Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waiting and hoping

When Ryan and I were teenagers and struggling in our dating relationship I clung to hope that we would somehow work things out for the better.

When we were waiting to have babies, we survived by trusting in the God of hope to hear our prayers.

Today we find ourselves clinging to hope once again.

Isn't life all about hope? We hope for better weather, we hope for better health, we hope for a nicer or newer house and car. We hope to find a job we love that pays adequately. We hope to find the love of our life to spend our future with. We hope to build great, authentic friendships. We hope to find a church when we can be part of a community of people that love Jesus. 

We hope.

We hope in God. We hope in his Word. We hope that tomorrow will bring something different than today.

Some days are tough when you're waiting and hoping. Some days are good. Some days are gut-wrenchingly awful. Some days are full of anticipation and joy.

When you're waiting and hoping you can go from mountain top moments to valleys in a matter of minutes.

I think I learned during my first season of waiting (I hate even writing that because I DO NOT want this to be another season of waiting) that it's not so much about waiting and hoping.

It's more about waiting in hope.

Lord we wait for a job. Lord we wait for income. Lord we wait for unemployment to start. Lord we wait for you.

Psalm 33:20...We wait in hope for you Lord.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Memoir of me

Ryan and I received the neatest gift not too long ago. It's a book called Memoir of Me.

Memoir of Me is a personalized children's book. It includes a letter that I (the parent) write and puts it in a book along with a story they've written. Samuel's name is used on almost every page and the letter is a post that I wrote to Samuel last year on his first birthday.

It will be so fun to read this to Samuel in the future!

You can see the pages of the book here.

Here are a few pics of our personalized pages:












Friday, June 25, 2010

Pancake powder

I wrote the following for my Homemakers blog, and decided I would post it here as well:


A few months ago Betsy and I heard the author of Growing Grateful Kids share some key points from her book. We thoroughly enjoyed Susie's talk and both purchased her book on the spot.

One of her main points is that you cannot impart what you do not possess. You can not pass on gratefulness to your children if you do not have an attitude of gratefulness yourself.

Susie gives the example of having many medical bills and very little money. She recalls walking into her kitchen and only having pancake mix to prepare for her kids. Susie decided to make a very large pancake for her three boys, stuck a candle in the middle and made it a fun memory for all of them.

Susie chose gratefulness. Her children were not aware that there wasn't money to buy food. Susie took her role as a mom - provider, protector of their hearts and minds, role model - so seriously that she made pancake powder into a family celebration.

I have thought often of that story recently. While we have so much more food than a box of pancake mix, I desire to protect my young children from the realities of life right now. I don't want them to feel the stress and tension that comes with unemployment. I don't want them to experience fear or insecurity.

I want them to know love, comfort, stability and joy - even amidst the unknown future. So much of that rests on my shoulders. My words, actions, body language, facial expressions...my children can see, hear and sense what is happening around them. 

So I have to choose. Every day I have to choose an attitude of gratefulness. It's up to me to choose to make pancake powder into sweet, sweet memories.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Parade

Ryan, Samuel, Lauren and I walked in a Minneapolis parade tonight with our church, Mill City. It was so much fun!







Monday, June 21, 2010

10:54 p.m.

10:15 p.m.

Over-tired crying baby girl.

Baby fed. Baby changed. Baby not going to sleep.

Mama and Father out of ideas.

Mama wondering where she placed over-tired crying baby girl parenting manual.

10:30 p.m.

Tired mama driving down a local freeway.

Very over-tired crying baby girl in the backseat.

Mama praying to Jesus to calm baby girl.

Mama singing every song she can think of as loud as she can.

10:45 p.m.

Exhausted mama almost runs into median while trying to put nuk into wailing baby girl.

Car honks thinking exhausted mama is a drunk driver.

10:54 p.m.

Silence. Baby asleep. Mama drives toward home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In God We Trust?

Tonight I sat on my kitchen floor as the tears streamed down my face. I had just finished listening to a challenging message on trusting God, and the reality of my lack of trust hit me hard.

I say I trust. 

I want to trust. 

But am I really trusting?

The entire time I was listening, I thought, "I have to write about this on the blog." So I started typing up key points but there were too many.

The sermon is about trusting God with everything in life, but he specifically talks about our finances....

However, this is not just for people who are struggling with finances. Whatever your area of needing to trust God is, just apply it to what you hear.

http://www.hopebaptistchurch.com/recentmessages
Scroll down to January 9, In God We Trust?

It's a powerful message that left me in tears on the floor of my kitchen....so go listen. Now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why I Write

I read blogs. And books.

A lot of blogs. And a lot of books.

Not all the time. Not every day. And sometimes not even every week.

I love reading, but with little people wandering around with lots of needs (like time and attention!) and little people who are very curious about things like screens with buttons you can touch, or books that can be used as flying torpedoes or lunch food, my computer time and reading time is usually limited to nap time and after bed time.

Right now I'm reading numerous parenting books and The Help. Not that I don't have 15 books piled by my bed, but I'm certainly not reading all of them.

And when time allows, I read blogs. My friend's blogs, I-want-to-be-a-mom blogs, parenting blogs, cooking blogs, writing blogs, how-to-run-my-household-and-be-a-better-wife-and-mom blog, etc, etc.

In thinking about these blogs, I was wondering what kind of blog In Its Time is. What it started as almost two years ago was a way to communicate to friends and family our incredible story of Samuel and our adoption journey.

Then it sorta became an oh-wow-we're-pregnant-and-going-to-have-two-babies-11-months-apart blog.

Some people have a little summary underneath their blog title that summarizes what they write about. I cover so many topics that I am not sure how to neatly summarize adoption, waiting on God, parenting, infertility, miscarriage, grief and loss, life lessons, marriage and now unemployment.

Ultimately I feel like my blog is about my amazing Creator and the incredible story that He is writing in my life.

If someone were to ask me what I write about on my blog, or why I have a blog, I think I would  say something like, "I write my story. I write what God puts on my heart. I write what He is teaching me. I write about my weaknesses and shortcomings and where I need to grow. I write about life being hard, yet amazingly sweet when we walk through it with Jesus. I write because I want people to know that life is tough, but God is good."

So maybe it doesn't matter what label someone would put on my blog. Or how I would summarize what I write about.

I just write.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Check

Paperwork for unemployment submitted - check

Insurance filed with Cobra - check

Student loans deferred - check

Four in-person interviews - check

Two phone interviews - check

A number of job applications completed - check

Many many e-mails sent to contacts - check

Much love and support from friends and family - check

One happy toddler who gets to see his dad a lot these days - check

One family trying to, once again, wait well - check

 Jesus I trust in you

Sunday, June 13, 2010

9 months

My sweet baby girl is 9 months old today. How is that possible?

9 months of loving. 9 months of cuddling. 9 months of smiles, tears and tickling. 

Lauren clearly loves her big brother. They sit in the crib or pack-n-play together. He makes her smile and giggle like crazy. I love that they are so close in age (most of the time).

She sits so well but doesn't crawl yet (probably because her mama tries to prevent her from doing so). She eats baby food three times a day, bottle or nursing four times a day and likes puffs and teething biscuits.

Having a baby girl has brought such joy and delight to my life. I love having a daughter! Her big blue eyes stare at me with wonder, excitement and absolute trust. Her smile comes so quickly, so easily. Her temperament is one of contentment and happiness.




Thursday, June 10, 2010

Memorial Day Pics

I'm a couple weeks late in posting these, but they are too sweet to not post. Looking at the joy I see in their faces, I praise God for the freedom we celebrate in this country.









Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Those who know your name

Recently I've been pondering what the purpose and goal of life should be for those who claim to love Jesus.

Light topic, eh?

Is the main purpose or goal of life to:
Love God
Obey God
Bring glory to God
Tell others about God
Love and serve others

I've been thinking through these things and then I heard a message from Pastor Vance Pitman from Hope Baptist (can you tell I've been listening to a lot of sermons online lately?!) share what he thought the main goal of life is.

And I liked what he had to say.

He says,"The overall goal of the Christian life is to know God. Not just know about Him."

I was in a Homemakers group for a number of years when I was first married in which we defined our purpose, priorities and principles. Each year we had to pick a theme. After hearing these two quotes, I chose my 2008 theme:

"I know my God. I don't understand everything about Him. But I know my God is good. I know my God is love. I know my God has my best interest in mind." - Beth Moore

“We only trust people we know,” says Martha Tennison. “If you’re really struggling to trust God, it may be because you don’t really know God.”

At that time in my life I WAS struggling to trust God. I was in the midst of my waiting season, trying to grasp what God was teaching me as I waited on Him for babies.

So I decided if I was going to learn to better trust, I should learn to know Him first.

While that might seem like an incredibly large theme to take on, it was as much the idea of striving to know God, as it was to actually know Him. Because in reality, that takes a lifetime!

The following Scripture affirmed my desire to know God at a deeper level:

Psalm 9:10
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Philippians 3:8
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

Philippians 3:10
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection.

John 10:14
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.

I compiled more quotes as the year went on:

Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God.” - Andrew Murray

“The more you get to know the Lord, the easier it will be to obey Him. That is what our quiet times should be about…getting to know Him.”

“God wants you to simply know him in the present and trust him with the unspoken ending”. – Ginger Garrett “

Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means for getting something for ourselves; the Bible’s idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.” - Oswald Chambers

“Being still before God is the Greatest Privilege that a Christian can have, besides being Born Again. When we are with God, we start to become more and more like him. This is something that most Christians lack - being still before the Throne of God. We dedicate most of our time getting our heads full of knowledge and have no quality time with our Father. An unsaved person can learn doctrine but that doesn't make him a good Christian. The same with us - we can learn doctrine until we are blue in the face and it can actually hinder us from knowing Jesus." - Tony Ciaramello

“Although education, culture, attractive appearance and understanding of the world are desirable, nothing can take the place of the power of knowing God. People will go a long way to hear a person who they realize knows God and speaks His message to them in the power of the Holy Spirit.” - BSF

I did not know when I started my journey of really seeking to know God at a deeper, more intimate level, that my son was already growing in the womb of another woman. My hopes and dreams were being knit together by my Creator as I sat still before the throne.

I learned much that year. I worked through feelings of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness and looking back on that now, I see that was part of my journey in learning to Know God better. I prayed like crazy. I surrendered to God my desire to try and understand what He was doing. And in a way that only God can do, He took everything I know about Him and did something greater than I could even ask or imagine.

So HOW do I sit here today, questioning the God that I know?

Going back to Beth Moore's quote: I don't understand everything about God. But I know my God is good. I know my God is love. I know my God has my best interest in mind. Knowing God and trusting God. I can't do one without the other.

Those who know your name will trust in you...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jesus I trust in you

Jesus I trust in you

Those are words I read in April on this blog. As I read that post, I was in awe of the faith I saw there - amidst the heartache and pain. And just a month later, Jeremiah 29:11 became a mama. How sweet it is.

And then recently I read about trust again on this blog and this blog.

Maybe I should have taken notice.

Maybe I should have asked myself, "What is God trying to tell you?"

Maybe I should have stopped and pondered whether my life was actually reflecting the statement, "Jesus I trust in you."

But I didn't do any of those things. Instead I just applauded the gals who were courageous and bold enough to declare their trust in Jesus.

And then two weeks ago, at approximately 9:30 a.m., my husband walked through the front door.

He should have been at work. Why wasn't he at work?

One good look at his face and I knew why.

They    let    him    go.

One month's severance. Then no job. No income. No health insurance.

Mortage. Insurance. Cars. Two kids. Bills. Food. Life.

I am a stay-at-home mom. We only have had one income.

Even though I no longer walk the road of infertility, I still learn from other infertiles the lessons that God is teaching them. I am still challenged by their words and encouraged by their examples. I am still reminded that my walk, my faith, my trust, my hope...it didn't end when I received the blessings of Samuel and Lauren.

I hear you now Lord. Loud and clear.

And with all that's in me, I'm striving to say:

Jesus I trust in you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wise words

I've been thinking about these quotes a lot lately due to some recent changes around the May household. I'll share next week what's going on...but until then, let these words speak to your heart or share them with someone else who needs to hear them.

“There’s a sense of stability in trusting the Lord.
That’s how we wait – silently and with a sense of confidence.
When we wait for God to direct our steps, He does!
When we trust Him to meet our needs, He will!” – Chuck Swindoll

“I'm convinced one of the best things God does for us
is to keep us from knowing what will happen beyond today.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Banana goodness

I feel like I had a brilliant 'mom-moment' recently, and I need to share. 

Samuel seems to have a dairy/lactose intolerance. Hopefully he'll grow out of it, but in the meantime, we're busy finding ways to feed him so that he still gets enough protein, fat and calcium.

I am not a fan of soy, so I initially bought rice milk for him last fall. Well rice milk (along with almond milk) has virtually no fat and the pediatrician was concerned that he wasn't getting enough fat in his diet. So now I give Samuel coconut milk. Good fat, tons of potassium as well as plenty of Vitamin D and B12.



To get protein and more fat in his diet, I give him Almond Butter. It's like peanut butter but since the 'experts' say not to give kids peanuts until they are 2 or so, we've chosen almond butter instead. It's high in the good fats, and has more fiber and protein than peanut butter - and doesn't have high fructose corn syrup like most non-organic peanut butter (can you tell I've done my research on this?). It tastes great on toast for breakfast or as a sandwich for lunch. And it's great for him.


We make fruit smoothie's all the time with strawberries, blueberries and bananas. We add some milk and have a tasty, healthy treat.


A few weeks ago I decided to make Samuel a banana, almond butter, milk, and protein powder smoothie. I figured it would be like a banana peanut butter shake for adults :)


So I mixed all the goodies in my Magic Bullet and came out with a delicious and very healthy snack for Samuel. It's loaded with fat and protein - both of which his 23lb little body needs. It almost tastes like ice cream if I make it thick enough. If I make it thin, he drinks it through a straw. Thicker and he spoons it in. I will make popsicles out of it this summer for a cool, healthy treat.


Here are some photos of my banana-smoothie-making extravaganza. Samuel always signs "mo, mo, mo" when he finishes.

I love to see this healthy banana goodness all over his face.






Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Have we forgotten God?

Our sermon at church yesterday was about Failing to Remember....failing to remember what God has done in our lives and who God is.

The main point of the message was that we tend to remember God when we are in times of need, but when life is going good, we forget (whether intentionally or unintentionally) that we need to give credit and thanks to God.

Why is that? Why do we forget? Why do we take credit for our wealth and our homes and our food and our vehicles? Why do we think we've earned or brought about the blessings in our lives - relationships, health, etc? Why do we become prideful in thinking we have those things as a result of how hard we've worked?


Deuteronomy 8:17-18 says: "You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth..."


Our pastor sent us a strong warning that apathy and a lack of awareness is a very dangerous way for us to live our lives. When we forget what God has done, our hearts can become prideful and our minds can be consumed with us - our money, our time, our talents, our resources. Instead of seeing those things as gifts from God to be used to love and serve others.

I have a confession to make: I am guilty of forgetting. I am continually thankful for my blessings, and I give glory to God for the story He has written in my life, but I have a tendency to become prideful. How so? In that I don't rely on God as completely and totally when things are going good, as when I am in need.Verse 14 says, "Then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God."


Unless I offer up praise and thanksgiving for every blessing and every gift, I am forgetting the source of those gifts and blessings.


Unless I give all the credit to the Lord, I am forgetting.


Unless I go to God daily, asking for strength and wisdom and guidance to live my life, I am forgetting.



Verse 11 in Deuteronomy 8 says, "Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God...." God knows that this is a tendency for us. He warns commands us in Scripture not to forget.

I think this is a life lesson I will be learning over and over again.


If you are interested in listening to the sermon online, you can do so here:

http://www.millcitychurch.com/#/mediaClick on 'Launch sermon player'
Play 'Fail to Remember'