Brought to My Knees

My daughter had her 18 month check up and shots today. Usually she has done well with shots but today she hasn’t been feeling well. In addition she has two teeth coming in so she hasn’t felt the best today. At nap time she wouldn’t nap in her crib she insisted on the rocking and holding her. This never normally happens. As she was snoozing peacefully in my arms, I took that time to read my chapter for a online Bible study I am doing through Proverbs 31. The Bible study is Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst I felt so touched by the chapter and could feel it was exactly what God needed me to hear today. I was very thankful for that moment that I stopped, held my little girl, and received a message I needed to hear.

Fast forward to bedtime.  We have a routine of bath, pjs, milk, books, then bed. Again my daughter wanted me to rock and hold her.  Finally, she compromised with laying in her crib but she had to hold my hand.  After several minutes of bending over the crib I slid down to my knees with my hand thru the slots of the crib.  After a few moments of watching my daughter still in the quiet room, the significance of my physical position hit me.  I was on my knees, and I knew that was exactly where God needed me to be.  This is a busy and stressful time of year.  This week has been busy already for me. But that moment I felt so grateful for a pause to be with God and listen to Him.  I get so caught up in trying to plan everything, fix everything, and figure out the best plan when in reality it isn’t my job to do any of that. God knows exactly what I need and when I need it. Even as simple as bringing me to my knees when I need to slow down and listen. I will sleep more peaceful tonight knowing this truth.

 

 

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Happy This Year/Happy New Year

It is hard to believe 2014 is coming to a close today! I normally don’t get caught up in making resolutions for the coming year, but this year I have been thinking a lot about it. I guess it is because 2014 was the most life changing year of my life so far! It has by far been the happiest, challenging, rewarding, most difficult, scary, and changing year for me. Learning to be a Mommy has changed a huge part of me. Adjusting to that fact is difficult in itself. But when I look back at this year, I can’t help but smile and have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for this amazing life God has given me. I know now more then ever how blessed I am and I hope to never take it for granted.

So looking forward to this coming year I have been making a list of all the things I would like to do or work on. Some are small things and some are big. But if I had to sum them all up it would come down to – how can I show the world around me God’s grace that has been given to me? I want to give more, forgive more, think positive, and be a mirror to all the light and blessings God has given to me.

Happy New Year! I hope this blog has a way of bringing some light and happiness to you in 2015! I have a feeling it will for me!

High Five for Friday

I read a few blogs who participate in High Five for Friday each week.  Basically it is just a way to list some happy moments that have happened in the week.  I have always enjoyed reading them and thought it was a great way to recap the high points of the week.  So I plan on making a tradition on my blog too.  So here are some highlights of my week!

1. Garrett, Amelia, and I took a trip to Boone, NC last weekend.  It had snowed the day before and the mountains still had plenty of snow.  It was gorgeous with all the fall colors!

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2. A book club that I am a part of started up again after a year of not meeting.  We had such a great time discussing an awesome book (Broken Wings by Carla Stewart) and having some girl time.  I am so excited this will be a monthly thing for me again.  Books, wine, and my girlfriends are some of my favorite things- all of them together is perfection!

3. Amelia saw her first snow!   I was so excited and surprised it snowed the day after Halloween! It really put me in the Christmas spirit!  Amelia was not super impressed!

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4.  I have recently discovered the Harry Potter books.  Yes I know I am about 5 years behind!  I never thought I would like them but a few chapters into the first one and I was hooked!  I finished the first one this week and immediately started the second book.  I can not put it down!

5. I picked up this awesome coat for a steal!  I have always loved a classic camel colored pea coat.  I thought the price of this one from Old Navy was too good to pass up!

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Creating a Cleaning Schedule

Before I became a Mom, I was a clean the whole house at one time kinda girl.  I would usually clean every other Saturday in one long scrub session.  Now that I have a 5 month old, it just isn’t possible to spend 2 or 3 hours cleaning at one time.  After she was born, for a few months I continued to try that same method and I was failing miserably.  I am not a person that needs my house to be spotless but I do require a certain level of order.  So after a few months of feeling frustrated with my home’s appearance, I decided to try something new.

I headed to Pinterest to find a cleaning schedule.  After glancing at many different ones, I just couldn’t seem to find one that fit my home exactly.  So I created one that fit for me.

Here is how I did it:

  • First I made a list of the chores I normally do when giving my home a good cleaning.
  • Next I categorized them by what should be done daily, weekly, biweekly, and then monthly.
  • I then set up a schedule of what chores I would do each day.  There are some things I wanted done each day like, making the bed, cleaning the kitchen counters, and clearing the sink of any dishes.  Then I tried to add just one or maybe two extra things to my list for each day.

My goal was to not feel overwhelmed with a lot of extra to do each day.  I usually have very little extra time to spend cleaning, especially on days that I work.  I wanted to keep it to 15 minutes or so a day.  After trying it for the past two weeks and doing a little rearranging I think I have found a good schedule for me.  Of course some days I have not been able to do my particular chore for that day but it has been easy to catch up the following day.  The best part is I feel like it is manageable to get it all done and my house feels more clean and organized!  If you are pressed for time (and we all are) give a cleaning schedule a try!  Pinterest is a great place to start and there are many good templates to choose from.

Here is the schedule I came up with for our home!
Sunday- Clean master bath/ The next week clean spare bath instead                 
Monday- Dust entire house (I wear Amelia in the baby carrier and she loves this chore)
Tuesday- Laundry, clean out refrigerator
Wednesday- Grocery store
Thursday- Open- I left this empty to do whatever extra pops up to be done
Friday- Sweep hardwood floors/ The next week mop hardwood after sweeping
Saturday- Laundry, vacuum carpets

Finding the Right Perspective

Everyone tells you that having a child will change your life.  A few people will tell you how hard it will be.  Even fewer people tell you that there are many many days that are not enjoyable and the main goal for that day will be to survive it.  I will say that all those things are true.  In addition, having a child will bring you the happiest moments in your life and you will experience more love then ever imaginable.

I have always wanted to be a mother.  I could never imagine my life without children (or at least one).  When people would tell me it would be hard and difficult, I believed them.  I also believed that my desire and willingness to be a mother would be enough to overcome the most difficult days.  That was a cute little dream land I lived in until Amelia was about 4 weeks old and I was told she had colic.  I remember the day so well.  She had been screaming alot the past week so I took her to the doctor.  I just knew he was going to say she had an ear infection, or she wasn’t getting enough to eat or something that was “fixable”.  When I explained to him her symptoms he immediately said “It sounds like she has colic, there is nothing we can do.  It will get better usually around 3 months.”  Wait! What? There is no options for fixing this? How will I deal with this for another 2 months? And that friends is when it got real!  I left the doctor’s office and treated myself to an ice cream sundae.  I figured I was going to need the extra calories!

The next 3 months were very difficult.  Some days I felt like all I tried to do was survive the day.  Some days are still difficult.  I never knew heartbreak and patience until my baby was screaming and there is nothing I can do to help her.  There have also been many days that have brought me more joy than I ever thought I could feel.  I have actually thought my heart could burst because it was filled with so much joy and love.  I feel so blessed to have a beautiful and healthy child.  I see others who are struggling to have a baby or have a child who is sick and I appreciate the greatest blessing I have.  I know I am one lucky girl!

Since Amelia was born my faith and spirit have been tested more then ever before.  There were many moments that my faith in Jesus Christ was the only thing that keep me going.  I am also blessed to have an amazing husband and mother to be there for me as well.  I felt so much guilt that I wasn’t enjoying everyday.  People kept saying to me, cherish these times because they go by so quickly.  But there were days I keep wishing they would pass quicker.

I receive daily devotional emails from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  A few months ago they advertised an online Bible study called Am I Messing Up My Kids by Lysa TerKeurst.  I was so excited to find a Bible study for mothers and immediately purchased the book to go along with the online study.  Every week I would read a few chapters and there would be a quick video.  I can not say enough good things about this book!  It was truly a blessing to me and I still study it today.  With every chapter I felt there was something that God wanted me to hear and related to exactly what I was feeling.  Some of the most important points that helped me most was that is okay to not love every moment and the hard times will pass. This is a season in my life that God is growing and stretching me spiritually.   It made me realize that God is molding me into someone better and stronger.

“Some days you’ll feel as though your life is just a tangled mess, but those knots are necessary to ground us in the Lord and make the fabric of our life strong.” —Lysa TerKeurst

Wow!  Talk about gaining a new perspective!  When we change the way we perceive something our attitudes can change.  So instead of feeling guilt and failure, I choose to see grace and growth.  I am not a perfect mother and never will be, but knowing that God is in control and is shaping me into a better follower of Him makes the difficult days worth is all.

Our First Library Story Time

I am a lover of books. I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. I can remember being in elementary school and cashing in my free pizza coupons at Pizza Hut for reading so many books. I do love pizza so maybe that inspired my love of reading! Ha!

When I was pregnant with Amelia I had high hopes she would love books and reading as much as I do. Her Daddy is not a reading fan so I wondered if she would show interest. I read multiple articles that said to read out loud to “your belly”. Although I love to read, I never could bring myself to do it. I felt so silly reading out loud to a big belly! But the moment we brought her home I started reading to her. It is my favorite part of my day. We get her pjs on and snuggle up with a book before she goes to sleep at night. She is very interested in the books and pays attention almost every night.

A friend of mine told me about story time at our local library. The library does it every Tuesday morning. Luckily that is one of my days off so we checked it out today. I am so happy that it was a huge hit with Amelia! She paid attention the entire time and was so captivated by the reader’s voice. The leader read three books and sang a couple songs. I was really impressed with our small local library. This is a great outreach to our children. Plus it is a chance for her to be around other children and maybe Momma can make some new friends too!

I am one proud Momma that it seems my little one is going to have a love for books like her Mom! I’m so excited she and I can have a fun weekly ritual to do together.

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