Hudson, Soccer Superstar

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 6 Comments A+ a-

Our son is a sports-fiend. Have I mentioned that he now asks for ESPN, or sports-themed movies? Sports shows and sports movies that are way above his head (For The Love of The Game, or Rudy anyone? I kid you not!) but is insistent on any, and all, things sports.

We have desperately been searching for any sport rec league that is open to someone as young as he is but was having no luck! Poor kid, I think he might have a mental breakdown when he finds out he can't play baseball until he is much, much older.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I found a Starter Soccer program for 3, 4, and 5-year-olds in our local, one-stoplight town. We hurriedly signed him up and tonight was his first night. Now unfortunately no games will be played at this level, but the coach works with the parents and kids as they start learning the basics of soccer. (Poor Jon; I don't think he realized how much work he'd have to do too.) So for the next six weeks, we'll be hanging out at the local park for one hour a week while Daddy and Hudson get their soccer on.

By the way, he did great! He even wanted to take some time to play goalie, though that wasn't on the agenda or anywhere near the skill set for these young players. All was well until he saw the baseball diamond and decided he wanted to switch sports.


Deja Vu

Monday, March 29, 2010 10 Comments A+ a-

Two Peas in a Pod

Jon pulled down boxes of Devyn's baby clothes this past weekend and I was able to pull out a number of things for Reagan to wear this summer. I love these trips down memory lane as I reminisce over favorite outfits, just like the one above. There are times I see some sibling resemblemance, but I don't think this is one of thoses times.

My First, and Probably My Last

Saturday, March 27, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

I can already tell you what's going to happen if I leave this blog post open to comments.

Those who lean a little, or a lot, or completely to the left, will call the other side hate-mongering, fearful, or against progress. Those who lean a little, or a lot, or completely to the right, will call the other side social communists, fiscally irresponsible, and/or trampling on our country's rights. I'm going to save everyone's breath and wasted time, and already put those accusations out there. Ok? Done. Moving on.

This post has nothing to do with the pros or cons of a health care bill, the most recent presidential election, or yours or mine political views. Instead, it has everything to do with the lack of respect that should be afforded to one another, regardless of political affiliation, but is nowhere to be found. And how annoyed I am on the total polarizing stances taken on issues where instead of issuing insults, generalizations, and grouping others into stereotypes, maybe, just maybe, we can come to a couple of agreements.

  1. Why don't we give every person the benefit of the doubt that we all truly want what's best for this country and our countrymen?

    We may never agree on what that is or how to best get that accomplished, but perhaps we can instead try to remember that it is highly unlikely the person with the opposite stance is wishing and/or hoping for the fall or failure of this country.

  2. Can we please do away with any generalization of any kind?

    I already named a few above but I want to go deeper. Instead of assuming that another person is only capable of regurgitating talking points of their party's lines, why don't we instead assume that perhaps that person has valid reasons of their own to believe what they do. You may not agree with them, but I believe it’s dangerous to assume that just because someone doesn't agree with your point of view does not mean they have come to that opinion without educating themselves on the issue first.

  3. In that same vein, do you think it at all possible that we can stop with the all or nothing attitude?

    I highly doubt either party is incredibly proud of every decision or stance taken by those elected to represent us. I believe that each party has the capability of pointing to members of the other party as examples of what is wrong with their ideology. And along that line, can we also agree that if a person believes or agrees with a party's stance on a particular issue, it does not necessarily mean that suddenly they're in agreement with every stance that party holds.

  4. And lastly, can we all agree that it is incredibly presumptuous for any of us to say that if Jesus Christ walked among us, that He would automatically choose one side over the other?

    Don't get me wrong here, I firmly believe that He very much would take stances on morality issues. But outside of the absolutes from the Bible, how Jesus would vote on any other issue is really anyone’s guess. I believe that He'd be much more interested in how we're treating each other in light of our differences. And truth be told, there is no one on this earth to hold judgment over another person based on their voting record. There is one judge that I'm aware of, and you are not it.

I am tired. I am disgusted. And I am guilty of everything I just vented about.

I think when it comes to politics, we all feel so passionately about our beliefs that it becomes personal. We lash out, we think our stance is right, and we say things that are better left unsaid. Human nature is ugly, and it seems politics brings out the very worst in all of us.

Its time for a reality check. These are our fellow men, for better or for worse. We share a country, we share a government, and we share the same desire of working to better a very broken country. We don't have to agree, and I firmly believe that all the yelling, discussing, and debating will do very little to change political bents.

And if we ever want those whom we've elected to office to actually start working together, then perhaps we need to step back and look at ourselves. After all, we elected them to represent us. And that's precisely what they're doing. They're representing every name calling, line-drawing, brick throwing, tantrum having, and pious attitude yielding that each and every one of us is guilty of. Perhaps if we can start modeling how to treat those we disagree with, our representatives will start taking notice and do the same.

I'm going to end with this.

We all have a responsibility here. A responsibility to know why we believe what we do; do the research and weigh the pros and cons before taking a stance on any candidate or issue. We have the responsibility (and privilege) of having a voice in this system. Be sure to vote, and know why you're voting the way you are.

But most importantly, we each have a responsibility in how we treat each other. Remember that each opinion, regardless of whether or not it agrees with yours, does matter. And if you disagree, it may be wise to remember the age-old saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

(And yes, comments are closed for the simple reason that I have no desire for a political debate. It’s my blog and I needed a moment to vent.)

I just did what?!

Friday, March 26, 2010 16 Comments A+ a-

At the beginning of January, I had a chat with God; it was actually more of a petition than a discussion.

Since the day my oldest was born, over five years ago, I have desired to be a full-time stay-at-home-mom. The desire ran so deep that with each breath I took it became a physical heartache. But circumstances being what they were, we couldn’t afford it. Poor financial decisions early in our marriage lent to our inability of finding a way for me to be home with our children. And thankfully, we were blessed in having our children being watched by my sister and mom. So while I wasn’t able to be with them day-in and day-out, it was a comfort to know that they were with those who loved them as much as I did, instilling the same values that I would have.

And then last year, I was blessed with the ability to start working part-time. It was heavenly to have two and a half days with my precious Littles. Yet the other two and a half days that I still had to work, there was still the ache. Granted it was lessened considerably as I relished the extra time at home, but it was there nevertheless. And as I spent more time away from the office, my dedication to the job waned. I had taken a voluntary demotion to work part-time, and truth be told, I was now bored. I no longer felt challenged by the work I was doing. But it was still a job, a means to an end.

In January, I started asking God for the opportunity to be home full-time. I even went as far as to give Him a timeline. "Father," I prayed. "You know my heart’s desire, you know I long to be home with the children on a full-time basis. I know you can do anything and my prayer is that by the end of 2010, I’ll be home permanently." This is one of the biggest requests I have ever laid at my Father’s feet. And I was fully aware of all the impossibilities that had to be bridged to make it work. Most of all, a change of my husband’s heart who was quite comfortable with our current situation, and opposed to the idea of any kind of loss of income. Truth be told, it was a huge fear of mine as well, but still I prayed.

Imagine my shock, and delight, as I watched circumstances change before my eyes. It was as though I was watching a chess match, God moving people and situations in such ways that it was evident where God was directing our path. As opposed as Jon was to the idea of my not working, even he was forced to admit that God had left little doubt as to what we’d need to do. My timeline grew shorter. It was further away than I wanted, but I would learn to be patient.

Then Sunday came. And the surprise of my life.

We’d decided to stay home from church, unwilling to expose any other children to the flu we’d experienced days earlier. I can’t even remember what we were talking about, but I know it had something to do with my quitting my job. Jon heard the wistful tone in my voice and smiled at me from across the room. "Go ahead. Quit."

I stared at him in shock; unable to comprehend the words he’d just nonchalantly threw out into the space between us. I felt my heart pick up speed and I choked out the words, "Are you being serious?" I was so afraid to believe he’d uttered those words intentionally and I examined his face for any sign of insincerity or joking. It would’ve been a cruel joke, but I had to be sure.
He chuckled, aware that he’d just given me a shock. "Yes, I’m being serious. I don’t know why we’re waiting, or prolonging the inevitable. We have nothing to lose by you quitting now, and everything to gain." And with that, my world stopped spinning.

I am in awe! Complete and total awe as I have never had a prayer request answered so completely, so absolutely, and so fast. There is not a doubt in my mind that God has moved both circumstances and my husband’s heart to allow me to be a full-time, stay-at-home-mom! Praise you, Father!

I’ve talked with my boss and given notice at work. It’s not the usual two weeks but four; I’m giving them until the end of April. That time frame will allow them to find my replacement and hopefully allow some time for me to train them. It’s the least I can do after all they’ve done for me for the past ten years.

So effective May 1, 2010, I will be a full-time, stay-at-home-mom!

I am euphoric about answered prayers and anxious about how we’ll adjust to the new changes. I’m at peace knowing that this move is ordained by God, yet worried about how finances will work out. I’m excited for all the new prospects and new schedules, and yet I wonder if I’ll miss the daily interaction with coworkers. As you can see, for every good emotion, another worry falls close behind. But it won’t stop us, and it boils down to pure joy at being able to have this time at home with my Littles.

He is so very good!

Check it out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

I just wanted to give you all a heads-up that Jennifer from The Getts Times is giving away one of my Deluxe Blog Designs. She is one of the sweetest ladies I've had the pleasure of working with...

If you’re interested, click on over and enter! Good luck!

His Last Before 30

Thursday, March 25, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

Tomorrow is my husband's 29th birthday, and for those of you who are doing the math, yes, I am older by a year and a half. Jon is more than willing to gloat over our age difference and it usually involves a quick elbow to his rib cage.

But tomorrow also marks another anniversary, the day he asked me to be his wife. Has it really been nine years?!? Wow! You can read our engagement story by clicking here.

I found an essay I'd written a year after we'd married for a journalism class, it was a narrative essay and I chose to write about becoming husband and wife. I thought it appropriate to share here. It may bore some, but I love seeing my marriage through the eyes of being newly married. Its another reason I wish I'd started blogging earlier.

And Jon, Happy Birthday, my beloved! Our relationship is not perfect and we've had more than our share of moments, but I'm forever grateful to you, my best friend, my love, my better half, for sharing this life with me. And I so enjoy that after all these years, we still flirt like we did in high school. I love you!

"On May 31, 2002, I married my best friend, Jonathan David. I vividly remember walking down the aisle on my father's arm. It felt as though I was walking from the past into my future. My father's grip was tight on my arm, and he swallowed hard several times, as though to keep the tears from coming. I remember looking at him as it came time to "give the bride away" and our eyes exchanged a number of messages. He whispered "I love you" and put my hand in Jon's hand. I looked at Jon and knew I was embarking on an unknown journey.

The rest of the evening is hazy and very few details are remembered. The reception plays through my mind like a dream. Jon and I danced among our guests and received a number of salutations and well-wishes. We partook of the dinner and exchanged the appropriate kisses when the glasses were clinked. We had toasts offered up, and we cut the cake. I was never able to stop and take it all; I never was able to sit and think about the fact that I had just joined my life to Jon's life. In the few hours of celebrating, Jon and I were unable to fathom that after dating for four and a half years we were now husband and wife.

Jon and I traveled to Mexico for our honeymoon; we stayed in a town called Playa del Carmen in the Riveria Maya. Once we got to the hotel, we were ushered into a hotel suite where a bottle was waiting for "Mr. and Mrs. G"; the first time we had ever been addressed as such. We exchanged wondrous glances as we mulled over the new names. Laughingly, Jon pulled me into his arms and kissed me as he called me "Mrs. G".

Our hotel was overrun with newlywed couples; several of whom shared the same wedding date as Jon and I. The first couple we met was from Georgia; they had a beach wedding and were obviously infatuated with each other. As introductions were going around, Jon grabbed my hand and with a smile said, "This is my wife, Jenn." We looked at each other in amazement; Jon had never introduced me in that way. I remember thinking, "Wow, we finally made it." We enjoyed meeting other couples and hearing the stories from meeting each other to engagements to wedding stories. We each had stories to share whether it was a horrendous bridesmaid or missing wedding cakes. It felt as though we were all part of a private club; the "Married" club. It was a private membership only; reserved for those who took wedding vows.

The rest of the honeymoon was gone in a flash as well. We spent time deep-sea fishing and visiting an inlet called Xel-Ha where we spent the whole day snorkeling and floating down a river on inner tubes. We experienced a tropical storm that kept us inside for three days, but, overall, it was a wonderful, dream-like vacation that ended all too soon.

Surprisingly though, it was not the wedding, nor the honeymoon, where I really felt "married". It was little moments that happened throughout our first year of marriage. It was the day-to-day, routine events that brought me to the point where I now check "married" when asked for marital status without even blinking. The first happened about two weeks after we had returned home from our honeymoon. It was a Saturday morning and I woke up before Jon. I rolled to my side and lo and behold was the love of my life, snoring away. I remember looking at him and finally understood that "this is the man I'm going to be waking up to for the rest of my life!" I love Jon, but for some reason, it had not registered that I would be sharing a bed for the rest of my life with him. Here he is, in all his glory; bed-head, drool on the pillow, snoring, and to top it off, morning breath, and he is all mine from here to eternity. I shook off the surreal feeling, and realized that I would not have wanted it any other way!

About two weeks after that, I went to the mailbox and pulled out our mail. Inside were the checks I had ordered before we had left for the honeymoon. I rushed into our apartment and shouted for Jon. He came running out of the bathroom with shaving cream dollops on his face and tried to understand what all of the fuss was about. I ripped into the boxes and, lo and behold, there were our new checks. Typed side-by-side was the names Jonathan G and Jennifer G. It was official, we were married and we had the checks to prove it! Jon looked at me as though I had lost all leave of my senses! He laid a haphazard kiss upon my cheek and told me that the checks were great, acting as though he really cared.

There were times when we'd be cooking a meal together or going grocery shopping or doing laundry that included his boxers that I'd stop and think, "Wow, so this is what it is like being married." But there doesn't seem to be one moment more important than the night Jon went to the Emergency Room for a bad back.

He had been having back problems for more than a couple of weeks when one night, the pain was too much for him. He had some left-over Vicodin from a previous surgery but even that wasn't helping. I had finally convinced him that it was time to go to the Emergency Room to have it checked out. I piled him into the truck and through some panic was finally able to pull into the hospital parking lot. By this point, Jon was already in tears, the pain was overwhelming for him. Normally in these situations, Jon would have called me to meet him at the hospital, for his parents would have taken control. But this was the first time that he only had me to rely on; I was supposed to be the strong one. It was the first time I was asked to fill out his insurance paperwork, it was the first time that doctors directed questions at me when Jon was unable to answer, it was the first time that I wrote down myself as his emergency contact.

It was during that evening that I realized what marriage meant to me. It wasn't the cooking, the laundry, the kisses, the sugar-sweet looks. It was not about the checks or being called Mrs. G. It was about spending my life with my best friend. Marriage was about being the strong one when the other is weak. It is giving when the other is taking and vice versa. It's about trying to balance each other and it is hard work. I have enjoyed every minute of being married to Jon. We have had our moments, the fights where I wondered if I did the right thing and the uncertainties of where money is going to come for the next bill, but every moment makes me cherish him even more. Every night we face each other from opposite sides of the bed and I know all is right with the world because I get to share every moment, good and bad, with Jon."

God Bless Us, Everyone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

I have nothing.

Well, I guess that’s not true. I do have something but (you guessed it), I can’t tell you yet. I promise to stop dragging the suspense out soon. And hopefully by next week I can spill the wonderful beans. (And again, no, I’m not pregnant; its not even on the radar. Maybe never again, it’s still under discussion. But that’s another post for another day.)

So instead, I’m going to pass on some recent pictures.

We have some new art, thanks to our eldest. She has put up her fabulous drawings all over our house. I love the depth of the blue one. =)

These are posted on her door. The one on the very right is a picture of both her and Reagan sleeping, the middle one includes rainbows and her name, and the last one says, “Devyn and Reagan’s room. Keep Out.” (Her interpretation, not mine.)

Hudson is sick yet again. Last night’s episode involved a huge blowout (which hasn’t occurred since before he was one) and massive vomiting, some of which landed on yours truly. I am very thankful that Daddy was home this time because I’m fairly certain I would not have been able to handle that one without him. Poor guy! (And never in a million years did I think I’d learn how to spell diarrhea without spell check. Nor did I want to, but there you have it.)

A recent picture of our Irish Lass. I feel that you can really see the red in her hair and eyebrows in this picture. (And boy, does she have the temper to go with it.) And while this picture doesn’t show it, her eyes are becoming a lighter shade of blue all the time. She has somehow managed to avoid the flu that the rest of us have gotten. Knock on wood.

And some recent pictures of our puppy, Gracie, who by the size of her you wouldn’t be able to tell that she was still a puppy. I estimate her to be around 30-40 pounds at 7-8 months old. Overall, she is a great dog. I can’t tell you how many times she’s knocked over our youngest, but Reagan’s tough. She is still very much a puppy, with energy to burn, but once she’s settled down, I love that she’ll lay at my feet while I do the dishes. She is so very sweet!

Ok, I believe that’s all for now. Just some quick pics, an update, and another teaser (sorry!). Hopefully I’ll have something with more sustenance next time.

If I didn't laugh, I'd cry.

Friday, March 19, 2010 10 Comments A+ a-

Its 1:40am and I'm cuddled between two sick children watching Kung Fu Panda.

Once we all sleep in until 10:00 or so, I'm attacking my home like it has never been attacked. My weapons of choice will be anything antibacterial, lots of hot water, lots of soap, and spraying anything that doesn't move with Lysol.

I am not joking.

This has been one of the hardest winters we've ever had when it comes to sickness. It seems we've been sick non-stop since October when we all came down with the swine flu. Since then we have battled colds, the flu (every strain you can think of), bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, ear infections, and the worst intestinal bugs you can imagine.

We'd just finished a recovering from another flu not two weeks ago when I woke up on Wednesday morning vomiting and unable to leave the bathroom. My sister, Alli, was gracious enough to take the kids for me while I recouped in a quiet home. I started feeling better that night, and as Thursday passed, I'd wondered if we'd dodged a bullet with the kids.

I should've knocked on wood.

Hudson woke a little after 10:30, right before I headed to bed. Thinking nothing of it, I tucked him into bed with me as Jon got ready for work. (He's working the midnight to noon shift right now.) We instantly fell asleep.

I'm not sure what woke me, or how I managed to be so aware, but somehow I was able to turn Hudson's head just in time as he yakked all over our bed. As I rubbed his back and murmured soothing words, I couldn't help but wonder at how Jon always manages to be working when there's throw-up to be cleaned. Hmmmm?

I dumped Hudson into a bath a few minutes after midnight and set to work stripping our bed. I wandered into Hudson's room to get a diaper and that's when I noticed that Hudson had already thrown up once before, all over his bed. I sighed. And set to work stripping his bed too.

That's when I heard footsteps running for the bathroom. I got there just in time to hold Devyn's hair back as she emptied the contents of her stomach. At least she made it into the toilet.

And so here we lay. In a makeshift bed on the living room floor, watching Kung Fu Panda, a green bowl at Hudson's side and a pink bowl at Devyn's, a load in the washing machine, and at least two more loads waiting their turn. I keep checking on Reagan to make sure that she's doing ok. And yet I still have time to send Jon text messages with a play-by-play. You know, just in case he's sad to be missing all the fun.

And tomorrow I start my plan of attack.

Decision. And a winner!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2 Comments A+ a-

I understand that not everyone will like me, I get that.

I understand that I may rub some people the wrong way, or that I make choices that are in complete contradiction to their beliefs or values. I get that this life is not about making people happy, or making people like you, or even making people agree with you. After all, the differences that exist in us are what make the world go round and make life interesting.

However, I do expect to be treated fairly. I expect that since I'm an adult, and all of my peers are adults, that we can act and respond to disagreements in a mature way; without resorting to childish, high school games. You don't have to like me, but I do deserve to be treated with some respect.

And yes, this is one of the major reasons of why I contemplated going to a private blog. You’ll notice I used the past-tense, after praying and getting confirmation from three other people, I will not be going private. I was inundated with emails, from loved one and strangers alike, and truth be told, I will not let a select few ruin it for myself or anyone else that enjoys reading here.

Moving on.

Because I hate having you all take the time out of your days to comment on Facebook or send me an email for naught, I’ve decided to have an impromptu drawing for a $10 Starbucks card. I entered everyone into a spreadsheet and then used the random integer drawing-thingy. And the winner is…

#35 – Amanda M.

Amanda, please email me your address and I’ll get that sent off to you!

Again, thanks for all the supportive comments and emails. It meant so much to me! It’s for that reason that I’m not going private…

March Madness, Baby!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

I’ve mentioned before how much Hudson loves sports! Little Man even went to bed with his golf club again last night, which he continues to alternate using as a golf club or a hockey stick. And now even Reagan has joined in on the fun and the two of them will chase balls (and pacifiers) around the kitchen floor.

We know he didn’t get his love of sports from his Dad, who prefer outdoor sports (i.e, fishing, camping, snowboarding, four-wheeling, etc.) over organized indoor sports. Truth be told, the only sport Jon will watch on TV is the Broncos, an occasional hockey game, and, of course, fishing. (Don’t get me started.)

But Hudson may have very well gotten his love of sports from me, which I got from my dad. Papa is an avid sports guy! Obsessed really. He has yet to live down the story of asking about the Broncos score when Mom was giving birth to me. I know Dad is ecstatic to have Little Man as into sports as he is, and I love snuggling on the couch with Hudson while the two of us catch a basketball game or a football game.

I love sports; it brings out a very dangerous competitive spirit in me. So much so that I have constantly begged my dad and brother-in-law to let me join in on their fantasy-football-type competition they hold every year with each other, Dad’s best friend, and Caleb’s best friend. I have begged. Pleaded even, only to be turned down every single time. They won’t let anyone else play, even stating that when one of them dies, that person gets to choose their replacement and it won’t be me. (Please know, this is all said in good fun. Even if I don’t agree that I should play too!)

However, I saw Boo Mama’s post about the upcoming March Madness and her group on ESPN and I’ve decided to join in. I have the brackets all printed out, along with several other “experts” completed brackets and I’m doing my research. I am going to have a blast choosing teams and getting them entered in the computer and waiting to see how I did. I’m a dork and I truly can’t wait!

But nothing made me laugh out loud like when my brother-in-law, Jeremy, sent me his completed bracket and said, “You might have better luck if you choose by who has the better mascot or who has the prettier school colors." Truer words were never spoken.

Going Private... Maybe?

Sunday, March 14, 2010 7 Comments A+ a-

I haven't decided yet, but I may be going private. I'm going to continue thinking and sleeping on this decision... But in the meantime, if you'd still like to read my blog, please send me your email address (biggest_blessings (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can grant you access.

Thanks everyone!

Wrestling With Myself

Saturday, March 13, 2010 6 Comments A+ a-

I’m struggling… have been for about a week now… longer than that, truth be told. I’ve tried brushing it off, sweeping it under the rug, and have even talked to a few friends to no avail. I’ve been trying to pinpoint the exact reason for my discontent, tossing ideas out there, reasoning and wrestling with myself, and all I can come up with is a mess of disjointed thoughts.

I even contemplated against writing this post. However, to follow through on that train of thought would be a rarity for me. First and foremost, this blog is a journal of sorts. Granted many family and friends, even strangers, read it, but I have always stayed true to the course of this being a chronicle of my life. All of it, the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. To not post what I’m currently going through, to not share my thoughts, would in fact be untrue to who I am or why this blog exists.

Remember the post where I mentioned that some things are happening in our lives right now? I’d love to go into detail, but I just can’t. Not yet. I can only say that it is big and it will greatly impact our life as we now know it. But beyond that, its forcing an identity crises of sorts and I find myself wondering who am I? How do I define myself? Where does the line of Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend and Coworker end, and just Jenn pick up? And if none of those titles define me, then what does? A Daughter of the Living King? Well, yes, of course. A Sinner? Yes, again. But they’re titles too. At the heart of me, at the very core of who I am, what defines me? And after much reflection and contemplation, will I like what I come up with?

I don’t have any answers; I’m still searching.

It’s amazing to me how I manage to jump from one thought process to the next. I can’t tell you how many times when Jon and I have been in mid-conversation and I’ve jumped to another subject matter. Jon is left looking perplexed, and I giggle in embarrassment as I try to explain how my thought process took us from Point A to Point B. Just understand that it’s that very thing that has brought me to my next point. Jump with me, will ya?

I was tweeting with a twitter friend in Florida about the book The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. It is a great book and I highly recommend it to new and experienced couples alike; I believe I even wrote about it before. My love language is Words of Affirmation, hands-down, with Acts of Service coming in second. I can’t begin to tell you how a kind, affirming word from someone will warm my spirit and last me a long, long time in having my “love tank” kept full.

However, I’m finding that this love language is a double-edged sword for someone dealing with pride. Each compliment, each kind word, each affirmation feeds into my spirit an attitude of entitlement. I deserve to have those things said about because I did a, b, or c. Of course, it was my talent or my selfless attitude that brought those accolades. Instead of simply turning it around and giving it to God, instead of giving God the glory, it feeds into a very selfish, very prideful nature of mine. I’m struggling to find the balance between taking an affirming word at face value and letting it grow bigger into a pride issue.

So there you have it, the deep thoughts and convictions that I’m working through in my heart. I told you it was sporadic and disjointed. What I do know is that I’m shifting uncomfortably in my seat as God is working in me, coming to grips with some long-neglected heart issues and dealing with them.

Just because...

Friday, March 12, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

... I love a good Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Happy Friday everyone!

In Which I am Long-Winded

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

This is one of my rambling posts… you’ve been warned. Before I start, head over here and enter to win Beth Moore's new book, So Long Insecurity. We all know how I feel about Beth Moore...

I’d like to start with a collage if you don’t mind; just a random sampling of our lazy Tuesday morning yesterday. We hung out in pajamas until about 11:00am, at which time I realized that Devyn needed to get ready for her first day back at school since she got sick over a week ago. She was more than a little excited to be back.

I’m still working on the pride issue, and I’ve discovered that God’s hitting me from all angles on this one. Pride in myself, in my children, in preconceptions I have of other people, etc. Ugh! Its such an ugly part of being human, and one I would love to ignore. But I hate who I am, what my heart looks like if I were to leave that area untended. I want so much for this tendency of mine to be gone. I would love to start each and every day thinking less of me, more of others, more of Him. Thank goodness, I am a work in progress.

Story of the Day, depressing or funny, depending on how you look at it. It was one of those days, one where the kids are whining, crying, fussing, and fighting from the moment they wake up. I believe I poured Hudson’s cereal three different times and still didn’t get it right. (I am not a fan of age three, I’ll take two over three any day!) So when the fighting started after Devyn got home from school, I snapped. I dragged both of them by the arm, sat them in opposite ends of the hallway, told them to sit on their hands, and that they could not say a word until I told them they could. They must’ve heard the underlying hysteria in my voice because not a peep was heard for over ten minutes! Praise be to the Lord, I think that’s most quiet I’ve gotten in over two days. Devyn has stated that she is not a fan of that punishment.

Another collage. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but Jon is finishing our basement a little bit at a time. It’s slow-going but we hope to have half of it finished by the end of the year, the side that includes the laundry room, my computer nook, an extra bathroom, and guest bedroom. I continue to be amazed at Jon’s ability to envision what he wants and then have the skills to carry it through. Love him!

I continue to be humbled and awed at God’s mercy; even when we are so disobedient to Him, I am amazed at how He blesses us. I can’t go into too many details right now, but I promise to share more when I can. (No, I’m not pregnant. And yes, I hate it when people do that too.) At the beginning of this year, I launched a prayer campaign for one of my heart’s desires, even going as far as to include a timeline. Imagine my awe when I started seeing how God was moving circumstances (some good, some not so good) to allow me this gift. It seems as though my prayers regarding the timeline were wasted. It appears everything may be coming to fruition much sooner than I'd wanted, which is both good and scary.

And last, but certainly not least, please say a prayer for Layla Grace’s family during these coming days and weeks. The beautiful two-year-old lost her battle to cancer yesterday morning. I can’t even begin to fathom the heartache her family is going through.

I've given birth to three babies.

Monday, March 08, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

And don't think I won't be using that excuse for the next thirty years!

By the way, extenuates = accentuates. It's late. That's my only excuse.

Twinkle Toes

Thursday, March 04, 2010 8 Comments A+ a-

Ok, let me preface this video with the fact that yes, my living room was quite messy when I made it. Please give me grace as we were on Day #3 of Devyn's latest battle with a stomach virus and ear infections.

But not even the messiness of our home is going to prevent me from sharing the sugary goodness of Miss Reagan Rea as she dances her way around the room. She takes after both her sister and her brother in their love of dancing. {Side Note: These videos are some of the greatest reasons why I blog...}

I simply adore the newest member of our dancing crew.

Bulls-Eye, Lord. Over and out.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

Oh goodness. This is not going to be a fun post to write, but its necessary. One that I stand to benefit from and refer back to over and over again.

I am a work in progress. Every time that I think I’ve claimed victory over an area of my life, God is more than willing to show me that no, in fact, its something that I must consciously resist on a daily basis.

Before I get into it too much, I want to share with you my reasoning for putting my current struggle out there for the whole world to read. Sarah and I had a coffee date last month, and it was good. That scripture that talks about "as iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens another"? She is one of those for me. Neither of us claim to have it all together, but we can be real with each other. We can speak truth to each other and encourage the other in our struggles to be more Godly wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and even friends.

At our last coffee date, we discussed how so many of us are willing to talk about past struggles. Its so easy to share what God has taught you (past tense) because it meant you came out on the other end. You’ve been through the “fire” and have been refined, you went through the struggles, and it seems easier to share the past. Yet so few us readily admit what we are currently struggling with, we don’t talk about the daily refining, the daily struggles, the lessons being learned in the here and now. Is it shame that stops us? A desire to appear that we have it more together than we do?

I don’t know. But I aim to be more real and to that end, here we go.

God hit His bulls-eye this morning. And yes, I realize its still very early, but apparently He’s been trying to send me this message for a while now. I’ve just been too prideful to hear it until this morning. I’ve learned that when God is trying to teach me something, usually it comes in a theme. Over and over and over again until I’m forced to admit, “Ok God, got it.”

First there was Timmarie’s birthday post in which she admitted that God has shown her that she has a long way to go in the forgiveness department. At that time I thought, “Poor lady. I’m so glad I don’t have that problem.” Hello, Pride! Party of 1.

Then a conviction so deep in the early morning as I realized that I was getting ready to spend time with the Almighty and I had just given in to the flesh and read gossip about a fellow sister in Christ, all while choosing to judge her for her decisions. I believe the conviction went something like this, “Let me get this straight. You’re getting to spend time with ME, yet, you judge another without pulling the log out of your own eye?! Jenn, think about that for a minute.” Bulls-eye.

Then there was the scripture that God placed in my path before I even sat down to my quiet time. “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12 Ok, ok, I got it.

And so here it is folks. I am prideful. Really that’s what it boils down to. I consider myself to be full of grace, full of forgiveness, full of mercy. But the truth of it is, I am prideful and I have such a long way to go before God can completely break me of that sin.

I wrote a list in my journal this morning. Pride makes me judgmental, pride makes me critical, pride makes me unloving. Oh yuck. It sucked to write those words. And the worst part of it is, is that it is so subtle and so sneaky. I don’t even realize that I’ve given into that part of my flesh until I am so deeply entrenched in judgment and criticism, that it takes a huge knock over the head from God to call me out.

So there you have it folks, probably one of my biggest struggles. And a struggle that is currently well and alive right now. God will work on me and I will submit to His lessons; I know I’m not even close to coming out on the other end of this lesson. It is going to be a hot fire that refines me. I will have to choose love over any other human tendency (ie., unforgiveness, judgment, criticism) on a case-by-case basis. Each time I choose love will be a step closer to learning my lesson, but I fully expect that with every step forward will come two steps back. There will be days that I feel particularly snarky and mean, and I’m sure on those days God will place an even higher number of opportunities for me to choose love.

I sit here with coffee at my elbow, a little boy in my lap, and my heart heavy with confession. I’m squirming under the heaviness that conviction brings, and in utter contempt that I have once again proven to need continued lessons on humility and pridefulness.

Ok, Lord, your daughter has heard you loud and clear. Let the refining process begin.