Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Samuel John: 4 Months

I am late in posting this, but figured late was better than never!

It is amazing how much a month can change things!  You have finally decided that since you can't go back into the womb, that you might as well be happier about life!  We are getting so many more smiles and tons of laughs.  You are able to stay awake for longer stretches of time, which has been a huge help.

Nights are still hit or miss.  You might give me a good 5 hour stretch one night, but the next night you are up 3-5 times a night.  At least you are now falling asleep after I nurse you, rather than getting mad and screaming for 20 minutes.

You have officially found your voice and you love to screech and chat while hanging out.  Belle has started to copy you, and I think it's adorable.  In fact, Belle is your favorite person ever.  She can get you to laugh even when you are exhausted, and she is a HUGE help.  She loves to give you a bottle, and the girls fight over who gets to bounce you.

Evie seems to forget that you are a fragile baby.  She bounces you too hard, or pokes your face.  She can't keep her hands off of you in the car, and I have to often shield her from you to protect you from a french fry being shoved in your mouth.

You are still into your thumb, and I LOVE to watch you when you find it.  It helps keep you napping longer and soothes you often when you need it.  You aren't completely pacifier free, as you like to have it in the car or when other people are snuggling you, but I am more than okay with that!

You are proving to be more and more of a "mama's boy."  I have a love/hate feeling toward this.  I love that you like to snuggle on me, but hate that sometimes it means I can't get much done.  I am trying to remind myself that you are only little once and the laundry can wait.

You are still a champ nurser, which makes me so happy!  Neither of your sisters lasted this long, so I am hoping we can get through at least another couple of months.  I am shocked, however, at how much you can eat.  You will finish a nursing session, and then down a 6-8oz bottle before bed!

Your hair is a HOT mess.  You're going bald on the sides and have this crazy mohawk thing in the middle.  Sorry, bud, it's pretty terrible.

You have started grabbing for toys and have found your hands.  You often go cross eyed trying to focus on them, and I laugh every time.  You have rolled over from front to back once, but I can tell you keep trying to do it more often.  No hurry on the movement, buddy!  I am fine with you sitting VERY still for a long time :-)

Love watching you grow, sweet boy.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Done Living In The EVENTUALLY

I am awful at prayer and devotions.  It's terrible, but it's truth.  I mean, I pray with my kids, and I might throw up a "Thank you for this day" prayer before I fall asleep, but all in all I have been going through the motions.

For awhile I have felt frustrated with this area of my life.  Frankly, I would feel a tinge of annoyance every time someone Instagrammed a picture of their coffee cup with their Bible opened with some sort of caption like "Soaking in God's Word today."  I am certain you could have caught me rolling my eyes many a time.

If I'm to be honest, my REAL annoyance was not with the person who posted, but rather with myself.  Seeing others pursuing God made me utterly aware of how much I lack in this area.  It made me realize that I pretty much could never take a picture like that because it wasn't happening.  This girl was not drinking her morning cup of joe with the Bible open.  I was drinking my coffee, but it was with a baby on the boob, two little girls glued to the latest episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and catching up on all the latest social media I may have missed out on during the last 8 hours I was sleeping.

For the past year or so I have felt an uneasiness in my personal faith walk.  I have felt lazy and full of excuses.  I attend church weekly, I feel I am using the talents God has given me to serve Him, I pray with my kids, but when it comes down to the "heart and soul" of my faith I find that it is severely lacking.  I find that my pursuit of Him is only in the areas that interest me.  I love to sing, therefore singing and using my voice to praise Him is enjoyable and comes easy.  I love my church, so showing up every week is something I love to do and look forward to.  When it comes to taking my own personal time to spend in prayer and study I just don't do it.  It's not the "fun" part of faith for me.  I don't like to study, and in all honesty, perusing Target.com gets me more excited than reading my Bible app.

What's interesting to me is that my love language is quality time, yet I don't want to give some good ol' QT to my Creator.  I think about how much I love sitting and just talking with Paul.  I love hanging out with him and learning more about each other--even after being together for 12 years.  Why don't I have this same desire and enjoyment with time spent with God?  I have tried, and I get bored.  I have always liked to blame it on my ADD.  I tell myself, "Ya know, I can't sit in quiet and pray because my my mind wanders.  I can't sit and read the Bible, because I don't understand parts of it, so I find by the time I read a passage I have already forgotten what I read a minute earlier."  Excuses, excuses, right?

I find that I have been making excuses for along time.  I find myself telling myself that EVENTUALLY I will be more disciplined.  EVENTUALLY I will have more time for myself when my kids aren't so needy.  EVENTUALLY I'll have a more mature approach to time spent with God.  EVENTUALLY I will have time to join a Bible study where I can better focus on how to read the Bible.  However, there is another side of me that wishes I was the wife that diligently prayed for her husband as he headed out the door for work.  I yearn to be the mother that prays verses over her children as they fall asleep.  I want to be a woman within my home that pursues her relationship with God as much as she pursues one with her spouse and kids.  If I truly want to be this kind of woman then why do I keep saying the word "EVENTUALLY."

Often times I feel that in order to make my faith worth something it needs to be big and earth shattering.  I think in order for my own journey to be impactful, then I need to be standing on stage preaching or getting books published.   I need to have amazing words that change the hearts of other people.  I am not saying this isn't a good thing, but it definitely paralyzes me from moving forward.

Recently my grandma passed away.  During her funeral my uncle read a eulogy written by my aunt, and it resonated with my soul so much.  My aunt wrote that there will never be buildings with Wilma Huizinga's name on them.  You won't find her name in history books.  Her life is not one that people all over the world will speak about.  However, Wilma Huizinga was faithful and stored the word of God in her heart.  I listened as I learned about how my grandma prayed with my grandpa, how her children remember her studying her Bible, and how she was quietly faithful.  She didn't bring droves of people to Christ, but she taught her children how to love God and what obedience looked like.  She exemplified faithful discipline.  My grandma's quiet faithful obedience has produced children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who love the Lord.  Wilma Huizinga didn't bring masses of people all at once, but through my grandma and grandpa's legacy there are generations who have been saved by their choice to be obedient.

Last night I attended IF: Local.  Simply, it is a Christian event where women gather to learn how to live out our purpose (Click here to learn more about the IF: Gathering).  Since I have been wrestling with all of these thoughts about my own faith walk, I feel that last night's event really made me decide to get serious and quit living in the EVENTUALLY mindset.  Between last night and this morning I have been working through loads of thoughts and emotions and I know I need to stop waiting around to give God that quality time, and I need to start now.  If I want to start hearing God in my life, then I need to start seeking Him.  My marriage, my kids, and my life depends on it.

So here I sit.  I am ready to dive in deeper (although scared at the same time).  I think I am hesitant because I assume I'll get myself on a spiritual high and be disciplined for awhile, and then I'll come down and let things fall by the wayside with more excuses as to why I just can't keep it up.  Thinking through my personality and how I process things, I have decided to try a study on my own.  Why do I always think I need to be part of a Bible study group in order to actually go through a study?!  I am committing to begin the book "A Time for Everything" by Margaret Feinberg.  It is all about the seasons of our lives and embracing each one.  I am in a tough season of life right now with my kids so young, and I need some encouragement, and I really need to see what God has to say to me.  It isn't a long study, but I figure that it is a good start that isn't too daunting.

So now it is out there.  I have publicly stated my goal and my desire to become disciplined in how I pursue my relationship with God.  I feel like telling everyone helps me stay accountable.  If you remember I made a commitment a couple years ago to run a 5k (which was crazy talk for me at the time), and half the reason I was able to stick with it was because I knew others were expecting me to follow through.  I ask for your prayers.  I don't tend to be a disciplined person in any area of my life, so this is going to be tough, but I know I won't regret it.

I'm excited.  I crave to have a closer and more personal relationship with God.  I desire to know when I feel God's prompting.  I look forward to taking God off the back burner of my life and placing him in the forefront where I can't ignore him anymore.  It may not end up with me on a stage preaching to thousands, but I sure hope it means I become that woman that leaves a legacy for generations to come through her faithful obedience.

And who knows--I might even be able to take my own Instagram photo with my coffee and Bible "soaking up God's word!"