Saturday, December 17, 2011

and every mother's child....

is gonna spy... to see if reindeer really know how to fly!!
 Guess who we saw for the first time today? (It was not Miss W's first time, though!!)
 The babies were so well behaved and such sweet little darling sitting there with Mr. Claus.  I was so proud of them. (Belle on the left, Li Li on the right)

Poor C missed his nap and was not pleased that his Daddy abandoned him at the moment to a stranger. W asked for "silver shoes" C didn't really specify what he wanted and the girls (via W) asked for baby toys!!
Thanks Santa!! We hope you remember us on Christmas Eve!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 Months

Can't believe it's been five months. I say that every month, don't I? Well, it's true.
Today on my brother's birthday the girls turned 5 months.
This month they have been busy...
I now officially have thumb suckers, one belly sleeper (MB) and two very active movers and rollers!!
The girls are loving their rice cereal and oatmeal!!
My little babesters are getting cuter and cuter with every day and they are SO stinkin' funny.  They're starting to babble and really start talking!!
We are really loving them. What sweet babies!
Tomorrow they meet two out of three of their Uncles, Aunts and 2/3's of their cousins.
We fly to Denver tomorrow. Let the Christmas celebrating begin!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The 3 C's

I alluded to "the 3 c's" in this post here and wanted to dig deeper into the three different (very general) sins that seem to plague most women.  I won't assume that all women struggle with all three of these but in most cases I think you can find a little bit of each of these in a conversation that isn't being guarded.

Take a minute to sit at Starbucks and listen to some women talking... or perhaps you don't even have to eavesdrop on someone else's conversation.  I know for me, I don't have to look any further than at myself to find "the 3 c's" being casually tossed about like they were a penny a piece and no harm to anyone.  My tongue gets me into so much trouble and before I know it I've complained, compared and competed myself with another person and most often times that person wasn't even present to "rise to the challenge".  In thinking and praying over these little c's... I've come to realize several things about them.

First, they are very intricately connected.  It's hard to have one and not the other.  When I complain about my hair and how awful it is and how I hate the cut and how it makes me look I realized that I am complaining because my hair doesn't look like "so and so's" hair which is always immaculate and never a strand out of place. And to go a step further, the reason I want my hair to look like "so and so's" is so that I could possibly "out-beautify" her and thereby enters in competition.  It's easy to see how one leads to another before I've even recognized that I have done one.

Second, "the 3 c's" are a "slippery slope".  What I mean by that is observe how easy it is for us as women to get caught up in each of these and often times we don't even know it's happened.  Have you ever walked away from a conversation feeling a bit uneasy?  I know I have.  I have walked away from well-meaning times with my own sisters in Christ and felt a bit... "um, Lord, was that honoring?" brewing in my stomach.  I don't even know it's happening as I sit and catch up with some of my girlfriends but later as I am reflecting on my time spent I realize I could have held my tongue more. 

Third, at the root of all three of these is a voice saying, "God, what you have given me, whether it be beauty, money, talents, etc. is not enough." Think about it.  When you complain, you are saying, "I don't like this circumstance."  When you compare, it's "why didn't you make me this way" and when you compete you say to God, "this person is better than me".... it's an insatiable monster that will not only eat you up but convince you to "eat up" those who are around you.  As I write this I wanna ask, "Why do I give others the permission to tell me how much I am worth?" and it's true.  We give others the permission to tell us if we are beautiful, successful or worth very much. 

Last, you are not the master of these three though you think you are... they are and will always be the master of you until you take them to Jesus.  For instance, I don't like the verse in James that says that "no man" can tame their tongue because I like to think I can tame my tongue.  I like to think I can stop gossiping, putting down other women and degrading my own self.  I like to think that I can but in reality, I can't.  We are no longer slaves to sin, the bible tells us, and yet, we allow ourselves to be slaves when we give in to these petty three c's.  There is no life in speaking and believing these three c's.  Whether we believe and speak them about others or ourselves.  No life.  There can only be death.  Death of friendships, death of us finding our true identity and death to a fruitful spiritual life.

I can easily relate to James' words about how "with (the tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God".  Whenever I read that I cry out, "Really God?!? Is there no hope for someone like me?" and of course there is hope.

Our hope comes from the Bible which teaches us that God shows His love for us that while we were still sinners Christ, God's son, died for us.  (Romans 5:8)  There is nothing we can do, now or ever, to earn this gift which God freely gives us.  Yet, while we are in this life we should not waste this gift of grace but use it to continue on towards righteousness and holiness.  So for example, even though I have trouble with these "3 c's" I should not shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, there's grace to cover that" and continue on my merry way. No, I should strive to live a godly life and strive to rid my habits of such sinful tendencies.  I love Philippians 1:6 which says, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion..." and Proverbs 24:16, "for the righteous falls seven times and rises again...".  It's nice to know that even the righteous fall but the key is to get up and "rise above" that which would bring us down.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

the heart of it

This picture represents simplicity to me.  The simple life. I long for a simple life but not only that but thankfulness in a simple life.  I wish I was more simplistic in my desires and values.  But I do desire recognition and acclamation.  Lord, help me to desire the things you do.
Do you  know how easy it is for me to complain?
Ugh. Why is it so easy to complain?
Is there anyone here with me?  Sitting like Jonah under a tree that is wilted, pouting?!?
Anyone? Anyone?
I was thinking about my heart and how easy it is to think of all that isn't where I want it to be and mourn the loss of things that I used to count so dear to me.  Like time! And independence! And a waistline.
ha ha
No seriously.
But then I stopped because I am realizing that my girls are starting to watch me.  I mean, really focus in on me and watch me.  Oh, I love how they turn to me after nursing, milk dripping down their chubby little chins, and they smile up at me.  Melts my rotten complainy heart right down to little complainy pieces.
I realized that my attitude and outlook on life will be passed on to my girls.  Either they will "itch" to get out of my presence because complainers are no fun to be around or worse, they'll become complainers themselves.
And can I just tell y'all something?!
Complaining is one of the ugliest things.  Seriously, it can strip a woman of all her beauty. I know this, I warn other women about it and yet, it is one of my faults.
I learned about the three c's in college that plague women:
and I can't help but think of those lessons learned even now.
Sooo... whats a girl to do about her complaining heart?
Well, I decided to continue counting my blessings and putting them on my blog so that I would be somewhat accountable to whoever is reading this.
Along time ago I read a book that challenged me and encouraged me to live fully right where I am in life.  The challenge is to try and find 1000 things you are thankful for in your every day life.  I loved this book and loved the challenge but I will confess I am super bad at this.  Not bad at being thankful in a "I'm-trying-to-be-modest-and-make-you-feel-good" kind of bad.  I am sincerely bad at being thankful.  I have to think and think and think about what I am thankful for in my every day life. It's humbling to say the least because sometimes Hubs will ask me and I will stammer out some sort of response while he is naturally more observant of all that we are blessed with. So I started my adventure down this path but never developed the habit and so I soon forgot to keep up with it.
Well, starting today I am going to continue on with counting my thousand gifts... and don't worry. I'm only on #46, so you didn't miss much.  And while I'm thinking about lessons learned I think I'll finish december off with some of my thoughts about the 3 c's and encourage you ladies to not fall into a rut as I have often done.  We need to proactively fight off the things that diminish our beauty and threaten our joy. 
If you want more info about the book (a definite must-read and a good gift for someone in your life this holiday season) click here.
So without further ado, I give you some of my blessings...
46. the tree trimmers who come and make our apartment complex look beautiful and let more sunlight in onto our patio and into our house to keep it warm.
47. babies who sleep at night, allowing me and hubs some much needed rest
48.  snail mail which warms my heart from friends and family who I am far from
49. the kind lady at the grocery store who helped me juggle a double stroller, two crying babies, half of my grocery list (oh well, i guess i'll have to get the other half later), my credit card and shopping bag.  Super thankful for her kindness and patience with me. (my first time out alone and my excursion lasted about 2 minutes before baby 1 melted down) :P
50. beautiful flowers from a wonderful man I like to call Hubs. *sigh*