Monday, January 31, 2011

A Journey

Seeing as it is the very last day,of the very first month, in a brand new year, I thought that I would get brave and openly share with you my one and only new year resolution. I usually don't make new year resolutions. I might have a few goals for myself that I try and implement into my life in a new year, but usually those goals only last for a short while before they fall by the wayside. But this year it has to be different. It must be different. My soul and the precious souls of my family are at stake. It's that important.

Are you ready to hear my resolution? You are? Well, here goes...

This year, and every year after, really, my resolution is to be on a journey to find out if Jesus Christ really is who he claimed to be.

For most of you who know me, you might think that I already have this figured out. But the truth is, I have been piggy backing on my parents faith for far too long. I was raised in a Christian home. We attended services three times a week. My parents were fairly conservative and strict. But the one thing I think was missing was talking about why we did all that we did in the name of religion. What was the point in living so differently from the rest of the world? Why should I be passionate about a man who died on a cross? Or maybe we did talk, and I was just not in a place to "hear" what was being said. That could very well be the case. But no matter what, it is time for me to discover what I believe in on my own. Or who I believe in. No, not even that. I am on a journey to discover why I believe in what I say I believe in.

I have decided to embark on this journey for many reasons. One reason is because I have been sensing a stirring lately, deep in my soul, that there must be something more to my faith. Something more than just going through the motions of religion. Sure, I try and do all of the "right" things. Our family attends worship services (usually three time a week), I do not curse, we homeschool, I seldom consume alcohol, I am faithful to my husband, we tithe, and we take in children who are in needy, for crying out loud! And for awhile, I thought that was enough. But lately, not so much. My soul is craving more. If Jesus really is who he claimed to be, then so very much of my life needs to change.

Another reason I am on this journey is because as my children grow, and my personal circle grows (through the children that we serve), I am beginning to get asked questions about why I believe what I believe, why we live the way that we do, and for the very first time I do not have answers. Sure, I spout off something to pacify the asker, and to make my heart feel good and righteous, but inside, I know that my answers are hollow. And if Jesus really is who he claimed to be, then I have a life giving message to share. Hollow answers will no longer do.

What will my journey look like? I am not really sure. But I know that it has begun. I have started this journey by tossing out all other references and using the Bible as my only resource. For now. It is long past time for me to get in the Word and discover what it has to say. I love reading devotional books, and books that make me feel warm and sunny on the inside, but I will be honest and say that I have often found the Bible to be very boring and dull. Not aplicable to my life in our current culture. But that already has begun to change. I have committed to reading everyday, whether I "feel" like it or not. I have committed to plunging in feet first, and already my perspective has changed. The scriptures are becoming more real to me than they ever have. And now, I can honestly say that I want more of them. I would rather read than watch a movie. I would rather read scriptures than read a blog. And that is quite a change for this Mama, I am ashamed to admit.

My hope is that you will support me on this journey. My hope is that you will pray for me. My hope is that God will radically change my heart as I study the Bible, and that the end result will be a radically changed life. My hope is that I will become a woman who is in love with her Savior, who can't wait to share all that she has discovered with others. That is my hope, my prayer, and my resolution. And this is my journey.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ten Month Update

Our little man is ten months old today. Really, I am not quite sure where all of the time has gone? I just cannot believe that in eight short weeks he will be having his very first birthday. It is almost enough to bring this Mama to tears! We love our little (big) man, with his big dark eyes, rosy red cheeks, and his perfect, squishy thighs, with all of our hearts! He is perfect, and wonderful, and we are so very thankful that he is ours.

At ten months old, Jack still loves to eat (anything and everything!), is eating more and more "big boy" food, and continues to hover around twenty pounds. He is still sporting four teeth (two on top and two on bottom). His top teeth have come in with a sweet little gap between them. (You know you are a mother when you say things like sweet little gap. Only mothers find gaps sweet. And maybe dentists, because they make money to fix said gaps, but I digress.) Did I mention that Jack loves to eat? It's true! If we are sitting at the table, he will crawl over to "his" chair and grunt (scream) until we place him in it and fill his squishy cheeks with food. It is adorable (or at least it will be for a few more months, and then it will be unacceptable :)!

At ten months old, I am also pleased to announce that sleep for our little guy has finally turned a corner! For the last four months we have had a lot of night awakenings, feedings, and co sleeping, which has not made for peaceful rest for Boss and Mama. But this past week things seem to have gone back to "normal", meaning an eight o'clock bedtime, and waking up between five and six still in his own bed. Hooray! Of coarse, now that I blogged about this success, I am fully prepared for tonight to be awful. But it was too great a victory not to share!

At ten months old, Jack loves to crawl all over the house, pull up on the furniture, play with his toys, wrestle with Boss, pull his sister's hair, snuggle with his Mama, and is beginning to figure out the stairs. He keeps this Mama on her toes!

Jack Ryan, we sure do love you. It has been an awesome ten months!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Birthday for Boss

Yesterday, Boss had a birthday. His 34th, to be exact. This year he adopted my tradition of celebrating a birthday "week", so it is safe to say that he has been loved and celebrated well! The girls and I decided that we would do something special for him on each day of the week leading up to his birthday. One day we brought him lunch at the school. Another day we packed him a special lunch. Two different days we gifted him with small presents that he had been wanting, as well as tickets to see Rascal Flatts in concert in a couple of weeks. On Saturday, Boss and I went on a date, and we shopped at all kinds of man stores so that he could spend his Christmas and birthday gift cards. Yesterday, he took a day off of work, and he and I went to lunch, we had pizza and cake for supper (and the girls went all out decorating the table with streamers, confetti, poms, feathers, and personalized place mats), and then some lovely friends came over for a round of cards.... and Boss won! Ha! And that has not happened since the night that I went into labor with Jack. He just must be lucky on birthdays :). And then today, the weather man gifted Boss with a belated gift of a snow day, and after a breakfast out with a good friend and an afternoon nap, he has been pulling children around on their sleds and snow boards tied to the back of our golf cart all afternoon. Such complete fun!

Happy Birthday, Boss. I fall more in love with you every single year.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Family Fun

What a fun first week in this new year our family has had!The big girls were really excited to have school start back up (okay, that's a complete lie, I was the one who was ECSTATIC that school was resuming!), and my little girls were happy to start back to their ballet classes and daily lessons. Life is feeling as though it is starting to calm down, and for that I am so thankful. I love new years, clean slates, and fresh beginnings. Nothing feels better than a new start! Boss and I have many hopes, dreams, and goals for our little family in 2011, and I hope to find the time to record them all on here throughout this coming year. One thing that we both want to be more purposeful in doing is to create more fun family days, where we focus on having fun and creating memories with our children. So often as parents we are near our children, but we are not with our children. This year Boss and I want to really focus on being with our children, doing fun things together as a family! This weekend we are on relief and are focusing on some much needed family time. Yesterday, it was a very cold day (about thirty degrees), but the sun was shining and the wind was not blowing, so we decided to bundle up and take the girls to the ski resort that is an hour away from our home. Our mission? Snow tubing! So. Much. Fun. And so scary to this very timid, worry wart Mama. But Boss and the girls LOVED it! My little six year old did not even want us to link on to her tube. She would ride the lift to the top of the HUGE hill, climb in her tube, fly down the hill, and then scream AWESOME at the top of her lungs once she reached the bottom. My four year old liked the ride, as long as Daddy was holding on to her tube. Me? I went only so that my children would not be cooler than me. And because I am tired of living life on the sidelines. About half way down the hill I was sure I was going to die (and made some sort of strange gutteral cow sound), but amazingly I reached the bottom in one piece with a smile on my face (to look brave for the children, of coarse!). And then I might have bribed Kate with thoughts of warm cocoa, so that she would want to go in and I would not have to face the giant hill again. I'll never tell. It was a wonderful, wonderful day. Emma said the ski resort was her second most favorite place on earth. When I asked her what her first favorite place was, she answered "home". Boss and I pray that this is always so! And with the implementation of family fun days along the way, we hope to insure that our family always stays close. It was a wonderful start to the new year. Happy January!

Saturday, January 1, 2011