Thursday, December 18, 2008

Use this, Lord...somehow.

Being pregnant for most people is a joyous time...knowing there is a baby in the womb, a "certain glow" about the face, love in the air knowing a little one will be entering into this world, excitement about feeling kicks, the fun of wearing maternity clothes and people asking how much longer you have, ultrasounds, guessing what sex baby is, picking out names, and so on.

For me, though I enjoy these things, I don't exactly delight in being pregnant. The never-ending nausea and fatigue grow wearisome. I try to "go on without complaint" but, at times, begin with the tears rolling down my cheeks as everyone in my house is asleep. Pleading to God for the nausea to stop, to feel "normal" for a day. To not struggle with getting school and housework done, acting like I feel better than I do. To be able to enjoy my kids and have fun with them, running around playing hide and go seek or pushing them on the swing, enjoying their desire in wanting to help with dinner like I do when not pregnant.

Please don't get me wrong, I am happy to be "with child", I am just struggling right now. I am tired. Weak. Mentally exhausted. Physically exhausted. Spiritually...dry. I try to pray, yet when I do, I fall asleep or feel like I am not getting anywhere. I feel like I let my friends and family down as I am not praying for them like I usually do. I long to be "in the presence" of my heavenly Father. Yet, I don't go to Him as much as I should...... Sigh......Oh to feel like myself again. Not like I have a lingering flu.

During these times I just have to rest in Christ. Rest. Easier said than done. But I know it is what I need to do. Meditate on His Scripture. On His Words. Yet I don't read like I should. Why am I writing this blog now when I should be searching scripture? Why does it seem easier to do this than read the Bible? Oh I know this terrible. I fail so much. Yet God is so faithful to me. Why? Why me? Don't know but I trust He is because His Word tells me so.

Oh to be close with Christ again. Is it my sin? Is it my lack of fellowship with Him? With my husband, AJ, I seek to have the best relationship with him, always trying to improve my own faults with Christ's help, making sure I take time with him, talking, getting to know any little detail about him I might not have known before, yet what about my relationship with Christ. My Creator. The One who has and never will fail me. Who is ever so faithful. Why? Why do I place my relationship with God not as worthy. I know it is worthy. I know I should, yet I feel like I fail. I know He is my Father and I am His child. All I can do is rest.

Rest my heart in Christ's truth. In His strength to get me past this time of hardship physically, mentally, and spiritually. Knowing He will get me through. Cast all my cares upon Him. Through my tears.

Yes, this shall past. It always does.In a day or two I will be renewed by Christ...knowing I can make it because He is with me and His strength only will get me past this down time. When I have my sweet "Little One" and start to feel better physically. Tomorrow I'll probably regret sharing this with others. Why? Could it be pride? Sin. It plagues me so.

Help me, Lord.

Dry these weary tears.

Strengthen me.

Use this to mold me like you, Jesus. It will be worth it.

Carry me.

Comfort me.

Protect my children.

Bless my husband for his faithfulness, prayers, and help.

Oh help me. Use this for YOUR glory Oh Lord...somehow.

I ask my friends, please pray for me. Pray for my family.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Over at a blog I watch, Ship Full O' Pirates (, Help For Growing Families, she mentioned something she did when her children were young while they were in the car. I thought I would take time to share what our family does when we travel......

Twice a year we make a trip down to Palm Beach, Florida to visit with my parents and grandparents. It is a 16 hour drive, and we usually stop 2 times, sometimes 3, during the trip.

Since we like to get up very early to begin our drive, we have our kids dress in day clothes the night before. This saves us time and hopefully keeps the kids in a slumber state to go back to sleep once in the van.

Here are things we do....

Breakfast: Each child gets a bag of dry cereal with a Vit. C hidden in there. They can't wait to see what color they got ( I usually put their favorite). Daddy and I get homemade egg mcmuffin's that have been warming in the oven while we get our last things together ( I wrap them in tin foil to keep them warm until we are ready to eat).

Lunch: Cheese quesadillas for kids and sandwiches for daddy and mommy. We usually stop at a rest area and let them run around while I set lunch up. We have chips and fruit to go with our meal.

Dinner: Sandwiches in the car or if the kids are very restless, we will stop at a Chic-Fil-A and let them play for about 30 min. while we eat. They eat in the car when we start our trip again.

Snacks: Since we don't eat a lot of junk food at our house, I use this as an opportunity to treat my kids with granola bars, dehydrated apples with cinnamon on them, grapes, dehydrated veg. chips, popcorn ( in baggies), and maybe a few M&M's each.

Drinks: water. They only get little sips at a time so we don't have many bathroom breaks. This works well as we only usually have to stop once between breakfast and lunch ( which we fill up with gas at this time) and once between lunch and dinner.

2 cars per child, tiny animals for each child, a bag of crayons, plain paper to draw, mazes ( printed from computer), 1 coloring book each and books foe them to look at our me to read. For the toddler, I have tin foil for him to play with along with the cars, and a magnadoodle. We always listen to music and I bring kids music by Judy Rogers when times might start getting rough ( usually about 30 min. before we are to arrive at our destination). And last but most important...our Bible to read scripture.

This trip we will bring our Jonathon Park audio series, I plan on making up papers with road signs for them to look for and cross off. Also, something I started a few months ago,when stuck in traffic, is starting a story and each kid contributes to it in different turns. They love this and all end up wanting to make up their own story. Some short...some Loooooog!

During our trips,it is a good opportunity to answer questions and speak of the things of Christ. Kids always have questions, though we don't always have the answer, we try.

I would like to try this time to make a surprise bag for each child. Fill a brown paper bag with some of their favorite small things and a few food treats.

All this sounds a lot but I have a black bag, medium size that can fit next to my feet and what fits...goes...nothing else. I always have more than I need but want to be prepared.

I always enjoy traveling and the kids are good. Not much fighting until it is late night and one is trying to go to sleep while the other is fighting sleep! :)

And I love the extra time with my husband, AJ, in the car. I enjoy being with him more than anyone...always making me laugh, we have great talks, share memories, talk about things that concern us, just sit in silence and much more. He is fun to be with and I look forward to our trip to be with my best friend, even more.

This is all I have, but it works for our family. If anyone else has any tips they would like to share on what you do for long trips, please tell me. I always like to try new things!

Have a great Christmas and may our Lord be glorified in each of our homes!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Raining? NO..It's Snowing!!!

Monday morning: After breakfast the kids and I check the weather like usual. I see it is supposed to rain and become increasingly cold this week. I then notice Thursdays forecast. I ask them, "What is this?" They don't know and I explain the white coming down from the clouds is snow. I tell them the forecasters say it may snow on Thursday. They become very excited and tell people it is going to snow when they answer the phone. I explain to them that the forecasters are only people who try their best to get things right, but only God knows for sure if it will snow.

Wednesday night: I explain to the children the "man on the news" says we will most likely not get snow as it looks like the cold front is going North of us. They remind me "only God knows."

We RARELY get snow here in S. Louisiana. I moved from South Florida 12 yrs. ago to be marry AJ and once only did we get a little flurry that was so excited to see!

5:54 am
Thursday morning: Phone rings. I rush out of bed to the kitchen to answer it. It is AJ's dad calling to tell us it is snowing outside. I peek out the windows to see SNOW!!! LOTS of snow. Our yard and trees were covered. I run to wake up AJ and then the kids. They took a minute to comprehend what I was saying, but when they did...they all jumped up with excitement running to the window.

We rushed to get all of our warm clothes on. I had 5 layers on the top and 3 on the bottom. Not including my scarf, gloves and hat. Even Elijah, our youngest one, was awake. At one point, Kaylyn became concerned about the people who don't have homes. She asks what will happen to them. We pray for the homelessIt took about 30 minutes and then we opened the door to ste out in the frigid cold weather.

At first the kids were walking slowly. Unsure of what to think about all of the snow. So I lead the way from under the carport and tell them how neat it is! I am looking all around with a huge smile on my face ( This was my 2nd time seeing snow in my life...first time last yr. at a Lady's Conference...but I did not get to play or stand there to just enjoy my first snow).

They, one by one, venture out to finally feel snow fall on their tiny heads for the first time. It did not take long at all for the shyness to fade away as they quickly began running around and "E" starts with his high-pitched voice of excitement...which I am sure probably woke up a neighbor or two...


They enjoyed walking and seeing their footprints in the snow. They realized how cold it is and decided NOT to pick up snow anymore...for awhile that is.

Katie Faith praying she will not freeze:
Kaylyn and E:

We return inside after about 30 minutes to warm up by the cozy fireplace to enjoy hot chocolate and our cereal with Christmas music playing in the background. We take a moment to also thank God for the snow.

After breakfast was over, we all head out to play in the snow, with the exception of Elijah, who already fell in the snow, got wet, so I decided to change him and put him down for his morning nap.

The kids ran around, while I decided to build a snowman. My first one. I was very excited. I told my self it was for the kids, but deep down I knew it was for me also...I have wanted to build one since I was a kid so here I am at the age of almost 36 I was able to get to do this lifelong dream. It was hard work being pregnant and trying to bend over to pick up the snow with my hat falling down past my eyes each time I bent over. I was nauseated like always, tired, but determined to persevere. It was not until about an hour into working on the snowman that AJ told me how I was supposed to make a ball by rolling it on the ground.

The kids were in and out, rushing by the fire to warm up and then rush back out to play.

After almost 2 hours of continuously working on my snowman, which was taller than the kids, I placed on the hat, arms, eyes, nose (E's nerf dart), scarf, and then finally was getting ready to put on my last thing...the mouth...a piece of bacon...when...CRASH!!! It fell to the ground. My hard-worked piece of art was now a piece of clump! Tears swelled up in my eyes and began pouring down my cheeks. All of my hard work for nothing! No picture, the kids didn't get to see it, AJ didn't...I walked inside and my family was concerned for me when they saw the tears. AJ encouraged me to rebuild it, but in discouragement I did not want to take another 2 hrs. to do this.

The kids and AJ decided to go out and rebuild one for me as I sat inside.

When I walked outside to see the kids snowman, our neighbor teen, who had been with us most of the morning, said, "Now that is a REAL snowman!" which of course, I started to cry again and walked back inside.

While inside, through the tears, the Lord began to minister to me. To be honest, I wanted to sulk in my self-pity. How dare someone say my hard work and first attempt of a snowman was not a good one, I worked hard on my "masterpiece"! (PRIDE!!!) I am sure there are many people out there who are much better than me, but this was MY project! Then I did not even get to show my kids the project I made for them...and me.

So after my sulking, Christ ministered to me again.

I began thinking about my process of building the snowman.When I began, the yard was so pretty. The snow was so white and had a peaceful look to it. As I would track across the yard and pick up large clunks of snow, I would see the yucky, dirty, mud and grass underneath.

This to me, showed a picture of Christ.

Without Christ, God sees us and our yucky, dirty, ugly sin. We are full of pride, selfishness, lust, coveteousness, impatience,wanting to do our own will...not considering Christ's, thoughts in our minds that are not nice, and so much more!!!

BUT, when we seek Christ, ask for His forgiveness for these things, and desire to live a life for Him...knowing we will fail but are forgiven by His blood for dying on the cross, then GOD see CHRIST'S righteousness in us. He sees us "white as snow" and because of Christ, no longer sees our yucky, dirty, sin (mud).

My, Oh My, How great is my God! And what a time to remind me of my self-pity.

Well, after I was "corrected" by God's Holy Spirit, I went outside to join in the fun with my family again.

I found AJ and E working on another snowman together, with a little help from Kaylyn and Katie Faith. Though they did not put on all the eyes and so forth, they were proud of THEIR snowman!

We then made snow angels in the snow...except AJ who thought we were crazy!

We then went on a short walk with the kids ( AJ went inside to be with Elijah, who fell in the cold,wet, muddy, stuff that was melting on the sidewalk...again)...

When we finished off our cold walk, we all came in to dry off and rest near our fire. We all hung up our socks to dry.

AJ putting on warm socks:

While our lunch was cooking in the oven, we ended our morning with this...AJ playing on the piano Christmas songs, singing, while E danced while Kaylyn and Elijah "helped" play the piano ( Katie Faith was tired and did not choose to participate in the fun)......

(For some reason it turned out dark on the blog, but you can still get an idea of what it was like)

When lunch was over, AJ went to work, I watched my friend's children, and when she picked then up, I took the kids for a ride around town to see the snow. We stopped by my our friend's house for a moment to return something, only Kaylyn got out of the van to see their snow fort...

As we returned home, we decided to play in the snow for one last time.

Elijah really enjoyed it! He loved walking through the snow with occasional squeals of excitement!
An attempt to get a picture of all 4 kids together:

Our dog, Biscuit, really enjoyed the snow also:

Kaylyn crying because her feet were hurting because they were so cold ( she did not put on socks...I did not know this...and put on a pair of boots that had a small hole in them)...

She was fine as soon as mommy and the fire helped warm her feet...

E warming by the fire...

All in all, it was a great day! The Lord truly blessed us with such beautiful weather that rarely makes it down our way...and more importantly, reminding me of Himself.

A family picture of us...poor Elijah missed out because he was sleeping. I wish he was in the picture though... Thank you, Lord, for our snowy day!!!