Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Passing On Some Good Advice!

On Sunday I went to a baby shower for a dear friend who is expecting her first dear one in a few days. Her mother gave an excellent devotional that I asked if I could pass on. It was just simple, practical advice, but it was a great encouragement to me. Hopefully it will be for you too!

              Always pray!! ~ She reminded us of the days of queen Esther, who served a great king who held the power of life and death. She then pointed us to our Almighty King, who holds all power. The greatest thing we can do for our children is to continually place them in His powerful and loving hands.

Hebrews 4:16~ Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us
in our time of need.

             Be humble~ Although we start out thinking that all we have to do is "xyz" and then we will be perfect parents, somewhere along the way we will mess up! We need good humility to ask for help or advice and especially to apologize. When we wrong our children we need to be truly repentent towards them.

  They "C"you!~  Cliche as it may sound, actions really are louder than words and attitudes really are caught and not taught. This one has been especially convicting for me lately. How can I hope or expect my daughters to have exemplary character qualities if their prime example is very poor at them? As I said in my post about memorizing scripture , I have to be letting the Spirit work in my life as I attempt to train my children. 

             Don't neglect your man!~ Very simple. Just don't! Bad times all around if you do! As Sondra said, it brings the most security and peace to your children's lives when they can see that Mommy and Daddy not only love them, but each other.

             Enjoy them!~ Amen! Amen! Amen! It breaks my heart when I see mothers "tolerating" their children. Please don't take this as boasting at all, but I think I enjoy my children more than anyone I know. And I hope you all can say the same! It's not fake. It's not a show. My heart is thrilled to pieces everyday at the thought of my precious treasures. Sure there are bad times, grumpy times and very loud times. (Whoever invented loud riding toys with no on/off switches? I would like to talk with you out back for a moment!) But never for one millisecond would I question wether they are a joy or an obligation in my life.

Thank you Sondra for these excellent points! Hopefully you can all be encouraged, challenged and inspired just like I was!

A giveaway from a friend!!!

I know I mention MOMYS on here all the time. If you are a "Mother Of Many Young Siblings" (hence the acronym!) ask me about it! One of the joys I've had since being a part of it has been getting to know my friend Grace. Not only do we share a name, but we also have children almost the same ages. She has been such a blessing to me. I love following her blog and being encouraged by her sweet and joyful spirit.

She is doing a "Giveaway Extravaganza"!!! She has some really cool prizes and I get entered twice if I mention it on my blog! (No, I'm not a bit ashamed of my motives!) I have no reservations mentioning this here because I know that sending you her way will brighten your day! I hope that you get the chance to get to know her too and are as blessed as I am!

Check it out  HERE!!!  Maybe you will win something cool and be blessed at the same time!

Monday, March 29, 2010

A break from "The Break"

Whew! Am I the only one actually excited that Spring Break is over? Don't get me wrong, it was a fabulous week. I was able to go on the AMF Spring Retreat ( more on that later), visit with sisters and dear friends, help with the Easter bread delivery etc.. Everything was super fun and went incredibly well, but I'm exhausted from my "break"! I loved today. Pulling out those school books, washing some dishes and making some pot roast. Praise the Lord that breaks only last so long!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

That I might not sin against You

Scripture is an amazing thing. What an blessed treasure it is to hold God's Word in our hands and read it with our own eyes. What an incredible thing to have the answers in life! Yet I know that I too often waste so much of my time, thoughts and energy on things that have no value instead of grasping onto that which offers me real life.

One of the greatest blessings of motherhood has been the ability to teach the Bible to my children. We started working on memory verses with Lydia as soon as she could utter some words. Back when Bethany was still a bald little thing she would walk around saying over and over, "Children OBEY!". I'm fully convinced that the greatest good I can do in my children's lives is to instill a love for the Lord and His word in their hearts.

We  have now started memory charts ( I'm a huge chart/list person!) where the girls can see and track their progress. They are nothing fancy. In fact they are rather beat up (thanks to a little sister's drawing, licking, pulling etc.).
While I'm convinced this is good for my girls, I've been amazed at the challenge it's brought to my own life! These "simple" verses that we've chosen to help shape our daughters are just as powerful in convicting me!

Psalm 103:8~ The Lord is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love.
Compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Yup. I need serious work done in all of those areas of my life.
Colossians 3:23~ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men.
Whatever you do. Whatever you do. Whatever you do. Even washing dishes, or folding laundry, or changing diapers, or, or, or.... I find it so much easier to remind my children of this one then to truly carry it out myself.
James 4:17~ Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it sins.
This is one we just don't like to think about. It makes me uncomfortable at least! But that's a good thing. I have no desire to be comfortable. Just as I want to challenge my girls and make them powerful for the Lord, that's the desire for my life as well. Instead of trying to avoid thinking about "the good I know I ought to do", maybe I should just do it and stop sinning!
You moms (and dads I suppose!), I urge you; Start memorizing scripture with your children. Let it soak into you. If you need inspiration, read through Psalm 119 and beg for King David's heart for the Word. Your children are more than capable. In fact, they are amazing at it! And I promise you, it will reap much fruit. Not only in their lives, but yours as well!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2 Months Old!!!!!

How are we at two months already? I was just reminiscing last night, thinking of those last few weeks before she was born just waiting to meet this new little one who would become such a huge part of our lives. Now here she is, and we are so in love with her we can hardly stand it!

Ella is such a bright splash of joy in our lives. She still is eating and sleeping great (except for the last two nights!?) and hardly ever fusses unless she is hungry. She is very bright eyed and loves to observe the world around her, and yet she is perfectly content to remain snuggled in your arms. Her smiles melt every care of the world away. I could spend the whole day just staring at her. She is such a precous gift to our family!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Today I'm thankful for.......

8. Those first new and beautiful smiles!

Ella is now showering us with the most precious little smiles. She loves having someone talk to her and is full of rewards. We're so in love with her!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today I'm thankful for......

Days without headaches. Unfortunately, today is not one of those days so I'll have to leave it at that! Hopefully I'll be back brighter tomorrow!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Today I'm thankful for.......

5. Sister-in-laws
I married into a family with eight sons and one daughter, so right off the bat I gained one sweet little sister-in-law, Susanna. I was the first one to marry into this fabulous family and for four years I waited for more sisters to join the ranks! I love my brothers dearly and couldn't wait for them to find the love of their lives.
In His perfect timing, the Lord brought Laura into Jonathans' life.
I was amazed at how instantly Laura really became my "sister". She has been such an incredible blessing to me. She is one of the sweetest, most beautiful people I know and is so perfectly created to be Jonathan's wife. As I've mentioned in previous posts, they just had their first little girl two months before Ella was born. It was so special to go through that pregnancy with her!

In the last month God has introduced the next future sister-in-law to us. Benjamin's many fervent prayers were answered and dear Melissa is now getting ready to enter the King family! Their story is amazing! If you know them, make sure they tell you all about it! It has been so wonderful getting to know her. She is one of the sweetest, most beautiful people I've ever met. ( It's true! Just because I say it twice doesn't mean it's not true!!!). Again, she is a perfect fit. We're all crazy about her ( although I think Benjamin is maybe more so) and can't wait to see all that the Lord has in store for them.

I really didn't know what it would be like as sister-in-laws joined the family, but so far it is an overwhelming joy. I know that I have two of the most amazing sisters in the world and I have complete confidence that God will continue to bless my other brothers as they continue to seek Him. I'm so thankful!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today I'm thankful for.....

4. My yummy and (mostly) nutritious breakfast!

This morning I felt like making something that would actually leave me feeling satisfied and ready to attack the day. I decided to be "brave" and try something new.
I had some Quinoa on hand thanks to Alysun's yummy "Quinoa Bread" recipe that I love. I've used it in the bread and occasionally in soup, but have never ventured to try it on it's own!

For those of you like I was a couple of months ago, I'll give you a very brief description of quinoa. Quinoa is pronounced (according to dictionary.com) Keen-wah or Kee-noh-uh. In the states I've only ever heard it called "Keen-wah", but on Australian's Biggest Loser (one of my guilty pleasures!) they pronounced it "Kee-noh-uh". Most likely no one will know what you are talking about either way so just say it with confidence!

According to "Vegetarians in Paradise" ( believe me, not something I had ever heard of before. It simple showed up in a search!) quinoa is "highly nutritious and can supply us with all of the body's requirements: carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber".

It cooks just like rice. Two parts water to one part quinoa. Simmer for about ten minutes then fluff. Very simple!

I topped mine with frozen blueberries and raspberries, a dash of cinnamon, a splash of milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar. It was delicious!!! And super simple! Plus I was FULL until lunch even after doing the Shred.

I must add how extremely thankful I am for Earl Grey tea. I love many, many teas, but Earl Grey always comes out on top.

A little milk, a little sugar. Ahhhh, perfection! Today I'm very thankful for the simple pleasures!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Today I'm thankful for........

3. Snuggles!!!
Fact about me: I love snuggles and cuddles! Up until this year though, I have lived in a house with four "non-snugglers". Not that they have some moral objection to it, they are simply much more interested in running around, jumping off things, or rolling around somewhere. I'm the kind of mom who secretly enjoys it when her kids are sick because for once they enjoy just sitting close with me.

Then came Ella. One other thing I love about this amazingly unbelievable child is, she loves to snuggle!!! I still can't believe it! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my girls who would rather be bouncing, swinging or flying ( Oh and the hubby too!), I'm just so thankful for my sweet little baby who loves to cuddle and snuggle just as much as I do!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today I'm thankful for......

2. My First Born

Lately I've just been reminded again how thankful I am that God truly does "know best" all of the time. When Lydia was born, it was the greatest shock of my life. I was POSITIVE I was having a boy!!! I thought that I wanted a boy. It took me all of .0009 seconds to fall desperately in love with this beautiful little girl though.

Over and over I ask Lydia, " What would I do without you?". And I mean it! She is an amazing help and encouragement to me. Not only does she delight in taking care of her younger sisters and helping me do household chores, she also verbally encourages me so faithfully. Not a day goes by that I don't receive some precious gift, whether it's a lovingly made card or a bouquet of weeds.

Praise the Lord that He gave me this precious young lady. I'm so thankful for her and can't wait to see the amazing plans in store for her!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't Be Deceived!!!

James 1 :16-17~ Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

I LOVE the second part of this verse. I think about it all the time. It helps keep me focused on praising the Lord for all that He has done. But I think the first portion is so crucial! "Don't be deceived!". James knew how easy it is for us to get distracted with life and to not realize or think about our "good and perfect gifts". Or even worse, we in our pride somehow believe that we have achieved or somehow deserve these blessings in our lives.

I know that I fall into the trap of being deceived very often. In an attempt to focus my thoughts on praising my Father of the heavenly lights for the good gifts that come from HIM, I'm going to begin a week of thankfulness, spending some time thinking about some specific things I am truly grateful for. This will by no means be an exhaustive list, or listed from greatest to least. Just a small smattering.

And when I say I'm thankful, know that it is not just a general feeling. It is an act of worshipping my gracious Father and truly saying "thank you" to Him!

1. My husband

I just have to start here. I was thinking about this all night last night as I couldn't sleep very well. I know that I talk about him all of the time. I'm sure that you've all heard our story (if not just wait until June!). We met when I was three years old. I was madly in love with him when I was thirteen. We finally married soon after I turned eighteen. Looking back, I don't even know why I was "so sure" that he was the man for me. But I am 100% convinced that he is.

My husband is an amazing man. I could write more than you'd ever care to read so right now I will share my favorite thing about him. He is a man who not only loves the Lord with His all of his heart, but also wholeheartedly takes God at His word. The Word of God is what he guides his life by, and because of that I can trust him and give him my complete respect. You single ladies who may be reading this, hold out for this kind of man. What more can you ask for, than someone who desires to conform to the Lord's will. Everything else you could want falls under that heading. Honesty, gentleness, hard-working, joy, humility, patience, amazing love all come with a heart to please the Lord.

I am very thankful for my husband!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another Random Blessing!

I remembered today that I had failed to show off my very favorite baby gift for Ella. Soon after she was born, my blogging buddy turned real life friend and fabulous photographer, Alysun, offered to take some newborn pictures of Ella. Not only that, she came all the way out to our house to take them! I was completely thrilled!

If you are local and in need of a photographer, I whole-heartedly recommend Alysun. Not only are her prices fabulous and her photos gorgeous, she is amazing at working with kids (a mom of three herself!) and has managed to get good pictures of all of my silly girls every time she photographed us. Check out her blog at alysunpetersphotography.blogspot.com .
Thanks again Alysun for your amazing gift!!!

Coming up in March....

I can't believe it's March already!!! With the baby and the wedding, it feels like these first two months of 2010 have absolutely flown by!

March always feels extra long to me. It's not quite spring. You can't quite plant a garden or all the flowers I've dreamt of all winter long. We're all itching for a change and yet patience is required for at least another month.

I thought I would just take a minute to think of some of the things I'm looking forward to in March.

A very special meeting~ This week my brother-in-law is bringing home my future sister-in-law for us to meet!!! I'm so excited!!!! (More details to follow!)

Walking,walking,walking~ I'm participating in a "500 miles in 2010" walking challenge with my MOMYS friends. I love it! Lest you have grand thoughts of me treading gallantly out in the wind and rain, let me set you straight. I walk in my living room. I have a "Walk Away the Pounds" video that I actually enjoy. Feel free to laugh and poke fun, but hey! I've walked 103 miles so far this year! That feels pretty good!

Pain~ While walking has felt really good and has provided me with great energy and endurance, I've been chomping at the bit to get started on something that will more aggressively attack my left over baby fluff. Now that I'm at the 6 week mark, I'm starting on the "30 Day Shred". (Note~ attire and language is not very family friendly!) I just started it today and believe me, there will be much pain this month!

Great joy~ Everyday is such a blessing. My girls are growing up faster than I can believe, and every day molds them with more joy, grace and beauty than the day before. My husband is as always, the man of my dreams. God seems to have gifted him with the amazing ability of learning how to love his crazy wife better each day! God is so faithfully providing and caring for us, revealing Himself to us and drawing us closer to each other. Yes, whatever March brings, I know it will bring great joy!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.