction, and now he does it when he gets mad at her. Any girl can tell you that getting your hair pulled hurts. He often walks away with a clump of hair in between his fingers. So Steve has a new line for him, "We da boys"

"We da boys and we love the girls, we take care and protect the girls," then Colton will say "Oh" like this is a completely new concept that he hasn't already heard 5 times that day, then Colton will proceed with "No pull paypay's hair."

I read this letter below (found HERE on a blog I read) and am so thankful for an amazing husband who is so intentional with his children. I feel like I have already seen some of this in action, as we were at a restaurant recently and Steve talked with a gentleman for awhile (he worked for a guy we know and was wearing the company shirt so Steve started talking with him) and as we left, Steve shook the gentleman's hand. Colton watched him most of the time and right after Steve shook his hand, Colton walked over to the gentleman and stuck his hand out to shake as well. 

Colton wants to be just like Daddy, he watches his moves and does the same thing. Being Summer and grilling season, now Colton even wants to have his own flipper to grill with his Dad. 

A challenge to the men out there, your sons are watching.

If newborn boys could write a letter to their dad (or another father figure in their life), this is what I think that letter would say...
Dear Dad,
I am so small and new. But someday I want to be strong.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
Right now when I'm a baby, will you hold me and tell me you love me -- and never stop doing that even as I grow up?
When I am about 3, start to show me how to open a door for a woman.  A car door.  A restaurant door.  Any door, really.  I'll have been watching you do this for awhile, but I still need you to show me and give me many opportunities to practice.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
I'm going to fall down and get hurt. Most of the time, it won't be that serious. You'd do me a world of good if you stood me up, brushed me off and sent me on my way. Or just ignored it.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
When I am about 5, start taking me along with you on errands.  Take me to the hardware store, the bank, the gas station. Let me see you interact with other men.  I know I'm small and I slow you down, but I'm taking it all in, Dad.
I'm looking around. I'm looking up to you.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
Let me see what a difference it makes when you say "thank you" to the waitress at the coffee shop... and "have a good day" to the cashier at the grocery store.
When we are around the house, let me be like you.  If you're working with wood, let me have a piece to hammer on, too.  If you're tinkering with tools, give me some of my own tools, too.  And if you take me to your office, give me my own paper and pencils.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
When I am about 7 or 8, start giving me some jobs.  Even if I grumble about taking the trash cans up to the curb, I need to know how to work.
The day's coming when I'll need solid work ethic, whether I work at a construction site, fire station, restaurant, office or hospital... or in a classroom... or in an art studio... or on a professional sports field.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
When I am about 11, will you show me how to mow the yard, change a tire and fill the car with gas.
And please give me grace when I need second, third and fourth chances to master it.  I'm still learning.  You've been filling the car with gas for years.  I'm just getting started, Dad.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
I don't understand girls, Dad.  I'm guessing you don't completely have them figured out either, but you are one of my best shots at getting this right.
Make it easy for me to come to you to ask questions and talk about girls.  I know it may seem like I don't want to talk about these things, but keep bringing the conversation up with me, okay?

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
When I'm feeling awkward about my body... my acne, my growth spurts, my facial hair... please tell me this is all normal. Tell me it's not a race to grow up and that every young man's body matures at different rates.
Show me how to shave. Remind me to wear deodorant.  Make me take a shower, even when I don't want to.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
Encourage me to embrace adventure and to take calculated risks.  Believe in me and my dreams and my God-given abilities.  Your belief in me is more powerful than you realize.
And when I occasionally fail, you'd do me a world of good if you stood me up, brushed me off and sent me on my way.
Remind me that my identity will always be in Christ.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
I need practical skills, Dad.  Show me how to manage money, time and commitments.   Teach me how to give a firm handshake. How to look someone in the eye. How to be confident without being cocky.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
Just about everything in society says it's okay to disrespect women.  But I don't want to be that guy.  I want to be the man who is humble, kind and generous... the man who would protect women with his very life. Please equip me to be that man.
If you and my mom are together as I grow up, be affectionate with her in front of me. Speak highly of her and tell her often that you love her.
Protect and honor her.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
Don't wait too long to start talking to me about sex.  I need a lifetime of age-appropriate conversations, okay?  That "one-time" awkward talk isn't going to cut it.
Will you set an expectation for me that I never put a young lady in a position that compromises her integrity or mine?  Help me believe that purity isn't a lost ideal, but rather a realistic healthy choice for me.
Tell me to set the standard.
Help me be masculine, yet not obnoxious. Romantic, yet not clingy.

Will you teach me what it means to be a man?
And some day down the road, Dad, when I fall in love and find the girl who is the one, remind me what is at stake.
Teach me that the little things really are the big things.  And that she, our marriage and any kids we may have deserve a true man to lead them and love them.

Please teach me, Dad, to be that man.
Love, Your Son

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Payton finishing preschool

Payton finished her first year of preschool a few weeks ago. She absolutely loved her teachers Miss Eileen and Miss Kathie. She will have them as teachers next year in her new class (they keep same kids and teachers together for 2 years) which is great for my steady-freddy daughter. She is a home body and there were many days that she would fight going to school but if Miss Eileen was the one to get her out of the car for drop-off, she would get out with a smile on her face. I wanted to document the comments her teachers made about her, more for my memory sake then for bragging. 

"Payton seems to enjoy all aspects of school which is great because we enjoy being her teachers. She has a lot of confidence and she loves being independent. We can always count on her to lend a helping hand to a friend. She enjoys participation in circle time and all of our conversations/discussions. She enjoys all of the new friendships she has within our class and is outgoing socially. She is anxious to please and is always helpful at clean-up time."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Catching up

I have been MIA for a bit, really there hasn't been much to write about. After getting back from Florida it took me a week to recover and want to do anything. 3 weeks was a long time to be gone. Steve took the older 2 kids to visit his grandparents the next weekend while I stayed home and hosted a baby shower for our sweet friend Amy, then we headed to the Lake house over Memorial Day weekend to spend time with the whole Southards clan and then I spent time catching up from that traveling :) Our summer is pretty low key, not many commitments, just a lot of trips to the Lake and one trip to Indiana soon. I have said it before and I will say it again that I am so thankful for my in-laws lake house as this Florida girls gets to see water here in the Midwest. Here are some pictures from the last month.

Mother's Day

Presley was dedicated on Mother's Day so Steve's family came in town

Down on the farms visiting Grandparents

I painted Payton's room while Steve was gone with the kids

 Memorial Day Weekend at the Lake

Colton's first fish


Misc pictures

Date night at the ballpark watching Royals vs Cardinals

Steve takes Payton to weddings that he performs, she loves those dates

Little sister is a serious thumb sucker

This boy loves to grill with his daddy