Wednesday, July 16, 2014

it's hard.

I had a conversation with a friend recently, and I was talking about losing my father-in-law, watching my husband mourn, and watching him pick up the pace at work since he was in business with his dad.

"I could worry, but I'm not in control anyway. I can either trust that God's plan is bigger than mine, or I can worry. Honestly, I don't know how people do it without faith, without Jesus. I'd be panicking."

My friend looked right at me and said, "But isn't it hard even with him?"

If I have led you to believe that living our life of not-so-dull moments is easy, I'm sorry.

It is hard.
This is hard. Even with Jesus.

This is the moment where my heart is broken.

This is the moment where I sincerely, honestly, truly regret picking a study of the book of James for our small group this summer.

Count it all joy, my friends, when it is hard. That's what James tells us. Not, "Hey, you could have some tough things coming" or "go ahead and whine, it's totally unfair." Count it all joy.

I didn't want to learn what that meant. I didn't want my faith to produce steadfastness, so I could be found perfect and complete, as James writes. If I'm perfectly honest, I was happy. I wanted to believe in Jesus, drink my coffee, and love my church friends.

And when I get mad, when I start to doubt, the words from our James Bible study echo in my heart...

Do not be deceived, Chrissy. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:16-17)

There has been darkness - but my Father is a God of light. I've had things taken away - but God gives perfectly and he is good. Our world is completely different - but God remains the same.

But that still means we feel darkness, we lose, and things change.
It's hard.
I've been reading Psalm 61 every day.

When my heart is faint,
lead me to the rock
that is higher than I.

Monday, July 7, 2014

what we learned about Joe

There is nothing like trial by fire to learn about your 4.5 month old.

The past 10 days, as I mentioned before, Joe has been taken completely out of his little world and did great. Here's what we got to learn about him...

Joe is an extrovert (at least at this stage of his life). With all the people around to entertain, Joe smiled, babbled, and hardly wanted to stop to eat or sleep. I've never seen him light up so much and be so social.

Joe is a flirt. He is waaaay more smiley for women.

Joe gets slap happy when he's tired. It's pretty hilarious and pretty goofy. Until he comes unglued.

Joe wants to eat solids. My child has fought nursing, bottles, formula, etc. But he loves food. Right now he's only allowed avocados 1x a day. When I put him in his high chair, he leans forward and start licking and smacking his lips. He will sit quietly in his chair, even when he's super fussy, because he knows food is coming. He stares longingly at cups, forks, and the food that fills our plates. It's going to be a long wait until 6 months, baby.

Joe does okay going to bed and being transferred. It's a bit of work for us, but he fared all right. Joe also transitioned from the rock-n-play back to sleeping in his crib at night because he moves around so much we feared he would fall out. Naps are a totally different story, though. If we aren't home or in a similar environment to home, naps are out of the question.

Joe sleeps like a rock when he's really asleep. Fireworks had nothing on him. However, if he half wakes up without his pacifier, expect total freak out. It makes no sense.

Joe is long. So, so long. He's keeping up in height with his cousins who are 3-5 months older than him. This is also entertaining because he doesn't have the same amount of control and coordination they have (obviously), so he's awkward and his long limbs flail about with no stopping.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

my word.

Over a year ago, a very dear mentor and friend gave me this verse to comfort me during a time of transition.

Over a year ago, I had no idea how much our lives were about to change.

90% of our family that lived in town moved away.
I got pregnant with Joe.
I got hyperemsis gravidum while pregnant.
My last living grandparent died.
We started a new small group at church that changed our lives (and I hope theirs!).
My husband lost his job.
My husband started a new company with his father and a family friend.
Joe was born.
I quit my job.
My father-in-law died.

12 months, friends, is not a long time. Some times I close my eyes and I picture myself 15 months ago, not even pregnant with Joe yet, living a totally different life. 15 months ago, I was hosting a surprise 60th birthday party for my father-in-law, probably drinking a glass of wine or something in my perfectly clean house, relishing in how good God was and is to us.

But God is so, so gracious. He gave me this Word to hold on to for dear life when it all changed. And while this Word has not come without pain, it has pushed me to grow, to trust, and to live beyond myself. It has reminded me that God is still so, so good. It's a long chunk to put in a blog, but it's worth reading until the end.

More than ever before in my life, I know and believe and understand that He is I am.

But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

-From Isaiah 43, emphasis mine

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

our son

He's a pretty cute kid.
And he's been the ideal baby these past few days, despite a lack of sleep, food, mommy-time, or any type of normalcy.

He's got some big shoes to fill.  Carry on the legacy, little Joe.