The Life Not My Own

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Snapshots from The Rock House: A Taste of Spring

The rest of this week is supposed to be cold and wet and altogether miserable.  Last Friday and Saturday, however, we got a taste of the elusive season called Spring.  It was absolute bliss.  Here's to hoping Spring will really stick around after this round of bad weather!

Like a breathe of fresh air...

Playing at the park...

Chickens on the loose downtown. :)

Sweet Sam

Mama's little man

Best buds

Plum tree just starting to bloom


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Of Dreams

Dreams.  We all have them.

I use to have so many dreams.  Horses.  Love.  Marriage.  Children.  Travel.  Writing.  Security.  The list was never ending!

The past few years the idea of dreams has been almost constantly in my thoughts.  God's been sifting my heart and my life, and as a result I've been questioning what place, if any, dreams should hold in my life.

If I say that I want all of me to die and all of Him to live in me, does that mean that my dreams have to die too?  Is it even okay to dream?  What does it mean to dream God's dreams?  How do I know that my dreams are His too, and not just mine?

In the midst of all this, I've let many of my dreams slip away into the background.  I've busied myself with the things of the day, and in turn all but forgotten what those many dreams were.  And yet, I found that no matter what I did, there were burning passions and dreams deep in my heart-of-hearts that could not be stifled or quenched.  Like embers, they remained.  It was like they were waiting for the perfect time to once more burst into flame.  

You see, the thing about dreams is that they're not all bad.  Yes, sometimes they can be selfish.  Sometimes they may be good things, but just not what God has for us at this time...or ever.  But sometimes--just sometimes--they're things that God has placed in our heart and soul for a reason.  We may not understand how they fit into His plan ultimately, but make no mistake...they have a purpose.

Its okay to dream.  It really is!  Those things that stir our very core are there for a reason.  Yet, to fully experience them and see them blossom, we must first lay them at Christ's feet.  We must let them die in Him.  We must trust that, in His perfect timing, the small seed that dies and falls to the ground will sprout and grow into something beyond our wildest imaginings.

And so, I've been digging into the treasure chest of my heart, once more.  I've been rediscovering those many dreams I dreamed.  Some big, some small.  All buried away for a time.

Some of the dreams I dreamed have faded away.  I can hardly remember why I dreamed them in the first place.  Others I've seen bountifully fulfilled.  Still others I'm still waiting on.  The strangest are those dreams that have changed.  They hold glimpses of the old dream, but they have been transformed into something far different...something far better.

You see, that's what happens when we let God have our dreams.  He takes those burning coals, molds them and refines them, and makes them His.  He takes those passions He created in us and uses them for His plan and His glory.

Dream big, little passionate one.  Just don't forget to place them on His shoulders.  He can be trusted.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." ~Jeremiah 29:11   

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Miles Love

I've talked a lot lately about how demanding being Miles' mama can be.  But, lest you think that it's all hard, I wanted to enlighten you into the neat parts of having a high-needs baby.  Here are some of the things I love about my beautiful baby boy:

1.) I love that he's so curious.  Since he was born his big, blue eyes have constantly been taking in the world.  It's really neat to see those wheels turning in his head.

2.) I love that I can take him just about anywhere with me.  I seriously have no fear of going grocery shopping now.  As long as I don't forget my trusty Boba carrier, we're good.  Miles just loves to be up snuggled next to mama, looking at people and things.  If he gets hungry, I nurse him.  Other than that, he doesn't get fussy or anything.  (The one exception is restaurants, because he's usually expected to either sit in his car seat or a high chair...and he hates that.)

3.) I love that he's such a people person.  He seriously is afraid of no one.  Sometimes he just wants mama or papa, but he will go to almost anyone.  He especially loves other kids.  He could watch the older, rowdier boys play for hours.

4.) I love that he sleeps best snuggled next to me.  I know this is one of those mixed blessing things.  We're currently trying to transition him to being full-time in his own bed, without much success.    But there's definitely something neat about picking your screaming baby up out of his crib, laying down with him, and watching him immediately fall fast asleep in your arms.  That's bliss, right there.

5.) I love that he loves the outdoors.  On Saturday, I put Miles in his stroller and rolled it down to my garden bed.  He literally sat there for 30 minutes "talking" to me and looking around, while I worked on moving some dirt.  He would never, ever do this inside the house.  This kid seriously loves being outside.  Being a bit of a nature junky myself, I love this about him.  Plus, it makes my garden plans for this summer seem doable, since I know he'll be happy to sit out there and watch/help me.

6.) I love how cute he is.  Okay, this is definitely the prejudiced mama coming out, but I love when people say how adorable Miles is, go on-and-on about his big eyes, etc.  It fills my heart with such pride.

7.) I love that he forces me to focus on the simpler, quieter things in life.  Being a stay-at-home mom really is about the simple things that some would call mundane.  Yet, my life has never been so full or so busy.  I don't sit on the couch eating bon-bons all day, but my long to-do list revolves around caring for my sweet Miles, taking care of our home, and making delicious, nutritious food for my guys.  Miles keeps me busy and on my toes.  Yet, I never doubt for one second that this is exactly where God has called me to be at this time.

I really do love my Miles.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Not In Control

I'm one of those people that likes to make lists and schedules.  I like to feel like I have it all together.  In all honesty, I want others to think that as well.  I want them to think I'm great at juggling being a wife and mom.  I want them to believe that my house is always clean, and that I always have a delicious meal ready at supper time.  

You want to know the truth, though?  I have never felt so disorganized in my whole life as in these seven months since Miles was born.  There have days when my house has looked like a complete pig-sty and my only "accomplishment" for the day was getting my makeup on.  I can't tell you how many nights Andy has come home from work to find dinner not even close to being ready, and me asking if we can just go out somewhere....again.  I've had to drop a lot of my outside commitments.  Hey, blogging, something that I truly love to do, has even fallen through the cracks.  The weird part, however, is that I've become surprisingly okay with all of that.

As I've written about before, Miles is no easy baby.  These days he's mostly happy during the day, and I can breathe a little bit easier.  But he's still not one to happily play in a bouncer seat or spend hours on his playmat.  Usually, me trying to tackle the pile of dishes in the sink consists of Miles sitting on the floor at my feet, with me giving him something new to play with every minute or so.  Even then, that might last 10 minutes and he's bored.  He is thoroughly unpredictable.  I'm not even going to tell you how many times he was up last night.

Miles has challenged almost every pre-conceived notion I had about motherhood, babies, and parenting.  I found that a lot of my time and research during pregnancy went out the window within days of his birth (okay, hours).  And yet, through it all, I've felt that Still, Small, Voice consistently telling me to "let go, and let God".  I have been learning to daily let go of my need for control, and instead surrend everything to the One Who is Able.  I've been laying down that image I have of what it means to be the "perfect" wife and mother, and instead letting Him mold me into the wife and mother He wants me to be.  Through it all, I have found the most amazing peace.  There is so much joy in not being in not even thinking you need to be!

Recently, I heard another new mom described as "having it all together".  Her baby was sleeping well at night and was on a good schedule.  She seemed to be effortlessly keeping up with all the demands of life.

For a minute, I felt a twinge of jealousy.  I wanted to be the mom that everyone described as "having it all together".  I began plotting ways of "proving" how truly on top of things I was.  But then that Still, Small Voice tapped quietly on the door of my heart.  

"Remember," It said, "that's not who I'm calling you to be.  That's not the kind of mom Miles needs, or the kind of wife Andy wants.  That's not the woman I want you to be."

I realized that in not being that mom,  I was taking the path that God was calling me, specifically, to.

We all have areas of our life that He is refining us in.  For me, it has been a slow, steady chipping away at my need for control.  I could never have dreamed that God would use one sweet baby boy to change me so much.  Yet, I know that every refining moment, no matter how difficult, is all a part of His plan.  It's all a part of His process of shaping me into the woman of God He wants me to be.

Today my house is fairly tidy.  Dinner is cooking in the crock pot, and the floor doesn't look like a muddy bear invaded.  But there are still dirty dishes in the sink.  There's still laundry waiting to be folded, a checkbook that needs to be balanced, and a toilet that needs a good scrubbing.  I couldn't imagine having free time to work outside of the home, or get busy on a sewing project.  I certainly don't have everything together, and I'm far from in control of my daily life.  And that's okay.     

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Monday, March 4, 2013

A Return to One Thousand Gifts

It's been a really long time.  Like almost a year.  But, I really want to get back into counting one thousand gifts!  So, I'm jumping back in. This week I'm thankful for:

301. Getting to spend my days with my sweet baby boy (who just so happens to be 7-months-old today!).  I'm seriously obsessed with him.
302. Watching the love my husband has for our son just grow and grow.
303. A man who spoils me rotten.  Like, way too much.
304. Internet at the house.  Finally! (One of the many ways my hubby spoils me.)
305. Each new sign that Spring is right around the corner.
306. Skype.  I love being able to chat with my family half a world away!
307. Earl Grey tea.  Ah, yes.
308. How many sunny days we've had this winter.  This Arizona girl is soaking it all up!
309. Having fires in the fireplaces to snuggle up by.
310. Each new day to spend with my two guys.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

6 Months Plus Some

I've been really bad about blogging lately, I know.  I had a 4-month update on Miles all ready to go, all I needed was pictures.  I never got around to adding them.

And then he hit five months and the four months post no longer seemed necessary.

And then he hit six months, and I really wanted to do a big post about him being half a year old.

And here we are, three days away from seven months and even that post hasn't happened.  What can I say?  He keeps me busy!  That, and life's been busy with my husband's job, more house remodeling projects, spur-of-the-moment trips, family visiting, and a billion other things.

I am excited to say, though, that after almost three years of marriage, my husband surprised me yesterday by getting me permanent internet at home.  Up until this point we've been making it with free wifi at public places and the wifi hotspot on my husband's phone (which, of course, I could only use when he was home).  That and my smartphone.  I'm not sure I could have made it these last almost-seven months without that lovely connection to the outside world!

But, now that I've actually got internet here, I'm hoping that blogging will become a lot easier.  Or at least do-able.

So, anyway...Miles.  Yep, he's almost seven months old.  I know every mom says this, but, seriously, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?  I look back at pictures of this tiny little newborn and can hardly believe that that is the same little boy who now gets up all the way onto his hands and toes (not just knees), sits up by himself, and wears 12-month Lightning McQueen jammies to bed.

I mean, seriously guys...they grow SO stinkin' fast! It seems like every morning he wakes up looking older and able to do more.  And it's the neatest thing.

For those of you who know Andy and I in real life, this shouldn't surprise you, but we have a tall, lean kid on our hands.  At his six month check-up he was at the 90th percentile in height and the 50th percentile in weight.  Considering the fact that his pants have gotten even shorter since then, it's safe to say that we have a tall boy on our hands.  But, seriously...did anyone think we'd have a short kid???

It's already becoming obvious that Miles is also a definitive extrovert.  He loves people, especially other kids.  When we're at the grocery store and he sees someone walk by, he starts chattering at them incessantly because, of course, everyone is here to talk to him.  Don't try to tell him differently...he won't believe you.

The only thing surprising about this is that Andy and I are both introverts at heart.  So, of course, we somehow get the loudest, most people-curious kid at church.

Aww, but then there's lovely object permanence.  I think it hit a little early with this kid.  For a couple months now he's started the crying for mama thing.  You know how it is: you feed your baby, drop them off in the nursery at church, and then 45 minutes later they come and get you saying they think he's hungry.  But, as soon as you get them, the crying stops.  Somebody was definitely not hungry...he just wanted Mama.

I'm one of those that loves this, though.  I love being the one he wants...the one that makes him feel safe, protected, and loved.  I know it will only get harder from here, but for right now I'm soaking up every moment.

Anyway, hopefully I can update you a little more frequently.  I have so many things on my heart that I want to share with you!  I just haven't been able to get it typed up.  But hopefully that changes today with this new modern convenience called internet.  Woohoo!

And, to satisfy all the relatives out are a few pictures of our boy who's growing way too fast:

Big 6 Month Old!

He loves his Papa!

Sweet smile

I don't know where this kid gets these expressions!

In his chair from Grandma!

Wearing his new big boy jammies!

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