Monday, November 26, 2012

TP Nativity Set

I'm not a very creative person, usually, but I thought this one up all on my own - no pinterest, no blog, just my own head. :)

We have been collecting toilet paper tubes, recently.  Not for any reason, just to have them in case we wanted to make something with them.  Well, today I thought of that "something" we could make.

First, we covered the tubes with construction paper.

Next, we printed off pictures of Mary, Joseph, wise men, and shepherds from the internet.  The Mary image we printed out had her holding Jesus in her arms, but Lilly didn't like that.  She wanted Jesus lying in the manger.  So, we made our own Mary and our own Jesus.

Then, we glued the print-outs to the tubes.

Voila - a cute little homemade nativity set! :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Traveling Husband

I have been a military wife and now am the wife of an oil industry worker - same man, just he changed professions.  Both fields require that my husband travel quite a bit.  Here are some things our family does to make the situation work for our family:

1)  My daughter and I always take Daddy to the airport and we always pick him up.  It is nice to be able to give him a final kiss and hug before he goes into the airport.  When he comes home, Lilly and I always get dressed up and have a small present waiting for him. 

2)  While my husband is away, Lilly and I keep a journal of all the things we are doing.  This is actually part of our school work and so it helps with letter writing skills, remembering what we have done recently, and drawing a picture to fit the words.  It is nice for my husband to read this when he gets home.

3)  My husband and I try to chat once a day while he is gone, but sometimes it is less.  This keeps him up to date with what is going on at home.  I know some wives who don't tell their husbands some things because they don't want to stress them out, but I don't usually hold back.  I let him know everything that is going on so we can make decisions together.

4)  If we know the exact day he is coming home, my daughter and I will make a chain with links for the # of days until he arrives home.  Each day we take one off and count how many days until we will see him.

5)  We pray for God to keep him safe while he's away and to use him as a light to those around him.

6)  We plan things for while he is home - things we can look forward to like Mommy/Daddy dates, Daddy/Daughter dates, family outings/trips, Daddy "me time" day where he can relax, etc

I know a lot of people say they couldn't do it, but when you are married to a man with a profession that requires he travel a lot - you make do.  It isn't like I enjoy being separated from him, but I try to focus on our time together rather than the time apart.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Election Thoughts

1) I knew the person I voted for wasn't going to win, but in my heart of hearts I could not vote for either of the two top dogs on the ballot.

2)  I knew that we are only on this earth for a short time and the time that whoever is president is only for a tiny fraction of that.  "This too shall pass"

3)  I knew (and know) that God is in control and now that the decision has been made, my plan is to act like I know that by trusting that God has got this and by not complaining or being a burden to our president. 

4)  I learned that when it comes to government officials, I am more affected by those closer to home - mayor, school superintendent, etc. than I am by the president.  Sadly, I was too focused on who was running for president to really pay attention to any other office or items on the ballot.  My goal is to be more informed before the next election and to not leave most of my ballot empty.

5)  I learned that prayer for our country is needed by all Christians no matter who is in charge because the Bible tells us things are going to get worse not better, so let us be prepared.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You Are Infertile

 Recently, I went to my family physician to get a check up and I told him it had been almost 4 years that we have been trying to have another child.  I was totally shocked by his response for 2 reasons. 
1)  I had never been told that before
2) He wasn't my ob/gyn, so (in my mind) he wasn't supposed to comment on stuff like that.

He told me I was infertile and that I should talk with my ob/gyn about it. 

Umm..thank you very much.  I think I have kind of known this for a while, but I just had not had it said to me outright before.  Plus, I was hoping that there would be a reason for the infertility - to me that would make it easier to hear the news.

In some ways, this was relieving for me to hear.  It has helped me close the door to that desire of naturally having another child.  I know there are other options I could persue - drugs, procedures, etc but I don't believe that is the path God wants for my family.  Don't get me wrong - I totally believe and know that God is quite capable of opening that door at anytime, but I think he has used my doctor and his comment to nudge us to where He wants us to be - on the road to adoption. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ways I Have Hindered Her

I think I am a decent mom, I really try to do what is best for my daughter in each situation; however, I do think there are 3 ways I have hindered a little bit:

1 - I have narrowed her pallet by catering to her tastes.  All our meals consist of things I know she will eat.  My husband even says, "Why don't you make _____ anymore?" and I respond with, "because Lilly won't eat that."  When she was younger that was our biggest battle as parents - meal times.  I see now that she is very unwilling to try new things and she automatically gets it in her head that she doesn't like something even before trying it. 

2 - I do for her what she can do herself.  She knows how to dress herself, but a lot of times I end up dressing her just to get it done faster.  Because I do this so much, whenever I ask her to get dressed she always asks for help.

3 - I am sarcastic with her a lot!  Her dad and I are constantly teasing her, we will say things like, "You don't have to go to gymnastics today, we can go to the potato farm" - knowing full well that she loves gymnastics and hates potatoes.  It gets her upset and I know we shouldn't "exasperate our child," we really need to work on that.  The way I think this has hindered her is that she thinks we are joking all the time and doesn't really get the difference between my teasing her and my being serious with her.

There may be other ways, but I believe God is revealing these to me so that I can be more intentional about the way I am raising her.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Suitcase

There is a suitcase sitting on our bedroom floor.  It pretty much stays there all the time because my husband travels so much.

The suitcase reminds me that he will have to leave again.  Seems like while he is home we pretty much live with the "Only ___ days until you leave again." attitude.  When he is away, we live with the "Only ___ days until you get home" attitude.

Neither way is reminding me to cherish the moments that are now. 

 I am choosing now to look at the suitcase and be reminded  that we may not have many days until he is away, but I will be thankful for the time we have while he is home. 

 I will be reminded that I need to show him each day that I love and honor him, and that I am happy he chose me to be his wife. 

I am choosing now to let the suitcase remind me that God is in control of the amount of days we have together and I will be content with that and not think about the past or the present but the now.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quiet Time with God

I know that if I start my day off with some quiet time praying and reading God's Word then I will have a better day than if I don't.  The problem is that some days I choose a little extra sleep over getting up before everybody else, or some days my daughter gets up earlier than expected and then I don't get the quiet time I was planning to have. 

I try not to make my quiet time a "check off the list" thing, but more a mindset for my day.  If I start my day talking with Him, I'm more likely to focus on Him all throughout the day.  Now, if I could only figure out a way to make Him the focus on the days that I don't get the quiet time. 

Whether I start my day with Him or not, He is with me always and will never leave me or forsake me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Before I had my daughter, I would go to other people's houses and play with their children.  I never liked it when a 4 or 5 year old child would come up with this "new" game to play and want me to join in.  I would try to understand the "rules" and follow them, but they always got frustrated because I wasn't doing what they were asking and I would get frustrated because I didn't understand what they wanted.  It always ended badly.

When I had Lilly and she started to develop an imagination, I felt bad that I didn't enjoy it more.  This is my own daughter, how come I don't love to play pretend games with her.

I love that my daughter has an imagination.  She is very creative in the games, songs, and stories she comes up with.  When she was younger she had several imaginary friends.  One of her favorite games to play is a game I bought when I was teaching where you add onto somebody else's story.  She thinks it is the best game ever, but it is not my favorite. 

I see moms who are great at playing pretend with their children and I wish that I could be like them, but I know that it isn't my gift.  I wish it were, but I know I need to be content with the gifts God has given me.

Monday, October 1, 2012

We As Parents

In Feb. 2008, God blessed us with an amazing gift - our daughter.  As her parents we are called to do what we think is best for our children, right?  The problem is that sometimes what one parent sees as best for their child is totally different from what another parent views as best.  This has been a struggle for me ever since I found out I was pregnant. 

We never put Lilly in our bedroom.  From day one she slept in her room, in her crib.  It worked for us.  I know many moms who co-slept with their child - it worked for them. 

At 5 months, we did the "cry it out" method with Lilly.  For about a week, we let her cry herself to sleep.  It was hard for that week, but afterwards it was one of the best things ever because we could lay her down in her crib awake and she could put herself to sleep.  I know some moms who would never do this and see it as cruel, but like I said - it worked for us.

We do not let our daughter dress up or participate in anything related to halloween.  It is a personal conviction of ours - one we feel very strongly about.  It is what we feel is best for our family.  I know many people who have no problem with it - that works for their family.

We have decided to home school Lilly.  I know many parents who feel strongly about sending their child to school so they can be a light to others. 

For Christmas, we celebrate Jesus' birth but do not have Santa come to our house.  It works for our family and we can focus on serving and giving to others rather than receiving.

Does that mean our way was wrong and their way was right? Or that our way was right and their way was right? I don't believe so, but there still seems to be tension when you have a different method of doing something.  On my part, I need to remember that most parents are doing what they see best for their children and just because it is different from the way we do things does not necessarily make it wrong.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fasting and Revelations

Last week, I joined Linny and her blog followers, in a day of fasting and prayer.  I wasn't planning to do it after I read that it was coming up, but that morning I felt led to join in.  Honestly, I did not think I could do it.  Only one other time have I fasted and it was for medical purposes, not spiritual.  I was surprised by the fact I wasn't more hungry than I was - I did end up having a piece of bread at lunch and one at dinner but mostly so I could "break bread" with my daughter instead of sitting there watching her eat. 

This experience was very enlightening.  I had a few revelations during this time:
1) I read all the prayer requests on the blog and realized that my "prayer request" to have another child was so, so, so minor compared to all the others - people whose children were so sick, or people who haven't talked to their children in years, or people without jobs, or people whose marriages were falling apart.  I am not saying God doesn't care about my desires, but I realized that my focus was off.  I should be focusing on my blessings.

2) I was crying out to God, wondering why all these Christians were hurting so bad then I was reminded that we are not meant to have heaven on earth.  Not that God doesn't want good things for us, but if everything on earth were peachy all the time, why would we want to go to heaven. I was also reminded that Jesus never promises that following Him will be easy, in fact, He says that it will be hard and Christians will be persecuted but that our rewards will be in heaven. Praise God for that!

3) I realized that my focus in prayer and in actions needed to not be on myself but on others and on what God wants me to do. 

So, I am throwing my agenda out and leaving my slate empty for God to fill and direct me where He desires I go.

"I will go, Lord, if you lead me."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Don't Know What to Ask

Recently, I wrote a post where I talked about how I never know what to do in certain situations, so I always call people to help me.  Now, I'm writing a post about not knowing what to ask for help?  It seems contradictory but it isn't. 

My husband travels a lot.  He is gone for long chunks of time and then home for a good chunk of time.  It is hard, but we are making it work by focusing on the positives...more on that in another post.  People are always telling me that if I need anything while he is away to just ask.  I would love to take people up on their offers, but I don't know what to ask them to do.  I mean, what exactly is my responsibility that I shouldn't pass off on others and what is the "extra" that is ok to ask others to help with?  Since, I don't know the answer to this question I usually end up doing it all alone. 

If you are one of those people who offers to help me, just know that I appreciate your offer, but I honestly do not know what to ask you to do. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Help! I Don't Know What to Do!

I am adult, but sometimes I feel like others are way more grown up than I am.  There are certain situations that I find myself in and I just don't know what to do except call somebody. 

If I am not feeling well or my daughter is sick or has a bump, rash, etc I never know if I should go to the doctor?  Is this normal?  Should I just wait it out?  So, I usually call my mom.

If our dog is having issues where I don't know if I should take her to the vet or just wait it out, I call my aunt.

If I hear noises in my attic or have an unknown critter in my yard - I call my neighbor.

You get the point, right?  I just can't seem to handle these situations by myself.  Usually, I can't even come up with a plan of action at the moment - except call so-and-so.  Then, when that person tells me what to do or comes to do something, I think, "Why didn't I think of that?  It seems so logical." 

Maybe one day I'll grow up and know how to handle these things, but until then I will be thankful I have people to call. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Change My Heart?

Have you ever prayed for God to change your husband's heart about something only to find out that it was your heart that needed changing, not his. 

I can recall a time when this was the case:

One was when we just starting attending out current church and I didn't feel like it was a right fit for us.  I felt it was time for us to go somewhere else.  I kept asking my husband if we could leave and attend some other places.  He continued to say, "I don't think it is time yet.  I think God wants us to stay here for a while longer."  So, I prayed, "Lord, change his mind, let him see things my way."  Come to find out, God changed my heart about our church and now I can't imagine going somewhere else. 

If you have ever read the book by Stormie Omartian, Power of a Praying Wife, you know that the first thing she tells you to pray for when praying for your husband is for his wife.  It is a hard concept to grasp, but it definitely helps me check my motives.  Am I trying to get my husband to do what I want or what God wants?  Ultimately I want to do what God wants always, but sometimes I get sidetracked.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alone in the Crowd

Have you ever been in a room full of people, people you know, and felt very alone?  I do not like this feeling at all.  I get in these situations where I feel like I should have something to say to somebody, but I can't think of anything.  In my head, it seems as if everybody is talking to somebody and all I can do is stand there and try to smile.  Pressure comes over me during these times and it is almost like a very mild panic attack inside my body. 

I am an introvert, always have been, so that means I get my energy from being alone and having quiet time.  This does not mean that I do not like to be around people.  When I am with 1 or 2 friends, sometimes I feel like I can't stop talking.  Since being a stay at home mom, I crave time to talk with my husband or other moms or just adults in general. 

When I was in high school and college, people used to tell me they thought I was being "stuck up" or "snooty" because I wouldn't talk to people.  I guess that is what I think now as an adult, that if I don't talk to people they are going to think I am being rude and I really am not trying to be. 

Does anybody else experience this or is it just me?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Submit to Your Husband

Right after October 2006, when I truly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and started living for Him and not for myself, I learned the true meaning of the verse "Wives submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord" Ephesians 5:22.  It doesn't mean to let them walk all over you or beat you, but to trust them (as you do the Lord) to lead your family.  In doing this, sometimes I have to bite my tongue to what I think is right and let my husband lead our family in the way he thinks we should go. 

My feelings on this used to be that my husband was going to be accountable to the Lord for the ways He led us, so I found it easy to be like "it's on your shoulders, Babe, do what you feel God is calling us to do."  Then, if it was wrong or ended badly, I would think, "I'm glad I'm not accountable for that." 

Recently, I realized I am his helpmate. God has made us one through our marriage so I shouldn't think that his decisions don't have any eternal effect on me.  If I think the way he his leading us on a certain decision isn't the godly path, then I need to 1) pray about it, make sure I'm not just trying to "get my way" but that I think there is a better choice, 2) talk to my husband about the decision and we need to pray together about the decision, and 3) if he still chooses the path that I don't agree with, continue to pray for him but also submit and leave it alone even if it does turn out "wrong" or "badly." 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Friends or Angels?

Have you ever had that person that came into your life at just the right time?  Like maybe you were going through a crisis or just a hard time in your life and they came around at just the moment you needed them and gave you encouragement or help or whatever.  I have had many friendships like this, but the part that makes me sad is that usually it seems like the person falls out of your life afterwards.  There isn't an argument or something where there were hard feelings, but the friendship just ended.

I am pretty sure I have been that kind of friend in other people's lives.  We meet at just the moment where I'm able to help them out or encourage them or just be the listening ear they need. 

Wondering if God does this for a purpose, uses us as angels for people when they need it or puts angels in our lives for a time and then they move on to help others.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Long Time, No Post

I haven't posted on this blog in a while because I have a new blog that focuses on my daughter.  I feel like she is who most of my posts focus on.  In my journal, though, I keep record of so many things I would like to blog about so I'm going to start. 

All of the posts are about things I'm sure I am not alone on, but sometimes I feel alone when it comes to these topics.  I am hoping that if anybody who is reading this has been in the same situation or had the same feelings that you'll let me know I'm not alone or that you'll feel encouraged that you are not alone. 

Here we go....