Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Mother's Paraphrase of James Chapter One:

I just finished reading a small booklet by Holly Elliff, a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio broadcast. She is the mother of eight children and authored this booklet called Turning the Tide Having More Children Who Follow Christ! One thing I thought was really neat was a paraphrase from James chapter one that was paraphrased for mothers.

"My sisters, when children of all ages crowd into your life, don't resent them as intruders but welcome them as friends. Realize that all of your children have come to test your faith (and your patience!) and to produce in you the quality of endurance. Let them grow up, accomplishing their purpose. Then you will be mature and complete and lacking in nothing. If, however, during the years you invest in them, you find that you lack wisdom in any moment, you have only to ask God, who is the source of all that we need, and He will give you abundant grace for the task at hand without making you feel foolish or guilty."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What I am Looking Forward To:

If I am honest here I will have to admit that I am on the last stretch of this pregnancy and feel like I am hitting a wall. We have been through so much intense transition in our family and much hard work resettling in a new home and adjusting to life on land, etc. Nothing about the whole blessed event has been easy, and I'm finding myself really running out of stamina.
In all honesty I have been less than desirable to be around this weekend. I must be having huge hormone swings as I have felt very edgy and frustrated. I think I am getting to that point where my whole body hurts, and I'm just tired of being tired. I'm tired of being huge and so limited in what I want to accomplish. Our sweet Abbie Joy is heavy to lift at nineteen months, and she has been very demanding upon me with my back feeling the effects. I'm just worn out and really wanting to feel better.
I've found myself very frustrated that I have never gone into labor early without an induction. Every pregnancy I have thought maybe this will be the one where I go early but it has never happened. Now we did induce the last two babies a week early and plan to do that this time too. Even so I still have a little over a week and a half left. I find myself constantly having thoughts of what if my water breaks and I go early, but day after day rolls by and I am not having that thought come to any actualization. Yes, I have periodic painful contractions, but they never amount to anything except discomfort. Basically I just feel agitated with all the hard work, lack of rest, and with waiting. Well, I guess the Lord is trying to teach me patience and endurance. I think it might help me to list some of the things I am looking forward to with a new baby as it will take my mind to another place other than how uncomfortable I am. So here are some of my musings about what is to come in the near future.

  • Another soft, tiny, limp little baby to hold in my arms
  • The joy a new baby will bring to Daddy, Mommy, and Siblings
  • Seeing Lilly Faith's first smile
  • Hearing her first sounds
  • The sweet smells of a clean baby after a bath
  • Our new family dynamics as each new baby has always brought much change to our family
  • Having four girls!
  • Watching Gabriel fall in love with yet another baby sister he wants to protect
  • Her clasping my finger with her little grasp
  • The closeness of holding her while nursing and wearing her in the sling
  • Watching the other children delight in her every new milestone
  • Watching her Daddy fall in love with another baby girl
  • Precious baby clothes
  • Watching the children mature as they have yet another little one to help take care of
  • Seeing Abbie Joy learn a new roll as big sister to Lilly Faith
  • Here is a silly one, but I have a tradition of drinking grape juice over ice in the hospital. There is something refreshing about the juice on ice after all the hard work of giving birth.
  • Seeing my baby rolled in and holding her during each visit during the hospital stay
  • First baby pictures
  • Coming home with new baby
  • Seeing what she looks like
  • Kissing her sweet, smooth little head
  • Tiny little diapers again; you forget how TINY the newborn size are
  • Watching the Lord grow us all as our whole family makes room for yet another blessing; I truly believe that each new baby helps strip layers of selfishness off of each of us. Even the children realize there is someone else who needs attention and love, and everything does not revolve around them.
  • Having two nights in the hospital to get away from all the demands at home and just fall in love with this new little girl we are expecting.
  • Watching her personality blossom as she moves through her first year

These are just some of the many things I look forward to. I put them in a random order as they popped into my mind. It helps to think ahead to the gift that is on the way so as not to think so much about just getting through the next several days. I may have to come back and reread this to help myself along. Thanks for sharing in my ponderings, and I would appreciate prayers for us as we approach this very BLESSED occasion. I truly believe that children are a BLESSING from the Lord. I am eternally grateful for the five blessings the Lord has given us.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life in our new home

Here are a few pics from our new home. There are several peacocks that roam our street. They visit us everyday. Abbie Joy has a limited vocabulary, but one of her words is now, "peacock."
This peacock is sitting on the balcony off of our homeschool room.

There is no shortage of messes already being made with a nineteen month old in the house.

Here is our cat. The children named her LUV. She really is very sweet. A cat that puts up with her tail being pulled is pretty easy going. :)

Stair Railing

The house we bought in Fulshear was built the year I was born. I guess I will never forget how old the house is. :) There are MANY projects to be done, but some HAD to be done immediately for safety reasons. The stair railing was one of those projects. The slats were spaced so far apart that Abbie Joy could go through them. Also the railing was insanely short. A HUGE safety concern. So, here are pics of the change from the old railing to the new one. Matt pretty much designed the look of the new railing. I thought he did a great job!

An Answered Prayer!

It has been a LONG time since I last blogged. A lot has happened in our family, so I have much to report. The Lord has faithfully answered our prayer to provide us with a home in the country. We have prayed for a home where we can raise our children and give them room to run and play. Matt and I have prayed long and hard about this and have searched far and wide. Our dream of having land for our children to grow up on often times seemed impossible. We basically looked for a new home for two years, and during that time the Lord shut one door after another. Some of the homes we prayed over we really felt were what we needed. It was very discouraging for us to see one door after another shut. Over the last year we lived through having our house on the market for about a year. It was a huge burden to our whole family trying to show a house, being pregnant with baby number five, trying to keep homeschooling going and be ready at any time to show the house. Many times I cried out to the Lord to deliver us from what felt like such a huge inconvenience. All the while the Lord was preparing the right home for us, but we had to be patient and continue to trust His Sovereignty even when we could not see or understand His perfect plan. Basically the searching, praying, trying to sell a house, etc. went on for about two years.
Finally the night before Easter Matt and I decided we had probably wasted the past year and that we were going to have to give up on selling our house. For one we had received NO offers on it and secondly we could not find a home on land that was big enough for our growing family. We went to bed discouraged and heart weary over the matter. Well, the next day we pulled ourselves up and dressed the kids for church. Right before the service began I reached down into my purse to turn off my cell phone. That is when I saw that an offer had come in on my email. Since church was about to begin I could not open the attachment, so we waited until after church to open and read the offer. The Lord had resurrected our hope on resurrection Sunday. Isn't that just like Him to work in meaningful ways like that? We went home that afternoon and started searching homes on the internet again. The following week we spent many hours searching and searching. As it turns out there was a house that we had previously seen and driven by, but it was out of our budget. Well, that house had been on the market for about the same amount of time as our home. The owners kept dropping the price of the home as our house sat not doing anything. The Lord was having us wait until the price of the home was within reach for us. As He would have it to be the house dropped in price again about the same time that we received an offer on our house. The Lord was completely in control of all circumstances and timing. The rest is history. We went through the contract stage and closed on our new home.
We have been in our new home several weeks and are busily trying to get things set up and functioning. We have been blown away by the help that family and friends have provided. People have helped us move, watched our children, helped with unpacking and on and on. We have really been touched by the outpouring of help that people have provided. Moving onto 3.5 acres, in a house that needed a lot of work, with things that are not functioning correctly, during the last trimester of this pregnancy............has been a huge challenge. If it were not for the gracious help that so many have given I don't know how we would have made it. We are deeply appreciative.
We have seen the hand of the Lord in a miraculous provision of more than we thought possible. We would have been happy with one acre, but the Lord has given 3.5 acres. We did not pray for a pool, but He provided a pool. The whole family is loving it! The house feels huge, the location is ideal and much more. The Lord even provided a kitty for the children that came along with the house. :) He has just taken care of us day by day. No, none of this has been easy, and we have been bone weary many times but God has been faithful! He continues to help us day by day. Our children have been gone during much of this time staying with my parents off and on just so that we can try to get on top of things.
We know that big adjustments are ahead with Lilly Faith joining our family SOON and the kids coming back home, getting back to homeschooling, etc. Things still seem overwhelming, however, when I reflect upon how far the Lord has taken us I know He will continue to lead us through all the settling in and adjustments ahead. I share this story in hopes of encouraging my readers in the fact that our Lord is in control, He can move mountains, and He always answers prayer in His time and His way. We would not have chosen any of the trials over the past two years, but it is sweet to see the faithfulness of our Lord and what He has done for us. We do not deserve His goodness, but He delights in His children and in giving good gifts. One more thing, when we were going through this whole ordeal the Lord made it crystal clear that the house situation was a mountain that only He could move. Matt and I knew that there was NOTHING within our power to change the situation. The Lord ministered to me through the song that says, "Savior He can move the mountains; my God is mighty to save." Well, He did work in a mighty way, and we are so thankful. We want to use our new home/land to raise our children in His ways and to bless others who visit us. We pray that our home will reflect His goodness and be a blessing to many people. I will post pictures in the next post. :)