Friday, July 24, 2015

My Liver Journey

Well, Haddie's down for another short nap, so we'll see if I can get another blog post in real quick ... ha!  'Cause my blog posts are quick ... riggghhhtt. ;)

I was walking with Haddie at the park yesterday, a habit I'm trying to cultivate.  And I was stopped in my tracks by a beautiful scene ... it was just some simple trees and clouds.

But those trees and clouds grabbed hold of my heart and brought tears to my eyes because, for some reason, they reminded me of grace.

I'm kind of on a liver journey, as I'm going to call it.  No, not a body part journey ... a journey to real LIFE.  Over the past 10 years, I have been in bondage to self-condemnation.  It's only been over the past few months that I've come to realize that it is BONDAGE.  My self-condemning ways are not just a daily struggle; they have taken over my life and caused me so much pain.  I started seeing a counselor recently, and he is helping me begin to see where this condemnation is coming from and how to break free from it.  I'm beginning to realize that things as wonderful and godly as my daily prayer and devotional times have caused me pain.  I condemn myself so much if I miss even a day of personal quiet times, and I'm seeing more and more that I constantly try to earn my salvation even though I know it is a free gift from the Lord.

So as I saw these beautiful trees and clouds, I got to thinking ... these parts of nature are beautiful simply because God made them.  And I am beautiful simply because God made me, and I belong to Him as one of His kids because I am a Christian.  I don't have to DO anything to earn that love and beauty.  I just have to be me.  As I walked around the lake and got closer to the trees, I began to see dead places among the trees ... a bunch of dead, brown leaves here, an entire dead, bare tree there.  When I, or other people, look closely at my life, I, or they, see dead places in my life too ... places where I've been hurt, sin I am trying to overcome, bad habits, all kinds of stuff ... but when God looks closely at my life, He sees me.  He sees a beautiful creation.  And He thinks I'm beautiful because I am His.  I.  Am.  His.

I saw such grace in this picture during my walk yesterday.  I was reminded that I am saved and thought of as beautiful and valuable and all good things, not condemning things, because I belong to Jesus, not because I DO everything perfectly or have it all together.  So I'm living my days these days to just live in Christ, not strive (struggle in opposition) all the time.  I don't wanna be a striver anymore ... I've been that my whole life.  I wanna be a liver.  An abundant LIVER!  And I can be because I'm seen through GRACE, not the LAW or my own unrealistic expectations.

And whatta ya know ... Haddie is just starting to stir ... and I got 'er done! :)

Lessons in Bottle Feeding

I've been meaning to write a short blurb about a lesson I've learned in feeding my daughter.  Almost every time Haddie starts to get hungry, she starts gnawing on her hand.  When she's really hungry, she will stuff half her fist in her mouth, gag herself, make grunting and sucking noises, and just plain gnaw the life outta that little hand of hers.  Ha!  I love it!  She's so funny.  If mama takes too long to get the bottle in her mouth, she'll start crying and get red in the face. ... We've chosen to formula feed, and if you use formula, you know how quick and easy it is.  It literally takes 30 seconds or so to measure out some water, scoop out the formula, and shake it.  It's wonderful stuff.  But in that little bit of time, Haddie can get so worked up.  Most of the time, she does alright ... she's a pretty laid back and happy baby.  But there are times when she freaks out a bit when she doesn't get her bottle right when she wants it.  But I get it to her as soon as I can, and many times, I find myself saying something to her like, "There ya go ... see, Haddie, mama's takin' care of you.  You're alright."

One time, a handful of weeks ago, I was saying something like this to her, and it made me think of the way we are with God.  He knows exactly what we need when we need it.  He always provides for us.  He is so faithful.  He always has been; He always will be.  We get so bent out of shape over things here on this earth.  We want what we want now, and if we don't get it, we're gonna throw a fit about it.  We worry and get upset, but in the end, God takes care of us.  Can't you hear Him now?  He's saying, "There ya go ... see, (fill in your name), Daddy's gotcha taken care of.  I'm right here.  I've got it.  Just trust Me."

So just know ... that whatever you're facing today ... God's got it.  So don't let your face get too red about it, okay? ;)

Well, she's awake again!  See you guys later!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Haddie is 2 months old!

It's amazing how fast time is flying with our sweet, baby girl!  I am continuing to learn so much about selflessness and grace, and Haddie is learning so much about what being a human on this planet is all about.  Really, she's a very happy baby.  She's had a stuffy nose for over a week, and she's still just as pleasant as ever. :)

What Haddie is doing and learning ...
Smiling so much more - yay! And she smiles at her mama the most - double yay! ~ Sleeping an average of 6-8 hours a night - yay! ~ Has had an incredibly stuffy nose for over a week now - boo! ~ Has been wearing pretty much only 3-month old clothes since she was 6 weeks old ~ Is eating 4-5 ounces at most feedings ~ Has been falling asleep during almost every feeding over the past several days ~ mostly only takes cat naps during the day ~ Her attention span is growing ... swinging the whole time I'm cooking dinner, rocking in her rock 'n play for several minutes at a time to give mommy's arms a break, and laying on her back, kicking in her crib while mommy gets a few things done here and there ~ Taking in her surroundings more ~ Can see at further distances ~ noticing people more ... especially her mommy (I don't mind that!) ~ Sitting up stronger when you help hold her up

What Mommy is doing and learning ...
Enjoying Haddie's smiles and growing attention span ~ Sad I can do nothing to help Haddie's stuffy nose ... I've asked the doctor a couple of times ~ Loving holding Haddie even more these days ~ Loving watching Haddie look around and take in her surroundings ~ learning that self-condemnation can no longer be a way of life ~ learning that it's normal to not wanna sacrifice time, energy, sleep, etc. for your baby at times ... that I should work at being less selfish but not beat myself to a pulp every single time I am selfish ~ learning that Jesus already died for all of my selfishness, ungratefulness, and unfaithfulness ... now, I just need to let go and live for Him ~ still trying to find the balance between doing what I think I should be doing and what's really most important ~ still trying to make more consistent quality time with the Lord ~ missing the time I had with Darrell before Haddie but loving being parents together ~ missing game nights with Darrell and my friends ~ praying for endurance for Darrell and his job at Pepsi ~ praying for direction about our future ~ grateful I get to stay home with my baby girl everyday ~ grateful for the incredible blessings God continues to give me every single day ~ grateful that God's mercies are new every single day