Fight against the flesh

On this lovely morning, I have just finished a yummy breakfast accompanied by a very delicious cup of coffee. I can hear the babies outside playing, the sound of a saw cutting wood, and the birds singing outside. The sun is shining bright. My son is at school taking a "test" (he is only in preschool). My husband is buying more wood for a project here, and my sweet baby girl is sleeping soundly in her bed. My own heart is full and yet I feel very near tears. Mostly because I just feel so blessed.

I must admit though that the last few days I have been really struggling with the acceptance of my body post baby. I know this sounds incredibly superficial, but lets be realistic. I am sure most women out there that have had children have passed through moments of just wishing for a body they once had...or maybe they never had it and always struggled with insecurities and those insecurities became even larger post baby. Whatever the case, I am sure others out there can understand where I am coming from. Yesterday though, I came across these pictures as I was cleaning out my desk. It was a cd of pictures and when I opened it up to see which ones they were, I found them...they are from 2005.

Here I am baking chocolate chip cookies...I probably ate several after I finished as well as several bites of dough as I made them.

I am putting on the final touches to a cake that I also probably dug right into after I finished!

My first thought was "My goodness I was so skinny!" Then my second thought was "Someone bring this gal an elliptical machine so she can get back to that!" Even though I had already been working out for the last couple of months, let me tell you that I really stepped it up yesterday. I kept thinking, "Okay, bring it on...those favorite pair of jeans are going to make their appearance yet!" But, as my walk/run continued I started thinking first of my sweet baby girl and what a complete miracle she is. She is so beautiful and sweet and healthy and so very, very loved. What a blessing and honor it is to get to be her Mommy. I didn't just gain those extra pounds eating too much pound cake. They are from having a beautiful baby girl inside my belly for 9 months. There are so many women out there that are wishing and praying and really just begging the Lord to give them that opportunity, and I was spending my time wishing for a body that I had 4 years ago instead of reveling in the miracle of Miss B.'s life. Then after all of that thinking (I really did a lot of thinking), I started thinking about my husband and my other sweet little boy. I started thinking about my family in KC and my friends there. I started thinking about my family and friends here in Guatemala, and well those hormones started kicking in and my eyes started to water. I am so blessed. We are so blessed. I struggle so much with what I don't have...whether it is a size 4 body or my family and friends not living close by or an actual house for my hubby, kids, and I (more than just two rooms) or more time with them or less interaction with so many insects (fleas, bedbugs, mosquitoes, etc.) or more money to travel with my family or buy some new clothes or name it and I have probably wished for it. I have so much to be thankful for, so much to praise Jesus for. I am living with 14 beautiful girls that have seen so much more heartache and pain than I could ever imagine. One of them even said yesterday, "I love that picture of you when you were like 2 years old. You look like a little doll. I wish I had pictures from when I was a little girl." My heart just melted. I had two of the most amazing people on the planet as my parents. They loved me, cherished me, and gave me all that I could ever want or need. I have more pictures of my childhood than one person probably even needs.

I am kind of getting off on a soapbox now...but the point is this. Are we living a life of thankfulness? There is always more we could have or more that we want but are we thankful for the here and now? Also, do we spend as much time focusing on our relationship with the Lord as we do focusing on looking well or having all that we want? For those of you that are Mamas and Wives out there like me, are you being the kind of wife and mother that at end of our lives or when Jesus comes back whichever comes first, your husband can be so thankful for the kind of wife he had and that your children can say that their mother was the absolute best one out there. I saw this episode recently of Little House on the Prairie. It was from the first season, and in it, Laura has to give an essay at school. To make a long story short, it is an essay about her Ma. Oh how it made me cry! I long for my children to be able to say such loving and kind words about their Mama.

"Oh Lord may we focus on You. May our eyes and hearts be whole-heartedly fixed solely on You and may we be filled up with the desire to bring you glory and honor always. May we be wives, husbands, mother, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and friends that bring you so much pleasure and joy because we are radiating your love. May we be like Moses when he came down from the mountain. May all that look to us see a glow because we are daily encountering the one and only living God. Thank you for your blessings and gifts. May we always be living lives of thanksgiving before You. Thank you for my sweet, sweet godly husband and my beautiful children. You have been so good to me and I praise Your Name!"

My sweet family right after Miss B. was born!

My precious funny man and my little pumpkin!


Learning, studying, and becoming a parent

Okay so I am really on a roll now...two posts in one week! I am definitely making a comeback now! Look out world here I come..

So one of my family's favorite anecdotes is one revolving around Christmas that seems like such a long time ago! I was a bright-eyed third grader and my sister was the always outgoing and crazy first grader. It was Christmas morning and my sister woke up to find her very own mini band set...a guitar, an amp, and a microphone. She always had dreams of being a rocker. She was jamming in the background, singing as loud as she possibly could a song made up as she went along and there I am on the couch...slowly opening a very heavy, but not too large package of my own. Then the squeals of delight can be heard even over my sister's jam session. What was in that lovely package of mine you ask? A dictionary. It was a bright red, thick Webster's Dictionary. I was elated. Seriously, my parents might as well have given me a million dollars for all the excitement that ensued. I then proceeded to ask my parents to start giving me words...any word...I wanted to bust out the dictionary. They gave me the word diamond. I can still remember that.

What is the point of this anecdote you ask...besides just showing how dorky I really was?? Well, it is to say that I have always been a lover of learning. I loved school. I would check the mailbox faithfully every day during the month of August just to find out who my teacher was going to be in elementary school. I can still remember projects, dissections, or even just papers from Middle School. I still talk to many of my teachers from High School, and I still have notes from lectures in college. I love studying. I love learning. And, well I am not ashamed to admit that I love school. I guess that is why I always wanted to be a teacher. I never wanted to leave school, and even though I knew a teacher was already supposed "to know everything," deep down I realized it was just an act. Teachers get to keep learning just like the students do...and it is even more fun because they get to learn right along with their students.

I would say one of the hardest parts about coming here to Guatemala was giving up my dream of being a teacher. I can remember the night I cleaned out my beautiful 4th grade classroom. When I came home, my dad asked me, "How did it feel to give up the keys to your dream tonight?" I, of course, acted completely unaffected by the whole thing because I was trying to convince them (and probably a little bit of me too) that I was strong and ready to leave behind everything that I had ever loved to become a missionary in Guatemala. Now don't get me wrong, I am 100% convinced that I did the right thing. When God calls, if we don't answer with a resounding "YES LORD!" we are going to miss out big time...not to mention having to face all the consequences of living in disobedience, but it was still hard. And, if I am honest, every September, it is still hard. I miss going back to a student and as a teacher.

But, these last few years, months and now especially these last few weeks, I have realized that I am both still a student and a teacher. I am a student of the language and culture here in Guatemala. I am still learning how to minister and love and just inspire children and teenagers that have seen more pain, hurt, and despair than most will ever even experience in a lifetime of watching drama movies or reading the daily newspaper. Now, I am learning what it means to be a parent. Sure, I knew how to change diapers and how to rock a baby to sleep. I knew how to entertain 4 year olds and make fun games out of nothing. I knew how to teach them discipline and responsibility. But, I am still learning how to teach them to be lovers of the Lord. I am still learning how to parent in a way that causes my children to realize that the only thing on this earth that has any lasting value at all is their relationship with Jesus Christ. I am trying to be the example to my daughters (my sweet little baby and my 14 beautiful teenagers that God has entrusted me for this season) of what a godly wife and mother looks like...what a godly woman running hard after the heart of Jesus looks like. I am trying to be the example to my son of what he needs to look for in his future spouse. I am still learning how to be the wife and helpmate that my husband needs. I am still learning how to die to myself every single day. It isn't easy. I am having to play the role of the student and the teacher at the exact same time with the exact same breath.

So even though I am not filling pages of notebooks with notes from some profound lecture, and I am not doing hours of research on some very interesting topic for a paper, and I am not preparing my own lessons and maps and activities, I am still a student, and I am still a teacher, and I am still in just isn't the traditional kind of school. I may not get to pull out a fresh set of school supplies each year, but I get to go to school. I am so thankful for that. I am so thankful that God doesn't just give us all the answers right away. I am so thankful that I get to keep learning each day, and that He has given me this amazing opportunity to be the wife of such a strong, godly man, and the mother of 16 of the absolute coolest kids on the planet.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Blogging...say what??

I am not sure if anyone even reads my blog anymore as it has been more than a year since I have updated it, but I have decided that I want to try and give it another go. Most days my heart is just so full, and I have so many things running through my head but no outlet for it we will try the blogging world once again. I did a few renovations, and I think things are looking least much more like my personality, so here goes nothing....

Life has definitely been busy over the last year since I made my last post anyway. Our adoption is finally almost finished (at least that is what we keep hearing) so soon our son will officially be ours. Although he is becoming more and more like the both of us with every passing day...he definitely has more of my personality but he walks, talks, and just acts like his daddy. We all were able to go back to KC in November and December so I could give birth to sweet Miss B. It was an amazing time for all of us, and my family fell completely in love with Andy. It was such a blessed time for us, and I am so thankful the Lord made it all possible.

I am loving being a mother more and more everyday. I was telling my Dad just the other day that it is so much better than I even imagined. I always was longing for the day I would be wife. I couldn't wait to be married and to just pour into my husband. I always knew that someday I wanted to be a Mom, but it wasn't something I really spent a whole lot of time pondering. I was always surrounded by children, so my life felt so completely full in that area. Once God opened the door for us to adopt , I knew a whole other kind of love that I never imagined, and my heart skipped a beat every time I heard him call me "Mami." It was and has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Now having Miss B. as well just makes life even more fun and amazing and incredible and every other kind of flowery word I can use to describe pure delight and wonder. I love being a wife and now I can say I love being a Mother. I love, love, love it, and I pray everyday that I am a mother than continues to point my children towards Christ...always in all that I say and do that I am that example.

I will say though that the most surprising thing about parenting is the fear that accompanies least the fear that constantly plagues me and that I continue to have to surrender to the Lord. I would say that fear has been my greatest struggle my whole life...prior to coming to know the Lord and after walking with Him. Matthew 6:34 was the very first verse I ever memorized as I knew that my worry and fear was and still is a sin. This battle with fear has waxed and waned over the years, but it definitely has been rearing its ugly head the last few years....first as I began to really make Guatemala my home then as the mother of my son and now as the mother of both of my beautiful children. I could pick a hundred different things any given moment of any given day of things I fear for my kids and for their life and for their future. It is a constant battle, constant struggle, but it has been all the more of a reason to make sure I stay in the Word...and that every day I lay down my husband and my precious children, our future, their future, our lives, our health, our safety, etc. at the feet of Jesus in the same way Abraham did Isaac and Hannah did Samuel....always remembering that they are the Lord's and His alone. He has only entrusted them to me and I would be doing them a great disservice if the example they learned from me was one of fear and worry and not one of faith and trust.

Until next time bloggers....


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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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