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11.10.2012

Let Us Give Thanks - SAHM

We can all agree that it's easiest to give thanks when life is going comfortably for us. It's easy to give thanks for people that we love and care about deeply. It's not so easy to give thanks in the middle of a stressful day or to give thanks for a job that isn't that great. But as I read God's word, I'm told to do it anyway.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:4-7 {emphasis mine}

This season of life hasn't been easy for our family. We haven't had any one major thing that has thrown us off. It has just been the daily grind of life doing what it does to families... grinding away. Danny works a commission's based retail job. This means the job itself is high pressure and stressful. Also, the hours are not typical by a long shot. He tries to work some overtime every week just to help our monthly budget. It's not uncommon for Danny to get home after Amelia has gone to bed and I'm exhausted from the day. He misses out on a lot of social activities with our friends. Not to mention the inconsistent schedule from week to week. It's a challenge, no doubt.

i ♥ puffy postpartum face.
only because that baby is so perfect.
To be totally honest, my heart has not been grateful for Danny's job in the recent weeks. I get tired of long days without him. But today, I am choosing to give thanks. I am doing so because even though there are difficulties with this job, there are blessings as well.

The biggest blessing of all is me being able to stay home with our daughter. Danny interviewed with Verizon Wireless a week before my due date; he was hired for the job two days after Amelia was born. Up until then, we had planned on me needing to work at least part time so that we could make ends meet every month. We didn't want to do life that way but we really had no other options. It was such an amazing relief to leave the hospital with our new baby knowing that I didn't HAVE TO go back to work.

moments that make my heart so content

Being a stay-at-home mom (or "SAHM" as I appropriately included in the title of this post) has been the most difficult job that I personally have ever had. There's a lot of my work that goes unnoticed by the human eye. My uniform is not glamorous or cute AT ALL. My hair is pretty much always a mess. I don't get to do what I want all the time (i.e. it has taken me three days to write this post. ha!). But I do get to see all of the little moments in this sweet child's life. I get to see her excitement over the simplest of treasures like painting, pancakes, and pizza. I get to see her learn new things like the ABC's and riding a tricycle. I get to be the one that helps her learn how to handle big emotions in frustrating moments. All these moments plus more make up what I love about being her mom and being able to be home with her so much. Mostly though, I am privileged to show her Jesus, even in all my mess. Praise You, Jesus, for that. I can't imagine doing anything else besides training up this child (and our future children) to be disciples of Jesus as we live out our every day life together. I pray that I'm doing it well and for HIS glory.

oh, just the happiest SAHM snugglin' with her girl in pajamas. simply the best.

I know that not all moms can stay home with their kiddos. Bills have to get paid! Heck, I even know some moms that don't want to. They find contentment in the work they do outside of the home, alongside their work at home. It's beautiful that we can all do life so differently and still raise children together, right? What are some moments that make you stop and think, "Yup, this is why I wanted to be a mommy. This. right. here."? Let's give thanks for the joy of being moms... SAHM or not! :)

11.06.2012

Let Us Give Thanks - Amelia Bedelia

It's November, the month of Thanksgiving. So I'm trying to write daily about the many blessings in my life. I wrote about how thankful I am for my husband yesterday. It was gushy post... so what? I kinda love the man. 

Today's post is all about my sweet girl, Amelia. Oh man, where do I even begin?? Should I tell you a little bit about her, too? Ok, I will. She will be two years old in February. I think she is one of the smartest kids I know. But I might be biased. Amelia is a very social girl. If you put her in a room with our closest friends, she will stand in the middle of the room and spin. She'll fall down, giggle at the people giggling at her, get back up and repeat. Amelia is brave and very active. But it's not uncommon to find her sitting at her table, just looking through a book or coloring by herself. She has the goofiest sense of humor I've ever seen in a two year old. There have been nights where Danny and I will laugh at her as she does or says something so silly. Then she will laugh at us laughing. And it will continue like that for a good five minutes. It's a blast. Of course, being a girl, she's "sugar, spice, and everything nice". Do you like the how the spice is tucked in the middle of that... yeah, this kid is spicy at times. She wants to do things by herself: "I do it! I do IT!" (zippers, shoes, pen caps, etc). Amelia is a determined, strong willed child. Which is bizarre because Danny and I aren't like that at all. *Cue the chorus of our parental units laughing hysterically* In all seriousness though, it's tough at times to handle her big emotions and personality. But at the end of the day, I just sit and wonder about the things she will do for the Lord if she pursues Him with all that passion. It gives me chills just thinking about it. This kid could and probably most definitely will move mountains. 

may the Lord guide us as we guide you, sweet girl.

If you know us well, you might know that Amelia's birth was quite intense. If you don't know the whole story, I strongly urge you to just take a read {click here for her birth story}. The Lord's amazing grace and mercy is woven throughout the whole experience. And for that, we give Him unending praise. 

A while ago, I was sharing Amelia's birth story with a friend. I explained how right after she was born and her lifeless body was laying on my chest, I began to pray. And as they took her away from me seconds later while my midwife was asking, "Does she have a pulse?", I prayed harder. Moments later, they replied, "It's faint." The echoes of them performing CPR on my newborn baby still ring in my ears as if it was just yesterday. Our doula told us that she just needed to hear our voices. So I began to tell Amelia to breathe, that Mommy and Daddy were right there. When she didn't respond, one of the nurses scooped Amelia up in her arms and ran out of the room, down the hall, and into the nursery where they could work more intensely to save our daughter. While they performed CPR on Amelia, I yelled and screamed this prayer: "Lord, please give her life! Breathe life into her!" As I retold this to my friend, she said something that was so profound to me {paraphrased}, "There is power deep within us that I don't think we realize is accessible until those intense moments surround us. You may have started out praying for Amelia, begging for God to save her. But it seems to me that as you prayed, your words were no longer a request. They became a command, in the Name of Jesus. You commanded life into the body of Amelia." To God be the glory for He is the giver of life. There's a reason Job 12:10 is so near to our hearts: "For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being."

I share that because almost two years later, I see the LIFE that our daughter has and can't help but shed a tear while praising Jesus. Amelia is vibrant, joyful, spunky, full of the perfect breath of LIFE that our Father gives us. For all that she is and the life that she has, I am eternally grateful. 

see, i told you. life. ♥

Tell me about your children! What are some things about them that make you smile? What are some spicy things that make you flustered but make you smile later? 

11.05.2012

Let Us Give Thanks - Danny

I really wanted to start this five days ago. But alas, life happens. Plus, it's never too late to stop and give thanks for all the blessings in your life. That's what I want to do in November. I really want it to be a heart attitude that lasts throughout the whole year. Wouldn't you agree that this is a great place to start? My goal is to write every day for the rest of this month about the people and things that I am thankful for.

I want to start my Thanksgiving list off with my husband, Danny. If you met him randomly, he would introduce himself as Daniel. If you saw him at work, he would introduce himself as Dan. Whatever we agree to call him, I call him wonderful and all mine forever.

no place else I'd rather be than doing life with this man ♥

Most people reading this know Danny in real life. But for the few that don't, let me just tell you a little about him. He's been known by friends as a big teddy bear. He stands tall at 6' 3" and is a broad man. I think he's the type of build that appears threatening. But the instant you talk to him, you know that Danny is kind and gentle. He always smiles. And he has a big laugh. Danny has a heart for people and serving them. He works as a retail sales representative at Verizon Wireless. All day, he sells phones and troubleshoots and talks to people. He doesn't like the job all that much. But if he's able to help a person save money or understand their phone while also providing for his family, he's excited. He works a lot and doesn't get to serve with our church very much. But he has always viewed work as a sort of mission field for him. Danny has always kept Colossians 3:23 as his motto when at work: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..." And the thing is, people have noticed. On the rare occasion that he does get to serve at church, he will always be behind the scenes. He's the guy setting stuff up, tearing stuff down. He's the humblest man I know.

I could write about him and us forever because I just adore him. But today I just want to say a few random things: I'm thankful for his unwavering faith in the Lord that has built me up and up over the last ten years of knowing him, eight years of a relationship with him, and over four years of marriage. I'm thankful for the way he has lead our family through the fiercest storms of life as he follows the Lord. I'm thankful for the sweet, goofy, and firm daddy that he is to our daughter, Amelia. I'm thankful for the sacrifices he's made because family always will come first to him. I'm thankful for the friend that he is to those around him. I'm thankful for how he gets mad at me when I criticize my body. I'm thankful for how he spurs me on to be a better wife, mother, and friend just by simply living his life and loving me. I'm thankful that our children have Danny to look up to as they wonder what it means to be a faithful servant of the Lord.

I'm thankful for all of this and so much more!

Are you reading along and feeling thankful? Then tell me some things: if you're married, what is it about your spouse that you are thankful for? If you're single, tell me about the people in your life that spur you on to be a better version of yourself.

{photo credit: anthem photography, April 2012}