Saturday, March 31, 2012

Walking! And Noooo!

Lilleigh has been walking!

Since I took this video a few days ago, she's been walking a lot more! Like across the room voluntarily! ;) Truly a toddler! She's growing so fast!!!

And she's also learned to say no. But not so much because of mommy (or I don't think...) but because of Spot the Dog! Hilarious! Thankfully she says it in a sweet way. Enjoy story time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is He able?

Last night we started MoneyWise 2. MoneyWise is a ministry at our church, focusing on our finances and God's kingdom. It's not unlike Crown or Dave Ramsey, though from what I understand it delves deeper. MoneyWise 2 is more of a follow up to Crown, which we did years ago.

One of the things we discussed our first session was trust. What does it mean to trust God? In future weeks we will discuss what it looks like practically to trust Him, but last night we really broke down the meaning of trust. Basically it boils down to: Do I believe He is good? Do I believe He is for us? Do I believe He is reliable? And do I believe He able?

I should mention that this next week also happens to be the second anniversary of Austen's death and what would have been his 26th birthday. So it seems that I am seeing everything through that lens this week. And last night's teaching made me realize that three of those questions I can answer with a yes, absolutely. When Austen died, there was no doubt in my mind that God was still good. I had no doubt in my mind that he was for us. I had no doubt that He was and is still as reliable as ever, and our Book of Remembrances constantly reminds me of that. My brother's death couldn't change any of these things.

But last night, sitting there, I confessed, God I just don't always think You're able. You didn't stop Austen from getting addicted or from relapsing or from dying at 23. How can I expect You to provide xyz? And in that moment, I was humbled. Clearly God and I have some work to do.

For I know that He is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us (Ephesians 3:20). I hear about the change He is doing around the world in the hearts of Muslims and non-believers and I know that He is capable of so much more than I could ever imagine. He is bringing people to Himself in dreams - and in countries where speaking of the gospel is against the law! But when it comes to the things in my own life, I am guilty in disbelief. Lord, I do believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

This week I have also been reminded of this quote a friend sent me after Austen's death,
God is not only a Redeemer of our sin, but He is a Redeemer of our circumstances as well.  He will not waste a single problem, a single heartache, a single tear.  Our God is a Redeemer God, and He stands minute by minute before us, inviting us to let Him have the sorrow, to let Him have the pain, to let Him have the disappointment.  To trust Him to make something useful, something creative of every tragedy that darkens our lives.
Oh Lord Jesus, thank you for bringing me through the darkest storm I have faced in life and for showing me what life can come from death! I am sorry that I don't always believe You the way I should, but that is just another reminder that You aren't through with me yet - thank you for that!

I am thankful that He has not wasted a single one of my tears. Really. In the last two years, God has revealed a lot to me about myself, my relationship with Him, and my relationship with others. I hate that this has been the result of the greatest tragedy I've faced. But I am so thankful that God has not let my brother's death be wasted.

I recently heard a mom of teenagers encourage a group of moms of young children. She said that she came to look forward to times when her children got into trouble and she had to discipline them because these were precious times that she was able to guide them towards Jesus and their need for Him. It was a time for them to see their own sin and choose to turn to the One who gives life. Oh how I have felt like those young children. I cried for weeks after my brother's death, and uncontrollably and involuntarily. The tears still come at times. But God has not wasted a single one of my tears. He has used each one to draw me closer to Him and to reveal my need for a heavenly Father.

I'd encourage you to not allow those tragedies in your life to go to waste. Pray that the Lord will use them in a mighty way, and He will.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Love our pups!

We love our dog around here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do Everything

This is my song at the moment. Along with all of the other Jesus-loving mommas. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

13 Months

At 13 months...
  • She is almost walking. She walks holding onto furniture, mom and dad's hands, and her miniature wagon, which she can push. She squats on her own, though she usually doesn't realize she is doing it.
  • She stills drinks from straw sippy cups. We have a few soft spout sippys that she will drink from, but it's confusing for her to have to tip those but not the straws... if we had more straw sippys, I'd only use those. I may just put the spout ones away... 
  • Learning to use utensils. I know this will be a long journey! But she does sometimes scoop food onto her spoon and then sometimes that food even makes it into her mouth! Ha!
  • Loves to swing! She's loved this since she was a newborn. Back then it was in her Fisher-Price lamb swing. Now it's in her Little Tykes swing outside or the baby swing at the park. She's content there for a good hour, but she's lucky if mom lasts 10 minutes.
  • Loves her wagon! We go on wagon rides often. And if I need to do something outside, I can let her roam free in her wagon with a couple of toys, and she's happy for a good while.
  • Taking just one nap. It's been about an hour and a half, though she sometimes reads till two hours. I'm hoping this gets stretched!
  • Speaking of taking just one nap, we are currently working on having alone-entertain-myself-time. I am still figuring out how to best encourage this, but it's a work in progress. I'm also coming up with great toddler activities to entertain her and buy me some time to, say, cook dinner!
  • Discipline... we just recently had to start disciplining her. She's definitely started to show defiance. She'll do something, I'll say no and redirect her, she'll do it again, I'll redirect her once more, and then she'll look at me and smile as she does whatever I told her not to do. Lovely. I remember looking at her as a newborn, thinking, This child is perfect. How could there be sin in her? Uh-huh. Sinner! ;) I've been listening to some Building Blocks talks (a mom's ministry at church) and reading Shepherding A Child's Heart, preparing myself for this task of discipline. From what I gather, the key is persistence and consistency.
Lilleigh's words:
  • dada
  • momma
  • mammy: for Sammy
  • Noah: Not kidding... she said this and kept repeating it the other night when we were reading the story of, well, Noah...
  • woof woof: This is a dog's bark, and she does this whenever she hears another dog bark - so she makes the connection that the sound is a dog and then makes a dog sound - and whenever she sees a dog in a picture - so she recognizes what a dog is and knows it's sound that!
  • all done: I can't even describe what this actually sounds like, but it means all done. She doesn't always say it though because she signs it. Good enough. :)
  • hi and bye or buh-bye: Both very enthusiastic! She gives a wave with them usually also.