Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NAPTIME

REALLY. I am desperate for suggestions. Knox can get out of anything you put him in. He fell after trying to get out of his baby crib. He had been getting out of it for several weeks, but had never fallen. It happened. And so we converted it to toddler bed and put up the rail. We figured it safer, yet still semi-containable. 
We do not feel that it is best to put him in the twin bed in Brennan's room b/c brennan gets upset over knox getting lots of discipline and it does not allow him to get his sleep thus the night night process is quite lengthy for both-almost doubling. 
I have also been having them sleep at the same time(so that i get a real break), letting Brennan play/read books while I'm getting Knox down. But the "getting Knox down" has turned into the 20-30 minute process of him getting up a bizillion times and me having to lay him back down. Meanwhile Brennan is quite the exhausted fella himself and doesn't always have the patience (or quietness) needed for this process-so he will come in the room, or cry loudly, or many other imaginable things. 
Bottom line #1 Knox has got to learn to stay in his bed. #2 This tired pregnant mama is at her end emotionally and physically everyday at this point. 
Ben was at a meeting today during this process and i cannot always count on his assistance-so i've got to learn to go it alone.
PLEASE tell me you have an idea that i haven't thought of!!!!!!!!!!
(Yes, Knox can get out of a pack in play-he turns it over with him...)
Lord help you Molly Claire. Please be laid back!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Quiver

There are things that the bible is very clear on and then there are some things that (i believe show God is gracious) that He is not as clear on. For example we know that we are to train our children in the way they should go and that we should talk about the law as we walk and sit and live [Prov 22:6 Deut 6:6-9]. It tells us that wine is a mocker and beer a brawler he who is led astray by them is not wise[Prov 20]. It tells us that self control is a fruit of the spirit and the mind that is steadfast on God is kept in perfect peace [Gal 5 Isaiah 26:3]...BUT it does not say what training that child looks like [i.e. homeschooling, discipline, etc] it does not say all moderate use alcohol is bad, it does not say what self control and a peaceful mind looks like. These are things that we pray about, that we use discretion and that ultimately God has to show us individually. Not that i believe there are not universally applicable passages of scripture that are very clear, but i am aware that somethings are just difficult to discern. So I want to jsut throw out a couple and i REALLY want to hear back from readers on this.
Please know that i am limited in to how much i "get out" and hear opinions that are differing. I have lived a life surrounded mostly of people who are like minded. A lot of you may fall into that category of like minded, but maybe you have heard different thoughts of others. So here is question #1. 
THE BIBLE SAYS CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING and a GIFT FROM THE LORD  Psalm 127:3-5
and BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE QUIVER IS FULL...
So how is a person to know how many arrows they should have in their quiver?
[Quiver: a device for archers used for holding arrows] read all of Psalm 127 for more detail..
Interesting note: How many arrows are in a quiver?
"as many as it can hold! There are a wide variety of quiver and arrow types. Most modern hunting quivers hold somewhere around five. Most medieval quivers were sized to hold between ten and fifteen, with an even dozen being the number most commonly alluded to in literature. Personally I have never seen one designed to be carried by a foot archer that would hold more than twenty. It would, of course, be possible to do so, but arrows tend to bulk up quickly, so the practicality is questionable." Read more: http://wiki.answers.com
...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

thank you girltalk blog for this link! i have read several friends blogs lately that speak of being overwhelmed...this link has a great message for our souls!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

overwhelmed in a different way

So i met my mom in Gadsden and the boys were so excited! I got back in the car and DELIGHTED not to be referee-ing/driving or singing dancing to kiddie tunes/driving, i grabbed my cd case and looked through it. i came to one of my faves Lauren McCuistion's "Better". I posted about a year ago about one song and its ministry to my heart. There were so many songs that seemed to sing my heart's song in that moment i want to share a couple of lines with some of them with you:
DEAR JOY: (yes that is the name of the song. its written like a letter to the action of JOY, not me)
dear joy where can i find you
are you even around anymore
or did you die many years ago
when circumstances overpowered you

BETTER:
"God You know my heart. I've laid it down before You.
Lord, You know my deep desires, how I only want to honor You.
and I know that You've got the desire of my heart and You've got it set apart

YOU KNOW THE BETTER THING, & I'VE SIMPLY GOTTA TRUST
THAT IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO GIVE ME WHAT I WANT-
YOU'LL GIVE ME SOMETHING BETTER
BETTER IS YOUR PLAN FOR ME
BETTER IS YOUR PERFECT TIMING
BETTER IT IS WHEN I LOOK THROUGH YOUR EYES"


SUN TO RISE:
shameful this is how i feel
when no one wants to emphathize that they have been here too
that sometimes i don't feel like lifting up my hands
and sometimes if too tired to join in this dance

Im waiting for the sun to rise again
i've got my ear up to door where you aren't knocking
and all i've strength to do is run my fingers through my hair
and wait for the sun to shine again and stay there

please tell me is it something Lord that i m doing
or something that i have failed to do
but if you don't feel like i need this answer
at least could you hold me through the night
as we wait for the sun to rise?


ASKING:
is it wrong to feel confused at what your doing
to ponder and muse what it is that this could prove
is it suitable to inquire of you about how your moving in me
is it wrong to feel insecure about how your moving

im worn out from trying to be my own rescue
im asking for the palm of Your hand to encompass me
there is freedom in admitting to myself what you already know

Ya'll i wept. Overwhelmed by God's abundant care and love for me!  I remembered how in bible study we had talked about the COMMAND to always rejoice no matter our circumstances. I have learned from previous things in my life that God's ways truly ARE better. That its better to look at things through HIS eyes. The words to 'SUN TO RISE' and 'ASKING'   got me. I pondered the 'worn out from trying to be my own rescue'. I talked with a friend on the drive after listening and pondering these sweet words. 
We marveled at how we start each day in self sufficency and end it totally spent going 'i can't do this'..why don't we instead start each day with 'i can't do this' laying our requests and weaknesses before HIM then watch God give us that peace that passes understanding-for HIM to guard us from ourselves and our sin in reaction to circumstances or others?!
We are living daily in our strength, wondering why we are so overwhelmed. 

Ben, not accidentally is preparing a sermon for his 'are you called' class on Phil 4.  It has this GREAT quote in it:
"Here we have  a most beautiful sentiment, from which we learn, that the ignorance of the providence of God is the cause of all impatience, and it is the reason why we are so quickly and on trivial accounts, thrown into confusion and become disheartened: because we do not recognize the fact that the LORD cares for us...We learn, that this is the ONLY remedy for tranquilizing our minds and souls-when we repose unreservedly in his providential care, knowing that we are not exposed to the rashness of fortune..the man that is in possession of this truth has what his soul may rest upon with security."
-John C.

I needed this extra time in the word, in prayer, in worship. Ben leaves at 5:45am. I will be relishing the presence of God, His word and time alone to be refreshed for this task and to be washed with the word letting it penetrate my soul... i am overwhelmed in a different way today. That God could love me enough to give me this time with Him-this getaway!
On Monday, i awoke claiming the theme of not worrying about today. The boys and i took a long walk down to the park, threw some rocks in the pond there and ate lunch when we got back. I did not even make a plan for what to do over this break. I spent the 2 hours of their naps reading the following sermon and the accompanying scripture passages.
"The internal reactions to the pressures of the situations of life"
         
1. Initial reaction leading up to a decision of action and reaction
              a. Initial reactions
                  (1) perplexity - II Cor. 4:8
                  (2) troubled - Jn. 12:27; 13:21
                  (3) distressed - Lk 12:50
              b. Decision of action and reaction
                  
         2. Self-oriented decisions of action and reaction
              a. Mishandling of God's opportunities - Rom. 14:23
              b. Self-sufficiency
                  (1) I can resolve, explain, outlast, figure out (SELF)
                  (2) Change the circumstances
                  (3) Stoicism - survivalism, coping
                  (4) Fatalism - what will be, will be; "don't worry, be happy"
              c. Reactions
                  (1) Fight - [Ex. anger, hostility, rage, retaliation, bitterness, resentment,judgmentalism, blame, victimization]
                  (2) Fright - Ex. fear, anxiety, worry
                  (3) Flight - Ex. ignore, deny, retreat, avoidance, escapism, digression
         3. Consequences of self-oriented reactive decisions - Prov. 14:12
              a.
Stress can lead to distress; dis-ease leads to disease
              b. Despair (II Cor. 4:8,9), desperation, depression.
              c. Hopelessness, helplessness, frantic, panic, hysteria
              d. Mental illness, nervous breakdown, psychosomatic
              e. Addiction, alcoholism, narcotics, medicines
              f. Self-destructive behaviors, suicide
         4. Reactive decisions of
faith
              a. Faith - our receptivity of God's activity - Rom. 14:23
              b. Recognition of God's grace - II Cor. 3:5; 12:9
              c. Acceptance of the situation and provision - Lk. 22:42
              d.
Rest in God's sufficiency - Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:4-11
              e. Perseverance - Rom. 5:3; 12:12; James 1:12
              f. Endurance - I Cor. 4:12; II Tim. 4:5
              g.
Rejoicing - James 1:2; I Peter 1:6
              h.
Peace - Jn. 14:27; II Pet. 1:2
              i.
Contentment - II Cor. 12:10; Phil. 4:11-13
              j. Filled with the Spirit - Eph. 5:18
              k. Abundant life - Jn. 10:10
The "reactive decisions of FAITH" wow!!!! That is where i want to be!!!
Yesterday morning (Tuesday) my mom called and suggested we meet half way and she would take care of the boys for  a while and give me a break. I NEEDED THAT!!! I am so looking forward to some time alone with God!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

overwhelmed & sharing rooms update






We thought that it would be a good idea to start the boys sharing a room before our little girl arrives. we are now re-thinking that. 
The loss of sleep and whiny-ness from the boys, the anger and frustration it has brought Ben and me, the wild-ness it has seemed to bring out in the boys at bed time..too much for this pregnant lady and overworked, under-payed hubs. so the verse in james "do not worry about tommorow for today has enough trouble of its own" is our theme right now. 
The boys being sick, Knox not being two yet, Brennan not understanding why he must share the one thing he wasn't having to share yet (his room) all a little much for us right now.
 The reason we began now was because Knox has learned how to crawl in and OUT of his crib, with the bars up, with the lights out, carrying his teddy. It really is a miracle that he hasn't fallen or that it hasn't happened earlier. He LOVES his big boy bed and gets SO excited about being in it that he doesn't want to sleep. He has successfully napped twice in his BB bed., with Brennan asleep in his BB bed beside him. We have attempted bedtime twice, but saw that it was a battle we are not ready for- so naps only so far.   Brennan adjusted pretty well, however, the second night of them having shared the room for nap, at bedtime i had gotten Brennan through the potty, prayers, hugs and kiss stage and was about to walk out of the room when Knox started crying (after climbing out of the crib for time #4 or 5). Brennan said "mommy that hurts my feelings". I responded "what did?" and he said "when you leave to go make Knox obey." I realized at that point that this little man was feeling the time he had lost to mommy bc of brother for the last couple of days. We talked and hugged and prayed and he was fine (and Ben tended to Knox).
 We seem to have hit a new intensity here at our house, and Ben is supposed to be out of town again this Wednesday-Saturday. I don't think i can do it alone, but i am honestly not thinking i want to put them in the car and travel 5 hours to my moms-even if help is there when i get there. Any suggestions?
I would LOVE a vacation. (Seriously, wouldn't we all?!)  But a tiny bit of time away, to reflect, to think about this new baby coming, to pray about her being a end or big pause in our family numbers..to read my Bible, to pray, to rest..
We can all dream can't we?? :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

more..


Ben was out of town week before last and returned with this YUMMy box of cupcakes!
My personal favorite chocolate mint with a girlscout thin mint on top!
The day we found out it was a girl my parents had this arrangement waiting for us when we returned! (Yes delivered!!)



 

I probably shouldn't be allowed to blog as tired as i was the other day when i posted about it being a girl and i don't want to sound ungrateful or expectant about my sweet sister in law or friends..we will clothe this baby...everyone has just seemed so excited about buying or handing down girl clothes, because if we admit it, all of us think they are more fun, right?! I mean boys are pretty standard, jeans, khakis, shorts, socks, button ups, polos and four pairs of shoes (church shoes for both seasons, tennis shoes and boots)..

I have been so past tired that the word doesn't even seem appropriate. I never took the boys to the doctor. With 8 confirmed cases in Knox's class i called the doctor, but didn't go in as to not contract another something or to pay for a lab test that says yes this is RSV. The doc said that there was really nothing he would do-there is no medicine for it, it just must run its course like any virus. If they worsened he suggested a humidifier and/or nebulizer. We have done both. They got a fever after day 5...the cough seems to be better today. When i went to register the boys for the summer mothers' day out i asked the teacher about who all had it and what they were doing about it. Apparently it can be caught up to 6 feet away, live on a surface for up to 90 minutes, if they cough, sneeze or snot on anything and then touch something else it will spread.  It lasts up to 7 days and if a child was premature or has previous breathing problems it can be really bad.
Praise the Lord so far we are okay. Boys seem to be energized, just irritable and over it! The xopenex seemed to make them a little wild even though i only gave them a half a dose every other day.
Yesterday i was at my wits end between the sickness and the trying to teach how to share a room. i had not gotten my nap with them or gone to bed early the last few days so it took its toll. 
My DEAR DEAR friend Whitney that babysits for us a lot came by with yellow daisies, a yellow onesie with pink daisies for our new baby and Thomas pjs for Brennan, Elmo pjs for Knox and she stayed so that i could get a shower for the first time all day (at 7pm) and put the boys in 
the bath while i showered. did i mention that she brought a chocolate bar too?!!!!! Wow!!! I told her God must have sent her!!!!!
Rejoice in the Lord always i say thank you dear God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoa!!! We are delighted that our new addition will not (hopefully) consume as many groceries as the little boys we have now...and refreshed by the possiblity of another future nurturing hand.. i must say that i had an inkling of the thought that is was highly probable..due to the small differences this pregnancy has brought.
I am quite tardy at such an important blog post, but it has been a zoo around here. 8/10 of the kids in Knox's mother's day out class have had RSV. Knox and Brennan have it and have been whiny and irritable for the last 4 days. They have wanted to be held more, been more easily upset, been more easily angered, feelings more sensitive etc..Therefore i have played referee a little more intensely, spent a little more time and effort towards there happiness and a lot less time on our home or resting myself. The time change and trying to teach them to sleep in the same room has made bedtime and naptime a little more of a challenge.
As far as names go we are considering Molly Claire. Clara was my grandmothers name, and Ben's mom's name on her birth certificate although she has always gone by Carol. We talked about Lucy Claire, Ruthie Claire and Olivia Kate, but after talking it over with Brennan MOLLY is the only name he likes.. :)
I was sort of bummed to have a friend i teach with tell me this was her little girls' name, but i am learning that my originality is not what matters.
This weather is so delightful and refreshing. Thinking of spring and a little girl in sundresses is quite a sweet thought to me.
We love her already and everyone we have talked names with seems to think a Molly would fit quite well into our family..
Her room will not be painted. It will stay the pale sage that it is..we will throw in some barely pinks and barely browns or khacki. I'm sure her aunts and all my friends with little girlies will be clothing her for the next 2 years, but Ben has said no nail polish or Barbies for a long time! Haa..I think she may be playing with dump trucks and screwdrivers if her brothers have anything to do with it..but at least she will have  bow in her hair while she is working! :)
I am trying not to think to deeply on the differences of boys and girls YET...for the first year you are just a mommy to a baby and that always looks differently for each infant...but care is generally the same..feed, nurture, bathe, clothe, feed, hug, love, feed...hahah..Can you tell that i felt like i nursed the last 3 years of my life away?!
Any great words of encouragement or advice?


Saturday, March 12, 2011

The depths of Your grace who can measure
You fully supply all I need
You restore my weary soul again and again
And lead me in Your righteousness and peace

You’re with me through every dark valley
There’s nothing that I have to fear
You are there to comfort me again and again
Protecting me, assuring me You’re near

The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd
The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want

You gave Your own life for my ransom
So I could rejoice at Your side
You have shown Your faithfulness again and again
There’s nothing good that You will not provide

I will dwell in Your house
All the days of my life
I will dwell in Your house
All the days of my life

I wish i could enclose a link so that you could listen to this beautiful song, but there is not one avaliable. 
You can go to Sovereign grace music and download it though.

This song was SUCH an encouragement to me today. Many of you may have heard the story of how God worked in 
my heart my freshman year of college and the verse he gave me in  Jereimiah 3: 14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion.15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
GOD is my shepherd, it is HE who is my husband, the One who leads me and guides me above all others. Verse one was so good for me as i have had a weary soul of late..be encouraged friends..HE FULLY SUPPLIES ALL OUR NEED!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

LUCKY and UNLUCKY?

Growing up we were taught to say that we were blessed instead of 'lucky'. I learned that at the root of 'luck' was a lack of trust in God being good and choosing to bless occasionally and that unlucky was God also being good and allowing bad things to happen that He alone knows how to work out for the good.
That being said...my Papaw would back up and drive back over the ground that a black cat had walked in front of his truck..and he taught me that broken mirrors and the number 13 were not good...
I have run across a streak of what i am blaming on pregnancy and two boys 2 and under. Last Friday i woke up ambitious. My sister was moving in her new beautiful house and Monday was my mom's birthday. I knew it would mean a lot to my family if i was there. So i loaded up two very excited (very unprepared) little boys and threw clothes and diapers in a bag. Knowing Ben would be out of town the 8-11 i debated going at all but decided i could come back Sunday and have 2 days with him before he left and off we went..5 hours down to T-town. I will make a long story shorter. My mom and i got supper together she loaded up the food and Hopes youngest. I loaded up my two since it looked like rain we drove instead of the short..walkable distance to her house. I told the boys to get in their seats, but that they did not have to buckle up. We got to the little house and i stopped bc i saw my sis there instead of where we were headed. I braked, rolled down the window and my sweet niece asked to ride with me..i said hop in. Well..Knox saw her running and stood up in his seat right as the door opened. He fell out of the car..my first thought..OH NO...GRAVEL and tiny head...bad combo..i jump out of the car...did i mention i had simply put on the brakes? I pick up Knox and the door knocks me down, i watch the back tire of our Honda roll over my leg and SUDDENLY realize the car is still going WITH BRENNAN IN IT..unbuckled...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I also watch as our car slides across the picket fence and mailbox and then my brother in law come to the rescue and jump in the car and park it, getting out my petrified 2 year old as i am in complete shock. SHOCK.
My leg is okay. Miraculously just badly bruised and sore. Knox is ok i think he was more upset about seeing drama for everyone than his scratched head. And Brennan...he is still asking 'why our silver car did that?' Its like he thought the car was being mean..he totally personified it as you can imagine..it was driving BY ITSELF with him in it..
Then today i got to the checkout at Walmart (a trip i rarely take bc of the hassle of a big store and no offer of an Ingles employee to help me get 2 boys and a heaping buggy of groceries to our car) but i had several copies of coupons and on things that are already cheaper there..so after scanning and bagging about 100 items and my coupons i go to pay to find NO WALLET in my purse. Yep none. Brennan had been playing in my purse (i was ok with it bc he was not screaming like Knox was) as i pushed through endless aisles of "Great Value". So i asked him. Nope he never saw it. Great. Did you remember that Ben was out of town this week? He couldn't just runover with his debit card. MIRACULOUSLY again..the cashier lets Ben tell her the credit card number over the phone and allows us to leave without too many strange unkind glances. Did i mention that Brennan tells me he has to potty right as i realize i have no money? And repeats it over and over the entire time i am trying to figure out how in the world i am going to pay for all these groceries. 
I missed 3 calls while this fiasco was occuring from my sweet friend i was supposed to have a playdate with. I call her as i unload 2 kids and groceries into the car. After we pulled out of the parking lot almost to the first red light we heard a thump..it was my phone..it MIRACULOUSLY had fallen from the roof to the truck and was waiting there for me to find it.
Tonight while cooking dinner Knox began pulling on my pants..you know that drill if you are or have ever been a mom...My elastic pants are pretty loose as i haven't gained a lot so far and he pulled them all the way down. I had a sharp knife in my hand or they wouldn't have gotten so far..
After dinner i go to the playroom to separate a fight and find a puddle of pee surrounding the boys favorite building blocks..it was like he was trying to put out a fire with his 'hose'! Our house was a wreck and i wanted to just cry..2 more days of this and Ben will be back...i tell myself..This germaphobe was freaking out at all the disgusting things..Bailey (our dog) had potato soup dripping off her head from where Knox had not made it to his mouth successfully twice..Brennan was whining and crying for multiple reasons and me... well. there you go folks. my head is pounding. P O U N D I N G. 
So good luck or bad-God was the One behind each miracle and providential amazing care amidst these crazy stories. He was the One blessing and allowing the bad and the good.
Smile. Sigh. BED....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our LOrd Jesus Christ through whom we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand and we exult in hope of the glory of God" Romans 5:1
In effort to have a walk AND Bible study last week, i borrowed my husband's bible memory cards (see his sidebar) and set off to a new walking park near our house. This is the verse i was memorizing/meditating over the past week. I am going to briefly share what i have learned/connected. 
I once had a bible study teacher tell us always stop and see what the therefore is there for. To do that you have to go back up to chapter 4 which is talking about justification by works and Abraham's faith. So this verse tells us (and/or reminds us of Romans 3:28 'So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.) and that we have PEACE WITH GOD...
Lets stop there for a moment..not intending to ramble, but Ben and i recently watched the movie Amazing Grace about the life of John Newton, author of amazing grace. I have sang that hymn all my life. i even knew he wrote it, but what i didn't know was what a WRETCH he was. NOR DID I REALIZE WHAT I WRETCH I WAS!!!! I grew up in an amazing Christian family that i am SO thankful for. God began wroking in my heart for salvation as young as 5 years old. I felt conviction about sharing my faith in elementary school, i asked my parents in family devotions at 7 years old "why did God let Adam and Eve sin if He really is in control of everything?" I was devoted to ministry to friends, to purity and even to my bible as young as junior high. My life was moral on through high school and college. But my freshman year God took me through a series of events and books of the Bible (Isaiah & Jeremiah) to show me that i was indeed a SINNER in need of grace and that my acts of righteousness were not good enough. I  NEEDED JESUS.
So after having spent time reading and meditating on the WRATH of God and how HOLY He is and how even one sin places me in need of His mercy, i better can be AMAZED at the fact that i actually have PEACE with a God who should be at war with me because of the sin in my heart..BUT JESUS has made even the possibility of peace with God available to me..wow.
And it is through HIM that we have obtained [gained access/ had made available to us] this GRACE in which we can now 'stand' [literally are 'set' made firm/established; to be placed immovable, steadfast].
And for the last part "...and we exult in hope of the glory of God" exult [rejoice/boast/glory in] the hope of  [expectation of] of the glory [majesty,magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace] of GOD. Meaning that we get excited about the expectation of seeing GOD in all His glory-for who He is..that when we worship of simply live our lives our hope is not in the small stuff, but the big--in seeing a big God.
I leave you with a quote from this past Sunday's message "those who look for God's providence-see it"..I look to see God's majesty, magnificence, excellence today and tomorrow-for i will surely see it!!!