I'm Losing My Mind

Saturday, October 28, 2006 13 Comments A+ a-

I'm certain that this pregnancy is causing my brain to lose some much-needed memory cells, as well as causing me to go a bit batty. If anyone has a cure-all for these situations, I'll happily take your advice.

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Case Point #1

Devyn and I were at my doctor's appointment this past week, my 24-week check-up. I had to go in early for both my glucose test and my flu shot. While we were waiting, I noticed a very familiar smell emenating from Devyn's diaper. I groaned as I had left the diaper bag in the car and it meant an extra trip to the car. (I was being lazy by not bringing it in with me in the first place, that'll show me.)

I picked up my purse and started ruffling through it looking for my car keys. I was positive I had put them in there but I was coming up empty. I checked with the ladies at the check-in desk if I had left them there when I first walked in, no such luck. I dreaded making the call to Jon telling him I'd locked my keys in the car again; it was becoming too much of a habit and he was starting to get annoyed having to continually come and rescue me.

I grabbed my cell phone and speed-dialed his number as I headed out to the car to make sure the keys were indeed in the car. As soon as I walked up, Jon answered the phone, and I whispered, "Never mind" into the receiver. *Sigh* There, on the hood of my car, for all the world to see, were the missing car keys.

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Case Point #2
As I cleaned up the kitchen this past week, I picked up two empty cans of soup that had been left on the kitchen counter. I stopped along the way to wipe up some crumbs and then noticed a clean fork that should have been put away. As I headed back to my original destination, I opened the fridge door and put something away.

For some reason, it didn't feel right and I re-opened the fridge; sitting on the second shelf were two empty soup cans. *Sigh* How do I explain that one?!?

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Case Point #3
A few weekends ago, Jon was gone on his annual, weekend-long fishing trip with the guys, consisting of his brother, dad, and friends. This of course left us girls alone and I was enjoying the extra time with Devyn. JC Penney's had recently been "re-opened" in a new store and I decided to check it out after church that Sunday.

Devyn and I pulled in the parking lot; I turned off the ignition and placed the keys in my purse. I got out of the car and opened the back door to unbuckle Devyn from her car seat and grab the binky, just in case it was needed. As I placed Devyn on the ground by the car, I innocently placed my purse in her carseat while I re-tied her shoes. I opened the driver-door, locked all the doors, and then shut both the driver and back dooor.

Just as I shut the back door, I noticed my purse sitting in Devyn's car seat. I groaned as I realized that not were my keys in that purse, but my cell phone as well.

I ran inside to Customer Service and tied up their phone for twenty minutes as I searched for any family that could come pick me up. When my dad asked where the spare key was, I whispered that it was inside the car with the original keys. My dad started laughing and came to pick us up. We had to wait four hours for Jon to return from his fishing trip with another key to my car.

*Sigh* At least we had Devyn's binky...

Life With a Toddler

Saturday, October 28, 2006 4 Comments A+ a-

Devyn's vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, she's even starting to call me "mama". I can't tell you how I've longed for that word! Even with all of our pride and happines at her latest developments, she is managing to keep us in stitches!

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Devyn has been infatuated with babies now for some time. She points them out in grocery stores, malls, church, etc. with an enthusiastic "ba-by" and an overly-obvious point and/or wave. When asked where "Mommy's baby" is, she'll run over to touch, rub, or kiss my belly; and tonight was no different.

Jon asked "Devyn, where's Mommy's baby?" She ran over and rubbed my belly, kissed it, and said, "Ba-by". She then ran over to Jon's belly and rubbed it, kissed it, and said "Ba-by." Needless to say, we couldn't stop laughing and now Jon is wondering if it's time to sign-up with a local gym.

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My sister, Allison, and I were in the kitchen; I was getting ready to make the salad for dinner and she was getting ready to set the table. Jon and Drew, Allison's boyfriend, were in the formal dining room putting the finishing touches on the chair rail they installed for my parents. Just as I turned around, I noticed that Devyn was grabbing for a paper towel on the kitchen counter.

Sitting atop the paper towel was an open, half-gallon of white paint being used by Jon and Drew.
In slow motion, I saw the paint can fall to the ground, on its side, spilling its entire contents all over the hardwood floor, the lazy-susan, the countertops, and even the cupboards. I froze, Allison froze, and life stood still for about 5 seconds. Mom finally heard our gasps, came running, and that's when chaos set in. There was a flurry of activity as several adults cleaned the paint off several surfaces, calmed down Devyn, and tossed paint-splattered clothes into the washing machine.

After Devyn's quick bath, she came downstairs, complete in footsie-pajamas and clean-smelling hair, to give Nana a hug and tell her "so-wee". I swear I saw my mom melt and almost crack a smile... almost.

My Greatest Struggle

Thursday, October 26, 2006 11 Comments A+ a-

A few weeks ago I wrote about a women’s conference that I went to where Jennifer Kennedy Dean was the keynote speaker. I’ve been anxious to share my thoughts about the weekend but have been waiting for some kind of inspiration; something that would show me that the words were not coming from myself, but from someplace higher; something that would indicate that the words and meanings are truly sinking into my daily life. I think I’m there… I think.

Ms. Dean was an extremely powerful speaker, one who obviously knows the bible intimately and was willing to share her knowledge with us. It was one of the first times where I was on the edge of my seat, my heart and soul begging for more, and I still find myself amazed at the things I learned. Usually at these conferences, especially women’s conferences, emotions and feelings tend to overshadow the intellectual; my husband calls them “camp” or “spiritual” highs but such was not the case at this conference. While my own personal faith tends to identify more with the emotions, feelings, or the music that stems from such conferences; I was surprised to be engrossed with what she shared. I’m not usually looking for the intellectual discussions regarding God or the bible but that weekend, she was sharing such intellectual jewels with us that I just wanted to hear more!

She touched on so many subjects that weekend from prayer, God’s plan for prayer, the crucifixion, and even maintaining faith in trying times. But there is one session that stands out in my mind and probably the one that I needed to hear the most, she talked about “dying to self” or “crucifying our flesh”. It’s a huge concept, one with many facets and depth; I’ll do my best to explain. Since we’re all human and all sinners by nature, it’s hard to put on the Christ-like mindset because our sin nature is constantly getting in the way. She talked about the need to constantly “crucify our flesh” to truly shed our sin nature. Sin nature, she explained, is the inherent way we react to life’s circumstances around us. It’s the way we always react in moments of fear, exhaustion, surprise, hardships, and the list goes on; that one reaction that makes us cringe and wonder why we did that. Dying to self, she said, is re-programming our bodies to react in the ways that bring glory to God; making a conscious effort to abstain from our gut reaction and strive for a more holy reaction. Does this make sense to anyone else?

What is my hardest struggle? What do I have the hardest time trying to tame? What is my sin nature? I cringe as I write this because it’s the one thing I’m ashamed to admit, the one thing that I’d love to see go away forever; it’s my temper and my tongue. Oy! Just admitting that makes me humbled and want to seek forgiveness from those I’ve hurt. This is my biggest, daily struggle in life. I have the temper of ten Irish men and a tongue of swords; my words hurt deeply and even as I’m saying those hurtful, hateful words, I’m cringing inside. In my teen years, I had many head-to-head fights with my dad, my mom, my sisters, or friends. The words that came out of my mouth make me shudder to this day. Am I getting better? I’d like to think so and I sincerely hope so. The moments of lost tempers and outbursts are getting further and farther between; its taking a lot more to get me going but I still have major moments of weakness. Take for instance that same weekend. I shared a room with all three sisters, one of whom is exactly like me and therefore knows just how to bait me. We, of course, got into a fight and the things I said to her were atrocious and the minute they left my mouth, I knew I’d have to seek forgiveness. This is my daily struggle; this is the sin nature I’m trying to shed. I know it’ll never be gone, it’s too much a part of my pattern, but each day that I can resist losing my temper or each argument that I can control my tongue, is one day closer to victory.

I want to end with this, Jennifer Dean made it very clear that everyone’s sin nature is going to look different and therefore we have no right, or way, to judge one another. While my sin nature is temper and tongue-lashing, someone else’s sin nature is allowing them to be walked all over without standing up for themselves. So, while I’m practicing self-control, the other is learning to assert herself. I have no way of knowing what someone else’s sin nature is and it’s not my job to tell them. Only God can speak to His children, through the Holy Spirit to convict anyone of anything. And all I can do is work on myself and do my best to “crucify” this tongue of mine.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. James 3:9-10

Something in the Water

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 3 Comments A+ a-

Its time for another “congratulatory” post for recent friends. I am so excited to announce that our friends Amber and Tommy are adding to their roost and making their son, Tayden, a big brother. The newest addition is due in June and while they are extremely happy and excited, they are also a bit wary too. Please keep this pregnancy in your prayers as Amber gave birth to Tayden when she was only 24 weeks pregnant. He is a thriving, happy two-year-old now but it was extremely precarious in the early months. Congrats Amber and Tommy, we are so happy for you guys!!


We have some family friends that recently made their parents, grand-parents, twice-over in less than four weeks! Abby, the youngest sister, and her husband had a baby girl four weeks ago and named her Betsy; Betsy weighed 6 lbs, 5 ozs at birth. On October 15th, Abby’s brother, Nate, and his wife had a baby boy named Parker; Parker weighed 9 lbs, 5ozs at birth. The newly-born cousins have been given the nicknames “Beauty and the Beast”. Aren't they just beautiful?!? Congrats to the whole family!!

Its time for a baby roll-call again!

November
Josh and Shamree – Expecting their first child, a girl named Abigail.

December
Jeremy and Cassie – Expecting their second child, a boy named Elijah.

January
Jeff and Katie – Expecting their third child, a surprise.
Ryan and Kristin – Expecting their second child, a girl named Aubrey.

February
We are expecting our second child, a boy named Hudson.
Pete and Rebecca – Expecting their first child, a surprise.

April
Jeremy and Jill – Expecting their first child, a surprise.

June
Tommy and Amber – Expecting their second child, a surprise.

There is also something in the blogosphere. These fellow, blogging mommies are also expecting little bundles of joy. Stop in and give them some encouragement during these last few months. Congrats to everyone!!

The Artist, from Crankin' Out The Hits, is expecting her second child, a girl named Zoe.
Proud Parents, from Awaiting a Miracle, is expecting her first child, a girl named Ava.
Amy, from Amy, Oh My, is expecting her second child, a surprise for all.
Amanda, from Something Beautiful, is expecting her third child, a boy named Ezekiel.
Overwhelmed, from Overwhelmed with Joy, is in the process of adopting their 2nd child.

Sink or Swim

Sunday, October 22, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

On Saturday Devyn started her first swimming lessons with about five other one- and two-year-olds and their parents. Now I’m not sure which was harder; getting into a swimsuit at 24 weeks pregnant and feeling like a beached whale or getting into a circle with five other adults to sing nursery rhymes and feeling just a little bit ridiculous.Flat as a Pancake (sung to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little pancake on my tummy,
yum, yum, yummy.
I’m a little pancake, short and flat,
Flip me over onto my back.
The first five minutes were a little hard, as Devyn was shivering miserably from the cold water and didn’t want to do anything but hold on to my neck. Any time I tried to pry her arms away from me, she’d flailed her arms and grabbed anything in sight, usually my hair. (Thank goodness it was that and not the top of my suit!) Eventually between the fun songs and playing with some floating toys, she’s calmed down and began to enjoy herself.Despite parents being made to feel a little silly singing “The Wheels on the Bus…” in water, it was obvious that we were all there for one thing, and one thing only, to expose our children to new things in life and/or to help them overcome any fears of the water. At one point during the first lesson, the instructor had us put the babies on the side of the pool and on the count of 1…2…3, “help” them jump into the water. Hearing Devyn’s cries of “agin, agin” and seeing the wide smile on her face, made the whole experience worth it, singing the “Hokey Pokey” and all.

I am so sorry for the quality of these photos. It was very dark in the pool and Jon did his absolute best to capture a few good shots.

Psst. Over Here...

Saturday, October 21, 2006 4 Comments A+ a-

One of my favorite bloggers, Overwhelmed with Joy, is currently on vacation and she's having a number of guest bloggers on her site. Needless to say, I was quite honored that she'd ask me to fill in on one of the days. Click here if you'd like to visit my guest post on her site.

We'll return to our regularly scheduled blogging on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!

Caffeine Jolt

Thursday, October 19, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

Note to Self: Do NOT drink 16oz of Chai tea again! The baby WILL wake up and perform summersaults and jumping-jacks for the next two hours!!

Heart and Home

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 6 Comments A+ a-

When I posted my Psalm 139:14 entry, Katherine from Raising Five brought up a wonderful point in her comment. In it she said, “But "home"-making in my mind is so much more about attitude - setting the tone for your home - your home and no one else's. It's a concept that doesn't rely on decorator colors to make it beautiful!” Her comment has stayed on my mind since and I realized how much truth was in it. Her comment made me stop and think about the attitude and tone that I want for my heart and home.

  • First and foremost, I want my home to reflect how important God is to us and how much we treasure our relationships with Him.
  • I want my home to be a place that my husband is anxious to come home to at the end of the day. A place that he longs for during cold, winter nights of plowing or fun fishing trips with the guys; a place where he knows that his family is waiting for him, excited to spend time with him.
  • I want my home to be a safe place for my children and their friends; a place where they can escape some of the harsher realities of this world and seek comfort or refuge in our home.
  • I want my home to set an example for my children; where husband and wife can disagree but still love and respect each other. In spite of any arguments, they are still committed to one another and their marriage.
  • I want my home to allow my children to express themselves and their opinions, without fear of retribution or ridicule, but with the security that boundaries will be drawn. A place where Mom and Dad are parents first, friends second.
  • I want my home to be a place where family and friends can be themselves, where we can be real with each other without any fa├žade. A place to express fears, wants, desires, or prayer requests and praises and know that we’ll be there to listen and/or join in.
  • Overall, I want my home to reflect what I hold most important in this life: God, family, and friends. A place where love, encouragement, support, and hope flourish.

So there you have it, my attitude and hopes for my “home” making! I don’t know how successful I’ll be; I know there will be successes and failures on a daily basis but this is what I’ll strive for in my day-to-day routine.

Fort Fun

Monday, October 16, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

A couple of weekends ago, Jon pulled out our old comforter and threw it over some kitchen chairs; building an instant fort and the admiration of our little girl. She absolutely loved her time under the blanket and was devastated when it came time to put it all away. I just love that she and Daddy got to bond over shared time in the fort.

Where was Mommy?

Monday, October 16, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

Apparently Mommy wasn't paying too much attention that Sunday morning. Devyn thought she could handle the big-girl stuff well before she was ready!!

Uncle, Uncle

Monday, October 16, 2006 0 Comments A+ a-

Uncle Josh came down for a visit a couple of weekends ago. Its obvious that Devyn adores her uncle and the feeling is very much reciprocated. After all, as he told a mutual friend, he came to see Devyn, not the rest of us!! I doubt there is very little her uncles would not do for her.

My Little Shoplifter

Saturday, October 14, 2006 6 Comments A+ a-

It was one of those days that I absolutely love! The air was crisp with fall, the leaves have turned a burnt orange, and I was getting to spend a much-anticipated afternoon with two of my three sisters. We decided to meet at the Olive Garden first, to enjoy a de-lic-ious lunch of their infamous salad and a bowl of Zuppa Tuscana soup. Yuuumm!

After a lunch filled with laughing, catching up, and talking about future plans, we decided to head to the local mall for some window shopping and a chance to hang out just a while longer. So there we were, three out of four sisters, Devyn in her stroller, and all of us perusing through a well-known lingerie store. While we waited for one sister to complete her purchase, I happened to look down and notice that Devyn was playing happily with their selection of lip glosses. I hastily rolled her away, much to me dismay, she immediately started crying. With a deep sigh, I rolled her back and let her continue playing.

Allison and I started talking about something else and I completely forgot about Devyn's new playthings. When Christine finally joined us again, we headed for the exit and debated about which store to visit next. As we headed for Motherhood Maternity (ok, I admit I have a weakness here), I looked down and noticed that Devyn was clutching one of the lip glosses she had happily absconded from the store. In shock I grabbed it from her hand and Allison offered to return it to the store. *Sigh* Has my daughter already turned to a life of crime?! At least she has good taste, and I'm happy to report that no one stopped Allison when she returned the ill-gotten goods.

Help... Need Sleep

Thursday, October 12, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

Ok, that’s it… I’m throwing in the towel… I’m raising the white flag… I give in… I give up… Uncle… I really can’t think of any other way to say that I’m at my wits end. I need help, I’m begging for it actually and I really hope that someone will offer something that is actually going to work.

Here’s the situation, we are having issues keeping Devyn in her bed all night long. She’ll go down just fine and she sleeps like a baby. However, without fail, she wakes up every night between 1:00 and 3:00 in the morning, wanting to climb into bed with Mommy and Daddy. Most nights we are too tired or sleepy to argue and will pull her between the two of us and try to go back to sleep. I’m not saying this as an excuse or to try to justify this move, just as an explanation. We even switched her from a toddler bed, low to the ground, and easy to get out of, to a twin size bed. We did this mainly so Jon and I can take turns lying with her on the twin bed when she wakes up. This still hasn’t helped…

With the upcoming arrival of a new baby, we really feel that we need to nip this in the bud as soon as possible. That is why I’m turning to you, the veterans of this parent-world, in hopes that you’ll have an idea that we haven’t tried yet. FYI, while I’m sure there will be a few (or many) suggestions of crying-it-out, I probably won’t be using them. Please feel free to share those success stories, as I know it’s worked for some families and maybe someone else will be able to use the ideas. I just know that crying-it-out won’t work for this mommy, daddy, and child; it’s just not within our family make-up and I’m not very comfortable with the idea. So thank you in advance for the ideas, you have no idea how much I’m looking forward to reading them.

One Hopeful-for-Help, Most-Thankful-for-Ideas, Dying-for-Uninterrupted-Sleep Mom

Belly Pics - Take 2

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 10 Comments A+ a-

Despite my complaints of nausea, sickness, exhaustion, etc., I can’t even begin to express how truly fortunate I feel to be pregnant again. There is something about pregnancy that makes me want to beat on my chest and say, “I am woman, hear me roar.” Maybe it’s the fact that my body is growing, housing, and sustaining life, it’s a very heady concept for me to accept. I love the idea that God is performing something miraculous in my body and I’m humbled at the idea that I would be given such a blessing! I do not, for one moment, take this pregnancy for granted.

At 22 weeks, Hudson and I are doing well. I’m still having my off days, but they are fewer and farther apart. Thank goodness! My energy is still pretty low and I still have my low-key, quiet evenings resting and playing with Devyn. Hudson’s movements are out-of-control! I often compare Devyn’s movements in-utero to Hudson’s movements and really, there is no comparison. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m more aware of what they feel like the second time around but I’m pretty sure I just have an active boy on my hands. He definitely wants his presence known. There is nothing I like better than having about five minutes to myself so I can lay down, place my hand across my belly, and feel his acrobatic movements. What a miracle!

Devyn is increasingly becoming more aware that there is a baby inside Mommy and will often rub my belly and say “ba-by”. She has also taken to pointing out every single baby in stores, restaurants, etc. She’ll point to the little one in the cart, being carried by a parent, or being worn in baby carrier and shout “ba-by” as loud as she can. Jon and I are confident that she’ll be an excellent big sister and will probably want to help out TOO much once Hudson arrives. We’ll do our best to include Devyn in the new routine of the house, while protecting Hudson from an overzealous big sister.

18 Weeks Pregnant - Pregnant w/ Devyn on the left,
pregnant w/ Hudson on the right.
22 Weeks Pregnant - Just Hudson, no photos at this stage of pregnancy with Devyn.

2nd Ultrasound

Monday, October 09, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

During my pregnancy with Devyn, the ultrasound technician was so ambiguous about finding out the gender. “If I had to guess, I’d say you’re having a girl.” Argh! Are you kidding me?! After coming from families of either all boys or all girls, I’d say that we were highly anticipating finding out what we were having. I did some research online and found elective ultrasounds with ultrasound packages ranging from 2D ultrasounds to verify gender to 3D and 4D ultrasounds to see actual photos of your baby. We decided on the 2D ultrasound and were so happy that we were able to verify that Devyn was indeed a girl, and came home with a 10-minute video of our baby girl in-utero.

At that time we agreed that once we started something with the first child, we’d do it for all the kids. One of my youngest sister’s biggest pet peeves is that there aren’t nearly as many baby photos of her as the fourth baby, as there are of me as the firstborn. We want to do our best to be consistent will all the children and so in keeping with the above tradition, we scheduled Hudson’s elective ultrasound for this past Saturday. Needless to say, it was wonderful seeing him again and we were able to verify that Hudson is definitely all boy. (My husband was a bit worried with the ultrasound technician declaring him, a her, for 20 minutes in the last ultrasound.) Devyn was able to go with us and kept pointing at the screen saying baby. It was great day being able to be alone as a family but I couldn’t wait to share the newest photos of our little guy!

On a side note, we had a bit of a scare on Saturday as I was racing down the stairs after my sister Allison. I lost my footing and fell the last three stairs; luckily I landed on my knee and I have a beautiful purple, black, and blue bruise to show for it. Hudson has definitely been quieter these past few days and its moments like these that I’m especially thankful that we have our little Doppler. It’s been reassuring to bring it out and listen to his heartbeat, in spite of his recent inactivity.

Nearly Salivating...

Saturday, October 07, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

Ok, so I'm very aware how covetous and materialistic this is. Please no judging. I found the most beautiful, luxurious diaper bag and I'm nearly salivating with want for it. (See, I told you it was materialistic!) Isn't it the most divine diaper bag you've ever seen? Its trendy and has a functional purpose, how could I go wrong?! Of course, try justifying the cost of this bag to hubby... it's obviously a no-go. I may have to put it on my wish list for Christmas...

PS I realize how dorky it is to be covetous over a diaper bag, but what can I say?! Even though I'm a mommy, I still want to look good!

One-Year Anniversary

Friday, October 06, 2006 8 Comments A+ a-

It's my one year anniversary of blogging! 12 months ago my mother-in-law forwarded the blog of one of Jon's cousins, Jess, and immediately I was hooked. It has been such a wonderful outlet for me to process thoughts, emotions, or just relay family stories. I thought that in celebration of this event, I'd re-post my very first post from my original blog.

Every day draws me closer to Devyn’s 1st birthday and a sense of loss fills me. I’ve tried explaining to my dear, sweet husband why I feel this way. And although he tries his best to understand (bless his heart), he just can’t. I find myself drawing closer to my girlfriends who have been, or are currently, going through this. After all, it seems that only another mother’s heart can understand the tug-of-war going on inside.

On one hand, I love seeing Devyn grow and change in front of my eyes. I watch as she takes daring step, after daring step around the coffee table; I exclaim, in pride, over her accomplishment of turning around all by herself; I laugh as she makes new sounds and tries mimicking our words or the barking dogs. I sit in wonder as I watch this beautiful girl, a girl that Jon and I created, explore this world. I can’t describe the feelings of happiness, pride, or love that overwhelms me.

But then I sit back and I think back to a year ago; when I was getting big with pregnancy and wishing and hoping for this baby to finally make her appearance in the world because I was done with being pregnant. Even though I loved the kicks, the dancing, and the constant trips to the bathroom; I just wanted her here in the flesh with us. And I remember the doctor placing her in my arms and thinking, how tiny she was! I loved how fragile and helpless she was; I loved that only I (or so it seemed) could answer her needs.

So as I watch Devyn Paige get more independent and more daring, I can’t help but remember her baby days with a wistful sigh.

Devyn Paige, one year ago, at 11 months old.

Toddlerhood and Beyond

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

You know you've reached toddlerhood when your almost-2-year-old clearly expresses a want and initiates her independence, all in the same moment.

Devyn and I walked into Albertson's yesterday afternoon and she headed straight for the grocery carts that has the plastic cars attached. Without any prompting or help from me, she climbed right in the front seat and turned to me as if to say, "What are you waiting for?!" It was the first time that Devyn has so clearly expressed a want to me and I felt my eyes tearing up at the thought that it seems like overnight she's become her own person.

I spent the next 20 minutes trying to manuever that silly grocery cart for the first time and I found it utterly cumbersome; I can't tell you how many times I had to smile and apologize to another patron. But watching her "steer" the cart and honk the "horn" made it entirely worth it to me.

Psalm 139:14

Monday, October 02, 2006 11 Comments A+ a-

I have slowly been coming to a realization over this past weekend; a moment when something just clicked in my mind. It was as though God was literally speaking truth to me, a truth that I desperately needed to hear and I find myself still coming to grips with it. Now please understand, this is only in reference to me, no one else. I’m not trying to imply anything by revealing this as truth for everyone, it’s just my truth.

In all of my 27 years, I have absolutely never had any desire to be a homemaking wife; I abhor cooking, so much so that I’d rather do the dishes than cook; baking is something that I really, really have to be in the mood to do; decorating is not my strong suit, after all, Jon has more decorator sense in his pinky, than I do in my whole body; I’ve never cared how my house looks; and I’ve never found fulfillment in getting any of these things accomplished.

Now, somewhere, deep in the recesses of my mind, I had somehow hoped that getting married and/or becoming a mother would somehow change that. That in the words of “I do” or upon the moment my child was born, that some magic would be spun and suddenly it would be my deepest desire to be this “perfect” mother and wife. That I would joyfully try a new recipe for my family, or I would sit for hours with my children baking cookies for the neighbors, or get giddy over the new picture I found on sale that would go perfectly over the mantel.

No such luck. Instead I’ve found myself apologizing to family, friends, and church members that I wasn’t a better cook, or not hostessing more, or being excited at the idea of putting my house together. I felt as though I was lacking in some area of womanhood or that I wasn’t meeting this ideal of a Christian wife and mother. When I read eloquently written entries by Mandi, Sarah, Amy, Jess, or even as practiced by my own mother, I’m moved by their desires to be hearth and heart for their home. These are examples of women who are deeply fulfilled by their calling to home; they take pride and joy in making their home special, unique, and welcoming.

Upon reading such expressive posts, I found myself vowing to do better in the future, or asking God to give me the same desires for my own home and family, or feeling as though I’ve failed in some way. It was only by my own measuring stick that I was continually falling short. Suddenly it hit me…God did not give me those desires or talents to begin with; He did not create me that way; and who am I to question God’s creation?! I know that God created ME with a number of other desires, talents, and strengths, most of which have nothing to do with cooking, cleaning, decorating, or homemaking. Just as I am sure that God did create some women with specific desires to be the best homemaking wives and mothers they can be. I’m finally realizing that I am not less than them, just different but still perfectly made in His eyes.

Of course, I know that I have to meet the physical needs of my family and that’s why I’ll continue to cook their meals, clean the house, and fold the laundry, but I will no longer be waiting for that desire to go above or beyond; or feel like I’ve failed in some way, or measure myself against the women who do have these desires and talents. I will always hold the above women with the utmost admiration and respect, for they accomplish things that I can only dream about, and obviously fulfilling a calling in their life. But I will no longer be envious of their gifts, talents, and desires; God just didn’t make ME that way and it has been an incredibly freeing realization!!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14