Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lucky Number 18

Today, May 12th, is a special day. My sweet Faith Clare is 18-months old and today I am 18 weeks pregnant with our 4th sweet baby.

At 18-months old, Faith Clare, you:

~ Say "mama", "dada", "deeda" (Deacon, and just how he said it!), "ssss" (yes), "naaaao" (no), "blub, blub, blub" (what fishies say), "woof, woof" (doggies), "nana" (for your paci), "wa wa" (agua), "ma" (for yes m'am), "dup" or "bup" (up), "elp" (help), "uh oh", "owww"

~ Sign all done, please, thank-you, more, and help

~ Climb basically anything- tables, chairs, chests, couches, stairs, stools... The only thing you haven't done yet is climb out of your crib!

~ Play constantly with your big brother- airplanes, trains, trucks, cars, even light sabers

~ Still sit rear-facing in your carseat

~ Weigh 20lbs 2oz (Wooohooo, finally hit 20lbs)

~ Go to bed around 7:30PM and take a 2+ hr nap each day

~ Wear size 3 diapers

~ Would eat yogurt every meal if we let you- cups, tubes and drinkables

~ Don't like ANY vegetables but will eat beans all day long (kidney, pinto, black, garbanzo)

~ Would pick a banana over any fruit that exists but that is still pushing it- you would prefer sweets any time of the day

~ LOVE cinnamon rolls, donuts, cake, ice cream, lollipops... again ANYTHING sweet

~ Chug your milk each morning and then throw your cup in a tantrum when it is gone

~ Aren't interested at all in TV, even when your big brother is watching

~ Get into everything- cupboards, magazines, jewelry boxes, the dishwasher

~ Have a blast in your backyard swing

~ Constantly make us laugh- your expressions, your dancing, your cuteness

~ Love to dance, chase, body-slam with daddy, jump on beds, read books, play babies, blow bubbles, use chalk, ride bikes and most of all, snuggle

Faith Clare, you are such a treasure to Daddy and I. We love you so much and couldn't even begin to imagine this life without you! You bring such joy and fun to our family. You love Deacon more than anything and he takes great care of you. We are praying you will do the same for the newest little babe to join our family! We love you precious girl!

At 18-weeks pregnant, newest little one, you:

~ Are about the length of a green pepper

~ Are measuring a full week ahead

~ Are prayed for constantly and loved more than you know

~ Have been moving lots and mommy has felt you for about 3 weeks now

~ Have a strong heartbeat

~ Don't have a name yet

~ Are due in the beginning of October, but I am predicting a September arrival


"From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth."- Psalm 50:2

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother

A mother is kind and compassionate and often says just the right things.
A mother works hard to maintain her home and her sanity.
A mother ensures that her children behave "properly."
A mother is a good listener and usually a good talker.
A mother is a gentle spirit and a dear friend.
A mother teaches letters and numbers and colors and shapes.
A mother teaches aiming straight, sitting backwards and wiping.
A mother does laundry and dishes and dusting and vacuuming.
A mother cleans spilled juice, sticky fingers, toilets and snooty noses.
A mother builds towers, plays babies, flies airplanes and colors Star Wars pages.
A mother is patient beyond measure.
A mother laughs 'til she cries at the silliness of her babies.
A mother loves her children and often defends them even when they are in the wrong.
A mother guides her children, allowing them to make mistakes that sometimes seem rather costly.
A mother does anything to protect her young and would cross the earth for them.
A mother makes unparalleled sacrifices.
A mother jumps for joy at small accomplishments.
A mother weeps alongside her child when they have been hurt or wronged.
A mother gets dirty in the sandbox, dances til she falls and can ignore the messes that abound.
A mother seeks counsel and wisdom from other moms who have been there.
A mother is still a mother, even if she has a child in Heaven.
A mother instructs her children in truth, love, loyalty, righteousness and faith.
A mother's desire is for her children to know Jesus and trust Him as their Savior.

All the while...

A mother loses her cool, her patience and often control.
A mother strives for the best even when it seems that 50% is all she's got.
A mother says I'm sorry and asks for forgiveness... from her children and her husband.
A mother fixes crazy dinners that seem "unbalanced" to any outsiders.
A mother could accidentally ignore the fact that the "zoo animals" are running wild.
A mother just might let her kid pick up their food off of a dirty restaurant floor and proceed to return it to their mouth.
A mother allows chocolate milk, a little Sprite, a few pieces of candy and the occasional cookie...before dinner.
A mother might give in to begging just to achieve a moment of peace and quiet.
A mother might yell when she's had enough.
A mother probably cries at times for no apparent reason.
A mother is probably exhausted and can't wait each day until nap time.
A mother possibly uses the YMCA, not just for exercise but for the few moments without anyone hanging from a limb.
A mother might put toys in the crib for 5 more minutes of sleep or teach a 3-year-old how to turn on the TV and pour his milk or even get up at the crack of dawn to drag herself to work.

A mother might do all of these things and so many more... because I have! But I do them all with love for the ones I am called to serve, to protect, to nurture, to instruct and to lead. I do them all, not always in joy as I should, but always in obedience to our Lord. I stumble and fall daily... but these little people are humbling me in ways I couldn't have ever imagined... and boy, are they watching my every move!

Thank you Jesus for the gift of children- for my Deacon, Maddox, Faith Clare, and this newest little blessing! Thank you for my own mother who has taught me how to be a mother myself, to my mother-in-law who has instructed me in the Lord, to my grandmother who has been there each step of the way, and to my Chilena mother for loving me as her own. Equip me, Father, to be the mother and wife that you have called me to be. Strengthen me in my weakness and fear, that Your Name might be lifted high and glorified all the days of my life. Allow our faith in You to be the legacy of this family!

**Happy Mother's Day to moms with children here, with children in Heaven, with mother's that have gone before and those that deeply long to be mothers. May God bless each of you in this journey He has called you on!

"Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees."- Job 4:4

Monday, May 3, 2010


Are you being held captive? Is something holding you back, making you less likely to take that next step? Preventing you from hearing that still, small voice? Are you caught in trap? Paralyzed by fear? Run-down by everyday life? Thoughts consumed by what-ifs or whats-nots? Is there something that you just can't let go of? What is holding you captive?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately because we're getting close to that point. The point where we were when we found out Maddox was sick and our world was turned upside down. For the most part I've been okay. But then... well, then there are some days when I feel like a prisoner. I've had my share of breakdowns so far. It's not like it was while pregnant with Faith Clare because I'm 2 years out, not just 2 months; however, worry and fear have managed to
worm their way into my thoughts and sometimes it almost seems too much. Thankfully I can say that I'm not overwhelmed with fear, but many times I do feel a bit captive.

To be honest, frequently I'm ashamed that I can even feel this way. I know the truth and yet, I feel like an Israelite in the Old Testament. They too knew the truth and yet they kept reverting to their sinful ways, allowing the flesh to interfere with the truth of God's Word. It was commonplace then and it's so easy now to read those old scripture verses and think "how do you not get it!!??"... yet here I am and so often I'm the same one who doesn't get it.

I have lived God's presence. I have felt His breath on my face, His arms wrapped around me, His tremendous gift in my hands. I have seen Him move in ways that I can't even articulate and yet, I'm allowing past experiences to draw me out of today and take me to the yesterday of sorrow and the tomorrow of dread, fear, and doubt. I don't want to be held captive to unfounded worry but instead live in the truth of His promises. Those promises that I clung to while expecting each of my children, but especially my Maddox. Those promises that I told my family I would hold tightly to as we walked this amazing road again. The promise that my God knew this child growing inside me before the earth was formed, that every detail is perfectly in His control. I trust that my Father has a perfect plan that will come to fruition with my help, or in spite of me.

Either way, I don't need to be held captive.

The Lord has freed me from captivity. He has freed me from fear and worry and has in fact commanded me over and over again to NOT fear. In one of many places in scripture He says "whatever is true... and praiseworthy, think on such things!" (Philippians 4:8) Do you realize what that is saying? He is speaking clearly instructing to not to be held captive but instead to be captivated!

Those beautiful blessings in our lives are things that are "praiseworthy" right? Well, then shouldn't all things that are worthy of praise make us stop, look directly into the face of our Savior and be captivated by His goodness... His grace... His love?

The other night, with my daughter's head drooped over my shoulder and my head resting on hers, I prayed aloud as I do each night. I prayed for things that are prayed for each night and then suddenly I just began praising. I began to tell Him that instead of being held captive to fear, that I was captivated by His love for me. That I was so thankful for the blessing of each of my babies. For my children here. For the intimate time He allowed me to experience with Him during our journey with Maddox. For our health, for fishing, for our home, for the ability to laugh, for our family, for the weather... the list went on. It was a stunning time of worship and since that night I have felt so much more "freed up". I realized in those moments that I so desperately want to be captivated by my Lord, but I have to allow Him the time to even draw my gaze.

It is a terrible place to be in when you feel shackled... when you feel chained to something that you can't seem to break free from. Instead of being held captive by something, allow each thought that enters your mind to be captive only to God's truth, and be captivated by His presence in your life. Take a longer look around you and you'll see the blessings everywhere. It is so beautiful... and so freeing.

Here are a few images of people that absolutely CAPTIVATE me...

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."- 2 Corinthians 10:5
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