Monday, October 20, 2008

Favorite Commercial

Shaking things up a bit by sharing my all time favorite commercial and my all time favorite beverage. Grace now knows that when we pull into the drive through of any restaurant, "and a Large Dr. Pepper" will be heard somewhere in the conversation. And then at that point, she reminds me to use both hands. Anyway, here is my absolute favorite commercial (as of yet!)

I'd love to see some other people's favorites (that is, if I have any readers!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 18th! 5 years!

Saturday, October 18, 2003 a tall, dark haired young man stood at the front of a church and waited for me to walk down the aisle to be his bride. He was full of vision, structured, thought-provoking, and trying with all his might to grow to understand and walk in his calling with his Savior. He wrote me a note on our wedding day that I will hold on to forever. He spoke of our life together, our future children and ministries, our love for one another and for Christ. It has been 5 years since that day, and every day - even the rough ones - I am so glad that he waited for me at the front of that church. I am often amazed at how God allowed us to grow little by little more unified before we were able to see the depths of each other's depravity. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Our marriage speaks loudly of the truth of this scripture. Nathan has sharpened me, encouraged me, prayed for me, walked patiently beside me, endured my hormonal, chaotic seasons with grace, and has held me and loved me more than I deserved or could imagine. When my anger or selfish desires cause me to sin against my husband, he repeatedly does just as Christ did for the church, presenting me, as utterly undeserving as I am, as a pure and spotless bride. Even in my depravity, I am proud to be fully known by him because he continues to seek to love me like Christ loved his church.

I saw him cry tears of joy when we brought children into the world. I saw him weep over the destruction of his parents' marriage and the loss of several loved ones in the last few years. I saw him dance and giggle with his little girl and jostle and wrestle with his little boy. He loves to read the scriptures and teach them to those he loves. He sacrifices much so that his family can flourish.

Today, I look at a man that is living out his calling as a husband and father through his relationship with his heavenly father, a man who savors the Scriptures and longs for His Savior, Jesus Christ, a man who prays for and encourages his neighbors.

I'm thankful today that God gave Nathan to me. I'm also thankful that He didn't just leave us in the depth of our depravity, but God gave us reconciliation through His Son, and what a joy it is to be able to daily live and practice the ministry of reconciliation in my marriage! Thank you Father for such a sweet, sweet gift!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

36 weeks

Today we celebrated only 4 weeks left of holding little Noah in my womb by taking a trip to the doctor (and splurging on a Big Mac at McDonalds!). I won't go into all the details, but let's just say that I'm not going into labor this week for certain. But Noah is strong and healthy and growing so well. We'll have an ultrasound in 2 weeks to make sure that I won't be delivering a giant child. We'd like to keep from having a c-section, if at all possible, so if we need to deliver early because Noah wants to be 10 and a half pounds, we may consider that. At this point, I'd like to steer clear of an induction as well though, if we can!

As for how things are going:
Although I have my bad days where I can pull a muscle in my back by trying to put my shoes on while standing up (silly idea, now I know!), for the most part, this pregnancy has been easier (and more fun!) than I ever expected! I keep thinking how ludicrous it is that this far along in pregnancy, I still even have days where I feel fantastic. Did days like that exist with my other pregnancies? By the 36 week mark, I believe they were a distant memory! The fact that I am still eating potato chips with little concern for my legs swelling up (because they haven't yet!), I think, says it all. With all my previous babies, I wanted an epidural at 28 weeks; I was in terrible pain all of the time, concerned about blood pressure and swelling, emotionally weak and distraught, and just DONE! I don't know why, but God really gave me a sweet gift this season to enjoy, and I hope that I will continue to savor it! Granted, I have my moments of hormonal driven outbursts accompanied by the "I don't know why I'm crying" syndrome that many women may be familiar with, but these are exceptions and not the rule. And I must admit that every time my husband had been out of town, it has been exponentially more difficult to manage two busy toddlers and maintain my sanity, but God invented tylenol for a reason. Let's just hope that we can ride this train as long as possible!

One thing that I'm realizing is that I do not need to have the perfect home during this season. I do not need to stand at the stove for hours making masterpieces for my three year old. I do not need to make sure that every piece of clean laundry is folded daily. My job is to give myself to my children, play with them, teach them, pray with them, rest my own body for the growing child inside of me, and provide for the physical needs of the family. The details can wait until pregnancy subsides and we find our new normal. I will try to remember this for our next difficult season. It is giving me so much freedom to be thankful to God for what He has blessed us with, and I am not so distracted by every task that needs completing. And believe me, there are plenty of tasks worth completing, but my energy in this season really must be saved for the things that are most important: my husband and my children.

Thanks to friends and family for their prayers and encouragement. I will keep you posted on how things continue! Please keep praying!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Shower Power

This past weekend was wonderful! I get giddy just thinking about it! Nathan watched the kiddos (that's enough to send me into giddiness!) while I attended a double shower for our Noah and another sweet lady from our church. It was SO good to get out of the house and spend (kidfree!!) time with these women who I hardly get to connect with outside of church. We laughed a lot, ate fantastic food, and celebrated life together! What a joy. I would do it again every weekend if I could!
Here's thanks to Becky and her beautiful family for hosting a beautiful shower! And thanks to all the ladies that helped and participated. What fun!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

35 weeks and slowing down

Yesterday we welcomed 35 weeks of pregnancy. 5 more weeks to go and so much to do. It is amazing now that I am home, I am seeing so many more needs popping up in the community around me. The sad part is that with each passing week, my body moves slower and slower... Each time we go out, our poor Benjamin is now strapped to a stroller, indefinitely, likely until I can again run as quickly as he can! This may be a while.

I spend most days trying to keep up with the children and the home and resting in order to do this. The last three weeks, Nathan has been in and out of town and still doing school full time, so I've been a little over my head without rescue, but he only has one more out of town trip this week, and then my backup will be home for good. This will be a huge help to me. The laundry has not recovered from our recent craziness. It's all clean and lives inside a pack n play that we have set up for the new baby. Ideally, this problem will be addressed before he arrives!

We were having people at our home regularly for about 6 weeks or so, and now it's been about a week since we've had anyone over. I'd like to continue to have families and friends over until the baby is born, but I must be realistic with this. Nathan is still out of town for a bit, and then, after that, it is definitely crunch time. Time is flying by with this pregnancy. I can't get it to slow down! The baby is doing exceptionally well. We are all thrilled to meet him and bring him into our family! Grace is constantly talking about baby "Noah" now. And Benjamin loves looking at pictures of babies and hugging real ones (a little breathing room, please!). We'll have some teachable moments soon... but as far as neighbors go and having people to our home, we are still building relationships, trying to be "available" and open. I'm praying for opportunities to share the gospel, natural flows in the conversation, ways that we can see a need and see God fill it. It is good to see how He is growing our relationships with a few of our neighbors. We used to pass by them in such a hurry before while I was working, and now it is just sweet conversation and lots of giving. I look forward to learning and sharing more.

There is most definitely more that I'd like to add, but for now this is all I can fit in on a busy Sunday afternoon. Blessings to all of you. We are truly blessed by God when we find Him drawing His people to Himself. How sweet it is to be in His presence!