Sunday, August 23, 2015

HE cares even more

It's the feeling I dreaded as I was preparing for motherhood. The feeling of fear and concern for your child. The feeling goes so deep it makes me ill. It can come on in an instant- all it takes is one little cry, or seeing a little less energy in my baby girl than usual. What's wrong with her? Is she sick? Is she going to be sick? Did I give her too much to eat? Oh, I shouldn't have given her that! Is she choking?! Did that fall cause permanent damage? It's oftentimes (OK... it's most always) an over reaction. Never the less, the anxiety that comes with motherhood is real.

It causes me to stir in my sleep all night long... listening for her cry to tell me that something just isn't right. I pray and I pray- Lord, give me peace, surround me with your comfort tonight. Yet the feeling always remains, even if I feel more peace or comfort.

I hear her cry, but she goes back to sleep. She does this again. Finally, her cry doesn't fade, and I jump out of bed with enthusiasm because more than anything I want to wrap this girl in my arms. I go to her and she is fine, just a little hungry. I don't mind that I haven't been able to sleep for the last 3 hours.... I'm just happy to have her in my arms looking up at me with her big blue eyes. Her finger wrapped around mine.

Does she know that just as much as she needs me, I need her?

"Oh, how I care for her!", I think to myself.

Then a smooth whisper washes over me,
"And I care for her even more."

The tears begin to well up. They fall from my cheek to her head like oil anointing as I'm reminded how deep the Father's love is for my babe.

My heart begins to pray...

The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.

I pray the 23 psalm. Then I begin to pray it over my daughter.

Father God,
BE her shepherd.... lead her beside quiet waters... help her to fear no evil because of your presence in her life....

I pray and I hold her as long as I can in the early morning darkness. It's these moments that I hope to never forget. They are some of the most precious to me.

It's a beautiful example of how how God can bring good from all things. Satan wants to harm me with feelings of doubt and fear, but God takes those same feelings and calls me to him and reminds me of his sweet presence.  Praise Him!

Psalm 23, from The VOICE
The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
He provides me rest in rich, green fields
    beside streams of refreshing water.
    He soothes my fears;
He makes me whole again,
    steering me off worn, hard paths
    to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.
Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
    I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
    near with Your protection and guidance,
    I am comforted.
You spread out a table before me,
    provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
    filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
    where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
    in Your house forever.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

stories worth telling

I'm sure by now you've probably heard about Kathy Lee Gifford's tribute to her late husband on her show. I'd see the story floating around Facebook, but I hadn't watched. Today as I was driving, our local christian radio station shared the story and I was actually brought to tears! In it she shares her husband's testimony. I tried to write my favorite part, but I love it all, you seriously need to watch it if you haven't! It's a little long, but she starts to speak about her husband's faith around 4 minutes into it.

I bring up this story today because this is a story that will make an impact. Sharing our testimony and the lessons our God teaches us throughout our life are stories that will make an impact. They are stories to be told!

This past year all of my blog posts have been about Kate. I didn't want it to be that way, but I stopped taking time to share how God's worked in me- my story. SO... the dishes and laundry can wait from time to time. Sometimes a gal's just gotta write!

I choose the word "Grace" for 2015. God has taught me a lot about grace this last year, and I am so thankful! Over the next few months I'm going to do a 5 part series on what's God's shown me about grace:

Grace for myself
Grace for my loved ones
Grace for people
Grace for the suffering
Grace for the sinner

So stay tuned... and remember to share your story!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Life With Kate... 11 Months Old

Oh, how are we there already? 

Our little pumpkin is continuing to grow stronger and mobile. She's crawling everywhere and climbing on everything. Her favorite place to climb is the couch! All these toys... and her favorite is the couch!? She also likes to pull herself up on people's legs... so if you are standing near by you have to be cautious! Sometimes there are tumbles, but the tears are always calmed with a book! 

She loves to pull all of the books off of the shelves! Then she will sit down to "read" them. She has even learned how to look behind the flaps on books that have them. She is also fascinated with my cookbooks! She reads them often just like her momma! I love watching her play in the morning time when she is still in her pajamas! 

We are finding all sorts of toys in our media drawers these days! (Once again... I can't get enough of the footies.... I take lots of pictures when she is in them!)

She loves to play! This month we've watched her go from mouthing on her toys to really discovering them. Anyone who thinks that kids don't learn by playing needs to spend some time observing babies! 

We are in the swing less and less these days. Now she plays in her pack-in-play when I need to be in the other room or can't watch her closely. Such a big girl!

I've been learning how to balance motherhood with the responsibilities of part time work. She is with me while I work which is an endeavor all of it's own! So thankful Gramps' office is right next to mine! I haven't made the time to put together activities and song books like I had been doing for her but I'm still doing what I can to provide intentional opportunities for discovery. This month I've been doing a fish/ under the sea unit with her. She really enjoys puzzles. She isn't putting pieces back where they belong yet, but she loves to take them apart, examine the pieces, and then hide them all around the apartment! 

We have fun, but we also need breaks. So to keep this post completely honest here is what happens during certain more difficult times of the day... we watch BabyBum nursery rhyme videos on youtube.  ;)

We faced some sickness this month. My illness from last month lasted the entire month of July and then some, and Kate had a cold this past week. Trying lots of new foods was just not in the cards. Neither was lots of home made foods. Thankfully I've been able to find some good baby food pouches that contain only veggies... that's quite a challenge these days! She is beginning to understand finger food now that we've introduced teething wafers. So that's been fun! At first she really didn't know what to make of them, but today she is chowing down on them! Speaking of teeth, her two bottom teeth have grown in pretty well. No more toothless grin! :( Hopefully we'll be able to move on to more table foods in the next couple of months. I'm guilty of being in no rush though... she is my BABY after all! I don't want her to grow up! The struggle is real y'all. 

With all of her mobility we decided it was time to get her a pair of good shoes. So off to Stride Mart we went. It was so nice to actually find some shoes that will stay on her tiny feet! 

Bath time is still lots of fun! Seriously... who needs to go swimming when you can hop in the bath tub? (Just kidding... but when you're sick and it's 100 degrees outside the tub will work!) She loves crawling and climbing around so much these days that it's hard to keep her still enough to get her clean! 

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. What is sleep?? It sure can feel that way some days! She usually goes down around 7:30-8:00 and will sleep about 12 hours, waking up 2-3 times during the night. She will eat and go right back to sleep usually. Sometimes she wakes up more often or has trouble falling back asleep... those are the nights that are hard! I've always had trouble with sleep, so I'm able to get by pretty well with poor sleep. I'm thankful that I've been equipped for this phase of life in that way. We've moved to one nap a day around noon. She usually naps 1-2 hours. Sometimes she dozes off in the car, has trouble going down when I'm working at church, or we have an off schedule day (like Sunday) so we have to get flexible, but she's doing good. I just love it when I lay her down. She looks so peaceful and I truly treasure these days. 

We've experimented with cry it out at night time, but there usually is no "out"... it just keeps going! I don't rush in there right away, I wait a few minutes (sometimes a lot of minutes) to make sure she really needs me. Right now, she wants and needs that extra comfort and nourishment to feel secure, so I don't mind offering it. I'm thankful that my heavenly daddy is always there to give me the comfort that I need... even when it's over something trivial that I should be able to get over on my own. He tells me I never have to go at it alone, that I can cast all my burdens onto Him because He cares. Praise Him!!! 

Right now, according to Erik Erikson, Kate is learning if she can trust the world. Of course, as a christian mother, I want my Kate to learn that she can trust God. I pray our sweet Kate Marie is learning that it's all going to be OK- that her mommy and daddy are here for her and love her so much. That she is loved by her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and bible class teachers. And as she gets older I pray she will know that as much as mommy and daddy love her, God loves her and cares for her 100 times more!