Friday, December 16, 2011

Overwhelm Me With JOY

Let me start out by saying I wish I had more time to blog and more talent. I am not a writer but love sharing my heart and some wisdom on certain things. So here we go, I am a wreck! Yes, we are all a wreck and this season, the Christmas season has reminded me more and more of why I need Jesus, because He is strong and I am soooo weak! When I was little I loved Christmas, when I was working and we had more money, I loved Christmas, but ever since we are a one income, 3 person family, I dread this time of year. The Lord is teaching me so much through these really pessimistic feelings though and I am so grateful.

For one, I am a selfish person. I am not good at gift-giving, it's not my love language, I don't want Chrsitmas gifts to be completely honest, and I am awful at buying or making things for those I love. Well, wait, I feel the obligation of Christmas to buy gifts or make gifts, when I feel like this season is about Christ and all year long I should buy things out of the goodness of my heart for my loved ones not because someone decided you must give gifts to everyone because it is Christmas. Although in this, I am understanding that I am probably the only one that feels this way in my circle, so I would really offend others if I didn't get them gifts. So God is helping me find a balance in it all.

Second, is since we have a sweet baby boy now, I am really thinking about all the traditions I want to have with our family every Christmas. One being Advent, researching it and hearing more about it since we now go to a Methodist church, I really want to celebrate this in some form or fashion as a family starting next year. Another tradition would be having a nativity at the bottom of our tree because he is the reason for the season not necessarily all the presents. Then I would love to of course every year read the Christmas story, no not about Santa, but about Jesus in Luke. Another that I would love to do later on as Luke and if we have any more children get older, is to not receive any gifts one year and put all that money towards a family or more for their Christmas gifts. This showing that we have all that we need, and others need this more. I am continually asking the Lord to bring me joy in this holiday season and less stress or resentment.

Ok, changing the subject again, Luke is 3 1/2 months old and I feel as thought our lives have never been the same. Granted yes, we have a baby and it won't be.Yet, it feels like one attack spiritually after another, it is a very hard, yet rewarding season we are in. Just as I was getting over my gallbladder issues, Luke gets a cold that turns into ear infections and horrible chest infection. It is the hardest thing to watch your little baby suffer, not being able to cough anything up, watch him with a fever, and listen to his stuffy nose and then watch him scream bloody murder as you suction out all the snot. The joy of being a mom, it's just one of those things. Yet, he is coming out of this, he is a little stuffy and coughing a little but much better, the smiles are back and giggles and shorter naps. The Lord is stronger and will not give us anything we can't handle. He is fighting for us and we are standing strong in that promise.

The family before our Turkey Day 4 mile run at the Turkey Trot.

My boys are so good lookin in flannel!

Enjoying our Thanksgiving lunch.

Luke is getting so big, he weighs 13.8 lbs and is #2 diapers! He is such a joy-filled baby, laughs, smiles, giggles, and coos all the time. I love being a stay at home mom, wouldn't want to miss any of these moments. So proud he is rolling over from front to back, he did this at 2 1/2 months! We think he is going to be walking really early! He loves his bumbo seat, his little peacock toy, and standing on any surface with our help of course. The new thing is when he is in his bumbo, he reaches and knocks over anything in his path, vitamin bottles sugar container, candles, he knocks it over and loves it. All this while chewing on the bumbo because he is getting a tooth! I can't believe he will be able to eat solids in a few months, not that we will introduce it right away. We are watching him and when he is grabbing for it, we will start with sweet potato or avocado, no rice cereal for this kid! He loves to hear his name and turns every time and smiles, and the biggest smiles sometimes are when daddy comes home, he loves him. So thankful for this little bundle of joy, he is going to do great things for people and for Jesus with his love.

Oh I forgot to mention, I am below my pre-baby weight! Thanks to eating healthy, exercising, and breastfeeding I am getting my body back. As I was going through the gallbladder pain, I was constantly researching what to do and eat and not eat when I was hurting and found incredible stuff. This blog is so helpful on living and eating as the Lord has called us to do in a health perspective. We are given this body and are called to take care of it physically as we do spiritually. What we eat and put in our bodies shouldn't be junk put whole, real, unprocessed, and healthy food. We as a family are doing a lot more organics, less meat, more nuts,  and more fruits and veggies to feed our engines with good fuel not watered down harmful junk. I believe that while this is more expensive that the Lord with provide financially as we choose to take care of these temples. Not to mention we are doing it to prevent further diseases and illnesses. While I know we are not in full control, prevention is the key instead of getting sick and living on medication.

Til next time, have a blessed and merry Christmas.
Thank you Lord for sending your one and only Son to be born in a manger to an incredible mother and father who listened to your voice and obeyed. Thank you for bringing our Savior into this world over 2000 years ago so that we may have life and have it abundantly. May we as Christ-followers seek to love, serve, and respect others this season and every day of our lives. May we put ourselves last and others first loving them as we love ourselves. We pray for your kingdom to come! We love you Dad! Amen!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lord's Army

I always love to sing the song "I'm in the Lord's Army" to Luke. I truly believe that he is going to do mighty things for God's Kingdom and the enemy has nothing against him. We pray for him that he would walk in faith and not by sight, that he would be bold and courageous, a mighty man of God! We love to see him grow and learn as God grows him more than we can see right now. He is such a joy and we love to look at all these smiles.

The joy of the Lord is our strength, and he is full of it!

On a personal note, this has been one of the hardest months physically and emotionally since he has been born. Luckily he was sleeping for 9-10 hours a night so I was able to sleep, so blessed. Yet, I have had horrible stomach aches for almost nonstop and its worse after I eat. After going to the ER and GI specialist, it was the chiropractor that finally figured out I have a very weak gallbladder and it is most likely inflamed. I am praying that it's not gall stones, as I research, it is very common after and during pregnancy because of all the hormones. I go in for an ultrasound on Tuesday, so we will know for sure. While being sick has really been hard, I am very limited on what I can eat, and have not been able to work out or do much at all. You see after you work really hard to lose weight and then get pregnant, you get down on yourself as you see the post baby body. 

So looking back, talking with friends, and really praying, I believe that this physical illness is only of the enemy. I know this is spiritual warfare and I am on the frontline now to fight with God behind me. I am healthy, I eat healthy, I take care of myself, we were actively pursuing the Lord and raising up Luke as we could to love Him. Satan hates that and he got me right where he knew it would hurt me emotionally,  physically, and spiritually. I started to believe all the lies, then realized that where I am weak, He is strong. 

This week I have been focused on Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 

Along with the full armor of God in Ephesians, I am praying and surrendering this battle to the Lord, I will fight with what he has given me.  I am a beautiful daughter of the Most High King and nothing will defeat me because God is for me! I pray that anyone in the valley knows just who they are in Christ and that Satan has no hold, he has been defeated! I am in the Lord's Army, YES SIR!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Turkey Month!

We have arrived, to November that is. What a joy October was, but let's be honest we can't wait for family time and delicious food. So back to October, Luke is now 2 months old, he is growing so fast!

He is holding his head up so well although he has been doing that for a while, and he loves to stand, with our help of course. His favorite thing to do is the play mat, he loves the lights and a little rattling elephant, he intentionally swats at it and laughs, so cute! We went to our two month doctor's appointment and he is a healthy 12 pounds and 24 inches long, yup in the 80 percentile in length!

On another note, my husband is a rockin' athlete! He is running his first half marathon next week, and did his first bike race today! He rode 26 miles in 1 hour 45 minutes, ya he is a beast. I am so proud of him, he is a healthy and fit man taking care of himself so that he can live a long life and be able to play with his kids and later grandkids.

I am so blessed with the family I have, thank you Lord!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dear Friends

This time last year we were looking at jobs everywhere in the country from Dallas to Michigan I had applied and interviewed everywhere. This was bittersweet because the Lord has really given me an incredible group of friends and loving community that seeks after the Lord with all that they are. I had this in college and was so blessed to find this here in Katy so quickly! When we found out we were pregnant and we told everyone we were staying because I would stay at home with Luke, they were thrilled and little did we know how much of an impact and blessing they would be to us. I can call or text any one of them with a prayer, for help, for encouragement. I can call any one of them in the middle of the night crying because of my crazy hormones or a crying baby that can't be calmed. I love them, each of them is so different yet so precious to me!

I have no idea what I would do if I was in Michigan when I found out I was pregnant. Lord I thank you for all my friends and all the mothers who have mentored me, loved me, reached out to me, and prayed for me in every circumstance. Being in community like this, surrounded by God-fearing women, has been a crucial piece of my spiritual formation and I am so thankful for every woman that has been in my life! I love you all!

"A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:7

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 Weeks Old

Already 1 month!

Our little baby is growing up so fast, he is so long and his cheeks are so chubby! All I want to do is kiss his cute little cheeks. We have recently fell in LOVE with the Moby Wrap, it is a miracle sleeper. When I know he is sleepy and fussy, just put on the moby wrap, which I have mastered, then slip him in, then in a good 2 minutes or less he is out. I can do laundry, cook, blog, read, do dishes, and even take a little siesta in the recliner with him in it, oh ya not to mention shopping. See it is amazing the various looks and comments I get when I am carrying him in it, one lady thought it was a dog, seriously!

On another note, Nick turned 26 last week and it was his first birthday as a dad, it was a great pre-birthday, not so much on Sunday, Luke was a little fussy.  A little bragging on my incredible hubby- he is a great husband, so selfless and compassionate, loving, and godly. He makes great financial decisions in order to best steward God's money. He is a such a loving a fun dad, he totally rocked he Eddie Bauer carrier in order to calm Luke yesterday, and bounced the car seat with him in it in order to calm him, he dances in front of Luke to calm him, and dances with Luke in the mirror. I have never seen this side of him, but let me tell ya, it is one of the sexiest things to see your husband be such a fun and loving father! He is also running a half marathon in San Antonio in November, he is a rock star!

On a personal note, after a few good nights, come a few rough nights. He cries for about 3 hours starting at around 8 until we have tried everything to get him to calm down and eat then sleep. So far the moby wrap has won every time!  Yet, he is not totally sleeping at night, he would love to stay awake for 2 hours, not crying, just wide awake in the middle of the night. In these moments I have learned to not get frustrated so easily, be grateful that it could be worse, and pray that God would give me an abundant amount of energy the next day. My prayers lately have been to fill my home with joy and peace. When Luke is not happy and we can't figure it out, we cry out to God for peace and joy in the hard moments. He will never be this little again and I must not dwell on the frustrations and be so negative, but cherish every smile, coo, and giggle. He is our little miracle and he is learning and growing right in front of our eyes!

Oh did I mention, I got the best compliment last week, a lady said that I didn't look like I just had a baby a month ago. Made my day!
He loves bath time!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Journey into Motherhood

I can't believe it's been almost a month since we brought home our sweet little baby boy Luke Andrew. He was born at 4:16 pm after 14 hours of labor on August 31. God, you see, has a sense of humor and is so cool! He knew the exact day that Luke would be born, I gave birth to Luke 9 years to the day that Nick and I started dating.

Luke a few days old in dad's warm and loving arms.

This month has been full of many late nights, many, many diapers, many onesies, many smiles, and a few tears, not to mention the many prayers I have said as I am learning how to do this mommy thing. Although I am at awe of all that comes naturally and is instilled in us women by God our creator.

First it was labor, it was hard, and painful, yet doing it all natural in a birth center with midwives was the best choice for us and for Luke. When they put him in my arms I knew all that pain, the vomiting, and the toughing it out with no medical intervention was so worth it to have my healthy beautiful boy. Many people ask me,"so how was your labor, would you do it again or do it in a hospital with drugs?" My answer every time is of course I would do it again, just not any time soon, ha!

Nick holding his son for the first time, I love this picture!

Second, people tell you your life will never be the same, that it will be totally different, and while you can prepare with all the books and classes, nothing prepares you for everything that happens when you bring a baby home. Yet, with the little amount of sleep we get, the Lord really supplies us with so much energy. But I have to admit there were a couple of nights where he wouldn't go to bed, wide awake, happy, which is a blessing, but wide awake at like 2 am for 2 hours! We have been working on a schedule and he is sleeping better at night, it's amazing that we get excited to get four hours of sleep at a time in between feedings.

Enough complaining, it has been such a joy to see him grow so fast. About two weeks old, he started holding his head up on his own, we were so proud! He is one strong fella, he kicks like a soccer player and he's got my thigh muscles. He laughs like his daddy and smiles all the time when he is awake and asleep.  I have not had a real problem breastfeeding in fact he was 7# 4 oz at birth and now a month later he is almost 10 lbs and really long too. Luke is growing like a weed! He loves his bath time and is so chill until we pull him out of course because it is so cold. I still can't believe that he is our son, it is such  miracle.
He has the cutest faces!

Almost a month old and loves his bath times and hooded ducky towel.
On a personal note, motherhood is never what you expect it to be. You have to be totally selfless, taking care of this little one 24/7/365. It is such an incredible picture of our God, we are totally dependent on our Lord. It is when we give up control and go to Him with everything we are and for all our needs that we are nourished to the full. Luke doesn't get his nourishment from anywhere else but breast milk, and how cool is it that God created this, milk that sustains and grows my baby boy is in me. The Lord knows just what he needs and supplies it in such an intimate way, I love it and I love our bonding time. I also love those feedings, and there are many at this age, because I can listen to many podcasts from Ben Stuart, David McQueen from Beltway in Abilene, Nancy Leigh Demoss on Revive Our Hearts, and James McDonald on Walk in the Word. All of these speakers and pastors are so different yet fuel me as a Christ-follower, wife, and now mother. I also really enjoy that time because I can lift up my family and friends in prayer. Pretty cool how I am forced to be still and I am learning to take full advantage of that, but I will admit since I have facebook, email, and pinterest on my phone I am having sometimes to choose to not look at those and devote that time to God. I really see that I am a better wife, mother, and friend when I do.
Our first walk, we all loved the little bit of exercise we got!

I cherish the times when he fall asleep on us.

Fatherhood is such a joy too, well from what I can see in Nick. He is such a trooper, he gets up with me when I need a hand with Luke, he holds him whenever he can, talking to him and playing with him. He loves his son and is so excited to see him when he gets home, I really try to send videos and pictures everyday so that he doesn't miss a moment of Luke's life. I am so so blessed to have Nick as my husband, God definitely knew what He was doing when He brought us together 9 years ago. Now, 9 years later Nick is such a blessing to Luke as an incredible, godly father. I love you Nick!

We are so in love with our little man, our miracle, our blessing, our first born son whom I pray will be a kingdom-impacter for Jesus' name! We love you Luke Andrew!