You gotta check this out!!!

>> Friday, June 27, 2008

I interrupt my previously planned Conference update to share with you an amazing giveaway. This was WAY too good to stash over on my contests page. More about the conference later. But trust me, you are gonna wanna enter this one....

Along for the Ride is giving away 5, yes 5 carriers to one lucky winner. They are calling it their Essential Babywearing Stash Giveaway. Included is a ring sling, a mei tai, a soft-structured carrier, a wrap, and a pouch sling. So basically, one of everything. What a great way to build up your own stash. Check out the contest page to see the brands for each. But you even get to pick your own sizes and styles. How cool is that?!?!
Just click through on the link and comment to enter. It is that easy. Pretty cool, huh?

Of course you could always build up your stash at this really cool site too! :)
Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

Also, Nature's Child is giving away a Bum Genius cloth diaper starter kit in their Beat the Heat Summer Giveaway. Again, just click through and comment to enter.

Both contests end July 31st. But enter now so you don't forget!


Being with like-minded souls

>> Thursday, June 26, 2008

The last two days have been SO FUN!!! I have never really understood why Star Wars enthusiasts would travel hundreds of miles to gather with other Star Wars enthusiasts and dress in costumes, etc...... until now. It is so fun to be in a conference hall FULL of people who think like me, and parent like me, and understand this aspect of what makes me tick. The seminars are really informative and such a rich learning environment. And the exhibit hall is like a babywearing shopping paradise. Mostly though, it is being with the people there that is so fun. I had lunch today with a fellow babywearer (and blogger). It was amazing how freely the conversation flowed and how much I feel like she is a kindred spirit. We just seem to have a lot in common which feels safe and comfortable.

I am still having camera issues and was too enthralled to remember to dig out my video camera and take pictures today but I will try to remember tomorrow.

I bought a new wrap because it is breathtakingly beautiful and then I won another in a pattern that is a limited edition exclusive to the conference!! I will debut pics soon.
Must sleep now.... another fun conference day ahead. I am bringing Lucas with me tomorrow so that should bring a whole new level of adventure. More to come.....


Nurturing Dads

>> Wednesday, June 25, 2008

As a belated Father's Day tribute and in conjunction with the Babywearing Conference I am leaving for in 1hour, I wanted to post my favorite pics of hubby doing the babywearing. It took a little while to convince him to start using the sling (he started out with the Bjorn and moved up from there, WAY up!). But once he started, he was hooked and used it pretty regularly. He is a big fan of the Ergo and used the Mei Tai while we were at the beach a few weeks ago. He doesn't wear Lucas that much anymore, but I know he will be doing his share of babywearing once Baby Next arrives in a few weeks.

Few things nurture my soul more than watching Hubby and Lucas play together or read together or have genuine bonding time together. That is probably why I love seeing him wear Lucas in the sling or carrier. It is true connection, bonding, that you just can't get in other ways.
That's my man - the babywearer!!
Daddy and Lucas last 4th of July getting ready for some parade action!!

Kitchen helper - Daddy and Lucas doing some chores. Warms your heart, doesn't it! :)

Stay tuned for some pics and my personal recount of the conference. I am SO excited!

This post has been entered in Peppermint's June Babywearing Photo contest.


Being Capable - Psalm Sunday

>> Sunday, June 22, 2008

At church today, we talked about strongholds - those things that hold us back and keep us from growing or reaching our full potential in Christ. We talked about the story of the lame man and his friends who carried him to see Jesus and lowered him through the roof to get healed and forgiven. He wanted to see Jesus but couldn't get there without the help of his friends to overcome his strongholds. As a couple people were sharing about themselves, it occurred to me that one of my biggest strongholds is this feeling of being capable. All my life I have been told, directly and indirectly, that I am capable of almost anything. If I want it, if I work hard enough, I can accomplish almost anything. While not a horrible message to instill in your kids, I think it has kept me from going to the deeper places of spiritual vulnerability needed for growth. It is sometimes hard for me to let my friends carry me to Jesus, like the lame man's friends did. After all, I am very capable of taking care of myself and getting things done. But with all that has happened in my life the last few years, not the least of which is learning how to parent a 2 yr. old, I think the notion that I am independently capable of most things is diminishing. Few things remind you of your own limitations like trying to convince a reluctant toddler to take a nap or eat his "non-hot dog" dinner. While thinking more about this today, this Psalm came to my mind. Especially verse 2- "My soul will boast in the Lord." Not in my own capabilities. Lord, help me to take my refuge in You and not in my own strength and abilities. Stay near to me, Lord, protect me from evil and teach me to fear You.

Psalm 34

1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

Jesus, I am Resting
Jesus, I am resting, resting, In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power, thou hast made me whole.

Jesus, I am resting, resting, In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.

O, how great Thy loving kindness, vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness, lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belov├Ęd, know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise, and have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with Thy grace.


Weekend Update

>> Saturday, June 21, 2008

I had my second Wheaton French market of the season today and it was... GREAT!! My first attempt a month ago was a little less than stellar but today was a lot of fun. We even had a 15min. downpour in the morning but then the sun came out and I had my biggest selling day ever!! Praise God!! I have been getting a little down recently about the whole sling business thing but today was just the burst of energy I needed. I had a blast!

Other news...
I got my hair chopped...again!! I have been wanting to do it for awhile but decided to wait until after my sister-in-law's wedding. I found some gift cards (probably over 3yrs. old- but still good!) to this ritzy salon when cleaning out Lucas' closet recently. So Wednesday night, I made a last-minute appointment and got a super-fancy haircut. It was fun to feel pampered for an hour or so. (I am currently experiencing camera problems but will post pics as soon as they are resolved.)

Also, we have gone in with some friends on a subscription to a local CSA. We picked up our first vege box on Thursday and have been having fun thinking of new recipes using veges I have barely heard of. Anyone know of a good recipe using Rainbow Swiss Chard? I have heard it is kinda like spinach so I may try to use it in a lasagna or something this week. It is fun and something new. Plus, it makes me feel like I am actually doing the right thing for my family. The environment too, I guess. After picking up our box, I felt in such an "organic" kind of mood that Lucas and I went out to dinner at this awesome organic restaurant nearby. Hubby was working late so Lucas and I just sat and had an amazing meal complete with organic cinnamon toast muffins for dessert (and the next morning's breakfast). After dinner we walked around the downtown area and watched a few trains pass by. Lucas went to bed a little late but we were both having so much fun I just couldn't help it. It was a very cool evening.

This is a pic (using my video camera) of some salmon we grilled tonight using some of the fresh dill from our CSA box. SO yummy!!
So there you have it, my own little weekend update. :) Kinda random, huh?


No need to exaggerate when the truth is bad enough

>> Friday, June 20, 2008

My mother is famous for her southern-esque sayings.... this is one of them. So is "it's cold enough to kill hogs in here." So obscure yet descriptive. :) This particular saying (the title, not the hogs) came to mind today after a very bizarre experience at our local park district.

In an attempt to keep our boys busy and challenged all summer, my best friend and I signed up our sons for a few classes at the Village Park District. We just finished our two weeks of swimming lessons with moderate success and today was the first of another five week class. This class is supposed to be half story/craft time and half fitness/gym class. The write up in the catalog sounded great, it was relatively cheap and got us out of the house for 90 minutes on Friday mornings. Can't lose, right? Not so much.

We got there today and were greeted by total chaos. No introduction from the teacher, no formal start to the class. Just total chaos. My friend and I were instructed that most parents just drop the kids off and come back at the end to pick them up. Not what I was anticipating but worth a shot, I guess. Lucas is a fairly adjustable kid, he can probably handle it (so I thought). When I left, he was playing quite contently with some trucks and farm animals. So we walked away, sat on a bench outside the room and hoped for the best. Not even 5 minutes later, I hear Lucas crying at the door. This "teacher" had no control over the room. She brought her 2 kids (approx. ages 8-12) with her to the class meant for ages 2-4. The only stories at this morning's "Story time" were read by a very soft-spoken 13yr. old girl that we can only assume was the aide. There was about 5min. of coloring, a scary parachute activity and lots of trying to corral a handful of unruly kids. My friend commented it was like "bad daycare" at best. I would NEVER have left Lucas there alone if I had known it would be like that. Out of control and definitely NOT what was pitched in the catalog.

We had high hopes for the fitness portion of the class. "Come tire out your kids and teach them fun fitness activities" the class description promised. The 45min class basically consisted of a 7minute game of "red light, green light" (this is a class for 2 year olds, mind you), 5 minutes of teaching the "bear walk," a few minutes of free-for-all ball playing and LOTS of chasing down the kids who ran out of the gym while the "teacher" wasn't paying attention. Then, with 20min. still left in fitness class, she ushers all the kids back into the original, small room we started in and the hyped up kids begin to tear the place apart. Trying to stay in the background but close enough to rescue Lucas from any danger, I sat on a mini-chair on the side and let the "teacher" handle the room. At one point, a child became entangled in the parachute and had to be rescued. This same child came and tried to steal Lucas' water bottle from my hands and yelled at me that he was thirsty when I didn't turn it over. Children were screaming, the teacher was trying (I think) to organize some play activities like trains, etc... It was just more chaos. Lucas wisely found a corner and began to play (alone) with some farm animals. My friend's son found a tool bench and tried to play until he was "attacked" by another kid with the play-drill. I left there kinda shell-shocked and feeling like I have never wanted to home-school more in my life.

I want to give this lady the benefit of the doubt. She seemed completely in over her head. But there is NO WAY I would EVER leave Lucas in her care. I don't even know if we will go back. I mean, at one point today, a child completely left the room and this lady had to chase her down, leaving 5 other two year olds unattended in a gym with a 13yr old girl and her two kids.

Hubby says I need to notify the park district.

What would you do? Would you go back and try to give this class/"teacher" a chance? It really was as bad as I have described. I am not exaggerating. No need to.


A momentous morning

>> Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anyone who has known me for awhile knows that I am a HUGE fan of the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. I love the story, I love the characters, I love the message of loving people for who they truly are on the inside. It is not your typical princess movie. There is love and romance in the end but only after she learns to see beyond what is on the outside and let go of her unrealistic ideals of what she wants her "fairy tale" life to look like. I could go on and on about the merits of this movie and why I love it but I will spare you.

This morning I was trying to get some work done sewing slings for my French Market this weekend. Lucas was playing quietly at his train table for about 10 min. and then got a little restless. I had a few more things I needed to get done so when he brought a DVD to me and asked to watch I was relieved. But to my surprise, the DVD he brought to me was Beauty and the Beast. Smiling at his choice, I put the DVD in and turned back to my sewing machine to continue my work. But as soon as the movie started, I couldn't resist. Lucas and I sat on the futon in the basement and watched my favorite movie together for about 30+ minutes. It was so fun! He asked questions, I explained the characters and the story, and he sat mesmerized by the music and dancing in one of the opening scenes. I fast-forwarded to the "Be Our Guest" scene and he thought that was super-cool, just like his mommy.

My son and I had a bonding moment while watching a Disney princess movie, but it is so much more than that.... It is a movie I love and now so does he. A momentous morning indeed. :)


Number 2

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

"So, are you ready for #2?" a well-meaning friend asked me at church yesterday morning. What a loaded question. Feeling caught off guard and not exactly sure of what to say, I simply said "Oh, I am really not sure." Which is true. Her immediate reply was that she didn't blame me for being apprehensive. "One was hard, two was REALLY hard, but my third was easy so maybe that gives you some hope." It is conversations like these that leave a mama like me feeling completely unsure of how to feel.

The first reason this type of conversation (and trust me, this is not the first or even the tenth time I have had to answer this exact question) is particularly tough for me, is that this is not my second baby. My second is a bossy little two year old who constantly asks questions and wants to know what animals like hippos and wallabies eat. How does he even know what a wallaby is? But I digress. This is my third baby. And I know that may not be on the forefront of anyone else's mind but it is constantly on mine. And I also know that the reasons people tell me their second was really hard are probably the same reasons that will make my third really hard but is still feels awkward to carry on a conversation under those assumptions when reality to me feels very different. I have many friends who are also pregnant right now, all due a couple months behind me. Friends whom I love and am so excited for. But friends who still say "how fun that our second babies will grow up together." True that we will have another set of kids that will be very close in age. But again, this is not my second. It is not their fault. I do not expect people to know what to say 'cuz I don't really know myself. But, it doesn't take away that moment of sting when for convenience sake I smile and say "yeah, it will be fun."

The second reason these conversations are awkward for me.... I am truthfully not all that scared. I was. And I still have some doubts about how I will be able to handle a toddler and a newborn, some apprehensions about what life is going to look like in just about 7+ weeks. But I am not scared. Being scared to me looks a WHOLE LOT different than this. I am actually feeling excited. I can't wait to hold this baby in the sling and cuddle him around while I talk about lawnmowers and carwashes with Lucas. I am excited to tackle nursing again and begin that adventure. I am ready to meet this little guy, to introduce him to his family and start living life with him part of it. But that never feels like the answer that people are looking for. So the people-pleaser in me doesn't let them down. Then after the conversation has moved on, I am left feeling like I betrayed myself and this baby a bit by pretending to not be ready for this step. Granted, I have yet to clean out the closet in the boys' room or get out any of our newborn clothes or tackle any number of projects I would like to get done before he arrives. But emotionally and mentally speaking, I am ready. I am ready for him to be born and to bring him home and start loving him and bonding with him from the outside.

This is not an issue of pregnancy discomfort, although comfortable sleep is getting more and more elusive these days. It is an issue of all things being relative. I spent the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy being scared out of my mind. Scared that I wouldn't get to keep him and scared of what I would do if I had to. So now, my thoughts of him joining us in a few weeks do not feel like fear. Nervousness? Yes, a bit. But also excitement. Looking ahead to the unexplainable joy that will be when I am able to look at his face and kiss his cheek and tell him how much I have been waiting for his arrival.
I am sure that this is how all mothers feel when they are preparing for baby's arrival. These emotions just feel a little more pronounced for me in comparison with all that has preceded them. I am not unique in being anxious, a little nervous, for my baby to be born.

But I am a little unique in how I got to this place.

I am a little sad that Lucas will have to accept my divided attention as his only real option for awhile. I am a little apprehensive about how me and my high-intensity toddler will manage that. And maybe that is what my friend meant today and I have just made this into something it isn't. But I just felt the need to speak what is truly in my soul, churned up by the short conversation this morning- I am excited and ready for baby #3 to be born!! I am not afraid, finally, of what lies ahead! I know it will challenge me and deprive me of sleep and take me to my mental limit and any number of other things.... but I sit here feeling like God has already taken me to the edge of despair, twice, so now my minor apprehensions feel more like being immeasurably blessed with one more boy to love and cherish and nurture. And maybe it took all that has happened to get me to this point. But I am grateful to be here and ready to face whatever is next.


Fatherly Love- Psalm Sunday

>> Sunday, June 15, 2008

Not a lot of really deep thoughts today. I have just been meditating a bit about the love of fathers and how unique a love that is. I think of my own father and how he has always been this pillar of strength, my best-advocate, someone on which I KNOW I can always lean on. His love is un-losable. He would never turn his back on me and would face any danger or trial to come to my aid if ever I call on him. My father is an amazing man for whom I have nothing but the upmost respect. How much more does my Heavenly Father love me and want to give me all the goodness and riches of His kingdom. The only thing He asks in return is that I fear Him and seek Him and praise Him. So that is this week's Psalm will be- a praise offering to my Father who loves me and is ever deserving of my praise.

Psalm 103

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Jesus. Lover of My Soul (Darlene Zchech)
Jesus, lover of my soul
Jesus, I will never let You go
You've taken me from the miry clay
You've set my feet upon the rock
And now I know
I love you,
I need you
Though my world may fall I'll never let You go
My Savior, my closest Friend
I will worship you until the very end


If it makes you happy...

>> Thursday, June 12, 2008

... it can't be that bad, right. Or so the song goes.

I have mentioned before that hubby and I have been going to counseling for almost a year now. We reached a point last summer where we felt like little more than co-existing roommates and were having some troubles with conflict resolution. We decided that we would go and get some help before things got too bad. We realized that we needed some outside help learning some tools for resolving conflicts 'cuz we didn't seem to be making much ground on our own. The past year has been so amazing. We have learned to fight better and talk better and just overall communicate better. It hasn't always been fun. In fact, it has been (and still is) really hard. But it has made a huge difference in the way we interact with each other and the way we love each other, practically and romantically.
But this isn't meant to be a "good for us" post about working on our marriage.

Today is our 9 year wedding anniversary. That is 9 years of ups and downs and laughs and cries. I got the most beautiful peach roses (my all-time favorite!) today and hopefully we will be able to go out to dinner or something soon. It has been a good day. But recently (actually at his sister's rehearsal dinner), hubby dropped a bit of an emotional bomb on me. In a conversation with his brother (whose inhibitions were somewhat lowered by a couple beers), hubby was defending his views on birthday celebrations (which are somewhat unorthadox- but that is a whole other topic). In this conversation, hubby was accused of not wanting to be happy. His response stunned me. Without going into too much detail, this whole conversation launched us into an emotion-filled discussion of what it means to be truly happy and if that is a mark we should realistically strive for. But also, how much of our spouses' happiness are we responsible for?

Hubby was confused as to why his professed lack of overall happiness would leave me feeling insulted and somewhat unclear of where I stood with him. "My happiness is not your job," he said. But while it is not my job, it is my heart's desire and thus something I work towards. Or at least am ever mindful of.

I know it is not technically my job, at least I think I do. I cannot control his response to life or make him feel any certain way. But I do feel that it is part of my God-given responsibility as his wife (of 9 years!!) to create an environment in which happiness is the most likely response. If I am contemplating what to make for dinner and I am deciding between lasagna and beef stroganoff, I will probably choose the stroganoff because I know he really enjoys that meal. If it is an early morning wake-up call with Lucas and I know hubby has not slept well or is really tired, I will try at least to repress any feelings of sleep entitlement and get up so that he can get a few extra minutes. Why? Because I think that is what will make him happy. Now, I am far from good at this. I am not the saint I may be painting the picture of. I grumble to myself when feeding Lucas breakfast or other less-than-gracious things. And hubby does get up with Lucas and let me sleep sometimes too. But do you see the point? I WANT him to be happy and I will do whatever I can do to make that so. So to hear that he isn't sure if he is or not is kind of a blow to me.

To his defense, he is not claiming to be UNhappy. He is just in a place of figuring out what it is that makes life truly enjoyable for him and how he can make the most of life and feel ultimately fulfilled by it. It is easy to say that happiness is found in spending time with our spouse or our children or with God or whatever. But I think if all of us are truly honest we will admit that there is more to it than that. And I am proud of hubby for getting to a place where he is brave enough to admit that and embark on an introspective journey to discovering what happiness for him will truly look like.

But in the meantime, where does that leave me? My admittedly somewhat co-dependent tendency to want to make him (and most people) happy makes this journey of his very hard for me. We were slow-dancing at his sister's wedding reception, just a day after the original comment so still very much in the hurt phase of this, and hubby very sweetly and romantically looked in my eyes and said that even if he wasn't completely sure what happiness looked like, he felt happy in that moment holding me close and dancing together. I got teary, still do just thinking about it. But I can't reproduce that moment every day. That is not what everyday life with a toddler and busy schedules looks like. How do I make him happy in the day to day? Or is that even my concern?

He says it is not. And that he just needs some time to figure this all out. And in our counseling times we have been talking about it and have begun to work it all out. But I still feel unsure of my proper response to this journey of his. Of ours. Because it does not just affect him. My happiness kind of rides on this too.

9+ years of lots of happy moments. Some not-so-happy ones too, but that is life. Put all of it together and you have the reality of living in a less-than perfect world with a less-than-perfect spouse. Thank you hubby for being on this journey with me and striving for whatever will make our family, our marriage stronger from here on. I am commited to living and loving this journey with you, no matter what.


Adventures in swimming lessons

>> Monday, June 9, 2008

I guess you can officially say that summer has arrived. It has consistently been in the 80's and we had our first swim lesson this morning. Lucas took swimming lessons last year but it was basically a two week exercise in mommy carrying a screaming 1yr. old around a pool for half an hour. Not a lot of swimming took place.
We woke this morning to very grey skies and threats of rain so I was less than optimistic about being able to get in the pool today. But to my pleasant surprise, the pool water was very warm despite the cloudy skies and Lucas did GREAT in the pool. He was laughing and splashing and seemed to be having a good time. He did ask to get out of the water a couple times but didn't seem upset and even walked into the pool up to his shoulders by himself. I am hopeful that this year he will actually learn a thing or two about swimming. Imagine swim lessons. My very pregnant self needs to be able to spend as much time as possible at the pool this summer.

Here are some fun pics from last year - Lucas is the middle boy and I am the one on the far right (with my back to the camera) in the bottom pic. I can't believe how much he has changed in a year! Hopefully his affinity for the water has changed too! :) If I have a moment of weakness and allow myself to be photographed in a maternity swimsuit, I'll post those pics soon.


Finding Rest- Psalm Sunday

>> Sunday, June 8, 2008

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. No, I haven't forgotten about my promise to be consistent in posting reflectively on Sundays and making myself accountable to my friends in doing so. The past few weeks have been more than CRAZY here. The wedding was on a Sunday and then we were in Indiana last week with some friends at a beach house with no internet. But now I am home and trying to get back into the swing of life. I am also trying to figure out how to live these next 8weeks of summer very intentionally and not just wish away my last two months with just Lucas before Baby Next arrives.

Although last week was technically vacation, it was not all that restful. Hubby was only able to take Monday off which left me the task of single parenthood at the beach for a week. It was rougher than it sounds. Lucas was sick one night and puked on me at least three times. He slept poorly in the new environment, the weather was less than ideal, the beach was like getting sand-abrasion treatments due to the high winds, and I was simply exhausted by Thursday. We did have one good beach day (luckily the day hubby was there) and some fun at the pool and a cool botanical garden nearby. It was fun being with all our friends and doing something memorable together. It was just not all that restful.

So today, I have been thinking about rest. How do I get it? What is the source from which I can draw when I am depleted and exhausted and yet still required to continue on? It is only my God, my source for rest and peace and grace and mercy. He alone is my strength when my toddler is throwing up or I am having back labor-pains from hovering over his bed and trying to get him to sleep. He is my shield. My rest.
Lord, help me to rely on You for the strength I need to get through each day and draw on You when I am in need of rest.

Psalm 84
1 How lovely are Your dwelling places,O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
3 The bird also has found a house,And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,My King and my God.
4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!They are ever praising You.
5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;The early rain also covers it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength,Every one of them appears before God in Zion.
8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;Give ear, O God of Jacob!
9 Behold our shield, O God,And look upon the face of Your anointed.
10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;The LORD gives grace and glory;No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Better is One Day (Chris Tomlin)
How lovely isYour dwelling place Oh Lord Almighty,
For my soul longs and even faints for You
Oh, here my heart is satisfied
Within Your presence
I see beneath the shadow of Your wings.

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere

One thing I ask and I would seek,
To see Your beauty
To find You inThe place Your glory dwells

My heart and flesh cry out
For You, the Living God
Your Spirit's water to my soul
I've tasted, and I've seen
Come once again to me
I will draw near to You, I will draw near to You.

P.S~ Pics from the beach coming soon.... And I have introduced a new button for my Psalm Sunday thanks to my friend Drea. Thank you so much Drea!!


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