Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I am seriously afraid that my children were switched at birth. The boys that live in my house and call me “mama” are not mine, but strangers. Tonight as we started eating dinner, my two year old stated matter-of-factly, “I really like spinach.” As he gulped his down, I decided to test my 11 month old and plopped some spinach onto his tray. It disappeared into his mouth and he went on to devour the rest of what I had made. Who are these children? My earliest childhood memory is of watching my older sister run out to the ice cream truck while I am stuck at the dinner table until I finish my dreaded portion of spinach. To this day I only eat it because I know that it is good for me and excepting turnip greens and kale (close relatives of spinach) it remains my least favorite vegetable. So, tonight somewhere there are two boys who when served spinach by their well-intentioned mother, turn up their noses and protest. And in exchange I have two spinach lovers that look just like me, but obviously could not be mine.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Joe is back to work today and so things here are getting back to normal. This morning, after general straightening and kitchen clean-up, I put some bread in the oven to rise while we left for what I thought would be a quick errand to the mall. My MIL’s bday is next week and I have been struggling to find a present for her. The trip took twice as long as expected and so we arrived home to some very risen bread. I baked it anyway and though it is a bit fluffy, it tastes fine. Hurray for a flexible husband who is always complimentary of my cooking despite my insufficiencies!

Both little men are napping now and so I have taken a few minutes to waste on the computer. I need to go clean up our lunch dishes and start on supper though.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Joe has been off since he got home late Wednesday afternoon and so I have been spending time with my family instead of blogging. Tonight, Joe is working on his Sunday school lesson and so I have a few minutes to write.

First of all, I did fine with the boys all to myself while Joe was away. We scheduled 2 or 3 things to do away from the ordinary (trip to the zoo, play group, park, bookstore, errands, etc.) each day. I also realized that I handle the boys by myself everyday while Joe is at work and so that part wasn’t any different. The evenings were lonely and of course I missed Joe most then. However, I stayed busy and so that helped to pass the time. I am one of those people who works when tired, in a bad mood, upset, lonely etc. and so I worked! I finished painting our laundry room—no longer aquamarine blue with glitter-stenciled fish—so tacky! It is now a tasteful gray/blue with white trim. And I painted our master bathroom. It is now white instead of pink, which is much more to my manly husband’s liking. I was proud of my accomplishments and love looking at my newly painted rooms. It is fun that things can be improved that much by just a gallon of paint and some elbow grease.

As another update, it looks like we won’t move until next year. Joe is still ready to leave, but God closed the door to the available job possibility elsewhere and so we are staying put for now. Though we are disappointed at not getting the new job, we see so many ways that it will be a blessing to stay here. We won’t have the hassle of a fast move. I’ll get to have this baby here. Financially, it makes sense to stay as this is a higher salary and we can put off moving expenses for a year. We are so thankful for God’s leading to this point and are just praying that we’ll be continually faithful for as long as we are here.

It was hot here today and tonight we are getting a spring thunderstorm. The yard is abloom with azaleas, daffodils, an ornamental pear, and a red bud tree. The rain will wash away the dim haze of yellow pollen that coats everything. Tomorrow, we celebrate our arisen Savior! The Lord is risen indeed, Hallelujah!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

As I’ve thought more about my propensity to complain, I realized that a good amount of the time that I spend talking to other moms is also focused on negativity. Mostly, it boils down to complaints about all of the things that we are busy doing and our children’s foibles and troubles. How we handle our children’s problems is a topic for another day, but today I wanted to write about busyness.

My husband is getting ready to go on a trip with the youth group to Chicago for their spring break. As I have thought about my time alone here with the boys (pregnant/morning sickness/single mom), I have been overwhelmed by the prospect of it all.

And yet, compare my life today to the life of an average American wife 150 years ago. At 27, I’d have been married closer to 10 years by now instead of 4 and would have 4 or 5 children by now instead of 2. We would be living on a farm in the middle of nowhere perhaps with a small town within a day’s horse and buggy ride. I would be up before dawn to tend the animals, pump water and carry it to the house, get the wood burning stove going, and cook breakfast. During the day, in addition to raising the children, I would tend our vegetable garden, sew and mend clothes, knit, clean the house (minus vacuum cleaner, Windex, or “scrubbing bubbles”), and help in the fields at times. I can’t even think of all of the responsibilities I would have. Today, I have so many modern conveniences to help in my daily labors that it is laughable. Me, busy? What do I have to complain about?

It would be interesting to read about what women of that time thought about their lives, daily routines, and value as a wife and mom. I bet that they were much more content than we are today. We have so many outside pressures on us. Stripped of our identity and sense of value at home by our modern culture, we try to find ourselves in jobs, social standing, being the best “soccer mom” our there, having accomplished children, etc.

I believe that I am fulfilling my God-given role by being at home with my boys and keeping our home for my husband, but I still struggle so much. I get overwhelmed by the constant demands on me and really resist the selflessness needed to thrive. Why? Because of my sinful nature certainly, but I also get so tired of fighting for myself. I read a blog the other day (which if I can find, I'll link to it) where a woman talked about her longing for a spiritual mentor and her realization that she needed to plow ahead despite her lack of support. She realized that she needed to stop looking for support and that she was going to fight hard, even alone. Perhaps that is where I am. Coming to realize that though alone, my worthy fight must be fought daily—in acts of selflessness and patience, as I rely on God’s grace.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Does anyone else ever worry that her blog is too whiney? As I walked to the living room to write and contemplated tonight’s entry, my mind went over my day and naturally cataloged all of my tiredness, complaints, pains, etc. That is my typical entry recently. And that is who I am a lot of the time. My husband is the optimist in this marriage and I am the realist (read: pessimist). My glass is always half (at least) empty and I think everyone else’s is too.

But, I know that is not focusing on God’s sufficiency for me. Not that I fall into the “Christians are perky all of the time” camp. I have read enough Amy Carmichael to know that is not true. I do, however, believe in a sovereign God. And that should change how I view even my bad days. The trick is living in that sovereignty daily and seeing it in the midst of sick boys, morning sickness, a very busy husband, and the routine self-sacrifice of being a mama. I want to abide in God’s presence in such a way that my heart overflows with His goodness—every day.

Friday, March 11, 2005

First real bout with morning sickness today. I’ve had queasy moments from time to time, but today it is lasting. I’m tired too and so it has been a long day. Joe is in a training seminar at the seminary today and was excited about the change of pace. He’ll be home late this afternoon though, so the day is just beginning.

We’ve had an uneventful day. We grocery shopped this morning and then have stayed here and taken it easy for the rest of the day. Both boys are napping now and Will will be up in a few minutes. I’m exhausted, but am not feeling as bad now as I did earlier.

Thanks for all of the congrats. It is fun to share happy news, isn’t it? We haven’t told anyone here yet since I am still not very far along and so it is fun to have you all know.

If anyone has been keeping up with the Teri Schiavo case, now is a critical time. I encourage all of you to go to to get the info needed to contact your state’s senators and representatives. The ten minutes that it would take to email them would get the message across about the sanctity of human life at all stages. Be vocal!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where to begin….First, thanks to mind if I call you Fred for noticing I was gone and asking about it. J At first, we switched ISPs and were without service for a week. Then, life happened….

Joe has continued to have problems with his job—so much so that he is looking elsewhere—which means we could move. Before we got to this point, there were times of turmoil, prayer, and long talks as we sought God’s will and sought to be faithful in the midst of trials. God has brought us to a place of peace now, which is a huge answer to prayer and blessing. Whether Joe gets a new job and we move, or stays here and seeks to be faithful in adversity, we have both accepted either possibility.

In the middle of all of this, we have found out that we’re expecting our third little one! Truly a gift from the Lord, but we didn’t know that all of these conflicts would be happening now. It has been difficult to be both joyful about this new life and so unsettled about the situation at church. Lots of opposite emotions and LOTS of instability, which is hard for me. I am a huge planner and worrier, and all of these troubles at church were not on my list of things to do. More chances to trust in God’s sovereignty. Anyway, I’m due late October and am so thrilled to be pregnant again. I never feel cuter than when I’m pregnant (although I am not to the cute stage yet at this point. I’m still only in the pudgy stage.) Neither of my first two pregnancies was easy, but it is just so wonderful to be carrying God’s new creation—a secret joy that only a few family members (and now any friendly Xangans out there) know about so far.

In my absence I have somewhat kept up with all of you, my faithful subscriptions. I haven’t posted though some of you have really poured out your hearts, but I’ve prayed. I have also branched out and found some good non-Xanga blogs that I’ve read a bit. One that I would recommend for you to check out:

Amy’s Humble Musings (a witty and Biblical look at motherhood, she’s recently talked a lot about big families and her perspective is so different from the world’s. I’ve really enjoyed reading her.)

So, pregnant, with major life decisions in God’s hands, I’m back.