Sunday, March 25, 2012

adventurous surprise

you'd think this warmer weather and the ability to now get out and do things would be just what the doctor ordered for the winter blues, but for some reason I was still itching to do somethin a little more crazy/exciting.
and so it came to me... how about a little spur-of-the-moment road trip with the girls? i could drive down to florida and surprise my parents! ok, so that's not really "little" but still, it could be fun! plus I LOVE to just drive, especially when its nice out. my moms been fussin about missing the girls, the calendar was empty for the week, a road trip adventure with the girls was certainly something to look forward to and calm that antsy itch, and it would be the perfect surprise! ...enough reasons for me!
Pete and I decided that the more I thought about it, the more I'd probably psych myself out - so if i was gonna do it, I needed to just throw some things together and go.
I armed him with a week of lunches & dinners and a typed-out detailed plan for each day to help him out (I know, you're probably either gagging or feelin thankful your not married to me, but he appreciated it!)
we left after the girls naps around 4:30. I was prepared with a hotel about 10 hrs in, just in case and pete determined for me that 9:30 was roughly my turning point - if I needed/wanted to turn back, that would be the time to do it.
off i went... no turning back. no hotel. 18 hours later I was pulling into their condo. dizzy. exhausted. ready to surprise and then go straight to sleep. that's just what we did. my parents were just getting home from a bike ride to find the girls playing in the yard yelling "hi nana, hi papa!" priceless. they were totally shocked and it made it all worth it..... we'll mostly. ;-)
we spent the next 4 days enjoying a little extra rest in the florida sun, napping and preparing for the trip home. mom decided to join us on the way back (dad just couldn't bear the thought of me making the drive through the night again) so we added an extra girl for our adventurous trip home.
though i could have made it back, some severe storms forced us into a hotel around 5 am and we finished the trip the next morning.

it was SOOO good to be home but as crazy as it was, the girls did AMAZING and I have to say I was a little proud of myself... i'm not quite as old as i sometimes feel. i've still got a little youthful excitement left in there somewhere! :)

a big special thanks to adele and keith urban for joining me for 36 hours up and down I-75 :)

(now wheres that mommy picnic lunch, park and sidewalk chalk that wasn't quite as "exciting" last week?)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the little things

theres really only one thing for 3 girls to do on a rainy thursday afternoon....

thats right! of course, have a spur of the moment princess-house-pizza-party!

...they were ecstatic. you would have thought I had planned and gone all-out for a month to prepare.

its the little things. :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

on the bittersweet preschool path

can't believe im here.
its official.... preschool looms.
i know moms do it everyday and many even earlier than i am, but the thoughts of preschool have got me on the emotional edge. today i submitted ellia's enrollment forms after much thought, research, visits and prayer... we took a leap of faith to where we felt the Lord clearly leading and submitted the paperwork. Its all in His hands... she's all in His hands. I know, i know, shes not even going yet - I simply turned in her forms, but it definitely opened my eyes to our new reality... coming in August. So bittersweet as I watch my little baby grow into a little lady, about to head off to school (for the next 18ish years) ;)
one things for sure, I'll be holding extra tight this summer. ill be enjoying, even more, each second i get to spend during the day with her, cherishing these times that will "soon-be-a-changin!"
praising the Lord a little more for our little treasure today and the unseen but perfect plan He's got ahead for her.

and trust me.... this won't be the last you hear from me on the preschool topic! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

shoo gnat, shoo!

Jesus has been doing a bit of tilling in my heart recently. I say tilling because thats exactly how it feels.... you can only imagine if soil had feelings, how little it would actually enjoy being plowed, raked, bulldozed. Fortunately for me and where my faith rests, despite the uneasiness of being turned over and prepared, I cling to the hope of cultivation: being developed for growing and maturing.
The specific area of work has been in affirmation. When I say that word, it doesn't quite seem to grasp the whole picture/concept that Im feeling, but I'll stick with it for lack of a better one. I think being a woman makes this idea a particular struggle and constant battle. (If I slip and say "we", please know I am only pointing my finger to "I").
This issue pops up to me like a really annoying gnat every so often, at some points being more irritating and loud than usual. That annoying gnat is many times the voice of satan, whispering insecurities to draw me down.
I've found myself letting my mind wander away in comparisons of other people, of other moms, of other marriages, of other women of God. For me, the struggle is not with discontentment... I am beyond thankful - as much as I can with my limited perception, I have a pretty good grasp on how amazingly blessed I am. Its more an issue of focus... how often am I focusing on how other people are doing things, and on the level at which I feel I'm currently being affirmed for what I'm doing.
It doesnt take long though... when those thoughts take over, that the Truth I have, acknowledge, and posses tugs at my heart. Well...its been tugging, and I've been listening.
Though not an easy thing to do... I needed to remind myself (once again) about who I am in Christ. The reminder of not only who I am but where my affirmation lies.... exclusively in HIM.
He has me (myself and my marriage and my family) on a very uniquely designed journey that canNOT be compared to anyone elses. And along that journey, He longs to be the sole source of my joy, my hope, my strength, my affirmation.
As He's been drilling this home for me over the last week or so, I thought I'd jot down the not-so-subtle reminders I have been getting. So here are some good reminders to me (especially to look back on whenever that little gnat resurfaces), and for anyone else who needs a little pick-me-up...
first from the devotion I woke up to in Jesus Calling (coincidence? i think not. appropriately timed by the Spirit I think!), followed by a whole host of biblical affirmations I own in Christ:
"Stop Judging and evaluating yourself, for this is not your role. Above all, stop comparing yourself with other people. This produces feelings of pride or inferiority; sometimes a mixture of both. I lead each of My children along a path that is uniquely tailor-made for him or her. Comparing is not only wrong; it is also meaningless. Don't look for affirmation in the wrong places; your own evaluations, or those of other people. The only source of real affirmation is My unconditional Love. many believers perceive Me as an unpleasable Judge, angrily searching out their faults and failures. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I deid for your sins, so that I might clothe you in My garments of salvation. This is how I see you: radiant in my robe of righteousness. When I discipline you, it is never in anger or disgust; it is to prepare you for face-to Face fellowship with Me throughout all eternity. Immerse yourself in My loving Presence. Be receptive to My affirmation, which flows continually from the throne of grace."
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling)

“God’s truth – his Word – stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8
“God gives me power when I am worn out and strength when I am weak.” Isaiah 40:29
“God’s principles are perfect. They are entirely worthy of my trust.” Psalm 119:138
“With God in my life, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
“Jesus keeps pruning me so that I will be even more productive for God.” John 15:2
“The water Jesus gives takes away my thirst altogether.” John 4:14
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God.” Psalm 139:14
“I follow God’s principles because I love him.” John 14:15
“I can never be separated from the love of God.” Romans 8:35-39
“God’s love is made complete in me when I obey his principles.” 1 John 2:5
“As I draw near to God, he draws near to me.” James 4:8
“God’s discipline is always good for me because it means I share in His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10
“I display a new nature because I am a new person, created in God’s likeness – holy and true.” Ephesians 4:24
“The secret is that Christ lives in me and I have assurance of sharing his glory.” Colossians 1:27
“Nothing can separate me from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:39
“God satisfies me when I am thirsty and fills me with good things when I am hungry.” Psalm 107:9
“I keep God’s words in my heart. They are health to my whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22
“It is God’s Spirit that gives me eternal life. My human effort accomplishes nothing.” John 6:63
“God is for me so no one can ever be against me.” Romans 8:31
“In God I live and move and exist.” Acts 17:28
“I defeat this evil world by trusting Christ to give me victory.” 1 Peter 5:5
“By God’s grace and through faith in Jesus, I have a full and eternal life.” Ephesians 2:8
“Through prayer, the peace of God guards my heart & mind.” Philippians 4:7
“By God’s grace and through faith in Jesus, I have a full and eternal life.” Ephesians 2:8
“I find strength in the Lord my God.” 1 Samuel 30:6
“God strengthens me because my heart is fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
“I have rest in my soul because I go to Jesus when I am weary.” Matthew 11:28-29
“Because I have been born again, I will see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“I do not fear because God strengthens me.” Isaiah 41:10
“I am full with the joy of the Lord.” Isaiah 42:10