April 20, 2011

Life Lessons

When I discovered I was pregnant for the 2nd time around this time last year, I started praying.  Praying for a healthy baby, for a larger capacity, for preparation to mother 2...but mostly I prayed for a baby who sleeps.  See, Miss E wasn't a huge fan of sleep.  I'm talking very little sleeping went on for us for a good 8 months.  It was brutal.  The Lord used a really hard season of suffering through it to teach us a TON, but it was still very very (very very very) hard.

About a month before I went into labor with little man, I got really anxious.  Not the normal mommy anxiousness about labor and the general scariness that comes with having a newborn, but anxious that it would happen again.  And that I would have little memory, and little patience, and post-partum depression, and have to put life and ministry on hold until rest was possible.

Things were looking good with our little man.  We started off with normal 3 hour cycles and got an occasional 6 hours straight.  I felt amazing and concluded the 0-1 child transition was MUCH more difficult than the 1-2.  But then ear infections happened, and antibiotics happened, and teething and belly aches happened.  As it turns out, 6 months in, he doesn't sleep any better than Miss E did. 

It's different this time for sure.  By God's grace I haven't had signs of depression, I've had the capacity to chase around a 2 year old, and I have a husband who has fought the boy until he will take a bottle.  But I am still utterly exhausted.  Right now my 2 hour long college quiet times have dwindled to a few minutes reading a ready-made devotional (on a good day).  I'm so thankful for the time I spent in the Word to store up my knowledge and understanding before these days hit.

A few days ago I was reading from Beth Moore's "To Live is Christ Day by Day" and the last line of Day 4 caught me.  "He has gone ahead of you, too, to prepare you for the plans He's established for your life." Oh, foolish heart!  My perspective can get so lost in the muck and mire of sin and circumstances that I cant see clearly.  These are the plans He's established for me.  Sometimes God's plans involve really great things, like marrying an amazing man and working for a super awesome college ministry.  And sometimes His plans involve months of little sleep and much sickness.

My body may not be able to, but my heart can rest and rejoice.  The God I serve is GOOD and He is sovereign.  He knew my babies wouldn't sleep well long before I had them, and He still gave them to me.  They are gifts, not just because they are my flesh and blood, but because they are the instruments of my sanctification.  The Lord is so gracious to use them to teach me so much, so quickly. 

"...we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame..."  

Lord Jesus, may these long, exhausting days be producing great character in me.  May it bring hope to my heart that will spill over into the lives of my husband and children.  Thank you for your faithfulness in choosing to sanctify us, and in how you sanctify us.  But most of all, may it bring you much glory for your gracious dealing with me and for your Fatherly wisdom in how to discipline my selfishness and lack of endurance.

Things We Love...

Lately we have a new obsession in this house.  It all started with my hubby going to CrossFit, which is a different post all together.  As it turns out, when you are doing exercises made to make your heart all but explode, you need to drink more water.  hmm. 

I have been an avid water drinker since college, carrying around my trusty water bottle to class, gym, meetings etc.  My husband, not so much.  So since getting married I have been trying to get him to drink more water.  Ive tried just about everything, with the only mildly successful things being 24 packs of disposable water bottles.  And since I'm a little too "green" for that (and not willing to give up my fridge space to 2 dozen water bottles) I kept trying.  Aluminum bottles, fail.  Wide mouth bottles, fail. 

So one day we went to Target and spent some ample time in the water bottle isle.  And lo and behold, i Find this...

Stuck to the side is a little sticker that says people who drink out of a Camelbak Bite Valve drink 24% more water.  So I bite the bullet and purchase 2.  And believe it or not...IT WORKS!  Clint and I have both been guzzling water since I bought them about a month back!  The little bite valve is a bit addictive.  Its easy to open, easy to drink out of (even in the car or while exercising), and no spill.   Which especially comes in handy since our 2 year old all but claimed mine for herself.  That is, until our sweet friends bought her her own kiddie Camelbak!  So now we all have little matching hydration systems.  Sweet.

We are avid Camelbak users now, and I have since convinced my aunt to buy one.  Day one of using it she downed 2 whole bottles, which she never even gets close to!  I'm a believer!  Thanks for solving my 5 year dilemma,  Camelbak! 

April 13, 2011

a little photo update

Here are a few favorites from a recent photo shoot with Lauren Kelley!